Designing websites that work Donna Maurer – Maadmob Interaction Design
About me <ul><li>Freelance information architect/interaction designer  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I design structures & interfa...
The problem <ul><li>Information is hard to find </li></ul><ul><li>Content is poor quality </li></ul><ul><li>Site needs a v...
You need to redesign <ul><li>Sometimes only a redesign will help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem is too big to tweak </l...
Essential elements <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Design work is cr...
Without information <ul><li>Decisions are hard to make </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions don’t fit </li></ul><ul><li>Design base...
Gathering information <ul><li>Good inputs give good outputs </li></ul><ul><li>User research activities </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Without skills <ul><li>Just can’t do a good job </li></ul><ul><li>No credibility if you do well </li></ul><ul><li>No way t...
Skills <ul><li>Teams, not individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Creative thinkers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse & think about impl...
Skills/roles <ul><li>User research </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Content (analysis, managem...
Without time <ul><li>Can’t collect sufficient information </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t think issues through properly </li></ul>...
Time <ul><li>‘ Thinking time’ is an amazing resource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow gaps instead of rushing </li></ul></ul><u...
If you hire a consultant <ul><li>Check the person has skills, not just techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask about result...
Questions & thanks <ul><li>http://maadmob.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>0409-778-693 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>...
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Designing websites that work

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A short conference presentation about what is needed to design effective websites. Focuses on time, skills and information.

Published in: Business, Technology

Designing websites that work

  1. 1. Designing websites that work Donna Maurer – Maadmob Interaction Design
  2. 2. About me <ul><li>Freelance information architect/interaction designer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I design structures & interfaces for complex informational & interactive systems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>6+ years professional experience, as an innie, an outie & a freelancer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Designed loads of business applications, websites, intranets </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practice, teach and write about IA and IxD </li></ul><ul><li>Chair for next year's IA Summit </li></ul><ul><li>Writing a book about card sorting - due Jan 2007 </li></ul>
  3. 3. The problem <ul><li>Information is hard to find </li></ul><ul><li>Content is poor quality </li></ul><ul><li>Site needs a visual refresh </li></ul><ul><li>Site doesn’t scale well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New content doesn’t fit in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search engine is choking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation method is no longer suitable </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Site is a poor reflection on the company </li></ul><ul><li>The last redesign didn’t fix anything </li></ul>
  4. 4. You need to redesign <ul><li>Sometimes only a redesign will help </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The problem is too big to tweak </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It has been left too long </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is the only way you’ll get the resources </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This talk is about design/redesign, not long-term maintenance or incremental design </li></ul>
  5. 5. Essential elements <ul><li>Information </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Design work is creative, not just analytic </li></ul>
  6. 6. Without information <ul><li>Decisions are hard to make </li></ul><ul><li>Decisions don’t fit </li></ul><ul><li>Design based on personal opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Arguments </li></ul><ul><li>May build the wrong thing </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have enough </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use existing sources such as web stats, search logs, customer emails </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Informal research </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Gathering information <ul><li>Good inputs give good outputs </li></ul><ul><li>User research activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interviews, surveys </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing data </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Card sorting </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inventory, wishlists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Business goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Background research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competitor analysis </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Without skills <ul><li>Just can’t do a good job </li></ul><ul><li>No credibility if you do well </li></ul><ul><li>No way to judge your outputs </li></ul><ul><li>Activity-led design </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Research’-led design </li></ul><ul><li>Analysis paralysis </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have enough </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hire in (will take time) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train/get mentoring </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consulting services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow down the project </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Skills <ul><li>Teams, not individuals </li></ul><ul><li>Creative thinkers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Analyse & think about implications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not follow formulae </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Previous experience </li></ul><ul><li>Excellent communicators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Writing, selling </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Understand relevant technology </li></ul><ul><li>Plan & keep everything on track </li></ul>
  10. 10. Skills/roles <ul><li>User research </li></ul><ul><li>Information architecture </li></ul><ul><li>Content (analysis, management) </li></ul><ul><li>Usability testing </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Visual design </li></ul>
  11. 11. Without time <ul><li>Can’t collect sufficient information </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t think issues through properly </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t get to attempt and abandon ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Premature decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Quality suffers </li></ul><ul><li>If you don’t have enough </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce scope </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t compromise quality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get expert skills in </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Time <ul><li>‘ Thinking time’ is an amazing resource </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow gaps instead of rushing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Allow time for analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Try different options and choose a good one </li></ul><ul><li>Allows good consultation </li></ul><ul><li>Good documentation (e.g. rationales) </li></ul><ul><li>Much more likely to get a good solution </li></ul>
  13. 13. If you hire a consultant <ul><li>Check the person has skills, not just techniques </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ask about results </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how they think </li></ul><ul><li>Get involved in all activities, discussions & decisions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Skills awareness & transfer </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Questions & thanks <ul><li>http://maadmob.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>0409-778-693 </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>I’m available from Jan 07 </li></ul>

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