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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.

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

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http://maadmob.com.au 21
http://www.eecpoland.eu 19
http://www.techgig.com 10
http://10.150.200.57 2

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Designing websites that work Designing websites that work Presentation Transcript

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