Doing a great job on the web

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This is a talk I gave at Murdoch Uni. I wasn't sure what to call it, but it basically covers principles of good website work - user research, good IA, great content, setting priorities and maintaining …

This is a talk I gave at Murdoch Uni. I wasn't sure what to call it, but it basically covers principles of good website work - user research, good IA, great content, setting priorities and maintaining good work

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Transcript

  • 1. ...or, I couldn’t figure out what to call this Smart, descriptive title goes here
  • 2. ...but I do know what I’m going to talk about
    • What we are trying to do by putting stuff on the web
    • What we need to think about to do that well
    • Practical tricks to help do it well
    • ...and how we can look after it
  • 3. About me
    • Freelance information architect/interaction designer
      • 9 yrs
      • Complex websites, intranets, business applications
      • Design, strategy, mentoring
    • Writer – articles, a book and a gazillion pages of web copy
      • Writing a book about card sorting - due soon
    • Teacher - workshops on IA, interaction design, web content, web stuff
      • i.e. I talk too much
  • 4. What I’ve been spending too much time on...
  • 5. Why we do this...
    • Helping people make decisions
    • Helping them do tasks more efficiently
    • Letting them do it in their own time
    • Allowing them to do it their own way
  • 6. People need to 1. Find 2. Understand 3. Take action
  • 7. Finding
  • 8. Finding
    • What do people need to find?
  • 9. User research
    • Dot points
  • 10. User research methods
  • 11. Organise the content
  • 12. Create paths to information
  • 13. Understanding
  • 14. The knowledge gap http://www.uie.com/articles/design_intuitive/
  • 15.  
  • 16.  
  • 17.  
  • 18. Trick 1: Write to people, not about you
    • Humans are mostly selfish
    • We don’t care how awesome you are
    • We don’t buy, hire or make decisions because you are great
    • We make decisions based on what will make us feel great
      • Being noticed
      • Being recognised for doing well
      • Feeling like we have achieved something good
      • Winning
  • 19. Kathy Sierra said it best… http://headrush.typepad.com/
  • 20. Trick 1: Write to people, not about you
    • Figure out what will make the reader feel great
    • Write that
    • Simple?
    • It’s harder than it sounds
    • Why…who cares…so what
  • 21. Trick 2: Use a real voice
    • People are social, and pay attention to other people
    • If your content sounds like a person is really talking, readers will listen
    • Voice gives your content personality
  • 22.  
  • 23. Lots of voice…
    • Hello Donna I'm Little MOO - the bit of software that will be managing your order with us. I will shortly be sent to Big MOO, our print machine who will print it for you in the next few days. I'll let you know when it's done and on its way to you.
    • Please note, as your order will be shipped via First Class/Airmail, it should be with you in around 10 working days, but it won't have a tracking number.
    • Please note that different products are mailed separately so if your order contains a range of different products they will be packed separately and may not arrive together.
    • Remember, I'm just a bit of software. So, if you have any questions regarding your order please first read our Frequently Asked Questions at: http://www.moo.com/help/ and if you're still not sure, contact customer services (who are real people) at: http://www.moo.com/service/
    • Thanks, Little MOO
    Getting content right
  • 24.  
  • 25. No voice… Getting content right
  • 26. And make it a single voice...
  • 27. Getting content right
  • 28. How to write with voice
    • First draft - write how you speak
    • Imagine you are having a conversation
      • Anticipate questions
      • Answer them succinctly
    • Practice – start a blog or do something else to find your voice
    • ‘ Voicy’ writing doesn’t have to be cute, chatty or informal – it just needs to sound like a real human
  • 29. Trick 3: Show and tell
    • Content is more than just words
    • People have different learning styles – write for them
    • ‘ Show’ your ideas with
      • Examples, case studies
      • Images, graphics
      • Things that stop and make the reader think
  • 30. An obvious example
    • All of that area within Bass Strait, excluding any coastal waters* in relation to the State of Victoria or the State of Tasmania, contained within and bounded as follows**:
      • commencing at the point of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south, longitude 147 degrees 6 minutes east;
      • then south-easterly along the geodesic to the point of latitude 39 degrees 22 minutes south, longitude 147 degrees 28 minutes east;
      • then south along the meridian of longitude 147 degrees 28 minutes east, to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 36 minutes south;
      • then west along the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 36 minutes south, to its intersection with the meridian of longitude 146 degrees 34 minutes east;
      • then north along the meridian of longitude 146 degrees 34 minutes east, to its intersection with the outer limit of the coastal waters* of Victoria at approximate latitude 39 degrees 16 minutes 32 seconds south;
      • then easterly and generally northerly along the outer limit of the coastal waters* of Victoria to its intersection with the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south; and
      • then west along the parallel of latitude 39 degrees 6 minutes south to the point of commencement.
  • 31. Getting content right
  • 32. Making it happen
  • 33. Committing to quality
    • What does it matter?
    • How important is it really?
    • What is the risk if you get it wrong?
      • Impact on the users
      • Money spent
      • Profile
    • If important, don’t get lowest-level staff to do the ‘web stuff’
  • 34. How to decide
  • 35. Personal blog
  • 36. Conference website
  • 37. E-commerce system
  • 38. Big internal business app
  • 39. Keeping it going
  • 40. Maintaining it
  • 41. Summary
  • 42. Summary
    • People need to find information, understand it, take action
    • We enable this by:
      • Understanding people
      • Organising information & pathways that suit them
      • Writing to them, not about us
      • Writing with voice
      • Showing & telling
    • We need:
      • A commitment to quality
      • To determine what’s important
    • Improve continuously
  • 43. Questions & thanks
    • http://maadmob.com.au/
    • 0409-778-693
    • [email_address]
    • Twitter etc: maadonna