10 Giant Mistakes I Made This Year Lorelei Brown [email_address]
About Me <ul><li>Making the Internet since 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>7 years of consulting experience </li></ul><ul><li>Joine...
About the National Association of Realtors <ul><li>Million member association </li></ul><ul><li>5,000 pages of content, as...
Stakeholders <ul><li>Our members </li></ul><ul><li>Publications/Communications - owners of the process </li></ul><ul><li>I...
Objectives <ul><li>Find and install a new CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Map the site. </li></ul><ul><li>New navigation and labeli...
Timeline <ul><li>Map, redesign, IA and migrate  </li></ul><ul><li>5,000 - 6,000 pages   </li></ul><ul><li>of content from ...
By The Way <ul><li>3 people on this team are writers, and don't really know anything about metadata, technology, large sca...
<ul><li>So, what happened? </li></ul>
We had no process (so everyone got treated differently). <ul><li>This is really just a good user flow! </li></ul><ul><li>W...
We thought metadata would solve all of our problems. <ul><li>Really the idea of metadata. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure to c...
We knew that user-centered design triumphed over all (including the relationships with our stakeholders). <ul><li>It's imp...
We hired bad consultants that we didn't know were bad (now we know better). <ul><li>Business development = subject to exag...
We ignored our internal clients' immediate needs. <ul><li>We lost credibility by telling people that we couldn't help them...
We thought everyone should be doing everything <ul><li>(so no one knew what their job was). </li></ul><ul><li>Do IAs edit?...
We didn't spend enough money. <ul><li>Remember the magic triangle of good, fast, cheap? We needed good and fast... </li></...
We didn't narrow our focus (for the goals of our redesign). <ul><li>If you can't explain what you're doing in an elevator ...
We narrowed our focus too much (for the needs of our technology). <ul><li>Work on the &quot;what&quot; not the &quot;how&q...
We set unrealistic timelines. <ul><li>The project plan is not your destiny, it's a guideline. </li></ul><ul><li>Be conserv...
The Transition from Designer to Entrepreneur <ul><li>Remember that you're there to solve business problems -- all the prob...
What can you learn from my pain? <ul><li>Growing pains do hurt - and that's ok. (That which does not kill it makes us stro...
Learn from my pain (con’t) <ul><li>Don't forget to learn yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>When you don’t know what you’re doing...
Can you avoid every mistake? <ul><li>No! At some point, you just have to guess and do it.  </li></ul><ul><li>(It's called ...
Next steps <ul><li>Meet everyone in the room who lives near you. </li></ul><ul><li>Take 5 people out to lunch in the next ...
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10 Giant Mistakes I Made This Year

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The now infamous 10 Giant Mistakes slide show. Talks about how to get IA done in an enterpise.

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  • Why am I giving this presentation? After living with this project for about a year, I went to Lou’s seminar, and listened to him talk about how IAs need to become a business unit, prove their value, and be entrepreneural – you can’t just be sexy, you have to be useful. This resonated with me, since I was leading a new team that had recently been given control of an association website, and had to constantly prove their ability to steward and improve it. We had a couple of things in our favor: - User centered design: The idea that we, a membership organization, would ask our members what they thought was important and useful, was almost mystical. The previous owners design &amp; functionality was horrible. We had a plan. An ambitious plan. And that was the bad part. To a certain point, when you’re new at this, you have to jump in and do it, and you’re just going have to use judgement. If we didn’t do these things, we would have done something else. I’m going to let Lou tell you how to do this the right way in the next session. Meanwhile, feel my pain. Don’t do these things.
  • 10 Giant Mistakes I Made This Year

    1. 1. 10 Giant Mistakes I Made This Year Lorelei Brown [email_address]
    2. 2. About Me <ul><li>Making the Internet since 1995 </li></ul><ul><li>7 years of consulting experience </li></ul><ul><li>Joined NAR as a consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Advanced case of hubris </li></ul>
    3. 3. About the National Association of Realtors <ul><li>Million member association </li></ul><ul><li>5,000 pages of content, as well as applications </li></ul><ul><li>Team of three Content editors, 1 IA </li></ul><ul><li>1 dedicated developer from IT department </li></ul>
    4. 4. Stakeholders <ul><li>Our members </li></ul><ul><li>Publications/Communications - owners of the process </li></ul><ul><li>IT department </li></ul><ul><li>Departments - co-owners of the content </li></ul><ul><li>The Association as Communicator </li></ul>
    5. 5. Objectives <ul><li>Find and install a new CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Map the site. </li></ul><ul><li>New navigation and labeling. </li></ul><ul><li>New visual design. </li></ul><ul><li>Migrate all the content to new CMS. </li></ul><ul><li>Tag with metadata. </li></ul>
    6. 6. Timeline <ul><li>Map, redesign, IA and migrate </li></ul><ul><li>5,000 - 6,000 pages </li></ul><ul><li>of content from Lotus Notes into TBD CMS with a staff of 4 while maintaining normal updates, without vendor help, in </li></ul><ul><li>18 months. </li></ul>
    7. 7. By The Way <ul><li>3 people on this team are writers, and don't really know anything about metadata, technology, large scale implementation, or information structures. </li></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>So, what happened? </li></ul>
    9. 9. We had no process (so everyone got treated differently). <ul><li>This is really just a good user flow! </li></ul><ul><li>Write down the steps that you're going to follow for approval on a piece of paper. </li></ul><ul><li>Draw a good diagram to go with it. </li></ul><ul><li>Hand out this at the start of every meeting. </li></ul>
    10. 10. We thought metadata would solve all of our problems. <ul><li>Really the idea of metadata. </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure to clearly explain all of your techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay appropriate to your audience. </li></ul><ul><li>If it's untested, manage expectations. </li></ul>
    11. 11. We knew that user-centered design triumphed over all (including the relationships with our stakeholders). <ul><li>It's important to have usable design. </li></ul><ul><li>Messaging is a push and a pull. </li></ul><ul><li>We ignored what the association needed to push out that our users may not care about. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to be the only one in the room who knows something is wrong. </li></ul>
    12. 12. We hired bad consultants that we didn't know were bad (now we know better). <ul><li>Business development = subject to exaggeration. </li></ul><ul><li>Network. </li></ul><ul><li>Get references. Ask hard questions. </li></ul>
    13. 13. We ignored our internal clients' immediate needs. <ul><li>We lost credibility by telling people that we couldn't help them. </li></ul><ul><li>When it came time to work directly, they thought we were idiots! </li></ul>
    14. 14. We thought everyone should be doing everything <ul><li>(so no one knew what their job was). </li></ul><ul><li>Do IAs edit? </li></ul><ul><li>Do editors write labels? </li></ul><ul><li>Do developers make graphics? </li></ul><ul><li>Define jobs well, but make sure that duties overlap. </li></ul>
    15. 15. We didn't spend enough money. <ul><li>Remember the magic triangle of good, fast, cheap? We needed good and fast... </li></ul><ul><li>Get consultants, get vendors, get any outside advice to get smart fast </li></ul>
    16. 16. We didn't narrow our focus (for the goals of our redesign). <ul><li>If you can't explain what you're doing in an elevator pitch, rethink your project. </li></ul><ul><li>Phases are crucial for large projects. </li></ul>
    17. 17. We narrowed our focus too much (for the needs of our technology). <ul><li>Work on the &quot;what&quot; not the &quot;how&quot; when you’re not the expert. </li></ul><ul><li>Don't select a CMS in three months. </li></ul>
    18. 18. We set unrealistic timelines. <ul><li>The project plan is not your destiny, it's a guideline. </li></ul><ul><li>Be conservative in your planning. Underpromise. </li></ul>
    19. 19. The Transition from Designer to Entrepreneur <ul><li>Remember that you're there to solve business problems -- all the problems, not just the information design problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible. Be agile. Evolve. </li></ul><ul><li>Show your value. Your best value may not be as a designer. </li></ul>
    20. 20. What can you learn from my pain? <ul><li>Growing pains do hurt - and that's ok. (That which does not kill it makes us stronger) </li></ul><ul><li>Fail forward </li></ul><ul><li>You need to explain your value and the potential ROI of your work. (We did this right!) </li></ul>
    21. 21. Learn from my pain (con’t) <ul><li>Don't forget to learn yourself. </li></ul><ul><li>When you don’t know what you’re doing, pick good, better, best. </li></ul><ul><li>Really, the clients just want a web site. You’re there to know about quality. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Can you avoid every mistake? <ul><li>No! At some point, you just have to guess and do it. </li></ul><ul><li>(It's called using your best judgment.) </li></ul>
    23. 23. Next steps <ul><li>Meet everyone in the room who lives near you. </li></ul><ul><li>Take 5 people out to lunch in the next two months </li></ul><ul><li>Stay for Lou’s Roadmap! </li></ul>
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