User Experience Design
Barcamp London Presenta0on June 2008
A li9le about me…
• Originally from Australia.
• Working as a UX designer since 2001.
• Worked for clients such as BeneEon, Cadbury
Schweppes, S&N and French Connec0on.
• Been working for Yahoo! since 2006.
• Currently Lead UX Designer for Yahoo! Answers.
Good design is important.
Although you don’t need me to tell you that!
Know your users
• Use exis0ng data that you have from user tes0ng,
customer service emails, search logs, blogs and sugges0on
• Once you have that data, create personas based on that
• Your persona should cover their likes, dislikes, background
My Persona for Today
Basing personas on someone you know makes them more realis0c
So this is Brad covered!
What is important to your users?
Know what your users want
Just because you can build something ﬂashy and amazing doesn’t mean you should!
Help them achieve their goals
• Brainstorm possible scenarios for use. What are they
trying to achieve on your site?
• Once you have created an ini0al structure for your site,
validate it against these user goals.
• Priori0se for your key personas. These are the users who
will use the site most and probably generate the most
revenue. Look aYer them!
Make it easy to get involved
Consider the experience on diﬀerent pla[orms and make it easy to par0cipate
People aren’t just using computers
• Other forms of accessing the internet are only going to get
more popular in the future.
• In the UK, 17 million people accessed the Internet on their
phone in December. This equates to 23% of mobile users
• Think about the top 5 user goals and design your mobile
experience around that.
Twi9er on Mobile
Op0mised for key goals of the site. No 1: What are you doing
Low Barrier to Entry
• Don’t make users jump through hoops! They will simply
• Give them a clear incen0ve to join.
• Even beEer, remove the registra0on process altogether.
Tripit makes joining easy
All you have to do is send your conﬁrma0on email from your travel provider
So now we can colour in…
…because that’s what design is all about isn’t it?
Well not quite yet!
• User Experience Design covers a lot of things like
Informa0on Architecture, Copywri0ng and Interac0on
Design which all come before the visual design.
• Here are some good reference books:
InformaRon Architecture for the World Wide Hot Text: Web WriRng That Works
Designing Interfaces: Pa9erns for EﬀecRve
Web: Designing Large‐Scale Web Sites (Paperback) by Lisa Price (Author), Jonathan
InteracRon Design (Paperback) by Jenifer
(Paperback) by Louis Rosenfeld (Author), Price (Author)
Peter Morville (Author)
OK, now pencils at the ready!
• Learn the basics of design!
• This usually encompasses the following: Balance,
Proximity, Alignment, Repe00on, Contrast and White
Graphic Design School: The Principles and
PracRces of Graphic Design (Paperback) by
David Dabner (Author)
Wireframing is easy!
It also helps stakeholders focus on the content, not how it looks
Just because you can…
Doesn’t mean you should!
Keep it simple, stupid
• As you put elements on the page ask yourself
– Why am I adding this?
– How is this helping the experience?
– Will it detract from the experience if I don’t have it?
• Try removing all the visual treatment from your site and
add them in one at a 0me.
• Another trick is to turn your screenshots black and white,
blur it slightly and see what stands out. The focal point of
your page should s0ll be clear.
When things go wrong
…because unfortunately they will at some point
So what do you do?
• You are probably people who are responsible for making
sure things work. Ensuring your site is stable and bug‐free
is one of the most important things you can do.
• When things do go wrong, make sure you explain what
happened and provide an alterna0ve or next steps to
• Pay special aEen0on to your form design.
Leverage other people
Use their skills and their opinions to improve your designs
So what do you do?
• One of the developers on my team is excellent when it
comes to detec0ng edge cases. He’s like my second
defense to make sure everything is covered.
• Community Managers are great at iden0fying tension
hotspots and how to mi0gate abuse.
• Think about what skills other people have and how they
can help you!
Thanks for your Rme