Designing Compelling User Experiences (in Higher Ed) is a presentation I proposed for the HighEdWebDev 2007 Conference. The presentation covers eight information exploration/user research methods that can be implemented quickly and with no cost (exceptions include time and a few basic office supplies). I start out by asking the question “What makes an experience compelling?” and try to answer that with input from things far older than the web (namely evolution). Then, using the information domain of “washing laundry,” I explore four different methods of information architecture that I discovered from the MAYA Design folks at IDEA 2007 to learn how to organize and brainstorm an information space. After that, we bring a real user into the mix and talk about four methods of user research that have been particularly helpful in my redesign approaches at Pratt. Finally, I try to put everything into perspective by telling a personal story of a compelling experience I had getting a haircut and how trust plays a big part (bigger than research?) in the design of an experience.