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Redesign Must Die

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Talk given by Lou Rosenfeld at UX London, April 13, 2011. Slides highly subject to change.

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Redesign Must Die

  1. Redesign Must Die Lou Rosenfeld •  Rosenfeld Media •  rosenfeldmedia.com UX London •  April 13, 2011
  2. Hello, my name is Lou
  3. Hello, my name is Lou More importantly, #uxlondon
  4. What is redesign and why should it die?
  5. Why I’m so down on redesign
  6. Why I’m so down on redesign
  7. A redesign story about my alma mater
  8. A story in the Ann Arbor News
  9. UM was going to redesign its Gateway
  10. UM was going to redesign its Gateway
  11. UM was going to redesign its Gateway
  12. UM was going to redesign its Gateway
  13. Leadership and $ were on board
  14. Leadership and $ were on board $250,000
  15. student labor
  16. student labor + some software .
  17. student labor + some software . successful redesign
  18. They even had a ribbon-cutting
  19. This became...
  20. ...this
  21. ...this
  22. ...this
  23. ...this
  24. Then they did it all over again
  25. Then they did it all over again and again
  26. Then they did it all over again and again and again
  27. Then they did it all over again and again and again and again
  28. Where we are today
  29. Where we are today
  30. Where we are today
  31. Where we are today
  32. Redesign is hollow, meaningless, and vain. Endlessly repeated, it is a true example of insanity.
  33. Ill-defined problems cause insanity and vanity
  34. Ill-defined problems cause insanity and vanity We attempt the impossible: “boil the ocean” in no time at great cost
  35. Ill-defined problems cause insanity and vanity We attempt the impossible: “boil the ocean” in no time at great cost We believe the unbelievable: unwarranted claims from agencies and software vendors
  36. Ill-defined problems cause insanity and vanity We attempt the impossible: “boil the ocean” in no time at great cost We believe the unbelievable: unwarranted claims from agencies and software vendors We become irresponsible: we serve ourselves and declare victory at the expense of our teams and users
  37. See the problem differently
  38. See the problem differently
  39. Reframe the problem
  40. Reframe the problem redesign
  41. Reframe the problem
  42. Your site is a complex adaptive system John Holland: “A Complex Adaptive System is a dynamic network of many agents acting in parallel, constantly acting and reacting to what the other agents are doing.”
  43. Examples of CAS
  44. Examples of CAS
  45. Examples of CAS
  46. Your site is a moving target built upon moving targets
  47. Your site is out of your control more John Holland: “The control of a complex adaptive system tends to be highly dispersed and decentralized... “The overall behavior of the system is the result of a huge number of decisions made every moment by many individual agents.”
  48. The constant pendulum swing
  49. Regime A: “We’ve gotconstant The to pendulum swing get control of this mess”
  50. Regime A: “We’ve gotconstant The to pendulum swing get control of this mess” Regime B: “Let’s let a thousand flowers bloom”
  51. Regime A: “We’ve gotconstant The to pendulum swing get control of this mess” Regime B: “Let’s let a thousand flowers bloom” Regime C: “We’ve got to get control of this mess”
  52. Friends are hard to find and harder to keep “Three weeks after the redesign, unique daily visits to the flagship Gawker blog slumped by 50 per cent...”
  53. Friends are hard to find and harder to keep Andy Budd: "People expect the pain of losing something to be greater than the value gained from its replacement" http://ind.pn/gSKcnH “Three weeks after the redesign, unique daily visits to the flagship Gawker blog slumped by 50 per cent...”
  54. “The perfect is the enemy of the good.” Voltaire might have added: “Constant change means never having to say you’re sorry.”
  55. So you can’t redesign
  56. But you must refine 1. Prioritize: Identify the important problems regularly 2. Tune: Address those problems regularly 3. Be opportunistic: Look for low-hanging fruit
  57. #1: Prioritize because a little goes a long way
  58. The Zipf Distribution The Zipf Distribution
  59. The Zipf Distribution The Zipf Distribution SHORT HEAD: love it
  60. The Zipf Distribution The Zipf Distribution SHORT HEAD: LONG love it TAIL: leave it
  61. Zipf displayed textually
  62. Unverified rumor: 90% of Microsoft.com’s content has never been accessed
  63. Zipf is everywhere • A few search queries go a long way • A few documents go a long way • A little bit of navigation goes a long way • A few of your audiences matter the most • ...
  64. Important audiences, essential wants and needs
  65. #2: Be an incrementalist: tune because things change
  66. Things change: you must fix the airplane while flying it
  67. Things change: you must fix the airplane while flying it
  68. Impact of change on design (queries)
  69. IRS before 4/15
  70. Before April 15 IRS before 4/15
  71. IRS after 4/15
  72. After April 15 IRS after 4/15
  73. From projects to processes: a regular regimen of design Example: the rolling content inventory
  74. User Research Landscape from Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  75. User Research Landscape Which of us can you do monthly? weekly? daily? from Christian Rohrer: http://is.gd/95HSQ2
  76. #3: Be an opportunist: find the low-hanging fruit
  77. #3: Be an opportunist: find the low-hanging fruit ➡ High priorities with low costs
  78. #3: Be an opportunist: find the low-hanging fruit ➡ High priorities with low costs ➡ Semantic webs to support contextual navigation
  79. #3: Be an opportunist: find the low-hanging fruit ➡ High priorities with low costs ➡ Semantic webs to support contextual navigation ➡ Small improvements to search
  80. Care for some low-hanging fruit?
  81. Care for some low-hanging fruit?
  82. Care for some low-hanging fruit?
  83. Care for some low-hanging fruit?
  84. More fruit: contextual navigation More fruit: improving contextual navigation a la BBC http://slidesha.re/fzChQB
  85. More fruit: small search More fruit: teaching the search engine to be smart at Hewlett-Packard
  86. More fruit: small search More fruit: teaching the search engine to be smart at Hewlett-Packard
  87. More fruit: small search More fruit: teaching the search engine to be smart at Hewlett-Packard
  88. Life by a thousand cuts 50% of users are search dominant x 5% of all queries are typos, fixed by spell checking. 2.5% improvement to the UX 50% of all users are search dominant x 30% (add best bet results to top 100 queries) 15% improvement to the UX Ditto for improving content, search results design, navigation design…
  89. Refining, not redesigning: What it means for us
  90. Design Design gets easier because we address small, discrete challenges
  91. Rinse and repeat Our work gets trickier as we move from projects to processes
  92. Our ethics will be completely challenged
  93. Why I’m not worried
  94. We’re gap-fillers
  95. We’re foxes Archilochus (by way of Isaiah Berlin and Nate Silver): "the fox knows many little things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing".
  96. We’re humanists
  97. Say hello Lou Rosenfeld Rosenfeld Media  www.louisrosenfeld.com | @louisrosenfeld www.rosenfeldmedia.com | @rosenfeldmedia www.slideshare.net/lrosenfeld/
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Talk given by Lou Rosenfeld at UX London, April 13, 2011. Slides highly subject to change.

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