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Websites are a symptom, not the cause

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Closing keynote given at Render conference, March 2017. http://2017.render-conf.com

As creators of the web, our teams aim to understand challenges, opportunities and requirements, and translate these into technical solutions to build. But what happens when we start looking beyond this, using the website itself as a starting point rather than as the end of our journey?

Websites are often a great barometer for wider underlying issues, and by exploring common problems and root causes we can seek to spark fundamental change that can ultimately feed back into our longer-term success. Using a set of practical examples and case studies we’ll pull at some potential threads of failure, looking at how to create more sustainably for the future.

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Websites are a symptom, not the cause

  1. 1. Websites are a symptom, not the cause
 RENDER CONFERENCE. MARCH 2017 Sally Jenkinson @sjenkinson
  2. 2. Hello! @sjenkinson
  3. 3. “HealthCare.gov, the $630 million online insurance marketplace, was a disaster after it went live…” http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/01/us/politics/inside-the-race-to-rescue-a-health-site-and-obama.html New York Times
  4. 4. “The rollout of Healthcare.gov in 2013 under former President Barack Obama, to name a related example, was a disaster.” https://newrepublic.com/article/141203/trumpcare-already-dead New Republic
  5. 5. “Even Obamacare supporters had their faith shaken by Obama’s broken promises about keeping existing plans, premiums declining by $2,500, and the disastrous website roll-out.” https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/01/is-obamacare-just-a-branding-problem/512936/ The Atlantic
  6. 6. “The first step is to get rid of Obamacare, which was a total disaster," Gianti said. "It was designed to fail, and taxpayers had to waste money on that failed healthcare.gov website.” http://talkingpointsmemo.com/dc/trump-inauguration-attendees-cheer-failed-socialist-experiment TPM
  7. 7. When websites have problems, people remember.
  8. 8. When your website project becomes synonymous with failure
  9. 9. “Bad impressions and bad stereotypes are quicker to form and more resistant to disconfirmation than good ones.” Roy F. Baumeister, Ellen Bratslavsky, Catrin Finkenauer, Kathleen D. Vohs BAD IS STRONGER THAN GOOD
  10. 10. Turn this focus to your advantage
  11. 11. Don’t just make websites. Use websites to point you in the direction of everything that could be better. Use web technologies to start thinking outside of limited approaches.
  12. 12. Identifying issues01 02 03 04 Why do any problems exist? How can we apply our web thinking elsewhere? How do we make things better?
  13. 13. Identifying issues 1Uncovering everything that could be better
  14. 14. Technical discovery
  15. 15. There are so many factors to consider on any project recordssoundthesame.com/wp-content/ uploads/2013/04/startingpoints-FINAL.pdf
  16. 16. Digital transformation
  17. 17. Using a website as a lens
  18. 18. “The system that got implemented was far too inflexible, so we’ve had to either stay be limited by it or come up with workarounds.”
  19. 19. “We have to go back to our agency’s developers for every little change. This is expensive and takes forever.”
  20. 20. “The site launched, but it’s incredibly slow compared to our old one and people are starting to complain.”
  21. 21. “We’re not sure why but our analytics have shown that we’ve lost 80% of our traffic since the launch.”
  22. 22. Extending expert reviews
  23. 23. Performance Accessibility Code review Responsive approach Third party integrations Analytics General attention to detail Extending expert reviews Usability SEO Content
  24. 24. Responsive approach
  25. 25. Third party integrations
  26. 26. General attention to detail
  27. 27. Performance Accessibility Code review Responsive approach Third party integrations Analytics General attention to detail Extending expert reviews Usability SEO Content
  28. 28. gist.github.com/greywillfade/20f48ba67d799784040e
  29. 29. Everyone is different
  30. 30. Why do any problems exist? 2Understanding root causes
  31. 31. Root cause analysis
  32. 32. Sakichi Toyoda and The 5 Whys
  33. 33. Fishbone/ Ishikawa diagram Visualise cause and effect
  34. 34. People, processes, technology, & strategy
  35. 35. People
  36. 36. Technology
  37. 37. Strategy
  38. 38. Process
  39. 39. 3How can we apply our web thinking elsewhere? Using digital to transform more widely
  40. 40. Root causes to make sites better Web thinking to make other things better
  41. 41. Web thinking to make other things better Root causes to make sites better
  42. 42. Being more proactive
  43. 43. “The sooner we can order parts, the sooner they come in, the sooner we’ll see a performance increase”
  44. 44. 1. Help the team to have a faster car, through more efficient processes. 2. Save time and money. 3. Provide staff with better tools and processes, removing frustrations (and helping them to get home on time!) 4. Be more sustainable into the future. 5. Better use technology to gain advantages on other teams.
  45. 45. 1. Help the team to have a faster website, through more efficient processes. 2. Save time and money. 3. Provide staff with better tools and processes, removing frustrations (and helping them to get home on time!) 4. Be more sustainable into the future. 5. Better use technology to gain advantages on competitors.
  46. 46. Use the web and digital principles to bring benefits to the wider business.
  47. 47. Building for the future 🚀
  48. 48. Making change happen4How do we make things better?
  49. 49. Communicate improvements Standards and principles Teach, don’t just do Get the right team Stay open
  50. 50. Give people an easy way to understand why something matters.
  51. 51. Communicate improvements Standards and principles Teach, don’t just do Get the right team Stay open
  52. 52. Communicate improvements Standards and principles Teach, don’t just do Get the right team Stay open
  53. 53. Communicate improvements Standards and principles Teach, don’t just do Get the right team Stay open
  54. 54. Communicate improvements Standards and principles Teach, don’t just do Get the right team Stay open
  55. 55. ethanmarcotte.com/wrote/free-faster
  56. 56. Identifying issues Why do any problems exist? How can we apply our web thinking elsewhere? How do we make things better?
  57. 57. Credits: flickr.com/photos/ideonexus/3776943478 commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lenteconv_3.svg Kepler 16-b courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech Sally Jenkinson @sjenkinson sally@recordssoundthesame.com recordssoundthesame.com sallyjenkinson.co.uk Thank you!

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