d.construct, Designing The Complete User Experience

A presentation by Jeffrey Veen

[Jeffrey Veen gets excited talking about his old job at wired.com]

Jeff Veen’s presentation where to start? He’s a very charismatic and engaging speaker, and this was no exception. You can download his presentation slides from his website. But here are a few bulletpoints.

Three criteria you should think about before producing a site:

  • Viability – business case and reasons for building a site
  • Feasability – can it be done?
  • Desirability – do people want it?

[The best products are the most desirable]

Your site’s architecture and structure should always be extensible. Even if you start small, plan for expansion! Otherwise…

[What could happen to Amazon by the year 2050...]

Design faces global challenges, but even at a local level, terminology can vary widly. In the US, a survey was conducted to see what people asked for when ordering a fizzy drink. The results were pretty mind-boggling!

[I'd like a can of coke/soda/pop/other (delete as appropriate)]

Terminology can be important when labelling application functions. What happens when internal jargon creeps in – or is it megalomania taking over?

[Create New Country?!?!!]

Understanding Your Visitors is a crucial step in putting together a useful, usable website. Using simple stickie notes to group together functions vs what users are trying to achieve (card sorting) can show up gaps in both directions:

[Mind The Gap mapping]

Top half maps user tasks and bottom half maps website features – the trick is not to have gaps either way. No point wasting resources engineering something that nobody wants, but completely ignoring a facet of the site that is not currently available but users are crying out for.

Finally, Jeff pointed out that it’s much more expensive to change your mind (add new features) the closer you get to launch. Proper user research means you are not wasting time, money and resources by going up the wrong garden path.

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