Ben’s got stuff to say. His brain is always working. Today’s topic is trends in ‘User Design’. He and I dive into what we’ve been doing in the last year and how our perception of what we do – as designers, freelancers and web builders – has changed. You can call it user centered design, user experience design, user-testing, and information architecture. It’s really been an unfolding journey. In a real and concrete way, our interactions with websites and clients have changed because of ‘getting hip to’ goals, data, and testing.
Notes and Links (in no particular order)
What really changed your thinking? Me – The fable of the User Centered Designer. Ben – Smashing Magazine article on Goals and Flows
This UX inforgraphic and UX Career Guide from Onward Search establishes a foundation of UX roles and job titles
UX is research and development
What small business is willing to throw money at Data?
Do you treat your web presence professionally? Many business owners try, but they simply ‘tack on’ plugins and features hoping for the best.
Web Analytics is the True North. The data (and process for gathering that data) is what can guide a business venture – such as a website. How can people make this shift in perception and direction?
Defining problems in terms of people or process (inspired by Ben’s cousin Gordon Ramsey)
Our UX directory is categorized in a tool centric way. Ben suggests a new taxonomy of UX tools – Data, Qualitative measurement and Performance Support.
Web 2.0 is coined in 2003. Google Analytics arrives in 2007. When did all these UX tools show up and why? There seems to be ‘fertile ground’ for new tools. There is a demand for UX tools from those web businesses that understand the importance of UX, measurement and testing.
Getting data and reporting it is only half the battle. Do your clients read the analytics reports you send each month? If not they are still in the phase of gathering data. They may be following a different compass point, rather than the True North. It’s one thing to know, and another to understand, decide and do.
A website (web presence) can be thought of a Honda or NASCAR. Honda is low performance, low maintenance, practical, boring, just keeping up. NASCAR is high performance, high maintenance, customizable, durable and scalable. If you have never measured and made changes to your website, then you might have a Honda. (Ben drives a Honda. I drive a Ford)
“The future is here. It’s just not widely distributed yet.” William Gibson