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Webstock's a fantastic opportunity to meet world leading experts, and learn from their experiences. But it can often be tricky to reconcile the inspiring tales of world-beating startups and technology companies with the day to day grind of corporate or government IT projects. Instead of projects which arrive on the market and define entire new industries, most of us are working on projects that are months overdue and way over budget.
What lessons should we take away from the successes we see, and what mistakes can we avoid by studying project failures.
Usability research is pretty straight forward. Find some users, put them in front of a design, have them execute a task or two, take some notes, write a report, and call it a night, right? Not quite. There are many advanced techniques which, when implemented effectively, can drastically improve the success of your research.
Do you want to measure the effectiveness of your content pages? How do you ensure your links are meaningful to users? Do users see the value of your products and services? When trying to answer these kinds of questions, some techniques work better than others. In this presentation, Christine Perfetti will show you some unique methods you've probably never heard of — techniques only practiced by the most adventurous design teams. Among the techniques you'll learn about:
5-Second Tests: A popular low-tech technique to collect quick feedback on whether a screen or page's purpose is clear to users. You may have heard of this technique, but 90% of design teams are using it wrong
Inherent Value Tests: A two-phase test that explores the value that loyal customers find in a product or service
Category Agreement Analysis: An alternative to traditional card sorting
Catalog-based Testing: The perfect technique for organizations migrating offline content to the web
by Mark Pilgrim
A light-hearted romp through the trials and tribulations of web developers everywhere, interspersed with some serious advice about what's next on the web in 2011 and beyond.
by Jason Webley
How an accordion player from Seattle uses the web to shape a magical and successful career independent of records labels, publicists, booking agents and managers; and how he struggles to maintain independence from the internet tools he uses.
Achieving a thorough grasp of typography can take a lifetime, but moving beyond the basics is within your reach right now. In this talk, we’ll learn how to look at typefaces with a discerning eye, different approaches to typographic planning, how typography impacts the act of reading, and how to choose and combine appropriate typefaces from an aesthetic and technical point of view. Through an understanding of our design tools and how they relate to the web as a medium, we can empower ourselves to use type in meaningful and powerful ways.
The way we talk about our content has significant impact on the way we treat it within our organizations… and, therefore, the quality of the content we produce. How can we make the shift from treating content as a commodity to valuing it as a business asset? With a little storytelling and the help of a few powerful metaphors, you can begin to turn the tides.
by John Gruber
“Consistency” is widely held as a precept of good UI design. But what traditionalists often mean when they speak of UI consistency is really about uniformity. But UI design today — whether it be for desktop, mobile, or web apps — is often about expressing individuality, and thus in opposition to uniformity. Today, UIs are aspects of branding; we create distinctive personalities for software. Let's figure out which aspects of consistency remain essential, useful, and relevant today.
by Doug Bowman
The power of delight is underutilized in web design. We’re not delighting users enough. Yes, we need to align with business strategy. Yes, we need help users to accomplish tasks and goals. Yes, we need to create usable, accessible interfaces. But that’s just a baseline. To surpass this, we must remember that users are human. They have emotions, insecurities, passions, and desires. The service industry recognizes this, and has, for decades. We too, should be spending more of our time building moments of joy and satisfaction into our design and our products. Doug will focus your attention on a true differentiator in modern product design: delivering experiences that delight.
Amanda “Fucking” Palmer, solo songwriter/performer and half of the punk cabaret band The Dresden Dolls, has been called “The Queen Of Social Media” by the Huffington Post. Beyond running her blog and keeping a very close relationship with her audience online since 2000, she's recently gone independent after a heated battle to be released from a major label.
For the last few years, she has been traveling the world with no management, relying on internet tools (she has over 450,000 followers on twitter), a close-knit team of paid online office staff she calls “team chaos”, and the goodwill and creativity of her fanbase (and often, the kindness of strangers) to make things possible. She is a huge crusader for a new model of patronage-based music distribution in the form of suggested online donations and patron-based campaigns (like kickstarter and pledgefund).
Amanda Palmer will explore the means by which Twitter and other current media/social networks have revolutionized her independent music business and personal experiences on and off the road. Brief Q & A to follow. Nothing off limits.
14th–18th February 2011