Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t know how to design for them.
The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.
This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.
by David Hogue
Interfaces and devices are providing more and more power and functionality to people, and in many cases this additional power is accompanied by increasing complexity. Although people have more experience and are more sophisticated, it still takes time to learn new interfaces, information, and interactions. Although we are able to learn and use these often difficult interfaces, we increasingly seek and appreciate simplicity.
The Complexity Curve describes how a project moves from boundless opportunity and wonderful ideas to requirements checklists and constraints then finally (but only rarely) to simplicity and elegance. Where many projects call themselves complete when the necessary features have been included, few push forward and strive to deliver the pleasing and delightful experiences that arise from simplicity, focus, and purpose.
In this session, David M. Hogue, Ph.D. - VP of Experience Design, applied psychologist, and adjunct faculty member at San Francisco State University - will introduce the Complexity Curve, discuss why our innovative ideas seem to fade over the course of a project, explain why "feature complete" is not the same as "optimal experience", and offer some methods for driving projects toward simplicity and elegance.
The job of a web designer these days includes designing for content that changes, is highly dynamic, and often does not yet exist. Gone are the halcyon days of static, 5 page websites that are just as rigid as a printed brochure (let's be honest, we don't miss that). This reality has created a great deal of debate within our industry and a fair amount of difficulty in our design processes.
In this session we'll cover some basic design concepts and principles that can be applied when designing for CMS-driven websites. We'll also outline some tips and tricks for your design process, and explore some of the biggest hurdles and potential pitfalls in designing for yet created and ever-changing content.
by David Womack
What makes an experience—any experience—compelling? A well–told story transcends any particular medium and this presentation will focus on principles of narrative—such as plot, setting, and point–of–view—as they apply to designing digital products, websites, social media, and apps.
By the end of the presentation, you will have a solid understanding of the principles of creating compelling stories and will be able to apply narrative techniques to the processes of creating and analyzing interactions. We’ll talk about why some digital experiences take off while others fizzle, how to define systems without using site maps, and innovative uses for user journeys.
by Leonard Souza and Sean Coulter
Physical architecture is about how environments interact with people. Interaction design is about the mind moving through abstract spaces. Somehow the two must intersect.
This session is aimed at taking two design disciplines (physical architecture and interaction design) and finding where they relate, and how they can learn from one another. Interaction design has taken a lot from the field of architecture's creative and scientific process. For example, wireframes are very similar to blueprints (construction documents). These similarities are ever present between the two. Truly, both fields blend art and science, as well as both sides of the mind. Expect to come away with a high-level understanding of how phenomenology influences our interactions, tangible and intangible, and how cognitive science can be used to manipulate perception. This talk will be a lot of fun, so come down with an open mind and a lot of questions!
9th–13th March 2012