- Location: Guardian Offices, 90 York Way, London, W1W 6DS
- Tag: #iamini
These were notes taken live, so they will contain errors, omissions and ridiculous typos.
- Speaker: Ken Beatson
Take away one thing that you can change in your work
# 5 minutes of something from your every day work.
- 5 talks
- 1 workshop
- More participation. Shorter, more interactive sessions.
Introducing Information Architecture at The Guardian
- Speaker: Martin Belam (The Guardian)
- Presentation: Introducing Information Architecture at The Guardian
- Guardian just won Newspaper website of the year
- Joined Feb this year
- First IA @ the Guardian
- Process (was): Product Manger -> Designer -> Software Engineers (Agile, 2 weekly sprints)
- Product Managers: IA = wireframes
- Designers: IA = Visual Hierarchy
- Software Engineers: IA = Domain Driven Design (CMS)
- Embed UCD in product development
- “Ambush User Testing”. Take Silverback out and ask people how they get their news!
URLs should be: # Permanent # Addressable # Discoverable # Open
- Using tags for content aggregation pages – who tags?
- Keyword manager! – official job title ** Keywords added by jourrnalists, editors, etc. ** Manages items & keywords moving from one section to another
- Open Platform – asking people to use their their content rather than erecting paywalls
- Building – most environmentally friendly building in London (Kings Place)
- “Producing a newspaper is an information service, and the Internet is an information platform.”
- “Weave The Guardian into the internet.”
Ten minutes on Agile user experience
- Speaker: Cennydd Bowles (Clearleft)
- Most agile is bad – rushing headlong into coding w/o understanding the problem space.
- Devs tend not to understand the big picture
- “User scented design” – results of agile dev, related to genius design *agilemanifesto.org Agile Manifesto – set of values, no process mandated
- Model Users in Iteration 0 ** Personas ** Concept maps ** Goals ** Use cases
- prioritise user stories – designers must be involved ** find out about user stories ** flow from personals and scenarios
- Jeff Patton – workahead – research ** Research n+2 ** Design n+1 ** support n ** Test n-1
- Get the structure in place – let devs set up db, get data structure right
- Design the obvious stuff first – profile / product pages
- Involve the users in every iteration
- Needs senior people
- Good communication – designers can’t be separate from developers* Article: Getting Real About Agile Design
- Horizon factor – push components into a subsequent iteration
- Agile is light on documentation – gives time to think?
- Buying time with the backend – how do you avoid backend constraints? ** Takes time to set up the environment? ** Talk to the devs, DBAs etc. Ask what they’re working on
- Avoid problems by sitting with developers while they’re making it.
Why users don’t follow instructions
- Speaker: Phillip Winwood (Usability Tester)
- Psychology background
Scope of the talk
- Get out of central London
- Think in terms of people who don’t understand what is going on
- Software in general (not just web)
- People’s brains are pattern matching systems, works with tricks – apply known patterns to new things
- What people know affects how they interact
- William James: Infants perception involves a “buzzing, blooming confusion”
- Don Norman & affordances – ‘pull me’ doors that need to be pushed
- People have learned that you put the website address in Google b/c it works ** That’s the model they have in their head
- users don’t like to read ** of the Active User] – academic paper (see area42.co.uk) ** in psychology ** production bias – people want to get things done, ignore dealt ** assimilation bias – use what you know to solve a problem
- users aren’t a blank slate ** applying what you already know makes it worse ** see Don’t Make Me Think – people don’t want to think, want to apply what they’ve previously done to the current situation
- learn until you can make it work, then you stop learning ** asymptote of mediocrity
- Word Manual (Word 2 – 1991) – 800 pages! ** User’s don’t read manuals – never got used.
- Recall vs Recognition ** Hearing your name at a party. Your brain changes focus ** More difficult to recall than recognize
- Bottom Line: knowledge is always partial
- Q: What happens when people don’t have preconceived notions about how a phone / camera will work? ** A: Pitch terminology at the right level. People don’t have enough time. Time is the killer.
- Q: Is there anything you can do to encourage people to read some instructions? ** A: Open up the potential of the product: “READ ME FIRST” manuals – a piece of paper that floats out with vitally important information
- Q: Quick guide is useful, but pitch it as benefits for the user. ** A:
Good talk, despite the technical difficulties.
- users are busy, distracted
- users are different, they all have different experiences
- very few are or will ever become experts
Spec docs from Axure wires
- Speaker: Ken Beatson
- Slides and a software demo all in one. Exciting
- IA, Design in UK; devs in Belarus
- requirements are important
- wireframes are used, very few prototypes
- muppets how dancing cheese sketch?
- iterative deployment of modules
- he uses two fields – display rules & what’s changed since last version
- walk stakeholders through jpgs of wireframes
- you can export a word document from Axure ** often good enough to send to devs ** sometimes he needs to generate prototypes
- Q: In Axure, once you start to add other features, do the spec documents become less useful? ** A: Yes. If you generate a prototype, the spec docs is less useful.
- Q: (followup) What are other people using for creating heavy documentation (Axure vs. OmniGraffle). ** A: Stop-motion animation output to vimeo. ** A: Mallof has some good blog post ** A: Getting more sketchy. Interactive Prototypes are the documentation.
- Q: How to capture change. ** A: Capturing rationale is more important.
- Q: What do you get your clients to sign off? ** A: Talk to your clients and pick reasonable clients.
Great discussion on “locking clients down” vs negotiation. No real resolution, though.
Design Consequences workshop
- Speaker: Leisa Reichelt
- Presentation: Design Consequences: A fun workshop technique for brainstorming & consensus building
- Solution to the problems we were just talking about
- Used to write beautiful documents w/ annotations ** people didn’t read them or didn’t have the skills ** we can’t ask people to be literate in wireframe reading
- Get people around the table
- “Pull problems to the front of the process.”
- She uses this a lot during the project initiation phase
Design your own hat exercise (“Design Consequences”)
- Sketching exercise stops preciousness surrounding design. Nice! I like it.
- First person sketches a solution
- Hand off to next person, who picks a part of the sketch and carries it on to the next level. What happens next?
- Really useful and fun. Generated some useful ideas.
- Two things that happen: *# People realize that they have a picture in their head, and that there are different solutions. *# Good to involved front-end developers who often have ingenious solutions.
- including people early on improves communication with them
- afterwards: *# Design one version together (cheap option) *# extract concepts onto sticky notes and affinity sort/rank (KJ Method)
- recommendations ** do a pilot session ** make sure the design question is clear ** do a design warmup exercise (e.g. something to entertain a dog, irritate an enemy) – get people sketching ** invite a multidisciplinary team (including the people you most fear) ** be creative with materials / stimiulus ** always show example output (show that your sketches are sketchy! show your worst work!) ** bring energy (jelly beans! “spike their energy with sugar.”)
- Q: Would you consider spending longer on wireframing. ** A: Different exercise. This is getting ideas out there. Getting it perfect would be a different project.
- Q: Do you use this to teach people a lesson. ** A: Use it to show the work that designers do and take the mystery out of it.
- Q: Do you have clients who think you’re getting them to do the work they are paying you to do? ** A: Even though I have designer in my title, I find myself facilitating design among my team.
Interacting with forms
- Speaker: Matthew Solle
- Big problems with forms.
- 3 categories *# Non-critical: signing up for email *# Non-critical but critical to fill in: Online share dealing account *# Critical: Tax, passports, visa, etc.
- non-critical forms that are excellent ** Huffduffer ** Google account (see if your account name is taken) ** Google search ** delicious – very clear ** radar – is that the electronic business card site? ** Audience comment: recall vs. recognition?
- non-critical but problematic ** Amazon – log-in ** Google account vs. Gmail account – two different places, very confusing ** Halifax – application form
- Passport / ID card is coming (critical) ** “Secure data” ** Do online forms communicate with this? ** Will this be done badly?
(More) Audience Feedback
- Verified by Visa – critical, but crap?
- horsesmouth.co.uk – you need to be approved and they text you. Jane Austin did the IA.
- Jonas LÃ¶wgren – Ethical design
- Interesting: TFL has poor wayfinding to prevent bottlenecks elsewhere in the station.
Interactivity – how IAs learned to stop worrying and love designers
- Speaker: Tom Coombs (www.manwomanandchild.comlink)
- Flash –
- dull wireframes result in dull websites?
- Silverlight demo – “Contoso Fixter” – Silverlight deep zoom – you can zoom in forever and just download what you need
- Flash demo – timeline & tweens – (me: it’s been a long time since I’ve seen flash. brings back memories.)
- “Dynamic specification” ** Really easy to design for interaction ** Demonstrate interactions ** Easy to build interactive prototypes
- Really cool – webcam hacked to see infrared light to create a multi-touch interface.
- Video: vimeo “Playing with Multi-touch” by IDEO labs link?
- A new kind of interaction. Not actually happening on the web. Exciting to play with that stuff.
- 3D – Flash demo of 3d-like behavior.
- Q/A: Flex for prototyping? A lot of the interactivity is build in?
- Q: Where are you going with the touch table thing? ** A: Thinking about it at my desk. NOt sure where it will end up.
- Q: Tutorial for infrared stuff? ** A: A lot of people working on it. LIbraries, code bases, etc. link?
- Q: Resolution of Prototypes? What are user testing responses like? ** A: The Flash mockups are conceptual, but can be too high resolution for some situations.