Austin Govella on User-Experience from SchipulCon

A great presentation from Austin Govella on user experience from our conference.

I am looking forward to the video because I couldn’t make this session. But reading through the slides alone is worth it. My favorite quote, because sometimes I think we are guilty of this, is:

One of the hottest memes in user experience land  
continues to be agile+ux and its emerging, younger  
sibling, lean+ux.

You’re overworked and under-appreciated. It’s  
your job to  make sure agile and lean don’t become  
synonyms  for creating skimpy, malnourished experiences.

Instead of thinking agile and lean, think about how  
you can  make the organization a healthy  
user experience culture.

Apple has been able to create a halo of good experience around its products

“Microsoft wonders why people get so upset when the Windows system crashes, and they try to point out that it crashes less than Apple. But try telling that to an Apple person, and they’ll vehemently deny it. And the reason why is that Apple has been able to create a halo of good experience around its products.“

““ Ziba Design’s, Steve McCallion quoted in the book Glimmer by Berger.

focus on offering goods and services people actually want and need

“In today’s increasingly saturated product marketplace, surface appeal is not enough to elevate me-too products or services above the pack, or to yield sustained success. The harder trick is to use design to get beneath that superficial marketing level and to delve down to core business issues such as: What do people really need? And how can we best provide that?

That business should be focused on offering goods and services people actually want and need may seem obvious. Why would companies do otherwise? The reason is that they often are focused more on their own existing capabilities and objectives than on the needs of others.“

– Warren Berger, GLIMMER: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even The World, pg 100

Short Links Matter, but Please Don’t Break the Linking Paradigm

LinkbatonShort links matter.  People like short links that, heaven forbid, you can actually direct someone to over the phone.  We can’t always make them that simple in the age of ecommerce, but at least making links on web pages short *should* be a design goal. 

An example of this, well intentioned but a search engine disaster, is linkbaton.  With this service you can create link aliases so you can collect your affiliate revenue (guessing here) while also providing short links to your users.  Some text from the linkbaton webmaster’s guide. book link for "On Food and Cooking" url=http%3A// Details%253Fcode%253D0020346212%2526mediaType%253DBook%2526searchType%253DISBNUPC%2526 prodID%253D
LinkBaton book link for "On Food and Cooking" (follow the link and buy- it’s a great book!)

I know I paste in a lot of book links from Amazon and they are truly ridiculously long.  So long that I don’t even take out any variables to simplify the link as I typically do with google links (all you need is the "q=" part.)

The challenge here is that linkbaton fixes this by directing all of your links to their site and then back out.  Google and Yahoo will then stop seeing links as valid.  Intelliseek will not longer be able to confirm the two readers of this blog.  Dogs and cats, living together.  Links will be irrelevant for the search engines.  That would be bad despite the spammers so while I applaud linkbaton for trying to fix the problem, I don’t agree with it.

On a programming side-note, this whole antiquated thing about making sites work without cookies is just a bad idea, so quit munging the address bar with ssids please.