UX Week: Last Day

The last day of UX Week had a great line-up of speakers and topics, with ideas around social, local, mobile and some of their comments:

  • Facebook’s ad designer Paul Adams demonstrated that the web is being rebuilt around people – and, it isn’t surprising that people live in networks, not in isolation, and have different types of relationships – though I was rather surprised that the average number of Facebook friends someone has was 130-170, seeing that many of my friends have more than that number.
    • In web design, being social isn’t about bolting on like and share buttons, but rather about the integration of social networks into the site experience itself…”you need to reorient around people. If not, someone else will.”
    • How? The answer was to understand behaviour and motivation, which was completely what Stephen P. Anderson had stressed in his workshop.
    • “The reason why people buy one newspaper over another? It’s because they agree with what their about to read.”
    • “Influencers make us aware; strong ties make us decide”

From UX Week 2011
  • User experience happens whether you design for it or not – Teresa Brazen/Kate Rutter
  • “I am a nerd” – Adam Goldstein, 23 yo from Hipmunk.com(a travel planning site that I wish I had known about earlier since I had planned 3 trips within a short span of 3 months, based locally in SF)
    • Two strategies in entering crowded markets: yelling or “smiling” (services, pleasant surprises). Guess which wins? – this also tied in well with Stephen P. Anderson’s workshop on Seductive Interactinon Design.
    • “If you’re in a crowded market, focus on experience strategy; UX is an unfair advantage“- which echoed Todd Walthall’s comment on Day 1 again around experience being the competitive advantage
  • Darren David reminded us of design challenges and opportunities that we might need to think about when designing for the future: from desktop browsers, to mobile phones, to large canvas spaces around us, such as this concept video by Corning:

  • “You can’t fire the customer” – Nurat Konar, Interaction Designer at Pixar
  • “I’m afraid that I am a s***** designer” on Sarah B. Nelson’s fear list, to which I was so relieved to hear, because I thought I was the only who self-doubts
  • Confessions from a UX designer at Google, Jon Wiley: the origin of the Google search homepage wasn’t truly because of the move to simplicity, but because the founder, Larry Page, didn’t know HTML, but the move to the new Google design with the focus on whitespace had negative feedback initially (change), but people were soon okay with it. How did these designs get through in such a short period? With support from leaders at the top.
  • From Rob Maigret within Disney: focus on long-term relationships with customers, not short-term returns; put customers first, marketing second: ads are carbs, stories are protein.
    • How did it work for them? engaging in a 2-way conversation when possible, and quality content and storytelling is the core of their strategy.
    • Go to where the people are, instead of having people come to you

Funny, how this theme of being social, local, mobile resonated throughout the day, but it’s not something new, and is being preached at other conferences around town (“social, local, mobile” is the quote I stole from a friend who attended Dreamforce ’11 – also held in SF).

2-second clips of UX Week, highlight reel:

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