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Brighton UX 2011 notes

Brighton UX 2011 notes + linkdump

  • Dunbar’s number (approx. 150) can be a good guide for cohort sizes in e-learning as well as soical media
  • Boys like to ‘do stuff’ together to re-enforce social groups, girls like to ‘chat’ to re-enforce friendships – what implications does this have for the types of online activities you might provide for different cohorts?
  • By 2013 the majority of your users will be accessing your content through a ‘mobile device’. Start planning for this today.
  • Word docs, Powerpoint, pdfs – Does your ‘offline’ content work on mobile? (its a guessing game, but mostly no!)
  • Users performing a single task may be doing so through many different interfaces (including face to face, the internet, a telephone conversation). A strong, cohesive IA which crosses all these channels gives a better user experience (Pervasive IA).
  • We are all physical beings – People think about things, not ‘document groups’. A good UX leverages the semantics of a real world, not document types, as its structure.
  • UX doesn’t start with wireframes, it start with understanding & often defining the domain model. Far too often these days – frequently in large organisations, unfortunately including the education sector – ux is mistaken for a nice css/javascript/html interface. User Experience design is not, and should never be seen as, fixing a domain through by a nice interaction design level.
  • Your ‘homepage’ may no longer be the content entry point for most users. Search, deep linking etc all give visitors different entry points you need to anticipate. Put 70% of your effort into the content pages, not your ‘homepage’.
  • There is a derogatory image of  older users. ‘Older users’ (in the UK > 50, EU > 45 ) technological needs are often very similar to other age groups.
  • Behavioural cohorts are often better than personas – for all users.
  • Users would often be happier to pay more for something simpler, with less features.
  • A good UX project can be as/more powerful than a business consultant (electronicink)
  • Our brains have become addicted to the constant random releases of dopamine we get through services such as facebook, text messages, twitter and other notifications. Our use of these can be comparable to adhd.
  • There is no such thing as a good multi-tasker. It is a fallacy.  Each cognitive task has a cost, and the user becomes less and less effective.
  • Users are can now take these additive interfaces into distracting environments.
  • The ‘addictive’ designs we most admire are often the designs that are killing our users. There was a 20% drop in road accidents in the US during the recent period of Blackberry messaging downtime.
  • Design strategies for coping with adhd/multi-tasking today –
    • Turn stuff off by default. People like adding stuff. People hate making the cognative choice to disable/turn stuff off.
    • Create focus on the important, and remove the distracting.
    • Increase users motivation by creating an ability to grow mindset instead of a fixed mindset (http://www.brainology.us/). Let users set their own goals or just do as much as they like.
    • Decrease pressure – only ask for as much information/detail as you really need.
    • Give focus when returning to a task (e.g. the kindle ipad app highlights the section your were previously reading on your kindle, and vice versa)
  • It makes sense, and we could have a social responsibility, to design for distracting environments (Giles Colborne).
  • People connect – watching a user testing session is much more powerful than reading about it.
  • IA has changed – how the BBC learned to look Beyond the polar bear.
  • The web has changed – how to be Future friendly.
  • UX is changing –
    • context – where you use the web
    • outputs – display diversity
    • inputs – mouse/keyboard/remotes/freespace gestures!
    • connection – isp gives you loads, mobile restricts – offline web etc
    • ecosystems – content goes cross device  e.g. watching a video from your phone on plasma screen, reading a webpage with instapaper on a kindle etc..
    • Can the classic set of UX Design deliverables cope with the ‘wider’ web?

= lots of interesting and practical stuff.

I wholeheartedly enjoyed this years UX Brighton. Thanks to Danny & co for organising.

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