OZIA – Day One – Now to Sleep!


People at OZIA, Day One

Post lunch, you know how it is, you just want to a have a little nap. But onward and upward, into the afternoon.

ROI in Information Design: where IA figures in ID – David Sless

Information design (ID) is about making information findable, accessibility, usability making it easy to access the information that is usable at an acceptable level. Information design is also about art, design (well I know that!). Can it ID be used to improved public communication, can you set standards for this, hence can you institutionalise good communication practice? Research tended to indicated that this is possible. Good ID has no technical barrier. User testing is new, huge change, but only at testing and refining not in the early stages on development cycle. A skilled designer using benchmarking will have less iterations of the design process. 50% of time in the design process is politics. If you don’t measure you don’t know. We in IA are still using ritualistic methods not diagnostic testing. So I better get a goat to sacrifice before we draw the wireframes (only joking people).

Love in an elevator – selling the value of IA to business – Stephen Collins

Stephen Collins states User Experience (UX) should be strategic, but we are seen as creative, not right brained. We have to play the corporate game. Do the Corporate non technical terms. They see UX as a roadblock for the project, this is because UX work is not holistic, and it is done as a separate. It should touch all aspects of the business. It’s more than just a few reports. Have user needs been tested and determined, does it meet the business strategy. Does the client have a business strategy, a business goal. Is the design and business strategy one. Later the problem is solved in a project life cycle the higher the cost, solve the UX early or it will cost the project dearly. The UX must be done early, allow small steps are a major changes on the final product. Become the agent of change, ensure you are focusing on the relationship, on the users. The slides are available on SlideShare.

Rise to Play a Greater Part – Delivering Specs in the Bigger Picture – Faruk Avdi

Faruk Avdi discusses the detailing and finishing a real specifications in the real world is critical. Questions for the client and the practitioner, deep questions and strategic questions. Need to know relationship of client to you and other people. The scoped job is often smaller than the real job that is in reality is a lot bigger than is really specified. This is because the client is really asking for more than the specification is detailing. These risks can be alleviated by the manner that the relationship is started. This is critical to the business relationship. Ideally it should be in small steps towards the final client goal. Need a path where providers can make a profit, and yet the client will not loose money on the project. Need to be proactive in scoping the design and UX requirement before the client knows that they need the product/service. Now I think that’s a massive crystal ball gazing exercise. Mind you this is a never ending problem.

“There’s no I in team” – a case study in collaborative information architecture – Patrick Kennedy

The fore front of this project was the mentoring of the design and IA team. User research was a big part of the project, that included qualitative and site analytics to determine who the auidence was. It was validated by the quantitative statistical analysis. The mentor process when from broad concepts to narrow focus. starting with training workshops, to teaching aids using several books (The User is Always Right, Don’t Make Me Think, Communicating Design), then it was a matter of build methodology around these books, as a familiar crux. Team consistency was a problem. It was a slow progression in the understand who the audience is and how the audience was determine. The team learning the new skills for the project was a hurdle, but they took to the challenge and worked well. And all this remotely. Now that bit has just stunned me. Patrick would have had a hard time with the team being remote, mentoring is usually done face to face. Good to see someone else mentoring like I do. Good on you Patrick.

Fast, cheap & somewhat in control – 10 lessons from the design of SlideShare – Rashmi Sinha

Rashmi Sinha asks do we need IA in web 2.0. Can we just use the ultimate in agile development, just get out there and do it! First users on slideshare where sermons and pr0n, go figure. Then at one the morning they got techcrunched, they it was all over they got thousands of private beta invite requests. They did no market research. They didn’t need it. If it fails, what was the problem, who was the competitors. If there is no-one really, why bother. Understand your users and their requirement, harness the passion of the early adopter users of this type of SNS, they are the ready research. Just put it out there, and refine it later! Using just in time design, using PowerPoint as the design prototyping tool. Don’t have the time to make the site totally pixel perfect and refined. This can allow users have sense of ownership. Keep it technically simple, unless it really is core business, eg Slidecasting. It’s about designing for crowds! What marketing did they do, none, nothing, zip. The key is the direction of slideshare now is very user centric is not the intended direction they first had. They are only making money from Google adverts.

Point to note this is just not going down well with a lot of hard core IA people as it’s just against the usual specification, documentation methodology they are used to. Slideshare now has slidecasting, with audio, when did that happen!

So that wraps it up for this day, now for IABeers.

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