And so OZIA 2007 starts after an evening of beer and thai food with Ruth, Nick, Stephen and Ajay. After a few pubs, we descended on Spice I am. This place is to die for. If you are in Sydney for Web Directions 2007 of OZIA 2007 or anything else go check this place out. Be warned it’s cash only and no booking. But its worth it, trust me.
So after much coffee we go headlong into OZIA:
Designing sites people love – balancing emotion with business reality – Elizabeth Pek & Andy Coffey
Discussed UI and design business challengers with the balance of real business value. This was refreshing to see the application of real business application of redesign and the application of the user experience and user centred approach. Elizabeth demonstrated the application of the content areas verses the user profile types. Andy presented the overall design methodology with a good demonstration of the use of a grid within the design. It was also refreshing to see the use of a typography matrix. The key of the redesign came down to “white space is your friend” use it to break up the content, allow it and good type to make the site content more readable.
Is length still an issue? – Iain Barker
Well I don’t think the fold exists, you are know that. So Iain Barker presented a series of statistics that detailed in general that people are reading to the bottom of the page. However this quantitative research, really doesn’t tell us what the content of the pages is. So this must be taken in context of the type of page, content and functionality. The question does come to light, whose fold, which fold, where is fold. Iain ask do these fold rules apply to home page. Eyetrack III research found people read the top part of the page first, they will work down to the content below the fold. Interestingly media sites tend to be around 3000-4000 pixels, with the exception of one at 10,000 pixels. It comes down to does the page meet the requirements of the content presentation and the aim of the site, if so then page length shouldn’t be a problem. In fact it may help the home page to a act as the content gateway. Good home page design must present good information scents.
Landing Page Optimisation – Hurol Inan
Hurol Inan launched head long into landing page optimisation. There are a number of important statistics that you really should look at before optiumising a page. One of the key metrics is the bounce or exit rates. You really want to reduce this down below 20% for gateway pages. Ideally you want to turn the leakages into a call for action by the user to get them to engage with the website (ie contact us). He discussed the things we do right and wrong, with a damning honest list. All the basic stuff we all occasionally forget or clients force the issues on. People read circularly on menus and lists. Hurol is doing a bit of websledging (Nick what have you started!). I do think he has some good points, but the constant conflict of marketing department verses the Information Architect has not been addresses. Good points on the use of advanced search, people just don’t use them, they use filtering of the search content.
Analysing Quantitative Data – Steve Baty
Presented a straight down the line look at the use of quantitative data for the Information Architect, with humour. Steve looked at the methods of extending samples and the degree of confidence that the sample can be extended, is it truly random or just convenient and leading to a degree of bias. Of Course this needs to take into account the sample size and error rate etc. He looked at how the information is disturbed, and the measure of certainty by applying confidence intervals. Best way to do this is to use the function in Excel. You need to find these ranges for the confidence intervals it is really important. Interestingly this is a dry topic, but Steve is a good speaker, he presents it well.
Now for lunch!