UAD9 (best of): Designing Compelling User Experiences (in Higher Education)

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Beck Tench, Duke University

OK, I needed to see what beat me for the best of ;)
Actually, I am very happy not to be presenting this morning. Last night was a very late night.

“Really, really dense information and really, really diverse audiences.” She suggest that you can solve that by creating role based navigation, but then it becomes very confining…

What can evolution tell us about user interface? The brain has been developing visual shape thinking for 250 million years. Language communication has only been developing for 35 million years. OK, it’s early – I may have heard the number right, but the idea sticks. She shows some great examples (in all their 8bit glory).

  • Concept Map
    • make a list of your domain (nouns)
    • draw lines connecting the terms
    • then add connecting verbs
  • Bulls Eye diagram
    • Make a list of tasks user can perform
    • Draw a bullseye with 3 rings
    • Place tasks in rings (post-its work well)
    • Look for natural relationships/structure (what users do before, during, after)
  • Navigation Map
    • start at the bottom, pick a landing page (designing on user experience, not taxonomy structure)
    • loosely define the UI for that place
    • go up one level – how did the user get there?
    • Sketch siblings that are connected.
    • step back and look for patterns/relationships
  • Work Flow Diagrams
    • write the synopsis sentence
    • define the who/what of each word
    • figure out the milestones (get inside the the users relationship with the process)
    • then think about what the user (alt paths) for users in a hurry.

Now user research:

  • Survey/feedback
    • appeal to the users ego
    • make submission painless
    • indicate progress, give visual feedback
    • write unbiased questions
  • Card sort
    • Use cards! (better organic understanding)
    • Aim for more then 30, less then 100 cards
    • Allow user to create cards and labels
  • Controversial Interview
    • go to interview unprepared (don’t read script)
    • take user off-subject to gain understanding of user (and how they use the internet in general)
    • write a thank you note!
  • Ethnography
    • research how thing were done before the online version
    • shadow your target for a day
    • have conversation with relevant non-users
    • write thank you notes

This was a really good session – just a ton of information.

One Response to “UAD9 (best of): Designing Compelling User Experiences (in Higher Education)”

  1. Monica Marlo Says:

    Let me know when you want a CMAP Tools account to whip up your own concept map goodness- we have a PCC server :)

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