Notes on d.Construct 2007

After a couple of days to recover from the wonderfullness that is Brighton I felt ready to try and knock all my d.Construct 2007 notes into something more coherent.

I failed spectacularly.

So instead what I’ve decided to do is offer up my (almost) verbatim notes scribbled during each of the talks. This gets them out of the semi-encrypted format that is my handwriting as well as creating a pretty accurate reflection of what points struck me as important or relevant at the time.

Now that they’re online it may also give me the chance to revisit them at a later point when my brain has had time to absorb everything.

For more d.Construct 2007 goodness there is a group on flickr, or you can follow the chatter via the dconstruct07 tag on Technorati.

Jared Spool – The Dawning of the Age of Experience

  • 85% of new subscriptions to Netflix were via recommendations from existing customers
  • 93% of existing Netflix customers evangelise to their friends and family
  • An unnamed big-box retailer spent $100 million on a redesign, resulting in a 20% drop in sales. Changing the experience may not be a good thing
  • Successful experience design is learned but not open to introspection. Successful experience design is invisible

Peter Merholz – Experience Strategies

  • The experience is the product
  • Compete on experience, not features or technology
  • Products are people, they have personality, character and integrity
  • Build from the outside-in, start with the UI. Users don’t need to know what’s happening under the hood
  • Have an “Experience Vision” to get from here to there. Know your direction and destination

Leisa Reichelt – Waterfall Bad, Washing Machine Good

  • Solving complex problems is a synonym for design
  • Agile methods such as SCRUM go back to the 80s

Cameron Moll – Good vs. Great Design

  • Be solution focused vs. problem focused
  • How Designers Think by Brian Lawson.
  • “Great design yields meaningful communication”
  • First Principles of Interaction Design by Bruce Tognazzini (having trouble tracking this one down)
  • User productivity trumps machine productivity
  • Design tips: Grayscale and blur your UI to see if the structure makes sense. Use Google Translate to fill your site with other languages, does the UI hold up? Remove colours and images to test typography

George Oates & Denise Wilton – Human Traffic

I didn’t write a single thing during this talk as I was completely sucked into the history behind b3ta.com and flickr.com and the relaxed conversational manner that George and Denise used to tell those stories. One of the best talks of the day, and not just because of the gratuitous swearing (although that helped).

Matt Webb – The Experience Stack

  • Too many options are a mark of lazy design
  • Implicature
  • Users will assume everything is purposeful and meaningful, even if you didn’t plan it that way
  • Approach, Engage, Commit

(I wrote a lot more notes during this talk, but to be honest they’re a bit gibberish and don’t make much sense. It was such an information dense talk that I’m going to go back and re-read Matt’s posts and see where that gets me)

Tom Coates – Designing for a Web of Data

  • Small multi-disciplinary teams are the way forward
  • We’re designing systems for a world that’s not quite here yet, but it’s on it’s way
  • Freebase.com
  • We need:
    1. Data sources
    2. Services to explore and manipulate that data
    3. Ways to connect them.
  • 90% of Twitter’s data comes via the APIs, not the website.
  • Your product is not the website, it’s wherever the network touches
  • Navigating data is key
  • Capturing metadata:
    • Data created during production of the object
    • Data from direct analysis
    • Data from user contributions
    • Data from behavioural analysis
  • More metadata. It’s not Folksonomy vs. Taxonomy. Use both, all, everything, as much as you can.
  • Your product is not the website
  • Main navigation is becoming less about getting you to your goal and more about being a jumping off point to explore the data