I attended the 7th Annual, Love @ First Website event on Thursday. This event was put on by ISITE Design and it had some some interesting speakers / insights into user / customer experiences both online and offline. I’m going to do my best to tell you about who spoke this year and the nuggets of information they gave to all that attended.
Lou Rosenfeld – Rosenfeld Media
“Louis Rosenfeld is an information architecture consultant and the founder of Rosenfeld Media, a user experience publishing house. He is author of Search Analytics for Your Site and co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, considered the bible of information architecture. Lou is co-founder of the Information Architecture Institute and helped found the Information Architecture Summit.”
- Lou’s presentation focused on company silos and the information / research that is lost in the silo shuffle.
- The result of informational silos:
- Overpaying for information / research.
- Duplicated efforts.
- Missing out on the combinatorial effect: the sum won’t be greater than the parts.
- We, as an organization, can learn a lot from each other’s data.
- Need to figure out ways for an organization to use their “whole brain” when making decisions.
- Lou’s slides can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/lrosenfeld/beyond-user-research
Samantha Starmer – REI, Inc. & Nick Finck – Übermind
“After more than a decade of customer focused work at companies like Amazon.com and Microsoft, Samantha Starmer now leads cross-channel experience, design, and information architecture teams at REI (Recreational Equipment Inc.). Nick Finck is a user experience professional who has worked in the web industry for over a decade. Heʼs a User Experience Architect at Übermind, the leading digital agency specializing in mobile and emerging technologies.”
- Samantha and Nick had a conversation regarding cross channel user experience / marketing.
- I was surprised at how many people in the audience hadn’t heard the term “cross channel.” So, for those of you who also don’t know, here’s the definition I found when googling, “cross channel marketing.”
- Use of one marketing channel (such as direct mail or internet) to support or promote another channel (such as retailing).
- The example used at the event when applied to user experience was a customer needs boots. They search for boots online and are given the option to see if said boots are in stock in their local store. Customer needs the boots ASAP so decides to go to the store to get the boots. Customer gets to the store, they actually have the boots in stock, purchases the boots, and has an overall delightful experience with the company.
- They mainly discussed the struggles they had in getting groups of people from an organization, specifically REI, together to talk about initiatives and then the benefits they received once they did get people to talk.
Bill DeRouchey – BankSimple & Jason Grigsby – Cloud Four
“Bill DeRouchey is creative director at BankSimple, a financial startup aiming to reboot personal banking through design, technology and service. Jason Grigsby is a co-founder of Cloud Four, a small start-up focused on mobile and web development. Jason was one of the project leads on the Obama iPhone Application and helped design the user interface for the Wall Street Journal’s Blackberry application.”
- For those of you who don’t know, Bank Simple, now just Simple, is a new, revolutionary financial management tool that focuses on providing the best user experience possible – A.K.A. they’re not a bank. They help you to manage your money that is being held by their bank partners. They’re like Mint, but as Bill says, “but better.”
- Bill really focused on the most recent redesign – which was going to launch soon – thus a lot of references to “launch beard” when you search for #LovePDX.
- They really took a look at the current banking models and tried to figure out how each step in the banking process could be redesigned to make the user experience delightful. These changes included:
- Redesigning the envelope you get your debit cards in.
- Changing up the timing out screen – “mash your keyboard to stay logged in.”
- Allowing the system to automatically clean up your transactions and categorize them.
- Simple currently has a waiting list of 80K wanting to use their system. To get on the wait list, visit www.simple.com.
Barbara Holmes – ISITE Design
“Barbara is a User Experience Architect at ISITE Design who unites her passion for user-centered design and a deep love of meaningful content to create interfaces for software applications, social networking, B2C and B2B websites. Barbara uncovers insights through qualitative research techniques such as expectation design testing, paper prototyping, card sorts, design-preference focus groups and more.”
- Barbara did a presentation on Customer Journeys and how this can be applied to different areas of a business.
- Benefits of creating customer journey maps with your clients:
- You get the clients wording.
- You capture emotions the clients may have for different aspects of their business.
- You get the way people think – specifically decisions they make, the sequences they follow, and the sources they use.
- You learn your clients’ priorities.
- Several examples of customer journey maps were shown, such as:
- She also had the audience draw their own customer journey maps – either for how they chose a college or how they got to the profession they are currently in. Mine was pretty ugly, so I won’t be showing it here.
Chad Jennings – Blurb
“Chad Jennings is a founding employee and VP of Products at Blurb, the creative publishing platform that enables you to design, publish, share and sell commercial-quality print and digital books. Chad leads the product, design, and content strategy of Blurb’s Webby Award winning Web Site, creation tools, book and digital products, and brand.”
- Chad spoke a lot about the “magic” of “connecting people through beautiful books.”
- Talked about how it’s important to look at how people are using your service or product and adapt. Specific example was how people are using Blurb for charities – cookbooks for Haiti. Another example was moo.com cards – made initially for business cards, but now being used to showcase photography, christmas present tags, clothing price tags, etc.
- Blurb strives to have a person buy from the creator, not from Blurb, so they’re creating new profiles that showcase the people who have created books.
- Chad shared some awesome videos regarding people who have used Blurb to create books for personal and professional reasons. The second one is actually pretty funny.
Love @ First Website 2012
Should you attend Love @ First Website in 2012? I think it depends on what you’re hoping to get out of the experience. Remember this event is a user experience event – this means, if you don’t have any say in UX – like a developer or a solely an analyst, you probably won’t get much out of this event. However, for an early bird price of $35, you may not be able to go wrong.
To see insights from other attendees, check out the #LovePDX tweets at http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23lovepdx.