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IUE day 2

Blog topics: 

Raw notes taken during the IUE 2007 conference - day 2.

Development process, Dean Barker, HFI: Missed most of it. Saw some charts on methodology and Agile that I liked.

CSS and graphics

  • CSS's ability to implement web designs in layers is changing the way you export work from Photoshop, blurring lines between "design" and "code"
  • Interesting technique to put all page images into 1 graphic and use CSS positioning to show the right (sub-)image at the right time

Writing, web style, Ron Rundus

  • Content syndication means "Death of the home page". User generated content. Keep it Simple, Senator. Progressive disclosure.
  • Web style = Technical + Writing + Design
  • Semantic web, microformat, Web patterns.
  • Elements of web style: How to talk about web pages
  • Warehouse model: Cases, units, tags.
  • Analysis of 8 cases (ID, legal, impact, feature, navigation, ...). Decompose page into these content elements. Similar to Navigation stress test.

Lunch mini-workshop on Usability Labs: Good overview of lab technical details but I mostly attended to catch up with Scott from Ovo Studios.

Tuning up site search, Chris Farnum/Grant. Did not take good notes (since I am pretty familiar with this stuff). They did use ibm.com search results as an example of filtering (and Chris F. did check in with me on it to make sure he got the details correct).

Web metrics and user testing, Jarret Knyal (user guy) and Jacque Smith (metrics gal) of Quicken Loans

  • Usability (qualitative, "why people do things") and analytics (quantitative, "what people are doing") is a good marriage
  • Their biggest business / user experience debate is where / how to do the "contact us for more information" form - their lead generation device
  • Landing page abandonment (from analytics) - do user testing to understand why
  • Single user feedback (from user research) - do analytics to see if common behavior, find data to back it up
  • Do A/B testing and use analytics to see which page works better
  • More complicated multi-variable testing where the system has several versions of a zone on the page. Gather metrics on which combinations work. Example: Try 4 different blurbs to say "fill out this form and we will contact you". They use some vendor to do this but I did not catch the name - Optimos?
  • Question: How many pages? Thousands but not a huge site like IBM.

State of web site user experience panel: I attached my presentation to my earlier announcement. Folks liked my Web 2.0 stuff. And my "call to actions" like volunteering your usability skills to an open source project. We did not argue too much but I did try to stir the pot by challenging the panel moderator Tim Kiernan of Design Critique on his furniture ordering problems.

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