Web Site Requirements Gathering Using The Acorn Method
:: Thursday, September 02, 2004 ::
This is the Season to gather your nuts.
Thank heavens some companies outsource usability testing. But, to be brutally honest, not enough of them are.
Take the case of a web site I recently visited. Its mission was to sell products online. Unfortunately, it was impossible to do so. There was no pricing available, no shopping cart, no sales person name to contact (the toll-free number was at the top in a tiny font) and no instructions on what they needed for the way they were willing to take orders, which was via FAX or email. There were few details offered about the company and no hint at why anyone should purchase from them and not their competitors.
Switch to the scene to Pennsylvania, USA. Itís nearing the Autumn season here and Iím noticing the squirrels are running around in hysterical fits around the trees. Soon acorns will be everywhere. Iíll have to remind my Golden Retriever that no, acorns are not tiny balls. Suddenly it hits me. Requirements gathering is like acorn gathering for the long winter.
If you donít nail down what your web site needs for the long haul, you could die.
Okay, maybe not so severe a reaction. And yet, I see this design disaster time and time again - a web site with goals but no design elements or functional requirements traceable to meet those goals.
DonnaM is pondering acorns too, only sheís calling one of the nuts exploratory information seeking.
ďThe usability and user centred field just haven't come to grips with the idea of exploratory information seeking. Most of the usability/UCD techniques revolve around known tasks. The UCD focus on personas and scenarios, and the usability testing focus on scenarios all assumes that people know what they want.Ē
This ties into two of my favorite parts of user centered design Ė persuasion and engability, or in other words, the art of selling something online (idea, product, information) to the visitor who doesnít know what they are looking for. Another angle is selling something to someone who came looking for something else and selling them an alternative item that they didnít know they wanted until you presented it to them in a convincing way.
User Involved Design - Do web visitors want to interact?
"Both principles need to be incorporated to make a website successful, but which one has precedence?"
Give me an "M" Web site design
"You want magic? Head to the bowels of the internet and dig around. You'll be impressed with the magic shrooms growing in the dark."
"A good design is like a view of a beautiful mist laden morning lake - you forget that a designer was there."
ďA room is just a space. A great interior designer can transform it into an evocative space that you want to occupy."
Workshops and Seminars
Adaptive Path UX Workshop - Adaptive Path's two-day workshop on designing the complete user experience being held in Toronto from September 28-29, 2004.
ďUsing numerous examples from Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, and
not-for-profits, Jeffrey Veen and Lane Becker will teach you how to
incorporate user goals, business needs, and organizational awareness into
your design process."
YES! I will be attending Jill Whalen's High Rankings Search Engine Marketing Seminar and Workshop in Boston and I will be at the SEO Social Dinner on September 23, held at John Harvards Brew House
Anyone just wanting to drink and schmooze can register for that only, or simply drop by for the beer.
Content is King.
:: posted by Kim Krause Berg on 9/02/2004 01:22:42 PM
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