Design Track

Mark Boulton sees the future of Web Typography; Christian Crumlish Designs Social Interfaces; Philip Fierlinger gives us some Lessons in Rapid Prototyping; Donna Spencer Designs for Information Seeking Behaviours; Jeremy Yuille shows us Visualisation for the Social Web; Tania Lang uses Ajax to Enhance UX; Luke Stevens tells us what Data Driven Design is all about and Pete Ottery lets us know How to Design for Suits.

Using Ajax to enhance user experience

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Tania Lang

AJAX is changing the way that users interact with websites - it has the potential to provide richer and more interactive online user experiences but also introduces its own set of usability and accessibility problems. This session will present views from leading usability experts from around the world from an experienced practitioner workshop conducted at the Usability Professionals Conference in USA.

We will also discuss key usability issues we have unveiled through our own usability testing of a range of websites using AJAX over the last 2 years. The session will highlight some of the pitfalls and user frustrations with AJAX as well as how AJAX can be used to enhance the user experience. We will present usability and accessibility issues and common user behaviours with AJAX applications.

Finally we will discuss interaction design guidelines for developing user friendly AJAX designs. This is not a technical session and will appeal to designers, developers and anyone working with interactive websites or web applications.

Designing for suits

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Or how suits* think


Pete Ottery

Designing websites in amongst the “suits” and their business models, targets, projections and synergies (ha!) can be death by dot point. Or fun. What are manager types actually thinking when they brief (or don’t) you. How do you translate their KPI’s into interface designs that

  1. get their point across & achieve their targets
  2. contribute to a profitable business
  3. are easy to use (who would have thought the users get a say! ;-)

Pete gets on their case, video camera in hand, to find out what they’re thinking.

*Suits = managers/clients/executives. Dedicated to the Billy Walsh character in Entourage

The social life of visualization

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A model for using visualization on the social web


Jeremy Yuille

When visualization is coupled with collective intelligence it becomes a very powerful tool for making sense of the data that is now an increasing part of our personal and organizational experience. But how do you design social web applications so they can use visualization effectively?

In this session I’ll present a model for using visualization on the social web; discussing why social settings are a great match for visualization and how more general UX ideas can be applied to the design of social visualization. I’ll also describe 5 interaction design patterns that will help designers and developers make the transition from theory to practical application.

Designing social interfaces

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Social design patterns that work and anti-patterns to avoid


Christian Crumlish

Designing for social interaction is hard. People are unpredictable, consistency is a mixed blessing, and co-creation with your users requires a dizzying flirtation with loss of control. Christian will present the dos and don’ts of social web design using a sampling of interaction patterns, design principles and best practices to help you improve the design of your digital social environments.

Visualising the user experience

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Grant Robinson

Designing for dynamic web applications and mobile devices poses a new set of challenges. Web designers are increasingly being asked to apply their skills to where the page model no longer applies. We need new ways of exploring the user experience and communicating behaviours involving sub-page changes and movement.

Enter rapid prototyping. Widely acclaimed as one of the best ways to create great user experiences, it isn’t without its own pitfalls. This session will discuss the pros and cons of different prototyping techniques, and introduce a new technique called “screenflows” that focuses on visualising the user experience. Discover how to combine the best of paper prototyping, wireframes and HTML prototyping into one simple and effective prototyping technique. Learn how using this method can dramatically decrease the need for documentation, while increasing the speed and agility of the development process.

Data driven design

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How the future of web design could be data driven


Luke Stevens

Far from being the enemy, data can be a designer’s best friend. So much so that it just might be the backbone of the next evolution of web design. Data doesn’t mean less creativity and experimentation, it means more. We’ve learned how to design sites that look good, and we know how to mark up our pages with web standards. Now it’s time to figure out what performs best.

In this session you’ll learn not just the fundamental concepts of this ‘new web design’, but how you can get started with data-driven design using free tools that are available right now. If you’ve reached a point where you know how to design and build attractive, standards-based web sites and are wondering what comes next, this is the session for you.

Information seeking behaviours

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And how to design for them


Donna Spencer

When people use websites and intranets they are doing more than just ‘finding’ information. They may be looking for something they know about or exploring something brand new; filtering through large volumes then comparing results; getting an overview of a topic or diving deep. They may even think they want to find one thing, but actually need something entirely different.

Each of these information behaviours needs very different approaches to information architecture, information design and page layout. During this presentation, Donna will talk about each information behaviour, its key attributes, key design needs, and show good and bad examples of each.

Font embedding and typography

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Are we opening the floodgates?


Mark Boulton

Font embedding is slowly edging towards a possibility – from both a browser perspective and from a technical perspective. But, what about a typographic design perspective? We’re so fixated on the on the ‘could’ – on surmounting the hurdles of font foundries and their immovable licensing structures – has anybody stopped to ask if we ‘should’? This session will do just that.

I’ll be dispelling myths, challenging preconceptions and detailing how we, as web design professionals, can not only make font embedding a reality, but how we can move beyond simple font embedding to a much richer typographic web.