Friday, October 28, 2005

Post 'peers post

A quick thank you to everyone for so kindly listening to me prate on on Wednesday at this month's IA-Peers get together. Much more, though, for the engaging discussion about the value of a business perspective for the task of designing the user experience, and how the business posture and competitive positioning of an organisation can (and should) influence the details of the site's purpose and user experience.

I will pick up this thread again Sunday and expand on the night's discussion a little, as well as dig up some of the examples and references I promised, but for now I'm plain tired after spending the last 36 hours relocating our hosting infrastructure to a new data centre (all 17 servers, firewalls, routers, switches, tape drives and cables).


Thursday, October 20, 2005

User Experience Pyramid

I came across this recently after seeing something very similar in not one, but two independent consultant's reports on a site's usability and effectiveness. The basic idea is an old one (no pun intended) and has largely been left behind as an over-simplification. (Maslow, for those who haven't seen it before.)

Personally I prefer the honey-comb or framework models of user experience (I don't have specific examples to cite just at the moment) as they contain an inherent concept of interdependence between elements rather than an hierarchical concept. To my mind Maslow's insistence that lower-level 'needs' must be fulfilled before higher-level 'needs' are considered translates very poorly to the online space. So I was surprised to see it crop up in the article cited above from 2001 (Maslow was writing 50 years ago), and from a well-known consultancy in November 2004.

I think it might be because pyramids are easier to conceptualise than honey-combs...

[I promise I'll get back to the business strategy of Web site user experience soon.]

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Guess who's getting married!

Well, actually I am already married, but only just...

On 1st October I married my beautiful wife, Danielle. She's been by my side for the past four years and is a pillar of strength and energy.

...and I just wanted to share that. (I've only just gotten back from two weeks on Lord Howe Is, thus the tardy announcement.)