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Revealing Design Treasures of Amazon.com

On its surface, Amazon.com just seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design isn’t flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its pages are hidden secrets — secrets that every designer should know about.

If one looks closely at what the team at Amazon has built, it’s filled with innovative functionality and clever designs, all of which creates a delightful experience for its users and directly produces regular profits for its shareholders. But not all is perfect. Some design changes in the last few years have not been the success that the team had hoped for. Amazon’s exceptional qualities and imperfections are critical knowledge for any designer that wants to dig deep into what makes the site tick.

In this entertaining presentation, the presenter will share some of his organization’s latest research into the hidden treasures of (the) Amazon.

You’ll learn:

  1. The simple Yes/No question that increased revenues by more than $1 billion
  2. The elegant subtlety of Amazon’s security system
  3. Why Amazon’s business model is more than meets the eye (and why designers need to care)
  4. The wins and losses that Amazon has had with social media functionality

Modeling the Mobile User Experience

A presentation by Bryan Rieger of Yiibu on Modeling the Mobile User Experience.

Wireframes for the Wicked

Three experienced designers share their tried and true tips for making wireframes really work. They talk about how to sketch a wireframe on the fly to demonstrate an idea and how to create a standalone wireframe deliverable; when to show a concept and when to describe nitty-gritty detail; how to make a narrative wireframe and how to make a specification wireframe. All with plenty of examples.

Video- Khoi Vinh on Grids for Web Design

In this short video, Khoi Vinh, the ex-Design Director at NYTimes.com for 4½ years, talks about using grids for web design to bring order, logic and law as a framework while boosting its aesthetic power at the same time. He talks about how comic books inspired him to work with grids.

Khoi Vinh is author of the book, Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design

Video- Designing by Understanding Human Perception and Cognition

In this session, Alex Faaborg provides an in-depth look at human perception and cognition, and its implications for interactive and visual design. The human brain is purely treated as an information processing machine, and the audience will be taught its attributes, its advantages, its limitations, and generally how to hack it.

While the content will provide a deep review of recent cognitive science research, everything presented will also be grounded in example design work taken from a range of Google applications and platforms. Specific topics include: edge detection, gestalt laws of grouping, peripheral vision, geons and object recognition, facial recognition, color deficiencies, change blindness, flow, attention, cognitive load balancing, and the perception of time.

Next Gen Touchscreen Interface- Seamless Data Transfer Between Real and Virtual Worlds

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a next generation user interface which can accurately detect the users finger and what it is touching, creating an interactive touchscreen-like system, using objects in the real word.

They think paper and many other objects could be manipulated by touching them, as with a touchscreen. This system doesn’t use any special hardware, instead it consists of just a device like an ordinary webcam, plus a commercial projector. Its capabilities are achieved by image processing technology. Using this technology, information can be imported from a document as data, by selecting the necessary parts with your finger.

Effective Solution Design Using Design Principles

I think that design principles are important to bring clarity within the team at a fundamental level. Everything else will build on it. I want you to understand the extreme importance of them. Here is a presentation to let you know more about it.

“They are a tool that helps project teams establish a common language, make day to day decisions, and deliver a better, more consistent user experience. An added benefit of design principles is that the process of defining and agreeing on them helps a project team form a shared understanding of the design goals for a product. This presentation discusses how to create design principles that stick and how to use them to speed up decision making and drive user experience improvements.”

My Heart is in The Work- Keynote by Jon Kolko

Do you know what type of behaviour you or your company want to provoke? And is that aligned with how people actually want to live their lives? Empathy is the key to understanding and changing behavior.

RIP Bill Boddgride of IDEO (1943-2012)

I am saddened to say that Bill Moggridge, co-founder of IDEO, designer of the first laptop, author of the book ‘Designing Interactions‘, important role player in promoting the human-centered approach in design passed away last month on September 8, 2012. May his soul rest in peace.

Karen McGrane on Adapting Ourselves to Adaptive Content

This is a fantastic presentation on NPR’s COPE concept- create once, publish everywhere. Karen asks the right questions- why are we still letting content authors plan for where their content will live on a web page? Why do we waste time and money creating and recreating content instead of planning for content reuse? As our design and development processes evolve, our content workflow has to keep up. And she does a good job of providing the right answers on how we can we adapt to creating more flexible content.