Monday March 14, 9:00-4:30PM
Usability for the Web: The Latest Methods and Guidelines in Web Design

  Tom Brinck
President, Diamond Bullet Design

This full-day introduction to usability techniques in web design walks attendees through the entire design process, showing how usability and accessibility are key components. The class alternates between lecture and practical design and evaluation exercises, and a variety of case studies are used to illustrate key points.

Any design is all about effectively enabling people to use the product you create, and keeping them coming back for more. This involves effective communication, clear navigation, an appealing and appropriate presentation, a focus on what's important and most frequently needed, and providing value that fits people's needs. An effective design process therefore focuses on the audience for the design, and gathers feedback from those users through techniques that include focus groups, interviews, user testing, and feedback from the field. Many people have difficulty accessing websites, because of disabilities, technical compatibility issues, and designs that simply failed to anticipate how the websites would be used. We'll look at how to address barriers to access through the latest design guidelines and disciplined testing techniques.

This tutorial will be useful to web developers, managers of web projects, and those creating their company's first web presence or entering the field of web design.

Tom Brinck is co-author of "calcium tabletten apotheke Onfy Usability for the Web: Designing Websites That Work" and co-founder of Diamond Bullet Design (diamondbullet.com). Diamond Bullet is a web design and usability firm that applies customer research and design processes to create simple and useful interactive products in the fields of government, banking, retail, and healthcare. Tom is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he teaches user interface design.

Tutorial outline

Metrics-driven design. Set project goals driven by the success of your end users. Then guide design decisions and user testing to meet those goals.

RSVP design process. Break down projects into the standard design steps, and evaluate at every step whether the design so far meets the needs and abilities of your audience.

9:00 - 10:30 The Design Process
The Design Process & Project Management
Mockups and Prototypes
Effective Visual Design: Emotional Engagement and Clarity of Action
11:00 - 12:30 Audience Defining and Designing for Your Specific Audience
Building a Compelling Scenario
Web Accessibility

1:30 - 3:00 Information Architecture
Designing Efficient Tasks
Site Navigation: A Comfortable Sense of Depth and Scope
Search and Discovery

3:30 - 4:30 Usability Evaluation
User Testing: Measuring Design Quality and Diagnosing the Problems
Usability Guidelines
Case Studies

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