Scent, Search, and the Pursuit of User Happiness

by Jared Spool
  • Presenter: Jared M. Spool
  • Recorded at: Web Design World Seattle on July 18, 2005
  • Program: #002 (Length: 54:38)
  • Audio mp3 (25.6MB)
  • Presentation PDF (3.7MB)

Happy Users are the brass ring of web site design. Ultimately, the designers of every site have making users happy as their primary objective. However, many designs end up frustrating instead. Since 1996, User Interface Engineering’s main research objective is to understand how to achieve designs which produce happy users.

UIE’s researchers have found that user happiness is directly tied to whether the users accomplish their goals on the site. What prevents users from accomplishing their goals? Almost always, it’s poor design caused by a design team that doesn’t have all the information they need to make the right decisions.

In this entertaining and insightful presentation, originally presented as the keynote at the 2005 Web Design World Seattle conference, Jared M. Spool will share practical design strategies from highly-effective web sites. He’ll show:

  • How the best teams allocate their resources by focusing on the most important content on the site and how this affects every page
  • Proven design techniques, such as persona-based design, to help teams understand what users need from the site
  • Why the most effective sites never relaunch, yet manage to always have fresh designs
  • How you can utilize the scent of information and how people search for their content to give your site a huge advantage

You’ll learn from a wide range of examples, from the sites for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Netflix, and Wells Fargo, to Google, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office, and Amtrak.

Have you listened to the program? What did you think? Post a comment here with your thoughts and questions.

Program Underwriter: UIE 2006 Roadshow

Underwriting of this program is provided by the UIE 2006 Roadshow. Between February and May of 2006, Christine Perfetti and Jared Spool will bring their one-day seminar, Web Design Foundations, to Atlanta, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Seattle, San Francisco, and Minneapolis, where they will discuss the foundation research every web designer needs to know, including the secrets to designing for the scent of information and the essential components of your usability toolbox. You can get more information on our six-city tour here.