I'm doing a little bit of moblogging this morning at Forrester's breakfast series titled "The ROI Of Web Redesigns Made Simple". Here are some high level take-aways hot off the press: (Note, as with everything on L+E, this is my personal perspective)
Moira G. Dorsey, Senior Analyst.
Slide: Its hard not to get a return on investment with a competent website re-design.
“Companies don't think enough about designing for their users.”
Some quick first impressions of the event. Forrester knows what they are talking about in this area, they interview scores of professionals and companies to gather data and they use metrics, charts and graphs to make the case for the value of human-centered design as it applies to the business world.
I only wish the presentation had a little more oompf to it, maybe a little story telling to go with all of the great charts and graphs. While the rational part of my mind was nodding in agreement--the emotional part of my head was like "hey, where's the Starbucks?"
No offense to Forrester. I use their services and they themselves offer a great customer experience between their own site and customer service people. I just don't know why ROI through Web design has to be such a snooze fest (a little exaggeration here).
20 minutes later: OK, it's picking a little bit, Moira is talking about Design Personas now and there is a simple visual which represents three re-design options/approaches.
1. Rip out and replace entire site.
2. Roll through site one section at a time.
3. Optimize individual applications and pages.
That's a fairly pragmatic way to Summarize a variety of approaches. Each of these seems well suited for large, complex websites. And interestingly enough, I did a presentation last year with similar points illustrated with a “home improvement” theme. You can download that deck here: Re-decorating, Renovating, and Re-building Web Sites.
Ok, I just asked a question:
D. "In an agency/marketing setting, what are the disciplines that should heavily influence things like Personas and Ethnographic research."
M. "There are two options: Ideally an individual trained in Ethnography and things like observation. Or another way is to bring customers in and talk to them, but that also involves skill as customers will not always articulate their true needs"
(Note: these may not be exact words, I jotted the response down as quickly as possible—but it's very close)
Not surprised by Moira's response—but it does beg the question:
"Who is qualified?". Most agencies/companies don't have a resident anthropologist on staff. So then who has the right credentials here? Planner? IA? Designer? A combination of the three? Who??
Victoria Bough. VP of marketing and strategy practice.
The energy dial just got turned up a notch. Makes sense though because this part of the presentation is meant to promote/sell a service provided by Forrester.
So here is Forrester's methodology for the consulting services.
Analyze, Plan and Execute (three chevrons). No big surprises here. The good thing about this service is that I believe them when they say they are objective. Agencies should also be objective with our clients, even if we have longstanding relationships (all the more reason).
Decent presentation overall and I’m glad that Forrester is articulating the ROI of user-centered site design. I only wish it were a little more lively, and in-line with the great research reports that Forrester provides. To be fair, I spoke with Moira afterward and pointed out my observations. She was very receptive (and nice) and thought it was valid commentary. She went on to discuss how difficult it is to work client anecdotal info into these types of presentations for client reluctance to “go on the record”. Moira was curious about my blogging of this and I’ll be sending her a note letting her know about this post. She is free to discuss further.
Last tidbit. I ran into an old colleague from The Chicago Tribune. Royce Vibbert, Product Manager, Chicago Tribune Interactive. Royce is looking for some highly talented Interaction Designers and skilled Project Managers for chicagotribune.com, metromix.com, and chicagosports.com. If you are int andc qualified, you can contact Royce.