the business side of the web strategies for success

How can you design an appropriate experience?

practical <------------> emotional

presented by kelly goto, gotomedia, inc.



lifestyle user experience
“I’m ready to try this out”

More than usable: Are you emotionally attached? Do you think it is useful? Does it meet your needs? Can you integrate it into your life?
Just because something is usable Does not mean it is meeting your audience’s needs.




“this works for me”

“This works for me”

web 2.0


Web Mashup -

delicious library

today’s session will cover: 1: positioning: who are you? 2: envisioning: where are you going? 3: planning: how will you get there? 4: targeting: who is your customer? 5: implementing: making it happen.

1: positioning
who are you?

“Become a master and ever-evolving student of design and your own unique brand of it. You have to have the skills to be viable, and continue growing all the time.”

terry marks

today’s web teams > freelance/independent contractor > small to medium design firms > in-house web design teams > web branch of existing design firm


who are you?

independent designer ‘many hats’

who are you?

independent teams ‘satellites’

who are you?

structured team ‘web company’

who are you?

internal web team ‘web masters’

or division of design firm ‘offshoot’

who are you?

strategy & consulting



information design

tip #1: DETERMINE YOUR BRAND VALUE and CORE SERVICE OFFERINGS. What will your company be known for and how will you differentiate yourself in the marketplace? If internal - how will you sell yourself to your peers? why: Offering a solid value proposition for your clients or company translates into revenue. Clear brand positioning is critical for long-term success.

visual design




the goal: How do we convey TRUST

The “brand” of a company is communicated through good user experiences time after time.



brand value:

what do you do best?


tip #2: DETERMINE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES: are you a specialist or a generalist? why: This aids your positioning and service offerings and allows you to target specific project types and clients.

t uc od pr

se rv ic e



specialists targeted focus Specific expertise & experience Tends to stay on one path towards results Can do a few things really well

generalists broad focus Multi-disciplinary background Able to shift and change direction Can do “everything” pretty well




$ $$ $$$ $$$$
higher rate, focused work type

$ $$

$$ $$$

$ $$

lower rate; non-specific work type



tip #3: HAVE A CLEAR VISION for the type of company you want to be, and the goals you have for revenue, growth and clients/projects. why: Laying the foundation, establishing predictability in the marketplace and determining how scalable your business is will allow for proper planning and fewer surprises.

2: envisioning
where are you going?



current site 1.x updated/refreshed site (quarterly initiatives & testing) 1.1 >> 1.2 >> 1.3 >> 1.4 complete site redesign 2.x ongoing updates/refreshes 2.1 >> 2.2 >> etc. full content system in place 3.x


Vision ‘Waterfall’ Map


Q3: 2006 May June July August Sept Q4: 2006 October November December Q1: 2007

tip #4: Follow ITERATIVE DESIGN CYCLES for most effective focus and strategy. Develop quarterly goals and set up a method for residual income. why: planning for success means looking at the long term plan, and developing quarterly initiatives to meet the overarching goals. MAKE YOURSELF INDISPENSIBLE!



how will you get there?

3: planning

“Keep track of profit margins. A small to medium sized graphic design firm should show a 15-20% profit margin. Review your hourly rate and your productivity.” “Realize that most creative individuals are very ADD. (That is what makes them creative) Try not to distract them with menial information, as they are dealing with enough distractions on their own. Otherwise they will never finish their projects.”

business planning

mary fisher

business planning

profitability model 33% 33% 33%

tip #5: REDUCE OVERHEAD & RAISE PROFITIBILITY - concentrate on balancing passion for design with profitable projects. why: Designers want to work in a beautiful workspace, and often demand high rates and work they can dig their creative juices into. This does not always equal profitability.

contractors/ employees (target 30%)



(target 30%)

(target 40%)


business planning

business planning

establish project types

tip #6: ESTABLISH CLEAR PROJECT TYPES. Understand the ‘ideal’’ project for your team/company and the baited projects to avoid. Bigger is not always better. why: Large projects seem ‘sexy’ however often take more resources and time than expected. Find the sweet spot your team can handle. Break a project down into smaller pieces if necessary.


$$$ $$ -- $$ -$ - $$$$

profit even loss disaster

business planning

business planning

estimating: time & resources
breakdown by team/individual

business development





$1k (~10 hrs)

$3k (~30 hrs)

$8k (~80 hrs)

$10k (~100 hrs)

what is doable and how much time should you spend? 10%? 20%?

business planning

estimating: time & resources
breakdown by task

business planning

clients and profits: software

* better for independents or small teams


business planning

tip #7: TRACK YOUR HOURS why: Really, that’s it. Probably the most important tip you can use to help your business grow into success. Knowing how time is spent and developing patterns allow for planning and predictability.

business planning

track your hours daily if possible!

setting the stage

business planning

tip #8: ESTABLISH WORKFLOW that works for your team, and your project types. Keep it simple, and clear for both team and client. why: Communication and organization will streamline your process and help projects deliver on time and on budget. - starting at $35/mo

setting the stage

setting the stage

tip #9: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY with your team and with the decision makers. Collect survey questions, write a communication brief, set up a central staging area. why: State goals up front, and help troubleshoot issues along the way and avoid confusion down the road.


setting the stage

client survey

setting the stage

communication brief

worksheet downloadable at

worksheet downloadable at

setting the stage

staging page

who is your customer?

4: targeting

karl bischoff

“If you have been designing primarily in the print medium, do not assume that interactive folks (programmers, info architects, etc) are like you. They are not. You are probably right brain, they are probably left brain.”


tip #10: Develop a usability and research TOOLKIT for ongoing feedback and testing cycles. why: Empowering your team with usercentered research techniques will yield more effective design & development.



expert analysis concept testing customer interviews usability testing


expert analysis concept testing customer interviews usability testing

focus groups

focus groups

card sorting contextual inquiry

verification testing

card sorting Contextual inquiry

verification testing


methods of contextual inquiry

Create an effective UCD

OBSERVE ethnography
1-on-1 or group Field observation of sociocultural phenomena Observing in natural environment 1 hour- many years

WATCH usability testing
1-on-1 Users complete representative tasks

ASK interviews
1-on-1 Questionnaire Brainstorming Conducted by Interviewer 1-2 hours

TALK focus groups
Typically 4-9 people Discussion about critical aspects




1- 1.5 hours

1-2 hours

© gotomedia 2005




create personas

tip #11: Create audience profiles and usage scenarios. Conduct ethnographicbased research. why: Creating personas and real-life scenarios allows you to think ‘in the shoes’ of your target audience and design with them in mind.



user profiling


contextual inquiry/ field research “deep hanging out”

“Don't hire people (or clients) you don't like. You're going to have to work with them.” “Spend your time rewarding the people who hired you, not chasing those who haven't.” “Analyze failures to pinpoint issues openly without assigning blame. Then fix them.”

5: implementing
making it happen.

“Dress up like rock stars cuz it's fun and chicks dig it.”


tip #12: STREAMLINE YOUR PROCESS Use INFORMATION DESIGN INTENSIVES to reduce the structure phase. why: Bringing all of the decision-makers into the process collaboratively saves a lot of time and back-and-forth.


carl smith



site structuring card sorting

implementing implementing implementing

tip #13: Use BRAND BOARDS to quickly convey themes and put descriptors from the Communication Brief into visual format. why: Avoid using rounds of design directions to pacify a group of decision makers who don’t know what they are doing or what their brand vision is.



tip #14: TRACK and MEASURE. Use stats tools such as Google’s Urchin, or Hitbox to track effectiveness of initiatives. why: Without tangible information, your efforts are mere ‘shots in the dark.’


track and measure

google analytics: urchin

get stats

Hitbox stats: show by color and % where people are clicking

get stats

Alexa traffic details

we’ve run out of time!

extra tips

brand spectrum

obstacle cards



introducing café testing (low calorie - low cost)

“Be known for integrity and fairness no matter how others behave.” “Keep in touch and network. Everything is based on good relationships and communication.” “Keep profits and debt in balance. You'll always have more choices.”


The Creative Business Guide to Running a Graphic Design Business
AIGA Center for Brand Experience

By Cameron S. Foote


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Knowing what’s expected Materials & equipment Doing what I do best Recognition or praise My supervisor cares about me Someone encourages my development My opinions seem to count My company’s mission or purpose is clear Doing quality work

10. I have a best friend at work 11. Talk to me about my progress 12. Opportunities to learn and grow


Ann Willoughby

café testing


thank you!
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