Top 3 Talks at UX Conference “Make Stuff That Works”: Part 3

“How To Go Viral” by Ida Jackson

Who doesn’t want to know the secrets of what makes content go viral? Ida Jackson, a content specialist at Netlife Research, uses the power of research and analytics (along with colleague Ida Aalen, to uncover the real truth about what goes viral in social media. Ida helps answer this fascinating question as the final talk for the #makestuffthatworks popup conference in Brooklyn.

Credit card company vs Burrito Cat?

Who do you think would get more attention? Every company seems to be wanting to go viral, but Ida kindly reminds us that going viral tends to be all about emotions! Not subtle emotions that are kept quiet, but rather the very strong emotions, such as hilarity, inspiration, astonishment, and exhilaration. The catch is that viral content can be for both very positive strong emotions, and oppositely, very negative strong emotions.

A subset of positive and negative emotions share one factor: blood-pumping, heart-racing arousal. High-arousal emotions include awe and anger, while low-arousal emotions include sadness and disgust.

The one emotion that outpaced anger in Berger’s study was awe, the feelings of wonder and excitement that come from encountering great beauty or knowledge, such as a news report of an important discovery in the fight against cancer. “Awe gets our hearts racing and our blood pumping,” Berger says. “This increases our desire for emotional connection and drives us to share.”
Read more here.

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Top 3 Talks at UX Conference “Make Stuff That Works”: Part 2

“Using the Core Model to Make Stuff That Works” by Martha Lyngnes

The second talk in my list of top 3 talks was given by one of NetLife Research’s own interaction designer, Martha Lyngnes. She gave a great introduction on how to use the UX design method called the Core model.

FACT: Users are decreasingly entering a site’s page from its homepage!

It’s undeniable that nowadays, users will usually find a page by searching through Google, click on a link from Facebook, or whatever other way they can find to navigate to the page they deem relevant. As Martha kindly pointed out, 99% of pages on your site are irrelevant to the user!

Martha Lyngnes

Martha Lyngnes giving her talk

The Core model:

  • Identifies Core pages, where your users solve their tasks and the company reaches their objectives
  • Uses paths, not hierarchies
  • Has no dead ends
  • Allows stakeholders to get involved

Traditionally, organizations would start designing their site in a hierarchical manner (i.e. most important department/information on the homepage, etc), usually reflecting their organizational structure. This means that the business goals of the company is usually right up there, front and center (vision statements anyone?), but unfortunately for them, it is very likely that business goals does not equal user goals.

The Core model encourages organizations to have a more beneficial attitude toward users, asking the question: what are the goals of the user, and where can we send the user after they solve their problem?

It comes as no surprise that the Core model focuses on two key components:

  1. Business goals: What does the company want to achieve?
  2. User tasks: What task is the user trying to complete?What information is the user trying to obtain? (found through research and prioritization, of course!)

Once these two components have been defined, the company can identify the Core pages – where the business goals and user tasks overlap:

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Top 3 Talks at UX Conference “Make Stuff That Works” : Part 1

Still on a high from my first UX Meetup last Monday, I was delighted to see a popup conference coming up called Make Stuff That Works, organized by NetLife Research. There were 7 talks, 100+ UXers, and 1 great afterparty (more details to come).

“WTF Wearables?!” by Lisa Kindred

Liza Kindred, author & fashion tech strategist, is not a fan of hyped-up, novelty wearables. She makes her point by showing a variety of examples that are almost to the point of farfetched, such as:

The Papparazzi Dress:

Papparazzi Dress to prevent the wearer from being photographed

The Cyborg Cap:

Cyclops Hat that lets you display videos to other people

And this beauty, the Tweeting Bra:

It tweets a message every time the hook is unclasped (on the bright side, the point is to raise awareness for breast cancer)

But instead of talking for an hour about why all wearables “suck”, Liza shows us that she thinks there are actually a lot of cool wearables out there that can really make a difference in the world. What constitutes a wearable as being “cool”? Technology that, for example, prevents disease, helps correct color blindness, and can be used as a tool in every country to do things like improving water collection and becoming invisible to mosquitos! Continue reading