UX Lisbon: Killer Content or Content that Kills?

by May 16, 2010

At the User Experience Lisbon (UXLX) conference in Portugal, Eric Reiss outlined a set of technology-independent Web design rules in his presentation: Killer Content or Content that Kills?. Here's my notes on his presentation:

  • User centered design is dangerous. Once we know who the user is we go off and design for them rather than keeping them involved throughout the process.
  • Three bad reasons to innovate: to differentiate your product; to be different; or to satisfy your ego. There is only one reason to innovate: to solve a problem. Otherwise, you are creating problems. Innovation should build on best practices.
  • Dogma is a set of rules. But things change and rules can become old fashioned. There needs to be a flow between people, technologies, and processes. Can we create a separate list of rules that is technology independent?

10 Rules for Web Dogma

  • Anything to do with internal politics must be eliminated.
  • Anything that exists only to satisfy the ego of the designer needs to be eliminated.
  • Anything that is irrelevant in the context of the page should be eliminated. If you eliminate what is irrelevant, the relevant things come forward.
  • Any feature or technique that removes the visitors ability to navigate freely should be eliminated.
  • Any interactive object that isn't perceived as being interactive, isn't.
  • No software apart from the browser should be required to make something work appropriately.
  • Content should be readable first, printable second, and finally downloaded last.
  • Usability must never be sacrificed for the sake of a style guide. A concept online is about functionality not just about look and feel.
  • No visitor must be forced to register or surrender personal data unless the site owner is unable to provide a service or product without it.
  • Break any of these rules sooner than do anything barbaric to your users.
  • If we don't demand better web sites, we will never get them. Don't just prevent bad things from happening - make wonderful things happen.