We Can All "Do" User Experience

UAD11 Usability, Accessibility and Design

Location: Ballroom C

TUESDAY, 3:00 - 3:45 p.m.

In higher education, and especially at smaller colleges and universities, some of our most critical web functions -- prospective student inquiry gathering, online gift forms, etc. -- are farmed out to third parties. Why? Because they’ve already got the tool we need, and we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. However, the solutions we buy are often focused exclusively on making US happy, not our users. They provide good data output and reporting… but what about the user experience of inputting data in the first place? We need to recognize that these functions are far too important to leave to non-designed interfaces onto which we slap our logo and primary school color. When we redesigned our online giving form at Colgate, we took the time to think about design -- not just for aesthetic, but for user experience. With minimal cost and a lot of goodwill gained, we executed research and testing throughout the project, and reached the end result of a visually stunning, easy-to-use form that helped drive a measurable increase in the online giving rate. In this presentation I will share the methods we used -- borrowed heavily from the work of Steve Krug -- to reach our successful outcome, and how they can be used by teams of any size to vastly improve project outcomes.

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Jason Kammerdiener
Lead Information and Digital Architect, Colgate University

Jason Kammerdiener is a web professional in the communications office at his alma mater, Colgate University. Kammerdiener has found his background as a liberal arts student with interests across the board incredibly helpful in appreciating the balance that is necessary between function, aesthetic design, usability, accessibility, and development needs in web projects. Trying to speak these different languages and coordinate the sometimes-uncooperative groups that speak them is his latest calling.