SXSW Day Two

The Seven Rules for Great Web Application Design

Robert Hoekman Jr

We want to make users feel great like a lion – king of the jungle
Good sites make users feel good, empowered, like the lion
“#1 goal of users is to get off your site”

#1 understand users, then ignore them
dont ask them what they think – they lie
watch them, test them – understand tem

apps do what users need them to do

#2 buid only what’s absolutely necessary
see – upload file, share with a url
simple is good, but clarity is better

#3 support the user’s mental model
Deleting a piece of paper is throwing it in trash not a series of commands like a dos widow use to do.

#4 turn beginners into intermediates immediately
e.g. the old page was not intuitive – someone called the builder to figure out how to sign up – the main purpose of the home page. people don’t like to feel dumb.

so the design needs to help them move up the learning curve quickly (painlessly)
try usability study to redesign – find out what they want to do and do it

#5 prevent errors. (and handle the rest gracefully.)
if we enable them to make mistakes – they will – you can’t really make an error on this site. you will feel smarter every time you use it.

#6 design for uniformity, consistency, and meaning – most people land there from a google search and they dont know why or what to do. add to that, the page design changes from one page to another

#7 reduce, reduce, reduce (and refine)
presentation zen
tells a story of a store that sold fish and they put a sign up that said
“We Sell Fresh Fish Sold Here”
The sign was reduce word by word until it disappeared.

The ultimate goal: communicate intentionally
every thing on a page communicates something, make sure it does something worth the space, customer time it uses
“if you make user feel like a lion, they will make us feel us feel like lions”

Opening Remarks

Tony Hsieh


<———– I lost network before this presentation started. There was 400+ people trying to connect.

Lunch at Moonshine Patio Grill was good enough. Had the tuna melt while sitting at the bar with a chap. When the food arrived all hell broke loose – about 100 people rushed the restaurant and it was standing room only from then on. I guess I got there just in time.

Opening Remarks
Tony Hsieh

Tony started by selling pizza in college with his roommate and alfred would buy several pizzas and sell them off by the slice.
Then he moved to start linkexchange and ended up sold it to microsoft in 1998.
He looks to Virgin alot
He spends marketing money on customer experience customer service instead of commercials.
He uses phone more than web because its a better branding device.
He chose to loose about 25% of revenue to focus on customer service.
they search competors sites and give up the sale if they find it
customer service isnt his number one focus, it is working culture. if you have happy workers, customer service will follow.
he trains everyone the same no matter what your final job is.
for this year: clothing , customer service, culture

culture: deliver wow through service, embrace and drive change, create fun and little weirdness, be adventurous, createive and open minded, …
it doesnt matter what your values are – can you commit to them

steps to success:
decide, figure out values and culture, commit to transparency, vision, build relationships, build your team, think long term

* transparency – now there is an extra 1000 pair of eyes helping maintain the brand
* vision – whatever you think, think bigger

happines: perceived control, perceived progress,
maslow hierachy

books: peak, tribal leadership, four house work week, happiness hypothesis

Future of Social Networks

Charlene Li
Altimeter Group

Think about ten years from now “we had to go to 10 sites to do what we want”
“Social networks will be like air”

Rethinking events – now who was attending, arrange seating
mobile apps are social
tv is getting social – they showed everyones tags with obama, but what if we wanted to know just our friends
networks mve into the enterprise – pulling profiles into apps

Three things needed to make social networks like air
1) identify – who you are
2) contacts – who you know
3) activities – what you do

Two sets of rules/standards exits
facebook connect – includes protocol for sharing identity contact and content
open stack – payers include google myspace plaxo yahoo are following standards

my identity, in context
one: professional
two: personal

friend management is tough today
filters on make friends and news feeds more management and valuable, but it still laborious

some social networks are getting rich – they know more about me – because we trust someone like Google
a social algorith will make privacy and permissions easier to manage
what is it going to take to get everyone to open – $$$
there is a mutually beneficial relationship between sites when they tap into their network
it also lays the ground work for activity data – passing profiles means there was a request
some identify your network neighboor – people closet to you (like students in chem 101)
how will things develop
biz models
1) evaluate where social makes sense – identify where socail data and content can be integrated; leverage existing
identity ad social grphs where the audience is facebook; get privacy in place; find trust agents
2) get your backend data in order – remove multi signons, registration ad profiles for people (SSO)
3) prepare to integratate social networks into your organization
where is the customer in the org chart – put customer at the top, ceo at the bottom
* social networks will be like air
* technologies are still being put int place
* open networks