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Eventful

Buried under some halting attempts at massive data processing and an unexpected return to battle with a credit card processor, I completely failed to mention that An Event Apart Seattle sold out and An Event Apart Chicago opened for registration.  Apologies.  If you want to be there for Chicago and our fabulous speakers, don’t wait—if current trends hold up, we’ll be sold out in a month.  (Note: no warranty is expressed or implied by this statement; past results may not be indicative of future performance; not a flying toy; etc., etc.)

In other event news, the d.Construct site has gone sort-of-live, and I mean that in the best possible way.  Go check it out.  I really like the concept they’ve got going there.  My only (tiny) critique is that some of the things that are links aren’t obvious enough—I thought at first that the navbar was all placeholders, and not actually working yet.  I was wrong.  Love the speaker photos!

10 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Thu 24 May 2007
    • 1815
    Jason Friesen wrote in to say...

    Looking forward to seeing y’all there!

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Thu 24 May 2007
    • 1839
    nate wrote in to say...

    I saw the Event Apart Seattle event, and made sure to add it to Eventful, actually. I wish I was still in town, because I’d love to go. When is one happening in San Diego?

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Fri 25 May 2007
    • 1103
    steve wrote in to say...

    My only (tiny) critique is that some of the things that are links aren”t obvious enough—I thought at first that the navbar was all placeholders

    I think you downplay this critique quite a lot (dare I suggest because you are apparently some sort of friend/acquaintance/business relative of these people?)

    If it were a conference on Rails or UGC or microformats or whatever it would be one thing, but the entire conference is about “user experience design”. They’ve failed the most absolutely basic aspect of their own user experience, namely making it clearly apparent that their PRIMARY navigation is at all clickable! The stereotypical “mom” might stare at that all day without working it out. Heck, if you hadn’t have tipped us off in the post, I’d probably not have realised it myself.

    I’ve noticed a lot of (shall we politely call them) “not a power user” people are scared of clicking somewhere ‘unusual’ – if they don’t get the feedback they expect (ie, in this case, “cursor:hand;”) they will be literally fearful of doing it anyway “just to see”.

    All in all I look at this and think, “if you can’t get your own user experience up to normal / baseline usuable standards, why on earth would I pay you 400 quid to tell me how to design mine?”

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Fri 25 May 2007
    • 1558
    Christopher wrote in to say...

    If you will notice at the top of the site, the website is being shown in a four step process. The first step, which they are currently on, is wireframing. Hense the paperlike background, the pencil marks in various places, and the missing images in the boxes below the navigation. They are revealing process in the site design. As time goes on, they will be moving down the shown timeline, at which point the site design will be fleshed out with obvious navigation links.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Tue 29 May 2007
    • 0625
    Pradeep Kumar wrote in to say...

    whats missing though is it is not so much obvious right away that u can click on each stage and progress(rollover action indicator?) through the website.
    this is where users don’t read the link content first to determine the structure the website designer has created but instead like to play around..
    mm maybe the designer didn’t intend the user to play around but instead wanted to discover the structure by looking at the content..
    If so, then well designed.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Tue 29 May 2007
    • 0942
    Christopher wrote in to say...

    lol… I honestly did not even notice that you can click on the timeline to see the other style sheets. I just saw them in Opera’s alternate style sheet drop down menu.

    While normally I would agree that they should have rollovers or someother device to indicate the links, in the context of what they are doing, I do not think it is vital. I see the timeline links as almost an Easter Egg on the site… not really something you are supposed to click on yet, but if you find it, fantastic. Of course, this is pure speculation, as I have spoken with no one involved in their project.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Wed 30 May 2007
    • 1125
    Tim wrote in to say...

    Still wondering what would be the best Eric Meyer book to read before going to Event Apart. Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Sat 2 Jun 2007
    • 1312
    Paveo wrote in to say...

    Happy eventful ;)

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0803
    Andy Budd wrote in to say...

    Thanks for the plug Eric, glad you like the site.

    The timeline at the top is indeed an “Easter Egg”, hence the lack of feedback. It’s funny how many people assumed this was a usability error, rather than something deliberate.

    While I agree with many of the comments that usability is an important part of user experience design, it is just one facet. This site aims to challenge some concepts and create a specific experience, for a specific group of users. The fact that has caused this debate, indicates the experience we were trying to create has worked.

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Tue 5 Jun 2007
    • 0917
    Paul Annett wrote in to say...

    As the site’s designer, I’d just like to add to Andy’s comment.

    In my opinion, “user experience designers” should be making websites fun to use, not just easy to use (although the former should never be to the detriment of the latter). Christopher is 100% right in his comment – the site is perfectly usable without clicking the timeline, so the discovery that it is clickable at all is just an extra bit of fun!

    The primary navigation does have cursor:hand, as well as a hover state – its the unimportant timeline which is deliberately hidden. We design for our target audience, so none of the “stereotypical moms” which Steve referred to will have a problem with the site as they most likely won’t be using it.

    These things aside, thanks for the link Eric, and I’m pleased you like the concept! :-)

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