[ParisWeb] Design Take Away


If you read my previous post, you know : ParisWeb, the web, the best of quality, accessibility and design. Here is a sum up on the interesting design related talks I attended.

Good design is not beautiful.

Sébastien Desbenoit @desbenoit, a great designer, unveiled publicly his major finding about good design : a good design does not need to be beautiful. Even if designers would like to position their creation somewhere between freedom, energy, beauty and cool, one must confess that except for the luxury market, this may not make sense for most of products. You just need to look at the famous ‘Le Bon Coin‘, a french second hand shopping community : it is ugly but makes the job.  Sébastien also mentionned that a good design can not (and must not) be a mass design. Each design process should suffer the cold analysis of marketing, in order to tailor made a solution, taking into account culture, psychological profile, social class and geography of the final customers. “Le monde ne sera jamais beau” concluded sadly Sébastien. But we all understood with its great presentation that people like him would keep bringing beauty and kindness to the world.

Sébastien Desbenoit presentation [fr]  http://blog.thinkinnovation.fr/BonDesignPasBeau

Good design relies on evil.

Yannick Bonnieux focused his presentation on the overlap between design and social sciences, with a focus on how influencable humans are. With simple words, he reversed-engineered the influence of design on our decision parameters. Here are the quality of a design that would create the best user engagement :

  • be the first in the list of search be good looking (ok,  the easy ones;
  • be simple, with few choice (sales increases when there is less product offered);
  • contain pictures of food, sex or threat (#weareanimals) with comments (ok, #weareintellectualanimals)
  • make the user believe the product is scarce (a 2-cakes box is perceived as tasting better, more attractive and with highre value, then a 10-same-cakes box);
  • contains elements of trust (hotline number available, face of the director smiling…).

Yannick Bonnieux presentation [fr] fr.slideshare.net/YannickBonnieux/les-mthodes-dinfluence-dans-le-web-par-lexemple-paris-web-2013

Good design must be multi-modal.

Geoffrey Dorne @GeoffreyDorne offered the audience a nice demonstration on how the human interactions enabled by technology, were contributing to innovative services. He used the multi-modal definition, to make us touching that the usage of multiple devices, including multi channels for interaction (voice, touch, …) to use a service was transforming designer’s job. He reminded that no designer should ignore human values associated with specific media or technology (do you really think that sending a postcard is similar to posting on Facebook ?). Demonstration was made that the social aspects of a service were prime. As such, he recommended observing accurately humans, recording their habits, interviewing their feeling, positive and negative with respect to services, in order to find the killing feature that would answer their expectations. He listed a large number of successful services which have in common a simple and straightforward value proposition : Instagram and its nostalgic filters, snapshot and its ephemeral pictures, …. He gave few pillars for having a successful design, like :

  • understand (really) the context of the user
  • define a simple and clear objective that must be transmitted by any means and media where the service is roll out (app, print, ..)
  • observe accurately the user experience and think improvement accordingly
  • prototypes for all supports (tablet, smartphone, pc, print, …)
  • make things right, working details for each support

Geoffrey Dorne presentation [fr] [pdf] http://www.paris-web.fr/2013/Multimodalite_et_interfaces_design_question_d_humains_pas_de_machine.pdf

Good design can be accessibility compliant.

Johan Ramon @johan_ramon exposed in clear way how the accessibility – which consists in allowing web being usable by people of all abilities and disabilities – could be integrated in designs for the benefit of everyone. He reminded that the main technical interaction for people having disability is the key board (usually based on tabulation usage) and the reading of web elements (usually re-used by synthetic voice). Once having this in mind Johan gave some best practices to enable your website to have the tabulation or the reader getting quick to the right and usefull information. And it happens that in that area, the responsive design is providing developers and designers with great tools (tadaaaa, more in Johan presentation).

Johan Ramon presentation [fr] http://www.johanramon.fr/accessibiliser-subtilite/#

Good design must be emotional.

Mariusz Ciesla @dotmariusz bet that he could explain to us tricks to make robot to love for profit, understand make your cold design becoming emotional. He gave the main caracteristics a design should encompass: being desirable (I want it now), usable (hell, that is working pretty well), usefull (I know I’m gonna use it 10 more years). To be desirable, your design needs to be human, attractive, with a mood, a voice, a face, and should transmit that in a consistent and clear way, whatever is the service. There are technical tools for that which are colors, typos, messages tone, micro-interactions in the interface.

Mariusz Ciesla presentation [eng] https://speakerdeck.com/dotmariusz/learning-to-love-crash-course-in-emotional-design-paris-web-2013

Do not hesitate to look at the presentations and videos those guys made. Definitely interesting things inside…

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