User experience has had its share of the spotlight at SXSW. Major leaps forward in the thinking around user cenetered design, web standards, and design methodology have launched from SXSW panels from some of the biggest names in the web design industry. All of the previous presentations have shared one thing in common: they focus on designing from scratch. Launching brand new products or designing marketing campaign materials present UX challenges for agencies and entrepreneurs; but what about those of us that work for software companies? What UX direction do we have to follow when we inherit legacy designs with large installed user bases?
Creating a new user experience within an established software brand is not easy and not the same as starting from a blank page. It is like redesigning a train while it’s in motion. Over the course of the last year, I’ve been working as the Director of User Experience at Webtrends. Our latest releases have been met with fanfare and have attracted new users. This hasn’t been easy.
Lessons I learned:
- Learning to love a design that isn’t yours, warts and all
- Choosing what to evolve and what to leave as is
- Finding the right methodology to rally the team around
- Learning what users feel empowered by and what they are frustrated with
- Prototype early and test
- Finding the essential user patterns
I think this information is invaluable for anyone that is joining an established brand or is inheriting a design from someone else. I’ve submitted a session/panel at SXSW to reveal the process at Webtrends, what worked and what didn’t work. Why SXSW? If you never been, it is the most amazing, chaotic, incredible meet-up in the interactive world.
If you are interested in this panel, or feel that others would benefit, please vote for it today. We only have a week of voting left!
If you plan on going to SXSW, I hope to see you there.