Responsive design, launch and leave, and designing for drunk people

Duncan Stephen
Wednesday 27 November 2013

Responsive design won’t fix your content problem

Responsive design won’t fix all the problems with device compatibility. Karen McGrane outlines why the increasing diversity of devices requires smarter thinking in terms of content.

Changing the launch and leave culture

The botched launch of HealthCare.gov in the US has been attracting a lot of attention in web circles. Gerry McGovern has put it down to a “launch and leave” culture:

The website’s launched, now let’s move on to the next project. It reminds me of a t-shirt I saw in Belfast once. On the front was a picture of the Titanic (which was built in Belfast). On the back was the statement: IT WAS ALRIGHT WHEN IT LEFT HERE.

The new culture is about lean, flexible design and management. It’s about developing with customer input at every step of the way. It’s about a relentless focus on making things easy. It’s about obsessive continuous improvement. It’s about measuring success based on customer outcomes (can they choose the right insurance easily and quickly) rather than inputs (we launched the website on time and to budget).

The user is drunk

We know we have to put in a lot of hard work to make sure a website is as easy to use as possible. Often we call this principle “Don’t Make Me Think” after the title of a book by Steve Krug.

This video puts forward a different way to think about the problem: imagine the user is drunk. Could they still find their way round the website?

Entertaining and thought-provoking.

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