UXLx, day 2

Another busy day here at UXLx in Lisbon is over and it’s been a good one.

I started off with a session with legendary Gerry McGovern, who I finally got to see in person as he passionately talked about the importance of identifying the top tasks of your site’s visitors. The first thing he, not very surprisingly but very convincingly, pointed out was that there’s no point in asking your users directly what they want but rather to test and observe how they behave.

He went on a crusade against poorly focused websites, lack of testing with users and highlighted that everyone on the web has a task they want to get done.

When was the last time you went to Google and didn’t know what to look for?

He also claimed that no one goes to your website just for the content or information itself. There content always supports a task.

The long tail is killing the long neck.

He spent half of the workshop explaining and demonstrating how to identify and prioritize these top tasks, a process suitable for large, complex organizations, but possibly too advanced for smaller ones.

I’d love to see an alternative for these smaller companies or organizations. They sure have the need for it as well.

Today’s shorter talks was for me a great walk through of how mapping the user experience across multiple situations and interactions could be done at Adaptive Path, a session with Jamin Hegeman. Probably the best spent 20 minutes during these days so far. Extremely effective and fascinating.

I also spent another 20 minutes on the topic of how designers and developers can work together as a close team – a timely subject for me and quite a few good tips on how to make it work (and not). I’d love to hear more about it from Samuel Mike Bowles some time.

On the last session, after endless amounts of food, wine, pastries and coffee, I squeezed myself into the very popular Mobile Prototyping workshop – a hands on 3 hours session with Rachel Hinman of Nokia Research Center. It was all good and I enjoyed the storyboarding, examples and different techniques of prototyping (Keynote rocks!), but I felt kind of sad for her cause the air kind of went out of the auditorium at the end of the day and it seems like people’s energy went out with it. Still a great workshop!

Massively tight schedule the whole day and later me and my colleagues from Bekk ended up on a local seafood joint downtown, strolling around in the city center enjoying life and a few beers.

Good times, and tomorrow there’s a rock star line up through the day and I’m really looking forward to both that as well as the closing party tomorrow night.

If you’re curious of what I’m talking about, just check out the schedule here in Lisbon and UXLx.