Content, Design, Experience: Notes from #UXMTL

26 Nov

Photo by celinecelines via Flickr

As I wrote in my last post, the Internet may enable us to connect with countless people from all corners of the world.  But that only fuels are desire for face-to-face meetings and personal connections. That’s why God Google people invented Tweetups, or small grassroots get-togethers of local Twitter users and like-minded geeks twits people. OK, geeks.

Tonight I went to an event organized by UXMTL, “a group that aims to help Montreal organizations create more enjoyable, useful and meaningful connections with their audiences, through User Experience Design,” as they put it.

Ironically, the venue was having connectivity issues (and I’m currently iPhone-less), so I wasn’t able to share my notes in real time. Normally, banging on my laptop or phone when people are talking makes me feel like a tool. At these events, being offline makes me feel naked.

Better late than never though, right? Here are some highlights from the evening’s panel discussion. Note that these are paraphrases/interpretations, not direct quotes. The panel consisted of:

  • Joël Pomerleau, Assistant Director, Accessibility and Digital Enterprises, NFB
  • Sylvain Carle, Co-Founder and CTO at Praized Media
  • Daniel Drouet, partner at Montreal Start Up
  • Marian Kolev, Creative Director at Bluesponge
  • David Rollert, VP Interaction Design at Pheromone

What’s the value of UX?

Daniel: Start-ups don’t usually take users into account as much as they should. You often have one business guy, one tech guy– but no design guy. There’s no money for it. UX is not a one-off. It’s an ongoing need, and an ongoing expense.

David: The upfront investment in UX is usually worth it. If your site isn’t properly designed, you’ll  lose your audience right off the bat.

How do you measure success?

Daniel: Bounce rate is important, but user feedback is key.

Marian: You don’t try to engage everyone. Just have to make sure your target audience likes it.

Sylvain: How do you measure success? “Is the client happy?”

David: It’s important to keep in mind that there’s no ideal UX. If there were, every product would be exactly the same. There’s a science to UX, but it’s also intuitive and situational.

I’ve spend most of my career in New York City and Boston, and the creative energy in Montreal makes me want to stick around.

Joël: Our job as designers is to showcase content. The best compliment I get about the my site is that people don’t notice it at all.


Now I’m looking forward to connecting with people I met, or didn’t get a chance to meet, online. Yup, it works that way too.


One Response to “Content, Design, Experience: Notes from #UXMTL”

  1. Imad Mouaddine November 26, 2009 at 9:26 pm #

    Thanks for the post. I wish I’ve been at the event.

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