Kevin Yank is reporting from the Web Directions South conference in Sydney, Australia.
Kelly Goto opened the Web Directions South conference today by speaking about current goals, trends, and methods in the design of devices, products, and software that aim to fit into the lives of their users.
Beyond mere usability, successful design today requires that an interface engender an emotional response in its users. We are emotional beings, after all, and our choices about the products and services we use are–for better or worse–emotionally motivated as often as not.
Related design approaches that Goto has observed include interfaces that emulate human-to-human interaction through natural language, devices that provide services that have previously been dominated by early adopters (such as mobile Internet) through prepackaged solutions and convenient default preferences.
Goto noted that one of the staples of “2.0 design”, as she called it, is to make everything look “cute, cute, cute, so that we can’t help but want to interact with it.”
The key new element in the design process that Goto is tracking is the practice of ethnography, the study of the unique behaviours and needs of a group of people, which enables you to build solutions that will fit naturally into the lives of your target users.
This session will be podcast in the next few weeks on the Web Directions South blog.