Session 3: Competitive Analysis
- Recap Workshop
- Geek Speak: RSS [Daimon], Cookies [Fina], HTML5 [Linda]
- Reading/Competitive Analysis Discussion
- Second Tech Assignment Due 14 November
- Moving this assignment to 21 November so that there are two more times we are F2F
- Review workshop
- Get URLs!
- Next workshop – we’ll dig into CSS and themes – what else do you want to learn/do?
- RSS [Daimon], Cookies [Fina], HTML5 [Linda]
- Brightcove CEO on HTML5/Video (YouTube)
- Other helpful technologies/services: BuiltWith, NetCraft (what’s that site running), WhoIs
Design and Competitive Analysis Discussion
- Review genre analysis
(Kathy: talk about ordering on the summary page.)
What surprised you the most in this exercise? What was ho-hum?
- Alumni post: Design is not more important than function
[Jody: “problems are more likely to occur when there’s more focus on the design than the actual usability and production”]
- Alumni post: What’s your content strategy? [Cheryl]
- It supports a key business goal.
- It helps people complete tasks.
From the reading
Explore this site. Kathy outlines a persona and scenario (take notes).
- Working in pairs (doesn’t have to be “your” pair), try to complete the scenario
- Pay special attention to navigation and design clues – note troublesome (anything that makes you think!) design
- Kathy notes on navigation design
(1) Scenarios. How do you write a scenario (a narrative around a use-case)? How many people here use one-click? Huddle in pairs or threes and develop a scenario for which One-click is a solution. We’ll share as a group – Kathy will take notes.
(2) Mental models. Who has used One-Click (or any ecommerce site) and had an item ship to the wrong address? What are the assumptions that designers have made in developing this widget for Amazon? How well does that conform with your mental models?
(3) Scenarios. Working in pairs, look at the government sites; then develop one scenario and test it across any appropriate government sites. Note success/potholes.
(4) Mental models— In your genre pairs, pick one ecommerce site (not yours!) and describe why people would come to this site (their tasks) and how they would expect things to work. Write a scenario out (jot high points) and then test the one site.
Next project assignment
- In threes – share your idea (elevator pitch) for your project. If you are the listener – ask probing questions to help the speaker refine the idea. Then swap. Goal: 5 minutes total per person.
- Find at least three themes (may be free or paid) that might work for your site. Post to this WP site before next Wed -> What are the criteria you are using to assess sites? What are they (name/link/description)?
- Find at least three more plugins that might work for your site. A separate post to WP site before next Wed -> What are the criteria you are using to assess the plug-ins? What are they (name/link/description)
- Create a “test” directory on your domain (yourdomain.com/test) and install WordPress. Install all your possible plugins. Install any themes you want to test. NOTE: no frameworks (Thesis)
Next “pairs” assignment
In this class, the purpose of the competitive analysis is primarily to justify the overall strategy for the design.
- Competitive analysis (partner project) Due Wed 21 November (moved from 14 November)
- The competitive analysis is a strategic document but it should acknowledge assumptions (or ‘knowns’) about site users
- Any comparative analysis must rest on heuristics — rules. In the web world, defined/articulated user tasks are used as a method to determine how well visual design is executed (functional design).
- Some examples:
Reading Assignments Before Our Class On Wednesday 14 November
- Read Designing The Obvious, Chapters 6, 11, 12
- Read Basics of A Competitive Analysis
- Read 7 Ingredients Of A Successful UX Strategy
Reading Assignments Before Our Workshop On Sunday 18 November
- Read Using WordPress, Chapters 6, 11, 12
- Read Beginning Web Programming, Chapters 4, 9, 12
- 11 best design practices for nonprofits