Presented at RefreshAugusta on July 22, 2009

Nobody ever set out to build a Web site that’s difficult to use. Even so, many sites prove to be frustrating for the very people they’re built to serve. When we design without a clear and proven understanding of the site’s audience–or with our own preferences and biases unchecked–we put the overall usability and effectiveness of the site at jeopardy.

In this presentation, Will Sansbury overviews user-centered design, a process that infuses concern for the audience into every step of creating a site or software product. He shares practical tools for learning about your audience initially, checking your decisions against your understanding of the audience throughout the design process, and gauging the effectiveness of your final design using qualitative usability testing.

As an information architect on the WhatsUp Gold team at Ipswitch, Will has experimented with integrating user experience design into the Scrum software development process. Because he’s a practitioner first, he has a pragmatic, from-the-trenches view that makes user experience and user-centered design approachable to designers and developers of all skill levels.

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