Nica Lorber Senior UX Strategist
May 11, 2012

Last week I attended the Future Insights Conference in Las Vegas. For those unfamiliar with this conference, it's a combination of the Future of Web Design conference and the Future of Web Apps conference. It was the best conference I've ever attended with five days of amazing speakers who shared information spanning from SEO best practices, to responsive design trends, to how to run a company where your employees are truly happy. Here are some of the highlights and take aways.

Creating Better UX

  • Eliminate "rights of passage"
  • UX is about psychology, and neuroscience, and linguistics and in short, understanding humans
  • Be empathetic to your users
  • Respect user efforts
  • We have strong emotional reactions to things that don’t work
  • Using warning signs is not a design solution
  • If you need loads of instructions, then something is not intuitive


  • Design is about saying no
  • When you design for everyone, you design for no one
  • Design is not a democracy
  • Design is about making hard decisions
  • Great design IS your business plan

Client Centric Web Design

Term coined by Paul Boag
  • Sending clients away happy is a fundamental part of our job
  • The client must be involved
  • User centric design exists only to serve client centric design
  • User needs are massively important, but only in the benefit they bring the business
  • Respect must go both ways
  • If your client has a good idea, tell them so and explain why it’s good
  • Don’t only rely on digital communication
  • Be patient
  • Explain what will be next
  • Identify roles
  • It’s the client’s job to identify the problem
  • It’s our job to provide a solution
  • Site other experts in your field to back up your statements

SEO and Social Media

  • Google+ is giving away traffic. Use it.
  • Be an early adopter
  • Track links your users share
  • Always respond to comments on Twitter and Facebook
  • RSS is great for SEO

SEO General Best Practices

  • Responsive design is good for SEO
  • Know what search words people are using to find your service and use those words in your site's content
  • Avoid duplicate content
  • Google’s Panda update lowered ranking of sites with “thin” content
  • Google gets confused by microsites or content on 3rd party domains. Keep all content on one site when possible

Creating Amazing Companies

  • The difference between good and great companies is strong company culture
  • Values define this culture
  • Great companies have a higher purpose
  • Define your company's design principles

Adaptive Content

  • COPE (Create Once, Publish Everywhere)
  • Multiple sizes
  • Meaningful metadata
  • Written for reuse
  • Content must be reformatted into chunks, rather than blobs
  • Defining those chunks will take analyzing character counts and retraining our users on how to recreate content
  • Divorce the display from the content itself

Reading List Suggestions

Sites Worth Checking Out

  • http://responsiveprocess.com/
  • http://nathanborror.com/posts/2009/oct/25/interface-harmony/
  • https://www.gathercontent.com/
  • http://teamtreehouse.com/
  • http://boagworld.com/
  • http://karenmcgrane.com/
  • www.rachelandrew.co.uk/archives/2011/07/27/your-wysiwyg-editor-sucks/
  • http://www.slideshare.net/hellofisher/tooling-for-change
  • http://aarronwalter.com/
  • http://bradfrostweb.com/
  • http://boagworld.com/books/clientcentric/
  • http://pea.rs/
  • http://www.seomoz.org/
  • http://cssgrid.net/
  • http://followerwonk.com/
  • http://www.seomoz.org/blog/calculating-and-improving-your-twitter-clickthroughrate
  • http://www.voiceandtone.com/