Never Draw a Pig in Clay (and the Ticket Taker in the Tutu). Wayne MacPhail, Web Coordinator, Centennial College October 3, 2002. What we’ll be doing 1 hour 30 minute talk Lots of questions welcome Challenge and engage.
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Never Draw a Pig in Clay(and the Ticket Taker in the Tutu)
Wayne MacPhail, Web Coordinator, Centennial College
October 3, 2002
What we’ll be doing1 hour 30 minute talkLots of questions welcomeChallenge and engage
The Good NewsYou already know a lot about creating online content.Why?Because you live in the real world. I hope.
The Bad NewsOnline content creation has been dominated by MBAs, graphic designers, and software engineers - not writers.
The Problem?ADDAttention Deficit Disorder
Attention Deficit DisorderNot enough attention paid to the:
And too much attention paid to the wrong things
The State of the (Too Much) Art
Medium and Memento
The Selfish Medium
The Ticket Takerin the Tutu
“Years ago Lord Reith, director-generalof the BBC, gave the right reply to those whowould dumb down Web media today.An interviewer asked: “Will you give thepeople what they want?” “No,” he replied,“we shall give them something better.”
Martyn Perks - Create Online March, 2002
When MBAs rule the WebThat’s not an org chart, that’s site architecture
Computers and the Beauty Myth
The Joy of Complexity
When MBAs Rule NewspapersCitizens, Audience,Eyeballs and Customers
The Dirty Truth about Online Canadian Content
More good news
What We Can Learn
The Willful Web
Never Draw a Pig in Clay
Never Draw a Pig in Clay
Rabbis, Monks and Blind Guys with Harps
Lessons from theReal World
What’s Your Handle?
LessonsFrom Other Media
Tell readers where they areProvide a convenient map of the work (TOC, index)Provide a title pageLet users mark their spot and progressShow users how long the text isBreak the text into standard pieces (chapters)
Keep visuals interestingMake screen graphics readableTell a story with picturesOnline cannot compete as a rich media experience
Social relationships do not depend on bandwidthCompletion is a powerful tool for engagementTell a story with picturesKeep dialogue crispTell a human story
To think of character as response to conflictFigure out whose story it isProvide tension and releaseBreak story into fractal units (acts/scenes/beats)Give the story a dramatic arc
Keep the front page freshTell human storiesTell them what you're going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told themKeep writing short, muscular and activeProvide surprise and a sense of discovery
Stories can have a geographyObjects can contain storiesSpace can replace time as the axis of storytellingStories, objects and memory have resonanceIn the absence of forward momentum, story dies
We often experience only what we expect to experience
We often miss the obvious
We can be absolutely blind to data we don't expect
We are creatures of paradigm
We all respond to human stories
Our short-term memory is fragile, limited and easily taxed
Our long-term memory compresses events and is unreliable
We have limited bandwidth, especially when we're busy or focussed
We are easily distracted
We could always use more time
We understand symbols, conventions, narratives and scripts
We often believe other people experience the world the same way we do
We easily form social relationships, especially under stress
We need feedback
We tend to blame ourselves for errors when confronted with new technology
We find our own uses for technology
We are fragile, frightened and flawed
The Media Equation
The Media Equation
MEDIA = REAL LIFE
Being Human - Part Two
We are helplessly social especially when stressed
We cannot tell true praise from flattery
Other praise is valued higher than self-praise
Expertise can be easily conferred
We more easily criticize to a third party
We want to be polite and expect politeness
We like people most who are most like us and like people best who become more like us
Know Thy Usersfor They are not You
The Birdfeeder Lessons
What We Can Do
We can listen welland watchintelligently
We can learn that no user cares about our code, our graphics or jargon.They only care about their task.And so should we.
Our job is simple.Get out of our users’ wayso they can achieve their goals.
The user as hero
Listening and Watching WellStakeholder inputPaper prototypingUsability testing
Create Clear Microcontent
HeadSubheadBylineStory SummaryPart OnePart TwoPart ThreeThe Story Begins
Banish Happy Talk
Hello. Welcome to our new, improved site about gardening in Canada. We’re sure glad to see you and hope this site provides you with the tips, message boards and catalogue guides every Canadian gardener needs! Enjoy your visit and thanks!!!NewMessage BoardsTipsCatalogues
Be ClearClarity of writingstarts with clarity of thought and intention
Say what you want to say.Cut it in half.Cut it in half again.Write it.Cut it in half, twice.Write. Cut. Twice.
Think of Buttons as Doors
You’re in a strange room full of doors.You’re rushed and searching for something.The only way you know where to go next is toread the signs on the doors.Imagine that when you’re writing the wordsfor your navigation buttons.
Don’t bury the user in bananas
Give users one task at a time.Make the task clear.
Use the right word(s)
Useful Devices for the Disabled
Workshops to Help You Succeed
There are few Web standards, but here’s one.The term is look for something on the Web is: SearchNot FindFind ItFind it NowGoGetLook it upetc.
Designing for Disability
Disability Design Tips
Tag content for meaning, style for presentationUse style sheets, but make pages legible without themDon't rely on colour aloneImages and image maps must have ALT text labels Use concise link namesScripts must have a nonscript alternativesApplets must have alternative textAllow users to freeze moving or blinking textProvide synchronized text transcript for audio, and audioProvide text transcripts for videoGive clear titles to acronyms and abbreviationsFrames are optional and titled and contain documents, not images directlyIf all else fails, link to an alternate page and give alternate contact information
Types of Online Community
SearchingTradingEducationContent Building/Issue OrientedScheduled eventsSubscriber-basedE-mail and ListserversSupportCustomer Relations ManagementMultiuser Dimensions or Dungeons (MUDS and MOOs)3D WorldsWebLogsChatSMSInstant MessagingWalled gardens
SummaryLearn from the past and the world.Don’t get fancy.Write tight. Be clear.Use the right word(s)Listen.Tell human stories.Stay out of the way.Be helpful.
Wayne [email protected] CoordinatorCentennial College