Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Presentation at STC India - Conducting Effective Design Walkthroughs

Here's the presentation that I made at the STC India Conference in Nov 2010.
An Effective Design Walkthrough_Taruna Goel_STC Conf India
View more presentations from Taruna Goel.
I began with a story that highlights the importance of a design review. The story is about a button that was costing a major retailer 300 million dollars a year. This button was sitting in a form within the e-commerce site of the retailer and was preventing sales, a lot of sales. A review of the design was conducted and the button was changed. A small change in the design led to 45% increase in sales in the first year! The objective of the story was to highlight the importance of a design review/walkthrough as a quality practice. 

Design is so universal and yet not very obvious or not until there is something wrong with it! To build the importance of design, I spent a few minutes discussing the definition of design and how a design walkthrough can help us build better products. 

I then moved to discussing the components of a design walkthrough - the steps to plan, prepare for, and conduct a design walkthrough. Along with the desired steps, I also shared specific guidelines and tips to increase the effectiveness of design walkthroughs. These tips were a by-product of the mistakes that I made along my professional journey and I believe these were especially appreciated by the audience. :) 

I finally discussed that one critical thing that really makes or breaks an effective design walkthrough. You will find the answer on Slide #33!

I wrapped up the session by summarizing the advantages of a design walkthrough for designers, reviewers, and the organization but more importantly for the product being designed!

My audience for the presentation at STC was largely the technical writing community. So, my examples were from the training industry. But the principles and best practices discussed in the presentation apply to the design walkthrough of anything - products, user interfaces, and training material. 

I hope my readers will enjoy the presentation and I sincerely believe that my presentation will offer something new, something to learn for everyone.Your feedback and comments are welcome!