Above: pieces to the remote puzzle exercise at our Escape The Lab workshop. You got this update from Bolt | Peters, a research firm in SF, because you know us, have attended an event, or use the Ethnio mothership.
Building a consumer website is tough, because there are so many competing demands: design, marketing, implementation and operations—the list goes on. It’s all a ridiculous mess, and so it’s easy to forget that it all boils down to the human beings who will actually be the ones buying things on your site. Here are ten mistakes we’ve noticed dozens of companies (not to mention a handful of clients) make time and again with their websites:
Want to learn remote research? Bolt | Peters is hosting a one-day workshop on August 26th, and you’re invited. Give us a day and we can teach you all the rocket surgery you need to conduct qualitative studies the real-time, native environment way.
I think it’s a badge of honor for web consulting companies to not update their public sites sometimes. It says “hey we’re busy working on your problems, we don’t have time to work on our own.” That’s certainly been the case with boltpeters.com for the last seven years; with some new home pages and design tweaks, it’s basically been the same hand-coded HTML that we put together in 2002. Well, finally, we’ve updated the site. Hope you like it. Definitely drop a line to let us know if it offends every fiber in your body, or otherwise.
This year at SXSW we used a unique handout to engage the audience:
Hear that? It’s the sound of the glass ceiling shattering into a million pieces—because now, for the first time in HERhisstory, Dell has made their computers accessible not only to men, but to female people!
Next week, our own Nate Bolt will be battling with UX luminaries Mark Trammell, Peter Merholz, and Jared Spool, on a panel discussion about “When UX Research is Evil”.
Congratulations. You may have just clicked on our first-ever (maybe the first ever) UX poem. What do you think? I guess I’m outing myself as a poet too. Hi! The BP homepage was a challenge from Nate to write about our work, hopefully the first of many.
Marty Neumeier gave a pretty awesome talk today at Adaptive Path’s MX Conference based on his book, The Designful Company. His intro was engaging right off the bat, so like any talk I think is about to be inspiring, I started taking lots of notes. This is them, and please offer corrections or feedback if I’ve screwed something up.
We dedicate this edition of our newsletter to the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama. Our own Kate Nartker commemorates the occasion with a felt Obama logo:
Just a reminder: in addition to publishing cute newsletters, we also do kick-ass UX work that settles arguments, gets design priorities straight, dramatically increases conversion, and gives you an excuse to eat popcorn and Junior Mints in the office while watching sessions. You should totally call us.
We’re finally starting to charge money for Ethnio live recruiting. Lots more details in the full blog post, available right down here:
No time or budget to put on a full-scale user research project in this crap-fiesta of an economic downturn? No problem! We can intercept real-life customers, cut through the bullsh*t, and help with concrete design changes based on behavioral research – all in a casual, one-day study.with serious results.
Thanks to your votes, our panel was picked! Nate‘s on it, so go to SXSW this year and heckle him. There should be quite a lively debate with Mark Trammell from Digg, Andy Budd from Clearleft, Juliette Melton from Lumos Labs, and Carla Borsoi from Ask.com.
If you’re curious about how B|P applied our user experience focus and HCI principles to the Spore player research project, then our upcoming article inBoxes and Arrows will be for you—watch for it early next week.
That’s right: we said it. Bolt | Peters biz is down by about 30% from this time last year, and setting projects up is taking about three times as long. Now, since we showed you ours, will you show us yours? Take our anonymous mini-survey, ‘cuz we’re all dying to get a better idea of just what the state of the tech industry is like lately. If you just want to cheat and see what everybody else is saying, you can do that, but deep down in your heart you’ll know you peeked.
If you’ll be around San Francisco on Thursday, February 26th, mark your calendar for our seven-year birthday party! Dig the invite on Upcoming orFacebook. There will be a full(-ish) bar, tasty snacks, and a local soul/jazz quartet fronted by the illmatic Joe Bagale.
Holy moly! We were floored by the amount of enthusiasm for URF 2008. Nearly 200 people joined us at the Mighty Gallery & Bar in San Francisco to enjoy drinks, bacon-flavored chocolates, and a stellar line-up of speakers. The audience twittered, took pictures, shmoozed, and generally had a great time —Cooper Journal and Core77 wrote up their experiences. It was such a success that we’re planning an ’09 edition, as well as possibly another one in Portland. If you have a great suggestion for a topic or presenter, email us!
Finally, everybody can stop chattering at parties about the lack of deep, knowledgeable books about remote research methods. What, that’s never happened to you? Well, we’re writing one anyway. Rosenfeld Media has signed Nate & Tony (not pictured below, we swear) to co-author the book, which is due out in late 2009. Check the Rosenfeld site for more info.
Remember June 2000? Over in Silicon Valley, there seemed to be a sort of nervous-but-not-panicked vibe in the air: “Everyone else’s company is going to hell, but we seem to be doing alright.” Then the internet bubble burst and everyone shed fat tears of milk!