Don Norman’s address yesterday redeemed a slow day. He delivered an entertaining list of challenges along the lines of his pre-released chapter on “Cautions Cars & Cantankerous Kitchens”. In typical college professor style, he offered more questions than answers, but he won the crowd over.
(this is a review of just one of many sessions of User Experience 2006 in Seattle)
As Smorgasbord-design noted, “with NN/g you have to pay for the privilege of dealing with the (experts)”. After almost a day with John Boyd of Yahoo!, there’s no doubt he is an expert, but he seems constrained by how he interpreted his topic. Boyd followed his outline faithfully, even contributed a last-minute “application” addendum to the handout, but nevertheless failed to practically tie social pyschology experiments with Web experiments. There was a glimpse of hope from 11.45 to noon when he really had the audience engaged, but the momentum was lost after lunch and never regained. The handout itself was a dissapointment, never reflecting the richness of the talk. It lacked sentences and verbs and made few lasting points beyond the referenced outline.
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In December of last year, I predicted a unified approach to RSS subscriptions for Google. Although that hasn’t happened yet, the underlying issue of a lack of focus has been acknowledged by Google.
What happens when e-commerce retailers ponder the future of e-commerce?
Mostly, they long for next Christmas and hope to solve for last
year’s problems. Shop.org is a great
and solid trade organization with a unique access to the e-tailers
numbers, and has produced some fine research on e-commerce.
Today’s opening session was a yawner session reflecting on 2005’s
predictions, how they were fulfilled (or not), and what 2006 has in
store. J Gill was probably the most insightful contributor to the
conversation. The analysts kepty to safe generalizations, the Amazon
panelist wasn’t even sharing information that could be found in a 10-K,
and the QVC contribution was solid.
Sleeping through the Home Depot Direct presentation, whilst tempting, was impossible. Harvey Seegers, the Keynote speaker, made a substantial HR pitch for his business. He showed a great command of his business. Why did
his presentation have to be so cheesy and loud? He did confirm that he’s hiring…, and mused about Home Depot Direct might think about auto parts… (because they go in the garage).
Just before lunch, the richness of the content improved with short addresses from Travelocity, Overstock.com, and CVS.com. The three speakers were equally good and complementary. Travelocity’s CMO gave the bird’s eye view of online marketing and loyalty, Overstock focused on metrics, conversion, and more metrics, and CVS.com outlined the typical problems experienced by established brick and mortar companies.