Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Full-day Seminar, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Luke Wroblewski

Site Seeing: Communicating Successfully with Visual Design

Luke Wroblewski, Yahoo! and LukeW Interface Designs

Do you get into opinion wars over the visual design of your site? Do you feel your site’s visual design prevents users from accomplishing their goals? Do you cringe when someone brings up your site’s look and feel? Do the visuals communicate the right personality for your organization?

Your site's visual presentation has a much greater impact than just making your site "pretty." It helps to organize information for your users, provides an emotional impact, and directs your audience to the important elements they’ll use to achieve their goals.

Visual design challenges aren’t just happening to you. They are occurring at organizations everywhere. For example:

  • A design team at a large university is charged with developing the site's visual design but lack formal visual design training. They are unsure of how to pick colors, fonts, and images to achieve their site's goals.
  • Designers at a Fortune 100 insurance company have spent months working on the design of a product only to get sidetracked because their stakeholders make subjective comments on the visual design of the product, such as “I don’t like that blue.” 

To help design teams solve these types of challenges, we turned to Luke Wroblewski, a world-renowned expert in interface design and visual design and author of the popular book, Site Seeing: A Visual Approach to Web Usability. In his seminar, Luke will share practical insights and strategies for boosting your site's visual appeal and educating your users.

When users interact with your site, they are relying on its visual presentation to tell them what the design has to offer and how they can make use of it. As a result, the more emphasis you place on communicating visually, the easier it is for people to understand and use your interface designs. Over this day, you will learn:

  1. Visual design is about more than just "making the site pretty." You will see how your site's visual design is responsible for effectively supporting the site's information architecture, interaction design, and business goals. Luke will also demonstrate how the best visual presentations communicate the possibilities, limitations, and state of interactions.
  2. The key design considerations that impact a site or product's personality. It's essential for design teams to be aware of the personality they create through visual design. You'll learn how to select combinations of color, type, images, visual elements, and patterns create personalities that are appropriate for your site's specific users.
  3. How to dissect and review the effectiveness of your visual design decisions. By understanding the principles of visual organization, you'll learn how to determine how well a visual design supports your site's user and business goals.
  4. How to communicate visual design concepts to your team of visual designers, web developers, user experience professionals, and business stakeholders. Many conversations about visual design quickly spiral into subjective discussions. You will learn how to articulate your rationale behind visual design choices and communicate your design choices effectively.
  5. The underlying visual organization principles of great designs. Luke will demonstrate how you can create a visual organization that effectively uses hierarchical and visual relationships to communicate concepts to users
  6. How to take advantage of key principles of information design principles to communicate successfully. For example, Luke will cover visual presentation best practices such as how to display minimum effective differences, layering and separation, and small multiples. Luke will show you practical applications of visual design techniques others only discuss at a theoretical level.

This seminar is appropriate for all members of the development team, including:

  • Visual Designers responsible for the look and feel of a user interface
  • Web Designers responsible for the design & development of a site
  • Information Architects charged with creating wireframes, concept maps, and  site schematics
  • Interaction Designers responsible with defining the behavior and structure of an interface
  • Usability Professionals responsible for making UI recommendations based on the results of usability testing

In addition to hearing about these practical techniques from Luke, you will receive a detailed seminar notes booklet filled with examples of sites that successfully communicate visually with users.

Through a series of presentations, interactive discussions, and hands-on exercises, Luke will teach you the core visual design principles that will help your site succeed. If you want the opportunity to look at your site's visual design from a completely new perspective, this seminar is the perfect choice.

UI11 Seminar Recommendations: If you're interested in Luke's full-day seminar, you may also want to attend David (Heller) Malouf's seminar on RIAs and Ajax or Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg's seminar on Persuasion Architecture.