(whoops. forgot to change status to "published," so this is going up hours after I wrote it...)
I managed to get myself out of bed at a fairly early hour despite a very late arrival in Colorado Springs, aided by the blindingly bright sunlight streaming through my windows. So I'm here for the first speaker of the day, Jerome Nadel of Human Factors International.
We're in the 3rd wave of the information age, he says. The 80s were about hardware, the 90s were about software, today it's about usability. We've had a shift to 'self-serve'--from ATMs to computer-based shopping. We don't want intermediaries. In the library, we want to query directly--from open stacks to OPACs.
He claims it's provocative for him to say that the library is no longer just a physical place. Um...duh? That's not exactly a new concept.
Things that work are both useful and usable.
What are the attributes of usable things? Can be distilled into three key factors: easy to learn, hard to forget, easy to explain. This means that wherever you are, the things you need should be there.
User-centered design is too user-centric, he says. It's not just about making the user happy. It's also about influencing the user through the interaction model you create. This is driven by business needs. Need to know the organization's success criteria, as well as the users' needs.
(For my 425 students: he's emphasizing the creation of personas, the cataloging of user types, with tasks specified by high and low frequency.)
He's frustrated with people talking about "2.0" as a collection of technologies rather than a paradigm. Having a blog, or a wiki, doesn't make you a "2.0" organization.
Shows a before and after from the Library of Congress web site--now it focuses more on the tasks and users that the library supports. The earlier version was designed much more around the library's organizational structure. (This is pretty basic IA stuff, but probably appropriate to this audience.)
Contextual pointing. Wherever I am, point me in the relevant next direction. Portals that work are "about you."
Says that you need a large "n" to use folksonomies effectively. I disagree. Smaller "n"s give you local picture. Invaluable for persona development, localization, etc.
Says people are less and less willing to use browsing because the browsing paths haven't been well designed.
Results are more important than search. (Not sure I buy his argument that libraries focus "too much" on the latter. How do you separate search and results? They're intertwined.)