I’m attending the In Control Conference 2014 in Orlando, Florida this week, escaping from the sub-zero temperatures in Michigan to learn new techniques and strategies for web and mobile design.
The inspiring keynote address for day one was given by Daniel Ryan, director of front-end development for the Barack Obama 2012 campaign. I loved the information and insights he shared about the strategies, testing, and best practices developed by his team.
But what I enjoyed most about Daniel’s talk were his stories. About the people on his team. And the community and closeness that developed as they worked toward their goal.
Here are some of the key takeaways from his talk as well as the backchannel conversation:
Design doesn’t equal aesthetics. It’s the thoughtful process of determining strategy and implementation.
Frictionless is better than funnelled. Studies showed that asking people first what they wanted to give made them complete a donation form. At the beginning of the campaign, half of emails were opened on a smartphone, but no one donated. At the end of the campaign, one/third of donations came from smartphones.
Don’t just test, optimize. Test repeatedly, try to build a body of knowledge. Interesting story about a red button. There was no data to back it up the decision for the button to be red. When testing was done, every color worked, except red. Red had a 20% decrease in donations.
It’s not win at any cost; it’s win without hurting anybody.
— In Control Conf (@inctrlconf) February 17, 2014
Daniel was more proud of how his team accomplished what they did, than what they accomplished.
Focus on people, not things. Daniel’s team built lots of applications for volunteers. What we learned from the volunteers, when people committed to vote (by filling out a comment card) they were more committed to vote. For every person who committed to vote, 1.1% people came back (a 110% return).
Telling people what you want their data for is a good strategy.
Being smarter is better than being “perfect”. Practice human first web design.