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Whit Hour – Week 14

Thank you so much to the ~27 people who showed up for the fourteenth week of Whit Hour — my weekly one-hour video chat to answer any and all of your questions about user experience, consulting, and whatever else you throw at me.

Tune in every Monday night from 10-11pm Eastern Time at http://www.livestream.com/whithour.

Whit Hour – Week 14

August 23, 2010, from 10:00-11:00pm ET

Watch live streaming video from whithour at livestream.com

This Week’s Beer

Anchor Steam
Anchor Brewing Co.
San Francisco, CA

Questions Asked and (Hopefully) Answered

  1. So keeping on the pittsburgh theme, the 2011 summer in pgh – move the work back there for the season or what were the thoughts?
  2. I see a wide range of iPad app designs — kind of the “wild west” on that device. Have you any UX consulting for the iPad? If so, anything in particular you have learned about it?
  3. If you have a website that was primarily a newsletter teaser (where you had to sign up for a newsletter to get content) how would you re-engineer the site to combat declining newsletter subscribers?
  4. How do you deal with doing great work for clients but not being able to show it in your folio due to privacy contracts etc?
  5. What sort of tasks could you have people do with the short attention span prevalent for this demo?
  6. How would I diplomatically explain to a VP that it isn’t ideal for him to sit in on all stakeholder interviews?
  7. What do you recommend shifting your focus to when a client is taking a long time to approve wireframes without getting too ahead of yourself?
  8. What about the opposite of that situation? What if the client does not allow you enough time to think through the complexity and details?
  9. Can you elaborate on your pricing policy? I read the relevant section on your blog, and I really like it, but how do you really evaluate how much value you’re brining in to the project and from that extract how much you should charge? Do you do a time assessment to yourself of how much you expect to be investing in the project or not at all? How much time do you invest with the client before you give him a proposal (learning the proj background etc.)
  10. When an ugly ecomm site is (thoughtfully) redesigned & replatformed, yet conversions drop (from 3% to 2%) @ re-launch, where would you start your “what did we miss” process?
  11. Do you know anyone who uses a pricing methodology similar to yours in other disciplines such as development?
  12. When you tell clients you can’t work with them without a budget, how do you negotiate that? Do you convert clients who initially insist on some kind of hourly rate?
  13. What is your favorite corporate-lingo term?
  14. Have you been able to get a large percentage of your paying work done at coworking spaces like New Work CIty or do you need to retreat to a private space for heavy duty work? Are those spaces good for the social but not necessarily heads-down?

Full Text Chat

Welcome to the ‘whithour’ room.
dafark8: loud and clear
thetombryan: gotcha
lezardfleck: loud and clear
Pedro Belleza: Hi Whitney
dafark8: At least one of us here shares the pgh love
thetombryan: I’m trying to think of an awesome question! It’s lunchtime here and I’m slacking off work to tune in :P
Pedro Belleza: I will be just hearing. I have a job to finish. Good chat guys!
dafark8: So keeping on the pittsburgh theme, the 2011 summer in pgh – move the work back there for the season or what were the thoughts?
lezardfleck: back
Mortvia: Hi all!
lezardfleck: stupid internet died
lezardfleck: hey mortvia
thetombryan: Launceston, Australia!
Mortvia: Hey Lezard, how are you?
mltorrefranca: Summer in Pgh sounds like a great idea.
ChrisCavallucci: howdy
lezardfleck: Im cool, can you log on skype so we dont spam here again ? =P
lezardfleck: and a brazilian as most of the whit hours =P
lwcavallucci: Wow 2 years already! Congrats!
klayon: Hello from Minneapolis. =) I see a wide range of iPad app designs — kind of the “wild west” on that device. Have you any UX consulting for the iPad? If so, anything in particular you have learned about it?
thetombryan: On the iPad – how far have you gotten on Angry Birds?
gruen: hi whit!
thetombryan: Best game ever.
gruen: i’m currently watching an ad
gruen: can we talk about how bad of a ux decision that is?
lwcavallucci: Yeah, about the ads, is there any way to get rid of them?
lwcavallucci: that’s a crazy pricing plan.
thetombryan: I’ve gotta shoot off now Whit – I’ll prepare some questions for next week now that I finally signed up ;)
mcarvin: oh hai
gruen: alright—here’s a question. if you have a website that was primarily a newsletter teaser (where you had to sign up for a newsletter to get content) how would you re-engineer the site to combat declining newsletter subscribers?
gruen: newsletter subscribers = higher CPMs
gruen: much much higher
stillpixels: how do you deal with doing great work for clients but not being able to show it in your folio due to privacy contracts etc?
gruen: 21-30 nightlife douchebags who work at conde nast and goldman sachs
gruen: (they don’t fill out surveys)
gruen: ok
gruen: so get them intoxicated
gruen: what sort of tasks could you have people do with the short attention span prevalent for this demo?
lynneux: http://www.uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2009/10/process-not-portfolio.php
lynneux: :)
stillpixels: cheers!
gruen: sure
gruen: anyway, to give you more color on the problem: the business is to be an aggregator for content. that is, a staff runs out and finds the best of the best for the day and serves to be the editor for the sheer amount of crap on the internet. so, we’re supposed to be a single point of entry (get in-get out) sort of thing
mcarvin: for stillpixels, from Russ Unger’s blog: http://www.userglue.com/blog/2008/04/02/how-do-you-display-your-samples-of-work/
gruen: hence
gruen: engagement is to be lower
gruen: we don’t want them lost in a web of hyperlinks
gruen: yes
gruen: thrillist for X
gruen: (i’m not commenting on the business model)
lynneux: Hey Whit. How would I diplomatically explain to a VP that it isn’t ideal for him to sit in on all stakeholder interviews?
gruen: you don’t think it’s the content?
gruen: that’s an idea :) <3
lynneux: Good idea.
gruen: i think that's the stronger point
lynneux: Absolutely :)
greyongray: What do you recommend shifting your focus to when a client is taking a long time to approve wireframes without getting too ahead of yourself?
lynneux: Ha. Perfect. Thanks Whit.
gruen: that worked for me too
ChrisCavallucci: What about the opposite of that situation? What if the client does not allow you enough time to think through the complexity and details?
gruen: anchor steam!
greyongray: thx white, very insightful - I have content copy writing to stay busy with
greyongray: *whit
ChrisCavallucci: sorry: subcontractor scenario
ChrisCavallucci: limited space here...
benmarks: Whit, when an ugly ecomm site is (thoughtfully) redesigned & replatformed, yet conversions drop (from 3% to 2%) @ re-launch, where would you start your "what did we miss" process? After cracking open an Anchor Steam, of course.
gruen: gtg-- thanks whit!
DP: Hi Whit! Impressive that you take time to do this, it's great! Do you know anyone who uses a pricing methodology similar to yours in other disciplines such as development?
benmarks: lol touche.
DP: makes sense to me! thanks.
DP: One more. When you tell clients you can't work with them without a budget, how do you negotiate that? Do you convert clients who initially insist on some kind of hourly rate? (oops, you just got interrupted by a condom ad!)
greyongray: what is your favorite corporate-lingo term? (a la businessguysonbusinesstrips)
lezardfleck: LOL
lezardfleck: im really loling a lot here
lynneux: Makes so much sense. Is the same advice my father has always given for negotiating salary :)
DP: That sounds very sane.
dafark8: http://businessguysonbusinesstrips.com/?p=247
dafark8: http://whitneyhess.com/blog/2009/02/20/my-favorite-terms-from-the-dictionary-of-corporate-bullshit-2008-part-1/
benmarks: I’m going to leverage that post at the next optimal instance.
greyongray: lol
dafark8: i’m still trying to get my head around ‘application leakage’ that i got earlier today
lynneux: also good: http://emptybottle.org/bullshit/index.php
greyongray: I work with those people
crashhelmet: http://emptybottle.org/bullshit/index.php
crashhelmet: haha
crashhelmet: lynn you are too fast
uxjam: haha, bingo, that’s genius
DP: I don’t see any other Q’s up yet, so I’ll throw another one out (I’m so selfish). Have you been able to get a large percentage of your paying work done at coworking spaces like New Work CIty or do you need to retreat to a private space for heavy duty work? Are those spaces good for the social but not necessarily heads-down?
benmarks: Congrats on the @NWC fundraising effort btw
Mortvia: Very true, it helps to be fired up by others
DP: (yes, congrats on the kickstarter success)
dafark8: thanks whit
Dan: Thanks Whit!
lwcavallucci: Thanks Whit!
DP: Thanks!
Mortvia: Thanks, Whitney! Bye all!
benmarks: Preciate ya
uxjam: thanks!
lynneux: thanks Whit

JOIN ME NEXT WEEK

Monday, August 30, 10-11pm Eastern Time at http://www.livestream.com/whithour, and bring your questions!

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  • http://gingerbbm.com Stuart

    If only it wasn’t at 4 o’clock in the morning :)