Presented by Sarah Parmenter.

  • What we don't have is designers who can explain their design.

Instincts are experiments. Data is proof.

  • We're now developers of systems.
  • We can't rely on designs living on their "wow" factor.
  • When you're able to bring data to the argument, your points are much easier to back up and meet with less resistance.
  • "Data" (incorrectly) implies numbers, so "research" may be a better word for it.
  • Tim Brown's Change By Design

Get everyone on the same page, not thinking through preference. – Samantha Warren

Nobody has an excuse to make an uninformed decision anymore.

  • Airbnb sends professional photographers out to photograph owern's homes to improve the quality of listings.

[With data,] designers go from decorators to problem solvers. – Aaron Walter

Tools

Vanity Metrics

Beware Vanity Data! Vanity data is a piece of data upon which you cannot act.

Examples of vanity metrics:

  • Hits
  • Total signups
  • Pageviews
  • Unique visitors
  • Likes

If you can't act on a metric, it's a vanity stat.

  • Track people and their habits, total number of paying customers, etc. These are the valuable pieces of data.
  • Design for people!

Common Threads

  • Blushbar: Sarah applied what she'd learned working on the web to opening a styling salon in the UK.

Nothing has taught me more about our industry than doing something outside of it.

  • Try and work outside of your comfort zone. You'll be surprised what you learn.
  • Experimenting with Facebook campaigns and seeing how quickly business pickups.
  • Three months from initial idea to opening the front doors.
  • How do you establish personas when you have no data? Intuition!
  • Using True SocialMetrics to keep tabs on social media traction, etc.

Facebook posts get half their reach within 30 minutes of being posted.

  • Timing is everything on Facebook.

We need to appear to remember way more than we actually do.

  • Crazy Egg can create heatmaps for where on your page users are clicking.
  • Optimizely for user A/B testing.
  • Overlay numbers on a wireframe to indicate content hierarchy which will inform reordering in a responsive design.