Presented by Jared Spool.

  • The Montreal Gazette “played” the 2013 NHL season with EA’s video game during the lockout. Pageviews went through the roof. “It really was a victory for content.”
  • The Gist: A better way to barely read the news.

Design is the rendering of intent.

  • Everything we make has content, but none of it would work if it didn’t have a design to go with it.
  • We’ve been separating content creation and design. Only recently have we considered combining the two and realizing that that’s where the great user experience comes from.

A great user experience is the sum of great content and great design. You can’t have just one. You can’t emphasize just one.

  • Delivering the content is as important as the content itself.


  • Strategy is how we achieve a desired outcome. It’s how we fulfill the objectives of our business.
  • Google had 10,000 people years (10 years of 1,000 people) worth of effort fixing mapping problems when Apple Maps launched.

Amazon’s Cash Float Model

  • How Amazon does magic. Amazon turns its inventory every 20 days. Best Buy does the same in about 74 days. Standard retail payment terms are 45 days.
  • Best Buy is in debt between days 44 (day products are paid for) and day 74 (day customer buys product)
  • Amazon orders products on Day 0, customer buys on Day 20, and product is paid for on day 44. Amazon has 22 days to invest the money they earn and stays in business on the interest. This is intentional and designed.

Great business models are designed.


  • Zappos’ self-service returns saved the company a ton of money since they didn’t have to tie up customer support. This is how free return shipping is possible. Carefully designed content and information allows the company to provide a great service to customers.
  • Because of the way free shipping worked, people were buying and keeping more products from Zappos. Everyone was talking about Zappos and increasing shareholder value. Amazon acquired Zappos based largely on this strategy.


Advertising disrupts the user’s experience supposedly to benefit the advertiser.

  • On average, a person sees 1,707 ads online per year.
  • The average ad is clicked 0.1% of the time it is shown.
  • According to Comscore, users can’t see 31% of ads.

I have seen this ad a hundred times and it cracks me up every time. I love it. I will never shop at a Kmart.

  • When users don’t pay for the product, they are the product. Publishers sell the attention of their users to advertisers without the user’s permission. As a result, the publishers are putting themselves in peril.
  • On Walgreen’s site, 60% of users want to interact with elements comprising less than 4% of the physical space in the design.
  • Millions of people have paid $4.99 to not see ads in Words With Friends. An advertiser’s work can be completely canceled out by a $5 In-App Purchase.
  • Seducible Moments - The one time that advertising actually works. Targets the thing that users are most passionate about at a particular moment. It’s almost impossible to get that moment right.

Business Models

  • Metered Paywall – The NY Times earns more revenue from metered paywall customers than from advertising.
  • Repurposed Content – Porting existing content to new mediums (Grammar Girl publishing a book and audio CDs of articles)
  • Supporting Product Sales – IFixIt selling tech toolkits, Etsy sells crafting tools
  • Alternative Channel Revenue – RadioLab’s live shows, Mythbusters road show
  • Content Distrubution – Amazon’s Kindle, Tesco’s Hudl

E-commerce Studies

  • Significant Objects anthropological experiment buys cheap items on eBay, have a writer create a story about the object, and resell them on eBay.
  • Crutchfield’s product pages are way more in-depth and tailored than Walmart’s equivalent product pages. In studies, participants spend 89% of the given budget. On Crutchfield, they spend 237%.
  • Crutchfield has added significant value to the product by telling its story.

The best UX strategists create delight by working in the intersection of business and design.

UX Strategy Means Business

  • Design is the rendering of intent.
  • We can design intentional business models.
  • The 5 strategic priorities are a tool for mapping our design intent into business objectives.
  • We need to study business models.