Christine Coughlan, Director of Digital Strategy at ATEN sat down with me to discuss her presentation “How Our Collaborative Discovery Informed the Design of Stanford Summer Session,” which she will deliver at WebCon 2019. Check out the full conversation below, followed by notes on some of the high points.
What is your talk all about?
Christine’s session is all about lessons learned while working on the Stanford Summer Session site. The program gives students from any university or high school the opportunity to experience attending Stanford. In her presentation, she will be sharing examples of the features they have built, such as the tuition calculator and the registered students’ portal, with a focus on how they did discovery. This process of gathering user research, including interviews, core modeling exercises, and sketching sessions, really informed what was delivered for to create an overall better user experience and she is excited to share the details.
So why is this topic important for WebCon?
At ATEN, clients often ask “Why do we need to start with a discovery phase?” Clients wonder why they can’t just dive in and go straight to wireframing, design, or jump right into development. She and her team have found better results when they first work to understand all the current challenges and potential opportunities higher education and nonprofit organizations have to drive a meaningful conversation with their end users. She will be sharing some of the techniques they use for analyzing the current systems and understanding the client’s needs.
Where can people find out more?
- Christine’s slides for this and other talks at her Speaker Deck page.
- The ATEN blog - A great resource for discovery tools and exercises as well as user experience, design, and development, including a lot of case studies.
Blogs to check out
- Sprint: How to Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days
- Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products
What sessions is she looking forward to at WebCon?
It was great to chat with Christine and I’m very much looking forward to a great event. I am giving a pre-conference workshop on Wednesday, April 3rd, Visual Regression Testing with BackstopJS with fellow Pantheor Dan Ficker and hope to see you there. I am proud to be representing Pantheon as a sponsor this year as well. If you are attending and would like to chat or get together there, reach out in the comments below.
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