Thursday, July 20, 2006

What I learned redesigning del.icio.us

Lessons learned...
"What's the difference between a huge mass-market Internet success, and a niche tool favored only by a tiny techie minority? I learned part of the answer in a recent project I finished up a few months ago.

It all started a year ago, almost to the day, when I got a call from Joshua Schachter, an old friend here in New York and founder of a relatively new Web service called del.icio.us. Joshua wanted help redesigning his site, which at the time I knew only a little about. (If you're unfamiliar with it, del.icio.us is pronounced "delicious" - ignore the dots - and it's a "social bookmarking site", which is a website where you can store your bookmarks outside your computer, and see other users' bookmarks as well.)

Joshua wanted me to help improve the customer experience for the right reason: in his words, no one but the highest-tech users knew what del.icio.us was about, and it was difficult for anyone but them to start using it. Could I help make this technology accessible and useful to a wider set of users? Joshua asked.

That's all I needed to hear - within a few weeks I was on the job. (More accurately, at first I advised Joshua to run his own listening labs, to save money; the labs went so well, which is to say that they so forcefully and painfully proved the point that the customer experience was broken, that he called back and asked again for a Creative Good project.)

Co-led by Zimran Ahmed and me, the project included the standard four steps of a customer experience project:"   (Continued via Good Experience)       [Usability Resources]

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