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Presentation Topics

1. Getting More for Less: A Novel Hybrid Method to Maximize the Impact of Research

Sheryl Ehrlich, Adobe Systems

Over the past year, Adobe's User Research Team undertook a large research initiative exploring a new business domain within the realm of our professional software products. We sought to approach this domain through understanding and documenting user workflows spanning across numerous people, applications, and business verticals.

Due to impracticalities of using standard methods, compounded by resource limitations imposed by the tightening economy, we developed a novel, multi-stage hybrid method that allowed us to maximize our efforts. We have found this method to be highly successful in many situations, including cross-product planning of features, gaining consensus in product teams, assessing product interoperability issues, and documenting knowledge
distributed across the company. This talk will focus on how the various constraints we were under encouraged innovation in research methods that otherwise would not have occurred.

2. Developing Best Practices for Distributed Networks of Sites: Heuristics, Design, and Politics

Jeffrey Veen, Adaptive Path

As broadcast media continues to converge with digital experiences, PBS finds itself in a dilemma. PBS.org is on of the most trafficked not-for-profit sites on the Web, but most end users have affinity for their local station. And, as funding became scarce, many member stations turned to the national organization for help with their online efforts.

Based on earlier work with National Public Radio, PBS turned to Adaptive Path to launch a national survey to document the best practices of its member stations. But this wasn't a style guide that could be enforced on all
Web properties. Since PBS couldn't enforce standards across their network of independent stations, recommendations had to capture what was working, as well as deliver it in the context of delicate politics. With all of this in mind, this research and design project was more successful than we could have imagined.

Added by peterme on October 14, 2003