Website visitors have a shorter attention span than goldfishThe Big (D)esign Conference recently brought many respected user experience pros from all over the country to the Dallas area. Although we walked away with lots of good insights worth sharing, we’ve taken three of the more memorable ones and given you the highlights below.

1. When you create teams for online projects, push for innovation.

New York-based teambuilding guru Jeff Gothelf had a few tips on how to build teams while cultivating innovation. Here are some key points:

  • Have team members in the same location, if possible (or at least awake at the same time).
  • Keep each team small (if it takes more than 2 pizzas to feed the team, it’s too big).
  • Avoid organizing teams into silos. Promote collaboration instead.
  • Encourage teams to embrace experimentation.
  • When experimenting, focus on small risks throughout the life of your project.
  • Focus more on team members’ competencies and less on their job descriptions or titles.

The big idea: Instead of giving teams a solution to implement, give them a problem to solve and let them really own the solution. Then you’ll see more innovation.

2. Write some good content. Then milk it for all it’s worth.

Because American website visitors have an 8-second attention span, which is shorter than a goldfish, creating insightful content is critical. Bernadette Coleman, CEO of Advice Interactive, recommends spending more time on quality content and then getting more mileage out of it. Here are a few tips for going beyond the blog post:

  1. Use an RSS feed to automatically feed your content to other sites
  2. Publish your content in a newsletter
  3. Submit it to industry blogs or offer to post it on other blogs
  4. Post it on Google+
  5. Create an audio version and post it to a podcast
  6. Turn it into a Powerpoint slides and publish it on
  7. Share the same presentation on
  8. Turn the PowerPoint slide into individual images and share them on social media
  9. Use to create an infographic from your content
  10. Create and upload a YouTube video

The big idea: Quality content + repurposing = more traffic to your site.

3. To attract users, make your website more human.

Seasoned user experience designer Brandon Ward connects the idea of trust to the online user experience because he believes “we treat sufficiently advanced technology as though it were human” and “consumers choose products that are an extension of themselves.” Here are some stats based on user experience research that support his ideas:

  • 48% of users say that if they arrive on a business site that isn’t working well on mobile, they take it as an indication of the business simply not caring.
  • 62% of companies that designed a website specifically for mobile had increased sales.
  • Design-driven businesses (with good user experiences) have outperformed America’s Standard & Poor’s 500 large publicly traded companies — by a massive 228%.
  • 95% of people (surveyed) agreed with the statement that “good user experience just makes sense.”

The big idea: If you don’t care about the user experience, users will figure this out and go elsewhere.

Other Big (D)esign Conference topics included getting more out of your data, changing the hierarchy of website content over time, and other insightful topics.

Sign us up for next year.

Do your communications need more innovation, better content or a human touch? RSW can help.