Design from the Gut: Dangerous or Differentiator?
The internet is a never-ending data source. Through it we are able to monitor visitor activity, study traffic patterns, and use these analytics to help guide users in the directions we want. Usability testing gives us behavioral information which can either affirm design decisions or inform necessary changes. Research and analytics go a long way in selling a creative direction to clients who are focused on engaging with their customers and in how marketing dollars will impact their bottom line.
But what about a designer's instinct—that moment when a designer just knows what they're building is right? When and how do their years of professional experience, inspirational collections, and life observations become deciding factors?
Learn from a panel of design veterans, with experience that ranges from client services to product development, about past experiences and their personal stance on the subject.
Jane Justice Leibrock is a user experience researcher at Facebook, where she works on the team that designs the home page. Before Facebook Jane spent the summer of 2010 as a research intern at OkCupid in New York. In the past she's worked in film development, creative writing, and politics, as a field organizer on the Obama 2008 presidential campaign. Jane has a B.A. in History from Yale College and an M.S. in Information Science from the University of Michigan's School of Information.
Laurel Hechanova designs and illustrates under the name Apocalypse OK. She was the visual design lead for Brown University's and Middlesex School's website re-launches (via mStoner) and for The X Factor Experience on Twitter and SexualHealth.com (via Weightshift). She currently works as a freelancer out of her studio in Chicago.
Naz Hamid is the founder and principal of Weightshift, a digital branding, design and development studio. Weightshift's clients include Twitter, Mixel, Embark, Rdio, Lookout, Virb, Mozilla and Microsoft. Naz believes in chasing your dreams, careful consideration and speaking purposefully.
Phil Coffman is the Creative Director at Element, a digital studio in Austin, TX, and the founder of Method & Craft. He is the husband to one amazing wife and father to two incredible kids.
William Couch is a front-end engineer at Twitter, where he builds web apps and data visualizations. Prior to Twitter, William worked at USA TODAY as an editorial web designer, with a focus on the design and UI of their iPhone and iPad apps. William graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Communications Studies and Screen Arts and Cultures. Beyond work, William enjoys photography, bicycling, and craft beer.