Senior Principal of Product Ideation and Design at Yahoo! Inc. and founder of LukeW Interface Designs
Luke Wroblewski joins us to discuss how adding elements of constraint
helps shape the design process. Luke also spends some time discussing
the often-understated value of the HTML web form.
What goes into a redesign of a Yahoo! property?
- Define the strategic goals of the company
- Make a list of core behavior, expected needs and features users can be delighted by
- Add to list features user come to expect and must not be removed
- Prioritize performance, accessibility, instrumentation and monetization requirements
Creative Process is Given Life By Constraints
Web pages may be crafted to do just about anything – the trick is to
build build appropriate constraints. The design team may use targeted
use cases or place necessary performance constraints. Boxing the
problem begins to help form the design process.
Art of removing Elements
When you are trying to get a message across you begin by adding
elements. Often the design process turns a corner and you are adding
information or design elements for the sake of the design. A better
approach may be adding only the items necessary at a minimum to get the
point across. If you can balance this practice with the business needs
of the organization, you’ve found a winning design.
How to Manage Diverse Interests
The Yahoo! homepage has many stakeholders who want representation.
The question developers and designer must grapple with is what is the
right representation? During the early days at eBay many groups wanted
to feature their deliverables at the point of sale. The design team
ranked and prioritized features against the goals of the organization.
This helped build consensus on what should and should not be in the
The Value of Web Form Design
Luke tells us that every single defining characteristic of things
you can do online is run through a web form. Whether you are looking to
comment on an article, buy a product, sign up for a service, do some
data entry, upload video or just about anything else on the web – you
do it through a web form. In the end the form is a barrier to what
people really want to do – interact somehow with the website. Therefore
elegance in building an designing web forms is a necessity.
Check out Luke's book: Web Form Design: Filling in the Blanks
Luke’s concept of gradual engagement
encourages you not to hide your entire website behind a signup page.
Rather us a conversational or natural flow of engaging with the user to
gather profile information.