Hit It (Hard) with the Pretty Stick

Jenny Lam (Jackson Fish Market)
Design & User Experience
Location: 2001 Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.75, 16 ratings)

Most folks building websites and software will nod their heads in agreement when someone makes the argument that visual design is critical to a great experience. And yet, visual design is often applied after the fact to an already poorly designed website, and created by the lowest paid person on the team.

It’s not that cloning a half decent wordpress theme and inserting your logo is a terrible approach, it’s just that it’s not a path to creating a genuine identity and lasting emotional connection with your audience. Thoughtful, coherent, and professional visual design can inform people about what your product does, how you use it, why they should care and above all, how they should feel when they’re done using it.

In this session we’ll critique visual design successes and failures, and inventory some important techniques that will change your users feeling about your experience from “meh” (or even “like”) into “love”.

Photo of Jenny Lam

Jenny Lam

Jackson Fish Market

Jenny co-founded Jackson Fish Market in 2007 with partners Hillel Cooperman and Walter Smith. Since its inception JFM has shipped 12 hand-crafted consumer software experiences, including Thrilled for You, They’re Beautiful!, Invitastic, and What a Lovely Name. Their latest product is A Story Before Bed, a service that marries e-books with online video to bring far away relatives closer to the children they love.

Before striking out on her own with Jackson Fish Market, Jenny was Creative Director of the Windows User Experience team at Microsoft. Jenny also teaches and serves on the advisory board for Portfolio Center School for Design in Atlanta, and is actively involved with both local and national organizations to foster the next generation of creative design talent headed for the tech industry.

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Paul McKeever
05/09/2010 9:09pm PDT

For me, this was the best talk of the conference.

The material was engaging and thought-provoking, the visual presentation was excellent (and has made me think about my own visual aids), and the style of delivery was personable and authentic.

One minor piece of feedback: I almost didn’t attend because the title seemed simplistic, and didn’t really suggest the quality of content you had to offer.

Jenny – thank you so much for a great presentation.

greg melander
05/07/2010 11:31am PDT

This talk was one of the top 3 talks at the conference for sure. She gave an important perspective that is often overlooked by most people. Making products look desirable is really half the design problem. How matters just as much as what….eloquent talk!

Tim Woods
05/06/2010 6:43am PDT

Quite a cool session – and a really nice presentation format on screen, engaging and interesting. Not a lot of concrete detail, with examples, which was a shame – as with much of the whole conference, too much talk, and not enough show.

Picture of Robert Eckhardt
Robert Eckhardt
05/05/2010 7:18am PDT

This was a brilliant, clear, well thought out, and very beautiful presentation. Thank you so much Jenny.

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