2 min.
Back to Web-In 2012
1L’art de la gestion de projet2Un projet à succès commence par une bonne gouvernance3Cascade, agilité, demandes de changement?

Back to Web-In 2012

Business Strategy Client experience & UX

Yesterday was held the Web-In of the Montreal Digital Festival Mtl Dgtl at the Hilton Bonaventure. A day of presentations by some twenty Quebec web professionals.


I had the chance to introduce an often overlooked aspect of web strategy and design activities: conceptual models. This tool, which is both simple and little known, makes it possible to quickly model the key concepts of an online strategy This activity is all the more essential since today, most companies have to juggle several business models on numerous online presences, on their own properties or elsewhere (eg modules on client or supplier sites, social media, etc.) Here is the presentation I gave there…


Properly used, conceptual models make it possible to see what is essential in a strategy, while we are in the era of multiple: multi-domain, multi-site, multilingual, multi-platform, multi-brand… and the other speakers also covered a lot of this.


Starting with Frédéric Harper (Microsoft, Make Web Not War), who spoke about the  Mobile First approach . Thinking for mobile first, as Wroblewski suggested in 2009, makes it possible to align with the most demanding context, and to prioritize the most essential content ( content first ), then to make additions afterwards. Mobile first  therefore likes  responsive web design , but is not equivalent to it: whereas traditional design aims for “aesthetic” degradation ( graceful degradation ) and designing for mobile first aims for progressive improvement ( progressive enhancement) then, responsive design aims to find a balance in the quality of all the interfaces… a variety of philosophies that can precisely benefit from the reflections attached to the conceptual models.


A little later, Ryan Weal (ex-TP1) explained his approach to developing multilingual sites (especially on Drupal), where each piece of content (page,  node ) only exists once to make the management of linguistic versions: each control has several linguistic versions, rather than each page. By adopting this very atomic approach to translation, we can make more rigorous use of non-linguistic aspects of content, such as dates, prices, inventories, numeric fields, etc. This also forces a slightly more symmetrical approach to the multilingualism of sites, a goal that is reminiscent of the requirements of the Quebec market. Another way to refine the concepts to get to the point!


François Gaumond of Umen later explained several particularities specific to the design for the tablets, and encouraged to think about the fact that even in a small screen, certain zones are more difficult to touch than others (zones accessible by the thumbs); he gave the example of an iPad version of the Staples e-commerce site and another of the Backcountry.com site which grouped the headings of the product page in vertical tabs on the left of the screen; I had never noticed this way of doing things before, but it could be becoming a “design pattern” to follow!

To this effect, Harper also encouraged to think of the “  natural user interface  ” in the presentation, forcing to return to the real contexts of use of mobile devices (micro-tasks, local tasks and boredom) … which must be considered when one conceptualizes.

A big thank you to the Alliance Numérique  for the organization, and to  Jean-François Poulin  who hosted the UX conference room.