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Modern Web Design Demystified

Lesson 9 of 37

Prioritize Your Users

Andy Pratt, Jesse Arnold

Modern Web Design Demystified

Andy Pratt, Jesse Arnold

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Lesson Info

9. Prioritize Your Users


  Class Trailer
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1 Class Introduction Duration:09:10
2 The Design Flow Basics Duration:18:27
3 The Designer as Co-Creators Duration:06:48
4 Get to Know Your Material Duration:17:07
6 Mobile First: Working Small Duration:09:46
9 Prioritize Your Users Duration:39:42
11 Intro to Scrum Duration:04:24
12 User Stories & Epics Duration:35:53
13 Content Basics Duration:27:40
14 Defining the Visual Language Duration:22:31
15 Starting with Type Duration:35:31
16 Starting with Grids Duration:15:40
17 Gutcheck & The Product Brief Duration:22:03
18 Working With Developers Duration:12:33
19 Communicating with Developers Duration:16:25
21 Code Literacy Duration:04:37
22 Sitemap & Wireframe Basics Duration:33:48
23 Prototyping Basics Duration:12:02
24 HTML Prototypes Duration:13:28
26 Developer Lingo Duration:07:23
28 Designing for Performance Duration:18:19
29 Progressive Enhancements Duration:07:00
31 Workflow Examples Duration:20:25
33 Alternative Workflow Duration:23:04
34 Alternative Workflow Part 2 Duration:21:52
35 Tech Requirements Duration:21:53
36 Retrofitting an Existing Site Duration:12:15

Lesson Info

Prioritize Your Users

So the next thing, you know once now you have your goals prioritized, you're gonna want to start to prioritize your users. And I wanted to kinda start with a quick little story here, So a couple years ago I was on the way to a client meeting, and we were kind of standing in the lobby, and the building was pretty nice. It was small, you know, it was New York, so it was a small building. But it was clear that all the architectural details were very much considered. And so when we got into the elevator, we thought it was a little weird that we saw this one orange button. It seemed out of place, you know. Like everything else is considered, there's this very odd button, felt very odd. So we go up to our meeting, you making chit chat, And on the way down, I noticed that somehow I missed that it was not only the sixth floor button, it was also the main button. And I was like, "huh, that actually "now seems a little more considered. "you know, I think that's actually on purpose. "So what's th...

e deal there?" And so while I was passing, going out the door, I noticed that on the company that was on the sixth floor, was a company that was specializing in, kind of, people that have some type of visual problem. Visually impaired. So this whole organization was aimed at people that have some type of visual ailment. And so it was really interesting. Because for me, I saw that as a mistake. And you could consider me maybe a secondary user group. It's like, "okay, I might need to go and visit them, "maybe I need to pick someone up or something like that." But for them, what they really wanted to make sure, was that they were prioritizing that experience, that elevator experience, for they're primary user group. Which was people that might have a hard time seeing. So for me, I saw that as a mistake. But this is more likely what it might look like, for someone that had a visual issue. So it really kinda hammers the idea home, that you really can't design for everyone. You know it's impossible, and all you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy. This is a really great quote, and I think it's also really important as to why you wanna go, and prioritize your users. Not all users are the same. And you're not gonna be able to design for everyone. So what are the types of questions we would wanna ask, when we're thinking about prioritizing our users? So again, who is your primary user group? Who is your secondary user group? Are any groups dependent on each other? And this is really kind of an interesting one. If you think of a site like Etsy or something like that, well there's an ecosystem there. There's a dependency on buyer and seller. So it's kinda hard to truly prioritize one over the other, because they really rely on each other. So tease out some of those dependencies, and understand if there is kind of a reliance on those user groups together. And then what are the other groups that you're targeting? You know, it's really kind of a key question to ask. You're gonna have your primary, your secondary, but then there's gonna be all these other ones, that as you start to talking to your stakeholders, you're gonna realize, "oh wow, that's important? "Okay, I didn't know that group existed". And all of a sudden all this stuff is gonna bubble up, that you had no idea of. So when we're doing the goals exercise, I like to use the pyramid, but when we do kind of a prioritized exercise with users, I like to use more of this user ladder. And the idea here is that you start with your highest and then you kinda work your way down to the lowest. More of a mobile first Mobile first, that's right, exactly. Although the gravity's gone the other way Ah, true. So yeah, so the idea's the same idea here. Just very linear, let's make sure that we understand, you know, who the primary audience is. So it's amazing when you go through this process, how you're gonna start to tease out with your stakeholders, but they don't agree on the priority. They thought they did, and all the sudden now that they're talking to each other like, "huh, no wait this is for students, "no this is for teachers, no!" And so instantly, you're starting to kinda connect the dots internally with, you know, the stakeholders, so they can start to talk through it themselves. And sometimes it's best just to let that dialogue happen. Just see where it ends up. But ultimately, this is where you're gonna need to get to. So they're gonna have to collectively make a decision as to who the primary and secondary users are, and going down the list. Now the other thing I always like to do, is I like to get my stakeholders to put themselves in this list. Every time I do it, the stakeholders are like, "wow, we don't need to be on this, this isn't for us!" "This isn't for us, this is for our users!" And it's amazing how often during the process what ends up happening is that, you know, one of the clients or stakeholders they're gonna say, "hey I wanna change this." "I have this idea, I just saw this really cool thing." "This is awesome, let's do this." And so because you've gone through this exercise, you now have the ability to remind them, where they fit in that totem pole. And you can easily have that conversation to be like, "hey you know what? "Remember you guys prioritized yourselves down here, "so as long as you're aware now, "that your prioritizing your experience over there's "we can still do that," They're ultimately still the clients, but it's a very friendly easy way as a designer, as a communicator, as a collaborator with them, to bring up, "hey you know what? "You're kinda prioritizing stuff over the people you're really designing this thing for." And you'll see that a lot, right? Where it's all a sudden someone kinda comes in, and they're tryin' to change things up. There's another reason too that you might wanna consider stakeholders or other members within the team. Ultimately all of the websites we're creating, they're these living organisms, right? They don't stop at the end once we launch. They continue to move on, they continue to need to adapt, and to grow, and to change, and frankly to have new content that gets populated. And so if you have a content management system, known as a CMS, that content management system is often an internally website that's used to populate the real front end product or experience. So that user experience needs to be populated, by team members often in the company. So you can actually ask them now, "hey, there's gonna be a CMS to this, "how important is it that we kind of consider "really making the content management system "really blown out, or should we use the budget "and the time to prioritize what the end user experience is "rather than what you as your internal team need." Because all the sudden you're gonna launch, and they're gonna be like, "you know what? "This was a little more confusing. "Is there any way we can simplify this?" And you're like, "yes, if you had prioritized yourself, "that would have been easier to do." And so a lot of times you might even get other phases of work, where the next phase of work might actually be to go in and start to make things a little easier for them. It's great to say, "you know what? "The content management system's gonna be awesome, "and blown out and it's gonna meet all your needs!" But it's like another website, so it needs to be considered as such. Has everyone here either used SquareSpace or WordPress? Or something along those lines? Of some kind? Some people that have, sure. So you can kind of imagine, you know, especially with something like SquareSpace, the effort they put in to the tools to allow something to be so easily updated. It's a lot of effort. So once you kind of have that level, that high level structure, a lot of times what we'll do is we'll create what's called personas. So personas are these fictional characters. They will kind of represent that demographic, those user groups. And kind of thinking through this fictional character, you're really starting to understand, hopefully, what they're needs are. That a real person might want. So they're trying to really represent a real person. And hopefully, the needs and the wants of your users are being somewhat reflected within those personas. And so through this, they really help create a consistent understanding, right? They represent, in a very granular way, that group. So I have, a while ago, I was going to this party, and it was for a new project that we were kicking off, and it was really kind of fun, because the client basically brought all the teams together. Big project, lots of third party teams, we'd only met each other really through email and calls. So it was an opportunity to everyone just to kind of meet other in person and put names and emails to the faces. And so the client was really smart. What they did is they kinda took some of the personas, and they spread them throughout the room. As a constant reminder to who we were designing for, right? This wasn't just about us, this was really about the users that we are trying to create this experience for. Here's just one template, there's all kinds, and if you did a search, you can find a template that's appropriate for your needs. And I would encourage you to do that, because really, again, it's trying to find the persona that's trying to tease out what's valuable for your project. But with this one, we'll say, have an image of a person, we'll maybe show what they're age, maybe department, types of devices that they're on, where they work, we might have a quote that represents something about, better represents themselves, right? We try to identify some of their values, like what they care about. And then we'd also try to identify some of their needs. What is it that they need from this product to be successful? With a template like this, you can very easily put together some of those key ones. So if we're looking at the other one, we might do one for a teacher, one for a student, maybe one for an administrator, and that way we can kinda understand a little bit more about who they are. Now up to this point, all the users needs and wants, are assumptions, right? Identifying this stuff isn't magic. A lot of times it's fairly simple. It ultimately requires talking to your users or customers. I think that's kind of the key thing. This is something that we mentioned we're not really talking about user research, but I just wanna really emphasize that everything up to this point that you've done, it's still your clients assumptions, right? They may have brought their own user research to the table, and you should make sure that you have any of that information available. Just any kind of stuff that they've already done. And you're gonna wanna just tease out and grab. But if not, there's a lot of easy lightweight ways that you can go and talk. And a lot of times it's really just about having a conversation with the appropriate groups. These can be very formal, you can do focus groups, these can be informal where you're just talking to people on the street. Ultimately the point is, talk to your users or your customers. That's gonna be the best way to understand if you're on track. I think this quote really kind of hits the idea home, if you understand people's behavior makes sense if you think about it in terms of their goals, needs, and motivations. Why are they or aren't they using your product, right? Are you meeting their goals and their needs? It's pretty simple on a fundamental level but it does require that effort to get out of your design cubby. To take a step outside and figure out ways to have those conversations. A while ago I was working on a project, and we had this assumption, you know, we had this assumption that for this product, it was one of the primary user groups was teachers, and we assumed that the best thing we could do for them, was to provide complete curriculum for the teachers. How easy would it be, if all they had to do, was go to our website and download a curriculum that they can use in their classroom? We are brilliant, right? So what we did is, we kind of got all, a bunch of teachers into a room, and we had them start to collage together some experiences that they felt would be ideal. And within this, we were able to tease out something very important. Our idea of what they needed was completely wrong. In fact, there's no way that they would have the time to go and use a complete curriculum. So say, for example, it was on something like forest. Well they have two days to teach about earth. So they don't have two days to talk just about forests. And so what they wanted is smaller chunks. Smaller chunks that they could take and use and dove tail into their materials to make it easier for them. The only way we were able to understand that is by getting them into a room and starting to talk through what they actually needed. And imagine the kind of content creation process that that entailed and how that required an important shift to everything that we were doing. Not only the experience itself and what the website looked like and kind of the content and how they could search it, but also the creation of the content itself. When you do something like this, as an exercise, you're not actually trying to take what they come up with and say, "boom this is done!" What you're tryin' to do is tease out what's important to them? Why are they putting these things there and therefore eliminating other things? And so that becomes the way to have that dialogue. So, now's the time when I'm going to turn the tables, (laughing) and I'm gonna make you guys the stakeholders. So I want you guys to imagine really quick, that we have a client, the Ministry of Space. What an awesome client, the Ministry of Space. That sounds so cool, I wanna work with them. And so they are opening up a new National Space Museum in Springfield, USA. Now as part of this new museum, they want to have a new website, that would make sense. So the website itself is gonna be a little bit of a brochure site, right? People are gonna need to know like, what are the events, what other types of things that are happening in the museum. But they also want it to be bigger than that. They don't want it to just be a brochure site that's kind of showing content. They want it to be more of a platform. They want it to kind of bring together space enthusiasts, teachers, students, all together so they can collaborate so they can kind of have a love of space. They want it to kind of ultimately inspire and inform. So what we're gonna do now, is you guys are gonna be the Ministry of Space client. And Jesse and I are gonna be a little of the agency. So imagine this is a like a little bit of a workshop. I want you guys to start to think about what would be some really important goals? So the first step of what we're gonna do is we're just gonna start to capture a bunch of goals. And then when I feel like we have enough, then what we're gonna do is we're gonna collectively go and start to prioritize them. And I can tell you, the prioritization process has really gotten some clients very upset at me. (laughing) 'Cause they do not want to have to make those tough choices. Ultimately they're so thankful for it, but it is painful, you know? So I think that's hopefully a little less painful, and we can kinda figure out some type of wrestling or thumb wrestling to figure out what the biggest goals are. Now remember, this is your back story. This is the back story. You can leverage this story and sort of use that as background. So what do you guys think? Here it is, we finally get to meet, that's so awesome. What are some goals? Yes! We need to increase the number of members. Increase the number of members. Increase the number of members like visiting the space, or? Just like number of members of-- Of our community mostly. Okay, great! Yes, Jenn. To inspire people about space. Inspire people about space, that's a great one. Yes, that sounds awesome. Yes. When we capture user information, I wanna know their level of scientific understanding? Okay cool, so I'm trying to think of a way to phrase that. Like are they a scientist or are they a kid, or are they a hobbiest? Oh okay, so you wanna know the types of users That are coming to the site. Right. Okay, yes David. Lots of pictures Lots of pictures, okay Yes. You go to like a NASA site and you get these wonderful, amazing-- So tell me more about that, that's a great example. So that seems like it could be on the border of granular, you're like, lots of pictures that's so important. What is lots of pictures do? I think it inspires people, they see these like, this picture of like the Milky Way and they're like, "oh that's amazing!" Space is beautiful, right? So why would we not take advantage of the beauty of it, and show that as the biggest selling element. So again, there you can kind of see with that, get excited about space, inspire people about space, we're starting to see a little bit of an overlap there. So lot's of rich images, is that a specific feature? I'm gonna kinda put this over here, you know? Sure 'Cause I think it's really important, but what I teased outta that, that's probably more important. Is the bigger picture which is to inspire people about space. So I don't wanna lose that, 'cause that was very valuable, but ultimately there's also other ways to inspire if that's really the goal. Something like it becoming a daily resource, of education or entertainment, maybe games or, you know-- So basically it could be a, basically, resource center for all things about space, right? So what's interesting about that, this is where you could talk potentially with a client about how, "well they have a very trusted brand". You'd hope. If we kinda look at this almost as like a NASA, right, the Ministry of Space is kind of like NASA. You'd have to trust that all their information is extremely valuable and accurate. So as an agency, we would wanna remind the client of that value, and that's a great way to express that. People would trust that content no matter what. Because it's coming from the Ministry of Space. If we're talking about accessibility, would it be more like a feature in this case? That's a great question, I think because it's a government site. Like if we consider Ministry of Space a government. I think that's a requirement, right? That would just need to be a fundamental requirement, don't need to even make that a goal. Just make that, like, fundamental requirement, that we'd want to acknowledge, and hopefully that would be listed, and that would be the kind of thing that we'd wanna put in to the product brief that we're talking later. Is just some technical requirements. But that's a great question to ask. Is it accessible, from space? Oh! I like that! I wanna view this website upside down. And it keeps rotating on you? Yeah, exactly. What is upside down? I don't know! (laughing) Okay that's gonna be tricky, we'll have to solve that one. Yes! I want people to be able to buy tickets through the website and to see schedule of the exhibitions. Awesome, that's great. So yeah, being able to buy tickets, right on the website. Now that could come across as granular, right? But I think it's so important that that's a goal because it's very much tied to potentially a business model. If they're looking to that as a way to generate revenue, I think that would be important. And there's different ways that you could go and approach that particular statement, right? You might want to build a complete solution that is something that's custom, or you might want to try to link people off. And they're just going to some other place. There's actually quite a few ways that you could solve something like that. Family friendly, have it accessible to as young as possible, like aspects of it. All ages. All ages, yeah. Yeah I think that's great. So tell me what you mean by "all ages". Do you mean the website itself is designed for all ages? Well at least that there's features that the, say, parents you wanna drive a family memberships and that sort of thing that they can introduce toddlers almost to be able to interact with the website in such a way that the children get excited about it. So I think the website should have experiences designed for all ages. Right. Okay. Yes. Sort of adding on to that, as a parent my kids in kindergarten, I'm like, "oh geez I don't know what content I should let my son see" Maybe there's like suggested kindergarten, first grade, so in terms of accessibility maybe there's some guidelines in terms of like maybe I'm homeschooling my kids, and maybe I have a third grader, or roughly that level, so something I can say, "okay, let's get what's some good content to teach them". Right, so you wanna have content organized based on age and other types of learning levels. That's right, right. So that could be easily organized, accessed, and delivered, in a sense. Great, yes. I think it's important for the website to be kind of like a lure to actually visiting the space. So not having it being in and of itself. The end all be all, but being like an encouragement to seek out more information and go to the museum. Perfect, okay. So yeah, you wanna make sure that it's still has a real connection to the physical space itself, and people don't lose that there's this whole other real space that people can go to. Great. I think we have a bunch here, and just for time, this would kind of go for a while. If you're doing this with a client, you'd wanna really just keep listening, right? And taking a bit more time with that. But because we're kind of doing a little bit of an edited version, let's kind of take these, right? So what we have here, here are some of the big ones, get excited about space, oh and by the way, I just want you guys to know, we actually prepared a couple just as case where like, "man they're not talking, geez" But you guys did great! So we're not even gonna use ours. You guys have so many up here. We actually had a couple that you guys said exactly the same. That's true, we did have a couple. So then I could use them, 'cause I just didn't want to have to write everything. I'll just tell you what we put in. We had one that was digital and physical spaces are intertwined. So I feel like you guys hit on that. Create space advocates was another one. Did you throw one away? I thought we had-- No well actually used, they said two of them, Straight on. Okay, perfect. So we have get excited about space. I'm gonna kind of put this over here. And just kind of move that over there. Increase membership, let's see, daily education and resources about space. See event schedule, this might be something that's really granular. But we'll keep it for this purpose. Promote family memberships Position Ministry of Space as trustworthy. Increase revenue, designed for all ages. Buy tickets, identify visitors and users, content organized by age, get more people to visit the museum, and create buzz about site and physical space. You'll also learn how to read handwriting really fast. Yeah I don't know how you guys are kind of zooming in on that and seeing that, but that's why I had him write, 'cause mines worse, so. (laughing) I have like three or four over here that-- You threw out. Yeah. So as the stakeholders, what's most important to you guys? I heard a couple things that are kind of important, but what are we trying to do here? Increase membership? Increase membership, okay! So right now I'm gonna put this at the top. Get more people to visit the museum. Get more people to visit the museum, which one is that one? Right here! Nice, okay, alright. So let's see, just that- One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen. I think we have 13 roughly there, so you know, it's almost gonna be like, three, four, more, six, is that 13? Yeah, sure. Okay Would we be able to compile those two? The ones that are on the top? Since they're kind of similar? So yes, this is where you can become a design hero. Or at least you make you feel like you-- Get that man a star! Oh man, seriously like, when you start to combine stuff in an exercise like this, the clients are like, "you're so nice!" (laughing) So you can be like, "watch what I'm gonna do, "now this is gonna become one." So I'm gonna consider these roughly the same, they're kinda a little different, but just for the sake, you're right! They kinda start to group themselves in a little bit. So let's consider this along the same lines. So let's kind of say like, what might be some of the others? Maybe you can even start at the bottom too. What are the ones that are maybe like, "I don't know how important that is". Any easy ones that you can kinda put down there? Buying tickets. Buying tickets? For the middle, I'd think. And I would combine buying tickets with buying membership. (laughing) Right. So here we got the fight. (laughing) And here's where sometimes you're like, "no, no, no, you're trying to combine it too much." And I'll be like, "I have to have a hard line". But memberships are different from tickets, 'cause members don't buy tickets. Tickets are for one offs where as memberships are the long gain. Exactly, memberships you may also, you may be able to sign in and just be part of the community but that's very different than actually going through a buying process flow. So those definitely feel different to me. And right now you have them as low. What are some other things that we wanna put into these buckets? Medium, create buzz about the space, I think is-- Alright, create buzz about the space, okay! What about designed for all ages? Is that low? Yeah. Yeah, we don't need to design for everyone. Let's figure out who our primary audience is first. And let's make sure that we're designing for them. Increase revenue. Now this is where I would say, "you're like government site, "is revenue gonna be the most important thing?" I don't know if revenue would be a thing, and that's where you're like, "is that true?" What do you guys think, is revenue important? Maybe medium. Medium. Position Ministry as trustworthy. Medium. Medium, they don't need to be that trustworthy. (laughing) I mean it is the government, right? (laughing) Exactly, you know. Identify visitors and users. Medium. Medium, okay. See events schedule, I'm gonna say this is more of a specific feature Kinda feature. Yeah. Get excited about space. High. Yes! That's what I was hoping you guys would say. (laughing) Promote family memberships. Does that kind of go with the memberships already? It seems like it's specific to-- I think it's kind of specific but I'm gonna group it with that. I think you can make an argument there. Make it a daily and education resource about space. What about feature? I think there's a lot of ways that you could go about solving that, right? Like making it a resource. There's lots of types of resources that you could do. There's lots of way that you could go about meeting that as the goal. So I think that to me, feels big. But the question is, how important is it? Does it bump something out of medium. See at this point you've got an even split. Yeah, we're starting to get a little stacked here. So if you put it in the medium, something's gonna have to get dropped. Exactly. Let's say it's medium. Medium, so what goes down? I feel like identify visitors. Nice, okay. Content organized by age. I'm gonna also consider this a little bit of a feature. 'Cause I feel like that's something that you just try to-- It starts to get grouped into design for all ages. It could be, you could definitely put it there. 'Cause it has to do with having almost too much granular control over-- So look at this guys, because of our clever combining, two, three, and four. So very easily, we are to get a sense of what is important to you. Now just to kinda keep moving forward and keep the momentum, now let's talk about users. Let's identify a couple key user groups. Just as an in case. What do you say is some of the users, let's start shooting them out, yes! I've got a question, while we first talking about goals, then about the users? You can kind of flip it, you know, depending on the client, sometimes I'll do this first, and sometimes I'll do users first. It depends on what I think I know about them, and what they've given to me as information. A lot of times also the users are a little more straight forward, so then it makes sense to do goals. But that's a great question. And I do feel like you can kind of go back and forth. If you're like, you know what, let's talk about users first, and then we'll be able to apply all of our goals to those users. So that's a great question and there is some flexibility there. I usually find that, you discover users when you do the goal spread. Like you uncover some users you might not of seen. Or you start to see a lot of goals and features circling around a certain type of user. So I find that process to be illuminating, so I don't find the user population as diverse nearly, as the stories that you find once you do the goal exercise. The one thing just to keep in mind is as your doing this workshop, they're gonna come up with new either users or you know, goals, and then again, you just add them back in. But if it's gonna make it too top heavy, then they have to stop and push everything down. Once we're done with this, we're done for now, but in a workshop you'd be able to have that flexibility. So who are we designing this for? Teachers, students, families, community. So that's four. (laughing) Lots of people. Which is great, exactly. So that's a lot, right? So teachers, this seems like, and we're just gonna put them up there right now. And then what we'll do is we'll prioritize them, but we're starting to get a sense. Some of that seems in line with some of the goals, so that's good. And again, what's great is you can also notice that sometimes you might have a user group that's a priority but there's no goals supporting them, or vice versa. Now can we break up the family user into smaller-- I think you technically could for this exercise. Let's keep it pretty high level. Same with students, you could say like, what types of students are we talking about pre-k or? And if it was an educational site in particular, then that would be even more of a reason to want to kind of break that group up into smaller groups. What are be some other ones? Scientists? Scientists, yes. Oh man, there it is. That's a star. Anything else? Hobbiests? What's that? Hobbiests. (whistling) okay. One more. Aliens. Aliens, awesome. (laughing) Put them on. We are definitely putting them on. I hope we can increase their membership. Seriously. (laughing) And buy more tickets, they have extra currency. They use bit coin. (laughing) There's one that I wanna add, just to throw it in there. Which kinda covers more of a general population which is just space enthusiasts. Right, so you have a lot of population, they're interested, they might not be a teacher or a family member, but it's worth putting on here. Okay, so whose this primarily designed for? Families? Families. K, then who? Students and teachers. So you know, this might be, what do we wanna say first? Students or teachers? Students, okay. Teachers? Teachers are the ones that'll bring the students. Ooh, good point! What do you guys have to say about that? That the students are the ones who are actually gonna use the site. Yeah. What do you say about that? (laughing) Teachers are the ones buying tickets. So the students can go. Their the ones telling their parents to buy the tickets. (laughing) That's how the content is made because if you make it for a teacher, they're gonna take it and give it to the students. But if you make it general-- Well we're gonna make the content based on how we prioritize the users, so this is why it's really important to understand who we're designing for. Both ways! Exactly. So and I think you could make the argument, I was working on a project where, it was really interesting, 'cause someone told me that the students were the end users, but the teachers were the facilitators of the product, and essentially had to have it in their classroom. And so they had to be happy with it. But they weren't even the purchasers. The purchasers were the administrators. Who do you design for? What we ultimately decided in that case, was that we were designing for the teachers. Because if you design for the teachers, they're the ones that are essentially the evangelists because ultimately the students, like its nice to have 'em happy, but they really don't have that much power. (laughing) I mean, sad to say, they don't. And who are you really have to make sure has a really great experience and your supporting is the teachers. And enough teacher power hopefully influenced the administrators on what they should buy. So let's keep going. So I'm gonna just make a call and just suggest we ended up on teachers. Then who's next? Space enthusiasts. Space enthusiasts, okay. Alright, and then, Alie- No, Scientists. (laughing) What about alien scientists? Alien scientists, that's a different group. They have very different needs. And then maybe hobbiests, and then we'll put aliens. So I'm gonna now ask where are you guys in this, kind of hierarchy here? You guys are stakeholders, how important are you guys in this? Are you gonna say that you're hopefully- - Actually you call them the aliens. (laughing) That's another word for stakeholders. (laughing) Are you guys more important than the hobbiests probably? Or the scientists, like where do you guys see yourselves? Space enthusiast. Above scientists. Above scientists, okay. Now again, there's no wrong answer, and some clients may say "we shouldn't be on here", but it'll be amazing how much you can bring that back up, and be like, you know what-- We're a government, so we are more important than aliens. (laughing) Exactly, so now, we can kinda look at this and we have a really strong sense of what's most important. I remember one time I was working on a project, and it was very clear in the hundred, two hundred page RFP that they were after tweens. It was all about tweens. Tweens, tweens, tweens. And so as we started working with them in a workshop like this, what they ultimately decided that tweens were not primary anymore. They needed to go more for a general ocean's enthusiast. You know, kind of conservatives kind of thing. Because what they realized that if they went just for tweens, they would alienate potentially some of the other groups. So it was only through that process that they were able to collectively decide that what they had written about in that RFP, that was there manifesto, that is what they ultimately had to, kind of adapt. And realize that they weren't quite on the same page. So it was great to be able to tease that out. So that was awesome, and that I feel like, was a really good example of how you can work with your client and know that, just like up here, the reason I wanna do this, is 'cause I didn't know what was gonna happen. And that's exactly what happens in workshop. So you don't know how the clients are gonna react. If they're gonna be vocal. But it's kind of important just to go through that, right? So what I wanna do is quickly show you some of the ones I made. Laurel, my director of user experience, I made her the client and had her come up with a bunch of goals. So when she was the client, these are the types of ones that she came up with. Create space advocates, provide inspiration, and curriculum for teachers, experience should be forward thinking, make stuff in space feel tangible, get more people to the museum, make something as big as space relatable to a small human. So a lot of interesting levels. Some are a little more granular, some are a little higher level. And this is how we prioritized them. So we had ours as create space advocates, get more people to the museum, and get excited about space. That was the point of our site. So yours is very similar, right? So it's interesting how there's gonna be some overlap and it feels there would be some natural things, you never really know where it's gonna end up. So a lot of this stuff again, this is all stuff that's gonna go into your product brief. This is gonna be the information that you've teased out, and now becomes the foundation. And what's really important about that kinda stuff, is that six months down the line, you're really deep into it, things change, all kinds of new opportunities come up, take a look back at what those goals were. Are you guys actually meeting them? You know, further down the line. Are you still on track to what we had talked about early on in the process? And if not, what happened? Did goals shift? Or is it something that there was influences that changed things and so it's actually time to bring that up to a client and just be like, "hey, you know, we have shifted a little bit here. "Is that okay?" Same with the users. So these are some of the users that we identified. Teachers, scientists and astronauts, students, partners, the general public, press and media, space enthusiasts. Those were kind of the ones that we came up with. And you know, I'm sad we didn't do aliens. You know I feel like you guys really teased that one outta there. Maybe it's the press. (laughing) It's the press! So we prioritized space enthusiasts, that was kind of one, just kind of going for breath. We wanna make sure this is popular. And then we wanna kind of had scientists and astronauts because we felt like they would give credibility, if you have space enthusiasts, you wanna make sure it's supporting them. In my little designer head I kept imagining that there'd be ways to have these collaborative experiences with astronauts that were in space, you know, live and doing all this kind of stuff. Certainly maybe not for the first launch, but definitely thinking about how that would be supported. And then I had Laurel put herself right up here, so where she ended up going was space enthusiast was on top, so she was right below students, but above partners. And partners might be other government organizations, other non-profits that wanna contribute content, or for profit, I could see there being something about Space X as a partner with a site like this, that kind of stuff. So that was where we kind of felt like our balance was with where they should be listed as users.

Class Description

Online web design is not just about choosing fonts, colors, and layouts. The days of throwing a static visual comp over the wall are ending. Designers are now encouraged to work side by side with clients and developers. In Modern Web Design Demystified you’ll learn how to communicate with developers and collaborate with your clients in order to design websites that function as well as they look. You’ll learn about: 

  • The fundamentals of responsive web design
  • Working with Clients to identify and prioritize goals
  • How to communicate with Developers
  • Best practices for project workflow
In this online web design course, Andy and Jesse will share real world case studies to help you understand exactly what goes into creating and launching a website from the ground up. They’ll tell you about the tools they use and offer tips on working with everyone from the coder to the client.

High-quality web design is complex, but it gives businesses and orgs the opportunity to really connect with their users. Learn the ins and outs of the entire web design workflow process in the Modern Web Design Demystified course.

Bonus materials include: 
  • Sample Dev Tickets
  • Responsive HTML Wireframes
  • HTML Pattern Library
  • Sample High Resolution Visual Comps
  • and more! 



I've already taken several web design classes, but there were still some details that I found confusing. Andy and Jesse did a great job of explaining things like; programming languages and how they interact to form the structure of a site, work flow responsibilities between team members and the blurry lines between them; and agile methodologies applied to work flow. They used case studies to illustrate how this all happens, where variations crop up, and how to address them. If you're new to web design, or just want to understand the functions of other team members, this is a great real world look at the whole process. I haven't found this in any other class, either on-line or local. Andy and Jesse are both very experienced working designers with current knowledge. They're very responsive to questions and seem to really enjoy teaching. Having two instructors is a great benefit because you get double the perspective, knowledge, etc.

Junko Bridston

I worked with Andy when he was a Creative Director at Funny Garbage, a design studio in New York City. I found him to be knowledgeable​, articulate, and lovely to work with. I learned so much from him at the beginning of my career. In response to a previous comment: it seems silly to dismiss this class because Andy wears t-shirts with his blazers. If you think leaders only wear suits and ties, then maybe this class isn't for you. But if you want to learn from someone with loads of experience and a friendly manner, I really recommend it. You won’t be disappointed.


I was looking for a class that would not only address the web design basics but also their place and function as part of a workflow. This class did not disappoint and Andy's and Jesse's engaging presentation style made it easy for me to follow along during the 2-day live session. By using real life examples, the presenters provide plenty of tips and strategies how to best work with clients and developers alike — the many, often intangible ingredients that go beyond technical expertise and can make or break a project. Highly recommended.