We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.
We changed our name! After 14 years of creating award-winning digital products & services, it’s time for a new identity that better reflects the human insights-driven, digital customer experiences we create.

AIAIO: Our Blog

AIAIO: Our Blog

The pulse and reviews of Alexander Interactive

Posts Tagged ‘conference’

Why Redesign?

So you’re probably thinking to yourself right now, “Why Redesign?”

Gosh. Funny you should think that, because it just so happens I recently wrote a little piece on that exact subject, as a featured blogger on

Redesigning a website is a daunting task.  Budget, deadlines, resources, features, content, platform changes, brand perception, SEO implications – the list of challenges is a long one.  The potential impact website redesign has on your organization is as enormous and critical as the process.  Will conversion go up or down?  Will your new site attract more visitors or will traffic drop off?

If you want more detail on the topic, take a look at a deck from one of my presentations at Internet Retailer’s Web Design 2009 conference, Charting the Successful Redesign — A True Story About an Agency and Client Partnership. It gives a detailed account on the site redesign, specifically what led to the decision and the steps we took to execute it. It does NOT go into pancakes and the secrets behind achieving a remarkable fluffiness. Lets just make that clear from the outset.

Charting the Successful Redesign of an Independent Ecommerce Small Business — A True Story About an Agency and Client Partnership


Meditations on Tech Conferences

I went to PyCon over the weekend. It was definitely the largest tech conference I’ve been to so far. Subcultures fascinate me in general, but this was really interesting. Over 1000 really smart, focussed and innovative technical types crammed together in the same hotel. It was kind of like drinking from a fire hose – I needed to take little timeouts in order to make it through the weekend.

Geek culture is generally polite and trustworthy. I found that I had no problem letting a complete stranger watch my laptop while I went to the bathroom.

Maybe it was just affinity at work. I sense that many people were dealing with similar problems that we were trying to solve in different ways. For example, I found that one tutorial leader was applying himself to a problem space (massive, fail-safe parallel computing), using Python, that seemed very similar to the kinds of things that Erlang was designed to handle.

Perhaps Test Driven Development should be called Guilt Driven Development. Mostly it seems to just make developers guilty about not testing their code enough. Or for those who do test, smug. Bastards.

Oh and finally, I learned a lot about using slides. So many people know this, but I’ve never seen “less is more” so graphically spelled out for me. I’m never using bullets on a slide again.


IR Design 08, Ai and Twitter

For the rest of this week I will be attending the Internet Retailer 2008 Web Design Conference in Miami. I’m looking forward to it. The agenda looks very good, and so does the weather.

I will be twittering my thoughts during the conference. Feel free to follow along. The link above is to the Ai team; you’ll hear from our president and creative director, also in Miami, plus random thoughts–very random–from my coauthor Loren Davie and other Ai employees in New York.


Future of Web Design…now in the past

So I’ve had a day to digest the FOWD conference (the speakers) on Wednesday here in New York. The quality of the speakers was pretty good overall, although there was some yawn-inducers.

So, due to my extreme lazyness, instead of comprehensively reviewing the day (you can get my incomprehensible coverage from my twitter feed. I thought I would hand out some awards for moments during the day.

Best Slide: “Why are email campaigns like gay porn?” – Matthew Patterson (Campaign Monitor)

Most obsequious presentation: Microsoft keeps showing up in the weirdest places. Linux conventions, design conferences. They were here, as a sponsor, and had almost nothing to say. The poor guy on stage was a “User Experience Evangelist” within Microsoft. Can you imagine that job? Running around, trying to tell people – “Hey, maybe you shouldn’t pop up the same security warning over and over without giving people a ‘remember my decision’ option. Maybe the talking paper clip isn’t a great idea…” I just felt bad for him.

Most like the Comedy Channel: Joshua Davis. It was obvious why they picked him to open, the guy knows how to work a crowd. He’s an artist that uses algorithms to generate amazing randomized pieces from human-created input patterns.

Most overdue presentation: Elliot Jay Stocks, kicking off the Web 2.0 design aesthetic backlash (big fonts, bevelled curves, reflective logos). He established the rule: unless your name actually has the word “reflect” in it, you can’t use a reflective logo. Don’t be sheep!

Most notable presentation of information designers are supposed to know anyway: Ryan Singer of 37 Signals. Find out the most important stuff on the screen, use contrast for emphasis, make decisions…don’t they teach you this stuff in school?