Jun 12, 2008

Hot Studio Speaks At the Wallace Foundation

Katrina Alcorn, Principal of User Experience and Content at Hot Studio and Renee Anderson, Director of User Experience, spoke at the Wallace Foundation Arts Grantees Conference on April 3rd and again on April 4th. Their presentation, “Do You Know Who Your Users Are?” was about how arts and culture organizations can use research to make strategic design decisions.

The Wallace Foundation is nationally recognized for its involvement in educational and cultural programs and has a long history of expanding participation in arts and culture. The Foundation realized that the challenge for many arts institutions today is to engage new audiences: from teenagers and artistically gifted youth to ethnic groups. When you add another layer of how to attract and retain these audiences online, the challenge becomes a design opportunity. The Foundation asked Hot Studio to share our expertise in user research and how that research can inspire and engage new audiences online.

Katrina and Renee discussed how to design sites that people love to use, and covered the benefits of research, the value of different research methods, and how research can inspire great design. They also shared their insights from projects Hot Studio has worked on including California Academy of Sciences, SFMOMA, the Open Architecture Network, United Methodist Church, and Dave Eggers’ Once Upon A School. Katrina and Renee ended the session by distributing a summary of their presentation and tips for conducting user research on a budget.

The arts grantees were excited to learn new research techniques and how to incorporate them in-house, often on a shoe-string budget.

About The Wallace Foundation

The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities; and expanding participation in arts and culture. More information and research on these and other related topics can be found at The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org.

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