the education institute

Designing for Scent: Why Stinky Sites Work
with Darlene Fichter

Webcast One Hour
Tuesday, November 8
Noon ET 9 AM PT
Member: $58.00 + GST
Non-Member: $74.00 + GST


Researchers at Xerox Park (Palo Alto Research Center) have found that humans find information on the Web by following the "scent" of information just like blood hounds on the hunt for their prey. Write so that your site has a strong scent and draws people towards the information they need. Learn trigger words that build strong, sweet smelling trails, and avoid common pitfalls that lead users astray or that cause them to lose the scent. Take home tips to make your site "stinky" and to spot areas to improve.

The Benefits
A usability expert and librarian will describe the research about how users hunt for information on the Web. Learn about the concepts of designing for scent. Find out how scent can help make your site more or less useful to your users. Immediately put your new knowledge to use by applying it in the interactive site analysis and critique session. Practice spotting good techniques for creating "stinky" sites and site design methods that lose scent and frustrate users. Hone your skills in identifying designs that have strong scent. Take away concrete ideas on how to improve your own writing, menus, navigation, Web site links and content to make your site sweet smelling to users.

Who Should Participate?
Anyone who is creating a Web site or adding content to a Web site area would find this session beneficial. This session will interest reference librarians and subject specialists, library Webmasters, content developers, instructional designers, programmers, and information architects, and usability specialists.

Key Topics You Will Explore
  • What is designing for scent?
  • What are trigger words?
  • What techniques help create a "strong scent"?
  • What blocks or stops scent?
  • Do's and don'ts of designing for scent
Method of Instruction
This is a one hour audio conference with Web-based visuals supported by a handout. There will be a 35-45 minute presentation and 15-25 minutes for co-browsing, analyzing sites and questions.

Darlene Fichter
Darlene Fichter is the Co-ordinator of Data Library Services at the University of Saskatchewan Library. Darlene is particularly interested in the areas of human computer interaction, usability testing and designing positive user experiences. She has been a consultant and project manager for several Web sites, portals, digital library projects and intranet projects. Darlene is also a columnist for Online magazine and a frequent conference speaker about new and emerging information technologies.