When his company, Adaptive Path, was engaged by a financial services firm to redesign their website that let customers perform retail banking transactions, Peter Merholz, Director of Practice Development, went into the homes of users asking them questions about their usage of the existing website, the kinds of reports they recieved, how they used their computer etc.
Designers, according to Merholz, must broaden their peripheral vision to other domains outside their own. A website designer, by habit thinks like a website designer. The task of designing a print document would be quite new and challenging for such a person. However, if designers thought beyond their domains, they would get a better grip on the nuances of design in general and deliver a richer experience to users.
Peter Merholz is the Director of Practice Development and a founding partner of Adaptive Path. He is an experienced information architect, writer, speaker, and leader in the field of user-experience design. Clients include Cathay Pacific, Yamaha, and the California Health Care Foundation. His major projects at Adaptive Path include unifying PeopleSoft's 3 disparate Web properties into one unified presence, conducting research on health care policy for CHCF, recommending improvements for Yamaha's next generation digital keyboards, and helping Intel wrangle their massive set of product offerings into a manageable experience.
Peter is a regular speaker at Web design and information architecture conferences, such as ASIS&T's Information Architecture Summits. He keynoted both the Institute of Design's 2003 About With and For conference, and 2004 SIGCHI.NL, the premiere Dutch HCI conference.
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