User Experience Designer/Information Architect , Wyndham Worldwide
Lynn is the first User Experience Designer on staff at Wyndham Worldwide. Her purview is the user interface interactions and usability of hotel franchisee facing web applications and advocating User Centered Design and usability.
Prior to Wyndham she worked for Gerson Lehrman Group, a service provider to investment companies, on their customer facing web sites and the customer support and research application. In particular, she focused on how clients and staff used search within the applications. She spent almost three years at Razorfish NY working with such clients as EMC, Ford, and AT&T Small Business. She began working with structured information, content, and search in the traditional library and archives world of cataloging, user access terms, content assessment, and classification.
In her library days, one of the organizations she worked for was the Charles Babbage Institute for the History of Information Technology at the University of Minnesota. During that time she held in her hands a mimeographed memo from the ISO Internet Networking Group of the 1960s sharing when they successfully networked a handful remote computers and stated that they would be “wildly successful” if they could network 19 machines in different physical locations. Where can the world go and how much can it change in the next 50 years?
Lynn has an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota and a graduate degree from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
She is a Minnesota native who’s also lived in Chicago and NYC and concurs that between Minneapolis, Chicago, and NY that Chicago wins the “windy city” competition hands down.
Wyndham Worldwide is one of the world's largest hospitality companies. Wyndham the is umbrella over 11 brands; its properties are found in 66 countries across 6 continents. Wyndham has approximately 7,000 franchised hotels and also has luxury resorts, vacation ownership, and exchange & rentals.
The key to a satisfying and effective search goes beyond the quality of your keyword matches and the facets, snippets, and sorts of your user interface. It depends on knowing your users and developing a mental model of their “information need.”
That mental model involves their reasons for being in your system, what triggers them to search (as opposed to browse, or using another path), and what they intend to do with what they find.
Answer these questions honestly and they will guide decisions about your search algorithms, the data appropriate to create or index, and the user interface.
I will discuss some of the basic established information-seeking behaviors, conventional search interface paradigms, and examples of successful improvements to search UIs based on user research.
Philadelphia 11 conference news: How to improve search interface usability