New week, new portrait. Continue our exploration professionals with Culture, this time, not a creative emulations or committed a pioneer, or a maker of museum without museum, a exploratory networks, a researcher of public or even a revealing internal cohesion! No, today we get Elisa Dhervillers who work [ed] in Novius company providing IT solutions. Because yes, among the many professionals working on Culture digital tools, websites and other databases. This is a very small presence pan (or represented) yet they also act daily to Culture! Let’s see …
– Novius is a company based in Lyon and Paris providing IT, technical and ergonomic solutions to different customers, primarily in the cultural sector. Elisa Dhervillers [then] the head of the Paris branch of Novius.
– Elisa continues in his area of expertise but has embarked on his own account of “Digital Design” elisa-dhervillers.fr
Elisa, who are you? What are you doing?
Elisa Dhervillers worked at Novius as head of the Paris agency Novius. Novius specializes in consulting, construction and information technology and web engineering. Concretely, the agency advises and assists clients in web strategy, project management, creates websites (as well as extranet and intranet), mailings, applications for mobile devices and also offers solutions in the social networking type webzine and QR Code.
What is interesting with the course, and therefore Elisa approach to its work, eminently digital is that it comes from the modern world of publishing letters (especially the fashion and luxury). This period of her life she keeps the attention to detail, the beautiful object and rendering quality.
When joining Novius in 2008, the company had most of its business focused on “pure” IT solutions: databases, back office, intranet, research and development in computer science. In recent years, Novius incorporated a new dimension to its highly technical know-how: ergonomics, attention to aesthetics made and the importance of user experience.
What are the changes that you have observed?
For Elisa, this increased focus on what the user sees is concomitant technological progress. Previously, the site does not provide a rendering quality as important as printing paper could. But now almost everything is possible: the style sheets are also adaptable and practical typographic are now almost as many as in digital printing and finally load times are extremely fast! The qualities of CSS therefore allow for almost-all. The question now is no longer “Is it possible? “But” what do I need? “.
The example of the festivals is quite instructive in this regard: unlike cultural institutions, festivals did little or no visitors after the festival itself. It’s an event, well defined in its forms and cultural proposals. Thus, communication is getting stronger three to four months before the dates of the event and then everything stops. In addition, the websites of festivals are mainly informative. This state can be explained by the fact that festivals have real difficulties financial balances. For example, think of the Festival Trans Musicales de Rennes, which for the first time in his thirty-five years of existence has managed to generate a small profit! However, real opportunities exist and the contents can be fully comfortable within their sites.
Generally, Elisa noticed that there is some interesting things that are available on the internet to post-visit. If it depends greatly on the policy of the institution, it is also a question of commitment of the institution and its services on the web space.
Novius with you among your customers many cultural institutions face What issues have you found?
When Elisa meeting clients for the first time, it is often for the realization of a (new) website. Here two situations: either it is to restructure the site to (re) start from scratch (rather more comfortable situation for working Novius) is to create a site in line with the previous. This is more complicated for computer scientists and interface designers teams because of the need to follow or rehabilitate specifications (commonly known as “SPEC”) connected to the new tool will be the future site. A question then behind their work throughout the implementation of the order: what flexibility we have as to the thoughts and guidance?
Moreover, there is also all the political dimension, the working axes and objectives / priorities of the institution to incorporate into the new site. Elisa noticed that there a few times, it was the creation of a (new) website that generated the reflections within the management teams and scientists. Now things start to reverse and, therefore, it saves a lot of time and go straight into the bottom of the issue and make “hand-sewn” for the institution. This is even more important than that overcomes a constant observed by Elisa difficulty understanding (or accept) that we can not put everything in the website. We should put what is more relevant and in the service of the institution about in order to successfully implement the identity of it on its website.
This can be difficult depending on the nature of the establishment: how to account for the activity of CENTQUATRE that is so diverse and polymorphic? How to create between the different schedules of the Cinematheque (Pialat Burton) so intelligible to a user? Everything is a matter of placing the “cursor” by Elisa: is the content that takes the place or place that stands alone? Who / what gives credibility to what is proposed? The concepts of prescriber and image “brand” of the structure here obviously take all their dimensions.
Generally, Elisa is based on some benchmarks that are its foundation work. First, we do not create a site for fun or structure but in the service of the user. This “mantra” allows already set a number of questions or gray areas. In addition, Elisa puts the user experience at the heart of his son Ariadne that are technical standards and usability. The delicacy of the work of Elisa is finally strike a balance between the expectations of the institution and digital promises that are to hold.
What do you advise for professionals engaged in the reflection of a renovation or web developments?
First, Elisa insists “out of ideas about the practices of different users.” This then will give a lot more freedom to the project. Moreover, if we always stay focused on the user and its uses, there’s the question of too little attention is taken into account. Indeed, it has become accustomed to quickly access information when we know what we are looking-when you do not immediately find what you seek, the “zapping” effect is quite disastrous for site traffic. With this knowledge of the Internet to seek only what is of interest, the real challenge is not only to provide access to said information but to keep as long as possible the user, including the spring the mechanism of serendipity then causing astonishment and thereby keep a little longer the user, absolutely more captive. Obviously, good ergonomics that allows access to content by serendipity but also databases and crossing their information.
Finally, Elisa pointed out that the majority of users will only read very little on a computer screen, just a few words. Even if we take the user to read a few things -any keeping in mind that the Internet is no longer captif-, always follow these keywords of that are about speed and efficiency and its arrangement on the site. For this, we can help the quality and beauty of the elements although it is true that the behavior of the public on the web are very difficult to know. At present, we can somewhat understand the behaviors through social networks, but the returns themselves are complicated and have -hormis measure, and ultimately as part of online audiences, the ticket! Otherwise though: very technically driven with a system of powerful tracking websites … which is not exactly in the means of cultural sectors currently.
– Company that uses in cultural fields the QR Code: Urban Expé, which “offers interactive digital experiences transmedia tailor in the field of culture, tourism, recreation, education, publishing and communication.”( Find the interview with its founder here)
[translation by Google translate]