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by Aaron Forth
The mobile market is flooded with fun, useful and engaging applications. These apps are
becoming increasingly important to a company’s success but many companies are simply
recreating their product for mobile without giving adequate consideration to the differences in
mobile and Web based usage patterns. Additionally, specific benefits that the Apple, Android or
BlackBerry platforms offer are commonly not fully leveraged.
During this session, Aaron Forth, director of product design at Intuit’s Mint.com, will discuss
how companies can analyze customer usage patterns to develop the best possible mobile
application and mold the app to harness the advantages of each platform.
OK. So let's say your business has a website, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a blog (or lots of blogs), an email newsletter, some SEO stuff, and eighty bajillion landing pages you forgot about back when it was still funny to rick-roll someone. Who's doing all this content? Are they talking to each other? Should someone be in charge? Who?
Come feel the love as a marketer, a CMS wonk, a UX designer, and a typical SME are brought together (Jerry Springer-style) to discuss the joys of cross-channel content strategy.
by Evan Jones
Once upon a time slow connections begat the Progress Bar - bloated sites would taunt us with '15% loaded' screens. High-speed promised to kill the beast and free us from their tyranny but yet it lives! Progress bars are being used MORE lately to direct user actions. Look to Farmville and LinkedIn which push their users to collect 100% of their personal information. Incomplete progress bars are an itch that needs to be scratched. They carry the implicit language that declares 'You are here' but more importantly 'The end is in sight'. Game design motivates us through incremental, measurable progress towards a tangible goal but is this the way real life works? Is the progress bar's ubiquity in technology starting to affect the way we measure progress in meatspace? This panel will reach far across time and space to look at the story of progress bars, why they hypnotize us and what we need to do - slay the beast once and for all, or throw ourselves into its partially-complete embrace...
by Josh Clark
The iPad and its entourage of Android tablets have introduced a new style of computing, confronting designers with unfamiliar aches and pains. Learn the symptoms (and fixes) for a range of new-to-the-world iPad interface ailments, including Greedy Pixel Syndrome, the dreaded Frankeninterface, and the "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" bait and switch. Explore practical techniques and eye-opening gotchas of tablet interface design, all grounded in the ergonomics, context, psychology, and nascent culture of these new devices (both iOS and Android). The presentation inoculates you against common problems with close-up looks at successful iPad apps from early sketches to final design. Genial bedside manner is administered by Josh Clark, author of the O'Reilly books "Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps" and "Best iPhone Apps: A Guide for Discriminating Downloaders."
by Joanna Wiebe
Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. I agree about the banana, but I'm not so sure about the arrow. What is the shape of time? Our online calendars, clocks and other models of time often are designed with the understanding that time is a forward-moving arrow. This sounds logical to the Western, English-speaking scientific mind. However, not everyone conceptualizes time as a relentless hurtling forward. Some cultures understand time as a fractal, a spiral, a mandala, a cycle. And a child, playing with the same toy over and over again, lives in a single seamless moment from dawn to dusk. Visualizing temporality is a fundamental issue in interaction design today. For example, we are looking at a future where our work must be useful for both Eastern and Western audiences, who differ in time-oriented cultural traits such as long-term vs. short-term orientation. We also need to be able to provide tools to differentiate the personal, bodily-felt experience of time from clock time. We may want to expand our customers' perception of time, to invite them to stay in the Deep Present. Our beliefs about time and its passage profoundly affect the design of software and interactive media. It's time for interaction designers to understand deeply how our customers know time, whether as an arrow, a spiral or a squiggle. How people slice and dice nature into concepts is fundamental to designing tools people can use to successfully live on the earth, for a long time.
A common assumption among startup entrepreneurs is that listening to potential customers is the best way to find out whether your product or idea will succeed in the market. Honestly - don't bother. In our ten years of user experience research for startups and big companies alike, one thing we've seen time and again is that it's behavior, not opinions, that tells you whether people want to use your product.
The main problem with opinions is self-reporting bias: Opinions are often inconsistent with behaviors or other attitudes, especially when discussing hypotheticals. Remember Clippy, the little character that appeared in Microsoft Word years ago? That little bastard arose, in part, from Microsoft asking users if they wanted help working on their documents - everyone said, "Sure, sounds great." But once people started actually using it in the real world, they hated it - it might be one of the most hated features in the history of computing. But Microsoft employs hundreds of researchers. So where did they go wrong, and how can you avoid making the same mistake?
It's simple. Never ask people what they think of your product or idea. Instead, I'll walk you through the world of researching people, including what you need to ignore customers effectively, just like Apple and 37 Signals. I'll go over examples from our research with Volkswagen, Electronic Arts, and Wikipedia, and show how to use remote research to construct behavioral scenarios and eliminate poor research.
by Josh Clark
Josh Clark will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to meet registrants and sign copies of his latest book, "Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps."
The social web is now a teenager –awkward, arrogant, snarky, fearless, experimental and open. She is shaking things up and having a major impact on our culture, social dynamics and etiquette. What are the new social dynamics and cultural impacts of all these tools and technologies?
This session will explore the emerging etiquette issues of our participatory hyper-connected world. What are the new rules? How are our relationships, culture and business assumptions changing? Do we understand the impact of this new relationship persistance?
- Do I have to ask before I post a photo of a friend online? Who has editorial approval?
- Am I required to respond to every inbound communication I receive or is “ignoring” an accepted response?
- Where is the line between encouraging participation and being just plain annoying?
- What are you doing mucking up my activity stream?
- What the heck is a “friend” anyway?
How do we design, build and manage these new spaces? What are the new rules of the online commons and the associated appropriate etiquette? This participatory session will ask attendees to contribute their own real world examples and will lay out a new framework for a new social contract. It’s our job to decide what we want our web teenager to be when she is all grown-up.
The concept of the Web for All is something that we hold dear, but sometimes it feels like we are holding on to it for dear life! There is plenty of knowledge sharing about Web Standards and best practices, but too many opinions about
what a website really is. If you ask a designer, a developer and a marketer, you will probably get 3 different answers and this can be a tad problematic when you only have one website.
So I set out to find a solution, stopped thinking about the medium and started thinking about what the word Design really meant. Things that are designed are invariably products of some sort and it became clear that the internet is a product that people interact with using technology. I reflected on those who inspire me, such as Dieter Rams, whose ten principles of good design are as relevant now on the internet as they were when he first uttered them. And then I looked to Frank Lloyd Wright, the godfather of Inclusive Design in Architecture.
With these parallels to hand, it is quite simple.
Applying the principles of Inclusive Design to building websites makes sense, but understanding existing technologies and practices in order to ensure its successful implementation is where we are at now. Presenting the principles and how they can be applied to the web, and interspersing these with hands on, practical advice will provide both a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding.
1. What is Inclusive Design?
2. How does the Inclusive Design approach differ from or improve upon existing best practices, such as accessibility, usability, UX and mobile optimisation?
3. What practical techniques can I use to adopt Inclusive Design principles and
methodologies into my working practices?
4. What tools and prior knowledge do I need to implement Inclusive Design?
5. How does Inclusive Design on the Web draw from and correlate to existing
principles in industrial design and architecture?
New technology brings broad experimentation and new design challenges. It takes years, if not decades, to establish an effective design vocabulary to discuss what "works" and "doesn't work." This panel asks established professionals in architecture, speech writing, and event planning to describe their creative processes and vocabularies and will compare them with the best practices in interaction design. This session brought to you by Meebo.
Every service you use bombards you with email. Status updates, notifications, nudges. Whether you call it spam, bac'n, or even just effective, it's certainly annoying. We can do better, though. We can create web apps that get more valuable, not less, when users don't visit every single day, and we can use email in more valuable ways to greater effect.
This session will explore a few product and interaction design strategies to embrace this silence between your product and the user. We'll also look at how business models can adapt to value mindshare over visits, and how to surgically use email to it's best effect.
For every design change you make affecting your user’s experience, do you know if you’re having a positive or negative impact? Are you adding to your organization’s bottom line or eroding it? Are you sure? Or, are you like most design teams who release work through a ramshackle process made up of politics, prayer, and paralysis?
The health of the business must be the highest priority for designers. With a plethora of fast and cheap analytics tools available that bring us the ability to measure almost anything, we have no excuse not to be measuring every design change we make. From a/b testing small interface tweaks to measuring time-on-site for new users to measuring user satisfaction over long time periods, we can know more about the people who use our software than ever before.
In this talk, Joshua Porter will provide you with a simple, easy framework for metrics-driven design. By using a combination of research methods as well as powerful new tracking tools, Josh will show you how to align your design priorities with what keeps you in business. You will come away from this talk with a clear idea of what metrics are most important, which ones to focus on, and which ones to ignore. So don’t drive blindly: use metrics-driven design to make sure the impact you’re having is a positive one.
While both music and design have theoretical underpinnings, they also share a certain ineffability. A musical masterpiece and an exceptionally crafted experience demand more than the simple application of theory. They also demand virtuosity. Designers must skilfully bring together clicks and gestures — the building blocks of interaction design — to form a meaningful experience. Although it's simple to describe these components, we often resort to vague shorthands like 'look & feel' to explain what happens at the experiential layer. Similarly, composers rely on formalised technique to write music; yet ask what makes a piece remarkable and the answer will be similarly nebulous. In this session, we will examine parallels between music and interaction design, including harmony, genre, rhythm, fashion and emotion. Along the way, we will learn how that which defies easy definition can elevate digital and musical works from good to miraculous.
1. Why do some interactions and some pieces of music—even when they seemingly 'obey' all the rules—still feel wrong?
2. What is it about music that provokes such a profound emotional response and how can designers learn from it?
3. Why, despite all expectations, the overflow of information can actually be a rather lovely experience.
4. Why does innovation actually feel bad?
5. And finally, just what is 'The Brown Noise'?
Cennydd Bowles and James Box will be stopping by the SX Bookstore to greet registrants and sign copies of their book, Undercover User Experience Design
by Lynn Teo
With every new “form factor” comes a unique set of design conventions and interaction paradigms. The emergence of tablet interfaces such as the iPad marks a new chapter in digital design. How much of web navigation or smartphone conventions persist in this new world? And what are we seeing that's new? Are there specific wayfinding and browsing mechanisms that make for a satisfying and productive iPad user experience? Based on an assessment of 50+ iPad applications that run the gamut from utility/transactional interfaces to comic readers and other publishing apps, this presentation provides a focused analysis and assessment of navigation methods in a distilled format. Navigation schemas will be explored by interaction design themes, supported by examples, and recommendations on when best to employ them.
Do you want your website to meet both your business goals and your users' needs? Understanding what people do on your site gives you the x-ray insight crucial to effective business decisions. In this workshop, we'll provide a practical framework for squaring
quantitative evidence and qualitative insights. We'll see concrete examples from search log and click path analysis. We'll also learn how you can continually measure the quality of a site's user experience.
by Phil Libin
Want 1 million people to pay for your product? Get 100 million people to love it. But how do you get there? What's the secret to creating engagement and building value? What makes a successful Freemium business work? Here's a hint: don't be clever. Invest in making a product that brings joy and business success will follow. Best part, you don't need single social feature to do it. We will discuss ways to reach your business goals by focusing on a positive, long-term relationship with your users and fans.
If you design for the client, they will be happy on launch, till they realize the audience isn't engaged. Then they will go looking for their next mistress agency. Know your client, and the value that they offer to users. Sometimes the client has a keen sense of this, but more often than not, a discovery / exploratory process is helpful to give focused clarity to this key issue. If in the beginning of the creative process we do not find the uniqueness of the brand, users never will either. Maybe? sort of? dig deeper. what drove the founders to start this business? what do they stand for? how are their products unique? who is their target audience? who are they ACTUALLY reaching? Let's move on to the all important user. Who will be going to this site? Why? To accomplish what? Success is based off of this measure, and this measure alone. Was the site USEFUL. Likes, retweets, mentions, awards, fwa's, blah, blah, blah mean nothing if the site is not useful. We are a service industry, not a beauty pageant. we're hear to help the client communicate their message, not fluff our creative egos. Know your audience. Their interests. Their background. Their desires. Let’s look at two large .com redesign case studys that I have had the honor to work as the design lead on: BurgerKing.com with Crispin Porter + Bogusky, and livestrong.org with Springbox. Let's be useful.
While we know, from a very young age, how to ask questions, the skill of getting the right information from users is surprisingly complex and nuanced. This session will focus on getting past the obvious shallow information into the deeper, more subtle, yet crucial, insights. If you are going to the effort to meet with users in order to improve your designs, it's essential that you know how to get the best information and not leave insights behind.
Being great in "field work" involves understanding and accepting your interviewee's world view, and being open to what they need to tell you (in addition to what you already know you want to learn). We'll focus on the importance of rapport-building and listening and look at techniques for both. We will review different types of questions, and why you need to have a range of question types.
This session will explore other contextual research methods that can be built on top of interviewing in a seamless way. We'll also suggest practice exercises for improving your own interviewing skills and how to engage others in your organization successfully in the interviewing experience.
Changes to design, direction, UI can be costly if you are already in the development cycle. It is easier, faster, and cheaper to course correct on paper. Storyboarding your ideas allows you to rapidly think through the customer experience, pinpoint what’s really important to the customer, and scrap the ideas that won’t work.
At Intuit, we use storyboards to rapidly test our ideas with customers multiple times before spending time developing code. This enables us to define concepts that will delight our customers, so they buy our products and tell their friends. Storyboard development and testing is a method anyone can do—it doesn’t take an artist or researcher to get great feedback from customers.
In this hands-on workshop you will learn how to express your ideas in a story that will elicit valuable feedback from your customers. You will be able to iterate on ideas with lightning speed to uncover what works, what doesn’t, and unearth what will truly delight them (which is often not your first idea!). We will use frameworks to help you define what’s most important to your customer so you know you are focusing on the right things by the time you start to develop.
Writers from BusinessWeek, Harvard Business Review, Wired, and even Rolling Stone have all pronounced that design thinking - the process of developing products and services that are both feasible and meet user needs - is the key to successful innovation. And they're right. What they don't tell you is that all the design thinking in the world won't help your company unless your innovations serve a higher purpose. But the vast majority of businesses have no higher purpose. As a result, their products and features are disconnected from their goals. Their marketing is focused on value-adds rather than value propositions. Their message has no message. There's no there there.
That's where experience strategy comes in. Experience strategy is design thinking for your whole business. It tells you which ideas will help and which won't. It tells you if that new product will lead to a unified brand or a disjointed one. It's what turns a shoe store into Zappos, a car company into MINI, and a software company into Apple.
In this session, Robert Hoekman, Jr - author of Designing the Obvious (New Riders) and Designing the Moment (New Riders), and Web Anatomy (New Riders) - presents the essential elements of experience strategy. He reveals the five steps to developing a great UX strategy so you can stop navigating your way through the trees and instead start designing the forest.
How do you drive up user engagement? What game-like design patterns get your users to complete the sign-up, bring friends and come back? This session will expose the design patterns of engagement and incentives, including relevant metrics. Led by Nadya Direkova, Sr. Designer at Google and game designer, it will teach useful techniques that can drive up - and keep - your user base. You will leave with an arsenal of 7 design patterns to: design effective sign-up sessions and tutorials, promote virality, invite return visits, and apply game mechanics beyond points and bagdes. About the speaker: Nadya Direkova is Google’s local search designer and a game mechanics consultant - helping millions of users find knowledge and fun. She comes from the world of game design, having created fun games for Leapfrog and Backbone. She’s taught design at M.I.T. and spoken at IXDA’09 and SXSW’10.
Love creative problem solving, but need something more practical - something specific to User Experience? Russ and Stephen will share with you the exercises they use to solve the REAL problems.
You'll flex your critical thinking muscle through a series of jumpstarter activities. Even better, attendees will be encouraged to participate, if not embarrass themselves in front of a room full of their peers as they challenge themselves to see past the first, obvious - and often incorrect - answers, and start to flip problems on their heads to see solutions from a different view.
by Jared Spool
What separates a good design from a bad design are the decisions that the designer made. Jared will explore the five styles of design decisions, showing you when gut instinct produces the right results and when designers need to look to more user-focused research. You'll see how informed decisions play out against rule-based techniques, such as guidelines and templates. And Jared will show you the latest research showing how to hire great decision makers and find opportunities that match your style.
Of course, Jared will use his unforgettable presentation style to deliver an extremely entertaining and informative presentation.
This panel will discuss how companies can create best mobile mobile user interfaces, avoiding many of the pitfalls of poor design. Mobile user interfaces are not just squished down to fit the small screen, but require an understanding and application of technologies, users, and contexts of use to create the best possible interaction. Core principles for designing mobile interfaces will be discussed, as well as design patterns for use in mobile web sites and applications.
We won't quote Moore's Law to you, but we can all agree that technology is evolving at a rapid clip, maybe doubling its efficiency something like every two years (okay we couldn't resist). As these newly-evolved smart devices hit the market, consumers are changing with them. We become more social, more chatty, more plugged in as a result. We have a wealth of information at our fingertips and we're able to access it faster with smaller and smaller devices. How is all of this information, accessibility and speed changing us? Are consumers doubling our intelligence every two years?
As an Intel Fellow and Director of Interaction & Experience Research for Intel Corporation, Genevieve Bell currently leads an R&D team of social scientists, interaction designers, human factors engineers, and a range of technology researchers to create the next generation of compelling user experiences across a range of internet-connected devices, platforms, and services. She will drive user-centered experience and design across the computing continuum.
Developing across different mobile platforms has long been a pain point for mobile developers, but what about designing for the same apps and services to run across multiple types of device form factors? New form factors don't just offer bigger screens or keyboards over mobile phones; users also interact differently with them.
The most prevalent example of this is with iPhone apps moving to the iPad: creating a app for the tablet isn't simply about adapting it to a bigger screen, but utilizing the differences in hardware to offer users a better experience. This scenario is just the tip of the iceberg, though: Android is making its way into all types of devices, like Google TV, which will allow developers to create apps for both phones and televisions. GPS maker TomTom has announced that its future devices will run a version of WebKit and support third-party apps. Nokia's Terminal Mode and Continental's AutolinQ projects look to extend the app experience into automobiles.
This panel seeks to build a high-level understanding of what successful cross-form-factor development entails, beyond simply adapting content for different display types. Attendees will learn best practices -- and educational failures! -- from leading designers and developers, and how they can incorporate emerging form factors into their apps and services to create an enhanced user experience.
In an extension of the Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody, logic, now that background processing is possible on iPhones and iPads as well as Androids, the possibility of having a global audience on alert is possible via mobile devices on Android and iOS. What are the new possibilities that news and entertainment providers have to keep an audience engaged with the next LeBron moment? What will democratization of events look like in terms of the mobile UX, and how important will private events be in relation to public events now that the barrier to communicating to EVERYONE in any time zone at any time will come crashing down?
This session, proposed by Dan Ariely and Sarah Szalavitz, will investigate the relationship between morality and user engagement online, as well as in real life. Prior to the presentation, we will ask friends and the SXSW community to participate in an experiment to explore how the choices we are offered by user experiences and online communities "game" the outcome--or whether we are making choices at all, if our brains can't resist seeking Mayorships on FourSquare or growing farms on Farmville. During the session, we'll first offer the survey to attendees, share our findings from the results we already have, and then explore the implications for online behavior, user experience, and morality. We'll consider how cognitively irresistible user experiences are created, as well as its on both our online and offline identities. Further, we'll explore how the predetermination of user behavior by choice optimization and social design, can encourage cheating, both by users and designers. Finally, we'll look at the impact the flexibility of our morality in our various identities and behaviors could have on the future of the choices we'll both offer and be offered.
by Jeff Gothelf
Traditionally UX has been a deliverables practice. Wireframes, sitemaps, flow diagrams, content inventories, taxonomies etc defined the practice of UX Designers (IxD, UX Design, whatever, etc). While this work has helped define what an UX Designers do and the value the work brings to a business, it has also put us in the deliverables business - measured and compensated for the depth and breadth of their deliverables (instead of the quality and success of the experiences they design). Enter Lean UX. Inspired by Lean Product and Agile development theories, Lean UX is the practice of bringing the true nature of our work to light faster, with less emphasis on deliverables and greater focus on the actual experience being designed. This talk will explore how Lean UX manifests in terms of process, communication, documentation and team interaction. In addition, we'll take a look at how this philosophical shift can take root in any environment from large corporation to interactive agencies to startups.
11th–15th March 2011