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...
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.
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.
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