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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
11th–15th March 2011