Sessions at UX Week 2011 about User Experience

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Tuesday 23rd August 2011

  • When Left Meets Right

    by Todd Walthall

    When Todd Walthall first sat down with a team of UX consultants, his first thought was, “What are these guys going to tell me?” As a veteran contact center executive, Todd was adept at driving business results in challenging operational environments, relying heavily on metrics to guide his decision making. But now he had a bigger challenge: Develop a vision for transforming the digital channels at USAA, a Fortune 150 financial services company with a history of exceptional customer service on the phones. He reached out for help – and in the process, learned how to harness the power of UX for developing and articulating an actionable, long-term strategy. Todd will share his personal experiences with UX design along with some practical tips for UX professionals who are trying to transform traditional businesses from the inside-out.

    At 10:00am to 10:30am, Tuesday 23rd August

  • Designing People Powered Products

    by Chad Jennings

    In the past few years, we have witnessed an explosion of new online business models and technologies that enable people to create their very own product lines without the need to set up a traditional brick and mortar shop. This user-generated industrial revolution—or People Powered Products — means people can truly unleash their creativity and produce retail-quality products without any of the financial risks associated with old-school manufacturing, inventory management, and distribution chains.

    This revolution can be viewed as the culmination of three longer-term trends. First, innovation in small-scale manufacturing or on-demand manufacturing brought product personalization to the market. Next came the rise of user-to-user marketplaces like eBay or Amazon that introduced new, highly efficient ways to connect buyers to sellers in the long tail. And third, online communities and social networks are now tapping into the viral loop to enable producers to market to millions of niches outside of traditional distribution chains.

    The intersection of these three trends has created something new: people making—and selling—their own products. Companies such as Ponoko, Styleshake, Kickstarter, Quirky, and Blurb are pushing the user-generated business models in new, profitable directions by focusing on smaller niches; offering platforms for production of commercial-quality goods; and building robust, connected communities.

    So, what might this mean to designers and product planners? This presentation will share examples, outline implications and provide a framework for designing businesses in the age of people powered products. It’s quite possible that people powered business models will make user-generated content profitable long before YouTube does.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Tuesday 23rd August

    Coverage video

  • UN Global Pulse: HunchWorks

    by PJ Onori and Chris van der Walt

    Global Pulse is an innovation initiative that is developing a new approach to crisis impact monitoring. Global Pulse is developing HunchWorks, a place where experts of all kinds can post hypotheses—or hunches—that may warrant further exploration and then crowdsource data and verification. HunchWorks will be a key global platform for rapidly detecting emerging crises and their impacts on vulnerable communities. Using it, experts will be able to quickly surface ground truth and detect anomalies in data about collective behavior for further analysis, investigation and action.

    Adaptive Path has been collaborating with the Global Pulse team to identify the challenges surrounding HunchWorks to help with some of the complex UX problems and design solutions. With a idea as big HunchWorks, we wanted to open up the task to the UX community in order to push the work forward.

    Session Takeaways:

    • Learn UX principles through hands-on engagement
    • Be a part of designing for the UN’s initiative to detect and mitigate crises.
    • Work with members of the UN Global Pulse team to solve specific UX/design problems.
    • Employ different methods for collaborative generation and synthesizing of concepts.

    At 12:00pm to 12:30pm, Tuesday 23rd August

    Coverage video

  • Video as User Experience

    by Adam Lisagor

    We’ve come to UX Week to obsess over interactive user experience. But as a filmmaker, I’ll note that the medium of the moving picture has been around far longer than the models of human-computer interaction. When I’m tasked with making video for conveying the value and experience of an interactive tech product, I find it benefits me to invoke the language of the moving image in unexpected ways. So I’d like to obsess about that in three parts:

    1) How does one translate the essence of a non-linear interactive experience to a linear piece of video, usually constrained by the time and attention of the viewer?

    2) Let’s reverse direction: What elements from the language of film can we draw on in creating the interactive user experiences that make up our software and hardware?

    3) And let’s get meta: How do the tools of the videomaker reflect our understanding of our relationship to linear media? Do the metaphors hold?

    Let’s explore the relationship between what you do as a UX designer and what I do as a videomaker.

    At 3:20pm to 3:45pm, Tuesday 23rd August

    Coverage video

Wednesday 24th August 2011

  • Content Strategy Will Save UX

    by Kristina Halvorson

    Dealing with web content is hard. It’s complicated, expensive, time-consuming, and often overwhelming. The bad news is that, even though it’s the reason people come to your website, it’s also the #1 killer of a good UX. The good news? The practice of content strategy can save it by tackling the tough issue of content right from the start of your design process.

    How does it work? Who can do it? What if your clients and boss don’t want to pay for it? To answer these questions and more, Kristina Halvorson will introduce you to the process and tools of content strategy. She’ll also speak directly to its challenges (how to overcome) and opportunities (how to seize them!).

    • Learn about the fundamentals of content strategy and how to explain them to your stakeholders
    • Get an up-close look at core content strategy processes and associated key deliverables
    • See examples of successfully executed content strategies on websites and cross-platform
    • Work with other workshop participants to hone your new content strategy skills
    • Discover Kristina’s secrets to selling content strategy to clients or within your organization

    At 9:00am to 5:30pm, Wednesday 24th August

  • Designing Smart Things: User Experience Design for Networked Devices

    by Mike Kuniavsky

    The wide availability of many different kinds of network-connected digital devices—from tablets to TVs to bathroom scales and cars—raises deep questions about how to design user experiences for and with those devices. In this workshop Mike Kuniavsky, author of Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design, will introduce you to concepts of user experience design for the post-PC/post-phone world.

    How do you design experiences that transcend a single device, or even a family of devices? How do you create experiences that exist simultaneously in your hand and in the cloud?

    Using plentiful examples drawn from cutting edge products and the history of technology, Mike will describe underlying trends, show the latest developments and ask some broader questions. As a group, we will analyze the big hits and disasters to uncover what makes a successful ubiquitous computing user experience, and what doesn’t.

    This workshop will introduce both fundamental concepts of ubiquitous computing user experience design and specific techniques for designing services and interfaces.

    Topics covered will include:

    • Design for multiple scales
    • Design for services used by multiple devices
    • Rethinking everyday objects and experiences
    • Understanding use context
    • Hardware/software mashups
    • Sketching in hardware

    Expect hands-on design explorations, group ideation and the opportunity to make the abstract future of user experience design a little more concrete.

    At 9:00am to 5:30pm, Wednesday 24th August

Thursday 25th August 2011

  • Critical Thinking for UX Designers (or Anyone)

    by Stephen Anderson and Russ U

    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.

    Session Takeaway:

    • Gain a better understanding of what critical thinking is, why it is important in the world of User Experience Design.
    • Identify ways to evaluate the visual and verbal messages in your work.
    • Spot artificial constraints to focus on the root problem(s).
    • View problems from a different perspective and remove yourself as a consumer/user.
    • Learn how reframing problems can lead to radically different solutions.
    • Dissect problems to uncover solutions you may have previously overlooked.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Thursday 25th August

  • Only Good Touching: Doing UX Strategy and Design in a Multi-touchpoint Universe

    by Paula Wellings, Todd Wilkens and Chris Risdon

    Have you ever wanted to make an orchestrated, integrated, cross-product, multi-channel, location-sensitive, smart commerce, service designed product ecosystem for the masses? Yes?! Then this workshop is for you! Except that in this workshop, we will throw out the buzz words and provide a sensible framework for bringing products and services into both the glory and the minutia of people’s everyday lives. We will focus on the power and peril of a touchpoint. Just because you can touch someone, does that mean you should? We will explore how you can ensure that every occasion where your organization touches or connects with a person’s life is appropriate, relevant, meaningful, and endearing.

    The structure for the day will be a mix of shared insights and case studies followed by group activities to put the ideas into practice. When you wrap up the day, you will have:

    • guiding principles for engaging with people across time and space
    • a frame work for mapping human experience across multiple situations and interactions
    • skills and tools for generating concepts for appropriate, relevant, meaningful, and endearing “touching”
    • an understanding of how to prototype and orchestrate experiences for a variety of connection points
    • a commitment to not being that creepy guy on the bus

    At 9:00am to 5:30pm, Thursday 25th August

    Coverage slide deck

  • Motion in Experience Design

    by Remon Tijssen

    Join Remon Tijssen in a workshop that provides insight into why motion in interactive experiences is important. Learn why and how to think about motion, what the different functions of motion in the broad range of interactive experiences are and how do they relate to different technologies. Tijssen will map out different uses of motion in interactivity, give conceptual and practical advice, showcase projects and guide you in getting hands on creating a protoype to explore and define motion for an interactive product.

    At 2:00pm to 5:30pm, Thursday 25th August

Friday 26th August 2011

  • UX as Product Strategy: Differentiation in a Crowded Market

    by Adam Goldstein

    Hipmunk, a startup in San Francisco, entered the crowded online travel search market in 2010. Their approach was novel: show all the most relevant results on a single page, and help users visualize the tradeoffs between the options. In doing so they bypassed the traditional product strategies in travel search, which relied on saturating the user with either features or ads. Adam Goldstein, Hipmunk’s co-founder and CEO, will explain the ideas and execution behind Hipmunk’s unique take on travel search, and how a singular focus on UX has given Hipmunk the most fanatical following of any travel search site in the last decade.

    At 11:00am to 11:30am, Friday 26th August

    Coverage video

  • Emerging Technologies in UX: Promise to Practice

    by Darren David

    Modern interactive technologies are opening up a broad new world of wonder and experimentation, and bleeding edge demos and installations are an endless source of inspiration. But how do you respond to the client who wants “that crazy tech-demo thing I saw on YouTube” or that fantastic device/interface from the latest science fiction film? How would you build that? Could you build that? Should you build that? Darren David, Stimulant’s CEO, will aim to demystify some of the art and science behind everything from Kinect hacking to building-size projection mapping, and give you real-world ideas and advice that will help you turn inspiration into real-world magic.

    At 11:30am to 12:00pm, Friday 26th August

    Coverage video

  • Lessons from a UX Driven Startup

    by Alexa Andrzejewski

    In building my first startup, Foodspotting, I’ve realized that I’ve been given an incredible gift: For the first time in my life as a User Experience designer, I’ve found that if I can picture something, my team can make it real. Coming from the consulting world, where my designs took a long time to see the light of day, this newfound power has been refreshing.

    But with great power comes great responsibility, because I’ve also found the reverse to be true: If I can’t picture something, chances are it won’t happen. And thus I’ve realized that diligently cultivating and communicating a concrete vision to my team is the most important thing I can do as a startup founder and CEO.

    Behind Foodspotting’s biggest successes was a concrete idea with contagious appeal: We were able to build a team, attract partners and raise over 3M in funding, all based on a vision. These “visions” took the form of sketches, mantras, metaphors, mockups, photos and illustrations, but because all were articulated in a concrete, memorable way, they were easy to share, test, refine and execute.

    Whether you’re crafting products for a startup or established corporation, the tools I’ll share in this session will equip you to come up with a vision, communicate it effectively and validate it with potential users. In founding a UX-driven startup, I’ve found that the old adage is true: “If you can dream it, you can do it.” The trick is taking the time to dream and making your dreams concrete!

    At 3:30pm to 4:00pm, Friday 26th August

    Coverage video