UX Cambridge 2011 schedule

Thursday 10th November 2011

  • A Persuasive Framework in eCommerce

    by Tom Waterhouse and Jon Fisher

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Developer/Designer Cross Training

    by Adrian Howard

    (or how to get developers to do your work for you)

    Have you revisited a project one year on and found all your careful IxD work ruined? Ever felt overwhelmed by the task of protecting the user experience from the slings and arrows of outrageous development?

    Help solve these problems by uncovering the hidden Interaction Design skills in your development team!

    I'll be talking about some of the ways I've found to help including:

    • Moving from design ownership to design facilitation and education

    • Involving development successfully early in the design process

    • Giving Domain Driven Design a UX twist

    • Using agile development processes to help not hinder

    • Helping get the design decisions embodied directly in the code

    • Using automated testing to help the UX in the long term

    Do you have any top tips for helping developers get the UX right? Please bring them along. We'll try and build a list of emerging practices by the end of the conference.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Thursday 10th November

    Coverage video

  • Maximising Your Thinking Time in Experience Design

    by Tim Caynes

    Thinking time is critical. It enables UX practitioners to evolve insights into experiences. But you rarely see an activity in an experience design plan that just says 'think about stuff'. If we're going straight to user journeys from client requirements, we're not thinking things through. If we're creating taxonomies without analysis, we're not thinking things through.

    We need to protect thinking time when we pitch, scope and deliver projects for our clients. But it's an awfully hard sell. If, indeed, it’s even on the price list.

    In the session we'll use our collective experiences to talk about:

    ways in which we can better express the value of thinking time
    methods for better use of thinking time
    practical measures to help protect and maximise thinking time in user experience design projects

    The output from the session will form a 'Thinking Time Proposition', that describes a tactical approach to maximising thinking time.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Thursday 10th November

  • UX and Agile: Are we having fun yet?

    by Ben Bywater and Tim Geoghegan

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Enter the Illusionist (how IxD is challenging IA in the battle for the front-end)

    by Sam Smith

    Interaction design is hardly the new kid on the block but developments and advances in front-end technologies over the past few years have brought IxD firmly to the forefront of digital and UX thinking and design.

    This session will explore how interaction design is allowing us to step away from our reliance on forcing our content into rigid navigational structures; systems that shaped the interfaces we used for far too long. Enter the magicians, the interaction designers. The ones who can create the illusion of space in a crowded environment.

    As we interact with an increasing number of interfaces in a finite physical space, and especially with the mobile/tablet experience fast becoming an important part of the digital environment, we are having to think even harder about how we make the most of the screen real-estate available to us, both in terms of physical and virtual spaces.

    Solid, well thought through IA will always underpin a successful system, but tidy and organised content still leaves you with the challenge of how best to fit lots (of content) into little (space).

    As the new language of interaction is being mapped, we are beginning to see interaction design used to solve challenges that would typically have been tackled with IA-centric tools and approaches.

    I don't believe that we're at the point where it's an either/or decision between IA and IxD. Many of the systems that employ some of the best interaction design I've seen sit on top of beautifully architected and structured information. But we now, perhaps for the first time, have the opportunity to step away from the old tools and tricks and to embed IxD in our thinking and that is creating some very interesting opportunities to challenge the way we present and work with information, content and data.

    At 1:30pm to 2:30pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Idea to prototype in just 180 minutes

    by Eewei Chen

    Too much time is wasted creating that big design upfront only to find that users don't like what you have built once it has been released. Today we are in danger of not only over designing, but also designing solutions to the wrong problems. Work with me as I help teams experiment with rapid design techniques to ensure design solutions for the **right business problems** are delivered to the **right target audiences** *rapidly* and *continuously*. Learn how to create design solutions fast as a team and work with a client to get products that really matter out into market early that will delight users.

    At 1:30pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Understanding what users want - how to create and use task models in a user-centred design process

    by Richard Caddick

    I'm a huge fan of task models and see them as one of the most important design documents we produce as part of the user-centred design process (though they are seldom used compared to other documents such as site maps and wireframes). By uncovering how people do things and designing systems around how they behave you ensure that people can complete their tasks and goals easily, leading to a more satisfying user experience - and better conversion for the business.

    In it I take users through what a task model is, why it's useful, research techniques, what we've found out about people's behaviour, real world examples of task models (from the travel, e-commerce, financial and automotive sectors), and the differences they've made to projects.

    In my recently finished book "Communicating the User Experience" I identified a number of behaviour models that users adopt at different points in their journeys, these revolve around how people evaluate different elements in order to make a decision. Understanding these helps identify the correct approaches to the interaction design of the product.

    The session will revolve around a number of exercises in which the participants will (in pairs or groups) be taken through the steps of researching, analysing data, creating task models and exploring design solutions for the task models that they have uncovered.

    The participants will be able to leave the workshop armed with the ability to create their own task models and make a real difference to the projects that they are working on.

    At 1:30pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Winning hearts and minds: how to embed UX from scratch in a large organisation

    by micheleidesmith

    In Undercover UX Cennydd Bowles and James Box suggest focusing on:

    “big change through small victories, slowly winning the hearts and minds and convincing your team of the need for UX approaches”

    Selling UX to your organisation can be an uphill challenge. But it’s ultimately rewarding when the organisation not only recognises, but comes to rely on UX.

    This case study will describe the process of embedding UX principles and techniques in local government over 5 years. The session will provide tips on:

    how to win the hearts and minds of sceptical colleagues;
    UX techniques and tools you can use with little or no budget;
    how to develop the skills and knowledge of in-house teams.

    Most importantly, the session will share lessons learnt, advice on how to avoid issues we experienced and delegates will receive a handout listing useful tools and resources.

    At 1:30pm to 2:15pm, Thursday 10th November

  • The Childish Washer & The Happy Website

    by Jeroen van Geel

    Everything around us has a personality, at least that’s the way people perceive things around them. The moment we see other people or animals for the first time we will automatically attribute personality traits to them. But we also attribute personality traits to products around us. We can see a car and find it friendly, funny and provocative or think of it as serious and caring. The same goes for every product you can imagine, ranging from washers to websites. And even though product designers have been aware of this fact for a long time (and designed the products accordingly), web designers haven’t thought about it. On the web we’ve been looking so much at making things usable that we’ve forget to design a personality into our products. And it’s exactly that personality that will make websites engage with it’s users on the right level. So in this talk I would like to explain what product personality is all about, where it comes from and how.

    At 2:15pm to 3:00pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Design Experiences Like Socrates

    by Alisan Atvur

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Thursday 10th November

  • Lean Startup: UX in Disguise

    by Adrian Howard

    Learn how Lean Startup provides an ideal avenue for UX practitioners to improve the product development process for Agile teams.

    Customer Development is an iterative approach to finding a good ""business model"" (aka a product that users want and are willing to pay for in sufficient quantities)
    Lean Startup == Customer Development (iterative way of figuring out what to build) + Agile Software Development (iterative way of building it)
    Customer Development is trying to solve the same problems as UX research, but has evolved from the business perspective.
    This provides many opportunities:
    User Experience practitioners have lots of techniques to solve common Customer Development problems - all within a framework that is being integrated with agile processes.
    It provides a place to integrate ""non-product"" related research that cannot always find a home in some agile teams.
    Lean Startup practitioners are trying interesting ways of doing incremental UX research, which we can appropriate.

    Result - A win for UX!

    At 4:15pm to 5:15pm, Thursday 10th November

Friday 11th November 2011

  • Changing Lives with Technology

    by Melanie Findlater

    How can your skills be used for social good? Come work out the answer with others in this practical and challengisesame shop. The session will start with real life stories and examples of how tablets and smartphones are changing lives. After hearing how a tablet gave a teenage girl a voice and how a smartphone helped an elderly man 'keep his brain active', the challenge is then turned over to you and your skills and tools. In small groups you will be a given a profile of someone with specific skills and needs. (eg disability, older, etc). Using the skills and experience in yur group, you then work together to come up with ideaenable how to enable that person to have a better life.

    At 9:00am to 10:30am, Friday 11th November

  • Coming out of your shell: using UX workshops to your advantage in a techie / scientific setting

    by Jennifer Cham

    Workshops are a great way to explore ideas for a user-centered design project, but when should you actually plan to have one? At what point would a workshop be useful? And when would it be harmful? Why have user workshops got a bad reputation with some UX practitioners?

    In this talk, Jenny will answer these questions and provide examples from her own experience of planning and delivering successful UX workshops. The aim of the talk is to inspire you to run your own workshops and to provide practical tips that will help you get started right away. Jenny will include examples of workshops for internal design teams and stakeholders, as well as for groups of external users, potential users and clients. At EMBL-EBI, we specialise in delivering services to scientists and computational biologists all over the world, so Jenny can also offer special insights for those of you that work with ‘geeky’ audiences and/or in an international environment.

    At 9:00am to 9:45am, Friday 11th November

  • Speed Sketching

    by Francis Rowland and Antony Quinn

    Workshop (1.5hrs)

    A little bit like speed dating, but with three people and a design problem to solve. More about collaboration and communication than it is about sketching!

    The aim is to show that you can bring people together who might not usually work side-by-side, and by rapidly brainstorming with them about design problems, you can often elicit solutions and ideas you might never have spotted. Sometimes, a fresh perspective is what you need.

    It would be great if participants for this workshop could bring their own problems to work on. Examples might include UI features that just don't quite sit right; information design challenges; working out how to prioritise content on a web page, etc.

    Some fairly discreet thing that fits into the overall picture of UX design activity where you work.
    Something that you have been scratching your head over, and for which you can explain the context and the problem faced.

    Failing that, the facilitators will have some that they prepared earlier.
    There will be lots of paper and pens.

    At 9:00am to 10:30am, Friday 11th November

    Coverage slide deck

  • UX & Product Management

    by Irene Melo and Ryan Haney

    A good product requires a good user experience. And a good user experience requires the close collaboration of product management and design.

    User experience (UX) professionals are increasingly becoming interested in the business aspects of what they do. On the other hand, business professionals (such as Product Managers and Business Analysts) are becoming more aware of the role of UX in their activities. Often these two fields merge and it is difficult to differentiate where UX ends and Product Management starts and vice-versa, with many UX and business professionals incorporating aspects of these two ‘worlds’ in their job descriptions.

    Terms and concepts such as Usability and User-Centered Design are used now more than ever before, and growing in importance and relevance to the IT industry.

    This discussion aims to address the topic of the role of UX in product management and similar activities, by bringing together opinions, experiences and suggestions from people with a background on both sides, to guide future generations of professionals in these areas in understanding the nature of their roles.

    At 9:00am to 10:00am, Friday 11th November

  • What techniques can design researchers learn from insurance claims investigation?

    by Lyzbelle Strahan

    One sentence summary: A former investigator uses lessons learned in the insurance business to inform and improve design research methods.


    Design researchers can learn a lot from investigators in other fields. Insurance claims assessors follow specific interview protocols to reduce interviewee bias, build trust/rapport, navigate a variety of circumstances, and document responses properly—all in order to discover the reality and the facts of the loss. These investigations also have to be carried out in compliance with strict regulations.

    In this session:

    Structuring interviews and questions to reduce bias, build trust, and validate information
    Note-taking styles to maximise efficiency
    Keeping participants on topic during an interview
    Dealing with communication barriers such as language, hearing impairments, and the emotional state of the participant

    We will illustrate these techniques with real-world examples of investigations into automotive accident claims, property damage claims, and employee dishonesty claims.

    This session is designed to expand the design researcher’s toolkit.

    At 9:45am to 10:30am, Friday 11th November

  • Game on. Getting your organisation from game-zero to gaming in no time.

    by Ryan Haney

    Innovation games work and are a great addition to your UX tool-kit. They save time, help to build better products, can help difficult teams to collaborate and generally are more fun. But introducing these games to an unreceptive or even receptive organisation can be a challenge. Knowing which games to use and when to use them, getting stakeholder and team member buy-in, and bringing games out of product definition workshops and in to everyday/weekly meetings can feel like an uphill battle.

    In this collaborative session we'll explore ways to overcome these hurdles. We'll look at strategies to get comfortable with playing games as well as ways to get your entire organisation to embrace them.

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

    Coverage slide deck

  • UX & Agile: A retrospective

    by Chris Smith, Richard A. Muscat and Helen Sharp

    This workshop will explore to integration of UX techniques into Agile software development approaches.

    Since we’re talking about Agile, we plan to run the session in a similar way to a typical Agile retrospective. Retrospectives are those meetings Agile teams have at the end of a sprint to review the past sprint and plan out ways – ‘experiments’- for improving the next one. The only difference for our workshop is that the retrospective will be looking at the last 10 years or so of Agile + UX development rather than a wee two-week sprint!

    We hope that at the end of the workshop we’ll have a shared understanding of what has worked and what hasn’t across a spectrum of companies. More importantly, we expect to have a few ‘experiments’ for participants to be able to take back home and try out with their project teams.

    At 11:00am to 3:00pm, Friday 11th November

  • How can you use a store locater to increase your market share?

    by Kathryn Tanner and Miriam Walker

    One sentence summary: Retailers could do much more with store locators to promote customer loyalty and attract new customers to increase sales.


    We will show how a well-designed store locator will anticipate the needs of the user beyond simple search + location; it will use design and technology to put together a useful, meaningful experience for users, reducing confusion and frustration; it will make it easy for users to find what they need fast. These are powerful ways to build loyalty and, for customers who are ready to buy, to increase the chance of a sale.

    Retailers, banks and the post office could do much more with their online store locators. By making some smart, creative improvements to this useful tool, they would increase sales to motivated, brand-loyal customers but also steal customers from those brands which do not make the effort. We see four key opportunities for improvement:

    1. • Location detection
    2. • Branch density sensitivity
    3. • Time sensitivity
    4. • Branch information

    We will illustrate these through a user journey, showing how a customer would initiate a search, review results, filter information, and make a choice. We will articulate the functionality of an ideal store locator by critiquing good and bad examples.

    Initiating a search (location detection) -

    How do store locators work?

    Automatic – Your location is detected - Tesco
    Manual – You ascertain and enter your location (post code, street, town) Argos or you select your location from a closed list - John Lewis

    We will walk through the pros and cons of each approach. For example many users will not know their destination or location details or they are looking for guidance about the destination and wish to leave it open. We can make it easier for users by identifying their location automatically. HTML5 can collect this information in three ways:

    GPS (smartphone)
    Local wireless networks (non-mobile computers)
    IP address.

    Reviewing results (branch density sensitivity) –

    How to be relevant and appropriate?

    With location identified, the system must then define ""nearby"" in a meaningful way. Store locators should be sensitive to the density of stores so that there is a balance between surfacing too many or too few options “nearby”; and the map should scale to show results accordingly. If you are searching for a chemist in the centre of Leeds, then a map radius of 100 meters will be sufficient. If you are running the same search around Aberystwyth, the map radius will need to be much wider to return a useful set of results. Maps that do not scale intelligently force users to work harder to narrow the field and make a choice.

    Filtering the results (Time sensitivity) –
    Many tasks are time-sensitive, e.g. posting a parcel on Saturday or purchasing an item on sale. Store locators can filter results to help customers find branches that are currently open. Argos does this well by building a priority structure into its store location results. Location searches conducted at 6pm automatically default to stores that are open after 6pm.

    Selecting a result (branch information) –
    In addition to geography and opening hours, store locators should provide information as well. Store locators should offer a summary of store information, or a simple set of filters to narrow the results enabling the user to get specific information related to the task they want to accomplish. The Tesco iPhone Finder app is a successful example. It not only includes a store locator, but also a price checker, and can pinpoint a product’s location in the store. This leverages a key point in the user’s journey and can even persuade him to visit one store over a closer competitor.

    It is crucial that this information is accurate and up to date. Otherwise, a retailer could lose credibility and their customers’ trust by sending them on fruitless journeys.

    We will conclude by discussing the ROI of a well-designed store locator and the best KPIs to use to measure success.

    At 11:45am to 12:30pm, Friday 11th November

  • Embedded Collaboration: Designed for a Productive Workforce

    by Aylin Uysal

    Employees can stay well connected with their managers, co-workers, and direct reports with collaborative networking tools integrated throughout business processes. We will present the steps followed creating an Employee User Experience which transformed how employees connect, share information, find the right knowledge in the company, collaborate and build their business network.

    We will also talk about social collaboration trends, potential employee use cases/scenarios and how these use cases can be identified.

    At 1:30pm to 2:15pm, Friday 11th November

  • Adapting UX techniques to fit culture

    by Sedef Gavaz

    In order to understand and gain insight UX techniques need to be adapted to the audience, organisation and culture.

    I'd like to share my experience in China including how I altered plans as I went along, what worked and the bits that didn't work quite as well as I would have liked.

    I'll finish off with a 'what I'd do next time' - my lessons learnt.

    At 2:15pm to 3:00pm, Friday 11th November

  • Agile / UX Panel

    by Darius Kumana and Eewei Chen

    At 3:00pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th November