UX Lx: User Experience Lisbon 2011 schedule

Wednesday 11th May 2011

  • Building a Practice as a UX Team of One

    by Leah Buley

    UX teams of one have unique challenges. Fewer resources. Creative isolation. Organizational ignorance. Sometimes even hostility. This workshop will explore the real life organizational situations that teams of one work in, and show what you can do about them.

    Teams of one arguably have the furthest reach and impact, precisely because they mostly work with people who don't yet know the value of user experience. But when UX teams of one are embattled, frustrated, territorial, and defensive, the discipline of UX seems that way too. And when UX teams of one are relevant and effective, confidence and interest in UX spreads.

    The goal of this workshop is to give every attendee the tools to be relevant and effective by creating a personalized plan for their UX practice. Your plan will include the methods, soft skills, and strategies that will help you build support for UX and do your best work in a resource constrained environment.

    We'll start the day by looking at what kind of team of one you are. A newcomer? A cross-over? A freelancer? While being a UX team of one can feel isolating at times, we actually have more in common than we think. Organizational models, team makeup, and product development approach all combine to create some fairly predictable challenges and opportunities. In this workshop we'll create a personalized assessment of which ones apply to you.

    From there, this workshop will guide you in making an 18-month plan for your UX practice, and help you identify specific tactics and strategies to get you there. Whether you want to cross over into user experience or you're a seasoned practitioner, this workshop will give you a game plan for doing more with less.


    • User experience professionals working in-house embedded within marketing teams, development teams, etc.
    • People with non-UX job titles who are crossing over—doing increasingly more UX work.
    • UX freelancers and contractors who work with clients who don't have large UX teams.
    • People who are interested in starting out in the field of user experience.


    By the end of this workshop, you will have learned:

    • Challenges and Opportunities - A typology of situations that you might be facing as a UX team of one.
    • Lean Methods - How to adapt the standard lineup of UX deliverables to be, self-documenting, lower fidelity, and more focused on answering concrete questions.
    • Soft Skills - How to use negotiation, storytelling, networking, and listening to resolve conflict, communicate the value of your work, and build support for UX.
    • Growth Paths - Common next steps that UX teams of one have taken in their career, and which one might eventually be right for you.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Prototyping

    by Todd Zaki Warfel

    Spend half-a-day with author and designer Todd Zaki Warfel in this action-packed workshop. You'll walk away with a digital copy of Todd's latest book, Prototyping: A Practitioner's Guide. Todd will present prototyping tips from the book and how to take advantage of the latest technique using HTML5 and CSS3.

    You'll work your way through a series of case studies, as Todd reveals techniques that will help you craft flexible, bulletproof, effective and adaptable interfaces that make up a solid user experience. He'll show how to use tips from the book, combined with a number of guiding principles, like progressive reveal, predictable interactions and other ways to make your designs more elegant.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Storytelling for User Experience

    by Whitney Quesenbery

    Stories are an effective way to collect, analyze and share qualitative information from user research, spark design imagination and help make design ideas compelling. We all tell stories all the time, but to craft a story for a particular audience, for a particular reason and effect, requires some instruction and modeling, a reasonable amount of practice, and a lot of listening.

    Storytelling might help you:

    • Make user research data more compelling by adding the rich details of stories to your reports, personas and presentations.
    • Put a design idea in context, showing how it makes an emotional connection or fills a need, exploring it from different perspectives.
    • Help a product team really understand a point of pain, or show how a new approach could remove barriers.
    • Sell an idea more effectively by engaging your listeners, allowing them to imagine the ideas for themselves.

    Bring your own UX story material to develop safe atmosphere of constructive critique. You will learn the mechanics of oral and written presentation through instruction, modeling and practice. Exercises will let you try out different storytelling elements such as imagery, different story structures and telling stories in different contexts. You will experiment with structures and styles for different ways you might use stories in your work.


    People who know they have a good UX story waiting to be told!


    During this workshop you will:
    - Understand why stories are a natural part of user experience work.
    - Learn where stories fit into a UX process to add stories to your own user experience practice.
    - Know the elements of a story – structure, plot, imagery, context - and how they can be used to craft better stories.
    - Have practices telling a story in several different ways, exploring how to adapt it to different contexts.

    Attendees will leave with a story crafting kit to use as inspiration for their next story (and the one after that).

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Web Anatomy: Usable Design with Frameworks

    by Robert Hoekman, Jr

    In this illuminating workshop, Robert Hoekman, Jr (author of Designing the Obvious, Designing the Moment, and Web Anatomy), introduces interaction design frameworks as the perfect starting point for a usable design and reveals how to extrapolate design criteria from them to go beyond standards without sacrificing usability and understandability.

    At 9:00am to 12:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • From Idea to I agree: Thoughts on Communicating UX

    by Andrew Travers

    As user experience designers, our ideas define us. But without the ability to share our thinking, to persuade, we can end up frustrated wondering why a client couldn't see what we saw. UX comes with particular challenges - when we're often working at a conceptual level - so our ability to communicate our ideas is particularly important.

    Anyone presenting work, whether that be to internal teams (visual design / developers) or clients (internal or external). It's intended to be particularly of use to junior/mid-weight user experience designers. It's not a 'presentation skills' talks, but instead looks specifically at how we communicate UX deliverables in a way that its intended audience can understand, communicate and contribute to.

    Practical advice that attendees can use straight away in presentations whether informal stand-ups or formal client presentations, and improve their UX deliverables.


    • Why we need to avoid the temptation of 'the big reveal'
    • Building an strong, rational argument for our work
    • Understanding who the 'real' audience is for our presentation
    • Giving the client the tools they need to resell your work when you're not there
    • What to show and how to show it
    • How to make it real, personal and memorable

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Picking Your Neurosurgeon's Brain

    by Susan Dybbs

    When designing complex systems for highly specialized users, traditional research methods may not do the best job uncovering details of the user's mental model and related information.

    In this talk, I'll discuss how I used participatory design methods with surgeons to design an inter-operative telemedicine system.

    I'll highlight best practices and offer a healthy dose of blood, guts and gore (rated PG13).

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Skeuomorphs: The Good, the Bad, and the Silly

    by Andrew Watterson

    Why does my iPad calendar app look like a leather desk set from the 1940s?

    We make new things look like old things because the old is familiar: it helps with usability, it makes us safer, and it's cute. Our mobile phones have replaced pads of paper and physical dials with touchscreens that have pictures of these things on them. Our digital cameras play a prerecorded shutter sound when we press the button because that's how our old cameras told us the picture was taken.

    Their ability to both delight and confuse is profound - skeuomorphic touches will invariably get oohs and aahs at design reviews and from users. Yet in the quest for familiarity and nostalgia, these flourishes can perpetuate interfaces that only made sense given past technical limitations or, worse, suggest vintage mental models that are out of sync with the product's modern features.

    Come listen to a light-hearted discussion about the what and the why of this increasingly common design pattern and how designers can leverage everything that's cute and rich about skeuomorphs without compromising mental models or a polished product.

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Wireframes are Dead: Experiments and Experience from the UX/Agile Divide

    by Mark Plant

    User Experience Design isn't the most natural partner of agile software development practices. Whether you're an interaction designer or information architect it can be tough adapting to the mindset of small components instead of a holistic solution.

    Over the last 2 years I've been challenged with establishing a UX practice within an agile software consultancy that specialises in Investment Banking. Having tried various tactics, and made some mistakes, I'm going to share some of what I've learned, some war stories and some of what I plan to try next.

    Ultimately, you should walk away with some idea of why micro-waterfalls are bad, how to road mapping features and some thoughts around the challenge of trying to define "good enough" up front. This is just another part of gaining some ideas as to how you can work better with (or ideally, as part of) an agile software development team.

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Agile Development + Interaction Design = True

    by Klara Vatn

    Agile principles can be explained with just four words: We learn and adapt.

    This is why agile development is a perfect match for good interaction design. It will make you able to respond to change and new insights during the development cycle - keeping your design up to date as user needs and market expectations change.

    I've worked as an interaction designer on agile projects for five years. In that time I have tried and failed... and learned! Just as the agile principles state.

    I will share how I, as an interaction designer, collaborate with the team, the product owner and other stakeholders. I'll show that it's possible to work on many aspects of the design details simultaneously, always keeping in mind the main concept and at the same time collaborate and communicate with the team members.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Crafting the Ultimate Experience: UX + CX + CRM

    by Stuart Cruickshank

    So you've formulated a User Experience strategy for your company from the ground up. Completion rates are way up. Complaint email numbers are way down. Your boss loves you, and you've got the corner office to prove it. What's next?

    This session will take the next step and explore how User Experience fits into the business ecosystem alongside fields of Customer Experience and Customer Relationship Management.

    What tips can we learn from these fields, and how can we engage with our colleagues to pass on what we as UX professionals have learned from the web, to turn satisfied users into passionate customers.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Serendipity: Beyond Recommendation

    by Pedro Fernandes

    In this talk Pedro will explain how the existing paradigms of search, category drill-down and social recommendation systems limit user's perceptions of existing data collections in a detrimental way. He will then propose a few strategies for introducing more serendipity and casual discovery into navigation systems, helping users find interesting content of which they were unaware.

    In particular, he will present two case studies, one showing a serendipity engine whereby users remix keywords and filter content in a continuous contextual feedback loop, and another where the polysemy of images (they can have multiple meanings) creates the context for a way-finding application that enables high serendipity in the physical space. Pedro will finalise by suggesting a few other approaches.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Stimulating Visual Thinking

    by Claudia Ehmke

    As User Experience Architects we have to come up with solutions that reflect brand, psychology and other various aspect often in short time frames. We need to be able to communicate these ideas visually to communicate them effectively to our clients. The talk is based on some ideation sessions that we've been running here at LBi recently to get the team engaged in new topics to create visual solutions.

    Anyone sketching or wireframing solutions who is interested to see another approach for generating ideas. It's intended to be particularly of use to junior/mid-weight user experience designers who would like to explore other ways of approaching visual thinking. It's a quite a practical talk with a little exercise to show how it can be applied.

    A practical approach how to use the cards, access to the cards set online and template to create their own.


    • Quick overview of the creative process and visual thinking
    • Card topics exploration – which categories are there currently, which topics
    • An approach how to use the cards to stimulate visual thinking
    • A short exercise to show how it could work

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Wednesday 11th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Designing by Doing: Bringing Agile Thinking to UX Practice

    by Anders Ramsay

    In this workshop, we'll focus on the period in the project lifecycle from project kick-off to when we begin delivering working software. While classic Agile methods focus on early and frequent delivery of a quality software product, we'll here apply Agile thinking to the work that serves as its basis. This is both a critically important phase from the vantage point of User Experience Design and one in which Agile thinking can fundamentally transform a traditional approach into one that is far more condensed and intensive.

    Using a fictional project as our narrative, workshop participants will journey through a series of activities that exemplify Agile thinking applied to UX practice. These will include Futurespectives, Cardstorming, Agile Personas, and iterating between Story Mapping and Design Studio. Questions we'll explore include: Where do User Stories come from? How do User Stories and User Experience Design inter-relate? How do we go from story maps to detailed design? And how is the UX practice transformed by starting to build earlier and then designing UX in tandem with development?

    At the completion of each activity, we'll discuss how they exemplify Agile thinking and how they might manifest themselves in a real-life project. The workshop will also make extensive use of the meeting space to exemplify how Agile thinking manifests itself in the physical work environment.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Designing for Touch

    by Josh Clark

    Handheld apps that work by touch require you to design not only how your pixels look, but how they feel in the hand. This workshop explores the ergonomic challenges and interface opportunities for designing mobile touchscreen apps.

    Learn how fingers and thumbs turn desktop conventions on their head and require you to leave behind familiar design patterns.

    Josh will present nitty-gritty "rule of thumb" design techniques that together form a framework for crafting finger-friendly interface metaphors, affordances, and gestures for a new generation of mobile apps that inform and delight.


    This is a workshop aimed at designers, developers, and information architects making the transition from desktop to touchscreen apps for mobile and tablet devices.


    By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
    - Discover ergonomic guidelines for comfortable tapping and what that means for the visual layout of mobile apps.
    - Devise interface metaphors that invite touch and create emotional attachment.
    - Explore how touch suggests subtle cues for how your app works, and learn how to make use of this new class of affordances.
    - Learn why buttons are a hack. Tap into direct manipulation of content to encourage exploration in ways that traditional controls cannot.
    - Design gesture interactions, and learn techniques to help people discover unfamiliar gestures on their own.
    - Train in gestural jiujitsu, the dark art of using awkward gestures for "defensive design" and protecting against accidental mistaps.
    - Explore the psychology behind screen rotation and the opportunities and pitfalls it creates for designers.
    - Find out how the form and context of tablets create different interface requirements from phone handsets.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Effective Design Documentation without a Fuss

    by Dan B.

    The complexity of new design challenges demands better documentation faster. Designers can no longer hope to hand in a sheaf of wireframes and hope the project team can follow along. Instead, teams are more dependent on good deliverables and better pictures to communicate a complete story. And designers need to create documents faster, in part to accommodate rapidly changing methodologies. Finally, designers need to weigh the value of creating formal documentation against other methods of explaining design.

    Regardless of your role in the design process–researcher, evaluator, designer, developer–creating and using documentation is essential. Design deliverables establish a plan for design activities, ensure that the team is aligned in their objectives, and set expectations for project stakeholders.

    Though some interpretations of modern development methodologies suggest eschewing design documentation, a good framework for deliverables can adapt to a variety of circumstances. Design teams should not assume a one-size-fits all approach to their deliverables, but instead cultivate a toolkit that serves a range of design projects.

    This workshop will teach participants understand what makes great design documentation, and how to get there faster. Using examples from EightShapes Unify – a free collections of deliverable templates - the workshop will dig into some of the techniques that can make deliverable preparation more efficient.


    If you work on web projects and need to create, review, or approve design documentation, this workshop will help you develop a critical eye for deliverables.


    By the end of this workshop you will:
    - Establish the role of design documentation in your organization
    - Have strategies for recognizing great deliverables and providing feedback on documentation
    - Know how to plan a collection of basic templates for constructing design deliverables
    - Know how to plan the structure and content of a deliverable before building it
    - Understand how to adapt design deliverables to various circumstances
    - Appreciate separating design deliverables from design artifacts to support reuse
    - See how EightShapes Unify allows you to create design documents quickly

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

  • Guerrilla Research Methods

    by Russ Unger

    This hands-on session will cover a number of low cost, yet powerful research methods to help you make better data-driven design decisions. We'll provide a number of techniques for recruiting research participants, creating better research questions, and what to do with your data once you've conducted your research.

    Topics Covered:
    - How to sell guerrilla research into a project from the start
    - How to recruit better participants
    - How to form better research questions
    - What to do with your data once you have it
    - A number of inexpensive, quick, but highly effective research methods when time and/or budget are limited
    - Real-world case studies to show how guerrilla research methods provide measurable ROI
    - Assessment methodology to determine which method is best for their project or situation
    - Valuable "how-tos" to execute the research

    Questions Answered:
    - How do I get my boss or client to buy into doing research for my project?
    - What is guerrilla research and how is it different than traditional market research?
    - What are some guerrilla research methods and what kind of results can I expect?
    - How do I pick the right method(s)?
    - What's the downside/shortcoming of guerrilla research methods compared to other research methods?

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Wednesday 11th May

Thursday 12th May 2011

  • Know Thy User: Persona-Centered Design

    by Steve Mulder

    When it comes to personas, there's a whole lot of talk in user experience circles, but not always a lot of action. Many people extol the virtues of personas, but few dive into the trenches of how to actually create personas and use them effectively for creating online experiences. This workshop will lead attendees through the entire process, with exercises that bring the theories of personas to life.

    We will cover everything from research methodologies and segmentation approaches to making personas real and using them for digital strategy, scope prioritization, information architecture, and design. The workshop will quickly cover the basic principles and components of personas, as well as provide advanced techniques and best practices on topics such as survey design and quantitative segmentation.

    We'll answer questions such as:
    - What are the steps I follow to create personas quickly on my own?
    - How do I get the most out of user research?
    - How do I bring more science and rigor to persona creation to assuage my skeptics?
    - What are the tricks to making personas truly come to life and be memorable?
    - When and how do I use personas when working on digital strategy, information architecture, interaction design, visual design, and user testing?

    Workshop activities will involve exercises to uncover the best approaches for creating persona segmentation and bringing personas to life.


    Whether you design or build, strategize or architect, the targeted audience should be foremost in your mind. This workshop will help you and your team make your audience come alive so you can build better online experiences for them.


    By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
    - Understand and communicate the value of personas
    - Decide among the various approaches for creating personas
    - Know when to apply which user research methods
    - Get the most out of conducting user interviews
    - Master the art of qualitative segmentation for persona creation
    - Enhance persona creation with quantitative research such as surveys
    - Graduate to a more data-driven segmentation approach through cluster analysis
    - Know all of the critical elements of an effective, memorable persona
    - Create a variety of tools and documents for socializing personas in your organization
    - Apply personas to feature and content brainstorming and prioritization
    - Guide information architecture, design, and user testing with personas

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

  • Seductive Interactions

    by Stephen Anderson

    A while back, LinkedIn experimented with a feature: a little meter above the users' information, showing their profile's "percentage completed." Suddenly, more users filled out their profiles. The feature didn't have a clever interface, a sophisticated information architecture, or show any technical prowess. It just leveraged basic human psychology.

    As designers, we work hard to provide powerful features in our applications, but if users don't take advantage, it's all waste. We have to extend our designer's toolkit, leveraging the latest thinking from behavioral economics, neuroscience, game mechanics, and rhetoric.

    In this fun-filled, interactive workshop, Stephen P. Anderson will guide you through specific examples of sites who've designed serendipity, arousal, rewards, and other seductive elements into their applications, especially during the post-signup period, when it's so easy to lose people. He'll demonstrate how to engage your users through a process of playful discovery, which is vital whether you make consumer applications or design for the corporate environment.

    Using the Mental Notes card deck, participants will start with an application that is perfectly "usable," and take it to the next level by exploring how things like feedback loops curiosity and social proof could make a site more seductive.


    Designers, developers, marketers and product managers-- anyone involved with the design of website and applications. The focus of this workshop is on how to design for behaviors, whichis one thing diverse product teams can align around!


    By the end of this workshop you will:
    - Discover practical ways to apply ideas from psychology to interaction design
    - Learn 15 principles from psychology (such as Curiosity, Set Completion and Sequencing)
    - Understand why making things usable isn't enough
    - Understand how our design decisions influence behavior
    - Be able translate business goals directly into behavioral goals (allowing us to measure UX decisions)
    - Learn how even business apps could benefit from a little playfulness

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

  • Site Search Analytics

    by Louis Rosenfeld

    Does your site have a search engine? If so, you're sitting on an often under-utilized pot of gold: search query data that describes what your customers really want from your site—in their own words. Analyzing this wildly semantically rich data will help you to better diagnose and solve problems with your site's content, navigation, and search performance.

    In this workshop, Lou Rosenfeld—co-author of Information Architecture for the World Wide Web and the forthcoming Search Analytics for your Site: Conversations with your customers—will combine lecture, discussion, and hands-on exercises to get you started with site search analytics. And he'll show you how spending even an hour a week analyzing your search queries can help tune and improve your site, and expose new opportunities for improving your business strategy.

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

    Coverage slide deck

  • Strategic User Experience: Beyond the Interface

    by Leisa Reichelt

    Familiar with the expression 'lipstick on a pig'?

    There comes a time in every UXer's career when they realise in order to really impact their Users' Experience they need to move beyond the interface and into the business.

    For most of us, the prospect of taking a seat at the strategy table is an exciting yet terrifying prospect and requires a whole other set of skills, techniques and vocabulary.

    What does it mean to get involved with Strategic User Experience?

    • Understanding the experience that your users have beyond their interaction with the interface you're designing, across all medium, throughout the lifecycle of their engagement.
    • Being proactively involved in shaping the product or service offering, working with disciplines across the organisation.
    • Becoming fluent in the languages and practices of both User Experience & Business people, becoming a translator and facilitator for both of these groups.
    • Developing some new techniques, and re-framing some existing UX techniques to help explore and communicate the strategic business opportunities that can be generated through a better understanding of our customers/end users.


    UX practitioners with a few years experience under their belt who want to have more control over and input into the product or service they're working on.


    • How to get their attention and speak their language (getting onto the strategy radar)
    • What is an Experience Strategy - what does it include, how to make and use one.
    • Soft skills you'll need as a UX Strategist.
    • How to transform traditional UX deliverables from tactical to strategic tools.

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

  • Magic, Hurt feelings and Forgiveness

    by Oli Shaw

    We live in modern times, witchcraft has been replaced by technologically magical products and service whose appearance is as alluring as our expectations of how we can use them. The more utopian the products and service we use become the less we need to understand how they work, which is fine, until something goes wrong and you need to get it working again. This talk will be examine the pitfalls of simplified 'seamless' designs, how something which was perceived as magical one day can be the source of great frustration then next, when things are no longer working as expected or worse completely broken. Through understanding the importance of 'seams' to aid the diagnosis of problems, and how self-service maintenance can be used to empower users, we can see how design with emotions in mind is vital. In a world of immaculately created artefacts be it on-screen or in-hand, the role of perception is intrinsically linked to emotion as an effective design approach, yet often overlooked.

    A journey starting with designing for simplicity and its consequences, travelling though; handling faults & errors, diagnosing problems, and how to help the user do things for themselves. And introducing perception design as an effective approach as part of designing products & services.

    • Design simplicity
    • Diagnosing the problem
    • Self-service
    • Emotional design
    • Perception design

    This talk is for anyone who has had a negative experience using a product or service, and those who are tasked with designing these experiences; Designers, Developers, User experience practitioners, product managers and anyone who has been near an 'unhappy' path…

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Thursday 12th May

  • More Elements of UX - a tour of non-design deliverables

    by Peter Boersma

    Jesse James Garrett's "The Elements of UX" focused mostly on design activities, with some research & strategy in the early phases. In this presentation, I want to focus on the non-design deliverables and show their impact on the user experience.

    From elevator pitches and estimates, via roadmaps and beta programs, to skill development and design process documentation, there are many activities and associated deliverables that deserve a practitioner's attention.

    Using real-world examples and applying 15 years of experience in the field, I will take attendees on a tour of the essential non-design deliverables and describe how UX practitioners can (and should) influence them and, ultimately, the resulting user experience.

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Thursday 12th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Revolutionizing the TV Industry through User Experience Design

    by Daria Loi

    This talk overviews a process used to lead the TV industry toward major changes – from often archaic experiences to novel ways of consuming, navigating and sharing content. The process, shared with fellow travelers from different disciplinary and industry backgrounds, has been one where persistence, intuition and serendipity played key roles and where, above all, UX research, design and creative thinking acted as catalysts for change, accelerating the TV industry and shifting the entire ecosystem beyond initially anticipated directions.

    Through specific examples from work conducted while in the User Experience Group at Intel Corporation, the talk will take the audience though key milestones that enabled the above-mentioned shifts – from ethnographic research to concept design and customer impact. The case study is grounded in the context of a large silicon manufacturer, where notions of change-through-design, UX, innovation and customer impact have distinct connotations and set boundaries, especially when compared with medium sized firms, original equipment manufacturers or academic contexts.

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Thursday 12th May

  • UX: The Bill Hicks Way

    by Ian Fenn

    William Melvin "Bill" Hicks was an American stand-up comedian, philosopher and a satirist. Widely recognised as one of the world's greatest stand-up comedians, his premature death aged 32 in 1994 left a legacy that continues to this day.

    In this entertaining talk, Ian Fenn will demonstrate what interaction designers can learn from Bill's approach, beginning with his much-revered honesty.

    The talk will encourage UX professionals to look to other creative and skilled disciplines for inspiration and impart key guiding principles that should serve them well throughout their work.

    At 2:00pm to 2:20pm, Thursday 12th May

  • Designing for an Interconnected World

    by Ji-Hye Park

    Ubiquitous computing is becoming a reality due to the proliferation of smartphones, embedded devices (the Internet of Things) and cloud computing.

    Ji-Hye will be sharing insights from our ongoing work to understand the challenges and current best practices of user experience design in this area.

    She will share insights in this area, drawn from her participation in Smarcos, an EU funded research consortium set up to research the design of interconnected embedded systems.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Thursday 12th May

  • Sell yourself better

    by Jason Mesut

    User Experience has changed significantly over the past three years. People are pouring in from all sorts of related and unrelated fields, from project management through to development. There are several events per week in major cities like London. Clients are asking for Information Architects, User-Centred Design and a great user experience. 'UX Designer' (or the many terms that surround this one) is what 'Web designer' was ten years ago.
    However, most people still confuse User Interface with User Experience. We are under threat from designers and developers who have picked up the interaction design and information architecture skills they need for developing a really great looking and slick User Interface. We are under threat from marketers and management consultants who have the relationships and the gravitas to talk about 'services' and 'multi-channel experiences' to the C-Suite.
    This is both exciting and scary.
    It's exciting because new perspectives and wider adoption will help to progress what we do in a way that means that more companies reach a higher level of maturity.
    With ridiculous day rates, high salaries, unprofessional attitudes and poor work, we are at risk of cannibalising our own future.
    We need to take stock right now and have a little bit of introspection around what we are doing, why we are doing it and how we are going to position ourselves better for a more sustained and successful future.

    Anyone who is looking for a new job, struggling to develop themselves within their current organization, or struggling to sell User Experience activities within an organization


    • You will hear harsh truths that people may have danced around before
    • You will better understand how to help develop yourself in the right way
    • You will be better placed to get the job that fits you
    • You will be better placed to convince others of the value that you and your process brings

    Jason will expand on his UX Portfolio thoughts, exploring wider why, and how you as a User Experience Professional should sell yourself better in order to get the job you will be happy with, and convince others of the value that you bring so you can keep doing what you love for your own and your client or team's benefit.
    From twitter and blogs, through to portfolios and networking; Jason will offer a colourful perspective as a hirer, Senior User Experience advocate to clients and man about town on the London UX scene.
    Some of the topics to tease you with:

    • Understanding yourself and your profile
    • Understanding your audience
    • Building an incredible portfolio
    • Saving work as you go

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Thursday 12th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • The Childish Washer & The Happy Website: The Power of Product Personality

    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, how it helps design better products (and experiences) and especially how UX designers can design for it.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Thursday 12th May

    Coverage slide deck

  • Usability Testing with Mobile Devices: A Crash Course

    by belenpena and Bernard Tyers

    If you were tasked tomorrow with organising usability testing for a mobile application or website, would you know what to do? Where would you test, in a lab or in the field? Which handset would you use? Which connection type? How would you record the tests?

    We won't actually tell you: we'll show you! We'll usability test a mobile website in front of your eyes, and answer the basic questions in the process.

    After attending this session, you'll be ready to face the challenges of usability testing for mobile software.

    At 2:30pm to 2:50pm, Thursday 12th May

  • Content Strategy and User Experience

    by Kristina Halvorson

    What's "content strategy"? Go ahead. Pick a definition. This practice (in one form or another) has been around for more than a decade, but somehow we haven't quite agreed on what it is, how it should work, and why it really matters.

    One thing everyone does agree on: Dealing with web content is hard. It's complicated, expensive, time-consuming, and often overwhelming. There's new content. Legacy content. User-generated content. Print to web. Text to video. Static to dynamic. The list goes on and on.

    But who's responsible for wrangling all this content into submission? Agencies want the client to do it, but the client doesn't have the necessary infrastructure to plan for and execute user-centered content. The client wants the agency to do it, but the agency doesn't have the subject matter expertise—let alone the internal resources—required create content that's always accurate, relevant, and consistent over time.

    Good news: The practice of content strategy gives us tools and processes that can help bring order out of your content chaos. But before we can sell our organizations on investing time and money in content strategy, we need to help stakeholders understand exactly how content can make or break user experience, and what the costs are when we wait until the 11th hour to deal with it.


    Content strategy is the practice of planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. In this workshop, we'll learn:

    • How and why content gets the short end of the UX planning stick
    • What makes up a content strategy
    • How to integrate content strategy in the user experience design process
    • Techniques for getting stakeholders to understand and align on the business value of content strategy


    This workshop is for anyone who's convinced that great content is central to a successful user experience and wants the tools to make it happen: Marketers, web editors and writers, user experience designers, information architects, product managers, and anyone else who deals with web content at any stage of the content lifecycle.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Thursday 12th May

  • Designing Social Interfaces

    by Christian Crumlish

    Designing social websites and applications, or adding a social dimension to an existing project, involves unique challenges beyond those associated with designing for individuals interacting alone with an interface. Do any of the following issues sound familiar?

    • I'm a designer being asked to add "social" to my site!
    • I have an active community on my site but people are misbehaving. How can I get that under control?
    • We want to build a really cool social experience around [thingy] but we're not sure how to get people to come join the fun.
    • I have a great idea for a social utility but I don't want to have to first re-create the social infrastructure of the web inside of it.
    • People come and read my content, but they're invisible to each other. How can I peel away the layers so they can participate with each other?
    • I'm worried I'm missing an opportunity to help my members connect with each other in the real world.

    In this workshop, we'll address these challenges and more. You'll explore the landscape of social user experience design patterns and anti-patterns, focusing on the contexts in which specific interface designs work well and the unintended consequences of some interface choices that may seem like a good idea at first.

    Starting with a foundational set of high-level practices, Christian will present rules and tips for how to mix and match specific design patterns create compelling social experiences.

    Workshop activities will involve concept modeling and user interface sketching to explore the application of social interaction patterns to specific scenarios.


    Designers, developers, architects and product specialists all need to work together to create compelling social experiences online and this workshop will be relevant to anyone who has to plan, design, build, or bring to market social websites and applications.


    By the end of this workshop you will be able to:
    - Understand, visualize, and communicate clearly about the social design landscape.
    - Apply a set of core social design principles to a wide variety of contexts.
    - Create models for the representation of people and social objects in your app.
    - Add social features intelligently (and incrementally) to an existing site.
    - Enable sharing and engage organic word-of-mouth growth to launch your project.
    - Introduce representations of presence into an experience so that your users can find and relate to each other.
    - Tie your virtual experiences to the real world in space and time by connecting to maps, geolocation, and calendaring tools.
    - Figure out an enterprise social media strategy for your client, boss, or startup.

    At 3:00pm to 6:30pm, Thursday 12th May