by Kevin Cheng
How do you get people to read your documentation? How do you get a point across within 10 seconds? How do you make sure your product stays true to its original vision?
Google used them. The US Postal Service used them. Adaptive Path used them. The US Navy used them. Business author and TED speaker Daniel Pink used them. It seems comics are in use everywhere lately.
Comics are a unique way to communicate, using both image and text to effectively demonstrate time, function, and emotion. Just as vividly as they convey the feats of superheroes, comics tell stories of your users and your products. Comics can provide your organization with an exciting and effective alternative to slogging through requirements documents and long reports.
In See What I Mean, Kevin Cheng, OK/Cancel founder/cartoonist and author of the soon to be released Rosenfeld book by the same title, will teach you how you can use comics as a powerful communication tool without any illustrator skills.
This half day workshop will help you:
In See What I Mean, Kevin will walk you step by step through the process of using comics to communicate, and provide examples from industry leaders who have already adopted this method.
by David Travis
Here's a paradox for you. Good design is simple. It happens when designers get accurate feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of their design so that they can iteratively improve it.
Yet most technology is overly complex and poorly designed. What went wrong?
The problem is with the accuracy of the feedback. It often comes from the 'HIPPO' — the highest paid person's opinion. Or from fellow designers who are pressuring you to add 'cool' functions that users don't want and can't use. Or from market research teams who have lots of data from focus groups and surveys but no insight into the day-to-day problems experienced during actual use of the system.
We can fix this problem with usability testing. Usability testing is an ideal method to resolve the kind of disputes design teams face every day. In contrast to market research methods, usability testing delivers strong predictive value, demonstrating how real people will use the system in the real world. It also provides actionable solutions to design problems so you can fix problems quickly.
But there are lots of pitfalls awaiting people who are new to usability testing. This hands-on workshop will show you how to avoid these mistakes and give you the confidence to run your own test.
Arrive promptly for this workshop because we're going to run a usability test in the first 30 minutes. We'll then deconstruct the usability test to reveal the separate, distinct components that all good usability tests comprise. We'll examine each of these components in depth, and you'll then get hands on practice mastering each one. Finally, you'll plan and moderate your own usability test.
WHO IS THIS WORKSHOP FOR?
This workshop is aimed at user experience designers who want to practice techniques for testing and evaluating their designs with end users. The focus of the workshop is on preparing and moderating a usability test.
WHAT WILL YOU LEARN?
You'll learn how to:
by Wolf Becvar
Interactivity is on the go offering so many advantages, so why would you still stick to old-fashioned techniques and clumsy tools when you are about the concept THE next website. This session will bring you the advantages of interactive wireframing demoing the latest version of HotGloo.
As user research becomes firmly established in organizations around the world, it's tempting to congratulate ourselves and retreat to our shiny new labs. But our work is nowhere near complete. As currently practiced, user research remains narrow in focus, often limited to the qualitative methods that reflect our own educational biases, and the tools that fit within our own comfort zones.
Other research practices, such as web analytics, business analytics, and market research, are equally powerful ways of learning about users' wants and needs. More importantly, they're often complementary with what we do. When our organizations combine methods that tell what is going on are combined with methods that tell why, only then will they truly realize the value of all user research.
In his keynote, Lou Rosenfeld will explore the complementary aspects of the different research perspectives, argue for breaking down the silos that divide them, and suggest a framework for developing products and services that are better analyzed, better designed, and, ultimately, better performing.
These days everybody talks about game mechanics, badges, points, and leaderboards, but less attention is paid to the role of play in digital experiences. After childhood, play rarely "just happens," but you can design for it.
Taking ideas from game design, musical instrument design, and play-acting techniques including improv and bodystorming, Christian will address the role of play in digital experiences and how our designs can foster and encourage play rather than squeeze all the joy out of life one pixel at a time.
In game design, you create an arena for play. You establish boundaries and rules and you work to tune game dynamics that yield fun experiences rather than boring, mechanical, or pointless drudgery. Within those boundaries and rules, the players create their own unique experience, collaboratively, every time. Again the marriage of strict purposeful constraints with open space and room for human variation creates the best game experiences.
Children gravitate toward play-acting naturally but over time those skills can be lost. Giving people contexts in which they can explore alternate identities, wear masks, co-create stories, re-enact important events, or make snowmen and sandcastles can summon up that inner never-fully-lost capacity to enter a flow state.
Can an enterprise app, maybe one that looks like a spreadsheet and reports to HR ever actually be fun? That's a stretch, but you can absolutely introduce elements of play into the most buttoned-down context. Consider one primitive gesture from games: collecting. Many games offer some form of gather, arranging, and displaying objects. Just so, even an HR portal may offer some opportunity to incorporate a collecting "game" into the workflow.
Christian will share techniques for introducing a sense of play into the experiences we're designing and will exhort the assembled crowd to make life more fun for our users and to thrive while doing so.
by Nick Finck
No matter how many departments your organization has, to your customers, it's all the same business. They expect a cohesive experience across all touch-points with your company, regardless of whether it's related to advertising, customer service, social presence, or the actual product or service you provide. The satisfaction of your customers, and thereby the success of your organization, depends in no small part on your ability to create a cohesive and consistently high-quality cross-channel experience.
Some examples of disjointed cross-channel experiences are:
Applying consideration for the cross-channel experience is much easier said than done. It requires a significant level of coordination and collaboration between the stakeholders, to understand not just how to optimize their particular part of the service, but to maintain that optimal and consistent experience throughout. For example, the customer service department can do a great job of correcting a problem after the fact, but they can add greater value to the product or service as a whole by collaborating with sales and product teams to prevent the issue from arising in the first place.
In this presentation, you will gain a better understanding of the different ways your customers might interact with your business. We will show how you can map out these touchpoints and help drive the creation of a cohesive experience across the various channels. We will show you how to navigate the political waters within your business to implement a true cross-channel design, which will build great experiences for your customers, regardless of how they are engaging with your business.
Love creative problem solving, but need something more practical— something specific to User Experience? Stephen P. Anderson will share with you the exercises he uses to solve the REAL problems.
You'll flex your critical thinking muscle through a series of jump starter activities. Even better, attendees may 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.
The way we talk about our content has significant impact on the way we treat it within our organizations… and, therefore, the quality of the content we produce.
How can we make the shift from treating content as a commodity to valuing it as a business asset? With a little storytelling and the help of a few powerful metaphors, you can begin to turn the tides.
by Josh Clark
Get ready to rumble with this mobile battle royale: native app vs mobile web. Your referee Josh Clark pits the polish of native apps versus the accessibility of the web to help you choose the right platform for your app and audience. It's a decision that hinges not only on tech specs or audience reach, but also on subtle cultural differences, user needs, and audience personalities. (Hold onto your seats, folks, the winner of this prize fight may surprise you.)
Clay Shirky coined the phrase "cognitive surplus" to describe humanity's untapped mental energy, energy being put to spectacular and beneficial use in collaborate efforts like Wikipedia. User experience designers are rapidly learning how to tap into this surplus through social and psychological insights into human behavior, inviting users to channel their intellectual energies into technologically-mediated interactions that people find emotionally rewarding and deeply compelling.
But where is the line between compelling interaction and compulsive behavior? With so much enthusiasm about "gamification", game mechanics, and behavior change, and with millions of people tagging other people's content and checking in every time they move around, designers of interactive systems should be asking themselves: what kinds of compelling and powerful interactive experiences actually enrich our lives... and what experiences simply drain our time and energy while providing nothing of value in return? How can we be sure we are using these psychologically engaging new interaction design patterns to make people's lives better?
We'll look at some real-world "anti-patterns" of interaction design, where human behavior is, to put it bluntly, being exploited. But we'll also look at how well-intentioned interactions might inadvertently dehumanize users by failing to address their deeper personal needs. Finally, we'll try to define some guiding principles around how to create engrossing, even addictive products and experiences that nonetheless empower and enrich the people who use them.
by Dario Buzzini
The work of the UX designer is comparable to the one of the detective: shadowing, finding evidence, following leads and clues, documenting and even bluffing are few of the activities that designers need to engage with in order to be successful in their discipline. Through these metaphors and a series of case studies of IDEO's work, the presentation will highlight some successful techniques for shaping user experiences across different platforms including:
by Don Norman
Complexity is not only good, it is essential. Our lives are complex as are the activities we do. Our tools must match the activities. People think they want simplicity, but they are wrong, as evidenced by the fact that when offered the choice between a very simple product and one with more features, they opt for the feature-laden one. We don't want simplicity: we want understanding. Complex things can be made understandable: that is the role of good design. One solution is modularity, which is why we have so many different kitchen utensils. Which is why owing a portable computer, a desktop computer, a smart phone, and a pad computer -- all of them -- makes sense for some people. Each is used for a different reason, in a different setting for different purposes.
Managing complexity is a partnership. Designers have to produce things that tame complexity. But we too have to do our part: we have to take the time to learn the structure and practice the skills. This is how we mastered reading and writing, driving a car, and playing sports, and this is how we can master our complex tools.
Complexity is good. Simplicity is misleading. The good life is complex, rich, and rewarding—but only if it is understandable, sensible, and meaningful.
11th–13th May 2011