If we focus too much on content, we ignore what we know about how our associative brain comes to makes sense new information. Think about how many people respond before reading past the first sentence of an email, or how a magazine article doesn't get the same reaction when displayed in HTML. Or consider how knowing the author of a publication influences your judgement of that content.
Picking up from the session Stephen P. Anderson gave last year on "The Stories We Construct" (a biological look at the narratives that influence behavior), this session focuses on how we come to perceive—and respond to— information. From phantom limbs to magicians fooling our senses, Stephen proposes a model that makes sense of how we truly experience information. Practical? You'll leave with a deep understanding of everything UX is about and an awareness of common practices that don't account for this knowledge.
In 2010 the new AOL leadership created the Consumer Experience group to put the consumer at the heart of the product design and development process, and to ensure that AOL ships only high-quality products. One of the tactics we adopted to address UX-related issues, large and small, was to focus on fixing the most basic broken experiences first. This established a quality baseline, and created a culture of strict attention to detail and constant pitching in together to fix what needs fixing.
Some of the questions we are going to address during the talk are:
Through the 19th and 20th centuries, the industrial and information ages, businesses became increasingly mechanistic, and the people working in them were seen as cogs executing tasks. With the 21st century we’re moving from information to relationships, products to services, consumption to meaning. Concepts like design thinking, innovation, and customer experience are not goals in and of themselves, but indicators of a deeper, more fundamental shift: in this connected age, business must re-connect with those things that make us human.
In this presentation, Peter will explain the remarkable opportunities for businesses that engage humanism, and explain the steps your organization must take in order to embrace this new model.
by Josh Clark
The mythical mobile user who's always distracted and in a rush doesn't always, or even usually, exist. Yet too often we design for that context, creating mobile apps and websites as lite versions of desktop counterparts. Instead, mobile apps should almost always do MORE than their desktop counterparts. "Tapworthy" author Josh Clark explains the difficult craft of designing simple interfaces for complex mobile apps, sharing techniques for future-friendly mobile efforts and, along the way, debunking seven stubborn mobile myths.
by Kyle Soucy
When conducting user research, we all know asking the right questions is just as important as how you ask them, but how do you even know what questions to ask? What if the discussion topic is extremely personal and private? How do you get a complete stranger to open up to you? This is where collaging can help.
Collaging is a projective technique where participants select images that represent how they feel about a specific topic. The participants then explain the reason they chose each image to the moderator. The collage becomes an instrument for participants to express needs and feelings that they might not have otherwise been able to articulate.
This presentation will provide an introduction to collaging and explain everything you need to know to conduct your own study. A live demonstration of a Collaging exercise will also be performed with some participants from the audience!
Of old, narrative and storytelling were used to weave useful pieces of information into stories that could be handed down orally, generation after generation. These were usually stories of traveling, quests for an elsewhere. In the past hundred years, the maturing of mechanical reproduction of music, images, and movement, has changed this seamless narrative immersion into self-conscious reflection, physical struggles into psychological tensions, and traveling the world into traveling the mind and soul.
Through a series of examples, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), camp musical videoclips (1980s), early videogames such as “The Secret of Monkey Island” (1990), and movies such as “Groundhog Day” (1993), this presentation will argue that as ‘digital’ matures and becomes one again with ‘physical’, immersion in cross-channel experiences will be achieved through non-literal, abstract navigational grammars and place-making, and the language we will use, the pervasive sense-making layer that will weave experiences into stories once more, will be that of information architecture.
What happens when you are diagnosed with cancer? How do you find the right information and support, and communicate to your friends and family? Is there a difference between you and the normal population of sufferers due to your age?
This session is the result of 10 interviews with young breast cancer patients to try and answer some of these questions and proposes a model for information, applications and services that will meet their needs.
This activity is important because as we age, we will use a combination of online and offline resources to manage the diseases of our children, parents and ourselves. We will need to reach out for support with our peers and communicate to our networks of family and friends, and increasingly we will do this via digital means.
Jamie Monberg, Chief Experience Officer at leading brand experience agency Hornall Anderson, will show some exciting and innovative examples of interactive experiences that dissolve the lines between digital and physical and allow people to experience brands in integrated environments and mediums.
When smartphones and tablets first emerged, designers focused on channel differences like screen size in order to understand the basics in this new area. It's time to set aside channel-centric planning and think of a user's context first.
Picture the customer planning their shopping list then later arriving at the store. They use their phone for both, but their needs and goals have clearly changed. Context thinking also helps us recognize when two or more channels might intersect, such as a bus stop ad with QR code and a user's phone.
Learn how emotional, social and physical contexts, as well as the context of connectivity, can help unearth smarter features and drive roadmaps for multichannel businesses and products.
Discover how to:
by Lis Hubert
Remember that time that the best work you ever did got scoffed at by everyone in the review meeting? What IA doesn’t remember that moment, right?
Fear not, there is hope at avoiding just this situation! More importantly, there is a good chance that the reason that your solution got turned down had nothing to do with how good your idea was. In fact, there is a good chance that it had to do with one cold, hard fact… cash.
In this session, we’ll discuss how learning about money flow enables you to better anticipate how to present, create, and update your solutions to fit business needs and technological complexities and avoid those heart wrenching conference room situations.
This session is for anyone that is ready to take their career to the next level, by learning more about the business and thus, bringing IA more into the organizational structure.
Jared (the Spool) and Lou (the Rosenfeld) want to brainstorm ideas for apps for publishers. Join us?
by Jim Ross
"From the perspective of a participant, user research is not very natural. We ask participants to try to act naturally in the artificial environment of a lab, or we impose ourselves on their environment and hope our presence doesn't affect their behavior. We often forget how unnatural user research can be and the negative effects it can have on participants.
In this presentation, we'll first examine the ways in which user research can be unnatural, such as the people recruited, the location of the research, the things we ask participants to do, the effects of thinking aloud, the effect of prototypes, recording, observation, and the interaction with the facilitator. Then we'll discuss ways to minimize or eliminate these unnatural aspects of user research, including recruiting better participants, minimizing the formality, setting the right expectations, minimizing the effect of observers and technology, and conducting more remote and natural research."
For years, we've been telling designers: the web is not print. You can't have pixel-perfect layouts. You can't determine how your site will look in every browser, on every platform, on every device. We taught designers to cede control, think in systems, embrace web standards. So why are we still letting content authors plan for where their content will "live" on a web page? Why do we give in when they demand a WYSIWYG text editor that works "just like Microsoft Word"? Worst of all, why do we waste time and money creating and recreating content instead of planning for content reuse? What worked for the desktop web simply won't work for mobile. As our design and development processes evolve, our content workflow has to keep up. Karen will talk about how we have to adapt to creating more flexible content.
Crowdsourced unmoderated usability testing is sometimes used to get user feedback on small tasks. It is a quick and dirty approach that yields results of variable quality levels, and that often requires considerable compromise on participant demographics.
Join me in this session to explore how to take crowdsourced usability testing beyond microtasking and use it successfully for hour-long remote unmoderated sessions and longitudinal studies. We will cover lessons learned in participant recruitment, task plan writing and data interpretation.
by Søren Muus
This presentation explains the theory and practice of specific modelling techniques that help UX/IA professionals and their stakeholders understand complex information architecture systems.
Modeling the overall ecosystem helps to conceptualize design challenges and deconstruct activities and systems, affording a deeper understanding, which allow us to create frameworks for synthesizing connections between touch-points, and empowers information architects to satisfy user needs across both analog and digital experiences, for the benefit of everyone involved in the the real-world implementation process; Information architects, UX designers, clients and their stakeholders.
This presentation will explore four different types of modelling techniques and how they have been applied to real world use cases: Task Flow Models, Customer Journey Models, Concept Maps and Ecosystem Models, wherein the entire system and connections across channels are taken into consideration. There will be a general overview of modeling. Then each type of model will be explained accompanied by practical examples.
In this engaging and interactive panel, you'll hear from four practitioners who have made the jump to ‘indie' consulting and have not only survived, but thrived. This panel will cover the practical and personal considerations of being an indie designer, including how to get over the fear of making the jump, where and how to find clients, managing the business side of design and what it's like to work alone. We will be brutally honest about the upsides and the downsides of indie life—including challenges like wading into organizational politics as an external consultant, managing time and client expectations and how to sell services that can be difficult for even seasoned practitioners to define.
This panel will be as interactive as it is informative, opening the floor to audience members who want to dig into specific questions. Our international panel includes a newly ‘indie' designer, two mid-level practitioners and an industry veteran, providing interesting and varied perspectives on independent life.
by Carol Smith
In this upbeat session you’ll get a primer on the most influential ideas in business and how you can use them to empower yourself which in turn can help you to better negotiate for the needs of the users.
This session will provide you with essential tips for making your verbal and non-verbal communication as clear and relevant as possible to your audience. You will learn how effective negotiation can help you get you what you want and you powerful strategies to get past the word “No.”
A tell all behind the scenes look at moving from consulting to a product company. We'll show what it's like to build your own app, discuss our design and development process, how we handle release schedules, and customer support. We'll even discuss the not so glorious side of things and how we handled them, like nearly going broke (more than once), realizing our production database is out of sync by 2 weeks, even the dumbest customers in the world, are still your customers and how you can learn from them.
by Adam Ungstad
Metadata provides a foundation for the cross-channel experiences we consume in the dawn of the 21st century by enabling consistency, context and interoperability.
While Metadata is key to many of the User Experience methods we use – from triggering Content Strategy workflows to enabling faceted search through groups, sorts and filters, it remains a mystery to many of us. This session is a crash course on Metadata in the 21st century for UX Designers.
We'll look at recent developments in the field, and build an understanding of how Metadata enables the exchange of information between parties, channels, systems and platforms through semantic, syntax and lexical specifications.
Attendees will understand how Metadata fits into UX methods and tools they already know – using an ontology to support a mental model for example. This session is a must for all UX Designers looking to build meaningful cross-channel experiences in an increasingly interlinked world.
People have questions about their bodies that they won't share with anyone but the internet. But does the internet offer relevant, trusted answers?
Through search data, keyword analysis, social listening, and user research, we can understand the vernacular of people with specific concerns and conditions. The process of "vernacular planning" allows planners and content strategists to collaborate and create search-optimized content and persuasive digital architectures. By doing so, we can intercept people who need answers and offer them relevant and credible information in return. Through case studies and examples, we'll show how and why this is effective.
By focusing on the user, healthcare brands can create successful outcomes by tapping into the vernacular of people in need.
We live in an information economy. Companies make it their business to put large sets of data in the hands of consumers. Whether shopping for a bargain flight, searching for a book at the local library, or browsing through potential matches on a dating site, we encounter great quantities of information that must be organized, sorted, and filtered.
It is our job as designers to dissect this information and create intuitive and interactive interfaces that allow people to easily create queries, compare multiple items, and drill down through lists of results to find the perfect product. Whether your data happens to be people, places, or things, we’ll examine case studies from my own work, and we’ll cover the appropriate user controls and design patterns for working with diverse types sets of data.
As designers and IAs, we hear lots of vague adjectives from clients, as they tell us what they want their sites, or apps, or software to be: “The site needs to be ‘cool,’"" “It should be ‘exciting,’” “I want it to ‘pop.’” When we ask them to clarify, the answer we get back sounds a lot like “I can’t tell you what it is, but I’ll know it when I see it.”
“Fun” is a particularly difficult concept to define. And we’re starting to hear it a lot more as we design for different contexts of use.
The good news? We all have an idea of what “fun” is. The bad news? The nuances in these ideas—among designers, clients, and most importantly, users—can mean the difference between a successful project and an unsuccessful one.
This session will teach participants how to understand how project stakeholders define “fun” by using the following process:
Participants will come away with an understanding of how to use this process as well as tips, tools and techniques for designing “fun.”
It's pretty obvious that people love to pile up paper and documents in their offices — it's one of the big reasons that the mythical paperless office has yet to materialise.
There's been a lot of research around this, and a variety of fascinating academia looking at the ways we can design support systems for such messiness.
It's all very interesting but nobody thinks about applying this knowledge — the knowledge that people are inherently messy and often find it more empowering and easier to be messy, and actually feel quite organised by being messy — to the design of real world products and applications.
In this fast paced session, hear the adventures of two information management/HCI researchers who also work in the game design industry and learn how our UX and product design can be informed by people's messy desks.
Hats are optional for all attendees, but are strongly recommended.
by John Ferrara
The unique ability of video games to command players’ attention and express meaning procedurally may make them, among user experience channels, an ideal way to persuade. This presentation will provide an overview of the specific strategies that our team employed in designing Fitter Critters, a prizewinning game designed to persuade children to adopt healthier eating habits. The game’s design drew upon our background in user experience design and the unfolding theoretical frameworks for the development of games that serve broader social objectives. Attendees will acquire methods for building persuasive games, and volunteers will be invited to play Fitter Critters live to demonstrate the process by which the game effects meaningful change in people.
The IA Slam is a condensation of the white-knuckle terrors and orgiastic joys of a full client engagement into a take-no-prisoners improvisational session. Participants will work in teams to solve and present a heretofore unimagined business problem in a compressed time frame, and members of the winning team will be awarded a medal at a special ceremony at Sunday's lunch. If this sounds scary, you're right. If it sounds fun, you're also right. If it sounds irrelevant to the practice of information architecture, you couldn't be more wrong: ask Dennis Schleicher.
by Veronica Erb
When you attend a presentation, what do you do? Sit quietly and listen? Scribble notes? Live tweet? Get distracted by your smartphone? Take photos with a camera that has a surprisingly loud shutter effect?
There's yet another option: sketchnote.
Sketchnoting is like notetaking, but with more flair and more focus. Hand lettering and illustrations provide the flair; focus provides you the time to include the flair. Besides keeping you engaged during talks, visual notetaking makes it easier to retain what you've heard and share it later.
This session will review effective "plain text" notetaking, discuss what tools will help you sketchnote, and teach techniques for hand lettering and illustration. We will talk about how to juggle the required multitasking and about how the intention of your notes can influence the style you choose. When we finish, all you'll have left to do is start.
All beginners and active sketchnoters welcome!
by Scott Kubie
Stop me if you've heard this one:
Q: What did the developer say to the users in the changelog?
A: Minor bug fixes and enhancements.
Whoops, sorry, that's not a joke. It is unfortunately common, though. Far too often, changes in software and websites are communicated to users with a cavalier attitude — if it all.
In this session, you'll learn why it's important to communicate clearly about change, why we often don't, and how to do it better. We'll explore examples of industry best and worst practices, from the rollout of #NewNewTwitter to the bizarre PR backpedaling of the Netflix/Qwikster saga.
BONUS: Be prepared for a lightning round of comically-curt changelog text collected from apps and sites across the web. No brand is safe.
There’s a vast difference between designing an experience that doesn’t suck and one that drives engagement. We’re good at eliminating frustration. It’s easy to observe whether your customers are unhappy, and then just not do that. But users’ expectations are higher.
Some companies are creating great experiences. From the outside, it looks effortless. But you know it’s not. The user part of you says, Wow, now this is really nice, I get it, in fact, I don’t want to live without it. The designer part of you says, Holy crap, how’d they do that — it’s really hard!
In this session, we’ll look at a nifty framework for thinking about and talking about what I call three levels of happy design. Based on research from behavioral economics, hedonics, positive psychology, the importance of adult play, emotion in design, and a whole bunch of other stuff better saved for the talk.
21st–25th March 2012