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by Dorelle Rabinowitz and Mike Leftwich
Designers, IAs – want to really know what your Agile team members think about UX? Want to know how to truly be on the team, how to work smoothly within the Agile process, and how to leverage Agile to make your work more effective?
Dorelle and Mike have partnered on multiple Agile teams, translating a desktop product into both mobile and tablet channels. Based on their experience together (as a UX designer and a software engineer/ScrumMaster) they will give their perspectives on how to effectively integrate UX design practices into an agile team. This is a practical session with real-world examples of both successes and challenges. They will tell you what’s worked well and what hasn’t, and how they’re continually adapting their processes as the team grows and changes. This session is a chance for UXers to learn about effective Agile and UX from an engineering perspective.
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:
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!
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."
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 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.”
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.
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.”
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.
In this presentation we’ll discuss the importance of critique and a language for discussing design. It’s easy to complain about the way things are and theorize on the way things should be. Progress comes from understanding why something is the way it is and then examining how it meets or does not meet the desired goals. This is critique. Critique is not about describing how bad something is, or proposing the ultimate solution. Critique is a dialogue, a conversation that takes place to better understand how we got to where we are, how close we are to getting where we want to go and what we have left to do to get there.
The contents of this presentation will focus on:
It’s part of our job to talk to people to figure out complex situations. To build things people love, we have to understand not only users, but also the wider context we’re working in: people, systems, structures, business models, and more. The need to think the user experience through on several channels challenges us to envision a system that is cohesive and delivers delightful experiences.
Business analysis, computer science and psychology offer different frameworks and tools to help to make sense of a messy situation, to articulate and visualize the problem. In this talk, I will present a selection of techniques that are relevant to UX, such as Soft Systems Methodology or the Business Model Canvas.
Attendees will walk away with:
by Dom La Cava
Recently, service design strategies have become a popular tool for improving both the client experience and a company’s efficiency in serving clients. Several service models are available to assist designers in achieving their goals, but models are only tools in an overall process. Collaborative cooperation among designers, developers, and stakeholders is necessary to ensure you successfully implement the model’s findings.
In this presentation, we provide a case study describing how a collaborative design team used a client service ecosystem diagram to create consistent and cohesive touchpoints across multiple channels. We hope to provide attendees with an understanding of what they may encounter and how to plan for the challenges of achieving business goals while keeping focused on client touchpoints. As we explore how the design team’s structure can hinder or foster productive relationships, we argue that clearly articulated, collaborative processes allow designers to facilitate a desirable and delightful user experience.
As the sun sets on transaction-centric systems and we move into an era of cross-channel engagement and personalization, customer journeys are proving to be a critical tool in the IA/UX arsenal. However, a journey map is only as valuable as the value it provides to a project. A standard structural definition is hard to pin down because the form is highly dependent on the function—what is being conveyed—as well as the context—the role of the deliverable with respect to project stakeholders. Creating a journey map is easy; creating a valuable, believable, useful, elegant journey map is a bit more challenging.
This session will take a practical deep-dive into the process of illustrating customer journeys, from determining whether journeys are right for you, to identifying relevant components, through collaborative authoring techniques, refining visual language, and solidifying strong, value-centric narratives.
The rise of smartphones and tablets is an unprecedented opportunity for all kinds of search to escape traditional limits and become the single best way to access information. In context. Real-time. Come hear practical tips for designing search with tap-ahead, geo-location, still image and video input, voice and unprecedented personalization… While juggling crushing constraints: limited screen real estate, fat fingers, spotty connections, multi-tasking and shortened attention span. From the author of "Designing Search: UX Strategies for eCommerce Success" (Wiley, 2011).
Recent evolutions in mobile technologies are fostering new modes of interactions and allowing the creation of services that work seamlessly across devices. The same is true in Africa, given a penetration of mobile phones well over 50% of the population. The difference? Many: dumbphones instead of smartphones; low literacy level limits the possibility to use text-based services (be it web or SMS); scarcity of PCs; importance of community radios in rural areas.
Starting from projects on voice-based services for farmers in West Africa, the talk presents some of the most interesting cases of multi-channel approaches – that combine different eras of technology in one service. It details the possibilities that voice-based interactions can give to illiterate people to access information available on the web, as well as create a community-based repository of information. In conclusion, it reflects on the learnings and how these can be applied to Europe and North America.
by katey deeny
Values have increasingly come to the forefront in discussions around information architecture. Our solutions must address ethical and cultural values such as privacy, trust, security, and sustainability. Value-sensitive design principles can assist us in identifying the context, systems, and values necessary to solve complex problems in a meaningful way, while ensuring our designs retain integrity for ourselves, our clients, and all impacted users.
We can help guide this conversation as part of design strategy, using practical methods to assist in framing product purpose and user engagement. Understanding the implications of our design decisions greatly increases our chances of finding the best solutions across channels and stakeholders.
This presentation will explain the tenets of value-sensitive design, and show examples of these principles being used in the design process. These techniques can be used to solve problems around complex interactions with a multitude of touch-points that can effect a variety of users.
21st–25th March 2012