Sessions at Midwest UX 2012 on Saturday 2nd June

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  • Design and Development of Post-Digital Experiences

    Nathan Martin, CEO of Pittsburgh-based post-digital shop Deeplocal, will discuss the process behind several of the company’s well-known projects, including the tweet-printing Nike Chalkbot robot that debuted at the 2009 Tour de France. Deeplocal, which works both in marketing and product consulting, has strong opinions on speed and innovation.

    Nathan will present several examples of post-digital projects that bridge the online and offline worlds and the challenges that each campaign faced. Nathan will also discuss Deeplocal’s culture, which reflects his background as a fine artist and punk rocker, and talk about his company’s mission to support and sustain artists in Pittsburgh.

    At 9:30am to 10:15am, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

    Coverage sketch note

  • Evolving Mental Models

    by Daniel Eizans

    We're all familiar with the concept of mental modeling, but why do we typically only use this practice in the design of a system? We obviously think about content when we’re starting to brainstorm a design and we think about content when we interview our users, but why don't we leverage the mental models we’ve created when we take on a new digital project when we plan the content and materials that eventually populate that system?

    I believe mental models can work harder and can be a key driver for creating a content strategy that can evolve with our users.

    This talk will present an alternative (or extension) to the traditional mental model by focusing on the material that populates our digital experiences. We’ll cover how to add content specific inquiries to the information gathering process used to inform traditional mental models; and how to modify them to inform everything from story mapping, content planning and long term governance of digital systems over time.

    This type of mental modeling will be illustrated via case study.

    At 10:45am to 11:15am, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • Upselling UX: Moving From Pixels to Strategy

    by Jim Laing

    When it comes to user experience, organizations often begin with just a toe in the water: a designer is brought on board to cleanup a few features and answer developer questions, or a researcher is hired to run usability studies. However, in many organizations these well-meaning attempts to improve user experience end up being largely ineffective: band-aids on fundamentally flawed products. This is because unclear product strategy and a lack of user advocacy in early-stage planning often lead to unfocused solutions and unresolvable design issues later in product development. If such organizations are ever going to create great user experiences, it is necessary that the UX team begin to provide strategic leadership.

    But how does a fledgling UX team transform its self from playing tactical support to helping define strategy? In this session, we'll look at just what is strategic UX and what skills are necessary to operate at the strategic level. We will also discuss how you can explain the UX team’s role in strategy to your stakeholders, and how can you demonstrate the need for involving your team in product discovery. By upselling UX, you can increase the contribution of your team and tackle user experience problems where they begin.

    At 10:45am to 11:05am, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • Mapping the Experience

    by Chris Risdon

    As services become more interconnected across channels and devices—and more importantly across time and space—it’s becoming increasingly important to find ways to gain insight about customers’ interactions with your service.

    Experience maps offer a framework for mapping human experiences across multiple situations and interactions, helping to ensure that every occasion where your organization touches or connects with a person’s life is appropriate, relevant, meaningful, and endearing.

    In this presentation I’ll talk about orchestrating touchpoints and their channels through experience maps. I’ll review an experience mapping framework that includes key dimensions and how they’re used for designing for a multi-touchpoint experience. The presentation will discuss the activities that feed the map so that it tells a tangible story, the key elements make up a useful and actionable map, and how to then define the characteristics of your mapped touchpoints. Experience maps are intended to be catalysts, not conclusions.

    (this will include a detailed case study with actionable lessons, and also discussions touches on 'design beyond the screen')

    At 11:30am to 12:22pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • Working with Developers for Fun and Profit

    by Jack Moffett

    There has been a lot of discussion recently within the UX community about what is required to be an Interaction Designer. Do you have to be good at visual design? Do you have to know how to code? These are the wrong questions. The question we need to ask is, “What skills and methods will make us better Interaction Designers?” The answers will vary greatly depending on the context of your work: the type of company you work for, the makeup of your team, the types of projects you work on, and so forth.

    I strongly believe that a closer working relationship with developers and participation in more of the development process will improve your ability to deliver outstanding products and will increase your job satisfaction as a designer. I will outline a collaboration lifecycle in relation to project schedules and the design process and show designers how they can extend their influence, insuring design integrity and improving the quality of the final product, through greater participation in the entire development process. The presentation will address use of developer tools, documentation, the designer's ability to code, and designer–developer relationships.

    At 11:30am to 12:20pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • Bridging the Mobile Design Gap

    by Jen Matson

    Small screens, varying contexts, varying form factors -- challenging, inspiring, or both? Our perspective on how we view these many aspects of designing for mobile can usually be traced back to how and when we came to be working on the web.

    For those of us who have been pushing pixels since the medium's infancy, mobile is just the latest, though most profound shift. Web standards and even, yes, the much maligned <table>, have served important roles in helping to push the web forward by highlighting its weaknesses, whether in the area of emotionally engaging design or findability of information.

    In this session, we'll examine the history of design disruption on the web as a foreshadowing of the mobile web revolution. And we'll discuss the effects of those disruptions on those of us trying to trying to craft great experiences when we often have such different ideas about what the web is, or should be. Because it's only by understanding our shared history, and examining our assumptions and expectations dragged along from print, software or Flash-based design, that we can ultimately move the mobile web forward by simply creating a single, universally-accessible web.

    At 1:45pm to 2:05pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

    Coverage slide deck

  • How to Rapidly Prototype Multi-Touch Applications

    by Amelia Campbell

    Prototyping is used to quickly and inexpensively simulate the design and functionality of user interfaces. UX designers accomplish this across a range of fidelities— from sketches and paper prototypes to a digital prototyping tools—to iteratively explore and evaluate different design possibilities.

    Prototyping techniques for traditional GUI interfaces are widely used and well understood. But how effective are these techniques as we shift from desktop and laptops to touchscreen devices, which detect and resolve one or more touch events using styli or fingers? It is expected the more discrete touch points that can be processed simultaneously, the more prototyping for interfaces on these devices becomes complex and challenging.

    This session will report on a series of interviews with working UX designers about how they prototype applications for multi-touch surfaces. Do prototyping methods as practiced for web sites and traditional applications work for multi-touch surfaces? What do designers know and how do they prototype multi-touch applications? What are best practices for prototyping emerging interactive technologies?

    At 1:45pm to 2:05pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

    Coverage sketch note

  • Usable Security: It Isn't Secure If People Can't Use It

    by Darren Kall

    The weakest link in online security is not technology but people. But it is not their fault. The developer, IT implementer, administrator, and end-user each create vulnerabilities if the system wasn’t designed to be usable for each of them.

    By taking a user-centric approach UX professionals are improving security products. But to improve the whole system security UX professionals need to go beyond the product and apply those same techniques to security processes, implementation policies, security management activities, metrics monitoring and visualization, etc. Security UX may not be glamorous but it really tests your UX research and design chops.

    At 1:45pm to 2:05pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • Customer Journeys: Designing for Disagreement

    by Boon Sheridan

    Sometimes there’s nothing better than being wrong.

    Customer Journeys, maps, stories, flows. Whatever you want to call them they’re a powerful tool for understanding touchpoints, interactions and moments of engagement between a company and an individual. Given the level of detail they contain they often require long cycles, multiple lanes of research and many rounds of review to complete. What if you took a different approach and created a set “on the fly” with a little information, some inspiration and a few hunches?

    I’ll take you through the idea of Designing for Disagreement - deliberate and willful acts of creativity with the goal of sparking discussion, identifying unspoken biases and uncovering insights and feedback. Then we’ll walk through a project and show how going into a rapid-fire design exercise of customer journeys yielded some surprising results. We’ll take apart the challenge put down by the client and project teams, the framework used to build the experiments and take a look at the final product and the workshop it created.

    You’ll walk away armed with a set of reasons why you should try it on your next project, a framework to build your own and a few tricks and tips on how to present them for maximum effect.

    At 2:30pm to 3:20pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

  • People, Not Process

    by Ian Fenn

    Another day, another UX conference, and yet another designer telling you that you're doing things wrong and how you should adopt their methodology and nothing else.

    Ian Fenn has had enough.

    In this forthright but entertaining talk, he reveals the real truth about UX design - what works for you may not work for somebody else. It may not even work for you if you subsequently change employer or even project.

    Ian will argue that the secret of successful UX design can be encompassed in a few simple rules - the foremost being that people, not process, are paramount.

    At 2:30pm to 3:20pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry

    Coverage slide deck

  • Establishing What "Good" Means With Performance Continuums

    by dan klyn

    In our information architecture work at TUG we typically conclude the discovery phase of a project with an "alignment session." The objective of this meeting is to develop understanding and consensus within the core client team on key matters of business and experience strategy. Early in our formation we took on a client with profound alignment challenges, and as we scrambled to adapt our nascent process to the situation at hand, we borrowed the idea of "performance continuums" from RSW's work in the 1970s and ended up with a repeatable methodology that's now a formal part of TUG's discovery process.

    In 20 minutes I'll share the case study from whence this tool emerged, the historical context Mr. Wurman birthed it in, and guidelines for using it in UX work.

  • Experience, Human Interaction, and Service Design

    Though interaction design and user experience are often identified with digital products and web-based experience, human interaction encompasses more than the experience of the flatland of the screen. In this address I will discuss the foundations of human interaction design and how they have shaped our goals in designing experiences.

    To add perspective to this discussion, I will focus on ideas about the emerging area of service design. Service design is another of the fascinating applications of ideas about human interaction and experience. The products of service design illustrate the integration of digital and whole-body experience. In fact, they effectively illustrate the interrelationships of what I have called the "four orders of design."

    Whether designing for digital products, artifacts or any of the other types of products that designers create, a reflection on the intent and expectations surrounding service design can add value to our work.

    At 4:30pm to 5:45pm, Saturday 2nd June

    In COSI: Center of Science and Industry