•  

Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about User Experience

View as grid

Your current filters are…

Friday 9th March 2012

  • Designing for Context

    by Andrew Crow, Leah Buley, Ryan Freitas, Ben Fullerton and Nate Bolt

    As designers take on new problems of convergence and ubiquity, we find ourselves facing new challenges. The products we create are accessed through multiple devices, different channels and a wide audience. How do we accommodate the context of use?

    Whether you design mobile apps, services or web experiences, you know that people have different needs and desires. Those issues are complicated further by a landscape of technology.

    This discussion will highlight these new challenges and offer solutions based on years of design experience. Topics include:

    • What should you be aware of when designing a product or service for use in various locations and environments?
    • How does motion and distraction affect interaction and content design decisions?
    • Do you provide for casual use vs. urgent need?
    • How does the form factor or input method of your device steer your design efforts?
    • What happens in an ecosystem of products?
    • How does social and cultural context play into the strategy of your design?

    At 2:00pm to 3:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • Teaching Touch: Tapworthy Touchscreen Design

    by Josh Clark

    Discover the rules of thumb for finger-friendly design. Touch gestures are sweeping away buttons, menus and windows from mobile devices—and even from the next version of Windows. Find out why those familiar desktop widgets are weak replacements for manipulating content directly, and learn to craft touchscreen interfaces that effortlessly teach users new gesture vocabularies. The challenge: gestures are invisible, without the visual cues offered by buttons and menus. As your touchscreen app sheds buttons, how do people figure out how to use the damn thing? Learn to lead your audience by the hand (and fingers) with practical techniques that make invisible gestures obvious. Designer Josh Clark (author of O'Reilly books "Tapworthy" and "Best iPhone Apps") mines a variety of surprising sources for interface inspiration and design patterns. Along the way, discover the subtle power of animation, why you should be playing lots more video games, and why a toddler is your best beta tester.

    Questions answered:
    1. How should UI layouts evolve to accommodate the ergonomics of fingers and thumbs?
    2. Why are buttons a hack? Why aren't they as effective as more direct touch gestures?
    3. How can users understand how to use apps that have no labeled menus or buttons?
    4. What's the proper role of skeuomorphic design (realistic 3D metaphors) in teaching touch?
    5. How can animation provide contextual help to teach gestures effortlessly? How does game design point the way here?

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 9th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • AT&T Mobile App Hackathon

    Come join us at a special AT&T Mobile App Hackathon that will be focused on UI/UX designers and the like. We’ve lined up a special celebrity guest, Chicago Bears 7-time Pro-Bowl LB Lance Briggs, a self-admitted comic book fanatic. He’s looking for the best designers and devs to build him a mobile app. And where better to find the best than SXSW? Especially when the Official SXSW Hackathon is located smack in the center of the action at the Austin Convention Center for your convenience.

    Competitors will be given 24 short hours to blow Lance’s mind by taking the concept and transforming it into an awe inspiring design, which will be reviewed by Lance himself. Finally, to really make this crazy, we’ve got over $46k in cash and prizes.
    In short, this highly intense event will celebrate the unique contribution of designers and provide you with the opportunity to not only showcase your skills, but design an app for an NFL great with millions of fans and millions of potential users.

    Registration: http://mobileappsxsw.eventbrite....

    Event Schedule:

    6PM - Friday Evening - Kick off event with Happy Hour where our special guest partners will pitch the app concept you will be designing.

    10AM - Saturday Morning - AT&T Mobile App Hackathon. The fun continues with an all day hackathon. Work with the teams that you formed on Friday night to produce the app spec’d out the night before. Senseis will be available throughout the entire event to help you code up your solution. App submissions will be accepted throughout the day with a deadline of 7:30PM.

    7:30PM - Saturday Evening. Promptly at 7:30PM, teams will begin pitching their ventures. Pitches are limited to three (3) minutes per team.

    At 6:00pm to 9:00pm, Friday 9th March

    In Room 2, Austin Convention Center

Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Mind Reading: Seeing Needs Users Don’t Articulate

    by Leslie Feinzaig

    When your product is facing serious competition, knowing what unmet need still exists is crucial to planning your next move. But in surveys you find that everyone is reasonably satisfied with all of the key features in your competitor’s products and they do not perceive that their experience could be better than it currently is. So how do you identify opportunities that seem not to exist? In this session, using Bing’s insight development practices as a case study, we will discuss techniques for gaining deep understanding of and empathy with customer’s pain to spur product innovations. We will share insights that we’ve identified that point to broad cultural shifts in how people think about knowledge that impact what is perceived as trustworthy and what is complete information required to make important decisions. We will share both how we were able to identify these needs and specifically what these needs are in an effort to encourage thinking about how to better meet them. This session is sponsored by Bing.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

    Coverage slide deck

  • How Meaningful Design Can Save the World

    by Eve Simon

    The mission: To create a visually impactful, cutting edge online user experience that encourages people to take action for your cause. No sweat, right?For designers working in the non-profit sector, this is the challenge we face everyday. Organizations who don’t see the true cost of bad design, or those distracted by the low-hanging fruit of mere eye candy (i.e. “wasted pretty”) can make it even harder to achieve this ambitious goal. In this core conversation, we will share the secrets to designing award-winning visuals for your cause that both look amazing and propel an audience to engage. Through real life examples & some unorthodox client/boss management techniques, you’ll walk away with strategies to conceptualize, curate and create work that really can change the world.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 8A, Austin Convention Center

  • The UX and UI Meet Up

    by David DeMumbrum

    This is a forum for anyone interested in User Experience and User Interface Design to mingle, tell stories, and generally get to know one another. There’s no goal or agenda other than to have fun talking about design from a user’s point of view. Everyone is welcome, from experienced professionals to those just starting to think about these topics. Hope to see you there!

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Boardroom, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • The Visual Interface Is Now Your Brand

    by Nick Myers

    Like it or not, the digital world has changed at a wicked pace and more and more interactions between companies and customers now happen via an interface. Careful consideration of the software's design is of paramount importance to any company wishing to grow their customer base or loyalty. At the center of this change sits the user experience, which has become a huge influence in how customers perceive a company's brand. Traditional marketing principles and practices aren’t effective in software. So how do you create an experience that is usable, desirable, and still stands out? Myers, an interface and brand specialist in design, marketing, and development for 16 years, will highlight the differences of software from other forms of media, you’ll gain insight for creating a truly unique experience that guides executives and teams, and can influence your company’s culture. You’ll learn new techniques such as defining the ideal experience, exploring first impressions with visual language studies, and designing signature interactions. These techniques build a memorable experience that’s hard for your competitors to mimic and your customers will fall in love with.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Capital Ballroom A, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

    Coverage audio clip

  • Engineering Serendipity to Instigate and Delight

    by Gabe Smedresman, Aaron Parecki, Brett Martin, Aston Motes and Ben Carey

    The non-mobile web has always offered on-demand experiences for users to search for and discover new online content. But with the proliferation of mobile phones that report real-time signals like location, apps and services have a new ability to serendipitously deliver contextually-relevant value through push notifications. If you’re building a mobile service and have access to this data, can you use it with push notifications to do what you do better for your users, wherever they are? Our panelists have all built products and platforms that illuminate the social and informational opportunities hidden around us everyday. We’ve balanced privacy, timing, and proximity in order to nudge our users off their familiar paths and into discovering the people and world around them, and you can too -- for fun AND profit!

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon J, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Fit Together: How Fitness Goes High-Tech + Social

    by Kevin McCoy, Maria Ly, Kevin McCoy, Jason Jacobs and Bob Goodman

    Tools like Nike Plus and FitBit, apps like Lose It, Run Keeper, and Skimble, and communities like Daily Burn and Spark People are helping to change everyday workouts from a solitary to a social pursuit. The magic of these devices, tools, and communities enables people to track their fitness, undertake fitness programs, track and share their progress overtime, and learn from peers and professionals. This panel will look at where it’s all headed and what it means for everyday interactive experiences. Conversation will include the provocative question: can the Internet make you fit?

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Capital Ballroom, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Excessive Enhancement: JavaScript's Dark Side

    by Phil Hawksworth

    Are we being seduced by the animation and rich UI capabilities of modern browsers at the expense of the underlying platform of the Web?

    The Web has entered a new phase in its evolution: The proliferation of a JavaScript enabled audience with increased processing grunt in their devices, better and more ambitious JavaScript developers, and users with an appetite for sophisticated experiences, all seem to be helping to move the web in a rich and exciting direction. Good developers understand about graceful degradation, progressive enhancement, unobtrusive JavaScript and the like, so why are we seeing big companies building web offerings with little apparent thought for their impact on the Web?

    We'll explore this by looking at what the Web was, is now, and might become. We'll look at examples of exciting user interfaces and sophisticated interactions. We'll also examine some emerging techniques for providing rich user interactions without hurting the web or killing kittens.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • The UX-Driven Startup: Lessons from the Trenches

    by Ian McFarland, Cindy Alvarez, Zach Larson and Kate Rutter

    We've all heard the story of The Technical Guy and The Business Guy getting together and starting a company. But what happens when a company puts User Experience at the helm? Hint: It doesn't just mean your product will be prettier!

    Being UX-Driven means more than hiring a “UX person”—we’re not even sure that’s a requirement. Learn what it does mean by spending time looking through the eyes of some UX-minded founders who’ve shaped some of the most interesting products of the “10s.” Learn from these companies’ experiments, mistakes, challenges and wins—from Foodspotting’s decision to only allow positive ratings to Gowalla’s decision to let their community build their place database from scratch—and how tools like observation, metaphors, mantras and metrics drove them.
    Whether you’re managing an established product or have or an idea you’re trying to get off the ground, you’ll leave armed with practical tools you can put to use as you strive to make your own company more UX-Driven.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Salon A, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Unpacking the Myth of the Intuitive

    by Matt Boch

    Marketing from Apple, Nintendo, and other companies focuses on the promise of an intuitive interface, but what does that really mean and how is it achieved? Over the last few decades we've seen QWERTY keyboards give way to an incredible diversity of interfaces: mice, trackpads, motion wands, voice-based interfaces, cameras, touch screens, and even real instruments. These devices are regarded as increasingly "natural" or "intuitive", but this marketing-speak is ill-defined, unactionable, and potentially insulting to users; if they don't get it, are they "unnatural" or stupid? In this talk, I will explore the concept of the intuitive, using case studies from Engelbart's early work on computer-human interaction, Miyamoto's work for the NES and the Wii, and my own work at Harmonix on Rock Band and Dance Central. I will ultimately arrive at a new set of goals for interfaces.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Room 1-2, Palmer Event Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • UX Smackdown! User Testing Techniques in the Ring

    by Kyle Soucy, John Whalen, Rebecca Sherrill, Aviva Rosenstein and Michael Summers

    Is your usability budget a little leaner than you’d like? Are you confused about the latest testing tools? Have you wondered which approach is best for your project? If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, we have a session for you.

    There is a growing arsenal of methods for economical, expedient UX testing, from remote online usability tests to interactive prototypes and webcam eyetracking. These strategies are often billed as more efficient, sophisticated, and even avant-garde when compared to traditional testing approaches, but how do you know what role they should play in your user research toolbox? Do they live up to the hype, or is this match-up rigged?

    Get ready to step into the ring and pose your questions to the experts. Come hear the pros and cons, the old and the new, and the good, bad and REALLY ugly. Where will a line in the sand be drawn? Even cable won’t air this Smackdown – you just have to be there!

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Customers Are Irrational: Stop Fighting It

    by Colin Shaw

    Why do people knock wood for luck? Why do people press elevator buttons 20 times, even though they know it won’t make the elevator come any faster? People are irrational. Why do people love inanimate objects like smartphones? Why do people cry when they see an artist’s work? People are irrational.Who are your customers? Irrational people. So why then do organizations design rational experiences? Emotions comprise more than half the typical customer experience. With the immediacy of information and social media, you must embrace that irrationality and use it to your advantage by building a deliberate experience. Effectively managing and engaging subconsciously with these irrational customers is essential.Join international bestselling customer experience author Colin Shaw as he presents new psychological research that reveals examples of irrationality, the mistakes organizations are making today, and how you can embrace irrationality and build an emotionally engaging experiences.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Capital Ballroom B, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Bootcamp for a UX Team of None

    by Todd Zaki Warfel, Fred Beecher, Russ Unger, Krista Sanders and Brynn Evans

    This workshop will introduce you to affordable user experience design methods for getting user input and feedback throughout your design and development process. These methods, like guerrilla research, gamestorming, and progressive prototyping, will allow you to do just enough UX design to get you started in the right direction. They will help you get in touch with your users efficiently and use their feedback and insights to influence your design decisions.

    But why should you care? Your code is gold. Your business model is solid. You should care because having a good UX is no longer a differentiator; it’s an expectation. What you need is a good UX designer. Of course, they’re rare and expensive right now. Is it possible to fix your UX without one?

    Yes.

    You won’t go home from this workshop with your own UX designer, but you will be armed with the knowledge that will enable you to enable you to attract next year’s most sought after angel investor.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Monday 12th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

  • Avoiding Bullshit Personas: A Case Study

    by Jill Christ and Stephanie Carter

    Bad personas can make your skin crawl. The ones that offer no real insight into an audience and play make-believe with random facts are not useful in any context. Good personas theoretically inspire and guide innovation, but like any good story, it's difficult to create relatable characters. This session outlines a project where we developed five nameless personas for lynda.com.Our method uses no names, psychology, or broad habits. The philosopher Harry Frankfurt explained, "it is impossible for someone to lie unless he thinks he knows the truth. Producing bullshit requires no such conviction." We removed the things that didn't matter even if they were true from our personas. We communicated the major distinctions across the personas so lynda.com could immediately understand the lifetime value of their site to customers. In this session, we go over how we identified and eliminated the B.S. that creeps into personas, and how we made a video instead of the traditional paper approach.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • The Psychology and Interfaces of Social Design

    by Eric Fisher

    "Social" isn't something new on the web, but its design and implementation are. Great products and services depend on their users having great experiences. As the Internet continues to mimic the interactions we have in the real world, so too must the social interfaces and product design. This session will take a look at the social interfaces of the past and present and help you to understand how the simple psychological principles of social design can lead to great products.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

  • Prototype vs. Sim: Validating Software & UX Design

    by Jared Ficklin, Gregg Wygonik and Robert Tuttle

    How much smoke and mirrors does it take to validate interaction models during the software design process? When do you have to stop faking it and start making it? How do you handle the traps of realistic demos slipping into production or permanent beta? Simulation, spike, proof-of-concept, interactive demo, prototype, and other artifacts often come with loose definitions and inflated expectations or lose their primary purpose during collaborative software design and realization. Design technology experts from frog who regularly push and pull on the boundaries of art and science will define bounds and discuss challenges, opportunities, risks, and rewards of going too far in real code during design or not going far enough. Topics will include defining needs and socializing intent for code-driven design assets across stakeholders, balancing speed and fidelity during interaction design, and understanding where early target platform development best informs and validates design.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Raise the (Sweep)stakes: Story of Social Actions

    by Boris Revsin

    Social actions is the future of engagement marketing. Looking through the lens of the classic college drop-out turned entrepreneur, we will explore how user experience and game dynamics can generate remarkable action around real-world memes. As disruptive forms of marketing begin to fall away more and more brands turn to marketing as interactive content. Find out how the next wave of advertising isn't really advertising at all.

    At 5:00pm to 5:15pm, Monday 12th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Developing for a Consumerized Enterprise World

    by Sizhao Yang and George Ishii

    The consumerization of the enterprise is an emerging concept transforming the look and feel and intent of the software we use to run our businesses. It’s lowering the barriers of adoption, flipping the top-down model on its head and integrating consumer-friendly features we’ve grown to know and love in our personal lives. Gone are over-priced and complicated solutions catering to big companies with deep pockets. In are solutions that are based on an uncluttered user experience common in consumer websites, are customized for individuals, adopted bottom-up, can cater to small initial teams, yet scales as a business' needs grows. Salesforce, Dropbox and Yammer are examples of consumerized enterprise products that address small and medium business needs in customer relationship management, storage and internal communications. In this session you’ll learn how we got here, principles guiding new product design and development, and how these products impact your bottom line and culture.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

  • UX in the Cloud: Creating Amazing Enterprise Apps

    by Dave Knight and Craig Villamor

    Enterprise and consumer experiences are blurring more everyday as applications move to the cloud and companies build a vertical stack of offerings. Today's Facebook and Twitter generation expect their applications to be as easy and enjoyable to use as consumer applications. As the cloud evolves, our design process must evolve with it. What does the enterprise user experience design process look like today and where is it going? Guided by examples from Salesforce and Do, learn about the unique challenges and solutions of designing usable applications for enterprise users.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

  • AXD: Experience Design in Agile Teams

    by Megan Cook, Neville Roy Singham, Marie-Claire Jenkins and Cathie Hagen

    With the Agile Manifesto reaching its 10th birthday last year this one-time fringe software development methodology has become very much mainstream. Requiring feedback early and often, Agile’s main goal is to get software into the users hands fast. Relying on these feedback loops to guide development and shape the product to come. While Agile is user centric does it actually support the fundamentals of Experience Design? Is there enough time to research and properly explore design concepts? Is the user being short-changed for business benefit? A hands-on interactive game highlights the challenges of Agile development and explores how Experience Design can be integrated for the benefit of all.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Town Lake Ballroom, Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin-Town Lake

  • DIY Mobile Usability Testing

    by Belen Barros Pena and Bernard Tyers

    Usability testing is an interaction designer’s bread and butter, but applying it to the study of mobile applications and websites brings considerable challenges. Which device should we use for testing? Can we use an emulator? How do we prototype for mobile? Can we just recycle the tasks we use for desktop software tests? Do we test in the lab or in the wild? How do we record screen, fingers and facial expressions?

    We don’t intend to answer all those questions in just one session: that would be madness! We’ll focus instead on the last one.

    Follow us in our quest to set up a mobile usability testing environment on a tight budget. We’ll show you how others do it. We’ll roam around electronics and professional video stores searching for brackets and webcams. We’ll put our DIY skills to the test and waste a lot of silicon trying to build our mobile recording device. We’ll scour the Internet for free software, and we’ll finish off building the lab and running a usability test in front of your eyes.

    If we can do it, so can you! You’ll come out of this session knowing exactly what you need to do to run and record usability tests with mobile devices.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Ballroom A, Austin Convention Center

  • Taking Your Brand Back from Your Customers

    by Virginia Alber-Glanstaetten and Peter Wolfgang

    Consumers today expect more and more from your brand. While some would argue, consumer's now "own" your brand, we counter with the notion that companies who’ve lost their brands to their consumers did so because they failed to remain relevant.

    Traditionally, brand communications focused on "how" companies were going to tell the story of their brand. In today's market, the "how" is being replace by "what". The focus is on what is being said and through what medium. For brands to deliver on their unique value, and their promise, they need to create experiences, build programs, and offer entire solutions that demonstrate "what" brands are doing, rather than "how" they are saying it.

    Digital media allows for new ways not only for brands to connect with consumers, but also to learn from them, innovate, and strengthen their promise. Digital media and interactive products offer brands a new set of tools, and experiences to compel and engage audiences. As brand and product experience collapse into one another, branding in the interactive space calls for new approaches to both. This panel discusses how best practices from advertising, user experience and interaction design can be applied meaningfully to branding in the interactive space.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin