Sessions at WebVisions Portland 2012 about User Experience

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Thursday 17th May 2012

  • UX for Aliens

    by Thea Kinyon Boodhoo

    A vital lesson for all web professionals is that “you are not your user”. With this in mind, we constantly observe differences in perception, habits, abilities and background knowledge between us and our audience. Those differences usually live on a scale from “designing for myself” to “designing for the sensory impaired” - but what lies on the true extremes of that scale?

    How do you design for someone who sees the world in sonar? What about in smell? How would you make something a plant could use?

    And, if we ever send a probe to a habitable world, how can we make sure that any real aliens who find it know what to do with it?

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Thursday 17th May

    In D139/140, Oregon Convention Center

  • Execution is Everything

    by Peter Merholz, John Bragg, Gino Zahnd and Ryan Freitas

    The gap between how design firms operate and how products actually get built is wider than ever. Join this panel of UX and development vets in a conversation + Q&A around what the world looks like when everyone on your team stops consulting and starts building. Developers: learn how to think (and hire) through a UX lens. Designers: learn how to work best with the types of people who can make your ideas actually come to life.

    At 1:30pm to 2:15pm, Thursday 17th May

    In D135, Oregon Convention Center

  • It’s a Good Time to Be You

    by Russ Unger

    User Experience Design–have we figured out what this is yet? Or, for that matter, where it is going in the future? What are unicorns, why does everyone want to hire one, everyone claims it impossible to be one, yet still aspire to be one?

    While you may not find yourself with a specific answer, you will be taken on a journey of exploration through challenges, definitions defining yourself, and what it means to fake it. You'll explore a variety of brilliant, different thinkers and what it takes to get to know them and start down the path of becoming one of them (hint: you're already on your way!).

    And finally, you'll be introduced to a new methodology of UX that hearkens from depths of innovation not seen since Miami in the mid-80s.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Thursday 17th May

    In Main, Oregon Convention Center

  • Measures of Success: How to Quantitatively Measure Your User Experience

    by Richard Dalton

    How do you know if the user experience your team is slaving over is succeeding or failing? How can your team use data to make better decisions? Quantitative measures can help answer these questions and can complement more traditional qualitative research methods like usability testing.

    Like many things in life, quantitative measurement relies on good preparation. To effectively measure a user experience it must be divided into discrete pieces that can be measured against their objectives. In this presentation Richard will provide a framework for thinking about measurement along with techniques and tips.

    He will describe in detail how to create a Capability Strategy Sheet that defines the goals and measures of an experience (along with a complete example based on a fictional pet store website). He will also share some common measurement patterns that have emerged from his team’s work.
    To conclude, he will describe some of the cultural and change management challenges involved when an organization uses data to inform design decisions.

    At 3:30pm to 4:15pm, Thursday 17th May

    In D136, Oregon Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck

Friday 18th May 2012

  • Happiness Machines

    by Andrew Hinton

    It's the 21st century. By now, technology was supposed to have become so smart, convenient and delightful that we hardly had to think about it. It was just going to be there when we needed it, doing what we expected. Or according to some, at this point technology was supposed to have taken over the planet and made us its slaves.
    If you're like me, some days you wish it would pick one side or the other and stick with it.

    Instead, we seem trapped in a tension between technology's ability to make us happy by attending to our needs, and making us sad and angry, by costing us even more time, effort and tears than we would've spent without it. The Happiness Machines keep turning into Unhappiness Machines. But why? And what can we do about it?

    In this presentation, we'll explore how factors like the way we work together and an org's cultural biases get in the way of better design. We'll look at why assumptions about user context, cognition and behavior are behind some of our biggest mistakes. And we'll get at the heart of why User Experience design "is a thing" to begin with, and how, no matter what you call it, it's all about making the machinery of software and services more humane.

    At 11:15am to 12:00pm, Friday 18th May

    In D137/138, Oregon Convention Center

  • Pie-Belly, Colonoscopies and the Doorway of Forgetfulness

    by Corinne Erly Brown

    Human physiology translates every experience, including online experiences, through our senses, intellect and emotions. Contrary to current usability wisdom, we do not require, or even desire, an effortless experience. What we want is a satisfying experience. And it isn’t necessary to strip away complexity to be satisfied.
    Humans are extremely good at processing complex information. In fact, satisfaction comes with overcoming a challenge and gaining a reward.

    There is a rhythm to experience that can be frustrating or deeply satisfying. By closely matching web design patterns to the common ways we relate to the world, we create online experiences that go beyond effortless to extraordinary.

    In this session, Corinne Erly Brown will explore recent research in the realms of physiology and psychology and will connect these topics to online experience, including:

    • Pie-belly - Refine visual display techniques by understanding the experience of appetite and satiety
    • Colonoscopies - Order screens in a checkout process through understanding the timeline of pain
    • The Doorway of Forgetfulness - Connect lists and transitions to the function or failure of memory
    • And more…

    At 1:30pm to 2:15pm, Friday 18th May

    In D133, Oregon Convention Center

  • Don't Ask How The Sausage Is Made: How To Bring UX Into A Startup Without Going (Completely) Insane

    by Dylan Wilbanks

    Getting a user experience team bootstrapped in a startup requires experience and know-how. Dylan Wilbanks had none of these things. What he did have was a passion for users and a willingness to try anything and iterate relentlessly in a fast-growing organization that didn't know what it wanted out of UX.

    Dylan will confess his many heresies against the UX conventional wisdom, explain how Agile Scrum isn't the evil UX designers make it out to be, and offer ideas for bringing UX into growing startups (or any company) hungry for user-centered development.

    Attendees will learn:

    • How to get UX started and adopted in startups and small organizations
    • How to work lean software methods (like Agile and Extreme Computing) to UX's advantage
    • How to "win early and win often" in the adoption effort by focusing on advancing rather than dictating
    • How to know when it's time to move from a small, general UX team to a larger, more focused UX department

    At 2:30pm to 3:15pm, Friday 18th May

    In D139/140, Oregon Convention Center

    Coverage slide deck