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For some reason nearly all projects with UX involvement have experience principles as a deliverable in the Statement of Work. On first glance, these values can look rather made up, no traceability, little reflection of the brand or where the future lies. So what are they and who are they for? I’ve certainly seen a fair whack of projects where, in all honesty, they’ve been two weeks waste of time coming up with a bunch of words and ‘best practice’ examples of them – ultimately with zero resemblance to the final product.
This session will cover:
1. What experience principles really are
2. How to find and use brand values
3. Writing how they manifest these value in digital touchpoints
4. Knowing how they may change for differing customer groups
5. Creating workshops for executives for input
6. Documenting for sharing
7. Using for future idea generation and critique of work in progress
With a template to work through during the talk, all participants will leave with a good understanding of what experience principles are and how to create them collaborating with senior clients.
by Michael Cassidy
Agile development and Lean Start Up methodologies can make the job of Design and UX Teams more difficult. Project life cycles decreased and project plans frequently change as lean teams react to users and the market, this leaves little time for traditional in depth pre-emptive UX research, testing and design.
At marktplaats.nl we are integrating Design and UX into a development life cycle, embedding UX and design professionals into our development teams. We are using a collaborative design process engaging a multi function development team in UX and design practice.
This presentation shares the importance lessons we are learning and the gains are making by moving our design and UX team out of a departmental silo and engaging in Lean UX methodologies.
The presentation will be a particular interest to managers and leads tasked with making UX and Design work in an agile environment. It will also interest agencies and UX professionals working for clients that use agile methodologies.
A tale of misjudging your audience in an age where the world lives to be impressed by the new.
If your product is selling a single whizz-bang feature, as yet unseen by the planet – MVP might be acceptable. Just make sure it’s fairly inoffensive to the eye, and let it go free. In 2010 World Lens did just this. Their bilingual ‘point-and-translate’ app launched to a deluge of mixed reviews from a frothing tech press. Writers from the Guardian and WSJ both suggested it fulfilled Clarke’s third law that ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. High praise indeed. Then…not a great deal; a few new languages, improved device compatibility, and a superior UI. World Lens will likely succumb to sale and assimilation into one of the Big Four. Any desire to see its form improve will be set aside and the focus placed on making the tech work alongside an existing product or products. In these somewhat broken times, I suppose this could be considered a success story.
However, if your product is joining an already crowded marketplace – you better make sure it looks a million dollars (£597,250) and functions flawlessly. If you lack impact, you’ll fail. If you lack stability, you’ll fail. And if you lack a feature set that distinguishes you from your competition, you’ll fail. And hard. And failing hard isn’t a thing you want. Remember, those that tout the ‘fail hard fail often mantra’ tend to be those who have succeeded.
MVP can mean lots of things; Google’s foray into price comparison is straightforward enough; well thought through forms with some rather nice scraped data thrown in to help the user along – just because they can – it gets the job done and the outcome is satisfactory. This is MVP in the traditional sense; or the three F’s as I like to call them. Function (does a simple thing really well) , Feature (has a proper USP that functions), Form (designed in such a way not turn off early adopters).
Now look at one of the plethora of shiny, over-designed sites offering the same service as Google. They fail to tick any of the three Fs, or if they are, they’re in disarray. Form (sometimes), Feature (possibly), Function (somehow not the priority).
Our obsession with the new, pushes design forward and challenges the status quo. At the same time, this obsession also has the power to pervert what Design actually means throughout the development process. Prioritising Form over Function with a new product will – at best – drive it into a cul-de-sac of plummeting user satisfaction, or a clumsy product that fails entirely to get off the ground as time and funds are absorbed by unnecessary pixel-wrangling.
There are a million and one MsomethingPs, out there. This is about picking the right one for you.
by Joe Macleod
This presentation argues that we have lost touch with ‘closure’ over recent generations and are in a state of denial. This is shown through examples in products, services and digital – and the wider society where structured closure experiences have not been evident. The presentation delves into the creative industry with a focus on digital and what closure means for interaction designers.
It outlines how a conventional design process starts with targeting potential users with the intention of turning them into happy active users, a process that often overlooks the end of a service or product relationship. Client project structures collude in this by focusing on ‘sign up’, ‘first use’, and ‘continued use’ as stages of importance for the user.
Considering closure in the customer lifecycle can bring wide reaching benefits for the entire user experience as we start to see the user from a different point of view. The presentation introduces a number of techniques that aid thinking across the customer lifecycle; improving closure experiences.
The techniques include Post Service Personas – which are a sobering take on established persona techniques by focusing on the disgruntled users who have left a service, the Transaction model – a key consideration in designing closure experiences is the power relationship between the user and the service and how it ultimately impacts on the closure experience of any service – and Long Term Scenario Planning – a technique to aid people who need to deliver a quality service over 50 years (such as pensions and mortgages).
In conclusion, the presentation shares the closure manifesto as a guide and rallying cry to improve closure experiences in the digital industry.
by Cathy Dalton
Responsive buildings are already a reality, but, to date, they have been designed to respond largely to internal and external environmental context, in order to modify internal conditions for the comfort of users, or to reduce energy consumption. Responsive facades may respond to changes in intensity and direction of sunlight, while a building management system (BMS) adjusts internal conditions: temperature, humidity, or lighting levels. Interaction that intimately involves the user in aesthetic outcomes tends to be confined to interactive art installations; ‘smart’ buildings rarely address anything other than the purely functional, leaving design at the sidelines.
Affective computing can be defined as ‘Human-computer interaction in which a device has the ability to detect and appropriately respond to its user’s emotions and other stimuli”. The term implies that systems or devices are designed so as to become empathetic to human affect, or emotion.
My presentation describes a model for a new type of interactive architecture that marries responsive architecture and affective computing, and so becomes intrinsically user-centred. This is achieved by including sensing of user affect in management of embedded environmental interaction, in addition to addressing purely functional concerns. The primary rationale for inclusion of user affect is to contribute to usability, so that architectural response, enabled by networked wireless sensor systems, which acquire data on both user and architectural context, can address both functional and psychosocial needs, in order to enhance the degree of ‘fit’ between person and environment. A ‘smart’ interactive environment must take account of user, context, and user activity: so, in this model, affect is inferred on a continuous basis from sensed bio-signals, which must then be contextualised in environmental data, to give a complete and continuous picture of the user’s interaction with the personal life-space. The entire space or architectural environment thus becomes the system interface. In addition to affect, the system also acquires information on
activity and context. Response is designed to cater to functional need (for example, automatically turning on lighting in response to both user and ambient data), but also to psychosocial need, by actuating multisensory environmental changes, for example, in lighting and colour, which in turn operate on the user. While the proposed model has most immediate application in therapeutic situations, beyond that, it suggests a new model for responsive architecture in general, where the user is placed firmly at the centre. Through contextualised sensing of, and response to affect, the user becomes part of a continuous feedback loop with the environment, creating and re-creating functional and aesthetic outcomes on a continual basis, so that architecture becomes an ‘Open Work’, in the sense described by Umberto Eco. By observing how the user is feeling throughout various interactions, we can also gain insights into the usability of various interfaces and interactions, and of the system as a whole. The pairing of architectural response and affective computing suggests many scenarios, of which the MyRoom model is but one, where ‘Calm Technology’ enables what Malcolm McCullough refers to as ‘Quiet Architecture’.
Customer journey engineering is a new strategic change methodology based on used centred design principals applied in a holistic way to provide insight and impact across an entire enterprise. Customer journey engineering captures the total customer experience across all touchpoints in an organisation to identify the gaps. Understanding the experiences a customer has with an organisation and the emotional responses they provoke is critical in identifying how to streamline & improve a client companies service.
by Giles Perry
A collection of bricks in a gallery and a giant ceramic sculpture of Michael Jackson and Bubbles: not obvious starting points for a conversation about UX. But dig deeper into contemporary art and you’ll find fundamental questions about the nature of experience and what it is to be human. Thinking about art helps unravel the mechanics of perception. It provides insight into the way people interact with images and information.
So what are the lessons for user experience? In this talk, I will look at important ideas in art theory and apply them to digital design examples and debates in UX. I will examine contemporary art movements from minimalism to hyperrealism, looking at examples by artists such as Carl Andre and Jeff Koons. The talk will cover ‘The Death of the Author’, how simulation has replaced real experience, and what this means for skeuomorphism and flat design.
by Mel McVeigh
Visual storytelling is at the front line of the content marketing battleground.
This interactive workshop explores why creating new narratives is so important. Part experiment, part improv, part insight.
In the beginning there was a box and that box had a cross in it. If you are lucky it has a play button. What to put in that box you say? I don’t know that happens later, it is someone else’s job.
That may be true but that box has the ability to make or break an experience, a product and a design. If engaging UX is the ultimate goal what goes in the box matters a lot.
So, in the era of flat design, of less is more, mobile and multi-channel, the point of difference often happens beyond the words. It is about the stories we tell to engage and delight and mesmerise our customers.
From a UCD perspective great visual storytelling is key to most UX strategies and can convert up to 10x more than experiences without or with bad photography. So visual storytelling matters and it matters a lot.
What’s the workshop about?
We will explore why visuals matter, how they work, how they convert and why UCD practitioners need to think about it.
But let’s take a step back first. Have you ever stared at an image and wondered what the story behind the characters behind the frame might be? How long are you actually looking at images when it is a simple as swipe left or right to discard.
In a world saturated with all things visual, what does photography mean in this digital world and how can brands, publishers and agencies create more meaningful images, stronger narratives that stick in our minds eye. And how can it fundamentally improve UX, conversion, engagement and experience.
Sometimes it is a simple as the images we place in those boxes.
So come and participate in this fun and engaging workshop that hopes to shift even a little how you approach visual storytelling in your work.
An exploration into subconscious decisions made by the user when interacting with digital interfaces.
When we think of unintuitive design, we think of lazy, ill-thought-out interfaces. However, this is often not the case – they are not mistakes and have been carefully designed in such a way to influence user in a certain way.
Examples of hidden iconography in logos, dark patterns and logic that tricks people into making certain decisions.
by Pete Trainor
How can we design experiences that are intrinsically baked with success? Experiences that force users to learn new tricks and as a by-product modify behaviour and in some cases become new habits.
How do we reward attention rather than demand it?
The brain is genetically wired to react to positivity, releasing the neurotransmitter dopamine into an area of the brain called The Reward Center when a positive experience is encountered… which in turn teaches the body the difference between what is good & what is bad.
But can we actually tap into the brains Reward Center and use it to make an experience something users will want to return too again and again?
During this session I will unpack the nexus of my rules for neuroCX;
- Joygasms – Expanding scenarios linked to sustained progress and instant gratification
- Kudos – The encouragement of altruism
- Commas – Experiences that are repeated, interrupted & never end
You’ll learn about the brain. The neurology behind experiences and the framework for creating a neurological recipe for success.
by Julian Hirst
Acts of improvisation – or spontaneous creation – are sometimes also acts of innovation. And, occasionally, an act of innovation can change everything.
Business is beginning to see the real value in design, and in differentiation through innovation. Designers are invited to the table early to solve complex problems, uncover opportunities, conceptualise strategy, help achieve financial goals, make shareholders rich.
To preserve the ethos and influence of design in new environments, we must continue to draw inspiration from outside our community. This is how we will continue innovate in our own field, and help prevent the “professionalisation” of design.
With musicians on stage, we will illustrate stylistic and non-idiomatic improvisation in music, and explore the relationship with innovation and improvisation in design. And we’ll see that there are lessons to be learned from managing musicians through the creative process that can teach designers plenty about differentiation in our own field.
24th–25th October 2014