Jared M. Spool

Jared SpoolJared is Founding Principal of User Interface Engineering. He's been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term "usability" was ever associated with computers. Jared has guided the research agenda and built UIE into the largest research organization of its kind in the world.

Jared is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, and is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute.

Jared's posts:

UIEtips: Starting Your User Research

December 17th, 2014 by Jared Spool

This week’s Tips is a reprint of my article Starting Your User ResearchI share ideas on how to start your own user research program and why there’s no reason to wait.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Once you decide to go down that road, the first thing you’ll realize is how rich your choices are of research methods. Usability audits, heuristic evaluations, usability testing, field research – which one do you choose first? Which are the most effective?

Read the article: Starting Your User Research.

What does your user research program look like?  Leave us a note below.

Spend an hour with me when you register for a UIE conference by 12/31/14

December 15th, 2014 by Jared Spool

Partake in an intimate UX roundtable call with me when you register for a UIE conference

Use your remaining 2014 training funds to save your spot at the lowest price of $1,475 for either the UX Immersion Mobile or User Interface 20 Conferences.

Register for UXIM 2015 or UI20 by December 31 and you’ll spend an hour with me on a UX roundtable call. Don’t miss this chance to ask me your most burning UX questions (or even your non-burning non-UX questions).

Chris Risdon

Jonathon Colman

UX Mobile Immersion Conference

April 13-15, 2015

Salt Lake City, UT

 

Intensive workshops and talks focusing on what it takes to make your designs work on all mobile devices.

Topics include

  • Atomic Design
  • Designing for native apps
  • Responsive design
  • Experiencing mapping
  • Adaptive design
  • Responsive workflow

UXIM Conference was by far the best conference I have ever been to. Focusing on UX for mobile, it touched on everything from workflow, content and prototyping to coding, design and architecture.

Kristi B. – UXIM 2014 attendee

Save your spot at UXIM for $1,475

User Interface 20 Conference

November 2-4, 2015

Boston, MA

 

UIE’s flagship conference, now in its 20th year, includes two full days of workshops and one day of talks on a broad range of UX topics.

Past topics include

  • Scenarios
  • Microinteractions
  • Content Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • Typography
  • Usability Testing

This was a stellar conference. It reinvigorated me. Mad props to the presenters. I learned an incredible amount of stuff, socialized, ate well and loved all of it.

 

Mackenzie R. – UI19 attendee

Save your spot at UI20 for $1,475

 

I’m looking forward to talking with you on our UX roundtable call.

UIEtips: Critique: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills

December 10th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we offer an original article. In it, I introduce critique as a growth tool for UX teams.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Regular critique, whether formal or ad-hoc, ramps up team members’ skills quickly. By changing up what the focus of learning is for each session, the team ensures that everyone’s skills become more well rounded.

Read the article: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills.

How does your team conduct critique sessions? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: A Definition of Content Strategy

December 3rd, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips article, Facebook’s Jonathon Colman offers his definition for content strategy. With the help of other content strategy experts—Brain Traffic’s Kristina Halvorson and Rachel Lovinger from Razorfish—he makes the case that content strategy is part of a triumvirate of disciplines that, when they work together, build better experiences for everyone.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Content strategists use language, data, and systems to build better experiences for people than either IAs or designers can working by themselves. Ideally, all three disciplines work together as part of a user experience team that puts the Why before the How.

Read the article: A Definition of Content Strategy.

Do you consider yourself to be a content strategist? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Un-Sucking the Touchpoint

November 18th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips article, Chris Risdon defines and establishes criteria for touchpoints, in effect, unsucking the touchpoint.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It became clear that a touchpoint is a moment in time. I want to design to support that moment in time. More specifically, a touchpoint is meeting that need through delivering on the company’s value proposition in that time and place.

Read the article: Un-Sucking the Touchpoint.

How does Chris’ definition relate to your understanding of the touchpoint? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Beyond the UX Tipping Point

November 12th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we offer an original article. In it, I reveal the past, present, and future of the UX Tipping Point.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For an organization to move beyond the UX Tipping Point, it must first become literate in user experience, then fluent in how to produce great experiences. This doesn’t happen all at once, it can take years.

Read the article: Beyond the UX Tipping Point.

Where is your company on the journey to the UX Tipping Point? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Smart Watches, Wearables, and That Nasty Data Rash - Part 2

November 5th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we’re reprinting part two of an article from Josh Clark, Smart Watches, Wearables, and That Nasty Data Rash. You can read part 1 here. In the article, Josh takes his insight on mobile design to the world of wearables. He makes an argument that through design, we can avoid information poisoning and prevent the risk of the data wearing us rather than us wearing the data.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

These fears—the staples of every dystopian sci-fi movie—are about loss of control. They rail against a data environment so polluted that we no longer know how our personal information will be used or how machines might impose themselves on us..

What concerns do you have about the future of wearable technology? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Smart Watches, Wearables, and That Nasty Data Rash - Part 1

October 29th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we’re reprinting part one of an article from Josh Clark, Smart Watches, Wearables, and That Nasty Data Rash. In the article, Josh takes his insight on mobile design to the world of wearables. He makes an argument that through design, we can avoid information poisoning and prevent the risk of the data wearing us rather than us wearing the data.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The real luxury of wearing information is not in exposing ourselves to every passing data point but in filtering that data in ways that alert us gently, even subconsciously, to changes in our environment.

Read part one of the two part article: Smart Watches, Wearables, and That Nasty Data Rash.

What techniques have you used to reduce data rash? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Hiring a UX Pro – 4 Techniques from Smart Teams

October 22nd, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, I share ideas on how to hire the best UX professional. I also make the case that hiring the right person is the most important factor to a UX team’s success.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Hiring is not a natural process. It needs to be designed, just like any experience. In our research, we learned that most teams amble into the hiring process by copying actions from others or by inventing wacky steps.

Read the article: Hiring a UX Pro – 4 Techniques from Smart Teams.

How do you get the most out of your UX hiring process? Leave us a note below.

UIEtips: Embracing the Medium

October 16th, 2014 by Jared Spool

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, Richard Rutter discusses the web and its role as a medium. Richard argues that we should consider the fact that a user can shape their experience as a strength rather than a weakness.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The wonderful thing about the web is that it takes many forms and those forms can be shaped by the reader to his or her benefit. That is a strength not a weakness; a feature not a bug. The control which print designers have – and so often desire when they transition to the web – is a limitation of the printed medium.

Read the article: Embracing the Medium.

How do you shape your design with potential readers in mind? Leave us a note below.