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: Designing without a Designer

May 20th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re happy to offer my latest original article. In it I discuss how designers can benefit your team in more ways than just delivering a design.

Design must be infused within an entire organization to get the competitive advantage. It’s so critical that we created a conference all around this – UX Advantage Conference in Baltimore August 18,19. You’ll hear interviews from leaders at PayPal, Capital One, Marriott, and others on how they pushed the competitive advantage of design in their organization.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Those folks who learn how to do a good enough job have become consciously competent. They can make good results happen most of the time, though they often don’t know the underlying theory as to why. (Think of someone who can follow a baking recipe and create great cupcakes, but doesn’t understand the chemistry of baking.)

Read the article Designing without a Designer.

What challenges has your team faced in reaching conscious competence with their design skills? Tell us about it below.

UIETips: Style Guide Best Practices

May 14th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re happy to publish an article on Style Guides from Brad Frost.

If you want to hear more from Brad on this topic, join us on June 4, when he presents our next virtual seminar, The Why & How of Successful Style Guides. Brad’s presentation will challenge you to think differently and to employ a more deliberate design system.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Pattern-based design and development requires you to blur your eyes a little bit. When creating a design system built for reuse, it’s essential to take a step back from the current context and name things in an agnostic way. “Carousel”, not “Homepage Carousel”. “Filters” not “Product Grid Filters”. “Radio Button Group” not “Gender Select”. And so on.

Read the article Style Guide Best Practices.

How do you leverage style guides in your projects? Tell us about it below.

Be part of a UX roundtable call when you register for UI20

May 8th, 2015 by Jared Spool

Register for the User Interface 20 Conference by May 22 and you’ll participate in an hour long UX roundtable call with me. Don’t miss this chance to ask me your most burning UX questions (or even your non-burning non UX questions).

Come to Boston November 2-4, 2015 for intensive workshops and talks focusing on what it takes to make your designs work on all mobile devices.

Workshop Leaders and Topics to Date:

  • Kim Goodwin – Personas and Scenarios
  • Jeff Gothelf – Lean UX
  • Steph Hay – Content Strategy
  • Nathan Curtis – Design Systems
  • Marc Stickdorn – Service Design
  • Keynote with Jared Spool

 

Save your spot at UI20 for $1,475

Plus you’ll partake in a 60-minute UX discussion call with Jared Spool if you register by May 22, 2015

UIETips: Ultra-Contextual Design

May 6th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re happy to publish an article on Contextual Design from Abi Jones.

If you’re trying to figure out whether sensor-informed context is right for you and your users, join Abi on May 14, when she presents the next virtual seminar, Explore the Possibilities of Ultra-Contextual Design. During Abi’s seminar she’ll cover how journey maps help make the London Underground accessible to visually impaired people, the UX of mountain rescues, methods for optimizing sensor permission requests, and a taxonomy for designing context-­aware systems.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The first step in creating a context­-aware system is understanding the context for use. There are two levels for contextual understanding, the broad context for the user journey and the ultra­-contextual aspects of each touchpoint within the journey.

Read the article Ultra-Contextual Design.

How do you implement contextually-aware designs? Tell us about it below.

New Dates for UX Advantage: August 18-19

April 30th, 2015 by Jared Spool

We’re changing the dates of UX Advantage to August 18 & 19.

We love Baltimore. We’re excited to do an event there.

In light of what’s happening in Baltimore, we don’t think it’s right promoting this event at this time. We feel the best thing we can do is to postpone for a couple of months.

Baltimore is a great city and we want to do an event there. We hope you’ll join us in August and support this city and its people.

Jared and Karen

UIEtips: Extraordinarily Radical Redesign Strategies

April 29th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we reprint an article on radical redesign strategies.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The day they flipped the switch and launched the new site, sales dropped by 20%. (This was a site that was doing almost $1 billion in revenues per year, so 20% is a lot of money to lose.)

Read the article Extraordinarily Radical Redesign Strategies.

What strategy have you put in place when planning a redesign? Tell us about it below.

UIETips: Responsive Content Modelling – Part 2

April 22nd, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re pleased to publish part 2 of Steve Fisher’s article which discusses Responsive Content Modelling.

In a multi-device world where your content can live anywhere, content modelling helps content adapt consistently. Want to learn more? Join us April 23, when Steve, a UX Architect and Founder of The Republic of Quality, presents Content Modelling: Creating Responsive Content Experiences.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Something must be the very first priority and something must be the last. Try this mantra. EVERYTHING MUST BE PRIORITIZED OR ALL WILL DIE. Okay, don’t do that. But do take it seriously and resist the urge to quit–I promise it will be worth it. This is essentially a less technical, but more human–centered method of content modelling.

Read the article Responsive Content Modelling – Part 2.

How do you model your content? Tell us about it below.

Crucial Topics That Firms Must Tackle to Get the UX Advantage

April 21st, 2015 by Jared Spool

The power of a well-designed experience can generate millions in profits. Large companies are starting to put UX in the forefront of their organization which gives them a distinct competitive advantage.

The UX Advantage Conference is a series of interviews with 14 design leaders covering how they instill UX within their corporate DNA. In this podcast, Karen McGrane and I outline the crucial topics that companies must tackle to give them the UX competitive edge.

UIETips: Responsive Content Modelling

April 15th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re pleased to publish an article from Steve’s blog which discusses Responsive Content Modelling.

Join us April 23, when Steve, a UX Architect and Founder of The Republic of Quality, presents Content Modelling: Creating Responsive Content Experiences. You’ll understand how to rethink your content for responsive projects and see how you can start any web project on the right foot.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The team also orbits this central content. The process unites far flung members who aren’t sure how they’d work together to make a project successful. When they rally to find this central content, they become bonded by its gravitational pull. It’s the number one exercise I lead that causes that aha moment-the moment people understand how the project will succeed. It isn’t just finding the atomic piece that is the big win-it’s finding it together.

Read the article Responsive Content Modelling.

How do you model your content? Tell us about it below.

UIETips: Becoming a Design-Infused Organization

April 9th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, I offer an original article on two UX mutations that will give your company a competitive edge.

Using UX as a competitive edge is what our new conference, UX Advantage is all about. Karen McGrane and I interview design leaders on what they do to instill UX within their corporate DNA. Explore the conference’s ten key interview topics.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Intrinsically motivated organizations are more innovative. Apple innovated an entire new store concept, with commission-less retail staff, a massive investment in in-store customer training, and a cashier-less purchasing system. The New York Times applied innovative thinking to smarter ad placements, integrated interactive designers into the editorial team, and clever ways to leak high-profile articles through the pay-wall to increase exposure from social media.

Finding intrinsic motivation and using that to drive the massive change within the organization seems to be the successful pattern. It’s a more difficult path, because it requires looking beyond today’s competitive pressures and researching opportunities that nobody else has spotted yet. However, the payoff is big when you pull it off.

Read the article Becoming Design-Infused: 2 Necessary Mutations to Organizational DNA.

How is UX used to your company’s advantage? Tell us about it below.