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:

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.

UIETips: Devising a Strategy for Responsive Design

April 1st, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we reprint an article on the importance of organizations nailing down a strategy for making their sites responsive. I make the point that saying yes to responsive design will require changes to your editorial process, the ways you approach visual and interaction design, and how you think about your users and their goals.

If your team struggles with how to design responsively, then you’ll want join Stephen Hay’s day long workshop at UXIM Wednesday, April 15 on Optimizing Responsive Workflows with Structured Content. Stephen Hay has a practical approach to improving your responsive web design workflow.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A responsive design can have multiple breakpoints, say for a small-screen phone, then a large-screen phone, then a tablet, then a laptop/desktop. Many teams try to decide on breakpoints using average screen sizes.

However, it’s better to look at what the content and navigation wants to be. By letting the content and navigation drive the breakpoints, teams find they can often get away with fewer screen configurations. For example, a high-resolution Retina iPad might easily share the same configuration as a well-constructed laptop display, while lower resolution tablets might just need a little adjustment to that same configuration.

Read the article Devising a Strategy for Responsive Design.

What are your strategies for preparing a responsive design? Tell us about it below.

UIETips: Five Ways to Animate Responsibly

March 25th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re reprinting and article from Rachel Nabors, originally published in 24 Ways. Want to know more about how to put animation to work for your interface and its users? Join us April 2, when Rachel presents Improve UX With Animation.

“Here’s an excerpt from the article:”

Sadly, animation is considered decorative by the bulk of the web development community. UI designers and interaction developers know better, of course. But when I’m teaching a workshop on animation for interaction, I know that my students face an uphill battle against decision makers who consider it nice to have, and tack it on at the end of a project, if at all.

This stigma is hard to shake. But it starts with us using animation deliberately or not at all. Poorly considered, tacked-on animation will often cause more harm than good. Users may complain that it’s too slow or too fast, or that they have no idea what just happened.

Read the article Five Ways to Animate Responsibly.

How do you use animations to improve user experience? Tell us about it below.

20% off UXIM Plus 5 Other Reasons to Attend

March 24th, 2015 by Jared Spool

Conquer your mobile design challenges

Attending the UX Immersion Mobile Conference in Salt Lake City, UT April 13–15 will be one of the best mobile UX training events you have ever attended. Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Register by March 26 to Save 20%. Use Promotion Code 20OFF

    This code works whether you sign up for 1, 2 or three days. The more days you attend, the more you save.

  2. Full Day Workshops That Give You Concrete Skills to Use Immediately

    Responsive web design, native apps, experiencing mapping, adaptive design, atomic design, and responsive workflows are all topics necessary to create delightful mobile user experiences.

  3. The Workshop Leaders Spend Some Time Listening to You

    Attendees tell us things like, “The accessibility of the different speakers. I can literally walk up, get a handshake, say hi, and talk.” “The workshops and speeches are extremely useful and inspiring.”

  4. Meet with Your Peers to Discuss Your Successes and Challenges

    UXIM attendees have said, “It was an environment where one could actually have real conversations with experts and meet people in the field.” And “Casual, very welcoming, very professional.”

  5. Leave the Conference with Practical, Actionable “Stuff”

    With your new found learning, you’ll empower your coworkers and clients by sharing great advice, direction, and new skills.

  6. Your Learning Starts the Moment You Register

    With your registration, you’ll have a year of access to All You Can Learn by UIE. Get at more than 200 virtual seminar recordings and conference recordings now.

UIETips: Progressive Enhancement and the Content-out Approach

March 19th, 2015 by Jared Spool

In today’s UIEtips, we’re pleased to publish an excerpt from Aaron’s book which discusses how progressive enhancement can serve your users by giving them access to content without technological restrictions.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Fundamentally, progressive enhancement is about accessibility, but not in the limited sense the term is most often used. The term “accessibility” is traditionally used to denote making content available to individuals with “special needs” (people with limited motility, cognitive disabilities, or visual impairments); progressive enhancement takes this one step further by recognizing that we all have special needs. Our special needs may also change over time and within different contexts. When I load up a website on my phone, for example, I am visually limited by my screen resolution (especially if I am using a browser that encourages zooming) and I am limited in my ability to interact with buttons and links because I am browsing with my fingertips, which are far larger and less precise than a mouse cursor.

Join Aaron Gustafson and Jenn Lukas at a full–day workshop at the UX Immersion Mobile Conference and learn how to create a solid core and build out to craft amazing user experiences that work regardless of devices capabilities or deficiencies.

Read the article Progressive Enhancement and the Content-out Approach.

Do you use progressive enhancement in your designs? Tell us about it below.