UIETips: Making Companies Competitive by Expanding Design’s Role

Jared Spool

July 8th, 2015

In this week’s article, I explore the positive effects of expanding design awareness in organizations.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In the last few years, companies like GE, Fidelity, Marriott, MasterCard, IBM, Paypal, Nasdaq, and Capital One have realized they can gain a competitive advantage by producing better downstream user experiences. They’re driving change in their industry by helping their customers’ organizations deliver better experiences in their own products and services. It’s not good enough to delight your direct customers. You have to delight all the customers and employees down the supply chain.

Read the article: Making Companies Competitive by Expanding Design’s Role.

How are you using design to become more competitive? Let us know below.

Bruce McCarthy – UX and Product Roadmaps

Sean Carmichael

July 8th, 2015

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Bruce McCarthy

Product Managers are responsible for the success of a product. As we’ve seen, UX is not misaligned with business goals, in fact it helps achieve those goals. If UX has become a necessity in terms of a driver of business, product managers need to adapt to it. Those who have a respect and understanding for the value of UX, and incorporate it into their product strategies, can better serve their users and customers, as well as the business.

In business, competition is the core of what drives innovation and consumer loyalty. But this doesn’t mean catching up to your competitors in some feature-checklist war. What sets your product apart from others and what about it delights your users? Engaging in user research can tell you how your customers use your product but more importantly why they use it that way.

That question of “why” can be very important. If the users of your product are requesting what seems to be a simple fix, such as moving a button, there could be a greater underlying reason. So rather than just accepting the request and acting on it, using research to uncover that “why” can lead to a new use case that you weren’t actively supporting. This in turn can lead to greater opportunities for the business as a whole.

Bruce will be presenting one of 8 daylong workshops at UI20, November 2-4 in Boston. For more information about his, and the other workshops, visit uiconf.com.

Recorded: June, 2015
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UIETips: Incorporating Content Strategy into Your Information Architecture

Jared Spool

June 30th, 2015

In this week’s article, Margot Bloomstein shares examples of how organizations are successfully incorporating content strategy into their information architecture.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

What’s in, and what’s out? “In my experience, it is very easy for brilliant information architects (or UX people who do information architecture) to underestimate the importance of editorial planning, voice and tone, and detailed guidelines for content creation. And conversely, it’s very easy for highly skilled content people to underestimate how much information architecture has to do with things other than content: the finicky details of application behavior and interaction design, in particular. I’m a huge fan of collaborations between information architects who care about editorial concerns and content strategists who love structure and talking about data. But whatever your situation, it’s important to know your way around structural design, if only so that you can provide useful feedback and support.”

Read the article: Incorporating Content Strategy into Your Information Architecture.

Are you incorporating content strategy into your company’s information architecture? Let us know below.

Practical Empathy for Powerful Decision Making – Indi Young’s July 16 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

June 29th, 2015

When navigating obstacles, we often turn to well-established solutions and get stuck churning in that problem space. We become cyclical and self-referential. Involving others and developing empathy can bring fresh input, perspective, and ideas. In Practical Empathy for Powerful Decision Making, Indi Young teaches you the different types of empathy, how to develop it, and some tips for persuading the people around you to pay more attention to this powerful tool.

Attend this seminar if you want to learn:

  • How empathy can actually be used in your work and the most reliable, repeatable kind
  • Differences between developing empathy using listening sessions and traditional user research through user interviews
  • How to set up a practice to develop empathy
  • Tips to help those around you understand how investing in developing empathy can improve your workSave Your Spot

Save your spot in this July 16 virtual seminar, or make it part of your 6-month program of virtual seminars.

 

A UX Advantage Podcast with Jared Spool: Reinventing Corporate Structures

Sean Carmichael

June 26th, 2015

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Traditional organizational silos are the nemesis of delivering great experiences. How do you scale multidisciplinary teams to enterprise size? Does a culture of design require a fundamental structural shift in how the organization operates?

Those are just some of the questions being addressed at the UX Advantage conference. Jared Spool and Karen McGrane will be your hosts as they have meaningful conversations on a series of topics with top design executives.

In this podcast, Jared tackles the UX Advantage topic, Reinventing Corporate Structures.

 

Join us in Baltimore August 18-19 for UX Advantage. For more information, visit uxadvantage.com.

Recorded: May, 2015
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Seeking a Front-End Web Developer Who Loves a Challenge

Adam Churchill

June 26th, 2015

Go look at uie.com. (Seriously. Go look. We’ll wait.)

Ok. Now look at uiconf.com. (Yup, we’ll wait again.) Also, our All You Can Learn Library or this page (Jared Live).

Compare uie.com to the others. See the difference? This is why we need you. If you can help us make uie.com be a modern-looking, easy-to-use web site, we want you to join our team.

Our audience is filled with people like you. Folks who work every day creating great designs. We need all of our web sites to meet the high bar we’ve set. After all, we spend our days sharing our research and knowledge about great design, yet, we feel our own site doesn’t come close to what we preach.

We need help. A lot of help. Enough help that we’re seeking a full-time person to join our team. Is that you?

This project starts from ground zero. You’ll work alongside the rest of the team to explore different design alternatives. We use user research and tests of prototypes with our customers to try out ideas, so you’ll get immediate feedback on what works and what doesn’t. We’re very iterative, so you’ll have the opportunity to learn and try new things. Our process goes from simple sketching in design studios through high-fidelity working code.

It’s not the only project, by the way. We’ve got new conferences coming up that will need their own sites. We’re planning really nifty enhancements to our popular  All You Can Learn Library of videos. And, there’s our newsletters, podcasts, and other resources that we share with the world. You’d be part of the design of all of those. There’s always lots to do here.

You’d be ideal if you can  happily hop from Expression Engine templates for All You Can Learn to Statamic site builds for our event sites. You need to be committed to web standards and accessibility, because we are. You’ll embrace and improve our established Git-powered workflows, and help us build a reusable repository of web components with tools like Sass/SCSS. You’ll work with our custom-built PHP components and and delight at our tastefully-implemented JavaScript. We’ll count on you to choose the best tool for the job, but not jump at each new shiny thing on the Internet.

Is this the perfect job for you? Prove to us you have the experience we’re after by sending us your resume, links to some of your best work, and a half-page write-up of your most significant web-development accomplishment. While we’re less concerned with your qualifications, we won’t compromise on your ability to deliver great results.

Ideally, you’d work in our North Andover offices, alongside the rest of the team. However, we’d entertain someone who is a talented developer who works in a time zone near the east coast, so we can keep in touch during the same hours. This is not a contractor opportunity. We’ll provide all the resources you need to bring out the best in your talents and skills, in our flexible, family-friendly work environment.

Send your resume and write-up to: FrontEndDev@uie.com

UIETips: Hire UX Experts or Give Your Team Their Own UX Skills?

Jared Spool

June 24th, 2015

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint the article Hiring UX experts versus giving your team their own UX skills. In the article, I explain why you should be transitioning from a single UX expert to a UX-aware team.

Here’s an excerpt:

UX is a complex field because there are lots of complexities: accessibility, mobile design, working in government agencies, working in an agile development process, and dealing with cross-cultural needs, to name a few. Yet, these are edge cases. 80% of UX work is quite routine and when learned by everyone on the team, creates consistently good designs.

Read the article: Hiring UX experts versus giving your team their own UX skills.

Have you begun the shift to a UX-aware team rather than just one expert?

Announcing The UI20 Workshop Leaders And Topics

Lauren Cramer

June 19th, 2015

Strengthen Your UX Skills with These 8 Daylong Workshops

At the User Interface 20 Conference in Boston, November 2–4, you’ll learn to master expert-level UX tools and skills that you can immediately put to work.

Our 8 superstar workshop leaders have experimented with new ways of thinking and collaborating—and they’re going to teach you what works and what doesn’t through their specialized lenses of UX design.

 

Kim Goodwin
Marc Stickdorn

Service Design

Marc Stickdorn

Erika Hall
Jeff Gothelf

Lean UX

Jeff Gothelf

Nathan Curtis

Design Systems

Nathan Curtis

Steph Hay
Jenn Lukas

Mastering CSS

Jenn Lukas

Bruce McCarthy

UX Roadmaps

Bruce McCarthy

 

 

A UX Advantage Podcast with Jared Spool: Gaining Executive Support

Sean Carmichael

June 19th, 2015

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In order to gain executive support for UX as a core tenet of the business you’ve got to rethink the whole business. Every touch-point, every internal system, everything has to be rethought. That shift is as simple as turning a cruise ship.

What does it take to make that shift? How does putting user experience first change the way organizations work?

Those are just some of the questions being addressed at the UX Advantage conference. Jared Spool and Karen McGrane will be your hosts as they have meaningful conversations on a series of topics with top design executives.

In this podcast, Jared tackles the UX Advantage topic, Gaining Executive Support.

 

Join us in Baltimore August 18-19 for UX Advantage. For more information, visit uxadvantage.com.

Recorded: May, 2015
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Building a Culture of Design – Chris Avore’s June 25 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

June 18th, 2015

Organizations are beginning to recognize that design thinking can give them a competitive edge in the fight to deliver innovative products and experiences.

In his June 25 virtual seminar, Chris Avore makes an argument that it’s about understanding that design thinking isn’t just for designers. We can all start making small steps forward with the end goal of building a culture of design. Over time, these incremental changes will help you win advocates, build equity with business partners, and transform your organization in a lasting way.

Attend this seminar if you want to:

  • Learn tips and tricks that will help you start conversations and increase design’s visibility within your company.
  • Put your design skills to work crafting truly innovative products and services.
  • Start changing the culture of your company as soon as this Virtual Seminar ends.

Building a Culture of Design will give you the tools and encouragement you need to lead your team, department, or organization toward a more design-centric future.