UIEtips: Developing a Right Feeling for Designing with Type

Jared Spool

July 30th, 2014

You know that feeling when you look at a web site and think everything looks just right? It flows well, there’s a nice balance of white space, and it’s pleasing on the eyes. Perhaps you may not realize it but it’s likely that the type plays the dominant role in this. Today’s article looks at three steps to make you more comfortable when designing with type.

If you struggle with determining the right type to design with, then Tim Brown’s UI19 workshop Designing with Type is perfect for you.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

There are lots of creative activities that are refined using feel as the guide. Master chefs combine ingredients, not in exact amounts, but because they have a feel for what will taste great together. Seasoned musicians can play the right notes at the right time for the right length, because they know what will sound right.

Interestingly, anyone can develop these feelings. It takes study and practice because it’s a learned skill. The experienced designers we talked to didn’t always know how to design with type. But how do you learn it?

Read the article: Developing a Right Feeling for Designing with Type.

How did you learn typography? Leave us a note below.

Laying out the costs to your boss to attend the User Interface 19 Conference

Lauren Cramer

July 29th, 2014

There are likely two main pieces of information your boss needs to decide whether or not to send you to the User Interface 19 Conference (in Boston, MA October 27-29). Costs and benefits.

In this second post of our 2 part series, we’ll cover the costs. The first post covers the benefits of attending.

There’s no way around it, conferences can be expensive. You need to consider more than just the registration fee when presenting the costs to your boss.

Breakdown of costs

We summarize this information in a table at the bottom.

Registration – The current price is $1,995. But if you use the promotion code BLOGUI19 by August 15, you’ll get a $300 discount. The next price jump goes to $2,289 starting Sept. 12 (Depending on the circumstance, we’ve been known to give greater discounts. Contact us at events@uie.com)

Hotel arrangements – We’ve secured a special group rate of $269.00/night plus tax at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel. This is the conference hotel, so by staying here, you’ll avoid daily transportation costs.

There are other hotels in the surrounding area at various prices. Explore additional options at Hotels.com or Orbitz.com. Be aware that hotel rooms booked on these sites may not refund you if you cancel. To keep your cost down, you’ll want to find a hotel within walking distance of the Renaissance.

Flights – Flight cost varies depending on day of week, location, and number of stops. Flying out of a major hub typically gives you more airlines, times, and non-stop options. However, non-stop flights are often more expensive.

Save yourself money by looking into flights that have a stop. If possible, look at flights that have you leaving on a Saturday. Often flights and hotels are cheaper when there’s a Saturday night stay involved. You may actually save yourself money by coming a day early, and Boston is a fun city to explore.

Do your homework and use sites like Hipmunk or Kayak to compare flights.

Transportation to and from Boston’s Logan airport – There are a number of ways to get to the hotel. Taxi will be your most expensive option being about $30 each way. The least expensive option is the T (Boston’s subway system) at $2.65 and it drops you off 1/2 block from the hotel.

Food – Your conference registration includes breakfast all three days, mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack and beverage breaks, lunch on Tuesday, and a reception with food on Tuesday evening. You’re on your own for lunch on Monday and Wednesday plus all your dinners during the conference.

Expect to spend an average of $8-12 for lunch and $12-20 for dinner.

Time out of the office
This is the most difficult cost to calculate. Though there’s a cost for you being out of the office, you need to think about the costs to the company of not going to the conference. Does the current team have the skill set to complete the project? Will the conference provide you the skills needed to move a project forward with less labor? Can you finish the project sooner with these skills? As they saying goes, “be careful not to be penny wise, pound foolish.”

Summary of expenses

Here’s a chart with your average expenses. The hotel cost is for the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel.

West Coast Mid-West East Coast
Conference Fee (with promo code BLOGUI19 and sign up by 8/5) $1,695 $1,695 $1,695
Hotel Cost (3 nights and tax) $920 $920 $920
Flight (average) $500 $300 $275
T ride to and from the airport $5.30 $5.30 $5.30
Food $80 $80 $80
Total $3,200 $3,000 $2,975

 

Ideas to save on some expenses

There are a few ways to save some money.

1. Book your flight ASAP. The closer you get to the date of the conference, the higher the flight costs. Look for one stop options to lower the cost.

2. Be sure to take the T instead of a taxi.

3. Share a hotel room

4. Register by August 15 with the promotion code BLOGUI19 and save the $300.00.

Read part 1 - Convincing your boss to send you to UI19. It covers the benefits of attending.

Convincing your boss to send you to UI19

Lauren Cramer

July 29th, 2014

Convincing your boss to spend more than $1,700 to send you to the User Interface 19 Conference is no easy task. Your boss wants to understand how it benefits the organization, team, and you.

In part 1 of of our 2 part series, you’ll learn how to explain the benefits of attending the User Interface 19 Conference to your boss. Part 2 – Laying Out the Costs to Your Boss to Attend the User Interface 19 Conference details the costs (including time) associated with the conference.

Understand what your boss wants

Before you present anything, find out what information your boss needs to say, “yes, you must go to this conference.” Often at the top of the list is cost and benefits to the company. Dive deeper – ask what they mean by benefiting the company. Is your boss asking to see:

  1. How you’ll solve a specific pain point within your organization?
  2. How the material you learn will help finish up a current project?
  3. How this new information is shared with the rest of the team?
  4. How your new-found UX knowledge saves the company from hiring someone to do a specific task or skill?
  5. Will you bring in a new skill set that the company is lacking?
  6. How are you adding to the basic UX knowledge of the team?

Addressing your design needs

Only you know which workshops will address your most pressing design needs. The UI19 workshop descriptions lay out what you’ll learn during the day, the practical take-aways you’ll get, and how to implement the new processes and techniques you’ll learn.

Explore the workshops that fit your training and design needs. Find 3-5 points within the workshop description that addresses the 6 questions above.

For example, after attending Dan Saffer’s workshop on Designing Microinteractions you’ll:

  1. Choose the right microinteractions based on context and device.
  2. Write microcopy that people can relate to
  3. Determine which elements to spend time on and which to ignore.
  4. Integrate microinteraction design in your existing process

Each workshop description has a section on what you’ll learn and you can copy the bullets from there.

Also once you register for UI19, you’ll get immediate access to All You Can Learn by UIE where you’ll enjoy an abundance of virtual seminars and past conference recordings on all things UX.

Training others

One of the best methods to reinforce a new skill is to train someone else. We call it the “watch one, do one, show one method.”

In the daylong workshops, you’ll learn by “watching” and “doing.” Then, once you’re back in the office, you’ll “show one” by teaching the rest of the team the fabulous material from the workshops.

Increasing your value to the organization

Most organizations care about and invest in their employees. They look for ways to increase your skills and provide the tools necessary to succeed. Amping up your UX knowledge makes you a better designer and a more valuable and productive employee.

Conferences are an opportunity for you to glean best practices and network with others facing the same challenges. You’ll gain more than you can get from simply reading articles or books.

In summary, provide a benefits worksheet

It’s difficult to put an exact figure on the ROI for attending the User Interface 19 Conference. Your boss will want something that quickly quantifies benefits and shows what the costs are. Here’s an example.

Conference Expenses
Conference fee with promo code BLOGUI19 $1,695
Hotel costs $920
Flight $300
Transportation to and from airport $40
Food $90
Total $3,045
Organization’s Benefits Specific need and how the conference addresses that need
Get the latest UX techniques Through the two workshops and 5 talks I attend, I’ll hear about the latest trends, research, methods, and techniques around UX design
Learn what others are doing in the UX field This conference has several opportunities to network with peers and the speakers. It’s a great environment to find out how others have addressed similar issues we’ve come across. The speakers are known for spending time with the attendees and giving advice.
Improve individual and team design skills I’ll do a lunch and learn on the various workshops and sessions I attend so the team gets the key take-aways I acquired at the conference. I’ll also have access to a library of over 170 UX virtual seminars and past UIE conferences.
Solve a current design problem We’ve talked about how to incorporate scenarios into our design process and a need to simplify interfaces and validate user inputs when it comes to mobile. There are 2 workshops that directly cover these areas. With this information we can move forward at a quicker pace to complete the projects.
Eliminate the need to hire outside UX personnel Many of the sessions and workshops address the missing skills needed to solve some of the issues we’re having. By boosting our skill set it may eliminate the need to hire outside to fulfill these needs.

As an added incentive, tell your boss you can save $300 if you register by August 15 with the promotion code BLOGUI19.

9 Glowing Remarks You’d Like Your Boss to Say About You

Jared Spool

July 28th, 2014

Wow! You just significantly enhanced the user experience of our site. You did an amazing job facilitating discussions around our goals, roles, and responsibilities. Creating those scenarios helped identify and resolve many of our design issues. And mapping out the conversation we want with our customers and designing around that was brilliant.

The way the site now shows data is very impressive. It is clear, concise, and easy to understand. You really captured the nuances of the microinteractions with our users.

Some how you conveyed the right importance and hierarchies for the site through typography. You really nailed it.

As you know, mobile design was critical for us. I’m impressed with the layouts and navigation you implemented to make the mobile experience exceptional.

The User Interface 19 Conference was an amazing learning opportunity. I’m so glad we sent the entire team!

Want to make this type of impression?

It is no easy task to achieve the skills that lead you to these types of rave reviews. That’s why the format of the User Interface 19 Conference is built around hands-on, full day workshops so you become proficient at that topic.

Make yourself the most valuable UX person possible by attending UI19 in Boston October 27-29. Use the promotion code BLOGUI19 and get $300 off the current price. Send a team of four or more and get $500 off each person (make sure you use the code BLOGUI19 for the full discount).

Now go figure out which amazing workshops is right for you.

“Nice Guy Discount” of $300 on UI19 through Sunday, July 27

Lauren Cramer

July 25th, 2014

Did you miss out on the lower rate for the User Interface 19 Conference? Well it’s not too late. Register between now (Friday, July 25) and Sunday, July 27 midnight ET and you’ll still pay $1,695. It’s a $300 savings. No promotion codes needed. If you’re thinking of joining us for the UI19 Conference October 27-29 in Boston, now is the time to register.

Five Reasons to Attend UI19

 1. The best UX experts share critical skills, tools, & techniques 

You’ll choose two daylong workshops that dive deep into topics necessary to create delightful user experiences. Plus you’ll have an opportunity to hear from the workshop leaders during the Tuesday, 90-minute talks.

2. The brightest minds in UX are ready to answer your questions

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

3. Meet with your peers to discuss your successes and challenges

UI18 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.” As well as “It was exciting to meet so many UX professionals from around the world.”

4. Leave the conference with practical, actionable “stuff”

You’ll quickly integrate tips and tricks into your everyday workflow. With your new found learning, you’ll empower your coworkers and clients by sharing great advice, direction, and new skills.

5. Your learning starts the moment you register

With your registration, you’ll have a year of access to All You Can Learn by UIE. With more than 160 virtual seminar recordings and past conference recordings, you don’t have to wait until October to improve your UX skill set.

 

“There is an aura. There is an excitement, an energy. And it’s fun to be a part of that.”  - Rob Stenzinger

You too can be part of it.

Register for UI19

 

UIEtips: Designing Microinteractions

Jared Spool

July 24th, 2014

Microinteractions can truly delight the user or go completely unnoticed and be void of an actual interaction. In today’s article, we look back on an interview with Jared Spool and Dan Saffer on what microinteractions are and how they can completely change the user experience.

Last year’s Designing for Microinteractions workshop from Dan was the highest rated workshop. We’re excited to have him back again October 29 in Boston at UI19. Learn what it takes to make effective microinteractions.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Jared: In this day and age, anybody who’s doing any sort of app, whether it’s desktop or mobile or even just building some content-related stuff, there are microinteractions involved in that.

Dan: There are microinteractions involved in every product. The question is whether you’re actually going to spend the time and care to make them the best that they can be. In my opinion, you’re only as good as your worst microinteraction. There’s a lot of things that are completely undifferentiated, but if you have some really nice microinteractions around it, that makes all the difference in the world. An obvious example is your operating system. Most operating systems are doing the exact same things. How all those things work is all about people focusing on the microinteractions inside the operating system and that really differentiates one from the other.

Read the article: Designing Microinteractions.

How have you created microinteractions in your designs and products? Leave us a note below.

Minimizing Design Risk with The Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Adam Churchill

July 22nd, 2014

If your team has been practicing some form of Agile or Scrum, it likely has a loose definition of a MVP. The question is, are you launching MVPs at the end of each sprint, or are you launching “whatever we fit into a 2-week sprint cycle?”

If your iteration planning tends to focus on timelines, feature sets, and estimates – rather than on the value to the customer of whatever you’re building – then join us on August 14.

Attend this seminar if you:

  • Want your products to get more use–and maybe spawn new products, too
  • Are tired of endless sprints that still take months or years to launch
  • Have heard of MVPs but aren’t sure how to define or build them
  • Think “pivots” apply only to Silicon Valley startups (they don’t)

It’s not too late to make this seminar part of your team’s 6 Month Program. Pay once, save your spot in all UIE Virtual seminars through the end of 2014.

UI19 – Save $300 When You Register by July 24

Lauren Cramer

July 16th, 2014

The daylong workshops at the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston, October 27-29 give you skills and techniques to up your UX game.

You’ll leave knowing how to:

  • Get more information from users
  • Design products faster
  • Communicate more holistically within your group
  • Become more flexible and collaborative

 

Explore the detailed workshop descriptions

 

Mobile design

Luke Wroblewski

Design process

Leah Buley

Service-design thinking

Marc Stickdorn

User scenarios

Kim Goodwin

Microinteractions

Dan Saffer

Data visualization

Stephen Anderson

 

Register Now and Save $300.
 

UIEtips: Lean Content

Jared Spool

July 15th, 2014

How lean is your content? Are you testing your messages to see if it generates a click before creating lots of marketing copy? That’s what Steph Hay discusses in today’s article on lean content.

If you’re challenged to find the right words for your customers and feel there’s a disconnect between your content and your design, then you’ll want to attend Steph Hay’s daylong workshop at the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston October 27. Explore Steph’s workshop Content-First UX Design: A Lean Approach.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I’m now regularly applying lean principles to content development in my own work with FastCustomer. Seriously, the hardest part has been putting aside my creative journalistic ego. The laser-focus it gives the rest of our efforts is incredible.

I’m also advocating this approach while mentoring via 500 Startups. (Holla!) For example, SafeShepherd was ready to do blogger outreach, but they didn’t yet know which messages were making users come to their site in the first place. This is SO COMMON, but it renders any press or user-acquisition attempts fairly crap-shoot-ish. Which is a bummer, because it’s just not as smart as it can be.

So, lean content is all about writing in smarter ways — by testing messages to find what makes people click.

Read the article: Lean Content.

How does your organization test your messaging? Leave us a note below.

Stephen Anderson – Deciphering Data through Design

Sean Carmichael

July 15th, 2014

Play

[ Transcript Available ]

Stephen Anderson

Understanding problems are common when trying to visualize data. Designing a layout to effectively communicate complex or even simple data can be a challenge. If the visualization isn’t immediately apparent to a user, it requires a level of understanding to get the most out of their experience.

Stephen Anderson has been working to unlock these understanding problems. He says that often times really simple changes can have dramatic effects on a user’s ability to interpret data. He cites the many examples of designers taking stabs at airline boarding pass redesigns and the evolution Target’s Pharmacy prescription bottle went through. Presenting the information in a much clearer way reduces the cognitive barrier.

In this podcast with Jared Spool, Stephen outlines what he calls the 7 Problems of Understanding. These range from problems of comprehension to problems of discovery and more. Each of these problems is usually brought about by a design or display decision. Looking further at these issues, simple changes can greatly increase the experience for users.

Attend a daylong workshop with Stephen at UI19

Stephen’s UI19 workshop, Design for Understanding, in Boston October 27 will show you how to identify different learning patterns and content themes before jumping to visuals.

Register with promotion code ANDERCAST and get $300 off the current conference price.

Explore Stephen’s workshop

 

Recorded: June, 2014
[ Subscribe to our podcast via Use iTunes to subscribe to UIE's RSS feed. ←This link will launch the iTunes application.]
[ Subscribe with other podcast applications.]

Read the rest of this entry »