Create Clear, Intuitive, and Fast Web Sites for a Company Who’s Supposed to Have Those

Adam Churchill

November 3rd, 2014

Job Opening:  Front-End Web Developer

Fast Forward One Year:

Thanks for the great work you’ve done in your first year as UIE’s Front-End Web Developer. You’ve stepped-up the design of our sites to meet the expectations of our UX professional audience. The project work you’ve completed, sites you’ve launched, and improvements you’ve worked with us to implement have been a great success and are critical to our organization’s future direction and 100-year mission.

You jumped into the middle of the development for our UX Immersion 2015 site—our spring conference—without fear and brought it to completion based on the work we started. When we found unsolved challenges during the project, you constructed responsive solutions based upon existing components maintaining the site’s visual language. You communicated eloquently with all stakeholders, regardless of their technical experience or role in the company.

You saw the opportunities just waiting to be exploited with our All You Can Learn subscription video library and worked with us to build the team collaboration features. We especially appreciated how you anticipated future product changes and additions. The determination with which you adapted the entire product for use across devices—a responsive design that was no small feat—was impressive. Our customers were ecstatic to learn at their desk and on the go.

Best of all, you jumped at the chance to bring into the current decade.  Determining the new direction of our flagship site wasn’t an easy task, but you were excited explore the different possibilities with the rest of the design team, product managers, and other stakeholders. You took ideas from the sketch and whiteboard stages, and prototyped the best ones. You immediately embraced our process of evaluating and testing prototypes with users. You built a better product each time we learned, iterated, and tested again.

You’ve become a valuable contributor to our team. We’re always improving our process and working collaboratively, and you’ve fit right in.

You happily hopped from Expression Engine templates for All You Can Learn, to Statamic site builds for our event sites. Your commitment to web standards and accessibility was invaluable. You embraced and improved our established Git-powered workflows, and started in building a repository of web components with tools like Sass/SCSS. It took you no time to be comfortable around our custom-built PHP components and tastefully implemented JavaScript when appropriate. You always chose the best tool for the job without jumping at each new shiny thing on the Internet.

We’re looking forward to continuing to build great things with you.

Now Back to Today:

If you’d like this to be your story, send us your resume, links to some of your best work, and a half-page write-up of your most significant web accomplishment. While we’re less concerned with your qualifications, we won’t compromise on your ability to deliver team results. We’ll get back to you in 48 hours if you have what it takes to achieve something special.

You might even want to check out our web sites—,, and—for some insight into our current efforts. Matching all our public facing sites to our research is the key to success in this position. We think you’ll be excited by where we are today and the challenge to get us where we’re going.

You will work in our North Andover, Massachusetts offices as part of the design team. This is not a remote work, nor a contractor opportunity. Sorry, but please do not apply if you cannot work full-time on-site. 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:


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

Jared Spool

October 29th, 2014

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

Jared Spool

October 22nd, 2014

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.

Designing Interactions Between Devices, a November 6 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

October 22nd, 2014

Join us on November 6 when Josh Clark presents, Designing Interactions Between Devices.

There’s untapped magic in the gaps between gadgets. Businesses lose money in those gaps between gadgets, and customers lose patience. Instead, imagine moving effortlessly from device to device without interruption, throwing content from one to another, or shaking a transaction from your phone to your laptop. The technology we need to build tomorrow’s interactions is already here in our pockets, handbags, and living rooms.

  • Tear down device silos
  • Enable magical interactions between devices
  • Architect a future of smart, connected devices
  • Unlock business values with digital avatars

Step away from desktop and mobile screens and explore the ever-expanding world of off-screen digital interactions. One that sets users free from the “tyranny of the screen” and pushes the limits of what we think is possible.  Register for this seminar, where you’ll hear Josh Clark explain why “what we’re looking at is not a challenge of technology, it’s a challenge of imagination.

Aviva Rosenstein – Working with UX in an Agile Environment

Sean Carmichael

October 16th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Aviva Rosenstein

Integrating UX into an Agile workflow has historically been a bit of a challenge. This could be due to a general lack of communication with the development team, or not feeling like the proper time or value is given to UX within the organization. Through her research, Aviva Rosenstein discovered that many problems people were having are commonplace. Additionally, she found that others had actually already worked out solutions to some of these.

In her virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams, Aviva discusses the position of UX on Agile teams and some of the problems they face. There were a bunch of great questions from the audience during the live seminar and Aviva joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast.

  • How do you manage the change from Waterfall to Agile?
  • Are requirements fairly well defined before the Agile process?
  • If the designers are working sprints ahead, then how much time are they also spending on the current sprint?
  • Where do research and testing fit into the Agile process?
  • Can you give some examples of UX tasks that are estimated?
  • What are some best practices for documenting design in this process?
  • What’s the development team’s role in UX design?
  • How do you handle technology limits in UX design?
  • Are there UX success measures for new products?
  • Can a dedicated UX design team work successfully with product development teams in this scrum environment?

Recorded: September, 2014
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UIEtips: Embracing the Medium

Jared Spool

October 16th, 2014

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.

Mobile Research Techniques: Beyond the Basics, Our October 23rd Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

October 10th, 2014

Studying mobile use in context can be tricky. Some desktop research strategies translate easily to mobile, but if you want to capture the way people really use mobile devices, you’re gonna need a bigger toolbox.

Cyd Harrell has the insider’s scoop on how to design and execute mobile research that gets you the most usable data for your money—in the lab or out in the field. Sign up for Cyd’s seminar now.

  • Conduct mobile research in the lab
  • Do mobile research in the field
  • Deepen your research with long-term studies
  • Choose and use participants—for optimal results

Can’t join us for the live virtual seminar? Get access to the recording, within a few days of the live event, when you subscribe to UIE’s All You Can Learn.

Why Service Design Matters

Lauren Cramer

October 10th, 2014

Creating delightful cross-channel experiences

Service design is all about creating the best user experience regardless of the touch point. It brings all channels together – brick and mortar, call centers, and online to create a seamless, delightful experience for your customer.

Why Service Design Matters

  • Engagement: See how your customer interacts across various channels
  • Unity: Understand your customers’ experience from end-to-end for the whole organization
  • Clarity: Incorporate sketching and prototyping to improve problem areas of the journey

Marc Stickdorn

Marc Stickdorn’s innovative approach to mapping a customer’s journey through an experience—including their emotion and satisfaction along the way—is practical, low risk, and high value. He’ll teach you his methods and techniques at Service Design: Creating Delightful Cross-Channel Experiences, a full-day workshop on October 27 at UI19 in Boston.

In Marc’s workshop, you’ll learn to:

  • Employ ethnographic research to design the user experience
  • Map the user’s journey to identify all of the common touch points
  • Create personas that help you understand different kinds of users
  • Expand your thinking beyond the UI and into the user’s context

Marc wrote the book This is Service Design Thinking. He’ll regale you with insightful case studies and hands-on exercises to drive home new service design techniques.

Learn more about Marc’s workshop

UIEtips: Conducting Usability Research for Mobile

Jared Spool

October 8th, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, I speak with Cyd Harrell on conducting user research on mobile devices. I also make the case that mobile can be used as a research tool for things other than just the phone itself.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Jared: It feels almost like the lab is not necessarily the first choice for doing the research in a lot of these projects. Doing them in context is not that much more difficult. We should be strongly considering that as we’re doing the studies.

Cyd: I think we should. I strongly encourage people to do it. Again, live broadcast is a complexity, but if you’re not doing live broadcast, you have a lot of ways that you can be with someone.

Read the article: Conducting Usability Research for Mobile.

What else have you researched using mobile methods? Leave us a note below.

Whitney Quesenbery and Joe O’Connor – Accessible WordPress

Sean Carmichael

October 8th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

A Podcast for Everyone artwork

WordPress powers over 25 million sites with more than 14 billion pages viewed each month, making it one of the most popular web publishing platforms. Imagine if every one of those sites was accessible. Joe O’Connor has been a leader in making that happen, through the WordPress accessibility team which works from the inside to make WordPress into a web publishing platform for everyone.

Joe joins Whitney Quesenbery for this episode of A Podcast for Everyone to talk about what it takes to make an open source platform that can help authors make their sites accessible. They talked about:

  • How can you make your WordPress accessible?
  • What are the best accessible-ready WordPress themes?
  • What tools can help you keep your content accessible for everyone?

Joseph Karr O’Connor lives in Santa Monica, California. When Section 508 came into effect in 1999 he began leading Accessible UX teams creating accessible web environments. Joe has been using WordPress in support of non-profits, research, and university news since 2005. Now leading Cities, a world-wide effort to build free accessible WordPress themes, Joe also contributes to Make WordPress Accessible and asks you to get involved. He’s known on Twitter as AccessibleJoe.

Resources mentioned in this podcast

Accessible WordPress themes that Joe recommends:

Recorded: July, 2014
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