UIEtips: Scenarios and Journey Maps Help Designers Become Storytellers

Jared Spool

May 7th, 2014

In today’s UIEtips, Jared Spool explains how storytelling is the core of design communication. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Knowing how to change the users’ behaviors is one thing. Knowing which behaviors to change is another.

There are often many approaches to improving a design. Everyone can think they are working towards a better overall experience, but if each team member chooses a different approach, the design becomes confusing and complex.

When we’re working on a team, getting the entire team to work together from the same approach becomes job one. Smaller teams (such as those with six or less folks) have always had an easier time of this than larger ones. This is because it’s more likely the smaller teams are checking in and talking to each other.

Fortunately, there’s help for larger teams. It comes in a technique that is as old as humanity – storytelling.

Read the article Scenarios and Journey Maps Help Designers Become Storytellers.

How do you encourage creating stories in your design team? Tell us about it below.

Register for UI19 by May 15 to Secure the Lowest Rate

Jared Spool

May 7th, 2014

Take advantage of the $1,395 Rate – Register by May 15

Save money and guarantee your spot in the workshops of your choice. Register for the User Interface 19 Conference, October 27–29, in Boston at the lowest rate of $1,395 by May 15.

    “Both the workshops and speeches were extremely useful and inspiring. The whole experience was beyond my (high) expectations!”

- Juha Rouvinen

Watch the UI19 Preview Video

Your UI19 Registration Includes:

  • Immediate access to UIE’s All You Can Learn for one year. This resource includes virtual seminars from many of the UI19 workshop leaders plus past conference recordings
  • Two daylong workshops and a day of featured talks from the workshop presenters
  • Complete conference materials from all the workshops and talks
  • Access to video recordings of the featured talks through All You Can Learn
  • A designer’s toolkit to help you create and communicate your design ideas

Save your spot, guarantee your workshops, and get the lowest price when you sign-up by
May 15.

UX Thursday Event with Jared Spool is Back in Detroit!

Lauren Cramer

May 7th, 2014

Yup, that’s right, on June 26th UX Thursday will return to Detroit with a bevy of UX luminaries. And you can join them all for just $99 bucks!  (Your cell phone bill is higher than that, right?)

Keynotes will include Jared Spool and Dana Chisnell from UsabilityWorks and will be held at the city’s iconic Gem Theater.

As always, there will be 6 other top local speakers there to share case studies of real-world UX projects, so start getting excited NOW! Stay tuned for more information on the amazing speakers and presentations we’ve got in store for you.

You can also check out this video of last year’s show highlights. We hope to see you there but these events always sell out quickly, so don’t wait to sign up.

Strengthen your UX Skills with 8 Daylong Workshops

Lauren Cramer

May 1st, 2014

Come to UI19 in Boston, October 27-29 for two days of hands-on workshops and one day of talks. Leave with a jolt of confidence that you can create the kinds of user experiences others will envy.

We’ve put together some of the brightest, most ingenious minds of our time to help you meet the UX challenges you are facing now.


Dan Saffer

Presenting Data Well

Stephen Anderson

Reserve your spot and save money

Register by May 16 and get the lowest price of $1,395.

UIEtips: Misconceptions about Collaboration

Jared Spool

April 30th, 2014

In today’s UIEtips, Dan Brown of EightShapes discusses the three ways in which people misunderstand collaboration. You’ll be much more successful encouraging collaboration with an understanding of these misconceptions.

Want more of Dan’s thinking about design teams and collaboration? Join us on May 15 when he presents our next virtual seminar, Make Collaboration Happen, Even with Stubborn People.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Sometimes, people think of collaboration in very simple terms, ignoring the planning, structure, and organization it requires. There are three common misconceptions that oversimplify collaboration, as discussed next:

Throw smart people together. Suffice it to say that working with smart people is satisfying and challenging. But collaboration isn’t just about smarts. It’s about providing a framework for working together. Just as important as intelligence is a willingness to work within the framework.

Read the article Misconceptions about Collaboration.

How do you encourage collaboration in your team? Tell us about it below.

UIEtips: Pleasure, Flow, and Meaning — The 3 Approaches to Designing for Delight

Jared Spool

April 24th, 2014

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

We can measure a design on a scale from frustration to delight. The middle of this scale is a neutral point, where the design is neither frustrating nor delightful. It doesn’t suck, but it’s not remarkable either. It’s just a neutral experience.

When improving a bad design, we first must remove the frustrating bits to get to that neutral point. Observation of the users’ experience, followed by careful rethinking of the design can remove everything that’s introducing frustration.

Improving the design from the neutral point, to introduce delight is a different process. It’s additive, whereas getting to the neutral point is reductive. We have to know what to add to make the experience become delightful.

Read the article Pleasure, Flow, and Meaning — The 3 Approaches to Designing for Delight.

What approach does your team take to add delight to your design? Tell us about it below.

The Aura, Excitement, and Energy of the UI19 Conference

Lauren Cramer

April 22nd, 2014

Registration now open for the User Interface 19 Conference.

Find out what’s going on. Find out what matters most.


Make Collaboration Happen, a Virtual Seminar with EightShapes’ Dan Brown

Adam Churchill

April 18th, 2014

Happy, productive teams may seem like a pipe dream to those who believe all designers are divas, project managers rush timelines, and bosses (or clients) expect the impossible. Dan Brown’s team at EightShapes has adopted behaviors, making their work transparent and effective. In Make Collaboration Happen, he’ll show you how he’s distilled these behaviors into a framework called the “4 Virtues of Collaboration.”

You’ll want to attend this seminar if you

  • Want to learn 6 different behaviors to become more collaborative on a daily basis
  • Have to interact with multiple stakeholders as a regular part of your job
  • Struggle to answer “who is doing what?”
  • Don’t want another collaboration tool, but instead a methodology you can actually use

If you want to improve the way you—and your team—interpret and respond to everyday design challenges, be sure to save your spot.



Ahava Leibtag – Content: Messaging and Marketing

Sean Carmichael

April 18th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Ahava Leibtag

The goal of any site is to have great, compelling content. But what constitutes great content? How is the success of a blog post or a video measured? How can you be sure the time and effort put into crafting your content is providing an adequate return on investment?

Ahava Leibtag believes that content is a conversation in a marketplace. In her virtual seminar, Designing Effective Content Marketing, Ahava discusses the challenges that organizations face when approaching content that not only dictates the user experience but also influences the bottom line. The audience asked some great questions during the live seminar and Ahava joins Adam Churchill to address some of those in this podcast.

  • What are the most important channels to create content for and how do you prioritize?
  • What if your content isn’t the type to “attract and acquire”?
  • How do you handle content that may be technical or considered boring?
  • How do you sort out the challenge of being responsible for multiple touch points?
  • What are the signs that your content is no longer relevant or isn’t evergreen?
  • When is the right time to bring the UX team into the content conversation?

Recorded: March, 2014
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Whitney Quesenbery and Lainey Feingold – Structured Negotiations

Sean Carmichael

April 17th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

A Podcast for Everyone artwork

If you work in user experience or accessibility, you probably spend part of your time on advocacy–making the case for a new design idea or a new way of working. Lawsuits are the ultimate way to get two sides to come to an agreement, but it’s also an extremely confrontational style of advocacy.

A more collaborative process might be a better way to reach your goal with an agreement that is a win for everyone.

Lainey Feingold is a disability rights lawyer with an extraordinary record of landmark cases, including settlements with some big companies that have made their sites more accessible. She’s done all this using Structured Negotiations, a process that lets a group of people work together to find a solution to a problem. It takes active patience, flexibility, grounded optimism, confidence, trust, and a empathy to be successful at Structured Negotiations.

Lainey joins Whitney Quesenbery for this episode of A Podcast for Everyone to answer questions about this new way of reaching agreements.

  • What are Structured Negotiations?
  • Why are they more effective than lawsuits?
  • How can you used the concepts in structured negotiations for UX advocacy?
  • What are the characteristics of a good negotiator?

Resources mentioned in this podcast.

Recorded: March, 2014
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