Jeff Gothelf – Axe Requirements-driven Product Design Live!

Sean Carmichael

December 18th, 2013

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Jeff Gothelf

This is a sample of Jeff’s 90-minute talk from the User Interface 18 conference.

There’s a traditional way of building a product. Normally there’s a huge time investment made as you come up with the idea, design, build and re-build until it’s released. At this point you’re hoping this solution solves the users’ problems, and also that it doesn’t crash and burn. And if it does fail, there’s going to be some hell to pay.

Jeff Gothelf considers this “the old way” of product development. He posits that there is an immense amount of risk involved with this approach, and suggests that design and product development should be viewed as a hypothesis. Using this method, you’re putting hypotheses out there, testing them, and even if they fail, you’re continuously learning.

With these “small bites” being taken, you can design with a comfort level, knowing you’re not putting the entire project at risk. You’re collecting data and therefore able to iterate based upon objective observations. If the data proves you’re heading down the wrong path, you can quickly kill the idea and move onto the next hypothesis.

Want to hear more from Jeff? The recordings of the User Interface 18 conference are now available as UI18 OnDemand. Relive (or experience for the first time) all eight featured talks and Jared Spool’s informative and entertaining keynote. Get all of the details at uiconf.com.

Recorded: December, 2013
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Ben Callahan – Structuring Your Workflow for Responsive Web Design

Sean Carmichael

December 17th, 2013

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Ben Callahan

As responsive web design becomes more prevalent, our approach to designing for the web is changing. With former assumptions, as dismissive as they may have been, that the web was a fixed width, it was easier to have a more linear workflow. With the need for the web to reconfigure and adapt to different devices and displays, designers and developers need to adapt to changing workflows.

Ben Callahan of Sparkbox has experienced this changing landscape firsthand. He has found that even down to the core of how they price projects has changed with responsive work. The fact that their development and design process have continued to get more iterative and collaborative has had a ripple effect on all aspects of projects. This has allowed clients to become more involved in the process.

Ben says that getting the client involved from the beginning helps shape the scope and phases of the project. They try to learn as much as they can to inform what it is they’ll do next. He says that his team has really tried to embrace the idea and approach clients with “The understanding that we know less about your project today, then we will tomorrow”.

Ben is joining us to teach one of the daylong workshops in Denver, CO April 7-9 as part of the UX Immersion Mobile Conference. For more information about Ben’s and the other 5 workshops, visit uxim.co.

Recorded: December, 2013
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Dana Chisnell – Gaining Design Insights from Your Research Recruiting Process

Sean Carmichael

December 12th, 2013

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Dana Chisnell

Getting great participants for usability studies can provide invaluable insights for your design process. But if you aren’t doing your own recruiting, you could be missing out on additional important information. Dana Chisnell has learned that the best way to find great participants is to think of recruiting as bonus user research.

Dana is the author of The Handbook of Usability Testing. In her virtual seminar, Gaining Design Insights from Your Research Recruiting Process, Dana shares her thoughts on recruiting, how to find the best participants, and what types of things predict behavior. The audience asked a bunch of great questions during the live seminar. Dana joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those questions in this podcast.

  • How can you convince stakeholders not to use an agency for recruiting?
  • How measurable is the difference in quality of the participants when self-recruiting?
  • How can you get busy people to participate?
  • What is the best way to approach recruiting users with disabilities?
  • How do you recruit outside of your geographic location?

Recorded: December, 2013
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Get yours now — 13 hours of recordings from the UI18 Conference

Lauren Cramer

December 11th, 2013

UI18 OnDemand gets you front row access to 10 UX experts sharing best practices and cutting edge techniques on advanced design processes, flexible team-based techniques, and meaningful data display.

Recordings include:

Stephen Anderson – Help Users Decide
Is your phone bill easy or enjoyable to read? Help users make decisions more easily by displaying your information in highly visual, interactive, and meaningful ways.

Kim Goodwin – Get More from User Research
Think you don’t have time for user research? Once you see the tools and techniques Kim uses to quickly gather customer insights and prioritize designs, you’ll change your mind.

Adam Connor and Aaron Irizarry – Discuss Design without Losing Your Mind
Overcome the endless barrage of opinions that thwart your design progress. Get the techniques to make critique a positive experience for everyone involved.

Scott Berkun – Do Great Work from Anywhere
How can WordPress be effective when its entire team works remotely? Managers, designers, and developers all thrive in its autonomous environment — hear why.

Kevin Hoffman – Hold Meetings That Aren’t Excruciating
Enjoy your meetings by applying the same design thinking that UX pros already know and love. Get real work done and build consensus, regardless of personalities and opinions.

Dan Saffer – Dig into Tiny Design Details
The difference between a product we love and one we only tolerate often lies in these details. Turn your product’s dull microinteractions into memorable, engaging moments.

Jeff Gothelf – Axe Requirements-driven Product Design
Start spending your time on the right work for your business by creating a series of hypotheses. Then, run experiments to validate which solutions are worth building.

Christine Perfetti – Essential UX Techniques for Creating Delightful Products
Learn to gather insights that lead to user engagement and delight and help drive your product decisions.

Jared Spool – It’s a Great Time To Be a UX Designer
There’s never been a better time to be a designer. After years of wishing we’d have the recognition and appreciation for the value we bring, we’re now highly sought after for our talents and skills.

Purchase the recordings for $189
The special price of $189 ends January 16. Get your recordings today.

Karen McGrane – Mobile Strategies for Your Content

Sean Carmichael

December 10th, 2013

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Karen McGrane

Ensuring that your site is responsive or adaptive is becoming essential to your mobile design strategy. With the plethora of devices available, users want to be able to access your site on whichever one they’re using. The days of the separate mobile site are gone. But as your design is reflowing to display perfectly across devices, what’s happening to your content?

Karen McGrane is the go-to expert for content strategy. She reminds us that responsive design is a technique and not a silver bullet. It’s an important technique that, along with others, can help solve the larger design problem. After all, if the layout of content is confusing or simply lost in the design, the site itself won’t be very useful.

Simply tacking a responsive framework on top of your existing site will often end in disappointment. Image sizes need to be adjusted, headlines get truncated, and you need to go back and take another look at design decisions previously made. Having a solid strategy about how and what your site will display across devices will go a long way to developing an asset and content management system to accompany it.

Karen is joining us in Denver, CO April 7-9 as part of the UX Immersion Mobile Conference. She will be teaching one of the daylong workshops along with 5 other amazing speakers. For more information about Karen’s and the other workshops, visit uxim.co.

Recorded: December, 2013
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UIEtips: The Redesign of the Design Process

Jared Spool

December 10th, 2013

There are two kinds of work in the world: work we do alone and work we do with others. Working with others often requires meetings, which can be a waste of time and energy. Feedback from clients, stakeholders and team members is also critical for designers but at times terrifying and often missing a common language to share the feedback. Progress comes from understanding why something is the way it is, then examining how it meets or doesn’t meet desired goals. If you and your entire team can build a shared understanding of success through objective research and validation, you’ll start spending your time on the right work for your business and for your brain.

This past UI18 conference focused on best practices and cutting edge techniques on advanced design processes in the areas of Lean UX, critique, and successful meetings in addition to other critical UX topics. Just imagine what you could do with over 13 hours of video and audio recordings from the inspiring talks and all the presentation slides and materials from the workshops. Get UI18 OnDemand for just $189 until January 16. Share all this UX goodness with your entire organization for this one low price.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Today, the best designs aren’t coming from a single designer who somehow produces an amazing solution. The best designs are coming from teams that work together as a unit, marching towards a commonly held vision, and always building a new understanding of the problem.

These teams create their great designs without using any magic or special formula. They create great designs by applying their design skills to the act of designing.

Read the article The Redesign of the Design Process.

Is your design process geared towards forming a common understanding? Tell us about it below.

Mobile UX Design That Delights

Jared Spool

December 9th, 2013

How often do you start researching a product, reading an article, or listening to a podcast on one device and finish up on another? Common, right? Well your users are doing it too, and if you’re not creating delightful, cross-platform experiences—you’re likely to lose them.

The increasing use of mobile devices makes designing sites and apps more complex. To design for the user, you have to completely change the way you use to work and learn new tools, techniques, and patterns for success.

We’ve created a conference that focuses on the skills you need to create pleasing experiences for your customers regardless of the device they use. At the UX Immersion Mobile Conference, you’ll be led by industry experts on an intense dive into game-changing, mobile UX challenges.

Brad Frost will focus on establishing a practical foundation and workflow so your team can build responsive, adaptive interfaces. You’ll discuss how to use layout, image, and navigation patterns to design future-friendly experiences.

Karen McGrane wants to help you transform existing content into packages that work for your CMS, people, and users. You’ll learn how to publish content to many devices using one, author-centric workflow.

Mobile changes everything about how we conduct usability research. Cyd Harrell will let you in on the latest techniques for interviewing, gathering data, and involving your entire team.

Ease into mobile prototyping with Nate Schutta and discover that building prototypes using JavaScript and jQuery isn’t a black art. Dabble at using HTML and CSS in a text editor to debug what you’ve built. You don’t even have to be a coder for his workshop!

Dispel your fears of code, media queries, image optimization, and multi-device design with Jason Grigsby. See how fast and freeing mobile-first, responsive web design can be right now. Come ready to take your current CSS and HTML skills to the next level.

Ben Callahan knows that teams, timelines, and deliverables are an ever-changing challenge with responsive design. He’ll share how teams can manage expectations and create stronger products, faster by being truly responsive in both design and workflow.

Our presenters are experts on the ways mobile UX can transform teams and how users experience your content in this multi-device world. Learn more about the must-attend UX Mobile conference of 2014. See you in Denver!

Cyd Harrell – The Challenges of Usability Testing Mobile Apps

Sean Carmichael

December 5th, 2013

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Cyd Harrell

As much as we may like to pretend, there is nothing natural about usability testing. There’s always a level of concentration involved that likely wouldn’t be present in a natural setting. This “unnaturalness” is magnified when testing mobile applications. Users have to focus on things like posture and how they’re holding the device while trying to interact with it realistically.

Cyd Harrell of Code for America, and formerly Bolt | Peters, has developed some clever hacks over the years. These techniques can be more effective, both in scope and cost as well as results, than a formal testing lab. Even something as simple as “hugging” a laptop with the screen angled away from you and using the built in camera can give fantastic insights into how a user will interact with a mobile device.

The aim of these techniques is to provide an environment that’s comfortable when the user engages engage with the app during the test. Cyd has demonstrated a technique allowing the user to sit in a comfortable chair while a camera documents their activity. Avoiding distraction for the user in testing by taking the burden of concentration away results in much more accurate and useful data.

Cyd is joining us in Denver, CO April 7-9 as part of the UX Immersion Mobile Conference. She will be teaching one of the daylong workshops along with 5 other amazing speakers. For more information about Cyd’s and the other workshops, visit uxim.co.

Recorded: December, 2013
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9 Seminars Addressing Your Top UX Challenges

Adam Churchill

December 5th, 2013

During the first half of 2014, you’ll hear the latest thinking from the best speakers in the user experience design community. Get your team into all 9 live seminars from January through June.

We have some great presenters and topics lined up for you. With these educational events on your team’s calendar, you’re sure to maximize your core knowledge and skills.

  • Jan 09 – Taxonomy & Findability with Stephanie Lemieux
  • Jan 30 – Wireframes with Chris Farnum
  • Feb 20 – Content Strategy with Ahava Leibtag
  • Mar 13 – Mobile Design with Josh Clark
  • Apr 03 – Lean UX: A Deep Dive with Joshua Seiden
  • Apr 17 – The Four Pillars of Information Design with Noah Iliinsky
  • May 15 – Design Team Collaboration with Dan Brown
  • Jun 05 – Responsive Design Workflows with Ben Callahan
  • Jun 26 – The Product Roadmap: Where Product Management and UX Meet with Bruce McCarthy

Sign-up Once. Pay Once. All live seminars January through June 2014. Register now.

UIEtips: Designing for Breakpoints

Jared Spool

December 4th, 2013

In today’s UIEtips, we offer an article printed earlier this year on A List Apart – Designing for Breakpoints by Stephen Hay (reprinted with the permission of A List Apart, the author, and the publisher). It’s an excerpt from Chapter 7 of his book, Responsive Design Workflow, available from New Riders.

If your team struggles with how to design responsively, then you’ll want to hear Stephen’s practical approach to improving your responsive web design workflow during his December 12 virtual seminar on Responsive Web Design Workflows.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

When thinking about major breakpoints, remember to think about device classes. If you’re thinking about smartphones, tablets, laptops/desktops, TVs, and game consoles, for example, you’re heading in the right direction. If you’re thinking in terms of brand names and specific operating systems, you’re on the wrong track. The idea is to think in terms of general device classifications and, sometimes, device capabilities. Capabilities are more important when designing web applications, since you should be thinking about what screens will look like both with and without any particular capability.

Read the article Designing for Breakpoints.

What are your strategies for designing breakpoints? Tell us about it below.