Steph Hay – Content-first User Experience

Sean Carmichael

June 24th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Steph Hay

In traditional website design and development it’s common to start with the design and add your content later in the process. You may even use “lorem ipsum” as a placeholder to know where the content eventually needs to live. This causes the content creator to craft words to fit the design instead of building a design to fit the content. Without the right content your users will likely have a lackluster experience no matter how good-looking the design.

Steph Hay is an advocate for a content-first approach. She believes it’s important to start with a simple document with all of the content that will be used to communicate with the user. By starting with a document, in plain language, as opposed to a wireframe or comp, all the stakeholders can have an informed discussion. No one needs to be educated on what they are looking at.

Starting with the content helps focus the message you’re delivering to your users. When you build the design out from there, you can more easily determine where the appropriate places are for each type of communication. The site map and hierarchy are born out of the real content that will exist in the final product. You end up with a more cohesive and clear experience.

Attend a daylong workshop with Steph at UI19

Steph’s UI19 workshop, Content-First UX Design, in Boston October 27 will show how to create more compelling products by first mapping the conversation you want to have with customers, then designing around it.

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

Explore Steph’s workshop

Recorded: May, 2014
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8 Ways to Boost Your Team’s UX Skills

Lauren Cramer

June 19th, 2014

You need a conference that will enhance your team’s skills so they are ready to successfully overcome the next set of challenges you’ve set out for them.

What makes UI19 unique are the workshops. The conference is dedicated to educating and inspiring the UX professional. With two days of  full-day workshops your team can divide and conquer across eight specific topics. We guarantee they’ll learn skills, processes, and techniques to immediately impact your team and company.

Mobile design

Luke Wroblewski

Design process

Leah Buley

Service-design thinking

Marc Stickdorn

User scenarios

Kim Goodwin


Dan Saffer

Data visualization

Stephen Anderson


You can’t afford NOT to send them. Take advantage of the team discount and register 4 or more people at $200 off per person.

Register Your Team and Save.

UIEtips: The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

Jared Spool

June 18th, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips, we share an article from Bruce McCarthy. In it, Bruce defines the product roadmap and offers twelve areas where organizations break down when developing roadmaps. Best of all, he shares ideas on how to put all twelve roadblocks in your rearview mirror.

Want to hear more from Bruce? He’s presenting our next virtual seminar on June 26, Lean Roadmapping: Where Product Management & UX Meet.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A good roadmap inspires. It inspires buy-in from executives, inspires confidence from customers and salespeople, and inspires development teams to produce the groundbreaking products that drive significant growth.

 A good roadmap keeps your organization on course toward its destination. Stating what you will do and when makes it easy to judge when you fall behind schedule or get detoured by good ideas that just don’t fit your strategic vision.

Read the article: The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks.

What roadblocks have challenged your organization in creating product roadmaps?  Leave us a note below.

Marc Stickdorn – Service Design Thinking

Sean Carmichael

June 18th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Marc Stickdorn

In the realm of user experience, disciplines and titles can take on different meanings. Determining buzzword jargon from actual, useful distinctions and processes is sometimes a bit tricky. The term Service Design has been with us for a while now. Some see it as just plain, good UX. Marc Stickdorn sees it as more than that.

Marc sees service design as less of a new discipline and more a combination of previously disconnected disciplines. The collaboration of various people in the organization from developers to businesspeople is required when developing and then launching a service. He admits that if you’ve been practicing good UX, then you’re already in pretty decent shape. You possess many of the tools put to use in service design.

One of the most important aspects of service design is connecting the touchpoints. Services nowadays are inherently cross-channel, and even more, expected to be. This requires research that goes beyond just the UI and the users’ context.

Attend a daylong workshop with Marc at UI19

Marc’s UI19 workshop, Service Design: Creating Delightful Cross-Channel Experiences, in Boston October 27 will show how to create a cohesive customer experience by expanding beyond digital and designing for every customer touch point.

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

Explore Marc’s workshop

Recorded: May, 2014
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9 Brand-new UX Virtual Seminars for You

Adam Churchill

June 17th, 2014

During the second half of 2014, you’ll hear the latest thinking from the best speakers in the world of user experience design. Get your team into all 9 live seminars from July through December and 6 months complimentary access to UIE’s All You Can Learn.

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

  • Jul 17 - Content-first UX Design, with Steph Hay
  • Aug 07 - Minimum Viable Product, with Will Evans
  • Aug 28 - UX Strategy, with James Kalbach
  • Sep 18 - The UX Professional’s Guide to Working with Agile Scrum Teams, with Aviva Rosenstein
  • Oct 09 - OKRs & Predictive Roadmaps, with Christina Wodtke
  • Oct 23 - Mobile Research Techniques, with Cyd Harrell
  • Nov 6 - Beyond Mobile, with Josh Clark
  • Nov 20 - Orchestrating Experiences: Strategy and Design for Complex Product and Service Ecosystems, with Chris Risdon
  • Dec 11 - Building Better Products with Content Strategies, with Jonathon Colman

Sign-up Once. Pay Once. All live seminars July through December, 2014 and 6 months of access to All You Can Learn for only $1149. Register today.

Register by July 3 and Get a Free Designer’s Toolkit

Lauren Cramer

June 12th, 2014

Not only does the User Interface 19 Conference dive deep into important UX topics, we’ll also give you a special designer’s toolkit when you register by July 3.

Get Your Free Designer’s Toolkit


  • Iterate and share your thoughts in physical
    form with your team
  • Capture all your awesome ideas during and
    after the conference
  • Avoid the time drain that digital tools cause
    when trying to create quick sketches and prototypes

Register by 7/3 for this free designer’s tool kit


At UI19 you’ll choose from 8 different daylong workshops on advanced design processes, flexible team–based techniques, and multi–device solutions. Plus you’ll have a full day of 90-minute presentations to hear from workshop leaders you didn’t choose. Three days you shouldn’t miss.

Get Your Toolkit

Lean Roadmapping: Where Product Management & UX Meet, Our June 26 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

June 12th, 2014

Imagine a conversation between a UX designer and a product manager. This conversation delves into big-picture business goals and fast, low-risk ways to test design ideas—such as prototyping—that might achieve those goals. After all, this is the quickest way to gather real user data to inform a practical roadmap that’s focused on what problem you’re going to solve for customers. Sound interesting? On June 26, Bruce McCarthy shows you how to make these conversations—and more importantly their amazing outcomes—actually happen.

Attend this seminar, especially if you:

  • Would love to focus on getting the right things really right, rather than getting a whole lot things about half right
  • Are a UX designer who feels trapped in the weeds on a daily basis and wants to take a big step back to understand business goals first
  • Are a product manager responsible for creating roadmaps, but want to validate that users actually want what your team is planning to build before you commit your resources
  • Want to learn how to make clickable mockups and prototypes to test ideas early, and also to have another tool for prioritizing which features to add or remove

If you feel like you’re being asked for an endless list of features–or designing those features without the context of “why,” then register for Bruce’s seminar.

UIEtips: Customizing Help and Tips by Input Type

Jared Spool

June 11th, 2014

It’s not uncommon that an interaction for an app on a mobile device is completely different than a desktop. Could inline help be the answer to communicating the necessary action? It’s not so easy as that as Luke Wroblewski points out in this week’s UIEtips. You still have to surface the hidden interface.

Thinking about mobile design first is Luke’s mantra and what he’ll focus on in his full day workshop at this year’s User Interface Conference, October 27-29 in Boston. Explore how Luke will shift your thinking beyond the desktop.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A common way to provide relevant bits of guidance inside an application is through inline help. Inline help is positioned where it’s most useful in an interface and made visible by default so people don’t have to do anything to reveal it. This makes it an effective way to tell people how to use an interface. But what happens when those instructions vary by input type.

Read the article: Customizing Help and Tips by Input Type.

How do you and your team create interfaces that work with different screen sizes and input types? Leave us a note below.

Get Access to UX Immersion Mobile Conference Recordings

Lauren Cramer

June 10th, 2014

Missing the UX Immersion Mobile Conference doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the great content. You can still experience it with 8 top notch designers teaching you how to design for mobile. Here’s what some attendees had to say:

By far the best conference I have ever been to. This conference touched on everything from workflow, content and prototyping to coding, design and architecture.
– Kristi

UXIM is probably the best conference I’ve attended. Ben, Luke, Brad, and Karen are brilliant.
– Dan

UX Immersion was a great conference. I only wish I could have attended all the talks.
– Jim

What I look for in a conference is to get inspired. Check that box. I appreciate the storytelling
from all speakers
– Maria

Strengthen your UX skills with recordings from UX Immersion Mobile Conference

Get access to all 8 UX Immersion Mobile videos for just $23/month through All You Can Learn by UIE. Additionally, your subscription allows you to view any of the 170+ seminars in addition to these conference recordings.

Get Access to the Recordings


Wanted: Amazing Web Developer Intern

Adam Churchill

June 10th, 2014

We’re looking for an amazing Web Developer Intern for a paid, 4-month internship. It starts in August 2014 in our offices just north of Boston.

Fast Forward Four Months…

We’d like to thank you for doing a fantastic job as our 2014 Fall Web Developer Intern. You’ve excelled at maintaining, editing, and documenting our stable of web properties. You created all of our outbound HTML emails in your time at UIE, and managed those campaigns through our email service provider.  

Your site development skills are top-notch, as you worked closely with our web team to improve a new online subscription program. You worked your magical HTML5, CSS3, and Javascript/JQuery skills to get our next version closer to what our users want. You updated it with new content in our ExpressionEngine-based Content Management System and, because of you, this new program has been a huge a success.

To top it off, you’ve even helped us mine some useful data from multiple databases for our Director of Marketing.

Thanks for your energy, enthusiasm, and initiative during your internship. We know you’ll succeed at your future ventures.

Now back to today…

If you’d like this to be your story, send us:

1) Your resume 

2) A half-page write up of your most significant web development accomplishment

While we’re less concerned with your skills and qualifications, we won’t compromise on your ability to deliver team results. We’ll be back to you in 48 hours if you can follow these simple directions and have what it takes to achieve something special.

You might even want to check out our sites—,, —for some insight into what we’re doing. 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 offices. (Sorry, we don’t hire remote employees, or those not already in the United States.) We’ll provide all the equipment you need, including Apple hardware and Mac software to bring out the best in your talents and skills.

We’d like this internship to begin in early August, with the ideal individual working 30 to 40 hours per week, but offer flexibility to the right candidate.

Send your resume and write-up to:

or: Adam Churchill / Director, Online Products / User Interface Engineering

510 Turnpike Street, Suite 102  North Andover, MA 01845