Watch the Videos from the Warm Gun Conference

Lauren Cramer

January 6th, 2015

The Warm Gun Conference held in December, 2014 focused on thought leaders telling stories of companies overcoming difficulties and UX experts sharing knowledge every designer needs.

Many of the talks were captured on video. Now you can watch them at your leisure. Here’s a list of the available talks.

The Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design – Maria Giudice, Facebook

Growing Your Userbase with Better Onboarding – Samuel Hulick, Userboarding.com

Accomplish Big Goals with Objectives and Key Results – Christina Wodtke, Wodtke Consulting

Designing for Startups – Braden Kowitz, Google Ventures

Avoid Saying Yes to the Wrong Job – Amy Jackson, AmyJacksonTalent

Bringing IRL Online – Mara Zepeda, Switchboard

Product Strategy in a Growing Company – Des Traynor, Intercom

Hunches, Instincts, and Trusting Your Gut – Leah Buley, Forrester Research

Navigate Product Roadmap Roadblocks, A January 8 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

January 5th, 2015

We’re kicking off 2015 with one of our most popular presenters from last year.  Join us on January 8 when Bruce McCarthy presents Navigate Product Roadmap Roadblocks: The Dirty Dozen.  In it, he’ll explore 12 common roadmap roadblocks and their sensible solutions.

Product roadmaps steer company success and keep everyone on course. It portrays intentions, priorities, and strategic goals over time. Unfortunately, roadmaps have a tendency to become a random collection of features. They fail to tell the story that draws in stakeholders and inspires them to care. All of this leads to an uphill buy-in. 

You’ll learn:

  • Focus on benefits versus features
  • Listen for unsolved problems
  • Inspire confidence and innovation
  • Make decisions based on your strategic goals

If your progress journey has been slow and rough, join us on January 8 and get the insight you need to clear the way.

UIEtips: Explore These 7 Great Podcasts from 2014

Jared Spool

January 2nd, 2015

Here, for your listening pleasure, are a few of our favorite podcasts from 2014 in no particular order.

Creating Responsive Interfaces

Brad Frost photoAs responsive web design becomes common practice, making sure these templates work across every imaginable screen and device is trickier. Brad Frost shares this frustration and introduces Atomic Design as a solution. Borrowing from the metaphor of atoms making up molecules, molecules making up organism and so forth, Brad thinks responsive design needs to be approached deeper than at the page level.

Listen to the podcast

Responsive Web Design Workflow

Stephen Hay photoStephen Hay outlines how his workflow has changed in the face of new design processes. He believes that taking a content first approach is instrumental to working with fluid designs. This allows you to mold the design around the content instead of trying to fit the content into a fixed design.

Listen to the podcast

Wireframing Strategies

Chris Farnum photoThe notion that “wireframes are dead” has been coming up every so often over the past few years. In truth, wireframes are still a valuable way for teams to communicate. Chris explains what wireframes actually are and what they’re used for.
Listen to the podcast

Mobile as a Medium

Luke Wroblewski photoThere’s no better person to talk about the trends and direction of mobile than Luke Wroblewski. He’s consistently been at the forefront of the mobile design discussion. Through his books and his various talks, he’s advocated a mobile first approach, focusing on what is absolutely necessary and letting that inform the desktop design.

Listen to the podcast

Responsive Web Design with Mobile in Mind

Jason Grigsby photoJason Grigsby, of Cloud Four, believes that there are considerations that responsive design alone doesn’t address. The total experience of your site is more than just what it looks like. Simply using media queries to optimize your site’s design for different page widths is not a viable solution. Page weights, image sizes, and network speeds all need to be factored into the equation.

Listen to the podcast

Using Taxonomy to Manage Content Sprawl

Stephanie Lemieux photoUltimately, your content is the reason users visit your site. Taxonomy can build a structure underneath that content, making it much more dynamic. Stephanie Lemieux discusses her approach to bake taxonomy into your content model and information architecture.
Listen to the podcast

Hypothesis-based Design within Lean UX

Josh Seiden photoJosh Seiden co-wrote the Lean UX book with Jeff Gothelf. In his work, Josh arrives at hypotheses by assembling everything the team knows about a project. Josh explains that by listing out all of your assumptions you can see which will have the biggest impact if you’re incorrect. This helps shape the hypothesis and the direction for the project.

Listen to the podcast

 

Share Your Thoughts with Us

What were your favorite podcasts in 2014? Tell us about it below.

December Free Resources & Upcoming Events

Adam Churchill

December 30th, 2014

UX Articles & Podcasts

Recently Published Articles

Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool

Jared Spool reveals the past, present, and future of the UX Tipping Point.

Podcasts

How Do We Design Designers? Live!

Jared Spool

We need to start investing in the ways we create designers and fuel their growth.

Un-Sucking the Touchpoint

Chris Risdon

Chris Risdon goes beyond jargon to explore the touchpoint.

Mobile Behavior and Design Trends Live!

Luke Wroblewski

What’s going to make your whole company focus on mobile?

A Definition of Content Strategy

Jonathon Colman

Jonathon Colman explains the pieces of content strategy.

Techniques for Mobile Research

Cyd Harrell

Cyd Harrell is an expert on user research, and the one we turn to for mobile research.

Critique: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills

Jared Spool

Jared Spool introduces critique as a growth tool for UX teams.

Building Design Systems from Atomic

Brad Frost

Thinking about the parts of a “page” helps us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs.

Live & Online Events

Events

Live Events:


UX Mobile Immersion Conference

April 13-15, 2014, Salt Lake City, UT

   
User Interface 20 Conference

November 2–4, 2015, Boston, MA

 

Conference Recordings:


UI19 OnDemand

Recordings & materials from the 2014 User Interface 19 Conference

Get access to this and 206 other presentations for just $23/month in All You Can Learn.
   

UX Thought of the Day:


Five UX thoughts a week to inspire you to do something differently in your design work. Delivered to your inbox.

Virtual Seminars

All You Can Learn:


Watch, Listen, and Learn from the World’s Best UX Instructors

Get access to great presentations on topics like:

Upcoming Virtual Seminars:


Navigate Product Roadmap Roadblocks: The Dirty Dozen

Thursday January 8, 2015 at 1:30pm ET

with Bruce McCarthy

  • Focus on benefits versus features
  • Listen for unsolved problems
  • Inspire confidence and innovation
  • Make decisions based on your strategic goals

The 2015 Live Virtual Seminar Program

Save your spot in all 9 live virtual seminars for just $549, or choose just the seminars you need.

See the Schedule

We’re looking for a Front-End Web Developer

Adam Churchill

December 30th, 2014

 

Know someone we should talk to?

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 UIE.com 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—UX Immersion, All You Can Learn, and www.uie.com—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: FrontEndDev@uie.com

UIEtips: Here Are Eight of Our Favorite Articles from 2014

Jared Spool

December 23rd, 2014

Here Are Eight of Our Favorite Articles from 2014

Over the past year we published more than 50 articles. Here are 8 of our favorites in no particular order:

Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation

Ever wondered why no one knows the true business value of your content? That’s where content marketing comes into play, and Ahava Leibtag knows which techniques you can use to make it work across organizational silos.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Let’s address something important about content marketing. It isn’t really new. Communications professionals have been practicing some form of it for years, been doing it for years, using different parts of it, but never calling it content marketing (some people call it custom publishing, corporate journalism, brand journalism, branded media, brand content and inbound marketing).

Read the article Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation

 

Responsive Design for Apps

Jason Grigsby tackles the concept of responsive design for mobile apps. He looks at widgets for desktop and mobile and explores the idea if phones are really different platforms than tablets.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Any attempt to draw a line around a particular device class has as much permanence as a literal line in the sand. Pause for a moment and the line blurs. Look away and it will be gone.

Read the article Responsive Design for Apps

 

Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners

Jared Spool explores why content and design should be done hand-in-hand.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

We didn’t see the checkout process in that session. Later, during the session debriefing with the team, I asked if there was a refund policy. “Yup.” Why didn’t Search find it? Long pause. Finally, “because Search is for content and the refund policy isn’t content.

Read the article Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners

 

Customizing Help and Tips by Input Type

Luke Wroblewski discusses customizing inline help for today’s multi-device web.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

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

 

Design’s Fully-Baked Deliverables and Half-Baked Artifacts

Jared Spool discusses two states of the design process: artifacts and deliverables.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The distinction between artifacts and deliverables is very important, yet something we never find ourselves discussing, just like the multiple states of cakes. If we create one when we think we’re creating the other, it will lead to confusion that wastes time and convolutes the team’s efforts. We need to understand how they work and what makes each one valuable.

Read the article Design’s Fully-Baked Deliverables and Half-Baked Artifacts

 

Lean Content

Steph Hay looks at content through the lean lens.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Let’s address something important about content marketing. It isn’t really new. Communications professionals have been practicing some form of it for years, been doing it for years, using different parts of it, but never calling it content marketing (some people call it custom publishing, corporate journalism, brand journalism, branded media, brand content and inbound marketing).

Read the article Lean Content

 

UX Strategy Blueprint

Jim Kalbach explains how to use the UX Strategy Blueprint.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Analysis and planning, while necessary inputs and outputs in the strategy creation process, are not the core of strategy. You can’t analyze your way to strategy: the answers don’t magically emerge from data. And detailed roadmaps don’t provide the rationale for the activity they organize. Strategy does. It connects analysis and planning with an intentional logic that guides decision making.

Read the article UX Strategy Blueprint

 

Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool reveals the past, present, and future of the UX Tipping Point.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For an organization to move beyond the UX Tipping Point, it must first become literate in user experience, then fluent in how to produce great experiences. This doesn’t happen all at once, it can take years.

Read the article Beyond the UX Tipping Point

 

Share Your Thoughts with Us

What was your biggest UX challenge in 2014? Tell us about it below.

Brad Frost – Building Design Systems from Atomic Elements Live!

Sean Carmichael

December 18th, 2014

Play

[ Transcript Available ]

Brad Frost

Have you seen style tiles, element collages, or pattern libraries? These are just a few examples of how designers are reacting to the explosion of devices and interface sizes.

After all, thinking about the parts of a “page”—not just the sum of those parts—helps us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs for all those newfangled technologies.

And a leading voice behind this elemental thinking is Brad Frost.

In this talk, he’ll introduce Atomic Design, a methodology you can use to create a design system in your organization. You’ll learn how to:

  • Deconstruct your organizations’ interfaces
  • Create systems that includes templates, and pages
  • Create designs that are future-friendly and extensible
  • Establish a repeatable workflow tailored to your team and product

Whenever you read TechCrunch or Entertainment Weekly online, you’re looking at Brad’s Atomic Design work. He follows the methodology so regularly that he created a free tool called Pattern Lab that helps you create your own design systems.

Recorded: April, 2014
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UIEtips: Starting Your User Research

Jared Spool

December 17th, 2014

This week’s Tips is a reprint of my article Starting Your User ResearchI share ideas on how to start your own user research program and why there’s no reason to wait.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Once you decide to go down that road, the first thing you’ll realize is how rich your choices are of research methods. Usability audits, heuristic evaluations, usability testing, field research – which one do you choose first? Which are the most effective?

Read the article: Starting Your User Research.

What does your user research program look like?  Leave us a note below.

Cyd Harrell – Techniques for Mobile Research

Sean Carmichael

December 17th, 2014

Play

[ Transcript Available ]

Cyd Harrell

The so called Digital Divide is increasingly being filled with mobile devices. Because of that, you need an understanding of how your designs are appearing and behaving on smaller screens. Cyd Harrell is an expert on user research, and the one we to turn for mobile research. She says that it’s not just how your designs display on these devices but also the behavior of your users as they interact on these more personal gadgets. Users consider their mobile phones to be a much more private device than a desktop computer.

In her virtual seminar, Mobile Research Techniques: Beyond the Basics, Cyd talks about the challenges of mobile, and how to get accurate, natural results from participants in what may be an unnatural research setting. The audience had a bunch of great questions for Cyd during the live seminar and she joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast.

  • Can you apply a diary study to something other than a mobile design?
  • How many different devices should you have in your sample?
  • Are there any lightweight techniques for doing mobile research?
  • Have you done any research on a cross-device interaction?
  • What are the right number of participants and amount of time for a diary study?
  • During a diary study, do you use more open ended questions?
  • How does recruiting for a mobile research study differ from normal recruiting?

Recorded: November, 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 »

Announcing the 2015 Live Virtual Seminar Program

Adam Churchill

December 16th, 2014

Sign up for the next 9 virtual seminars and pay just $549—a savings of over 45% from past programs. Or, choose just those seminars you need for just $79 each.

Get all 9 UX seminars for just $549, or choose just the seminars you need.

The 2015 Live Virtual Seminar Program

The Dirty Dozen Product Roadmap Roadblocks, with Bruce McCarthy
Design Systems, with Nathan Curtis
Lean Enterprise, with Josh Seiden
Better Accessibility through Your User Research, with Whitney Quesenbery
Integrating Animation into Your Design, with Rachel Nabors
Content Modeling, with Steve Fisher
Contextual Design, with Abi Jones
Atomic Responsive Design, with Brad Frost
Building a Culture of Design, with Aaron Irizarry

Increase the core knowledge and skills of you and your team with these 90-minute UX presentations. Sign up for all 9 or choose the individual seminars that address your specific project challenges.