Tuesday Featured Talks

Your Chance to Pick and Choose!

Tuesday, October 10th is our "sampler day," where our conference speakers give informative and entertaining 90-minute presentations in two tracks. Note that some speakers are presenting a different topic than in their full-day seminar.

There is no registration for the featured talks. Attendance at each session will be limited only by available space. Tuesday also includes lunch and an entertaining (and often times controversial) keynote address by our very own Jared M. Spool. And be sure to join us for the conference reception from 5:30-7:30 Tuesday evening.

8:30am - 10:00am

Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?: Persuading Customers When They Ignore Marketing

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg

Bryan Eisenberg and Jeffrey Eisenberg

Do you have visitors come to your site who don’t buy? Do you need to boost conversion rates? Do you want to draw visitors to specific content on your site? We’re often asked by clients how to create the type of persuasive momentum that influences visitors to take action on their web sites.

Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg have pioneered a groundbreaking process that enables design teams to incorporate persuasive elements into their site's design: Persuasion Architecture. Persuasion Architecture is a method for mapping your sales process to your visitor's purchasing process. The method is a carefully planned process that leverages proven concepts from the world of sales, consumer psychology, and web development. In this presentation, Bryan and Jeffrey will share how Persuasion Architecture is all about identifying your visitors' needs, motivations, and goals, and mapping them to your business objectives.

The Top Ten Activities of Effective Design and Usability Teams

Sarah Bloomer and Susan Wolfe

Sarah Bloomer and Susan Wolfe

We polled a wide range of user centered design and usability teams large and small from around the globe to uncover which activities and techniques are most critical to their success. This talk will reveal the results, not only outlining the top ten tricks of effective usability teams, but also detailing how these activities and techniques are applied and why they work.

Specifically we will share:

  • What activities and techniques are most effective and why
  • How the activities and techniques have been implemented in the particular organizations
  • The problems and circumstances that led to their use
  • How the use of the activities and techniques enabled the team to be successful
  • The benefits that have been gained as a result

This talk will give you the opportunity to hear about the activities and techniques, and the teams that use them, and also consider how you might apply them in your own environment.

10:15am - 11:45am

The Three Key Secrets of Search Optimization

Gerry McGovern

Gerry McGovern

Most people will not go to the second page of search results. So, if search is important to your site, whether it's a public website trying to attract more visitors, or an intranet wanting to help staff search better, you need to make sure that your content is search engine friendly.   The essential secret of search engine friendly content is not to focus on search engines at all, but rather to focus on how your customers search. Using the words your customers use is the first step to success. It is also very important to understand that the words your customers use to find you through search are often different than the words they want to read when they arrive at your website.

What is "Rich"? Why Do "Rich"?

David (Heller) Malouf

David (Heller) Malouf

There’s been a lot of talk about Rich Internet Applications (RIA) over the last few years. When the topic was first raised through the release of Flash MX’s change in focus from an interactive animation development studio, to an application development environment there was an early conversation about trying to define what a RIA is. Then as other players tried to enter the field a bit more ferociously the conversation has turned towards how. Not in terms in of design, but rather in terms of technology. Little care has been given to the more sensitive topic of what and why.

In this presentation, David is going to move beyond the usual story of patterns, code, and tips and tricks, and talk more about aesthetics, experience design, brand, and total environmental context of use. He's going to layer those elements over a discussion around trying to define “richness” in the context of general application design and then try to apply it to a continuum of various types of computer and network based solutions.

12:00pm - 2:00pm

Lunch and Keynote: Achieving The Fast Without The Furious -- UX in a High-Speed Development Environment

Jared M. Spool

Jared M. Spool, User Interface Engineering

Demanding customers and users, reduced development cycles, Agile's shortened iterations, and elongated beta periods have put new demands on the process of designing user experiences. We now have to get into the design process faster. No longer can we take months -- or even weeks -- to conduct our research and make decisions and recommendations. This new environment is fast paced and very demanding.

To be successful in this new environment, we need to take a different look at how we conduct our practices. We need to leverage the assets we have and innovate new techniques. We need to go back over what we thought were proven techniques and ask if they still are practical. The result: a new, slimmer, lightweight user experience process, capable of moving at the high speeds demanded by today's development world.

In this entertaining and insightful presentation, Jared will show how the most successful experience design teams are thriving in this fast-paced environment. He'll show how critical techniques, such as personas and design patterns can dramatically speed up the design process. He'll also discuss how to stream line best practices to deliver timely results to the people who need them. This is a presentation you won't want to miss.

2:15pm - 3:45pm

Making Meaningful Experiences

Nathan Shedroff

Nathan Shedroff, Nathan.com

Increasingly, the competition for attention online (and offline) has created a dearth of me-too websites offering similar experiences. It is no longer enough simply to make a site easy to navigate. Instead, sites must “connect” with users on deeper levels to differentiate themselves and satisfy users. We all have a feeling that emotions are powerful and desirable in experiences but is that the end and how, exactly, do we build them into our websites? Developers are also often frustrated with their inability to impact strategic decisions in their companies and with their clients. Understanding how to position meaning can help them better articulate their value to their colleagues and drive focus and consistency in development efforts. Nathan Shedroff will explain what Meaning is, how it relates to other experience design criteria, and how to develop more meaningful experiences for users.

Strategic Myopia: Why Agile Development Continues to Grow in Popularity

Jeff Patton

Jeff Patton

One of the biggest challenges to delivering software is the political struggle development teams face obtaining (and continuing) funding.  In the design community, we leverage user research techniques to identify our users and create the ideal solution that will best meet their needs. However, the solution is then passed through the meat grinder of developers, project managers, budgetary constraints, stakeholders whims, global warming, and solar flares. The likelihood of any perfect design solution surviving these challenges is slim.

In this presentation, Jeff Patton asserts that the UX community's biggest area for impact in software development is on an Agile project. Agile development attempts to cope with constraints by first assuming that change happens. One of the most basic tenets of Agile development is the short incremental release. Think small, think short term, be myopic. If it takes too long to implement the perfect design for your users, your product won't survive unscarred. Agile development focuses on short term solutions -- providing users with the smallest, incremental solutions that will help them most. In this insightful presentation, Jeff will explain the chaotic world that resulted in the rise of Agile development.

4:00pm - 5:30pm

Recommendations on Recommendations

Rolf Molich

Rolf Molich, Dialog Design

While there is substantial literature on how to conduct usability evaluations, little attention has been paid to the way that usability evaluations lead to recommendations for changes. This is a critical step in making sure that the results of evaluations have an appropriate impact on product development.  If the translation from problem to solution is flawed, or if the recommendations are not taken seriously by the product team, a usability evaluation is a costly step that may have little impact on the product.  How useful are the recommendations that seasoned usability professionals provide in their reports? How well do evaluators communicate to developers the changes needed? 

The basis for this talk is Rolf Molich's Comparative Usability Evaluation 5 (CUE-5) study, where 13 experienced evaluation teams assessed the same web application. Rolf analyzed the problems reported by the teams for the usefulness and usability of the recommendations.

In this highly interactive talk, Rolf will discuss:

  • What is a useful recommendation?
  • What is a usable recommendation?
  • Why are some recommendations less useful and less usable than you might expect?

If you ever provide usability recommendations to your colleagues or clients, this is a must-see presentation.

Strategy with Design: Using Design to Articulate and Define Strategic Direction

Luke Wroblewski

Luke Wroblewski, Yahoo!

Organizations that recognize the strategic value of design know the power of design lies in communication. The design of interactive products requires effective communication with end users. Each product (via its interface design) needs to “tell” users what features it offers (its utility), how to use those features (its usability), and why they should care (its desirability).

The same communication skills that enable designers to create effective visual and interaction designs for products can also play a significant role in the development of business strategy. Unlike the equations, spreadsheets, and bullet points commonly used to express strategic direction, designers can envision and articulate a strategy through words, pictures, and motion in a way that everyone can understand.

In this talk, Luke will discuss how to use the principles behind visual design and narrative to create design artifacts that define and communicate strategic direction to individuals, teams, and entire organizations. In particular we’ll look at how artifacts are able to create buy-in for a product vision, provide market context, and illuminate data, processes, goals, and the impact of decisions.

Once your clients/stakeholders see how design performs in this role, their perception of design’s value will shift dramatically.