Jared M. Spool

Jared SpoolJared M. Spool is the founder of User Interface Engineering and a co-founder of Center Centre.

If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about user experience design, you know that he’s probably the most effective and knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. He’s been working in the field of usability and experience design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual UI Conference and UX Immersion Conference, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time. He is author of the book Web Usability: A Designer’s Guide and co-author of Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Work. You can find his writing at uie.com and follow his adventures on the twitters at @jmspool.

Jared's posts:

Transform What You Build And How You Build It.

March 27th, 2017 by Jared Spool

Move beyond inspiration and immerse yourself at the UX Immersion: Interactions conference. Here are just two of the six industry leaders teaching master-grade workshops on groundbreaking interaction design skills you won’t find anywhere else.

Measure What Matters: Crafting UX Success Metrics

Kate Rutter

  • Explore the world of measures, metrics, and key performance indicators.
  • Create actionable, UX-centered metrics to gain insights into your product’s progress.
  • Move beyond the typical analytics packages to track the most important user behavior.
  • Communicate your design wins to the people who matter the most.
Jeff Gothelf

Lean UX: Agility Through Cross-functional Collaboration

Jeff Gothelf

  • Discover and build what your customers really want and need.
  • Validate your product ideas and hypotheses early in the process to ensure you’re on the right track.
  • Bake user needs into your process from the start through product launch (and beyond).
  • Gain team-wide consensus using proto-personas and assumption mapping.

UX Metrics: Identify Trackable Footprints and Avoid the Woozles

March 22nd, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I tell you about Woozle Hunting, the ongoing pursuit to find key UX metrics.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

As I watch teams struggling to identify key UX metrics, I sometimes think they are behaving like Pooh and Piglet as they stroll through the 100-Acre Woods. The teams are hunting for a measure (or two or three) they can use to show that the investment their organization is making into improving the user experience is paying off. Finding key UX metrics is hard and, like the elusive Woozle, difficult to capture.

Teams often start with the metrics that come out of the box. Tools like Google Analytics come with metrics that have important sounding names, like Unique Visitors, Bounce Rate, and Time on Page. However, most teams quickly realize these metrics don’t actually track anything that’s meaningful to the users’ experience.

Read the article: UX Metrics: Identify Trackable Footprints and Avoid the Woozles

How does your team identify key UX metrics? Comment below, we’d love to hear your answers.

Interested in identifying UX metrics that will help you assess how your design is performing? Kate Rutter has a fantastic full-day workshop at this year’s UX Immersion: Interactions Conference in Portland, May 1-3. See what she’s covering here.

3, 2, 1 – How Many Days Will You Come?

March 21st, 2017 by Jared Spool

Register for one, two, or three great days

At UX Immersion: Interactions you’ll move beyond inspiration and immerse yourself. Join us May, 1-3 in Portland, OR and get new techniques for designing the right things and new methods for designing the things right.

Regardless of how many days you come, your registration gets you:

  • Your choice of two daylong workshops and/or a day of featured talks
  • 30 days of complimentary access to UIE’s All You Can Learn library
  • All the workshop materials and presentations
  • Video recordings of all the featured talks
  • Time with the UX Immersion: Interactions speakers to ask your questions
  • New skills to move your UX Design initiatives forward

Register for $825/day or get the best value when you register for the full conference at $1,975 before the April, 7 rate change.

 

Design Cop-out #2: Breadcrumbs

March 10th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I revisit the topic of breadcrumbs as a treatment for a symptom, instead of a way to address the root of a problem.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Most sites that provide breadcrumbs show the location variety. In this case, each page displays the optimal path the user could’ve clicked on to get it. For example, the Energy.gov page, “A Brief History of Coal Use” displays the breadcrumb trail of “Educational Activities > Energy Lessons > Coal-Introduction > Coal History” even though the user could get there without clicking on any links in that trail.

Even though path breadcrumbs are most like their fairytale ancestors, they are infrequently used on sites. It’s rarely useful to display the oft circuitous route the user takes. Attribute breadcrumbs are more common now that guided navigational techniques have come into vogue. And, designers use application breadcrumbs to denote the completed steps in a multi-step workflow, such as checkout.

Read the article: Design Cop-out #2: Breadcrumbs

What are your thoughts about breadcrumbs as a design cop out? We’d love to hear your thoughts about them below.

5 Superb Reasons to Register for the UX Immersion: Interactions Conference

March 7th, 2017 by Jared Spool

Design the right things. Design the things right.

Attending the UX Immersion: Interactions Conference in Portland, OR, MAY 1 – 3 will be one of the best UX training events you have ever attended. Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Each workshop leader has more than 10,000 hours of experience
    These speakers practice what they preach. Attendees tell us things like, “It was an environment where one could actually have real conversations with experts and meet people in the field.” “The accessibility of the different speakers. I can literally walk up, get a handshake, say hi, and talk.”
  2. The six workshop topics
    Lean UX, prototyping, experience mapping, enterprise interaction design, animation and motion, and UX metrics all provide a deep dive on topics necessary to create delightful user experiences. If you’re tackling any interaction design issues, these workshops are sure to address them.
  3. Get practical, actionable “stuff” before, during, and after the conference
    You’ll get an invitation to join the Slack team dedicated to UX Immersion: Interactions, to connect with speakers and other attendees for sharing great advice, direction, and new skills before, during, and after the conference.
  4. Meet with your peers to discuss your successes and challenges
    UX Immersion: Interactions attendees have said, “The workshops and talks are extremely useful and inspiring.” And “Casual, very welcoming, very professional.”
  5. Your learning starts the moment you register
    With your registration, you’ll get 30 days of access to UIE’s All You Can Learn library. With more than 290 virtual seminar recordings and conference recordings.

 

How Is It Going? an Update on Center Centre’s First Cohort

March 1st, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I give you an update on how Center Centre’s first cohort is doing.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

After the holidays, a message appeared on my phone: “They all came back.” Each of our students in Center Centre’s first cohort had returned from winter break.

Frankly, I was confident they would, but there was always that thought in the back of my mind: What if they don’t? After all, most universities lose a substantial number of students in the freshman year, with some losing as many as 20% during winter break. Many of their students realize they aren’t enjoying the program or getting what they wanted out of it. They decide to call it quits.

As soon as the students returned from winter break, they started on the information architecture challenges in their project design. Before they’d left for the break, we’d introduced them to information architecture. We brought Abby Covert, author of How to Make Sense of Any Mess, to the school to deliver a fantastic workshop. She taught the students about navigation, taxonomies, and ontologies. Now they were diving in and working on their own taxonomies and navigation challenges.

Read the article: How Is It Going? an Update on Center Centre’s First Cohort

What design resources help you become a more awesome designer? Let us know below.

207 Reasons to Register This Week for UX Immersion:Interactions​

February 28th, 2017 by Jared Spool

This is your last chance to save some money when you register at the lowest rate for the UX Immersion: Interactions Conference in Portland, OR, MAY 1 – 3. Aside from saving $200, here are seven other reasons to register through Thursday, March 2:

  • Two Day-long Workshops: Choose two fantastic interactive workshops to practice new techniques and strengthen your design skills.
  • One Day of Featured Talks: Hear the latest ideas and techniques around UX from our team of experts plus a new keynote from me.
  • Complete Conference Materials: You’ll get PDFs for every session and workshop to bring back to those team members not coming with you.
  • Exclusive Slack Team: You’ll get an invitation to join the Slack team dedicated to UX Immersion: Interactions, to connect with speakers and other attendees.
  • 30 Days of Premium Access to UIE’s All You Can Learn Library: Start your UX learning before you even get to UX Immersion: Interactions. You’ll have access to over 290 virtual seminars and conference recordings.
  • Recordings of the Featured Talks: Post conference you’ll have access to all the Featured Talks for you and your team as part of your All You Can Learn Library access.
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Groups, and Receptions with your peers: Plenty to eat and drink, including breakfast every day. While you eat, meet UX practitioners who, just like yourself, face the same challenges and are discovering new solutions.

What are you waiting for? Register now to save $200. Price increases after Thursday, March 2.

See you in Portland.

 

Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding

February 24th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I recap the two types of shared understanding and which of them is more likely to produce a successful design.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

As we study what makes design teams successful, shared understanding keeps bubbling up to the top of our list. Teams that attain a shared understanding are far more likely to get a great design than those teams who fail to develop a common perception of the project’s goals and outcome.

Even when the team has a goal of attaining a shared understanding, we’ve found there are two opposing approaches, which we call contractual understanding and collaborative understanding.

Read the article: Attaining a Collaborative Shared Understanding.

Have you transitioned from a contractual approach to a collaborative approach to attain a shared understanding? Tell us about it below.

Five Reasons to Register for the UX Immersion: Interactions Conference

February 24th, 2017 by Jared Spool

Design the right things. Design the things right.

Attending the UX Immersion: Interactions Conference in Portland, OR, MAY 1 – 3 will be one of the best UX training events you have ever attended. Here are 5 reasons why.

  1. The six workshop topics
    Lean UX, prototyping, experience mapping, enterprise interaction design, animation and motion, and UX metrics all provide a deep dive on topics necessary to create delightful user experiences. If you’re tackling any interaction design issues, these workshops are sure to address them.
  2. Each workshop leader has more than 10,000 hours of experience
    These speakers practice what they preach. Attendees tell us things like, “It was an environment where one could actually have real conversations with experts and meet people in the field.” “The accessibility of the different speakers. I can literally walk up, get a handshake, say hi, and talk.”
  3. Meet with your peers to discuss your successes and challenges
    UX Immersion: Interactions attendees have said, “The workshops and talks are extremely useful and inspiring.” And “Casual, very welcoming, very professional.”
  4. Get practical, actionable “stuff” before, during, and after the conference
    You’ll get an invitation to join the Slack team dedicated to UX Immersion: Interactions, to connect with speakers and other attendees for sharing great advice, direction, and new skills before, during, and after the conference.
  5. Your learning starts the moment you register
    With your registration, you’ll get 30 days of access to UIE’s All You Can Learn library. With more than 290 virtual seminar recordings and conference recordings.

 

How to Innovate Right Now

February 17th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Scott Berkun gives us the secrets on how to become an innovator.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The biggest secret of innovation is that anyone can do it. The reason is simple: It’s just not that hard. Look up the word “innovate” in any dictionary and see what it actually means, instead of what you think it means. You’ll find something like this: To innovate is “to introduce something new.” That’s it. It doesn’t say you need to be a creative genius, a workaholic, or even have on clean underwear. It’s just three little words: introduce something new. And I promise that by the end of this article, you’ll have all the secrets needed to do it yourself.

Read the article: How to Innovate Right Now

Is your team struggling to develop innovative designs? Tell us about it below.