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:

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.

Gain the Confidence You Need to Deliver Fantastic Solutions.

February 13th, 2017 by Jared Spool

Designing the Right Things and Designing the Things Right at UX Immersion: Interactions.

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

Hagan Rivers

Enterprise Apps: To Boldly Simplify Where Nobody Has Simplified Before

Hagan Rivers

  • Learn the common design patterns for forms, including error messages and data entry screens
  • Design improved data choosers that help users make selections from short and long lists
  • Choose a user-oriented approached to design based on how your users think, not how the data is structured
Val head

Designing for Animation and Motion

Val Head

  • Craft animation that positively influences your design’s accessibility
  • Prototype common animation types with interactive, hands-on exercises
  • Explore a range of animation solutions to tackle your messiest design challenges

Come to UX Immersion: Interactions and get clear-cut direction on specific actions and specific skills you’ll apply to your work immediately.

You Need to Manage Digital Projects for Outcomes, Not Outputs

February 10th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Josh Seiden and Jeff Gothelf tell us about an effective strategy for defining when a project is finished.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

When is a project finished? For most of us, it seems pretty simple: when we ship the product or launch the service. But we need to take a step back and consider what “done” really means.

Most teams in business work to create a defined output. But just because we’ve finished making a thing doesn’t mean that thing is going to create economic value for us. If we want to talk about success, we need to talk about outcomes, not just outputs. And as the world continues to digitize and almost every product and service becomes more driven by (or at least integrated with) software, this need grows even stronger.

Read the article: You Need to Manage Digital Projects for Outcomes, Not Outputs

How do you know when a project is finished? Let us know below.

Misconceptions about Collaboration

February 3rd, 2017 by Jared Spool

This week, we revisit an article by Dan Brown. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

There are three ways in which people misunderstand collaboration:

  • They oversimplify what it is.
  • They believe it to be ineffective and inefficient.
  • They focus on the wrong aspect of it.

Collaboration is far more complex than they realize, far more productive than they imagine, and much more about behavior and culture than tools and activities.

Read the article: Misconceptions about Collaboration

What collaboration techniques do you find successful? Let us know below.

Grab Your Seat Today at the Lowest Rate

January 30th, 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. In addition to saving $300, here’s what you’ll get when you register through Thursday, February 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 entire lineup of experts plus a new keynote from me.
  • Complete Conference Materials: You’ll get PDFs for every session and workshop.
  • 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 before, during, and after the conference.
  • 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 $300. The price increases after Thursday, February 2.

See you in Portland.

 

Shh! Don’t Tell Them There’s No Magic In Design Thinking

January 25th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I let you in on a secret concerning design thinking.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It wasn’t hard to find people excited about Design Thinking. They were popping up in lots of organizations.

Yet, when I asked them what they thought it meant, their answer puzzled me. They told me it was a new approach to design, focusing on problem solving with multidisciplinary teams, producing competitive end-to-end solutions that delight customers, users, and employees.

Problem solving? Multidisciplinary teams? End-to-end solutions? Delighting users? I’d been researching and writing about integrating these elements for decades. What’s new here?

Read the article: Shh! Don’t Tell Them There’s No Magic In Design Thinking

Is Lean UX part of your Design Thinking toolkit, helping you bring an experimental mindset to requirements gathering? Let us know below.