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:

Your Chance to Save Money on UX Immersion: Interactions Ends Soon

March 22nd, 2016 by Jared Spool

Take advantage of the $1,975 Rate—Register through March 31

Save $200 and guarantee your spot in the workshops of your choice. Register for the UX Immersion: Interactions conference, April 18–20, 2016 in San Diego. But hurry because the lowest rate of $1,975 is only good through March 31.

Your UX Immersion: Interactions registration Includes:

  • Your choice of two awesome daylong workshops from some of the brightest minds in UX
  • A full day of featured talks from all of the workshop presenters plus a brand new keynote from Jared Spool
  • Complete conference materials from all the workshops and featured talks
  • Post conference access to video recordings of the featured talks and keynote
  • Immediate access to UIE’s All You Can Learn Library

Save your spot, guarantee your workshops, get the lowest price, and start using All You Can Learn when you sign-up through March 31, 2016.

UIE Articles – A Bias For Making

March 16th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In todays article I look at the communication process designers and developers follow to bring designs to life.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Step into the Wayback Machine, Sherman, and set the dial to 1994. You’ll find me in a conference room, explaining to a room of developers and product owners (back then, we called product owners either product managers or business analysts) how we would design their new product in less than a week. The expression on their faces would be one of OMG! This dude is insane. (Though, “OMG” or “dude” wouldn’t be common parlance for at least another half decade).

We look at paper prototyping now and we think how quaint. Yet, back in 1994, it was a radical departure from established practice. In those olden days, design wasn’t done the way it is today.

Read the article A Bias for Making.

Does your team have a bias for making? Tell us about it below.

Convince Your Boss – You Need to Be at UX Immersion: Interactions

March 14th, 2016 by Jared Spool

If you’ve been struggling to make your case for attending UX Immersion: Interactions in San Diego, April 18–20 here’s a list of reasons for your boss to say yes:

  • Get proven techniques and best practices for UX designers.
  • Our workshop leaders are the people driving the UX industry forward.
  • This program is carefully curated by me to assure every attendee gets tips and tools to conquer chaos and confusion with simpler designs.
  • There’s no other place you can go beyond inspiration and immerse yourself in groundbreaking interaction design skills.
  • This conference is the best place to meet people in exactly the same boat as you are with exploring the critical edges of interaction design. Find out what works for them and tell them what works for you.

Read more about how to convince your boss.

And here’s how to close the deal:

Register for the full conference now and enter the code UXIBen to save $300.

You need to be there.



Examine The Edges Of Interaction Design

March 11th, 2016 by Jared Spool

Tuesday, April 19 Is Our Featured Talks Day

New practices and techniques meet theory and expertise at the UX Immersion: Interactions conference in San Diego, CA April 18–20, 2016. Move beyond inspiration and immerse yourself.

On Tuesday, April 19 have your mind expanded, as you explore the edges of what interaction design is all about with six industry leaders plus a keynote from Jared Spool.


Chris Risdon
Dan Saffer
Marc Rettig

Shaping Behavior, by Design

Chris Risdon

Chris will explore the importance of engaging with users at the behavioral level. He’ll explain prototyping’s role in closing the feedback loop on your designs. Leave with an understanding of how to best observe and elicit behaviors.

Practical Creativity

Dan Saffer

Dan will share his easy, practical tricks for getting unstuck, as well as simple daily practices that you can use to keep your mind energized and your creative tank full. You’ll be so inspired, you’ll want to use them all right away.

Change the Story—and the Conversation

Marc Rettig

Marc will show you how to facilitate interactions between people and groups that lead to meaningful change. You’ll leave this talk feeling empowered to go back home and start your own conversational revolution.

Hagan Rivers
Amy Jo Kim
Richard Banfield

Crushing Enterprise App Navigation Issues

Hagan Rivers

Hagan will show you where to start, how to approach the problem, and what success looks like. You’ll get a feel for the philosophy that guides her work, the decisions she makes during the process, and the types of user research she regularly employs. You’ll go home with a whole new outlook on enterprise navigation.

Turbocharge Your Product Design With Game Thinking

Amy Jo Kim

Amy Jo will show you how a game designer approaches their product development and how they get to a design that their users love. From her research in how game designers think, you learn the value of refining and testing a simple, stripped down MVP (minimum viable product), long before you start adding all the fancy stuff.

Your Product Idea Is Great. But Who Cares?

Richard Banfield

Richard will show you how to stop making assumptions about your users, and figure out what they really want and need. He’ll demonstrate the value in doing fewer things better, and using features to give your users superpowers. You’ll leave his talk dying to put your new knowledge of biological design principles to work.

Jared Spool

Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool

Every part of the organization must be infused with an understanding of great design. Jared will show you​ which path organizations take to become design-infused​ and how a centralized UX team is a stepping stone to a more UX capable organization. You never thought design strategy could be so entertainingly motivating.


UIE Article – Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work?

March 9th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Theresa Neil talks about mobile tutorials.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Remember those “A–ha!” moments in science class when you came to understand a concept by testing it in a simple experiment? That’s what we’re talking about here. Of course, the teacher had explained the concept to you, but it was by performing the experiment that you actually learned it.

The same idea applies with tutorials. And if you follow the first three rules, this reinforcement will largely take care of itself. It could be as simple as accompanying an action demonstrated in a tutorial with a very subtle bit of visual or aural feedback.

Read the article: Rethinking Mobile Tutorials: Which Patterns Really Work?

How do you teach your users to use your apps? Share them with us below.

UIE Article – The Curse of a Mobile Strategy

March 2nd, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I discuss if a native mobile app is necessary.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The big problem with a mobile strategy approach is it sends a message to everyone that mobile is somehow different from the kiosk, the desktop, and the customer agent. That it requires a special team, often in their own special place, separate from everything else going on.

That’s ok at first, when teams are trying to figure out how they integrate a new technology into the overall experience equation. After all, at some point someone had to decide how the kiosks would work or what systems the customer service agents would use.

Read the article: The Curse of a Mobile Strategy

What is your mobile strategy? Share your thoughts with us below.

UIE Article – Five Ways To Animate Responsibly

February 24th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Rachel Nabors discusses how to appropriately use animation.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Sadly, animation is considered decorative by the bulk of the web development community. UI designers and interaction developers know better, of course. But when I’m teaching a workshop on animation for interaction, I know that my students face an uphill battle against decision makers who consider it nice to have, and tack it on at the end of a project, if at all.

This stigma is hard to shake. But it starts with us using animation deliberately or not at all. Poorly considered, tacked-on animation will often cause more harm than good. Users may complain that it’s too slow or too fast, or that they have no idea what just happened.

Read the article: Five Ways To Animate Responsibly

How do you animate responsibly? Share your thoughts with us below.

UIE Article – Four Approaches to Share and Reflect on Our Work

February 17th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I discuss how to talk about design.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For each of the four techniques, there are variations that modify what they accomplish. For example, one team we recently worked with took a walkthrough and modified it to compare the user stories they’d created to the prototype they’d implemented.

As one designer walked through a piece of the prototype’s flow, another designer pasted screen shots on the wall. The business analysts who created the user stories pasted the relevant stories underneath the screen shots they referred to. When it was done, the team could clearly see which parts of the flows were missing comparable stories, and if there were stories that didn’t deal with the prototype. It was the first time the two groups had a chance to ensure their work was synchronized.

Read the article: Four Approaches to Share and Reflect on Our Work

How does your team discuss design? Share your thoughts with us below.

UIE Article – Designing Embraceable Change

February 10th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article we reprint an article where I talk about changing your sites at an adaptable rate.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The employees had become accustomed to the intranet and knew how to find the things they needed. Even when an employee couldn’t find something, there was always someone within earshot who could. New employees found complete support amongst the existing staff, making orientation quick and easy.

One day, last September, the employees came into work expecting things to be just like they’d been for 9 years, only to find that a brand new design had been launched. Not only were they not consulted on the radical changes, they weren’t even warned.

Read the article: Designing Embraceable Change

How have you eased your users into change? Share with us below.

UIE Article – Hunkering: Putting Disorientation into the Design Process

February 3rd, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article we reprint an article where I talk about “hunkering” as a design process.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Hunkering, and its subsequent visual disorientation, can be a crucial tool for the designer. Used properly, it can prevent downstream errors and give new insights into the final results.

One common trap we see designers fall into, is they don’t hunker often enough. By waiting too long to see what they are building, the resulting product gets further and further away from their concept. When the design is finally ready, it’s so far away that reconciliation becomes difficult. A common trait that all the master craftspeople we studied had was that they hunkered frequently. In some cases, multiple times per day.

Read the article: Hunkering: Putting Disorientation into the Design Process

How does hunkering help your design process? Share with us below.