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:

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.

Lean UX and Measuring What Matters

January 24th, 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.

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.
Kate Rutter

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.

Everything You Need to Know About UX Immersion: Interactions 2017

January 20th, 2017 by Jared Spool


Move beyond inspiration and immerse yourself at the UX Immersion: Interactions conference in Portland, OR, April 1-3, 2017.

Six industry leaders teach master-grade workshops on groundbreaking interaction design skills you won’t find anywhere else plus a brand new keynote from Jared Spool.

Hagan Rivers
Val Head
Jeff Gothelf

Enterprise Apps

Hagan Rivers

Lean UX

Jeff Gothelf

Jim Kalbach
Chris Risdon
Kate Rutter

Experience Mapping

Jim Kalbach


Chris Risdon

UX Success Metrics

Kate Rutter

Jared Spool

Unintuitive and Insecure: Fixing the Failures of Authentication UX

Jared Spool

Nothing wrecks a great user experience like a login form. Our password rules make it hard to remember what we’ve used, and stupid security questions lock us out of our accounts. Security isn’t sexy, but when we get it right, we reduce risk and increase user satisfaction.

Documenting Design Discovery

January 20th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Dan Brown tells us about discovery’s six assertions, as well as gives us great tips for creating discovery documents.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Thinking about discovery outcomes in terms of assertions focuses on the point of the artifacts you’re making. A wireframe represents the structure of a page or screen, but why are you making it?

This is the struggle with discovery: a single artifact like a wireframe or site map or mental model can be used for so many different things. If you don’t know the intention of your artifacts, you can’t rely on them to guide your decisions about the product.

Read the article: Documenting Design Discovery

How do do you create a discovery document? Let us know below.

Help! Is There a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the Room?

January 13th, 2017 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article I revisit my research on what makes the ideal UX team.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Some of you may know that during the past 16 years, we’ve been researching what makes the ideal UX team. One of our early results is that roles don’t matter, skills do. It doesn’t matter if a team has an interaction designer or information architect. It does matter that interaction design and information architecture skills are present amongst the team.

Teams with the right skills are more likely to produce great user experiences. Teams missing the right skills are very unlikely to produce anything exciting or delightful. (Of course, we can’t say ‘never.’ Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every so often. But, if I’m staffing a team, I want to do so in a way that will have the best odds, no?)

Read the article: Help! Is There a Cardiothoracic Surgeon in the Room?

What skills do you look for in your team? Let us know below.

The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

December 16th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Bruce McCarthy tells us about the “Dirty Dozen” of product roadmap roadblocks.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A good roadmap inspires. It inspires buy-in from executives, inspires confidence from customers and salespeople, and inspires development teams to produce the groundbreaking products that drive significant growth.

In my experience, though, there are some specific areas where companies commonly break down in developing roadmaps, hitting roadblocks that often keep them from getting where they want to go. I call these roadmap roadblocks the “Dirty Dozen.”

Read the article: The Dirty Dozen Roadmap Roadblocks

How do do you create a successful product roadmap? Let us know below.

The Salesforce Team Model for Scaling a Design System

December 9th, 2016 by Jared Spool

In this week’s article Jina Bolton tells us about the model Salesforce uses for creating design systems.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I believe that even the best systems need human guidance to succeed and survive. For us, that means helping and empowering designers to produce high-quality, brand-aligned, system-minded work. Part of my job is to work with other product designers to ensure their designs are aligned with our system. We do this through working closely with designers to use our Internal Tools.

Read the article: The Salesforce Team Model for Scaling a Design System

You’ll want to hear more from Jina for sure. She’s presenting a live All You Can Learn Library seminar for subscribers—just $23/month—on December 15. It’s called Design Tokens: Scaling Design with a Single Source of Truth.

How do you create design systems? Let us know below.