Tuesday’s Featured Talks

We’ve put together this special “sampler day” so you can hear from every one of our amazing design experts. Each presenter has put together a special presentation, filled with insights and guaranteed to make you think.

8:30 am – 10:00 am

Gamestorming: A Grammar for Creativity and Innovation

Dave Gray

Dave Gray, XPlane

Experience design is still a new and uncharted territory. To navigate this world of co-creation and participatory design we need new tools and a new literacy. How can you bring out the passion in your coworkers and engage them in your design process? How can you deliver more top-quality ideas from your meetings? How can you get to the results you want, faster, and have more fun in the process?

Using insights from his recently published book, Gamestorming: A Playbook for Innovators, Rulebreakers, and Changemakers, Dave Gray will demonstrate games that engage people and excite them about your design process. You’ll learn how you can overcome team conflict and increase individual engagement by using team-oriented games. Plus, you’ll see how you can improve cross-disciplinary collaboration and communication with visual techniques.

Message and Medium: Better Content by Design

Kristina Halvorson

Kristina Halvorson, BrainTraffic

Ah the good ol’ days when 95% of the time, content was seen on desktop devices. Everything seemed so easy back then. A single focus.

If you’re being pulled in all directions to meet the demands of multiple delivery platforms, you’re not alone. Content, more often than not, is now seen through a variety of platforms, such as the omnipresent mobile device. Everyone worries about how readable things are with these devices, but that doesn’t matter if the message isn’t right to begin with.

This is where the content strategist comes in. The strategist coordinates the content across all platforms and ensures the content’s message is clear, targeted, and up to date. They focus on how your key messages come across on each platform.

Kristina Halvorson will show steps towards better content strategy. You’ll learn how to identify key business messages, how they affect your content strategy, and how to plan for multi-platform content development and design.

10:15 am – 11:45 am

Why You Should Design for Mobile First

Luke Wroblewski

Luke Wroblewski, LukeW Ideation & Design

According to Luke, Web products should be designed for mobile first. For years, most Web teams have designed for the desktop. Mobile, if it even happened, was a port off the desktop version, designed and built before anyone even considered the mobile experience. This made perfect sense for a while. Browsing the Web on mobile phones was painful; carriers controlled access to the Web on their devices; and mobile network speeds made everything often grind to a halt.

But things have changed so dramatically over the past few years that starting with the desktop may be an increasingly backwards way of thinking about a Web product. Designing for mobile first can not only open up new opportunities for growth, it can lead to a better overall user experience for a Web site or application.

In this session, Luke Wroblewski will dig into the three key reasons to consider mobile first: mobile is seeing explosive growth; mobile forces you to focus; and mobile extends your capabilities.

Getting Design into the Corporate DNA

Kim Goodwin

Kim Goodwin, Consultant

Design has gained a lot of ground over the last decade, but most companies aren’t taking advantage of all design has to offer. Many designers have to justify their existence on a regular basis. Even in companies that claim to value design, designers are added to projects too late and with too few resources to make a big difference. Somehow, this happens even in companies where senior executives see design’s value.

If you’re facing any of these challenges, it means you need to change your organization’s culture, which is the most complex design problem you’ll ever encounter. Kim Goodwin will help you understand what it takes to create successful organizational change, and how your skill at understanding human motivations can help.

12:45 pm – 2:00 pm

Anatomy of a Design Decision

Jared Spool

Jared Spool, User Interface Engineering

The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the quality of your decisions. Where do they come from?

For the last five years, we’ve been studying how designers make their decisions. When do they use outside information, such as research about their users? When do they go with their gut instinct? When do the designers look to past decisions and the lessons they’ve learned?

What we found will surprise you. In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You’ll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst.

2:15 pm – 3:45 pm

Hands-on Prototyping with HTML & CSS

Dan Rubin

Dan Rubin, WebGraph

Have you ever said to yourself, “that was a waste of time” after sitting through usability testing just to discover significant changes are needed on your brand new design? Sure, we know usability testing is important, but does it need to wait until the design is complete?

Why not combine the the two when possible? In this session, Dan Rubin shares his experience on how he successfully incorporated testing and prototyping together in a real life project. He’ll show you the benefits of making adjustments to a design during testing, exposing changes in behavior you may not have otherwise observed.

Dan will show you the process of revising the prototype during a test session and how to build a high-resolution prototype with HTML & CSS.

Six Rules and a Myth: The Secrets to Developing Successful Personas

Tamara Adlin

Tamara Adlin, Founder, adlin, inc

You’ve been thinking about personas. You know how they can improve the user experience. You understand their importance and convinced yourself to get on the persona band-wagon. Yet sorting through the data to create personas is overwhelming. On top of that, you lack the time needed to dedicate yourself to persona development. And once they’re done, how will you know they’re effective?

What you need are six rules and a myth. Tamara Adlin will talk about the things that make persona efforts work, and the things that are all but guaranteed to derail any persona project. There are some surprises you might not expect… for example the myth that you need lots of data to create really effective personas. Come hear more about this myth, and helpful rules you can use right away in your own user-centered design projects.

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

How to be a User Experience Team of One

Leah Buley

Leah Buley, Adaptive Path

What’s the best way to evolve design ideas quickly? One way is to get together with other designers and brainstorm. This works because team structures have naturally creative properties. But even when you don’t have a group of other design professionals at your disposal, it’s still possible to achieve the benefits of team-thinking by adapting the methods of larger user experience groups.

Leah Buley will discuss some of the lightweight techniques for generative problem solving that Adaptive Path uses, and show how to put them to use as a team of one. You will see simple, flexible tools that enable you to explore a variety of solutions quickly, enlist the support of non-designers, and speak about design decisions with confidence and authority.

How to Create a UX Library

Nathan Curtis

Nathan Curtis, EightShapes

Let’s assume your design system is stable and mature. You realize that your team could benefit from a UX library. You grasp the efficiencies and savings your team gains with a library. And you know the designs will get better by using libraries and related standards. But where do you start? What are the steps you need to take to produce a UX library?

We have just the expert, Nathan Curtis, to explain the phases you should follow. Nathan will walk you through the four sequential phases: analyze, assemble, adopt, and adapt. He’ll explain how these phases fold into the library development. Then he’ll cover why someone should own the library and who that right person is. He’ll discuss how long it will take to create the library and what to expect for costs.