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2018-01-23T13:52:41.327Z
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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.

Pick Your Days

 

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.

[ Transcript Available ]

If we keep adding functionality, we start to clutter our enterprise application’s design. That clutter can create a substantial burden on the user while obscuring the functionality we want them to use.

In this episode of the UIE Podcast, Amanda Linden talks about her challenge of fighting back clutter in Asana’s design. Hagan Rivers talks about her techniques for helping enterprise app teams deal with the issue of clutter.

Hagan will be giving one of 6 daylong workshops at UX Immersion: Interactions May 1-3 in Portland, Oregon. For more information on Hagan’s and the other workshops, visit uxi17.com.

Recorded: March 2017
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Full Transcript.

Jared Spool: This is the UIE podcast. I’m Jared Spool

In a corner of the UIE offices, we’ve got this old cabinet. And it’s filled with stuff that we’ve acquired from being in business for more than 28 years.

Digging through this closet is like discovering a pile of lost treasures. There’s stuff in here we didn’t even know we had.

Useful stuff, buried deep in the closet, where nobody can see it and nobody knows it’s there.

Enterprise applications can be like that...

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

In this week’s article I discuss how to to deliver the right promises to your users.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

People like to share their stories with me. Lately, many of these stories have been about their experiences on recent United Airlines flights. I’ve become a bit of a magnet for United Airlines stories.

Most of these stories are about how the airline failed them in some way. In their minds, they weren’t asking for much.

They wanted their flight to go exactly as the airline had promised. Yet, for whatever reason, it had gone awry. And then, due to issues that seem to be endemic inside the airline, it got worse. The outcome was frustration and disappointment.

Yet sometimes the stories have a happy ending. Frequently these stories start with something that went wrong, but then a helpful employee takes the reins and goes above and beyond. The problem isn’t just resolved, the employee treats the passengers great, and everything ends well.

These stories are about promises. Promises broken and promises exceeded.

Read the article: Promise, Vision, Scenario, and User Stories

Does your team have a different method to keep up with your users needs?  Share your thoughts with us below.

In this week’s article, I discuss how “Going Evil” can break creative log jams and encourage collaboration.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

In many other exercises where you ask a group to talk about user experience, the designers often take over. They have the experience and generate ideas faster than their peers, so they dominate the discussion. This has the effect of pushing the non-designers aside.

Yet, in this exercise, making a design worse goes against every bit of training those designers have. It slows them down.

The people who believe they’re not designers can jump right in. A bonus is there’s no wrong answer. You can’t make something “not bad enough.” There’s always room for more badness.

Plus, it’s fun. Giggling. Laughing. Snickering. The room is alive and vibrant. This is a creative exercise with no downside. Everyone gets involved.

Read the article: Despicable Design – When “Going Evil” is the Perfect Technique

Have you had to “Go Evil” to foster a creative breakthrough? Tell us about it below.

[ Transcript Available ]

We often talk in terms of silos in organizations, where information isn’t readily shared and communication leaves something to be desired. Another way to think of a team who is heads-down working on the overall journey is to imagine swim lanes. Each department is so focused on their own part of the experience that they might not be fully aware of each step a user has to go through to complete the journey.

In this episode, Conor Ward, Head of UX and Design at Centrica & British Gas, tells a story of how mapping out the journey to acquiring a quote for boiler insurance revealed some unexpected insights. Jim Kalbach, author of Mapping Experiences, also joins the podcast to share his expertise on the subject of journey mapping.

Recorded: June 2017
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Full Transcript.

Jared Spool: This is the UIE Podcast. I’m Jared Spool.

It started as the perfect evening. An elegant dinner party at a beautiful mansion, rivers of wine lubricating conversation. But then, an unexpected turn. The power goes out, and when it returns a crime most heinous has been committed.

The remaining...

In this week’s article Donna Lichaw discusses how story can be thought of as a tool to enhance experience.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

What’s great about story and its underlying structure is that it provides you with a framework—a formula, if you will—for turning your customers into heroes. Plot points, high points, and all. Story is one of the oldest and most powerful tools you have to create heroes. And as I’ve seen and will show you in this book, what works for books and movies will work for your customers, too.

Read the article: Building Better Products with Story

Have you built better products with the help of story? Comment below, we’d love to hear from you.

[ Transcript Available ]

The innate problem with analytics packages is they tell you if something is happening but not why. With the sheer number of numbers that you can look it, it can be hard to determine if something is even important. If it’s tracked, it must be important, right?

Much like superstition, something that is believed to be an important metric may not apply to the reality of your product or service’s experience. Understanding the behavior of your users, introducing some science, is what leads to greater context and insight.

In this episode of the UIE Podcast, Chris Callaghan of McCann UK talks about his experience of joining a team and seeing the superstition first hand: A roomful of folks attempting to derive meaning from numbers, but having the same conversations over and over. Straying from superstition and introducing science started with the simple question: “do we know if anyone outside of this room can use this?”

Kate Rutter joins us to help dispel some of the myths surrounding analytics and offers insight on how to come to true meaning.

You can find all of our podcast shows on our newly launched Podcast Network: uie.fm. Head on over and check out all the great shows we’ve put together over the years.

Recorded: May 2017
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In this week’s article I share how to hire the best and brightest designers you can.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For most organizations, hiring falls under what we’d call unintentional design. People in distant parts of the organization who have nothing to do with the new position are the ones who create the hiring procedures. They create standard ad templates, not because that’s the best way to attract top talent, but because it makes processing the paperwork faster. They assume everyone knows why they’d want to join the company, so why go to any effort to make it easy for the candidate?

We need to take control, break the rules, and design the hiring experience we want. The job ad is the first impression of your organization and your work. Let’s use our design skills and make it an intentional experience.

Read the article: Your Job Ad: The Start of a Great Hiring Experience

Have you had success hiring designers in your organization? Comment below, we’d love to hear your answers.

In this week’s article I revisit Adam Connor’s discussion on how to set the foundation of a meaningful critique by using goals, principles, personas, and scenarios.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Personas and scenarios provide the “setting” for the analysis? How are we going to look at the design? Through whose eyes? With what behaviors or expectations? In what contexts?

In UX design, it’s common to say phrases like “I/You are not the user.” This can be hard for people to remember; clients and professionals with other areas of expertise, hell, sometimes even UX designers, forget it for a moment or two. By setting up solid personas and scenarios at the beginning of your project (hopefully based on research), you give yourself and your team a starting point to help guide your critique and analysis

Read the article: Setting the Foundation for Meaningful Critiques: Goals, Principles, Personas and Scenarios

Have you incorporated meaningful critiques into your design process? Comment below, we’d love to hear your answers.

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. 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...

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.

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.

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. 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...

In this week’s article, I discuss the importance of building a dynamic UX strategy playbook.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I explained how Saying ‘no’ was an advanced approach for dealing with product teams that waited too long. The basic idea is to tell them you’ll only work with them if they bring your team in early enough. Otherwise, they’re on their own.

The approach works because it puts pressure on the product teams that aren’t cooperating. It shows those team leaders they need to change their habits to get the help of the UX team.

Read the article: Every UX Leader Needs A Unique UX Strategy Playbook

Do you have successful playbook strategies?  Comment below, we’d love to hear your answers.

In this week’s article I revisit Gerry McGovern’s discussion on Top Tasks.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Digital is a space of endless replication. It has never been easier to create—and create, and create. People love to publish, but they hate to remove, which leads to overloaded websites and constant, inevitable redesigns. The top layers get a shiny new coat of graphics and meaningless “we really care” content—but underneath, a teeming mass of out-of-date, badly organized information still swirls about.

The solution is to make hard choices using Top Tasks Management. Top tasks are the small set of tasks (usually less than 10, often less than five) that matter most to your customers. Make these tasks work well, and you’ll be on the right track. Get them wrong, and chances are you’ll lose the customer.

Read the article: What Really Matters: Focusing on Top Tasks

Have you incorporated top task management in your organization? Comment below, we’d love to hear your answers.