Archive for May, 2009

Cindy Chastain: Experience Themes

Posted in Event on May 12th, 2009 by Chris Pallé – View Comments

Experience Themes: An Element of Story Applied to Design

Fiction writers weave stories around themes. Musicians create thematic concept albums. Even graphic designers envision around themes. So, why not interaction designers?

As designers we too often neglect to define a common vision, or coordinating force, behind the scope of what we’re designing, making or building. Without some means of unifying our efforts we can easily end up with a product or service that falls short of its potential for delivering an optimal user experience. One path to holistic coordination is to employ the concept of themes as used by fiction writers and filmmakers. For storytellers, themes are used as a compass, a means of examining every element in the story for its possible implication with regard to theme. For readers, themes offer a cognitive and emotional response to the story that is often much deeper and more memorable than details of plot. In experience design, themes can be used to pattern and unify product solutions as well as a means of unifying teams, assisting in the work of defining strategy and helping to design for the intangible pleasure, emotion and meaning in experience. By aiming to capture the value and focus of the experience we intend to deliver to users, themes guide us in the design process and, by extension, strengthen the impact and meaning of that experience.

Cindy’s Bio:

Cindy Chastain, user experience designer and screenwriter, has been exploring ways to engage an audience through storytelling, teaching, writing and design for over twelve years. She is currently the Director of User Experience for Interactive Partners, a New York-based agency specializing in entertainment and media websites. Most recently, she has lead projects for clients such as BBC Worldwide, Showtime, Fuse, Madison Square Garden, Coca-Cola and Unilever. She holds an MFA in screenwriting from Columbia University in New York and earned a BS in Radio, TV, Film from Northwestern University. In addition to moonlighting as a filmmaker and screenwriter, she is in the process of researching a book that explores how storytelling techniques can be used as a framework for design.

RedUX DC ’09 – Part 4

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by Olga Howard – View Comments

Dave Cooksey: Taxonomy Validation

The goal of taxonomy testing is to confirm that a taxonomy’s structure enables users to find and use content. For many practitioners, this means simple card sorting. But there are other means of validating a taxonomy. This presentation describes taxonomy validation methods that go beyond typical card sorting: Delphi card sorting, remote card sorting, usability testing, and search analysis. We’ll also discuss optimal ways of using mulitple validation methods togehter and review why taxonomy testing is needed in the first place.

Dave is Founder & Principal at saturdave, a user experience consultancy based in the City of Brotherly Love. Dave specializes in strategically informing design through user research and testing, crafting user-centric taxonomies, and providing solid design documentation.

Dave is actively involved in the user experience community in Philadelphia and serves as Chair of PhillyCHI, an academic and professional group for those interested in Human-Computer Interaction, User Experience, Usability and other related disciplines. PhillyCHI hosts monthly meetings and socials for students, academics, and practitioners who share a common interest in user experience.

Dante Murphy: State Mapping

As websites have transitioned from a series of hyperlinked static pages to rich, interactive applications, the traditional means of documenting their structure and behavior has struggled to keep pace. Site maps fail to capture the detailed interactions on and across pages, use cases fail to show the relationship between activities, and data flow diagrams ignore the nuances of presentation and user choice.

Enter the state map. Evolved from scenarios and storyboards, the state map demonstrates the flow of information and interaction across all of an applications possible activities for all user types. The state map is a foundational design element, able to inform detailed technical, behavioral, and aesthetic design.

This session will demonstrate the creation and use of state maps in three key situations; defining and pitching a concept, designing an application, and reverse-engineering existing applications to facilitate comparison and gap analysis.

Dante is the Vice President of User Experience for Digitas Health, the health agency of Digitas and a global leader in digital and healthcare communications. His responsibilities include ideation, design, testing, methodologies, and building a world-class multi-disciplinary design practice.

Dante’s career in application and experience design began in 1996; previous to joining Digitas Health in 2006, Dante was a Principal Information Architect at GSI Commerce. Assignments and clients include Toys R Us, Siemens, Radio Shack, Sony, Burberry, NFL Football, Vanguard, adidas, Merck, Astra Zeneca, Palm, and numerous others.

Jared Spool: Revealing Design Secrets from the Amazon

On its surface, Amazon.com just seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design isn’t flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its pages are hidden secrets — secrets that every designer should know about.

If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s probably the most effective, knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. What you probably don’t know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

Bio: Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

RedUX DC ’09 – Part 3

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by Olga Howard – View Comments

Cindy Chastain: Experience Themes: An Element of Story Applied to Design

As designers we too often neglect to define a common vision, or coordinating force, behind the scope of what we’re designing, making or building. Without some means of unifying our efforts we can easily end up with a product or service that falls short of its potential for delivering an optimal user experience. One path to holistic coordination is to employ the concept of themes as used by fiction writers and filmmakers. In experience design, themes can be used to pattern and unify product solutions as well as a means of unifying teams, assisting in the work of defining strategy and helping to design for the intangible pleasure, emotion and meaning in experience. By aiming to capture the value and focus of the experience we intend to deliver to users, themes guide us in the design process and, by extension, strengthen the impact and meaning of that experience.

Cindy Chastain, user experience designer and screenwriter, has been exploring ways to engage an audience through storytelling, teaching, writing and design for over twelve years. She is currently the Director of User Experience for Interactive Partners, a New York-based agency specializing in entertainment and media websites.

Donna Spencer: Design games for information architecture

Would you like your design team to collaborate better? Are you looking to gather more valuable insights from your focus groups and interviews?

Design games are a fun, technology-neutral way of gathering design insights for your projects. In this presentation, I will show you how to take advantage of design games in many situations, with all types of people, including:

* Freelisting, modified card sorting and scavenger hunts: To learn about
your users language and categories
* Design the Home page and Divide-the-Dollar: To identify and prioritise functions and features
* Reverse-it and Idea cards: To break a creative block and generate ideas

I have played all these games and more with users, stakeholders and design teams, so this presentation will be based on my experience organizing games and making sure they provide useful inputs to the design process.
In this presentation I will focus on games and tips most applicable to IA projects.

Bio: She’s been doing this professionally since 2002, and she’s a regular speaker at Australian and international eventst. Donna’s a freelance information architect, interaction designer and writer. That’s a fancy way of saying she plans how to present the things you see on your computer screen, so that they’re easy to understand, engaging and compelling. Things like the navigation, forms, categories and words on intranets, websites, web applications and business systems.

Dave Malouf: Foundations of IxD

This is a REALLY short version of a complex topic that aims to discuss the nature of interaction design as a material of form similar to visual design and industrial design and explains how foundational education and practice leads to better communication & critique (wish me luck!)

Bio: Dave is current the Professor of Interaction Design in the Industrial Design Department at the Savannah College of Art & Design (SCAD). He is one of the core founders of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) and its first VP. Before coming to SCAD he had a rich design career in industry most recently in the Innovation & Design Department of Motorola Enterprise Mobility as a Senior Interaction Designer.

RedUX DC ’09 – Part 2a

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by Chris Pallé – View Comments

Todd Zaki Warfel: Sketching & Prototyping: Rapid Design Techniques
Bio: Todd Zaki Warfel, founder and principal design researcher at Messagefirst, has been designing interactive products and services for over 15 years. Todd’s clients have included fortune 500 companies like AT&T Wireless, Bankrate, Citibank, and Comcast, as well as smaller companies like Numara and rPath. An internationally recognized thought leader on research and design, and member of the Web Standards Project Education Task Force, he has spoken at conferences and taught workshops around the globe.

His upcoming book, Practical Prototyping (Rosenfeld Media) will discuss how prototypes are more than just a design tool and show you how to use prototyping to create a common language, market a product, gain internal buy-in, and test feasibility with your development team. Anticipated publication is in 2009.

redUX DC ‘09 – Part 2

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by Chris Pallé – View Comments

Making the Case for Social Networks in Organizational Settings

Olga Howard: Why should your company/organization use social networking tools within the organizaiton? I’ll answer this and other tricky questions.

Bio: Olga Howard is an independent user experience architect. She has helped large and small companies including, MTV, PBS, Martha Stewart Online, and more. As a community strategist, Olga helps clients create organic, healthy, and successful environments. As an information architect and usability consultant, Olga has been developing processes and tools that allow for faster and less expensive information architecture with high quality results.

Livia Labate: The User Experience Health Check: A Measure a Day Keeps The Redesign Away

Bio: Livia Labate is a use experience designer, currently Principal of Information Architecture and User Experience Design for Comcast Interactive Media in Philadelphia. She volunteers on the board of the Information Architecture Institute and can be found wondering about where the UX practice is headed at I Think Therefore IA.

Joe Sokohl: A Real Nowhere Man: Managing Remote Teams Remotely

redUX DC ‘09 – Part 1

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by Chris Pallé – View Comments

Whitney Hess: Evangelizing Yourself: You Can’t Change the World If No One Knows Your Name

Bio: Whitney Hess is an independent user experience designer based in New York City. She helps make stuff easy and pleasurable to use. She is a strategic partner with Happy Cog and UX consultant for boxee, among other startups, agencies and major corporations. Whitney writes about improving the human experience on her blog, Pleasure and Pain.

Chris Fahey: The Courage to Quit: Starting, Growing and Maintaining Your Own UX Business

Twitter: @ chrisfahey

IA Summit ‘09+IxD ‘09 = RedUX DC

Posted in Event on May 7th, 2009 by TUXW Admin – View Comments