Jun 18, 2011

UXcamp - Day2: Dealing with the failure of the user & Design Studio

Dealing with the failure of the user
In this short discussion we talked about the "failures of the user".

Good failure vs. Bad failure: Failure can be good to give space for innovation.

Trying to make new failures and not always doing the same one. It's hard to document failures to learn from it in the future.

Broken gets fixed, but crappy lasts forever.

The user sometimes comes with the wrong mindset to our interfaces so he will do something wrong - so the user is wrong, but we need to take care of. Or maybe we should punish the user?
- Have the balls to say "no!"

The system should support my activity itself and not always ask if I'm really sure... So instead of asking "are you really sure" an undo method for deleting.

Design Studio (rapid collaborative sketching)
In this workshop Anders Ramsay explained the two kinds of Design Studio.

Ideation Clearinghouse
Get ideas of all stakeholders out, what are they thinking, how are they envision the product.
Tip: Put a large stackof paper on the table - Psychological effect (no limits for ideas)

  • Create a private atmosphere (it's not common for them)
  • Everybody is participating (also the moderator) to let all participants feel comfortable
5 minutes sketching, Presentation in the group, Dot voting about the best idea
Add notes and ask questions to understand their ideas.
An additional iteraton can be done if the group has some new ideas.

Internal design studios
Add more constraints and goals and push them. Do more iterations to refine ideas.

Little big details
In this great session Tobias Jordans presented 18 "Little Big Details"... you can find the links to the great examples in the blog ux-zentrisch

Jun 17, 2011

UXcamp - Day2: Digital Trends - Challenges for Traditional UX

In this session Clive K. Lavery (@cklaery) talked about the Digital Trends they analyzed based on the financial industry. They have a report with a lot of good examples, hopefully they will publish this as a white paper.

10 Digital Trends:
1 - Asymmetric Engagement - Strategies are not only happening on a website, there is more interaction (Crowd Sourcing, Serious Gamification, Social ...)
2 - Empowerment: Customers don't want to be thought
Life Assistence: www.mint.com (Personal Finance Management), Personal Heath Managements (MSN)
Civic Engagement: www.guardian.co.uk - Political Watch /
3 - Self-Sovereignty: Kout (www.kout.com) - Influence Monitoring - You want to be in a community but want to be recognized
4 - Context Awareness: The context is important, but the context is not "mobile" but the goal the user wants to reach (Geo-Fencing, Smart Targeting)
5 - Lifeline - Digitazation: You show you life online
6 - Convergence - Smart Homes, smart cars (Channel Alignment, Augmented Reality, Unified Communications)
7 - Distributed Experience: Content is distribute into various channels (Micro Blog, etc. ) (Portability, Extensibility, Modularity)
8 - Ubiquity: Web is everywhere and we take what we want - not going online anymore (Mobile Computing, Capability Cloud, Object Hyperlinking)
9 - Human centricity: Natural User Interaction, Cognitive Design, Affective Computing (Users are more dynamic, can we plan how the users are using it)
10 - Sensemaking: A process to make sense out of big load of data; Data Aggregation, Advanced Analytics, Data Visualization

The problem: It's not possible to test innovation unless you created it.

UXcamp - Day2: UX of conferences (Sven Guckes)

A discussion session about "UX of conferences" hosted by Sven Guckes... Here are my notes.

Brainstorming Session
  • After conference follow ups: Newsletter with summary
  • Facilitating the in-between talks - enough breaks / more open spaces (facilitate 1:1 talks than 1:N talks) - "expand family"
  • "lightning talks" - Talks to share a lot of ideas in 1-5 minutes
  • Tagging - Wall for Tags with Faces (you can see the people in what they are interested in)...
  • Speakers should know what the audience the need to prepare for (the organizer needs to take care of - show demographics)
  • Share infos in various ways ... Facebook event/group, upcoming.org,
  • Content of the website: Travel, Accomodation, pickup-places, party
  • Barcamp: Couchsurfing (good example fosdem.org), Adopt-a-geek
  • Community advice (evangelists of conferences)
  • Twitter - News : always at the right time and updating
 What you should focus in the conference on:
- Goals for the community
- Business plan
- Goals for the committee

3 most important infos on a website: speakers, costs, hard facts (how to get there)
Most time organizing an event needs to be spent on money + sponsors.

Call for help if you need it: Show tasks on the website - The problem is tracking the people.
(makesense.org -Website: Website to find people, it's about skills)

Jun 16, 2011

UXcamp - Day2: Impressions


here are some pics from the 2nd day of the UXcamp Europe in Berlin.

More pictures you can find on Fluidr.

UXcamp - Day1: 10 war stories you (probably) won't see on Slideshare (Eric Reiss)

In this nice and funny presentation Eric Reiss talked about 10 war-stories from the project life. The slides of this presentation you can also find on Slideshare.

1. What shade of lipstick can you put on our pig?
What to do when the client doesn't care (a story from the public sector)
  • Do something quick and easy that makes you client look good. (show positive change)
  • Seek a true champion within the organization
  • If you're going to prostitute yourself, make sure the money is really, really good
2. Would you consider a no cure, no pay agreement?
How to get screwed in one easy lesson (a story from the airline industry)
  • Don't let your enthusiasm get the better of you
  • Always maintain control of the "cure" (and make sure the "cure" is well-defined)
  • Ensure you establish your rights to the "cure" if the clients give your work to someone else for execution 
3. Who called this stupid meeting? Wo are you guys? Why am I here?
How to avoid meetings from hell (a story from the financial sector)
  • Write out a clear agenda and make sure everyone gets it prior to the meeting
  • List your expected outcomes/decisions
  • Provide some background documents if necessary
4. But social media is free....
The truth behind social media marketing
  • Don't be greedy and accept a project unless proper internal resources have been allocated.
  • Understand that social media are not marketing tools, they are communications devices
  • Focus on communication goals, not projects
5. BTW, I'm no longer in charge of this project...
What to do when the key decision-maker leaves the team a week before the contract is signed ( a story from the private sector)
  • Make sure the new person knows that you know they are calling the shots (don't threaten, be supportive) - "We help you to achieve your goals!"
  • Find out what the new person has in teams of personal goals and agendas (and why the other person left) Avoid talking about legacy decisions
6. Oh the contract is just a formality...
What to watch out for when dealing with bureaucrats (a story about charities and NGOs)
  • A contract is always a contract
  • Cover your ass (save your e-mails!!)
  • Be wary of contracts that appear after you've started to work.

7. We want the best damned site in our industry. Can we have it on Thursday?
How to give clues to clueless clients (a story about B2B)
  • Try and put the project into a familiar perspective (e.g. Compare preparation needs and budgets with those for their annual report)
  • Show how a proper development process works (e.g. www.fatdux.com/how/our-process )See if there is a link to an internal process (e.g. LEAN - muda, muri, mura)
8. You didn't deliver what you promised...
How to avoid "deliverables creep" (a story from the private sector)
Happens because what they asked for has nothing to do with what they needed.
  • Don't be vague in the language you use for the contract.
  • Make sure you specify your deliverables - and that the client understands exactly what you mean (not everybody has the same definition of stuff, e.g. Wireframes)
  • Always be prepared to give more than you plannend on giving.
9. My wife says links should be blue...
What to do when the CEO pulls ranke (a story from the industrial sector)

  • Pick your fights with care. Don't waste time discussing the home page if you can win on stuff like better forms design.
  • In a battle with the CEO's wife, statistics will lose
  • Get the CEO to choose between his personal business success and his wife - the business will win.
10. But your proposal doesn't contain all the stuff we want but didn't ask for.
How to read between blurry lines.
  • Find out how you got on the shortlist
  • Don't spend to much time proving your qualificcations, instead show that you can think outside of the box.
  • Show folks success, not just process

Recommended Books:
  • Secred handshake
  • Dealing with difficult people
  • What clients love (Selling the invisible)

Jun 15, 2011

UXcamp - Day1: Enabling change (Stefan Freimark) & KJ diagram (Yeevon Ooi)

Enabling change - Stefan Freimark

How to enable change?
- Mindset
- Methods

Establish a sense of urgency
  • Conduct stakeholder interviews
  • Start conversations between silos: Bring them together in workshops, Show them the bigger picture but also suggest small and specific steps - Start a project wihin a project.
  • Keep people in the loop: Publish a project newsletter, Present results to everyone interested, Q&A questions, Embrace new stakeholders (but keep core team small)
Don't call it change management OR Fly under the radar ("Kick Ass Kickoff Meeting "- A list appart)
Book recommendations
  • A sense of urgency - John P. Kotter
  • Switch - How to change things when change is hard - Chip Heath & Dan
  • Change Management - Stolzenberg/Heberle
  • Next practice - Erfolgreiches Management von Instabilit√§t. 
  • How to lead when you're not in charge.
  • Winning others over
  • Die Logik des Misslingens
The slides you can find on Slideshare.

KJ diagram  - Yeevon Ooi
Problem: Long discussions that go nowhere
Different experiences, skill, opinions, priorities and personalities
Affinity Map - KJ diagram (Jiro Kawakita)
Article by Jared Spool (2004)

Everyone gets to contribute
Reach group consesus

UXcamp - Day1: Communicating and Selling UX Design Deliverables (Jan Srutek)

The problem : UX tends to be abstract & conceptual
We're selling "just" ideas.
UX is about communication: We can use written, verbal or visual communication.

Visual communication is powerful - Images are processed in parallel.

  1. Communicate design visually: Visualisation improves comprehension and inference.
  2. Engage you audiences: Stakeholder should unterstand the designs. - Do collaborative workshops (Books: Game storming, Visual meetings)
  3. Tell engaging stories - talk about people's experiences. (Storyboards)
  4. Speak your audience's language - Use their terms and language. (Conversion funnel optimisation vs. Improving users' experience)
Where to start?
- 8 Steps by Dan Brown - Communicating design

The theory of Consumer Buying Behaviour
  • Problem recognition - Explain the problem you are trying to solve. Ensures that your perceptain aligns with the perception of the user.
  • Information search - Present information that frames the design problem and sets the constraints. (Explain the starting position)
  • Options evaluation - Show the client multiple solutions and you thinked about a wide range of possible solutions. Share your thinking process.
  • Purchase decision - Explain why the one solution is the best and "sell" it.
  • Post-purchase evaluation - Document your decisions process for future reference and validate your design with users.
Always have an executive summary ready.

Designing design deliverables
  • Every UX deliverable has two layers - The ideas (the what) and the presentation (the how).
  • Present UX deliverables in a way of user-centered design... More thinking about the ideas, leass about the presentation.
  • Characteristics of deliverables:
    • Consistency: Be consistent in names and visual styles (across and within deliverables)
    • Recognition rather than recall: Don' t force people to remember stuff, make your deliverables visible and easily accessible
    • Aesthetic and minimalistic design: Make it nice to look at but avoid decoration.
    • Deliverables should be prioritized: Emphasize important stuff and de-emphasise irrelevant details.
Some common UX deliverables
  • Wireframe-Example: Actual design is probably alright but the presentation layer is not correct. / Mix up annotation and design
  • Sitemaps: Avoid sloppy connections and crossing lines if not needed, avoid sloppy text placement and text variations (variant A, variant B),
  • Always use cover sheets - Your deliverables should explain themselve...  
  • Storyboard - Using sketching template, with your logo on it.
  • Wireframes & Colors: 1-2 colors, not use highly saturated colours
You can follow mailto:http://twitter.com/#!/JanSru.

UXcamp - Day1: Power of agile UX (Petr Dousa)

The first session I attended at the Uxcamp in Berlin was a session by Petr Dousa about "Power of agile UX". He explained how he's working and focused on 3 major topics:
  • Design Workshops
  • Agile Usability Testing
  • Feedback
Rule of UX in Agile: Do just enough ... of Sketching, Mockups...

Design Workshop: with Users, Developers, Tester, Product Managers and User Experience
2 hours workshop - everybodyis sketching. (Explain the goal and background, Sketch 6 ideas, Present + discuss, Sketch whole solution, Present + discuss, Sketch one consesus solution)
  • It's fast
  • Pick the best idea (Good idea are coming from anybody!)
  • Mutual understanding

Agile Usability Testing: 3 participants - 3 tests in the morning, Eval & Pizza afterwards, Afternoon: Bugfixing
  • Involve the team!: Good ideas from everybody, buy-in (this is our product), Personal experience that users are different
  • Test evaluation: Every observer write down 3 major problems, write on sticky notes, First person sorts, Collision - Discussion , Pick 3 top problems, Start fixing now.
  • Repeat it each month!

  • Including mockups in real application - to show how it could work.
  • Problems: It's uncomfortable / Devs: "I use it this way"
  • Solutions: Meet the users!, 70% communication and 30% design

The slides of his presentation provided Petr on Slideshare.

Jun 14, 2011

UXcamp - Day 1 Impressions

Further pics of day 1 you can find on Fluidr.

UXcamp - Agile & UX: How to make it work


last weekend I attended an really great UXcamp Europe in Berlin. At the first day I did one session together with Anders Ramsay. The results of the discussion are collected in this presentation....

In the next days I will share with you the rest of my notes and experiences from the UXcamp.

Br, Claudia

Jun 8, 2011

UXcamp Europe - I'm coming...


next weekend I'll be at the UXcamp Europe in Berlin and I'm already looking forward to get to know a lot of intersting people.

I plan to do a session together with Anders Ramsay about "UX in agile projects" to discuss topics like "How can you ensure a consistent user interface and consistent ways of interaction if functionalities are iteratively developed? ".

Hope to see you there,

PS: If you can't make it there, I'll keep you informed on this blog and on twitter...