Last week’s UX Thursday Detroit 2014 conference was an amazing day for all things user experience. Over 180 user experience professionals and web workers gathered at the Gem Theater in downtown Detroit for the one-day event to learn from our fellow UX practitioners.
Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering kicked off the day with a discussion of how we can use the Kano model to understand basic expectations in his Building a Winning UX Strategy Using the Kano Model talk. He pointed out that we’re good as getting rid of frustrations, but not as good at adding in delight to user experiences.
— Mark Peznowski (@MarkPeznowski) June 26, 2014
By focusing on three elements, pleasure, flow, and meaning, we can create a more delightful experience across the entire experience. Using Progressive‘s online insurance application as an example, Jared explained how Progressive removed the friction by changing the flow of the process (streamlining the process, asking the right questions, and reducing 11 screens to three screens) to create a delightful experience for their customers.
Our first local speaker for the day, Stephanie Rosenbaum from TecEd, spoke about setting up similated environments for early user research work in the lab when you can’t get do onsite field work. She focused on the challenges faced by similated environments and shared recommendations for conducting simulated field research. Fascinating to see the bar set up!
— Darren Hood, MSUXD (@darrenhood) June 26, 2014
In his Designing with Data for Humans presentation, Ivo Gasparotto of GE Capital explained how the display of data impacts your vantage point for approaching user experience. As user experience professionals, we need to be more involved in shaping how the data we use can be used for good.
— Chris Farnum (@crfarnum) June 26, 2014
I loved hearing Amy Montgomery’s talk about how user-centered design methods are being used on State of Michigan websites. By involving testers in the UX process, testers become more aware of user needs and goals, and can help the product better match UX requirements.
— EmergeUX (UXPulse) (@UXPulse) June 26, 2014
Dan Klyn kicked off the afternoon sessions with his introduction to his Ducks and Decorated Sheds talks,
Hello, my name is Dan Klyn. And I’m a master debater.
— Chris Farnum (@crfarnum) June 26, 2014
Instead of doing it right, do it good, Dan said. Four ways to get good structure for what you’re working on:
- Get systematic about your intention. Rendering our intent, will we service the customers we have now, or the ones we plan to acquire?
- Get systematic with meaning. One way to get systematic with meaning is to use arguments.
- Structural language
- Use simple models to work it out
I think everyone at the conference connected with Lauren Colton’s Confronting the Egos in the Room presentation. The client experience toolkit she shared is a must-have tool for all user experience professionals.
I’m a big fan of team retrospectives. How many of us ask at the end of a project, what did you want to get out of the project? And her recommendation when you’re annoyed with a client brought the loudest applause of the day.
— Jared Spool (@jmspool) June 26, 2014
My friend Keith Instone spoke about visual literacy and shared his own journey for learning about visual literacy and how it’s important for people in every field. He encouraged attendees to embed visual literacy in our user interfaces and invited attendees to learn more about visual literacy at the 2014 International Visual Literacy Conference in Toledo, Ohio.
— Alaina Kraus (@AlainaRachelle) June 26, 2014
In the closing keynote address, Fooled by Best Practice, Dana Chisnell spoke about what happens when we follow best practice, and it doesn’t work out. She shared a case study of building a responsive, accessible ballot and how the “choice” of words had unexpected consequences.
Using Rapid Iteration Testing & Evaluation (RITE) showed where best practices failed. Illustrations got in the way and wordy messages couldn’t help people recover from mistakes. Fewer direct words worked.
Plain interaction #UXThursday
Shared from Google Keep pic.twitter.com/ko2zVqcntu
— Jason Yu @ SXSW 2019 (@jbirdux) June 26, 2014
Several of the speakers have posted their slideshows online. Here’s a partial list:
- Building a Winning UX Strategy Using the Kano Model: Jared Spool
- Bringing Ethnographic Methodology Into The Usability Lab: Stephanie Rosenbaum
- When Testing Professionals Are Involved in User-Centered Design Research : Amy Montgomery
- Ducks and Decorated Sheds: Dan Klyn
- Confronting the Egos in the Room: Lauren Colton
- Visual Literacy: Keith Instone
- Fooled By Best Practice: Dana Chisnell
The talks were recorded; User Interface Engineering will update the UX Thursday Detroit 2014 site with the recordings once they’re available.
Great talks, great conversations, and a beautiful setting. What better way to spend a day learning about UX and networking with fellow professionals. Can’t wait til next year’s event!