Carsonified is brilliant in putting together these online conferences, we get to watch some of the best speakers at the convenience of our space and theirs. Recently, we attended their UX Online Conference with a terrific line-up of four sessions by: Cennydd Bowles, Leisa Reichelt, Aza Raskin, and Dan Rubin.
The preface to all the sessions were to make the user's life better and not just satisfy business goals as we have to remember only happy customers can make any business better.
Nathan's thoughts on "Undercover User Experience" by Cennydd, "Being an undercover UX designer sounds smart not to mention gratifying. You may not be tackling the most glamorous parts of a product at first, but it gets you in, applying design skills to something that's less than perfect by giving it organization and establishing rules - making a better user experience. It's a gratifying way to slowly and effectively create change.
Adding Unrequirements to a brainstorming session could become useful in discovering a projects needs. What are the things that we're NOT adding? Things we want to stay away from and avoid, along with all the things we DO want to add.
Perhaps we add unrequirements to our next brainstorm session and see where it doesn't take us ;) "
I was interested to listen to Cennydd talk about the idea of experimenting with six different solutions for a specific problem using Adaptive Path's design exercise on Six Grids: Six Ideas. Coming up with the first three solutions are easy, and it's usually the ideas that's already floating around in your head, but beyond that it could get adventurous. I like to explore that.
I felt Leisa hit the nail on the head about "DIY Design Research", that we don't have to lean ONLY on Usability Labs or hiring an agency to get feedback on our designs. And also gave affirmation to the idea we are toying around here about user-testing concepts and verbal ideas even before we have anything formal in paper.
Nathan mentioned that, "Aza Raskin spoke about getting people excited about a product or design, and how to inspire participation in the design process. He says a designer should not attempt to create a vision for the whole thing, just the beautiful part. Sharing this vision will get people on board with an idea. After all, it's the style and the sexy party that appeal to the designer's DNA, right? Once we share our vision and get people excited about creating something new, we're ready to begin. Aza explains that it's the starting point that gets users excited. "Let them begin" My take away is that encouraging participation is key in the designers ability to generate awesomeness through design collaboration - whatever form it takes."
Erin had similar thoughts on Aza's session, "I thought the emphasis on prototyping in the most basic stage was fascinating, for instance Aza's example of how the creator of the palm pilot started by carrying around a block of wood. I think too often we only explore ideas in a very linear way, on paper or on the computer, but actually creating something tangible from day one, when you know you end result will be tangible is an idea that seems to have been lost, at least in the early stages of idea and design formation."
Some of my fave notes from Aza, " To Design is to Inspire Participation", "Value of an Idea is 0, unless it can be communicated", "Prototype: To Convince yourself and others of an Idea".
I also feel it's beneficial to have the ability to change repeated end-user issues on the fly. If you can correct as you go, it allows end-users that follow to focus on other areas of the site that may not be working the way one hoped. It also leaves one less thing to worry about during the development phase."
Overall, I think all the four speakers provided valuable thoughts on our everyday web issues..and we thank you for inspiring us~!