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Preview: Adaptive Path Podcast

Adaptive Path Podcast

Adaptive Path brings together a collection of podcasts from across the web. You'll find our practitioners speaking at conferences and interviewing experts in our field. You'll also find a collection of the best presentations from our events including UX W

Published: Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:39:17 -0800

Last Build Date: Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:41:37 -0800

Copyright: © 2008 Adaptive Path, Inc.

Peter has a conversation with Scott McCloud

Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:41:34 -0800

Peter has a conversation with UX Week 2009 presenter Scott McCloud, best known for his book Understanding Comics, and more recently for the comic explaining Google Chrome. They discuss comics, visual expression, Edward Tufte, and the importance of believing in the message.(image)

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Aurora: Envisioning the Future of the Web

Fri, 17 Oct 2008 08:51:12 -0700

Co-founder and President of Adaptive Path Jesse James Garrett provides an inside look at the process of creating Aurora, a concept video depicting one possible future user experience for the Web.

Jesse talks about the technology trends that will shape the future Web, outlines the challenges of designing a future product, and takes the audience for a behind the scenes look at the creation of the Aurora concept video.

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What To Do With All That Content? Sorting Through 10 Years of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"

Fri, 10 Oct 2008 16:01:42 -0700

Architects make buildings for people. Information architects make information spaces for people. So how do you build doors, windows, and porches into information spaces? And how do you make it easy for people to find what they want in over 10,000 episodes of a daily TV show?

To find out, I had tea with Audrey Chen, Senior Information Architect at Comedy Central who recently created a searchable online archive of 10 years of "The Daily Show". From 24 hour crews who watched and tagged every single episode, to the challenge of "future-proofing" information architecture systems so that they can grow and change over time, Audrey shared a glimpse into what it takes to organize and manage the massive influx of data in our world.(image)

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Design Strategy with Lulu Pachuau and Bob Medcalf of Provoke

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:01:39 -0700

Designers often talk about the results of their work, and even about the design process, but what we don't often talk about is the careful framing of a project that allowed us to do the great work in the first place. Lulu Pachuau and Bob Medcalf of the New Zealand consultancy Provoke share tools and methods Lulu learned at Adaptive Path's UX Intensive workshop and applied to a web strategy project with Industrial Research Limited.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | Conversation with Adaptive Path’s New CEO

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:09 -0700

On the last day of UX Week I had the pleasure of chatting with Adaptive Path’s new CEO Michael Meyer about his impressions of UX Week and the opportunities that come with this new position.

We discuss his past experiences as a nuclear engineer, time spent in the US Navy, as well as working at some of the leading design firms in the world such as frog and IDEO before arriving at Adaptive Path.

My heart-felt thanks to Michael and the entire team at Adaptive Path for allowing Boxes and Arrows to share these conversations with the community.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | New Paradigms for Interaction in Physical Space

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:11 -0700

Jake Barton gave an emotionally powerful presentation at UX Week entitled “New Paradigms for Interaction in Physical Space”.

As the interaction designers for NPR’s StoryCorps and the co-leaad designer for the National September 11th Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center, Local Projects is creating new paradigms for interaction by tackling physical space.

Jake talks with me about how the interaction design process bends, accelerates and sometimes completely falls apart, when applied to the global community.
You can download Jake’s Presentation from UX Week.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | A User’s Guide to Managing Experience Teams

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:14 -0700

Google’s Margaret Gould Stewart and Graham Jenkin discuss their experience and ideas from their UX Week workshop about managing UX teams. Topics covered in this conversation include:
# Prioritization and project tracking
# How to gain insight into career development paths within a user experience team
# Finding out about performance management
# Discovering how to tailor your own management style

Margaret and Graham also tackled other tough issues during their session, such as:
# Building a culture of constructive feedback
# Developing leadership within a team
# Effectively managing team dynamics
# Evangelizing user experience practices
# Managing stakeholders

Margaret and Graham also had participants of their workshop develop haiku’s about the importance of working with and managing UX Teams. They were kind enough to compile this collection of Haiku’s from the workshop for you. They also provided an example of the leadership cards. These cards can be printed off and shared with members of your team about which characteristics of a leader they deem to be most essential. Not every leader will be strong in all categories, however. Such information can help leaders understand the expectations of those they are working with on a daily basis.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | TV With an API! – Current at the Collision of TV and the Internet

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:16 -0700

TVs in trouble! It might be terminal, but Rod Naber and Dan Levine from Current TV urge everyone not lose hope just yet. Discussing their presentation “TV with an API! Current at the Collusion of TV and the Internet” Rod and Dan describe how using their cable and satellite TV network along with their social news website, Current is experimenting across both media, looking for a cure.
In this conversation we talk about how Current got started, the power of the community in generating content for Current News, and how the Internet is allowing users to create ads for companies. All this could change the way marketing approaches innovative solutions for their customers.

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UX Week 2008 | ben: A Prototype for Democracy in the 21st Century

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:19 -0700

Dave Wolf, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Cynergy Systems was kind enough to join me for this conversation about his presentation “ben: A Prototype for Democracy in the 21st Century.”

We talk about Cynergy’s awarding winning application “ben” at the PhizzPop competition – a National Design and Development Challenge sponsored by Microsoft.

“ben” is a series of interconnected, cross-platform applications that leverage the power of Microsoft Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation, Live Services, Twitter, VoIP technologies.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | We’ll Always Have Paris: What Makes a Memorable Service Experience?

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:21 -0700

Jennifer Bove from Huge and Ben Fullerton from IDEO sat down with me shortly after their presentation to discuss ideas from “We’ll Always Have Paris – What Makes a Memorable Service Experience.”

We explore the six key elements about what it takes to design services that keep people coming back for more.

We probe into the dynamics of service design from real-world examples of business that provide unique experiences. One shoe company will actually order a pizza for their clients as well as order products from competitor sites to keep their customers satisfied.
Jennifer and Ben outline why people get excited about intangible services in the same way they lust after the latest shiny toy that just came out on the market.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | Unpacking Stories to Serve People Better

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:23 -0700

Indi Young talks about the importance of continuing to ask “why” enough times to get to the core reasons for any individuals’ behavior or actions and how to convert stories into mental models. Her workshop “Unpacking Stories to Server People Better” includes these themes and more.

We discuss the elegant way in which mental models can provide a visual representation of these behaviors and support elements that foster the likely repetition of any action.

Indi also talks briefly about how her book from Rosenfeld media, “Mental Models – Aligning Design Strategy with Human Behavior,” can help others create these visual tools.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | Story Telling for User Experience Design

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:26 -0700

Senior Interaction Deisgner at Adaptive Path, Kim Lenox chats with Kevin Brooks, the Principle Staff Researcher for Motorola Labs about his workshop entitled “Storytelling for User Experience Design”.

They discuss various aspects of Kevin’s presentation including the importance of structure and patterns to guide creative endeavors. One critical aspect is listening when striving to be a remarkable storyteller within your own organization.

Kim shares her art school experience where the criticism of her art helped her gain the confidence necessary to be a successful Interaction Designer.

Kevin also discusses his upcoming publication about storytelling with Whitney Quesenberry. Learn more about his book at Rosenfeld Media.
Download Kevin’s presentation from UX Week.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | Being a UX Team of One

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:28 -0700

In this conversation, Experience Designer Leah Buley from Adaptive Path shares some of the lightweight techniques that she and her team use to explore a variety of solutions quickly and how to enlist the support of non-team members in the UX process.

We talk about the video biographies of other team members at Adaptive Path and how all started out from humble beginnings – some in fields that had little to do with what we think about today as traditional UX projects – and how those experiences have helped in building great products and services.

Leah outlines the advice she gives in her conference talk Being a UX Team of One.

Videos from On-Stage Presentation
Leah was kind enough to share the videos she used in her presentation. Thanks again, Leah!
# Watch members of Adaptive Path describe their first job in User Experience
# Watch as Pam Daughlin answers the question When did you first discover UX?
# Watch various members at Adaptive Path share their thoughts on what’s hot in User Experience at the moment.(image)

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UX Week 2008 | UX Week Keynote Discussion: Peter Merholz and Don Norman

Wed, 01 Oct 2008 12:02:43 -0700

UX Week 2008 kicked off with an on-stage conversation between the President and founder of Adaptive Path, Peter Merholz, and industry legend Don Norman. Don wrote the founding text on user-centered design, entitied, “The Design of Everyday Things”, and also coined the term “user-experience” while at Apple in the early 1990s.

They talk about the importance of the semantic differences around common issues in business like ROI from a design perspective, the necessity to look beyond the “all mighty dollar,” the importance of being passionate about your ideas, and knowing ultimately all team members want to create great products and services for other people.

Don shares his insights about the UX Week presentation given by Microsoft’s Jensen Harris around the usability of the Ribbon in the latest version of MS Office as well as the exciting future that lies ahead for all in the UX field.(image)

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Chiara Fox Interviewed by Viewzi - Part 2Chiara Fox - Adaptive Path Part 2

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:31:06 -0700

Part two of our intervew with Chiara Fox from Adaptive Path.

Chiara Fox is a senior information architect for Adaptive Path. Chiara has developed successful information architectures for intranets, informational websites, and e-commerce sites for Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Chiara specializes in content analysis, metadata and taxonomy development, and building architectures from the bottom up.


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Chiara Fox Interviewed by Viewzi - Part 1Chiara Fox - Adaptive Path Part 1

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:31:13 -0700

Part one of our intervew with Chiara Fox from Adaptive Path.

Chiara Fox is a senior information architect for Adaptive Path. Chiara has developed successful information architectures for intranets, informational websites, and e-commerce sites for Fortune 100 and 500 companies. Chiara specializes in content analysis, metadata and taxonomy development, and building architectures from the bottom up.


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Andrew Crow Interviewed by Viewzi - Part 3Andrew Crow Video Interview - Adaptive Path Part 3

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:36:26 -0700

Andrew Crow is a senior experience designer, trainer, and speaker at Adaptive Path. He has a passion for developing innovative design solutions for customers' needs.Initially a print and web designer, Andrew moved into information architecture and interaction design to promote holistic user experiences to corporate clients. Andrew has over 12 years of design, technical, and strategic experience in the technology industry.

Before joining Adaptive Path, Andrew managed the web and user experience team at Princess Cruises where he led the development of an entirely new online booking system, e-ticket solution, and online branding and marketing initiatives. Prior to that, he worked with element18 and Interfocus Advertising in Los Angeles.

Continually obsessed with the latest technologies in the mobile and gaming space, Andrew advises on the design of Palm, Windows Mobile and iPhone applications, social networking, and collaboration software. He is an advocate of ubiquitous computing, and approaches projects with a desire to ensure that the experience of the device fits into the overall product strategy.

Past clients and employers include Ameriprise,, Cunard Line, ICTV, ILIO Entertainment, Millimeter Magazine, Princess Cruises, and Second Life.

Andrew is a member of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and the Information Architecture Institute (IAI).

We spoke to Andrew in San Francisco at the Adaptive Path Conference in April 2008.

Visit Andrew's Personal Site:


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Andrew Crow Interviewed by Viewzi - Part 2Andrew Crow - Adaptive Path Part 2

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:36:06 -0700

Andrew Crow is a senior experience designer, trainer, and speaker at Adaptive Path. He has a passion for developing innovative design solutions for customers' needs.Initially a print and web designer, Andrew moved into information architecture and interaction design to promote holistic user experiences to corporate clients. Andrew has over 12 years of design, technical, and strategic experience in the technology industry.

Before joining Adaptive Path, Andrew managed the web and user experience team at Princess Cruises where he led the development of an entirely new online booking system, e-ticket solution, and online branding and marketing initiatives. Prior to that, he worked with element18 and Interfocus Advertising in Los Angeles.

Continually obsessed with the latest technologies in the mobile and gaming space, Andrew advises on the design of Palm, Windows Mobile and iPhone applications, social networking, and collaboration software. He is an advocate of ubiquitous computing, and approaches projects with a desire to ensure that the experience of the device fits into the overall product strategy.

Past clients and employers include Ameriprise,, Cunard Line, ICTV, ILIO Entertainment, Millimeter Magazine, Princess Cruises, and Second Life.

Andrew is a member of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and the Information Architecture Institute (IAI).

We spoke to Andrew in San Francisco at the Adaptive Path Conference in April 2008.

Visit Andrew's Personal Site:


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Andrew Crow Interviewed by Viewzi - Part 1Andrew Crow - Adaptive Path Part 1

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 14:32:50 -0700

Andrew Crow is a senior experience designer, trainer, and speaker at Adaptive Path. He has a passion for developing innovative design solutions for customers' needs.

Initially a print and web designer, Andrew moved into information architecture and interaction design to promote holistic user experiences to corporate clients. Andrew has over 12 years of design, technical, and strategic experience in the technology industry.

Before joining Adaptive Path, Andrew managed the web and user experience team at Princess Cruises where he led the development of an entirely new online booking system, e-ticket solution, and online branding and marketing initiatives. Prior to that, he worked with element18 and Interfocus Advertising in Los Angeles.

Continually obsessed with the latest technologies in the mobile and gaming space, Andrew advises on the design of Palm, Windows Mobile and iPhone applications, social networking, and collaboration software. He is an advocate of ubiquitous computing, and approaches projects with a desire to ensure that the experience of the device fits into the overall product strategy.

Past clients and employers include Ameriprise,, Cunard Line, ICTV, ILIO Entertainment, Millimeter Magazine, Princess Cruises, and Second Life.

Andrew is a member of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), Interaction Design Association (IxDA), and the Information Architecture Institute (IAI).

We spoke to Andrew in San Francisco at the Adaptive Path Conference in April 2008.

Visit Andrew's Personal Site:


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Interview with Kate Rutter on Evaluating your Web Site

Mon, 14 Jul 2008 16:49:23 -0700

A website costs money. It's your job, as a web professional, to make sure your website is written and designed well, that visitors can use it easily, that it's accurate, and that it's contributing to the achievement of your company's mission.(image)

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Brandon Interviews Scott Hirsch About Bridging Design and Business Strategy

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:43:30 -0700

Brandon Schauer chats with Scott Hirsch, founding principal at Management Innovation Group, a strategy consulting firm that works with clients to understand where to play and how to win in world of rapid (and often disruptive) change in markets, technologies, and business models.(image)

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Peter in Conversation with Don Norman About UX & Innovation

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:43:23 -0700

Peter Merholz chats with Don Norman, author and co-author of fourteen books, including the seminal The Design of Everyday Things, and his recently released The Design of Future Things, about what he thinks about user experience design today and what companies need to do to innovate.(image)

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Peter Talks Shop with Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:43:57 -0700

Peter Merholz talks with Scott Griffith about the balance of user experience and business concerns in the design of Zipcar's unique customer experience.(image)

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Peter Interviews Hotel CEO Chip Conley

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:45:14 -0700

Peter Merholz and Chip Conley talk about recession planning, service design, systematizing experience design (Joie de Vivre Hotels uses a tool called "experience report cards"), team dynamics, succession planning, and all manner of things.(image)

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Jesse Interviews Wells Fargo VP Secil Watson

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:40:54 -0700

Jesse James Garrett and Secil Watson talk about managing customer experiences through Wells Fargo's web sites and its phone and electronic servicing channels.(image)

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Peter Interviews Virgin USA's Julie Peters

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:41:30 -0700

Peter Merholz and Julie Peters talk about launching new Virgin brands in North America.(image)

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Developing a Mission Statement

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:40:48 -0700

Henning addresses the question "Should small businesses have mission statements too" and talks about the value of the "Elevator Pitch" technique.(image)

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SpoolCast: Product Evolution with Adaptive Path's Peter Merholz

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:39:04 -0700

Peter and Jared Spool discuss how the best products never offer their users an incomplete feeling experience.(image)

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10 Tips for Managing a Creative Environment, SXSW

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:39:23 -0700

Bryan and Sarah introduce you to 10 techniques used by creative management professionals to get great work from a wide range of employees.(image)

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The Long Wow, IA Summit 2008

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:37:42 -0700

Brandon lays out an experience centric approach to fostering and creating loyalty by systematically impressing your customers again and again(image)

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How to be a User Experience Team of One, IA Summit 2008

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:35:23 -0700

Leah teaches techniques that any individual can use to generate and refine ideas, outlining flexible, simple activities that can be used quickly, wherever they're needed(image)

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Presence, identity, and attention in social web architecture, IA Summit 2008

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:35:30 -0700

In this discussion about presence, identity, and attention in social web architecture the panel talks about core IA related issues.(image)

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It's the Experience That Counts, Business Week

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:32:30 -0700

Peter discusses how focusing on consumers' experience of new products and services through rapid prototyping and other means can inform and shape design(image)

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Avoiding Ready-Fire-Aim UX Design, Pixel8 Podcast

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:31:47 -0700

Dan and Kim share their experiences in how to think through the UX design process and the many tools to help guide their thinking like research-based design and injecting users directly into designs.(image)

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"Subject to Change" Authors on Product Development

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:31:18 -0700

Brandon Schauer, David Verba and Peter Merholz provide insights about how prosperous businesses can — and should — use customer experiences to inform and shape the product development process, from start to finish.(image)

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The End of Products, Emergence 2007

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 19:30:35 -0700

Todd shares his thoughts on the emerging field of service design and its implications for product design.(image)

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Multi-media Web Content, .net magazine

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 17:23:08 -0700

Peter participates in a panel with Andy Budd of ClearLeft and Hammad Khan (persona creative) to discuss the creation of a positive user experience and the importance of user experience design.(image)

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The Coming Age of Magic, ETech Conference 2007

Wed, 02 Jul 2008 17:23:21 -0700

Mike discusses how information processing is integrated into everyday objects, and the 'desktop' metaphor is obsolete. This post-desktop model of computing is known as ubiquitous computing.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Discussion Panel: Skills for Current and Future User Experience Practitioners

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 17:01:33 -0700

Changing working environments, complex business requirements, projects, and technologies are placing new demands on user experience designers. The site architectures, content inventories, wireframes, personas, and creative briefs that once formed the keystone of our user experience toolkit, only represent a portion of our responsibilities now.

This panel will continue the skills discussion introduced by Liz Sanders in her participatory design workshop. We will examine the skills, methods, ideas, and approaches required for future user experience practitioners. Panelists will share their experience and discuss current and future challenges in building user experience groups and preparing future practitioners for success.

Panel Members

* Liz Sanders
* Peter Merholz
* Andrew Hinton
* Kevin Brooks

About Sarah B. Nelson

Sarah B. Nelson is a design strategist for Adaptive Path. She has ten years of experience in interactive media, designing kiosks, mobile and online experiences for clients in a variety of industries. Sarah has a particular passion for practice development, conducting research into methods for improving collaboration, supporting creativity, and encouraging innovation.

Sarah brings a unique blend of creative vision and technical expertise to her work. Her research-focused approach to interaction design has produced successful results for clients such as the Federal Home Loan Bank, Home Street Bank, AOL Mobile, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Royal Victorian and Albert Museum.

Before joining Adaptive Path, Sarah managed the creative team and developed the user experience practice at POP, an interactive design firm in Seattle, Washington. A classically trained violinist, Sarah graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy and received a B.A from Oberlin College in visual arts and electronic music. While completing her Masters at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Sarah focused her studies on the definition and design of complex multi-modal systems supporting collaboration and communication.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Parallels in Cooking and Design

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 16:38:25 -0700

For those who manage creative organizations, the professional kitchen can provide inspiration for how to balance important principles like consistency, creative freedom and effective problem solving, all under stressful conditions. Ryan Freitas discusses these and other parallels between the worlds of the cook and the designer. Read more about Ryan’s recent article on this subject.
About Ryan Freitas

Ryan is a senior interaction designer for Adaptive Path, where he has worked with clients including Oracle, Flickr, Six Apart, BitTorrent, Socialtext and Sphere. With over ten years in the field, Ryan is an experienced and opinionated advocate for user-centered design, as well as an occasional writer, speaker and design award judge.

After graduating with a specialization in Human Computer Interaction at UC San Diego’s School of Cognitive Science, Ryan began his career designing and coding application interfaces for the semiconductor manufacturing industry. After transitioning to a role as a senior information architect at Sapient, he refined concepts and designed web applications and platforms for clients such as Janus and Nissan. In 2000 he moved to Tokyo, where he trained Sapient’s local creative team in interaction design practices.

After returning to San Francisco in 2001, Ryan freelanced as an interaction design consultant and worked with Williams’ Sonoma and the Home Depot on their retail website and kiosk designs. He joined Adaptive Path in the spring of 2005, where he now leads product strategy and design engagements. Recently, Ryan has assumed responsibility for Adaptive Path’s New Ventures program, working with startups to bring engaging and innovative offerings to market.

As a writer and conference speaker, Ryan has focused on collaboration tools, online media platforms, and community building.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Mobile Research Techniques

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 16:25:07 -0700

People love their mobile phones and they love the Internet. Based on user affinity for each, accessing Internet content on a mobile device should be a beloved and integral part of people’s lives.

However, despite development and investment by carriers, handset manufacturers, and content providers, mobile web usage has not enjoyed the success that was predicted and hoped for. While many speculate the release of the iPhone will create a tipping point for internet access via a mobile device, the future of how people want to interact with internet content on the mobile phone is still relatively nascent and undefined — and rich with opportunity.

In this session, you will:

* Receive an overview of the current mobile web landscape
* Discover research insights from mobile web field research
* Learn mobile user experience design principles

About Rachel Hinman

Rachel Hinman is a design strategist for Adaptive Path. Her focus is on developing insights about people and using those insights to create valuable user experiences that support business goals.

Rachel’s passion for people, design and business has been the driving force of her 10-year career in user experience design. Before receiving a Masters Degree in Design Planning from at the Institute of Design in Chicago, Rachel spent the first seven years of her career working as an interaction designer and user experience lead.

Prior to joining Adaptive Path, she worked within Yahoo’s mobile group, employing user-centered methods to inform the design and strategy of Yahoo’s mobile products. Her clients and previous employers have included IDEO, Microsoft, Yahoo, General Motors, Clorox, and Kaiser Permanente.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Participate to Innovate

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 16:12:13 -0700

Designing for a desired user experience requires an actionable understanding of the emotions associated with that desired experience. This requires user experience research. While user experience research typically focuses on analyzing “clicks” and usability, the emotional aspects of how it feels to use a website or how people wish an experience felt have great potential to inspire design teams and align entire companies. An understanding of the dreamlike experience and the interactive components that can make the dream a reality is an invaluable resource for creating meaningful websites. Everyone is always asking, “How can we connect with our user?” Well, connections are usually emotional experiences. If you can answer the question “what is the desired user experience,” then all functions within an organization can begin to work together with common goals and inspiration. Bringing the desired user experience into reality, however, requires that all functions in an organization agree upon the desired experience. In this presentation you will be introduced to a simple participatory design research approach that will not only uncover the desired user experience (aka the “connection”), it is also supported by quantitative and qualitative data. When all functions within an organization participate in the process, they “buy into” the approach and goals of the user. In this session, you will: * Learn a participatory design technique that uncovers the desired user experience * Understand how this technique can map interactive design components to emotional experiences * Realize the importance of involving all functions within an organization to participate in the research process * See how to effectively communicate this research to the organization in order to achieve “buy in” About Marty Gage For two decades, Marty has pioneered participatory design techniques that liberate the unspoken desires of user populations. Marty’s body of work crosses industrial and consumer product categories, encompassing subject matter as diverse as weapons systems and baby diapers; using multi-sensory toolkits and state-of-the-art ethnography, he has provided creative fuel for a collection of international design firms, engineering companies and corporate design teams. Marty currently heads the Design Research Practice group at lextant, a user-experience consultancy. Before lextant, Marty ran his own research firms: Rocket Surgery, which he founded in 2002; and SonicRim, co-founded in 1999. Before that, he spent ten years at Fitch, Inc., which he helped to establish as a leader in design research. Marty has won numerous design awards and has published widely on the topic of design research, including a chapter on participatory design research methods in the book, Human Factors Testing and Evaluation Methods. He has served on the jury for the Business Week-sponsored Industrial Design Excellence Award[...]

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UX Week 2007 | Designing With Your Users: Generative Tools for Collective Creativity

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 15:49:31 -0700

There has been significant interest lately from the business community in the value of design research and design thinking. This is particularly true when it comes to the very early front-end of the design process.

Generative Tools help create a shared design language that designers, researchers and other stakeholders can use to visually communicate with each other. The design language is Generative in the sense that with it, people can express an infinite number of ideas (e.g., dreams, fears, insights, opportunities) through a limited set of stimulus items.

In this session, you will:

* Obtain a map of the design research landscape as it has emerged over the last 20 years.
* Discover the newest developments in the research industry, with an emphasis on generative design research, characterized by design-led research from a participatory mindset.
* Discover the many ways in which Generative Tools can be used to inform and improve the design process.

About Liz Sanders

Liz is the President of MakeTools, a design research company that focuses on collective creativity. Liz is a pioneer in the use of participatory research methods in design, and her numerous design awards, patents, publications, presentations, along with her proven track record in the marketplace have established her as a global leader in the field of design research. She sees the emergence of a human-centered design revolution growing out of the current state of technology-driven innovation, and she frequently speaks about and teaches human-centered research and design to clients, colleagues and students around the world.

Liz was educated as a social scientist with undergraduate degrees in psychology and anthropology, followed by a PhD in Experimental and Quantitative Psychology. Previous client relationships include 3M, AT&T, Apple, Baxter, Becton Dickinson, Coca Cola, Compaq, IBM, Intel, Iomega, Johnson Controls, Kodak, Microsoft, Motorola, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Siemens Medical Systems, Steelcase, Texas Instruments, Thermos, Thomson
Consumer Electronics, Toro and Xerox. For an overview of Liz’s ideas about design, research methodology and more, visit MakeTools.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | The Problem Solving Power of Stickies: Simple Tools that Deliver Great Results

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 15:34:40 -0700

Learn the true power of the sticky note — yes, stickies! — to quickly and effectively organize data, visualize themes, and identify patterns.. We’ll start with an overview of how Adaptive Path uses sticky notes (aka: Post-Its) in user experience projects. Then, we’ll jump into a set of hands-on activities to test your stickies aptitude and gain experience in multiple methods.

You’ll learn methods for rapidly visualizing and organizing data into clusters using sticky notes and how these simple, elegant, and versatile tools can help you untangle problems, set priorities, understand complex work flows, and gather feedback from others.

You’ll leave with a greater appreciation for the sticky note, a killer vocabulary for how to creatively use stickies, and an enhanced ability to sort, track, and organize information. You’ll be amazed what you can do with these simple little tools.
About Kate Rutter

Kate Rutter is a Senior Practitioner for Adaptive Path. During her ten plus years in the Web industry, she’s honed her talent for bringing companies and customers closer together through smart strategies and inventive design. She actively embraces the term “specialized generalist.”(image)

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UX Week 2007 | The Psychology of Social Design

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:57:39 -0700

With the rise of YouTube, Craigslist and MySpace, there is a clear trend toward social design, or designing for the social lives of users. What isn’t so clear is how to design for different social situations that may not have appeared on the web before.

To help you attack this problem, we’ll look not only at current good and poor examples of social design, but also mine social psychology to get a larger view of how to design for the social lives of users. After all, humans are social animals. Software should be social, too.

In this session, you will:

* Learn the advantages of investing in social features.
* Discover how to expand current user-research strategies and apply social psychology to enhance the social design aspects of your next project.
* Explore new ways to get people to participate in your social-design-enhanced application.

About Josh Porter

Joshua is a leading member of UIE’s research team and has written extensively on such topics as Web 2.0, Ajax, web standards, and on-site search systems. Josh shares many of his design thoughts and commentaries on his personal blog:

Josh is responsible for overseeing the development of the User Interface Engineering’s web sites, managing UIE’s top notch team of web developers.

Josh received his Master’s degree in Information Technology and his Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He brings with him extensive experience and knowledge in the areas of human factors, usability testing, and web site design and development.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Smoothing the Way: The Designer as Facilitator

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:54:44 -0700

Even the best design teams, methods, architecture and tools are no match for a project beset with political infighting, divided priorities or unfocused goals. To truly make an impact, product teams need to have business buy-in and a shared understanding of the project’s direction. Often, it’s up to designers to smooth the way and facilitate this consensus.

By greasing the tracks in the early stages of a project, designers can gain the much-needed support of business stakeholders, avoid wasted effort, increase their influence (within their teams and the company at large), and make a more meaningful difference with their work. The key is to bridge competing viewpoints, develop a common vision and break through project roadblocks. And it all starts with the right combination of tools and techniques.

In this session, you will:

* Discover how to bridge competing viewpoints, develop a common vision and eliminate roadblocks on your next project.
* Explore the ways in which your existing design skill-sets can be expanded to improve communication within your team and throughout you company.
* Learn facilitation techniques to help engage business stakeholders and manage the conflicting priorities and lack of direction that so often derail a project.

About Jess McMullin

Since 1997, Jess has focused his career on understanding and developing positive user experiences for his clients and their customers. Drawing on sources ranging from social sciences and behavioral research to gaming, market analysis and future trends, Jess generates client insights that drive innovation and create better customer experiences.

Jess often speaks at conferences focusing on user experience, design thinking and innovation, topics he also writes about on a regular basis. His ideas have been featured in several user-experience books, including Lou Rosenfeld and Peter Morville’s Information Architecture for the World Wide Web, 2nd Ed. and Jesse James Garrett’s The Elements of User Experience.

In 2003, Jess founded nForm User Experience, a boutique consultancy that counts Comcast, and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute as clients. Jess also organizes CanUX, the annual Canadian User Experience Workshop in Banff, Alberta, and he is the cofounder of the international Information Architecture Institute.

For Jess’s latest thoughts on business, design and innovation, visit his blog, bplusd (business + design).(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Collaborating with Customers: Leveraging Design and Research Methods for Customer Success

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:52:05 -0700

Millions of people from around the world come to eBay every day, and the eBay user experience design group applies a range of design and research methodologies to understand and address the perceptions and needs of its widely varied customer base.

Jeff Herman and Ann Bishop will co-lead this session, sharing some of their methods for collaborating with eBay’s customers and exploring the ways in which they use customer insights to inform specific design solutions.

In this session, you will gain a better understanding of how to:

* Engage customers throughout the design process.
* Apply new methods to address a wide range of customer goals and needs.
* Seamlessly blend design and customer research to contribute to your success.

About Jeff Herman

Jeff leads eBay’s UI and Visual Design group, which is responsible for the design of eBay’s sites around the world. He has over 20 years of experience as a designer at Apple, Yahoo! and the MIT Media Lab, and he has been a guest speaker at CHI, BayCHI and various university design programs.

Jeff holds a master’s degree in Media Arts and Sciences from the MIT Media Lab and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, and he has received 10 patents. He is also on the Advisory Board of an early-stage Silicon Valley startup.
About Ann Bishop

Ann manages the Content Strategy practice at eBay, which is responsible for the strategic direction and execution of eBay’s interface content globally. As one of the first user experience architects at eBay, Ann continues to bring a holistic design approach to her work, and she is leading efforts to define content strategy as a design practice rooted in human-centered design methodology, including user research, concept development and execution.

Ann has over 15 years experience designing interactive content for companies such as Microsoft, Travelocity and Yahoo!. She holds a BA in English from the University of California, Berkeley.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Pattern-Based Design Communication Techniques

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:48:19 -0700

Interactive behaviors are plastic, flexible things, always subtly shifting in response to the actions of the user. As such, they can be hard to pin down on the printed page. Demos can help express the vision of the design, but the nitty-gritty details must be committed to paper if the design is to survive the development rollercoaster. The challenge is to create a document that remains useful as requirements are added and timelines shift, a document so all-inclusive, it remains relevant even after new problems arise, elevating it to a level truly worthy of an axiom dear to developers’ hearts: “RTFM.”

At Cooper, a pattern language is used to structure documents and describe interactive behaviors. Patterns help designers express the design itself, break down the structure of the document into core elements (e.g., the table of contents, section headings, etc.) and lay out the page. Using Cooper projects as an example — including the company’s team structure, methodology and project scoping — along with an actual case study, this session will explore the many ways and means of documenting the wily interactive behavior.

In this session, you will:

* Get an overview of Cooper methodology, including team structure and project scoping.
* Discover methods of documenting interactive behaviors.
* Explore the use of pattern language as a tool for structuring a document and describing interactive behaviors.

About Doug LeMoine

Doug is the director of design communication at Cooper, an interaction design consultancy based in San Francisco. Since joining Cooper in early 2000, Doug has tackled design problems in neurosurgical planning, financial portfolio analysis, database marketing, telecommunication network construction and computer-assisted surgery.

Before making the move to Cooper, Doug coordinated inner-city literacy and job-skill programs, developed exhibits at a science museum, and taught city kids about where food comes from on a fully operating educational farm. For more information about Doug and his work, visit

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UX Week 2007 | New Sources of Inspiration for Interaction Design

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:45:28 -0700

Too often in the field of interaction design, designers only look at other digital products for inspiration. But this narrow stance soon leaves designers devoid of any fresh ideas. If we were to look at the physical world around us, there are sources of inspiration that interaction designers have barely tapped. We should examine mechanical objects and observe their workings. We should look to nature, with its variety of forms and its intricate ecologies. And we should incorporate lessons from other applied arts such as architecture and film into our designs, drawing from their rich histories and products. Let’s turn our eyes to the vast and varied world we inhabit and discover what we can use.
About Dan Saffer

Dan Saffer is a senior interaction designer for Adaptive Path. Dan has developed successful designs for transactional and e-commerce sites, as well as for applications and devices. He’s worked with a wide variety of organizations, from startups to Fortune 100 companies.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | International Spy Museum: Orchestrating the User Experience

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:42:31 -0700

In recent years, museums around the world have been redefining interactive experiences. Museum interactives are environmental and experiential – offering visitors opportunities to experience history, technology, culture and science in custom-designed, dedicated spaces that include artifacts, lighting, audiovisual elements, electro-mechanical technologies, graphics and scenic treatments. The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC has earned industry-wide acclaim for its interactive visitor experiences.

This session, presented by the Museum’s lead exhibition designer and lead interactive developer, will explore both the overall exhibition design process and the development of specific interactives created for the Museum.

In this session, you will:

* Gain an understanding of museum exhibition design approaches
* Learn about the process of determining what content is best conveyed through interactive exhibits
* Look at interactive experiences from a different perspective
* Explore the intersection of education and entertainment
* Hear anecdotes describing how brainstormed ideas evolved into successful interactive visitor experiences

About the International Spy Museum

Learn about the authentic tradecraft that has been used throughout time and around the world. Hear spies, in their own words, describe the challenges and the “game” of spying.

A spy must live a life of lies. Adopt a cover identity and learn why an operative needs one. See the credentials an agent must have to get in-or out, as in the case of six Americans exfiltrated from revolutionary Iran in 1979, courtesy of the Canadian Ambassador-and the CIA. Proceed directly to the Briefing Film where you’ll come face to face with the real world of spying.

Examine over 200 spy gadgets, weapons, bugs, cameras, vehicles, and technologies. Learn about microdots and invisible ink, buttonhole cameras and submarine recording systems, bugs of all sizes and kinds, and ingenious disguise techniques developed by Hollywood for the CIA. Uncover the stories behind the spycraft, why and how these artifacts were developed, and by which side. Survey over 50 years of spy technology, developed by agencies from the OSS to the KGB, and still in use today.

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UX Week 2007 | Search: The Purest Expression of Interaction Design

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 13:37:52 -0700

Search on the web is ubiquitous. Everyone knows and uses Google. Most websites include a way to search the content within their pages and web users are often classified as either searchers or browsers. For many companies, search is considered a solved problem—you get an engine, point it at your content, add an entry box to your global navigation and you are done. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

As experience designers, we have an obligation to understand how search works so we can craft an experience that enhances the lives of our users. For too long we have lived at the mercy of vendors and IT departments and their directives of how search should work. We need to understand what goes on under the search covers so we can put the focus back where it belongs—on the person using the tool, not the tool itself.
About Chiara Fox

Chiara Fox is a senior information architect for Adaptive Path. Chiara has developed successful information architectures for intranets, informational websites, and e-commerce sites. She’s worked with Fortune 100 and 500 companies such as PeopleSoft, AT&T, Square D, L.L. Bean, and Hewlett-Packard.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | The National Building Museum: From the Inside Out

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 17:13:20 -0800

Many museums present exhibitions about architecture and design. In doing so, they typically treat buildings and other designed objects much as they do paintings, drawings, or sculptures — as individual creative works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or craftsmanship.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Learning from Adaptive Path’s Mistakes

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 17:09:23 -0800

Every now and again, a project just jumps the rails — all the best intentions and planning just don’t stack up to the unanticipated challenges. After the dust settles, all we can do is learn from our mistakes and move on.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Semantic Technologies

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 17:05:05 -0800

Apart from information discovery and aggregation, not much has been written about how semantic technology can be leveraged to improve user experience as a whole. This is unfortunate for a technology where the “semantic” is often overshadowed by the “web.”(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Visual Vocabulary for Rich Internet Applications

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 17:01:52 -0800

Flow diagrams are a key component of an interaction design specification. Jesse James Garrett’s Visual Vocabulary uses a set of simple shapes to diagram user flow and illustrate basic relationships between webpages.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Making Research Effective

Tue, 09 Oct 2007 09:52:20 -0700

Creating engaging and enjoyable user experiences requires a solid understanding of the people your product or service is meant to serve. Unfortunately, many companies don’t really understand their customers — even companies with large research groups. But understanding people takes more than simply hiring researchers armed with PhDs and the latest methodologies. […](image)

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UX Week 2007 | Relaunch Case Study

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:51:15 -0800 recently unveiled the latest evolution in online news: an intuitive, integrated Web site that gives users the global, national, and local news they find most relevant to them. The goal of this undertaking was to enhance and simplify online news for consumers to allow them to interact with news in more ways than ever before.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Inclusive Iterations: How a Design Team Builds Shared Insights

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:48:38 -0800

This session will focus on the ways in which human-centered researchers team with colleagues across disciplines to transform a mass of data -- field observations, contextual interviews, secondary research and anecdotal stories -- into actionable design principles.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Documentation: Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:45:43 -0800

Every document created by web designers contains many layers of information. Too few layers, and the ideas within lose context and meaning. Too many, and the important ideas become obscured. Choosing the right ideas to include can make or break a document, or even the entire project.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Stone Soup: Stories and Storytelling for Collaboration

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:41:32 -0800

We listen to stories for enlightenment and tell stories for education and entertainment. Everyday people are convinced, impressed, enlightened, discouraged, encouraged and swayed by the stories others tell in the workplace. In business time may be money, but the power of a good story, well told at the right time, has changed the course of individual careers, corporations and entire industries.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | How to Manage a User Experience Team (Without Losing Your Mind)

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:36:25 -0800

Most of us who practice user experience design are generalists. We need to know enough about technology to work with engineers. We need to know enough about visual design to work with designers.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | The Conversation Gets Interesting: Creating the Adaptive Interface

Thu, 29 Nov 2007 12:42:03 -0800

As the technology for supporting more personalized experiences becomes available, we’re entering a new era of “adaptive interfaces,” where functionality is revealed over time and interface elements change based on individual usage. We can create interfaces that respond, suggest or change based on actual usage data.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Capturing the Whole User Experience

Mon, 10 Sep 2007 22:13:01 -0700

Businesses that pay attention to the entire spectrum of customer interaction, and actually get it right (at least most of the time), win their customers’ attention and loyalty. And the key to creating a business that addresses the entire spectrum of user experience is to build empathy with your customers.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Sketching in Code: Using Prototypes to Visualize Interactions

Mon, 10 Sep 2007 22:08:52 -0700

As Ajax, RIA’s and Agile methods become ever more common, we increasingly hear about the value of prototypes for design and development. Unfortunately, choosing the right prototype can be an exercise in uncertainty. To get a better handle on the prototype process, we will survey several different types of prototypes, with special focus on the appropriate […](image)

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UX Week 2007 | Mobile Usability Testing

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 16:03:16 -0700

User and usability testing of mobile applications requires an understanding of when to use devices, emulators, laboratories and field testing. This session targets user-experience professionals, teaching them how to expand and adjust their current testing procedures to address mobile applications and websites.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Going Mobile: How to Choose Target Platforms and Devices?

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 15:58:39 -0700

There are dozens of development platforms in the mobile sphere. And 1,700 different devices on the market, each with its own rendering idiosyncrasies. Of course you also have to contend with carrier influence and distribution.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Communicating Ideas Throughout an Organization

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 15:54:16 -0700

Creative Project Leads and Team Managers face numerous challenges in a corporate environment. Often their working styles or problem-solving skills differ from the methods used in other departments, creating communication and collaboration issues.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | Learning Interaction Design From Everyday Objects

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 15:53:25 -0700

Like every other design discipline, an important component of self-education is learning to critically examine what others have produced. And when it comes to interaction design, there are plenty of good and bad examples to guide us.(image)

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UX Week 2007 | UX Design as Communities of Practice

Wed, 05 Sep 2007 15:53:33 -0700

The cluster of practices and professions we’ve come to think of as supporting User-Experience Design is still a new, strange territory for many of us. How does a person’s discipline define that person’s work? What skills, methods and tools should be the purview of a given role? It turns out that these are age-old issues […](image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Experience Strategies

Fri, 27 Jun 2008 15:59:10 -0700

Understanding the psychology behind how users relate to a product is the key to its lasting success. Users tend to anthropomorphize, or ascribe human personality traits to products they use. Products with long-term success have developers who recognize the identity and personality of the product they want to convey. They create integrity with the product and how their users will interact with it.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Creating Customer Loyalty

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:57:58 -0800

Lou Carbone, author and CEO of Experience Engineering, Inc. will change the way you think about customer experience forever. His message to business leaders and professionals is simple: Create customers that come back and customers that tell others, by connecting emotionally with them through the experiences you deliver.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Managing Schizophrenic Projects

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:55:14 -0800

Today there is an increasing need for companies to deal with "schizophrenic" challenges in creating compelling and profitable user experiences: a long-term vision and roadmap must be developed in parallel with defining near term offerings and tactical development decisions. This leads to tensions and organizational obstacles that need to be managed effectively.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | The History of Flickr

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:53:32 -0800

Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and current member of the Yahoo's Technology Development Group, explains the humble beginnings of one of the earliest and most successful Web 2.0 applications, Flickr. Flickr actually began as a feature in Ludicorp's Game Neverending, a massive multiplayer online roleplaying game that was focused on social interaction rather than the more typical battle-style MMORPG. Ludicorp (from the latin word for "play") was a small game development company in Vancouver started in 2002 by Fake and her partner Stewart Butterfield. Though the community that grew around the game was very dedicated, Ludicorp couldn't make it profitable.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Elevating User Experience

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:52:03 -0800

Irene Au discusses her previous experience at fast moving companies Netscape and Yahoo!, and how that experience will influence her latest challenge. As the new Director of User Experience at Google, she will be confronted with an organization that is clearly defined by its engineering culture. A shift in priority empahsized hiring for the UI role in 2006. But this does not automatically mean a shift away from Google’s strict engineering orthodoxy. Getting the strategic decision makers in a non-design drive culture to consider user experience and UI design as part of their process will not be an easy task.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Innovation Through Design Thinking

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:50:35 -0800

Where is design thinking taking us? The role of design is evolving within organizations, from simply optimizing what exists to being a source of new growth. The change is thrusting designers into new roles and domains, including the design of services and the transformation of organizations.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | Useful, Usable and Desirable

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 13:45:35 -0800

Whirlpool Corporation is a global manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances. Sara Ulius-Sabel, Metrics Manager for the company, presents a glimpse into Whirlpool's product development process through the lens of designing "Useful, Usable, and Desirable" products.(image)

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MX Conference 2007 | The Transformative Power of Research

Tue, 05 Feb 2008 11:59:57 -0800

What does it take to create great design experiences? User-Centered Design is built on the principle that focusing on people will lead to better design. In attempting to understand consumers, companies tend to overlook the messy complexities of life, resulting in incomplete ideas about their customers' behavior. Empathy and insight are needed to fundamentally change generative research and design.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | Thinking Creatively

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:58:49 -0800

Kathan Brown, author of the book "Magical Secrets About Thinking Creatively: The Art of Etching and the Truth of Life," discusses how her art publishing group Crown Point Press is helping bring artists together and redefine the communication of their ideas. In a conversation with Janice Fraser, at the Adaptive Path User Experience Week, Brown tells her story of art and working with artists.

Fraser, who is CEO and founding partner of Adaptive Path, discusses with Brown that in today's busy world there is little time for examining what leadership is - from a user experience point of view - in the art world. An answer to some of those concerns is the work by Brown, who recounts her experiences with artists, how they approach art as a magical, almost miraculous process.

Cooperation is a primary concern at Crown Point Press, where cooperation between artists is critical. Collaboration between artists and printers is another challenge when trying to present art in the best possible way. By recounting experiences with artists and broad movements in the art world, Brown explains the magic behind creating art and what place the arts has taken in today's world.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | Failure: Learning From Your Mistakes (and Ours)

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:57:15 -0800

Many Adaptive Path projects have been successes, such as the recent acquisition of Measure Map by Google. But in each successful career happened mistakes that led to an understanding how not to be successful. Leading heads of Adaptive Path give examples how projects went wrong because of their personal mistakes. But, best of all, you also get to hear what they learned from that failure. You can understand by example what they understood by painful failure.

One of the biggest mistakes, already addressed by the existence of this panel, is not allowing people to communicate failure. Where failure is non-existent, less questions are asked. Some failures might even be inevitable, such as bold goals in an early stage of the project. They might never be reached in time, but they help you to get started.

Communication can be a source of mistakes in software projects. There is always the danger of not listening to critics or warnings. But, maybe even worse, you might be listening to the wrong people. Or you might be talking to the wrong people. The panel encourages to cultivate criticism, communicate in the open and identify the true stakeholders before too much work and money has been spent. Furthermore, they arrive at statements some might find too bold for everyday business, but could pay off in the long term: Do not take over every project. Instead, develop guidelines other than earning money that help you decide. You can also try to consider the emotional attachments some stakeholders might have to the status quo.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | Understanding Your Content

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:55:33 -0800

What are content audits and content maps, and why should they matter to companies who publish information on the Web? Chiara Fox, a senior information architect for Adaptive Path, defines the art of Content Analysis in the scope of web application design and migration. She identifies several milestones and key deliverables that most companies can use on their next (re)design project.

Content analysis is a core component of the information architect's toolkit. Content analysis is the examination of the content and features that make up a website. Through a content audit, or sampling of representative pieces of content, an information architect can understand the relationships, interdependencies and patterns that exist within the current content on the site. This process also allows the information architect to understand requirements and constraints inherent in the content. Content genres, or types, can be identified and used to create a content map of the site and site templates. The content map provides the basic building blocks for gap analysis, which maps user tasks with the content genres.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | Good Design

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:54:28 -0800

When his company, Adaptive Path, was engaged by a financial services firm to redesign their website that let customers perform retail banking transactions, Peter Merholz, Director of Practice Development, went into the homes of users asking them questions about their usage of the existing website, the kinds of reports they recieved, how they used their computer etc.

Designers, according to Merholz, must broaden their peripheral vision to other domains outside their own. A website designer, by habit thinks like a website designer. The task of designing a print document would be quite new and challenging for such a person. However, if designers thought beyond their domains, they would get a better grip on the nuances of design in general and deliver a richer experience to users.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | What is Interaction Design?

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:44:57 -0800

If you ask Dan's parents what they think their son does for a living, they might say he's in advertising or that he's a computer programmer. Pressed further, they develop somewhat of a blank staring response when asked what their son does as an Interaction Designer. With that type of response in mind, both from his parents and from many people outside of the Interaction Design community, Dan Saffer presents a definition of his trade.

From the highest level, Interaction Design is all about communication. Dan's presentation starts from there and further breaks the communication into three layers. The first layer takes the perspective of the technology itself; what is it, how does it work, and what problems can it solve. The second layer focuses on behavior; what happens when a user pushes this button, and what behaviors will the user exhibit as a result. The third layer is all about people and how they will use a technology to interact with one another.

Dan takes time to define exactly what an interaction is. He identifies some of the attributes of an interaction that designers measure while they create products and services around the interaction. He discusses some of the history of Interaction Design, and some of the people involved in the discipline early on. Lastly, Dan takes a moment to map out the many disciplines that make up the User Experience universe and identifies where, he thinks, Interaction Design fits into this large community.(image)

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UX Week 2006 | Facilitating Collaboration

Fri, 22 Feb 2008 15:43:08 -0800

Web technologies in various stages of adoption are having tremendous impact on the way we all communicate and collaborate online. Ryan Freitas of Adaptive Path provides an overview of how online collaboration has evolved in the presence of wikis, syndication and blogs. He also looks at the impact on how teams work together to use these tools internally, and how they can be utilized to communicate effectively with audiences worldwide. In addition, Freitas surveys the horizon for the next generation of collaboration technologies, and attempts to auger what they might mean for all of us.

One of the major issues is how best to evaluate collaboration tools. Freitas reviews some useful methods, including whether the tool works appropriately and how easily it can be used immediately. he believes that collaboration is about fostering ideas so that you can get to a point of coordination.(image)

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