Home > Events > Usability & User Experience 2009
26 May, 2009

Join us:

The 8th Annual Usability & User Experience conference took place at Bentley University on Tuesday, May 26, 2009.

Presentation Abstracts and Biographies

Building Robust Personas in 30 Days or Less

Presenter: Jared Spool

Summary: When design teams take advantage of personas, they see faster development times and better quality products. The entire team is on the same page, resulting in designs that satisfy the actual needs of real users.

However, if you’ve never developed personas before, the task ahead can look daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Based on UIE’s research into state-of-the-art development practices of today’s most successful teams, you can learn the secrets to building robust personas in 30 days or less.

In this presentation, usability and design expert, Jared M. Spool, will walk through an easy-to-accomplish 30 day plan for developing your own persona-based scenarios. He’ll tackle each of the four development stages: gathering the field research, analyzing the data, building the personas and their scenarios, and integrating the results into the development process. You’ll learn how to be up and running with your own personas with only a small team and some easy-to-acquire resources.

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

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

Designing Software Features for User Adoption

Presenter: Will Schroeder

Summary: Features added to complex software have a hard time getting adopted by customers already used to a workflow. New users may be unsure what feature to choose if more than one is available. Design problems associated with this case (adding features) differ somewhat from those associated with a new design, and developers or practitioners are not always familiar with useful strategies to implement. This talk describes the process of feature adoption from the user’s point of view and suggests design strategies to help make it happen.

Bio: Will has been Principal Usability Specialist at The MathWorks since 2005. Previous indentures include seventeen years designing and testing hardware and embedded software at Foster-Miller, Inc. and twelve years as Principal at User Interface Engineering doing usability consulting and research on hardware, software, and the web. His eye-gaze target acquisition system for DARPA (what you see is what you shoot) actually worked, and his multi-target tracker almost worked. He has completed a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Mathematics at Harvard, an MBA at Babson, and a summer course in High-Temperature Corrosion at MIT. His article describing research on water-spray mixing of air and methane at coal faces filled two full issues of the Journal of the Mine Ventilation Society of the Union of South Africa. He holds several patents, including a construction system for geodesic domes and a surface-modeling algorithm used to capture the shape of teeth in the mouth.

Folksonomies: What they are and how they can help your business

Presenters: Mike Ryan

Summary: As the Internet and computer systems grow in size and complexity, users are having more difficulty finding web objects. Traditional top-down taxonomies are being assisted by the bottom-up approach of folksonomies. This classification system is a result of the aggregation of social tagging in the user’s own language (VanderWal, 2007). Folksonomies have emerged as a powerful component of the Web 2.0 landscape. This presentation explores the current state of folksonomies and how they can be used most effectively. Examples and activities will explore how a folksonomy can be applied. The purpose of this presentation is to explain what folksonomies are, how they can be used, and why they work. The foundation of the presentation was research I performed for my folksonomies paper in Bentley’s HFID Information Architecture class in January 2008. Sources for this paper include books, journal articles, online postings, and blogs. This research will be updated with recent developments, observations and personal experiences.

Activity: To demonstrate the effects of folksonomies, I will post three Amazon products on the wall and ask the audience to add their own tags to the products using sticky notes. We will then look at the tags for trends and compare them with the taxonomy and tags Amazon is using for those products. There will also be an open discussion at the end of the session.

Presentation outline:

* How folksonomies are created
o Why do people tag?
o Aggregation

* How folksonomies are applied
o Pivot browsing
o Ranking popularity
o Tag clouds
o Searching and filtering

* How folksonomies meet user and business goals
o Who is tagging?
o Why do users like tagging?
o Why do businesses like tagging?
o How can businesses encourage tagging?

* Activity
o Observations, trends
o Compare with Amazon taxonomy and tags

* Why do folksonomies work?
o Mental models
o The “vocabulary problem”
o Folksonomies compared to taxonomies
o Folksonomies in ontologies

* Criticisms and problems
o Messy metadata
o Tags vs. folders
o Tag abuse

* Open Discussion

Bio: Michael Ryan is an Interaction Designer at Thomson Reuters developing software for trademark professionals. Michael has been doing user experience for over ten years for companies including Trend Micro, HP, Welch’s, Cramer, iXL and The MathWorks. He graduated from Bentley’s Master’s Program in Human Factors and Information Design in May 2007. He is an active member in UPA and ACM SIGCHI and has a passion for user research.

UX Content Workshop

Presenters: Mary James, Chauncey Wilson

Summary: Attend a workshop to analyze the content needs of the UX community. What UX questions are hard to answer? What areas need updated information? What holes exist? Are there offshoots of topics not covered adequately? What areas are overrun with information? Are there new topics on the horizon that you’ll be working with in the next few years (for example, ambient computing or emotional design)? We’ll create a map of the various segments of UX (usability, UCD, interaction design, etc) and then brainstorm and analyze what is missing from the map. We’ll also take a look at how you get information now (books, blogs, forums) and discuss in what other forms content might be useful (e-books, interactive training modules, e-readers, resource databases like the Body of Knowledge, etc.). All in all, we want to make sure that content publishers are providing the UX community with the information it needs to most effectively help with work, studies, teaching, and research. Contribute to the discussion!

Bio: Chauncey Wilson is a Senior Manager of User Research at Autodesk in Waltham and instructor in the HFID graduate program at Bentley College. He has more than 25 years in the field as a usability engineer, usability manager, and development manager. Chauncey has presented dozens of papers at CHI, UPA, HFES, APA, and STC conferences and has co-authored chapters in the 1997 Handbook of HCI, and Cost-Justifying Usability, Second Edition: An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition. Chauncey wrote “The Well-Tempered Practitioner” column for the ACM CHI publication Interactions during 2006 and 2007, collaborated on the UPA Code of Conduct, and is editor of the Methods sections of the UPA Body of Knowledge (BoK). In addition to his usability and design work, Chauncey is also a serious amateur chef, gadgeteer, bookophile, and photographer.

Bio: Mary James is an Associate Acquisitions Editor at Morgan Kaufmann Publishers / Elsevier S&T Books. She acquires books for the Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies, which includes titles on usability, user interface design and evaluation, interaction design, and information architecture for the UX community. Prior to her foray into book publishing, she was a marketing manager at an architecture firm in San Francisco. She has a B.A. in Politics and Literature from U.C. Santa Cruz and an M.S. certificate in Publishing from Pace University. She currently lives in Somerville with her cat, Herzog.

So you want to write a book?

Presenter: Mary James

Summary: Have you thought of writing a book? Peer reviewing books? This session will cover what it takes to publish… from the proposal to the bookshelf. Whether you already have a proposal to hand over or the idea hasn’t yet crossed your mind, this session will give a glimpse into the industry and what you can expect. Topics will include finding the right publisher, developing a book proposal, what happens once a proposal is submitted, peer reviews, what you can expect during your book’s development and production. And we’ll wrap up with an overview of publicity, marketing and sales.
Bio: Mary James is an Associate Acquisitions Editor at Morgan Kaufmann Publishers / Elsevier S&T Books. She acquires books for in the Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive Technologies, which includes titles on usability, user interface design and evaluation, interaction design, and information architecture for the UX community. Prior to her foray into book publishing, she was a marketing manager at an architecture firm in San Francisco. She has a B.A. in Politics and Literature from U.C. Santa Cruz and an M.S. certificate in Publishing from Pace University. She currently lives in Somerville with her cat, Herzog.

I’m here, are you? The importance of presence in presentation

Presenters: Traci Lepore

Summary: We’ve all had that experience of watching a great presenter haven’t we? They are engaging, fascinating, and you can’t tear yourself away. Have you ever thought about what makes them so great? I’d bet one of the major factors is that they are present; there in the moment with you and talking to you and full of expressive life. Unfortunately most adults have had that effervescence drilled out of them and have a hard time reincorporating the quality when they need to be center stage. In this workshop participants will be led through acting and movement exercises that will focus on finding what it means for each individual to be present, centered, and begin to learn to be comfortable and strong in their own power and presence – unapologetically.

Bio: Traci Lepore, Principal Interaction Designer: Traci has eight years experience as a professional interaction designer including over 7 years experience at InContext. She has acted as the designer on several projects including software redesign supporting a review workflow in a manufacturing environment, mobile application product development, as well as web site redesigns that include information architecture restructuring.Currently she is working as a Design Expert helping to oversee the projects. Traci has participated in all phases of the Contextual Design process from collecting and analyzing customer data through product design. Prior to joining InContext, Traci worked as a designer in Marketing and Advertising in the Boston area. She holds a B.S. in Communications Media from Fitchburg State College and is currently working on a M.A. in Theater Education at Emerson College.

Connecting with Developers to Expand UX Influence

Presenter: Natasha Lloyd

Summary: There is often a rift between designers and developers when it comes to user experience. Tensions can arise from both sides when it feels like everyone is speaking a different language, when resources are limited, and when usability and development priorities do not align. In this presentation I will propose several ideas for getting developers to understand and value usability and to turn them into usability advocates when faced with resource and priority challenges. This presentation is not about selling usability because, believe it or not, developers know that their products must be usable. It is about creating a shared understanding of what makes a good user experience. It’s about opening a communication channel between designers and developers that spans multiple projects. It’s about getting developers as excited about design as you are and advocating good design principles even when you are not around. The presentation will include a case study of how I organized a special interest group of developers interested in usability at a company where I was the only designer. This group has been tremendously effective in expanding the influence of user experience and has survived two acquisitions. The audience will have a chance to participate through open-ended questions and discussion of their experiences. I hope that as a group, we can come up with many ideas to bridge that gap between designers and developers and improve the user experience of our products as a result.

Bio: Although I studied computer science in college, I was always secretly passionate about good design and user experience. I started out my professional career 3 years ago as a UI developer for a small company called Inxight Software in Boston. As it became apparent that our products suffered from a lack of usability, I became an undercover usability advocate and started introducing things like design mockups and usability testing to the development process. To facilitate the move toward improved product usability, I organized the Usability Special Interest Group, bringing together developers from different products to discuss design and user experience. When Inxight was acquired by Business Objects (and then again by SAP), I officially joined the User Experience team as an Interaction Designer. Currently, I am working on the BusinessObjects Text Analysis and Xcelsius products.

Getting started with Agile AND staying user-centered

Presenter: Diana Brown

Summary: I am currently supporting a project that switched over to using an Agile process, specifically Scrum. We faced many challenges in trying to fit user-centered design into this process. As the team became educated about the scrum techniques, we immediately recognized that we were going to have to be creative in figuring out how to fit the Product Design team’s work into that process. We have been successful in adjusting the process to fit our needs despite such obstacles as not being able to complete the user research before creating “user stories”, not being able to commit 100% to the project, having an entire team adapting to a new process, and not being geographically co-located. We identified some strategies that have enabled us to keep the development team focused on meeting user needs. We tweaked the process and allowed ourselves to use multiple sprints for a single user story, dedicating a single sprint to research, design and user testing as needed. We also opted to run a parallel scrum process to the development team, keeping one or two sprints ahead so that we could produce “mini-specs” to inform their sprints. Along the way, we have learned some valuable lessons that will inform us for the next release and we would like to share some of those lessons through a presentation and interactive discussion about the agile process. We are looking for feedback and suggestions for other strategies that we could consider, as well as insight into other people’s experiences with fitting UCD into an Agile process.
Bio: Diana Brown is a Senior Interaction Designer at Autodesk in Waltham, MA. She has been a Senior Human Systems at Raytheon where she had the opportunity to work on software for a Naval Destroyer and UAVs. Prior to that, she was the manager of one of the usability teams at The MathWorks.

Highlights from Persuasive Technology 2009

Presenter: Carolyn Snyder

Summary: The annual Persuasive Technology conference draws presenters from around the world to provide “insights into how video games, mobile phone applications, web sites and social networking sites can be designed to motivate and influence people.” (www.persuasive2009.net) It’s fascinating stuff! But because the location alternates between California and Europe, few New Englanders can attend. I will present a fast-paced, best-of-the-best summary of new research in this important, emerging field. I gave a similar presentation at Mini UPA in 2007 and it was well attended with plenty of comments. As I did then, I would cover 10-12 papers in ~3 minutes each and leave the remaining time free for audience participation.
Bio: Carolyn Snyder is an independent usability consultant based in Derry, NH. She specializes in usability testing and paper prototyping for a variety of clients. In her spare time, she likes to attend cool conferences in faraway places and tell her friends about them.

Design Negotiation

Presenter: Shannon McHarg

Summary: One practical issue that interaction designers often face is getting a design accepted and implemented by a cross-functional team. Negotiation skills are often necessary to accomplish this task.The classic negotiation book “Getting to Yes” by Fisher and Ury presents a negotiation method that translates well to interaction design problems:

1) Separate the People from the Problem Translates to: Focus on the design problem not the personalities of the stakeholders. Clearly identifying the problem is the first step to effectively solving it for users.

2) Focus on Interests, Not PositionsTranslates to: Find out what each group really needs to get out of the design solution. Once you know what each person needs versus what each thinks he needs, you can work to find a solution that will satisfy everyone.

3) Invent Options for Mutual Gain Translates to: Present multiple design alternatives that meet the needs of each group to varying degrees. Showing examples of what solving each need looks like facilitates discussion over any areas of contention and gives the stakeholders something tangible to point to, which fosters quicker decision making.

4) Insist on Using Objective Criteria Translates to: Gather and cite user data as much as possible and quantify the needs of other stakeholders. When there are areas of contention, user data can be a good way to provide objectivity to deciding which needs are more important.

This presentation will discuss each step and how it translates to acceptance of a design by stakeholders with different goals. I will also discuss how to apply these steps with a geographically distributed team. Audience Involvement: Interactive discussion of examples for each step.

Bio: Shannon McHarg is a User Experience Designer at H&R Block where she designs and evaluates user interfaces and interactions for their line of digital tax preparation products and websites, including TaxCut, DeductionPro, Tango, taxcut.com, and hrblock.com. In this position, she has driven geographically distributed, cross-functional teams from the beginning stages of requirements gathering through design and user testing to ensure that each project meets user needs. Prior to that, she worked at Bentley College’s Design and Usability Center as a Graduate Assistant while pursuing a Masters degree in Human Factors in Information Design.

Tasks Employed in User Evaluation of Military Goggles

Presenter: Karla Allan

Summary: Skiers and sky divers frequently wear goggles to protect their eyes from sun glare and the snow, dust, or debris blown in by the wind. Similarly, U.S. Army Soldiers wear goggles to protect their eyes from sun and wind when conducting field activities. The current Army goggle comes with two lenses, clear and tinted. As Soldiers move between diverse light conditions they change their level of eye protection by “punching out” (removing) one lens and replacing it with the other. An alternate goggle concept — in the early stage of development and prototyping — permits users to switch between clear and tinted lens levels at the touch of a button located on the goggle strap. Personnel at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), Natick, MA conducted a laboratory user assessment of the prototype goggle. The focus of the assessment was on vision protection and ability – not wind. Therefore, the primary areas assessed were ease and speed of operating the tint change mechanism and visibility when wearing clear and tinted lenses. Fourteen Active Duty Soldiers served as Users. Wearing the prototype (Test) goggle and the current (Baseline) goggle, Users changed between clear and tinted eye lens levels as they moved from light to dark spaces. They performed military-relevant tasks that placed a premium on near- and far-distance visual acuity and on color discrimination and recognition. Standardized tests of visual acuity, color vision, and field of vision were administered as well. User interview data and spontaneous comments, ease/difficulty ratings, task performance times and scores, and tester observations were integrated to determine the evaluation results.The differences observed between the Test Goggle and the Baseline will be presented along with practical recommendations for further prototyping and field testing. A second focus of the UPA presentation, however, will be on the relative utility and interrelationships among the tests and tasks employed and the Tester’s “Lessons Learned” for future user evaluations of eyewear.Audience Participation:A portion towards the middle of the presentation period will be allocated to volunteer participation in performing a military mission task and a standardized vision task while wearing goggles with tinted or clear lenses. Two volunteers will perform timed tasks simultaneously, one wearing clear and one wearing tinted lenses. The mission task is to identify correctly the landmark on a military map when provided a pair of grid coordinates. The standardized task is to place 15 colored disks in correct sequence by similarity of hue. This hands-on experience will serve as the springboard to discuss (1) the user evaluation results and (2) the Tester’s “Lessons Learned” with regard to the use of operational and standardized vision tasks in user evaluations of eye wear.

Bio: Dr. Karla Allan has devoted her career to enhancing the safety, user acceptance, and effectiveness of products produced for Active Duty U.S. military Service men and women. For the last five years she has worked at the Natick Soldier Research, Development, and Engineering Center in Natick, MA conducting laboratory and field user evaluations on protective products that Soldiers wear or carry. As a UPA-Boston member, she attends monthly meetings and always takes away something of value that she can apply to her product evaluations.

Concept Hygiene: Ethnography in User Research

Presenter: Zarla Ludin and Martha Kam

Summary: Ethnography is becoming widely accepted in user-centered design research. Ethnography’s acceptance in this field, however, has come without general knowledge of the major debates and controversies that have plagued it for the past century. Ethnography’s dynamic history is evidence that it is an ever-evolving concept, which is why we must understand these debates and controversies. In social sciences, ethnography has gone through major shifts, and as user research practitioners we need to understand those shifts, and why they have occurred. The term “ethnography” is misunderstood in user research (being applied as a method rather than a means of reporting fieldwork), and the large amounts of time to conduct ethnographic field work are two problematic issues of ethnography in user research. In our presentation we hope to clarify the definition of ethnography, trace its origins, and find areas of ethnography that can be appropriately applied to user research. In our presentation, which we intend to be a lively discussion, we will argue that ethnography in user research is in need of a healthy debate. We will present interview results of practitioners’ opinions on using ethnography, ask for audience feedback on their experiences with ethnography, and determine practitioner’s opinions toward this concept.

Bio: Zarla Ludin is a recent graduate of Bentley University’s Human Factors in Information Design program. She obtained her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Colorado, focusing her studies in the sub-field of Biological Anthropology. Zarla’s experience in the Anthropology field ranges from conducting two ethnographic fieldwork projects in France and Malta, to measuring Nubian mummy skulls to rule out the race classification of that population. Zarla has spent the last two years working at the Design and Usability Center as a Departmental Assistant where she gained practical experience in user research methods including usability testing, focus groups, interviews, surveys, and field research. Martha Kam is a recent graduate of the Human Factors in Design program at Bentley University. She also received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Boston University in 2002. For five years, Martha worked in the financial services industry, where she recognized the importance of information design in the workplace. From there, she decided to change her pursuits in her career.Martha’s experience in the field of usability includes her position as a Research Associate at the Design and Usability Center. During her two-year tenure, she practiced various user research methods to assess and improve the design of products in the areas of software, consumer products, websites and medical devices. Martha is a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA), ACM SIGCHI and Interaction Design Association (IxDA).

Usability in Project Management

Presenter: Sarah Cortes

Summary: Usability in Project ManagementWhether you’re the project manager or a team member, usability is a key success factor. However, many project managers need help incorporating its methods and principles into standard project management. This presentation covers

• Global Project Management standards and frameworks
• PMP certification and PMI organization
• Value of project management skills for usability professionals
• How to work with a project manager
• Usability and risk management: how to talk project manager’s language
• How to incorporate usability ideas in standard project management frameworks.
• How to perform project management using agile and extreme usability methodologies.
• Where usability fits in the project lifecycle.
• How usability relates to other disciplines and other parts of the project
• Project management techniques for usability professionals who want to get into project management Case study: Harvard Law School web calendar implementation.
• Usability awareness and education for project participants and sponsors
• Initial rejects of usability principals
• Phase II – successful integration of usability
• Lessons learned

Presentation will involve the audience with interactive discussion.

Bio: Sarah is a senior technology manager with extensive experience in all aspects of Information Technology, including usability, for financial services, as well as biotechnology, government and higher education. PMP and CISA-certified, she has a broad background in developing and implementing major application systems, financial and technology operations, client services and risk management. Sarah’s areas of expertise include equity and fixed income trading and analytics systems, risk management, compliance, accounting, and performance analytics systems. She has significant experience in data center management on a wide variety of platforms and technologies, including expertise in data security, disaster recovery and high availability, risk management, control policy and program/project implementation. In addition, Sarah has many years managing technology audits. She has directly managed up to 100 staff and budgets of $20 million.As head of Disaster Recovery at Putnam Investments, Sarah ran Putnam’s recovery during 9/11 when parent company Marsh McLennan failed over to Boston from the World Trade Center 99th floor data center As head of IT Audit, she coordinated over 65 audits per year, including those with the SEC, FDIC, Massachusetts Bank Examiners, SAS-70s and General Controls As SVP in charge of Security, Disaster Recovery, Information Technology Audit, and some Data Center Operations, Sarah implemented state-of-the art solutions in high-volume, high complexity environments As SVP, Applications Development for Trading/Analytics Systems, she implemented dozens of major and medium-sized applications into production As SVP, non-mainframe Data Center Operations, and SVP, Mutual Fund Systems Applications Development at The Boston Company, a subsidiary of Shearson/American Express, she developed and delivered multiple state-of-the-art IT solutions. Sarah is a graduate of Harvard University where she studied Applied Mathematics and Romance Languages and Literatures. She holds numerous professional certifications and designations.

Best Practices for Guided Selling Online: Independent Study Results

Presenter: Michael Hawley

Summary: Guided selling is a process that attempts to educate consumers about a set of products or services and provide decision making support that directs them to a solution that is right for them. Similar to a helpful salesperson, a software-based guided selling application will lead a consumer through a set of questions that assess their values, intended usage and knowledge of a particular category, and directs them to information and product selections that meet their needs. This process is especially helpful in situations where the decision making process is complex, for example complex products having many features and functions. In addition, the process is valuable for products that are new to the marketplace or in situations where the intended audience is not likely to have knowledge of the domain. Obvious examples are consumer electronics or other retail products. But just as complex are products and services related to healthcare, insurance, financial, travel, etc – any circumstance where a consumer is likely to need help orienting themselves to the available choices and support in making an informed selection.Increasingly, organizations are turning to a guided selling approach in their interactive offerings, on web sites and on other platforms such as kiosks. However, as one would imagine, not all implementations of guided selling applications are the same. A quick scan of different guided selling modules reveals a wide variety of approaches to the interaction flow, navigation, style, and decision making support tools available to users.To help our clients make better design decisions in their implementations of guided selling applications, our company sponsored an independent usability study of existing applications. We examined four different guided selling modules that represented a variety of industries and different approaches to navigation and interaction. Our study involved two forms of usability testing. First, we conducted an in-person comparative usability study where we employed the think-aloud protocol and observed participants interact with the different guided selling applications. This first phase of research allowed us make initial hypotheses on the relative strengths and weaknesses of each application. We used those hypotheses to develop the strategy and script for a second phase of usability testing – unattended task-based remote usability testing with a large set of participants.This talk will introduce the concept of guided selling, show several examples available on the Internet today, and then discuss the methodology and results of our study. We will present our perspective on best practices for guided selling applications and show an example of how these best practices can manifest themselves in a design. The audience will be allowed to ask questions and interact with the presenter throughout the presentation.

Bio: As the leader of Mad*Pow’s Experience Design team, Michael Hawley leverages 15 years experience in the software industry and expertise in user experience research and usability design to deliver value to clients such as Fidelity, Autodesk and Monster. Prior to Mad*Pow, Michael served as Usability Project Manager for Staples, where he led customer-facing research initiatives including projects for e-commerce and Web sites, marketing communications, and print materials. Michael holds his M.S. in Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley College McCallum Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. from the University of Michigan. He continues to explore trends within the UX discipline as a published columnist, with articles appearing in publications such as UXMatters, iMedia, TMCNet, and CPWire.Outside of work, Mike can be found climbing one of the mountains of New England with his growing family.

World Usability Day: How to Work with a Global Team

Presenters: Elizabeth Rosenzweig

World Usability Day as an example of building a global team and a global project.

Although we now have several WUD projects, the basic method of doing collaborative teamwork has been consistent throughout all projects. WUD now has the Sustainability Planning Committee (formation in progress), the WUD Core Committee and the WUD get to the UN committee. All the committees have members from more then 3 continents, in time zones sometimes spanning 14 hours. The challenges and rewards of mixing cultures, works styles and time zones has been the best and worst part of the project work.

This talk includes specific tips and information about creating a team whose members span different time zone and datelines to building an infrastructure (including website, registration, etc.). This process is complex and only works well if the team and the infrastructure are one and the same. Included in this talk is discussion on cultural issues that comes up in working with international teams. This can easily apply to the User Friendly theme of doing Design in Asia, since design for global teams includes Asia as well as the recent UPA Europe Conference in Italy in December 2008.

The talk will include an interactive exercise in UPA Geography, where the attendees will group themselves in the room according to place of origina and then place of work. This will demonstrate how people can come from different cultutes and carry their identitfy with them. IT is also good for community building. The second part of the talk will include the story or World Usability Day, the history of how it great to where it is today. In addition, specific tips will be presented on how to build global teams.

UX Role Definition in Agile

Presenters: Vijay Hanumolu & UX Team

Summary: At Kronos we have being using Agile as our development philosophy for over 4+ years. We have used TDD, SCRUM and other flavors. For UX we have experimented with Distributed model, Review & Approve model, Consulting model, and now we are into Hybrid model. Going through all this we felt a need for something more concrete in order to deliver a consistent message to our teams, and do so in a way that accurately reflects what upper management expects from us. In the process of defining our role we looked at:

• What areas of ownership and responsibility do we have?

• What key deliverables are we committing to?

• How do we reconcile the need to be both strategic and tactical?

• How does management see our role?

In this presentation we will talk about areas of ownership, existing mental schema of product owners, product managers, and other, how we classified UX role into different stages, how we communicated the role definition and how it turned out. We will also present list of various activities and deliverables underneath each stage, and their relationship to one another. List of topics we plan to cover during our presentation:

1. Introduction

2. Our company structure, Agile implementation, Survey results from PO/PM/SMs

3. Background research

4. Different stages
a. Business
b. Define
c. Scope
d. Design
e. Support

5. Bringing everything together

6. Communication Policy

7. Results

8. Conclusions

9. Bibliography

So we did all this great work, how do we communicate it? We will talk about whom was this message targeted at, how we spread the word, how we reached out to remote teams, etc. In conclusion we would share how it all turned out, what changes it brought, and whether we succeed and what we learned along theway.

Bio: Vijay Hanumolu is a Senior Interaction Designer at Kronos Inc. He has 8+ years of experience working in User Centered Design, Human Computer Interaction, Software & Web application development,International user research, consulting, and product management. Prior to joining Kronos he was at Oracle Corporation primarily working with International customers, and at Virginia Tech’s Research Park (CMI) primarily working with Federal and State agencies. He has a Masters Degree in Computer Science specializing in Human Computer Interaction from Virginia Tech and Bachelors degree in Computer Science & Applications from Regional Engineering College, India.

Sketching the UI: generative design techniques for evolving concepts

Presenters: Sarah Bloomer

Summary: Design is not a straight path, and we often fall back into our comfort zone of designing what we know. Bill Buxton describes sketching as a way of thinking through the design problem. Liz Sanders has developed tools which enable teams to co-design. Adaptive Path uses Sketchboards. All are generative in nature and encourage a collaborative approach. Co-design and generative design allow teams to explore the design problem and better understand the problem space. Working collaboratively speeds the process. The challenge is how to get started and stay focused. This hands-on workshop will use stories to drive sketching and modeling. Participants will have the chance to try out different techniques and share experiences. Workshop includes:- Ideation- Sketching – Collaborative modeling through storytelling and paper prototyping- An overview of resources available online to support sketching.
Bio: Sarah Bloomer has been designing user interfaces for over 20 years and currently works as an independent consultant. In 1991 Sarah co-founded The Hiser Group, an interaction design company with a focus on usability. Through Hiser she helped establish the field of user-centered design in Australia. Returning to the USA in 2002, she was Senior Usability Practitioner at The MathWorks before returning to consulting to design websites, intranets and web applications. She is UX Director at Constant Contact. Sarah’s interaction design draws on her experience designing GUIs for multiple platforms, from Motif to Windows and web applications, intranet and internet websites for both corporations and government. She has been a repeat tutorial presenter at CHI, UPA, UIE’s User Interface and CHISIG (Australia) and an invited presenter at User Friendly (China), Easy (India), Boston UPA, BostonCHI, BayCHI and Optimal Usability (New Zealand). Her course “Selling Usability into Organizations” became a CHI Classic.

“Rolling Your Own” Online Usability Study

Presenter: Tom Tullis

Summary: This presentation will describe and demonstrate a way of building an online usability study using an online survey tool. A sample study will be built during the session using the free version of SurveyGizmo (http://www.SurveyGizmo.com). The finished sample study can be seen at http://www.webusabilitystudy.com/MeasuringUX.htm.This technique allows you to collect task-based data (task success, task time, subjective rating, comments) as well as overall comments or ratings, such as the System Usability Scale (SUS). Demographic data (e.g., age range, gender, web usage, etc) can also be collected. How to collect all of this data will be explained in detail. More advanced techniques, such as including conditional logic to ask follow-up questions if the user gets a task wrong or gives it a poor subjective rating, will also be described. Techniques for handling window management (automatically opening and positioning the windows of the study) will be shown and the actual HTML and JavaScript provided.Finally, how to export the data from the online study to a CSV file (for use in Excel) will be demonstrated, and sample data from a study will be presented and analyzed. Attendees will come away from the session with all the information they need to build and administer their own online usability study easily, quickly, and at no cost.

Bio: Tom Tullis is VP of User Insight at Fidelity Investments, where he has been managing the usability team for 15+ years. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at Bentley University. He has 40+ publications in the human factors or usability field. He’s been working in the field for 30+ years, which means he started at age 5 as a child prodigy!

Tips from Two Tweeps: How User Experience Pros Find Value on Twitter

Presenters: Joshua Ledwell & Eva Kaniasty

Summary: With exploding audience growth, and instant access to peers and mentors, Twitter is online social media that all user experience professionals should master. Yet in usability circles, the same questions come up. What is the point of Twitter? How can a text-only communications service convey unique value? Will thinking in 140 characters or less harm people’s attention span? The presenters will share their successes and learning experiences in publishing a daily Twitter feed of user experience resources. We’ll review tips for using Twitter desktop and mobile clients, explain mining the service’s API for data metrics, and discuss employing Twitter Search for a snapshot of the zeitgeist.We’ll also address concerns that too much “tweeting” can erode attention spans and negatively affect cognition. People continue to find new ways to use Twitter, so the audience’s participation will be critical to presenting a comprehensive view. The presenters will deliver advice based on their experiences and study, but also build in several points to solicit and discuss other viewpoints.Twitter doers and doubters are equally welcome to join us!

Bios: Joshua Ledwell is User Experience Manager in the consumer web-to-print division at HP. He is enrolled in the Bentley University Human Factors in Information Design program. At the 2007 Boston Mini-UPA, he was a panelist in “Starting a Usability Group at Your Company.”

Rating Scales: What the Research Says

Presenters: Joe Dumas and Tom Tullis

Summary: There have been a number of recent studies that clarify our understanding of the effectiveness of rating scales. The presentation will summarize the key points from the studies and discuss what they mean for practitioners. The flow of the presentation will include: What rating scale formats have been studied? [This section will be an introduction to types of scales and scale terminology] Likert scales and their variations Magnitude estimation Mental effort scales Questionnaires that aggregate scales into summary scores, What criteria can we use to evaluate the effectiveness of scales?[This section will describe how we evaluate scales. There are both statistical criteria and practical criteria.] Validity, reliability, and sensitivity Easy for participants to understand and use Easy for administrators to present and scoreWhat does the research say about the rating formats?[A short summary of older research into issues such as how many scale levels to have. Then brief descriptions of 4-5 recent studies.) Post-task scales: Likert, Magnitude estimation, and Mental Effort Expectation scales given both before and after a task Post-test aggregates: SUS, home grownDo ratings differ depending on when they are made?[Studies show that you get different results depending on when you ask for ratings. A discussion about why that is the case.] Ratings made during a task Ratings make after a task Ratings made both before and after a task Ratings made after all tasksHow to ratings correlate with other measures?[Why have ratings at all? What do they add over other measures? Should you expect post-task and post-test ratings to differ?] Correlations with performance measures Correlations with other subjective measures What do these relationships mean? What do we recommend that practitioner use? [Our recommendations for the best formats and use]Audience exercise:At the beginning of the session we will show a video of a participant attempting a task and ask each member of the audience to rate the difficult they perceived the participant had. Different members of the audience will get different scale types. During the session we will have them tabulated and near the end we will display the results and discuss them in light of the information we provided in the session. We are still considering what scales to have them use. One option is to have 3, 5 and 7 point difficult scales to show how more values yield more information. But we may try some other scale types. We do know that we will have them do a rating that will be integrated into the session.

Bios: Joe Dumas is a user experience consultant with 30+ years of experience who has been consulting with Oracle Corporation for the past three years. He has worked in a variety of organizations, including universities, government labs, software development companies, and private consulting. He has written three books on user experience methods.

Tom Tullis is VP of User Insight at Fidelity Investments, where he has been managing the usability team for 15+ years. He’s also an Adjunct Professor at Bentley University. He’s been working in the human factors or usability field for 30+ years, which means he started at age 5 as a child prodigy!

We had dreams of traveling the world. The farthest we got was Michigan in the dead of winter. We failed. Here’s our story.

Presenters: Nirali Patel & Lily Kenney

Summary: We had dreams of traveling the world. The farthest we got was Michigan in the dead of winter. We failed. Here’s our story. It’s the Internet age. Everyone’s connected. We’re in a global economy. Every company is globalizing – it’s the thing to do. Once a company has decided to globalize their web presence, it’s not as simple as translating content and adding local images. You still need to gather requirements and understand your users, but now you need to look at the same factors – financial, technical, political, cultural, social, legal, and ethical – through a global lens. Our first globalization project failed. It failed because the company wasn’t prepared to take a step back to figure out the right approach. It wasn’t ready to think globally. We believe that User Experience professionals can play a critical role from the beginning to help guide the global web strategy.If your company wants to jump on the globalization bandwagon – here’s a couple of questions to ask yourself:

– Why does your company want to globalize? Are they doing it for the right reasons?

– What is your company’s definition of globalization? Is your company ready to commit to that definition? Is that even the right definition for your company?

– Does your company already have a global presence? If so, are they utilizing the global knowledge already established? Are they listening and being empathetic towards their global partners’ needs?

We will share our story, but most importantly, we want to foster a discussion with the audience so we can hear from others’ adventures and challenges.

Bios: Lily Kenney graduated with bachelor’s degree in computer sciences right in the midst of the dot com boom. She was lucky. For her first job, she worked at a company that emphasized the importance of user experience and had the opportunity to learn all aspects of user experience that they never teach you in college (or at least, didn’t teach you in the late ‘90s). Lucky again. For the last 12 years, she has been creating user-centric web and mobile software applications for start-ups, agencies, and product companies. She now works at Razorfish.

Nirali Patel is a Senior Information Architect at Razorfish in Boston where she has been working for two years. She has worked with a wide variety of industries with a primary focus on financial services. Prior to Razorfish, she worked at Fidelity Investments for 5 years. Nirali completed her master’s at Bentley University in Human Factors in Information Design. Her bachelor’s degree is in Architecture and Computer Science.

The Implications of User Engagement with Universal Search Results

Presenter: Dan Berlin

Summary: As consumer behavior continues to rapidly migrate away from the traditional broadcast model to a time-and-place-shifted, on-demand model, search continues to rise as a primary means of Web navigation. Indeed, with the massive increase in multimedia content that is uploaded, stored, and consumed online, search has moved beyond simply indexing pages of text and is now providing results based on a full array of video, audio, and image formats. As such, users’ interactions with the new generation of search engine results pages (SERPs) should be of particular interest to companies who continue to wish to have their links clicked. In late 2008, OTOinsights, the research division of One to One Interactive, performed a study examining users’ emotional engagement with different Google search engine result pages (SERPs). Specifically, we aimed to compare users’ emotiona lreactions to SERPs that contain Universal results (videos,images, and other rich media) to those without these results. Additionally, we examined the users’ eye and click tracking behavior to determine if the Universal results had an impact on users’ search behavior. Our results indicate that traditional Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts do not satisfy the new paradigm of Universal search. We found that blended results (video and images) were more salient to users than the text results – these received more first fixations and clicks. Additionally, it was found that users were more emotionally engaged with results which contained videos and images. As such, to increase visibility in Universal search results, companies must optimize not only their site text, but also their rich media, so that search engines return these links in Universal search results.

Bio: Established in 1997, One to One Interactive is the first enterprise to assemble a complete solution for brands, agencies, and publishers executing one-to-one marketing strategies. Dan Berlin is the Senior Research Associate for OTOinsights, the research division of One to One Interactive. Berlin joined OTOinsights last July after graduating from the McCallum Graduate School of Business at Bentley College where he received an MBA and an MS in Human Factors in Information Design. At OTOinsights, Berlin conducts all primary and secondary research for their Quantemo (TM) neuromarketing research platform. He is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction and the Usability Professionals’ Association.

Understanding Interaction Design

Presenter: David B. Rondeau

Summary: At the core of all usability is a design—the one being used by your customer. The blueprint or foundation of that design is found in the interaction design. Over the years, I’ve worked with many people, from clients to co-workers, who are involved in design but who don’t consider themselves “designers”. They usually have good design instincts, but don’t have a “design” background—and they are always asking me how they can become better “designers”.In this presentation, I will distill the concepts of interaction design down to just the basics, to focus on what is most useful for non-interaction designers. Using the design process as a framework, I’ll provide an overview of the basic building blocks, design principles, and underlying structure of interaction design, and illustrate them using familiar real-world examples. Through these basic elements, I’ll discuss how design decisions are made, how to evaluate them at each level of an interaction design, and more importantly, what makes a “good” design decision. I will also discuss one or two emerging trends in interaction design and show how these basic elements can also be used to understand and evaluate them.This presentation won’t turn everyone into an interaction designer, but it will give you an understanding of the basics, and hopefully move you further along the road to being a better “designer”.
Bio: David Rondeau is the Design Chair at InContext Design. He has 17 years of design experience that spans graphic, visual, interaction, and user experience design in a variety of media. Since 2001, he has been the Design Chair at InContext, overseeing designs produced at the company, improving the company’s design process, coaching and providing design expertise for project teams, and participating as a team member.He has worked with many clients across a wide variety of industries on software, web, mobile, and consumer products. With expertise in contextual inquiry, visioning, paper and interactive prototyping, interaction design, and interaction design patterns, David has helped clients create solutions in many fields—medical, financial, legal, enterprise, IT, automotive, sports, entertainment, and collaboration, as well as others.

Usability labs From $50 to $50k

Presenters: Rich Buttiglieri

Summary: All usability professionals could benefit from using a usability lab. It helps to give importance to the UX role in an organization and makes your job much easier of influencing a product design if others can watch the sessions in person. Of course a lab can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. In this talk I will present a variety of “tools” and setups to support usability testing, from inexpensive wireless intercoms with free desktop sharing software, to using camcorders, Morae/UserVue, to fully digital fixed labs with multiple camera angles and live streaming support. Bentley DUC also has a new feature of wireless private in-ear chat from the control room to the moderator in the participant room. We are just starting to use this for teaching facilitation skills as well as tech support for a buggy prototype. I plan to engage the audience as to their impressions of such a “life line”, how and when it should be used as well as how much to disclose to each test participant.

Bio: Rich Buttiglieri is a Usability Consultant at the Design and Usability Center. Rich brings more than 20 years of experience in software product design and evaluation to his role at the center. He has experience conducting user-centered design studies of software, consumer electronics, and medical products for both mass markets and highly specialized verticals. Before joining Bentley in 2003, Rich designed and evaluated both web-based applications and desktop applications working for companies such as Digital, BBN, HP, Lotus, Concord Communications and MarketSoft. Rich holds a BS in Computer Science and a Graduate Certificate in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He is a member of the Usability Professionals’ Association, HFES Product Design Technical Group, UPA Boston, and BostonCHI.

Exploring Mobile Usability Testing Methods for Enterprise Users: A Case Study

Presenter: Minmin Yang & Judy Keeley

Summary: The mobile usability testing is an emerging area that faces a variety of challenges due to unique features of mobile devices. This presentation provides a case study of our exploration of mobile usability testing methods (including testing environment and equipment) for the enterprise users of Verizon Enterprise Center Mobile portal. Firstly, the presentation will review the testing environments and equipment that have been described in the mobile usability testing literature. Specifically, for testing environments, it will review and compare the differences among three major testing environments: lab testing, field testing, and testing with computer-based emulators; for testing equipment, it will review and compare the differences among various kinds of testing tools. Secondly, it will describe unique requirements and constraints of the usability testing for enterprise users in our study, which include time, cost, specific phone types used by enterprise users. Finally, it will demonstrate how our selection of the testing environment and equipment evolved during our planning. We investigated several different approaches before rejecting some of them due to technical problems, practical considerations or cost issues. In our mobile testing, we tested enterprise users in person with testing equipment that we assembled using a high-quality webcam. We also tested users remotely with computer-based emulators using web and phone conference tools.In the presentation, we will involve the audience by interaction discussion and demonstration. We will provide a demonstration of the video equipment that we used for in-person testing and the emulators that we used for remote testing as we explain the advantages and limitations of each approach.
Bios: Minmin Yang is an interaction designer / usability engineer at Verizon. She holds a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from Rice University. Her professional and research experience includes interaction design, usability evaluation, and quantitive usability methods.

Judy Keeley is an interaction designer at Verizon working on enterprise web and mobile portals. She has seventeen years’ experience in the software industry as an interaction designer, product manager and consultant at companies such as IBM, BroadVision and Interleaf. She holds an M.S. in Human Factors from Bentley University and a B.A. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College.

Better living through UCD: How organizations can use UCD principles to improve the lives of their people and ultimately their business

Presenter: Jamison Roof

Summary: This will be a panelist-led audience discussion on how the philosophy of User-Centered Design can transcend the conventional areas of technology, software, and product design and be used to improve people management, processes engineering, and organizational change with often extraordinary results. The discussion will focus on the benefits of applying UCD principles, how to proceed, and, depending on audience interest, up to three real-world practical examples of how it has been done successfully in the past. Our discussion will be led by thre consultants experienced in software development, organizational change, and business process engineering. Organizations are facing unrelenting pressure to reduce costs and improve the efficiency with which they operate. Recently, organizations are also likely to have changed–with new or additional outsourced partners and the globalization of their workforce as the talent is engaged in the most cost effective locations. In addition, organizations have been working hard at introducing new processes and systems, developing the talent in their teams, improving employee productivity and ensuring their operations are aligned as closely as possible with evolving business priorities and strategy. However, poor acceptance and adoption of new processes introduced through cost-reduction initiatives often undermine organizational efforts and result in increased spending or, in the worst case, completely fail. Rarely does an organizational change–be it people, process, or technology–deliver the promised benefits in the promised timescales. This seemingly perpetual problem can be overcome by making the most of what you have: If organizations employ UCD techniques to optimize existing processes they will be able to realize the benefits required to survive. Redesigning processes and system interfaces to accommodate the needs of people, rather than just the processes or systems themselves, will improve performance and acceptance. By being in the center of a changing organization instead of just another cog in the machine, people are more engaged with the business, overcome the affliction of “learned helplessness,” and understand the context of their everyday activities. People-driven process redesign and optimization is alow cost and low risk activity compared to solely implementing new systems. Sounds great, but where has this worked for real? We will discuss up to three practical examples where the application of UCD-based organizational change and process engineering has led to improvements such as:A 36% increase in customer calls resolved at the point of contactA 30% reduction in customer complaints. A reduction in time to train a customer services representative to be effective from 2 weeks to 2 days.

Bio: Jamison Roof, with PA Consulting Group, has over nine years of experience using technology to deliver business solutions. He specializes in in user-centric system design and development and leads software development projects—from visioning through to deployment, using both RUP and Agile development methodologies. Kalyan Sumanam, with PA Consulting Group, is an experienced software architect and a certified Project Management Professional. He specializes in organizational change and system integration, design, and implementation. Jonathan Sedar, with PA Consulting Group, enjoys leading the selection, design, and integration of systems vis-a-vis process engineering and business transformation.

Diving into Social Media – A Working Casestudy

Presenter: Manya Kapikian

Summary: In February, 2009 a large Massachusetts based company launched a pilot to determine the value of social media. This case study will go over a bit of that pilot from the perspective of a user experience professional. The goal is to present both the methodologies and the outcomes in a way to open up a dialogue around the following topics: How does UX fit into the project when there isn’t a clear role defined? How do you fit User Experience into the lifecycle of the project? How do you determine the methods you use? When do you throw the “book” away and go for guerilla tactics? How are key findings determined? Audience Participation:The presentation will use the social media pilot as a case study. Segments will be presented. After each segment, the facilitator will invite participants for a group discussion.

Bio: Manya Kapikian is a member of the Enterprise Search and Intranet Technology team at Raytheon Company. She holds a MS degree in Library and Information Sciences from Simmons College and an MS Human Factors in Information Design from Bentley College.

Mobile Interface Design

Presenter: Greg Raiz

Summary: This workshop will be a deeper dive into mobile user interface design. The presentation will be an extension of the UPA presentation given in March giving a deeper dive into design issues on touch screen mobiles phones such as the iPhone and Android. The talk will cover techniques, design patterns, differences from traditional web or desktop design and the various challenges for designing mobile interfaces.

Topics include

– Unique challenges of mobile

– Widgets and Techniques

– iPhone design patterns

– Mobile Wire framing tools

– Mobile Usability

– The Mobile Web

Bio: Gregory Raiz, founded the company Raizlabs and has been designing and developing applications for the iPhone as well as other mobile platforms. Prior to starting Raizlabs he worked as a program manager for Microsoft on the design of Windows XP. His current company Raizlabs specializes in the design and development of end-to-end user experiences.

Agile Design and Prototyping with Clickframes

Presenters: Jonathan Abbett & William Crawford

Summary: There are major hurdles to incorporating user-centered design into the software development process: requirements that are out of sync with design materials, prototypes that hastily get turned into production software, and the chasm that exists between interaction designers and developers. How do you quickly and convincingly mock-up interactivity? How do you make the transition from design to code while keeping managers, clients, and testers engaged and informed? The Informatics Solutions Group at Children’s Hospital Boston has developed Clickframes, an HTML-based wireframing technique, and AppSpecXML, a simple XML-based model for creating detailed specifications of web applications. With the accompanying suite of supporting tools, we can convert AppSpecXML into interactive design artifacts and production-quality Java-based prototypes.

In this session, we’ll describe the challenges we’ve encountered developing research software, including production systems with industry partners, at a major teaching hospital over the last decade. We’ll demonstrate how to use the Clickframes technique with off-the-shelf wiki software to rapidly prototype an interactive website, which can be used in design review sessions, sprint/project planning, and client presentations. Then, we’ll describe the AppSpecXML model and do a series of live demonstrations, going from rough site map to fully-functional web application (with form validation, AJAX, and user authentication out of the box) in a matter of minutes. We will share how we have incorporated this technique into our own design and agile development processes to our team’s (and our clients’) delight.

As we plan for further development of Clickframes and AppSpecXML, we are seeking feedback from the wider design community on how our process and technology can be made most effective. Throughout the session, we will encourage discussion of how participants’ experiences compare to ours, and how Clickframes can be improved and extended to better be meet the community’s needs.

Bio: William Crawford, MBA is the Director of the Informatics Solutions Group at Children’s Hospital Boston, which is focused on implementing production grade software on top of innovative CHB research. He was previously Chief Technology Officer at Invantage, Inc. and a member of the technology policy staff atthe US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. He is the co-author of three books on enterprise software development, all from O’Reilly& Associates.

Jonathan Abbett leads the user-experience design process at the Informatics Solutions Group. He has been with Children’s Hospital since 2005, primarily designing and developing the Indivo personally-controlled health record platform. He was previously a software engineer at Silverlink Communications of Burlington, developing phone- and web-based interfaces for interactive health messaging applications, and shares a patent for the efficient delivery of automated dialogs in a colocated voice hosting environment. In all, Jonathan has over ten years of experience designing and developing web applications and application platforms of several flavors in corporate, academic, and freelance settings.

Improving Healthcare Experiences: Creating the Design Standards that will Deliver a Groundswell

Presenter: Amy Cueva

Summary: Experience design in the healthcare space is of keen importance. As designers we have the capability to help diseases get diagnosed sooner, preventative measures to be taken more often, and treatment to be more comfortable and effective. We can reduce errors, reduce costs, and essentially improve outcomes for all involved. Obama’s stimulus package includes 19 billion dollars which has been earmarked for healthcare research, technology and improvements. In the next few years will be a great deal of activity and change in this space. We have the ability to shape that change in a positive direction via the human-centric design approach that comes naturally to us. We also have the opportunity share assets and patterns and build the standards that will positively affect learnability, adoption and momentum. The purpose of this session is to bring together those who have experience with or are invested in the design of healthcare experiences to discuss best practices, trends, challenges, and the creation of standards.

Getting started: • What type of experience do you have with healthcare experience design? • Are you designing on behalf of the government, a technology firm, a health insurance company, a hospital, or a healthcare organization? • What do you hope to get out of this session? The current state of healthcare experience design:• What kind of research and testing have you been able to do?• What has been your biggest challenge in designing experiences for healthcare?• What successes have you experienced? • What trends are you seeing in healthcare experience design? • Is there one organization or implementation that you consider to be best in class, or a model to follow? • What do you see as largest opportunity to use design to improve clinical outcomes or reduce healthcare costs?• What will the future hold, what needs to happen and what part do you hope to play in it? Standardization and collaboration:• Considering the variation in ownership and involvement of various organizations in healthcare technology, can consistency and standardization truly be achieved?• Is standardization a good idea? • What types of design standards do we need? • How will the standards be created, validated and shared? • Who should lead the charge?• Who can we collaborate with?• What can we do? What next? We will plan next steps and follow up. In the best case scenario, this session will be the flashpoint for the creation of a healthcare experience design consortium. At the very least, each participant will become aware of trends, new approaches, best practices, and others experience design professionals who are have a focus in healthcare. Output of the session will be shared, and the conversation will be started and continued on twitter via the #HealthcareUX tag.
Bio: Amy Cueva, Founder and Chief Experience OfficerAmy leads healthcare practice at Mad*Pow. She believes that design can deliver the healthcare technology adoption that is so greatly needed to improve clinical outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. She partners with clients like Aetna, New England Journal of Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, McKesson, Relay Health and Partners Healthcare to create strong multi-channel experience strategies, intuitive digital experiences, and streamlined processes. She built Mad*Pow’s user-centered design methodology as the vehicle to synergize business goals, customer needs, and technology requirements. She is the secretary and one of the charter members of the NH UPA, is speaking at UPA 2009, and was selected as one of Mass High Tech’s Women to Watch in 2009.

4 Things I Learned from A Book About Architecture School

Presenter: Aye Moah

Summary: Architects and User Interface designers both share the challenges of balancing form and function to design something beautiful, functional, and robust enough to exist in the real world. Architects and designers also occupy the same role in the process of building things – conversant about all of the different aspects of the final product, and an advocate for the final users throughout the entire process. Over the thousands of years that architecture has been practiced, architects have codified not only the principles of designing a building but best principles of managing the process of evolving a building from an initial sketch to a finished space. Through guilds and schools, they have passed this knowledge down to modern architects. Since the Phidias and the Archimedes of UI are still alive today, we do not have the same tradition to draw from. If we study some of the lessons of architecture, however, we can apply these principles directly to the practice of user interface design. I recently read 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School, by Matthew Frederick. I would like to translate four of his ideas into principles that apply to UI designers.1) Do not work in a vacuum. An architect coordinates a team of professionals from structural and mechanical engineers to interior designers to building-code consultants.A UI designer coordinates a team of professionals that includes developers, documentation writers, QA, and more. A UI designer needs to know enough about each discipline to negotiate and satisfy competing requirements while championing the needs of the users throughout the entire project. We must not merely optimize at a micro-level, but shape the entire product and be aware of the impact of engineering decisions. 2) Without underlying ideas informing their buildings, architects are merely space planners. Great user interfaces are not just visually appealing, but aredesigned with users’ needs and purposes as underlying drivers. If usability considerations are not factored into technical architecture of products, UI designers are tasked with ‘dressing it up’ with colors, fonts and pretty buttons. This is a common issue we, as UI Designers, face at many corporations who do not view our roles as architects, but as interior designers. 3) A good designer isn’t afraid to throw away a good idea. Just because an interesting idea occurs to you doesn’t mean it belongs in the building you are designing. The paramount example of architecture is not the Las Vegas Strip. Similarly, UI designers have to remember that we are not building a UI showcase, we are building a product. A good UI designer knows when to leave out a particularly interesting interface component he just thought of, if it doesn’t belong in the current product design. He logs it and saves it for the appropriate product. Great UI designers are gate keepers who keep the conceptual integrity of a product design.4) Break paradigms only when you have a REALLY good reason. Have you ever pulled a door that is supposed to push out because it has a handle instead of a bar? Likewise, Control-S should save a document. Quitting instead is a bad idea. Make changes when they add value, not just to be different. I also plan to distribute a survey asking attendees to describe their favorite buildings and architects and some other stuff that I will compile into a nifty visualization after the conference.

Bio: Aye Moah is a Senior User Experience Designer at Mzinga (aleading social media company). Her experience spans software development, product management, interaction design, and information architecture. At Cisco WebEx, Moah designed a calendar product from the ground up. At Sapient, she architected and built a proof of concept for a single-sign-on system that integrated Salesforce.com, Microsoft Active Directory, and Sapient’s proprietary portal authentication system. At Mzinga, she has most recently conceived of how to express the tenor of a community in a concise visualization. She holds a B.S. degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering, where she learned how to best apply the very latest in technology to the field of UI. Her User Experience Design session at Product Camp Boston2009 received accolades from the Twitterverse. She likes great ethnic food, travel, books, and playing with her two pet rats, Xeno and Nero.

How Research Informs Medical Device Design

Presenter: Beth Loring, Rose Anderson

Summary: In this presentation, we will describe and illustrate how cross-functional teams of researchers, industrial designers, and engineers at Farm work together to develop innovative medical devices. We will present our user-centered design process, including how we approach the planning, data gathering, analysis, and communication of research results. We will describe field observations with actual end users – nurses, surgeons, technicians – and how understanding their workflows, constraints, and environments led us to unique and unexpected solutions. We will make extensive use of actual case studies – including photos, video, and sample deliverables – to lend interest to the presentation. Product examples will include hand-held devices, large diagnostic equipment, and graphical user interfaces (GUIs).UX practitioners, regardless of the industry in which they work, will be inspired by the creativity of the research outputs and how they are translated into design features.We will involve the audience by asking questions about their own experiences with research – techniques, execution, analysis, and reporting – as we cover these topics during the presentation. In this way it will be very interactive. We may also develop an exercise that we can do with the audience, if one is appropriate.

Bios: Beth Loring Beth is the Director of Research and Usability at Farm Design in Hollis, NH. She is a human factors specialist with over 20 years experience in product design and usability, with expertise in methods for user requirements gathering, user interface design, and usability testing. Prior to joining Farm, Beth was the Director of the Bentley Design and Usability Center, where she managed a team of 13 usability consultants and graduate students and taught professional education courses on user-centered design. Beth holds an MS in Engineering Design from Tufts University and is a Certified Human Factors Professional. She has published extensively and is coauthor of Moderating Usability Tests: Principles and Practices for Interacting (Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2008).

Rose Anderson. Rose is a Senior Industrial Designer. She specializes in user-focused design, qualitative research and analyses, and creative problem solving. Rose also helped establish Farm’s internal sustainable design group. While at Farm, Rose has developed products for clients such as ZOLL, Idev, and Harvard Apparatus. Prior to Farm, Rose led projects for Colgate, Agilent Technologies and Smith & Nephew Orthopedics. Rose graduated as a Dean’s List student in the honor’s program at the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a BS in Industrial Design