Short Talks

Short Talks

The final session of the dat featured a series of short, five minute talks, followed by the exciting prize draw.

Four Things I Learned That You Should Also Know

Ian Fenn

Ian Fenn speaking at UX Bristol

Fenn provided us with insights from his experience as a radio producer, prior to coming into UX. These insights were:

  • If you have areas that are weakness, find people who are good at them and shadow them.
  • Engage with the world and do your research before you think you’ll need it. Pay attention to the way things work so you can think about things from a user perspective.
  • If you are new to the field, engage with the people who have been in it for ages. If you’ve been in the business for ages, engage with the people who haven’t. It reminds you what you know.
  • If you can’t be honest, find another project!

Follow Ian on Twitter @ifenn.

When the Tail is Wagging the Dog

Sam Menter

Menter emphasised that, at its core, UX is about goals and flow. You are trying to help people to achieve their goals through design. In striving for this, we often find ourselves between two places – what the customer wants and what the business wants. Although UX work is about understanding the big picture, we need to understand the details too.

He chose to focus on the details of a website checkout process, particularly trend towards for ajax checkouts.

He used the example of the John Lewis website, where the ajax checkout means that virtually nothing changes when you click “add to basket”. He emphasised the perils of this, including missing out on up sell opportunities and breaking the user experience rule “don’t make me think”. He compared this to the Amazon site, which does take the user to an entirely new page, making it clear that something has changed and making use of the data associated with the decision to buy. This illustrated his point that we should be led by user experience, not the technology.

Follow Sam on Twitter @sammenter.

Using Analogy in Digital Design

Nic Price

Nic Price speaking at UX Bristol

Price discussed his experience of managing intranets, including the BBC intranet: Gateway, which got so large that they had to create a character to tell you how to use it.

When the intranet was due to be transferred to Sharepoint, he took his team to explore the redevelopment of the Southbank, he used as an analogy for the process they were going through. There were many parallels, including the need to keep it open whilst the redevelopment was going on, and the types of spaces and uses required by the users, the need to improve the signage etc. This gave him the opportunity to effectively sell what it could be like to use the intranet through this analogy.

Follow Nic on Twitter @nicprice.

Being a Modern Day Sherlock Holmes

Mark Skinner

Mark Skinner speaking at UX Bristol

In his very short, short talk, Skinner drew the analogy between UX and being a detective. He identified the stages that Sherlock Holmes used to solve a problem, including:

  • Defining the problem
  • Researching the problem
  • Creating a hypothesis
  • Solving the problem

As a child, Skinner wanted to be wanted to be a detective, but not good with blood, so he went into UX – where there has been no blood so far! However, he highlighted that Holmes always missed a bit and had to explain himself. He emphasised that we don’t do this enough. Sherlock Holmes had a Watson, we should use our clients in the same way.

Follow Mark on Twitter @markskinner_

3 Ways to Make Your Wireframes More Useful

Steve Cable

Steve Cable speaking at UX Bristol

In his talk, Cable focussed on things that are often missing from wireframes, including:

A visual priority for the webpage: He suggested highlighting these so it is clear where the visual priority actually is, without necessarily getting into colour and shading decisions.

Data: He emphasised that the more detailed dummy data you add to a page, the more insightful answers when user testing. When you test without data, you test the usability. When you test with data, you test the whole user experience.

Image descriptions: Using image descriptions can help to establish whether you will be showing what people actually want to see in a given space.

Follow Steve on Twitter @steve_cable.

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