Earlier this month I gave a presentation at the 2010 IA Summit in Phoenix, AZ on Mobile Strategy. I’m happy to say it was well attended, and everyone had lots of good questions. In the presentation I went over a method to determine where you should spend your time “going mobile”. For some it’s an app, others it’s a site – where some should be focusing on Blackberry vs an iPhone (or vice-versa). Hopefully I made everything a little less confusing, and gave everyone the information needed to make an informed roadmap to move forward.
Not that I knew it at the time, but going into User Experience turned out to be a great career move. I’ve always thought there would be job security with the number of new technologies and devices that will need designing – think of everything that will have a “screen” in the future. Who’s designing for these screens? Who’s creating the interactions, workflows, graphics? That would be us!
I personally think prototyping is the way to go when creating a new software product (or any product really). You get to “blueprint” out how something is going to work, how the pieces fit together, and how it will really work once launched. I think most people are sold on the concept, so it’s a matter of how to build this close-to-real product that you can test with your user base. Do you use paper? Mock-ups? Tools like iRise and Axure, or get real and build a non-functioning ready to reuse front-end?
Starting in 2005 when returning from SXSWi a coworker and I would put together a trends presentation talking about up-and-coming technologies, patterns, websites, etc… and 2008 is no different. The presentations keep getting longer and longer, as innovation keeps building on the previous year, moving faster and faster. This year my co-presenter was Dustin Askins of Travelocity, and we gave the presentation internally to our UX groups, and just this week at the Dallas UPA Chapter.
As a Designer, I sometimes need to evaluate different technologies and platforms from a Designer’s perspective. Why is it important to get a Designer’s view? As Designers we can quickly be boxed in with inflexible UI layers, unusable sets of standard patterns, and the inability to create a great experience. By reviewing and testing, we can determine the pros and cons of a given technology solution. In honor of Eclipsecon 2008 I’ve put together a presentation on a popular application platform – the Eclipse RCP.
Awhile back I posted my “Universe of User Experience“, where I wanted to show all the pieces that needed to come together to create a great experience. This was very helpful in educating people on what User Experience was and why all the pieces were necessary. But this did not address the issue of explaining the roles of the people doing this work… So, who feeds these experiences?
SXSWi has come and gone again, this was my fourth time to attend and it just keeps getting bigger every year. When I first visited in 2003 (or was it 2002?) Bruce Sterling was still throwing SXSWi parties at his home and FROG Design hosted everyone in their office, unfortunately that doesn’t really scale to the size of the conference today. But, the panels were as diverse and interesting as ever – and I came back with the following brain-dump:
In web design there are a couple things that are for the most part consistent across sites to provide a more uniform experience. Things like most logos tend to be on the top left of a page (as well as link to the homepage) and the search goes somewhere near the top right. Besides browsing the web, something most internet surfers do is shop. It could be clothing, electronics, jewelry, whatever – but this common experience has becomes very inconsistent when it comes time to buy.