“Outside of the tech sector, most of the large companies that I encounter are startlingly similar.
They’re massively successful, indisputably recognized as world-class leaders by consumers and the business community. Their executives are all smart and good at what they do. They acknowledge the world is going through a technological revolution and that digital technologies are transforming their businesses. They know that to stay up to par, they have to lead in the Internet space, too. But for some reason they just can’t get it done.
Here’s why: traditional organizational structures are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age. While they can execute like a fine-tuned machine against core business goals, they generally consist of a series of silos–and digital is inherently integrated. Management of what I call the Software Layer, a layer of technology that surrounds the core business and serves as the focal point of interaction with the outside world, requires a more unified approach.”
Read the full article at Fast Company.
“Agile has a relatively short history in the broader view of software development. Integration of User Experience into Agile has an even shorter history with relatively few stories of overwhelming success. Over the last eighteen months, we at TheLadders have had some successes—and some failures—in our foray into a post-waterfall way of developing elegant, efficient and sophisticated consumer-facing software. This is our story.”
Read the full article on Johnny Holland.
“UX practitioners, both consultants and in house, sometimes conduct research. Be it usability testing or user research with a generative goal, research requires planning. To make sure product managers, developers, marketers and executives (let’s call them stakeholders) act on UX research results, planning must be crystal clear, collaborative, fast and digestible. Long plans or no plans don’t work for people. You must be able to boil a UX research plan down to one page. If you can’t or won’t, then you won’t get buy-in for the research and its results.”
Read the full article – by our very own Tomer Sharon – on Smashing Magazine.
“A development approach based on incremental change may present a less attractive design task for a UX designer than doing wholly new development, but refactoring an existing design offers a number of advantages.”
Read the full article on UXmatters.
“The first meeting is about getting to know each other and seeing whether you are really interested in the product that a team is developing. Is there is a good fit? The second meeting is about getting to know more people on the team, seeing whether there is receptiveness to your approach, and planning how to take a project forward with more intelligence. Test your hypothesis for how you can best to do additional work together.” Read the full article on UXmatters.
The 2012 Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) will be held at the Westin Boston Waterfront, October 22-26. User Experience Day is a dedicated programming track geared for user experience (UX) professionals on Wednesday, October 24, 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.
The goal is to deliver a great program of technical sessions and networking opportunities for all attendees. This is your chance to make personal connections with a variety of UX professionals from around the world. The full day of high-quality programming includes something for everyone:
- 8:30 to 10:00 am – Invited speaker Bill Buxton, author and principal UX researcher at Microsoft Research, presents “The Human Factors of ‘Simple’ Devices”
- 10:30 am to 12:00 noon – “UX and Agile Development” panel discussion chaired by Marc L. Resnick of Bentley University with John F. (Jeff) Kelley of IBM, Jay Elkerton of Emerson Process Management, Russ Beebe of Vanderbilt University, and Ania Rodriguez of Key Lime Interactive
- 1:30 to 3:00 pm – Best UX paper competition
- TBD – Future leaders speed networking (by invitation only), sponsored by Key Lime Interactive
- 5:30 to 7:00 pm – Happy hour at Lucky’s Lounge, sponsored by Emerson Process Management
Interested? Learn more about User Experience Day events and also HFES conference information.
There’s four openings at my company – Constant Contact – for your consideration:
- Senior Visual Designer
- Template Designer
- Senior Interaction Designer
- Manager, Interaction Design/Information Architecture
UPDATE: Thank you to all who attended and, especially, to our wonderful presenters from Perkins. If you weren’t able to make it, you can view the recording in your browser (it runs about 90 minutes).
“Accessibility in a Not-So-Accessible World” – Wed., 10/10 at 7:30 PM in Smith 122 or online
Presented by Perkins School for the Blind representatives – Kim Charlson, Director of the Braille and Talking Book Library, and Jim Denham, Director of the Assistive Technology Program – information and experiences will be shared to inform participants of the challenges and potential solutions for consumers with visual impairment. Current technology and real life anecdotes will both be reviewed.
“As online recruiting sites get more complex, they can get harder to read for people who can’t see, as well as others who use ‘screen readers’ because of challenges with their arms or other disabilities. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Corbb O’Connor, a web usability consultant with O’Consulting Group.” Read the full story on ERE.net.
We had a rousing discussion of what helps make a portfolio stand out, what might go into a portfolio, and what to do if you can’t show confidential work. We referenced several resources:
We also reviewed examples of good portfolios, discussed useful tools (Alyssa Boehm suggested Squarespace as an affordable option for people seeking a simple way to get started and Brian Mills recommended BlueHost for site hosting), as well as several helpful articles throughout our industry:
Big thanks to our portfolio panelists – John Tarr and Megan Tierney from Onward Search, HFID student Rui Wang, and HFID professor Chauncey Wilson – for all of their help last week.
Want a job? Make a portfolio first!
When many of us consider a “portfolio” we see strong visuals, photos, or graphic designs. Portfolios are not just for designers! A portfolio is a powerful tool for you to tell a story about your work. More and more we hear that if you want a job, you should have a portfolio. But how do you get started?
Chauncey Wilson of Bentley University’s HFID program will explain his thoughts about portfolios, Rui Wang will share her recent experience building a portfolio to land a job, and recruiters from Onward Search will talk about the value of portfolios and what recruiters may expect to see.
We will discuss portfolios from a UX perspective, highlighting research and design work, but the ideas and recommendations can apply to any discipline. Portfolios tell stories to set you apart in a crowded field. Bring your questions or experiences so we can review best practices and insights.
The discussion is this evening – Wednesday, 9/12 – at 7:30 PM in Smith 122 or please attend online.
We hope to see you there!
“More than ever, innovation is a real, tangible competency at many Fortune 500 companies, which are investing substantially in their innovation capabilities to build new businesses, explore new technologies, and find new avenues to creating value. However, for every company that has produced substantial impact through innovation, there are many others that have struggled to produce real results. Tempted by the hope of disruptive products and beyond-the-core growth, less successful business leaders discover that making innovation happen at a large company is harder than they imagined. After a few years–usually three–they find that their budgets are dramatically cut and their priorities realigned. In some cases, their entire innovation structures are eliminated. What separates the great innovation organizations from the good ones? Simply put, it’s the ability to account for what I call the ‘pipeline paradox.’”
Read the full article on Fast Company Design.
“Known as the ‘Father of Advertising,’ David Ogilvy (1911-1999) founded an advertising agency in 1948 that David Ogilvy eventually became the Ogilvy & Mather we know today. Ogilvy was not shy about opining on what he believed to be the foundational principles and thoughts of strong business practices. I’ve parsed out a few of my favorites which are posted in my office and continue to shape my traditional and emerging efforts in Mar/Comm across my decade in the business.”
As UX pros, we must navigate business well – this article from Social Media Today has key tips.
“Being a UX professional—whether a UX designer, a user researcher, or a UX leader—can sometimes be challenging. We often find ourselves in the midst of organizational challenges—sometimes bringing more to light than we actually solve. Because our work is customer facing, user experience is an important part of the product development equation. We reflect our organizational cultures because we are so integral to the product development process.
In many organizations, there is a very high turnover rate for Directors of User Experience—just because an organization’s culture is broken. We recognize early on that many product problems are a direct reflection of cultural difficulties, but sometimes there is no way to change them. A great organizational culture is a necessity if we are to create great products. In this article, I’ll discuss some ways in which organizations fail because of their cultures.”
Read the full article at UXmatters.
The New England Chapter of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) is sponsoring an open house and discussion with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) HFES Chapter on Thursday, 6/28 from 6:30 to 9:00 PM. While the event is free to MIT students and HFES members (student membership is $10 annually), non-members are requested to make a small donation (online or at the door) to cover the cost of dinner and desert.
The event includes talks by members of the Humans and Automation Lab (HAL), International Center for Air Transportation (ICAT), Man Vehicle Lab (MVL), and AgeLab. Tours of each lab follow, and the night will round out with a social hour where participants can meet the presenters as well as employers from New England businesses looking to hire professionals from the human factors industry. If interested, please RSVP for complete location details.
“The role of UX Strategist has been popping up lately in job descriptions, discussion forums, and professional profiles on the Web. Clients have assigned this role to me on a number of consulting projects. Some of my colleagues have taken UX Strategist as their new title. But what does a UX Strategist do that’s different from, say, a UX Architect or a UX Designer or a Director of User Experience? Does this role open up a new career path for UX professionals, or is this title just a way of making our work sound more important? Recently, I did some research, and I’d like to use this edition of my column UX Strategy to take a stab at defining the role of UX Strategist as it stands today.”
Read the full article at UXmatters.
Starting January 2013, Bentley will launch a San Francisco location for the convenience of students in this region. For complete details, attend the first information session tonight from 7-9 PM at The Children’s Creativity Museum. There you can meet Dr. Bill Gribbons, the program director, and learn why Bentley’s user experience program has grown to become one of the largest and most respected UX research and design programs in the country. Explore how this program aligns with your background and career goals. We look forward to meeting you! Please register here.
“It sounds so seductive: a ‘culture of innovation.’ The three words immediately conjure up images of innovation savants like 3M, Pixar, Apple, and Google–the sorts of places where innovation isn’t an unnatural act, but part of the very fabric of a company. It seems a panacea to many companies that struggle with innovation. But what exactly is a culture of innovation, and how does a company build it?” Read the full article from Fast Company Design.
“Assistive technology (AT) includes devices and software used by those with impairments of one type or another. This section lists sources for assistive technology as well as agencies that help set the standards for evaluation of AT, agencies that are helping to bring AT to a wider audience, and information about AT in general.”
Read the full listing at the Perkins School for the Blind.
Digital Intelligence Systems (DISYS) Corporation currently has an opportunity for an User Experience Designer to join our team and lead the design activities on a number of initiatives throughout the organization. In this role, you’ll be responsible for providing a full suite of UX support to project teams including user research, design, prototyping, and usability testing.
The position is a full-time salaried role with great benefits for someone to start as soon as possible. An educational background in Human Factors & Information Design (especially Bentley’s prestigious program) is a big, big plus.
- Simultaneously lead design activities for multiple web, desktop, and mobile based development projects
- Build collaborative relationships with our internal business clients and project teams to translate their business requirements into usable and captivating experiences
- Develop scenarios, navigational structures, user flows, detailed screen designs, and interaction models
- Develop interactive wireframes and functional prototypes to support iterative user testing and internal communication of user experiences
- Facilitate design reviews with technology teams, internal business customers, and project stakeholders
- Help develop UX guidelines and standards for use across all products to meet the strategic goals of the organization
Education and Experience:
- 1-4 years experience as an interaction designer, user experience designer or a similar role
- Degree in a related field, such as HCI, Human Factors, Interactive Design, Industrial Design or Graphic Design
- Practical experience employing user-centered design methods
- Proven ability to deliver high quality interaction designs to customers/stakeholders in a collaborative environment
- Extensive experience developing UI wireframes and detailed design concepts and prototypes
- Excellent written/verbal communication skills
- Familiarity with financial services would be beneficial
Skills and Knowledge:
- Ability to understand customer needs, motivations, and behaviors and translate them into deliverable tasks
- Demonstrated experience in designing web and desktop interfaces based on strong knowledge of user interface design guidelines
- Solid understanding of user interaction techniques such as focus groups, participatory design, and usability testing
- Expertise in wireframing, preferably with software such as Axure, Sketchflow, iRise, Omnigraffle or Balsamiq
- Experience with graphics software, such as Photoshop or Fireworks
- Must be detail oriented
Please direct all inquiries to Jamie.Chafel@DISYS.com or via 617 345 9327.