Going out to eat teaches us about UX

First of all, let me start by saying I was particularly excited about attending this talk. I would be lying if I told you I don’t watch an episode of an Anthony Bourdain show at least once a week, so when I heard there was going to be a talk about how restaurant experiences can teach us about UX (i.e. combining my two favorite things), I was doing my happy dance.

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Jimmy Chandler, UX Architect, Co-organizer  and presenter of the talk, started off with showing us one thing we New Yorkers are all too familiar with, the Shake Shack line! Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 1.09.46 PM.png

What is that make people stand in line for hours on end when there are countless of other options? The answer: brand loyalty.

How can restaurants build brand loyalty to their customers and how do they treat different customers with different needs?

Fun Fact: The factor that angers restaurant-goers the most? Waiting for a table – especially when they tell you 15 min and it takes 45.

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Why Businesses Fail Without UX

What may be obvious to you, may not be to your users.

At last night’s “Why Businesses Fail Without UX” meetup, Laurence Adrian, the UX Lead at Dom & Tom,  gave the audience an extensive number of tips about project management methodologies, user research, UX tools, prototyping, and user testing. By the end of the talk, I was feeling like a student back in college, taking frantic notes, trying to digest all the information I just heard.

Laurence broke UX into three pillars: Planning, Research, and Communication, although his talk mostly focused on the first two. Continue reading

Designers are from Mars, Engineers are from Venus

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Meetup space filling up @Motivate_Design, NYC

“Designers and engineers always get along,” said no one…ever. That is why the meetup I went to last night at Motivate Design was packed with people, curious to gain a better understanding of how to communicate effectively with team members of all disciplines, and learn best practices to help facilitate more project collaboration.

Jack Cole, Director of Design at Motivate Design, was the presenter for the meetup which was coordinated by NYC Code and Design Academy and the UX Labs meetup group. Jack is a 15-year veteran of working as a UX/Design professional who has experienced the thrilling highs and the crushing lows of corporate life.

What’s the issue? Many from the two disciplines don’t see eye-to-eye, which causes friction and unnecessary roadblocks that prevent success. 

He started off by taking us through a few particularly challenging projects and what he learned from each of them from a designer’s perspective.

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How to Measure UX

Let’s say you are on a team that needs to create a better user experience – you come up with some changes, get support from your stakeholders, and deploy. What happens next? Was the UX really improved? Can you justify to your stakeholders that you did your job?

Without credible UX success measurements, we all risk not being able to quantify our success.  Without credible UX success measurements, we are unable to align our efforts to an organization’s business objectives and desired outcomes. This often results in UX efforts becoming very unfocused, undefined and easily changed on a whim. Basically, you’re left having to tell a very subjective story of your UX success or failures, which unfortunately, could lead to you and your team being very exposed. – Mark Disciullo, User Experience Strategist and Designer

In order to quantify the progress (if any) was made, your team should be conducting iterative studies and tests throughout the development of your app/site. Before conducting any study, it is necessary to define 1) the goals you want to reach and 2) the metrics you want to track.

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Material Design Panel by Google

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Left to right: Amber Bravo, Mark Shuster, Eli Weiss, Kevin Grant

Google Design held a panel last night at General Assembly to talk about Material Design, their newest design framework for Android. The panelists included Mark Shuster, Senior Product Designer at Buzzfeed, Eli Weiss, Chief Mobile Strategist at B&H, Kevin Grant, Android Engineer at Tumblr, and Amber Bravo (the host) who is an Editor at Google.

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Top tips and quotes from the panel

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Interaction Design 101

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Weather App by Sergey Valiukh

What is Interaction Design?

Ever used a mobile app and felt like you figured out how to use it within the first couple of minutes? When you went on the Twitter app and pressed the box to type something, did a keyboard popup so seamlessly that you didn’t even notice there may have been some other interaction? Ever pressed a button expecting one action, but got another?

Interaction design (IxD) is the process for creating logical and thought out interfaces. It helps users easily learn and use the interface in an engaging and intuitive way to prevent unnecessary roadblocks when the user is trying to complete a task. IxD is one of many segments (i.e. Information Architecture, UX Research) that make the UX field. Having intuitive interaction design in your site, app, or whatever interface you may be designing, is a crucial element for delivering a positive user experience.

IxD Concepts: The Basics

UX Booth came out with an awesome article in 2009, “Complete Beginners Guide To Interaction Design”, about the top concepts that interaction designers use to drive their work forward:

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