Top 3 Talks at UX Conference “Make Stuff That Works” : Part 1

Still on a high from my first UX Meetup last Monday, I was delighted to see a popup conference coming up called Make Stuff That Works, organized by NetLife Research. There were 7 talks, 100+ UXers, and 1 great afterparty (more details to come).

“WTF Wearables?!” by Lisa Kindred

Liza Kindred, author & fashion tech strategist, is not a fan of hyped-up, novelty wearables. She makes her point by showing a variety of examples that are almost to the point of farfetched, such as:

The Papparazzi Dress:

Papparazzi Dress to prevent the wearer from being photographed

The Cyborg Cap:

Cyclops Hat that lets you display videos to other people

And this beauty, the Tweeting Bra:

It tweets a message every time the hook is unclasped (on the bright side, the point is to raise awareness for breast cancer)

But instead of talking for an hour about why all wearables “suck”, Liza shows us that she thinks there are actually a lot of cool wearables out there that can really make a difference in the world. What constitutes a wearable as being “cool”? Technology that, for example, prevents disease, helps correct color blindness, and can be used as a tool in every country to do things like improving water collection and becoming invisible to mosquitos! Continue reading

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UX Must-Read: Don’t Make Me Think Revisited

This book is everything I like in an educational book: easy-to-read, fun, well-organized, and most importantly: useful. Steve Krug, an expert UX consultant with over 20 years of experience, gives his readers a glimpse of what one should have in the back of their mind when designing a web or mobile site in order to bring the best usability and experience to one’s users.

One simple, yet clarifying and fundamental piece of information is when Krug actually defines usability:

“Usability means making sure something works well, and that a person of average ability or experience can use it for its intended purpose without getting hopelessly frustrated.”

An unexpected point that Krug shed light on was that there are predominately two-types of website users: those who search (search-dominant users) and those who browse (browse-dominant users). This means that when designing a site/app, it is important to take in these two types of users and to make sure that they can both navigate your site without having to think and be “road-blocked”.

Krug does a great job highlighting other books, resources and tools to read if someone wants to learn more about a specific area, such as accessibility. Here are two that I enjoyed and am taking advantage of:

  1. Watch this video about the invention of a book in medieval times :). Too many similarities to when new technologies are introduced today!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQHX-SjgQvQ
  2. Want to help out to do usability testing? This site, UserTesting.com, offers a great chance to do some, and even pays you $10 for each one you do.

One awesome aspect about the book? You don’t have to be a UX expert to read it! You don’t even need to be a designer/product manager/researcher/insert tech job here to get valuable pieces of advice from it. If you want to buy your own version of Don’t Make Me Think Revisited, you can buy it here on Amazon – enjoy!