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Describing the elephant. - Moving beyond professional silos when defining UX
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Describing the elephant. - Moving beyond professional silos when defining UX


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Professional factions have made it impossible for the business community to make educated decisions - or even understand what UX is. Content strategists scream “Content is King.” The information …

Professional factions have made it impossible for the business community to make educated decisions - or even understand what UX is. Content strategists scream “Content is King.” The information architects yell “Structure the kingdom.” The SEO folks say, “There is no data without metadata.”

And the business community says, “WTF”

To which the advertising agencies say “We can solve your problem. Don’t ask how we do it, but we can. Just throw money in our direction.”

Guess who gets the money thrown at them?

I’d like to see these professional barriers broken down. We ALL bring something valuable to the table – if we’re ever allowed to sit at that table. And I’d like to share a model for UX that respects our differences, but provides an easy-to-understand framework on which businesses can build their UX strategies.

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  • 1. Describing the elephant Moving beyond professional silos Eric Reiss @elreiss UX Camp Poland May 17, 2014 Gdánsk, Poland
  • 2. What is “Gdansk”?
  • 3. Putting Gdansk on the map…
  • 4. And historically?
  • 5. So, what IS “Gdansk”?
  • 6. Clients know what they want But we know what they need
  • 7. Clients know what they want But we know what they need This is the fatal disconnect
  • 8. Content management Knowledge management Personas Scenaria Thesauri Sensemaking Accessibility Storytelling Usability Findability Information architecture Mental models Experience design
  • 9. “Creativity varies inversely with the number of cooks involved in the broth.” Bernice Fitz-Gibbon 1967
  • 10. Webmaster Webmaster Visual designer Copywriter Developer Visual designer Information architect Copywriter Front-end engineer Full-stack developer Visual designer UI designer Interaction designer Content strategist Information architect Content providers SEO consultant Social media guru Product manager Project manager Token baby boomer 1995 1998 2000 2014
  • 11. It’s all Greek to me....
  • 12. Goethe „Es hört jeder doch nur, was er versteht.“
  • 13. “He hears only that which he understands” Goethe
  • 14. “He hears only that which he understands” Goethe CSS
  • 15. User Experience IA SD CS IxD GD PM KM DM SEO SM MKT IT
  • 16. What does this mean for us as UX professionals? No single person can truly be a “UX Designer” No single discipline can truly take ownership of UX
  • 17. Can we define UX in simple, understandable terms? Can we embrace all these disciplines without taking ownership?
  • 18. Eric’s 1st Law of UX: If a solution does not solve your user’s problems, it will not solve your company’s either.
  • 19. So, let’s start by looking at a “user”
  • 20. us·er noun 1: a person who makes use of a thing; someone who uses or employs something 2: a person who uses something or someone selfishly or unethically 3: a person who takes drugs
  • 21. When would you use (simultaneously): � An ergonomic seat designed for one person � Optical lenses invented by Benjamin Franklin � Alcoholic mixture invented by Dr. Iain Marshall � Incandescent device invented by Thomas Edison � Fabric made on a loom invented by JM Jacquard � Rouge Royale (marble) � Baskerville Light (typography) � Domesticated mammal (This is often how our clients look at their content)
  • 22. When would you use (in simpler terms): � Armchair � Bifocal eyeglasses � Manhattan Cocktail � Lightbulb � Wool pullover � Tabletop � Book � Cat (This is an easier way to look at content)
  • 23. Eyeglasses Wool pullover Lightbulb Marble tabletop Armchair Book Gus the Cat Manhattan Cocktail
  • 24. Sensory assistance Warmth/comfort Sensory assistance Convenience/aethetics Convenience/comfort Education/information Companionship Chemical stimuli
  • 25. The experience of a touchpoint will always situational
  • 26. The touchpoints are cumulative
  • 27. What do your users need? What are the scenarios? How many touchpoints are touched?
  • 28. Perhaps UX design exists... ...just not UX designers. How can anyone truly be a “UX Designer” without controlling all the touchpoints?
  • 29. We need a more useful definition of UX!
  • 30. ex·per·i·ence noun 1: having been affected by or learned through observation or participation 2: the length of such participation
  • 31. Eric’s 2nd Law of UX: User experience is the sum of a series of interactions between people, devices, and events.
  • 32. Eric’s 3rd Law of UX: There are three types of interaction: active, passive and secondary
  • 33. Eric’s 4th Law of UX: UX design represents the conscious act of coordinating interactions, acknowledging interactions, and reducing negative interactions.
  • 34. Three types of interaction: � Active (things we control) � Passive (things we don’t control) � Secondary (things that have indirect influence)
  • 35. Active interaction
  • 36. Active interaction
  • 37. Passive interaction (partly)
  • 38. Passive interaction
  • 39. Secondary interaction
  • 40. Secondary interaction
  • 41. UX design combines all three activites � Coordinating interactions that we can control � Acknowledging interactions beyond our control � Reducing negative interactions
  • 42. Coordinating interactions
  • 43. Coordinating interactions
  • 44. Coordinating interactions
  • 45. Reducing negative interactions
  • 46. Reducing negative interactions
  • 47. Reducing negative interactions
  • 48. Reducing negative interactions
  • 49. So, where does that leave us? Five things to consider if you want to succeed in UX
  • 50. Don’t speak geek
  • 51. Don’t attack other disciplines
  • 52. Solve problems, don’t create them
  • 53. Think beyond your own self-interest
  • 54. And finally, our new mantra...
  • 55. Think crackers, not crumbs!
  • 56. Dziękuję!
  • 57. Eric Reiss can (usually) be found at: The FatDUX Group ApS Strandøre 15 2100 Copenhagen Denmark Office: (+45) 39 29 67 77 Mobil: (+45) 20 12 88 44 Twitter: @elreiss