What I learned from 200 projects (Amsterdam UX)

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Focussing on teamwork, deliverables and processes, I walked the audience through a selection of projects from my 20 years of experience with designing interactive systems, sharing the lessons that I …

Focussing on teamwork, deliverables and processes, I walked the audience through a selection of projects from my 20 years of experience with designing interactive systems, sharing the lessons that I learned the hard way, and showing how some things in design agencies have changed while others have stayed exactly the same. I hope that some of the lessons resonate with the audience, and that the models I include (like the T-model, or overviews of where UX can live in organizations) helps them reflect on their practice and consider improvements to the way they design.

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  • 1. What I learned from oh, I don’t know, around 200 projects Peter Boersma (@pboersma) Interaction Design Director at Blast Radius Amsterdam UX Meetup July 2, 2014
  • 2. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 3. around 200 projects 1995 - 2000 - General Design 70 10 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 20 10 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 15 5 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 10 20 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 20 5 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 5 2.5 2012 - 2012 - freelance 5 10 2012 - present - Blast Radius 55 40 Total 200 10 #proj /year
  • 4. scope, teams, skills, org charts, deliverables
  • 5. the scope of our projects has expanded from one-way webdesign to service design for networked brands
  • 6. http://www.abnamro.nl
  • 7. 640px 480px
  • 8. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 9. ! SOCIAL CONTENT MOBILE CONTENT STORES CRM PR CSR ALWAYS-ON CONNECTED PLATFORMS Starbucks.com
  • 10. our teams have had different types of people in them
  • 11. my roles at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - UI Designer 2000 - 2002 - Consultant User-Understanding 2002 - 2005 - Senior Information Architect 2005 - 2006 - UX Consultant & Partner 2006 - 2010 - Senior Interaction Designer 2010 - 2012 - Experience Designer 2012 - 2012 - Freelance (Process) Designer 2012 - present - Interaction Design Director
  • 12. we had different skills, starting at Computer Science, HCI and Design leading to User Experience
  • 13. HCICS Des
  • 14. HCICS DesIxDIA Mar Com Info Des Copy Usab
  • 15. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 16. shallow knowledge User Experience deep knowledge business knowledge
  • 17. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 18. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 19. since 1995, we have been looking for the right place of UX in the organization
  • 20. what we call our work, our deliverables, changed too...
  • 21. “Here is how we work: Step 1: we send you a contract Step 2: we design your site and you approve the design Step 3: we build your site, and you approve the design Step 4: we send you an invoice”
  • 22. Design ResearchEvaluation Prototype Test SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Interviews
  • 23. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate Beta SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Roles Steps Interviews
  • 24. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 25. GOOD BAD per company
  • 26. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 27. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate Beta SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Roles Steps Interviews
  • 28. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 29. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 30. 1995-2000 - General Design Company profile: - Dutch startup that grew from 3-30 people - made interactive sites for small & large brands My responsibilities: - in the beginning: everything - from interface design - via software programming - to sales and project management
  • 31. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 32. • A conference is more than the proceedings • Also: it’s not that hard to get on stage!
  • 33. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Prototype RequirementsReview Estimate SketchDetailed Design Competition Process Scope
  • 34. Br Br eaking ead share late-night pizza with developers have lunch with clients go for drinks with colleagues 35 35
  • 35. General Design GOOD BAD * gave me broad experience * mix of academic research and practical focus * time to discover what I like (not project management) * being project manager & UI designer on 10 projects * leading to a short, 4-week burnout
  • 36. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 37. 2000-2002 - Satama Company profile: - Finnish web-and-mobile agency going global - General Design turned into Amsterdam office My responsibilities: - Consultant User-Understanding - concept design, IA, IxD, usability tests - for the first time: process designer
  • 38. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 39. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Position Requirements Scope Estimate Detailed Design Concept Competition Process Roles Steps Interviews
  • 40. Satama Interactive GOOD BAD * mobile experience: designed WAP sites, and created a mobile portal evaluation tool. * process focus: I managed a 2-year program to document the Satama Unified Process. * I wasn’t considered a good fit for consultant team * leading to a long, 8-month burnout
  • 41. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 42. 2002-2005 - EzGov Company profile: - software & consultancy for online transactions - between governments and citizens/businesses My responsibilities: - Information Architect - Also: Usability Engineer - And: Process Designer
  • 43. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 44. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 45. 3 Phases 5 Disciplines System Analysis Information Architecture & Interaction Design Usability & Accessibility Testing Content Design Visual Design & Information Design Elaboration ConstructionInception EzGov Standards for UXEzGov Standards for UX
  • 46. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Estimate Detailed Design Personas Process Roles Steps Interviews
  • 47. EzGov GOOD BAD * good cooperation with Development and PM * spent time defining design process (StUX) * developed in-house screenflow tool (J-flow) * styleguides made visual design work boring * org. overhead made our work expensive
  • 48. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 49. 2005-2006 - User Intelligence Company profile: - small usability company that expanded into design - founder was looking for a business partner My responsibilities: - User Experience Consultant and Manager Design
  • 50. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 51. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate Detailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Interviews Pitch
  • 52. User Intelligence * we defined the basis for good team & good company * got to think about corporate strategies * unprepared for partner talks with founder * our communication styles made cooperation hard * had to leave, shortly after bringing in friends
  • 53. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 54. 2006-2010 - Info.nl Company profile: - very Dutch agency ("normal is crazy enough") - founded in1994 and still going strong My responsibilities: - senior interaction designer - Also: restructured department & renamed job titles - Also: attempted to document design process info.nl!FULL!SERVICE!INTERNET!AGENCY!!
  • 55. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 56. Life Play Learn Buy
  • 57. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Requirements Test Scope Estimate Detailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process
  • 58. Info.nl GOOD BAD * cooperation with developers * sales reached out to sell UX * management lacked vision about process * sales defined projects: teams designed to budget
  • 59. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 60. 2010-2012 - Adaptive Path Company profile: - famous San Francisco agency came to Amsterdam - defined User Experience as we know it - Adaptive Path is run by designers My responsibilities: - Experience Designer - design, lead projects, sell projects - teach workshops, host UX Week
  • 61. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 62. the elements of user experience Henning Fischer Director, Adaptive Path Amsterdam henning@adaptivepath.com @henningfischer Peter Boersma Designer, Adaptive Path Amsterdam peter.boersma@adaptivepath.com @pboersma
  • 63. First deliverable: Narrative As a result of initial conversations with the client, our designer-led sales team would create a Narrative. A Narrative consists of: - key business needs - project summary and team overview - phase-by-phase description of activities and outcomes - examples of expected deliverables - timeline and budget
  • 64. But what happened to it? Designers’ narratives were translated by Sales into a Statement of Work with a lot of legalese. We had to go back to the original narrative to kick off projects with the team.
  • 65. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design RequirementsReview Test Scope Estimate Sketch Concept Personas Competition Process Interviews
  • 66. Adaptive Path GOOD BAD * designers lead projects from sales to delivery * many internal discussions about the field * time to teach back to community * 14 hour workdays due to time zones * European sales handed over to America
  • 67. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 68. 2012-2012 - Freelance Company profile: - me :-) - interaction designer & design process consultant My responsibilities: - set up the business, pay tax, do sales & PM - define processes and design concepts for clients
  • 69. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 70. MOBILE APP MUSIC PLAYER IN BAR out ofscope MUSIC MATCH
  • 71. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Roadmap Prototype Requirements Scope Estimate Sketch Concept Process
  • 72. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Review Process Roles Steps
  • 73. Freelance GOOD BAD * freedom in deciding when to work * freedom in deciding how much to work * freedom in deciding for whom to work * office/tax/legal stuff is hard! * no team = no feedback * no idea if I was at good at freelancing
  • 74. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 75. 2012-present - Blast Radius Company profile: - “agency for the connected world” (= Marketing) - owned by global digital agency network Wunderman My responsibilities: - Interaction Design Director in Amsterdam office - design concepts and prototypes (with freelancers) - manage a Business Analyst - support offices in Hamburg, London and Paris
  • 76. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  • 77. Small ± 9 x 6 cm! Galaxy S2/S3/S4, iPhone, HTC One ! ! Medium ± 11 x 16 cm! Nexus 7, iPad mini, Kindle 7! ! Large ± 21 x 14 cm! Nexus 10, iPad (1, 2, Air), Tab 10.1, Kindle 8.9! Small Medium Large
  • 78. small portrait small landscape medium landscape & large portrait small medium large medium portrait large landscape desktop (large & non–touch) 640 px? 1024 px? %#@&* iPad Mini!
  • 79. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Interviews
  • 80. Blast Radius * international work environment * working for small number of big accounts * allows for tracking of success of designs * project were never ran by UX (often by Developers or Art Directors) * limited input in early stages of projects
  • 81. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 82. Best team?
  • 83. Jesse James Garre Peter Merholz Jeff Veen Janice Fraser Dan Saffer Lane Becker Indi Young
  • 84. Best place for UX?
  • 85. Best deliverable?
  • 86. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate Beta SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Roles Steps Interviews
  • 87. Narrative As a result of initial conversations with the client, our designer-led sales team would create a Narrative. A Narrative consists of: - key business needs - project summary and team overview - phase-by-phase description of activities and outcomes - examples of expected deliverables - timeline and budget
  • 88. MOBILE APP MUSIC PLAYER IN BAR out ofscope MUSIC MATCH
  • 89. Best process?
  • 90. SUP wasn’t used, and SUP-Light was created to fix that
  • 91. Best process? your process
  • 92. user reseach concept design detailed design prototype & evaluate Persona SITEMAP wireframesrequire- ments usability test Screen FLOW proto- type design principles
  • 93. Best client
  • 94. the elements of user experience Henning Fischer Director, Adaptive Path Amsterdam henning@adaptivepath.com @henningfischer Peter Boersma Designer, Adaptive Path Amsterdam peter.boersma@adaptivepath.com @pboersma
  • 95. Government of Jamaica
  • 96. Best business lesson?
  • 97. Office Managers manage the company office managers run the agency
  • 98. don’t postpone talking about money don’t be afraid to talk about money
  • 99. it takes A LOT of work to get work done
  • 100. 20 years at interactive agencies 1995 - 2000 - General Design 2000 - 2002 - Satama Interactive 2002 - 2005 - EzGov 2005 - 2006 - User Intelligence 2006 - 2010 - Info.nl 2010 - 2012 - Adaptive Path 2012 - 2012 - freelance 2012 - present - Blast Radius
  • 101. Thank you!
  • 102. What I learned from oh, I don’t know, around 200 projects Peter Boersma (@pboersma) Interaction Design Director at Blast Radius Amsterdam UX Meetup July 2, 2014