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 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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What I learned from 200 projects (Amsterdam UX)

  1. 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. 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. 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. 4. scope, teams, skills, org charts, deliverables
  5. 5. the scope of our projects has expanded from one-way webdesign to service design for networked brands
  6. 6. http://www.abnamro.nl
  7. 7. 640px 480px
  8. 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. 9. ! SOCIAL CONTENT MOBILE CONTENT STORES CRM PR CSR ALWAYS-ON CONNECTED PLATFORMS Starbucks.com
  10. 10. our teams have had different types of people in them
  11. 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. 12. we had different skills, starting at Computer Science, HCI and Design leading to User Experience
  13. 13. HCICS Des
  14. 14. HCICS DesIxDIA Mar Com Info Des Copy Usab
  15. 15. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  16. 16. shallow knowledge User Experience deep knowledge business knowledge
  17. 17. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  18. 18. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  19. 19. since 1995, we have been looking for the right place of UX in the organization
  20. 20. what we call our work, our deliverables, changed too...
  21. 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. 22. Design ResearchEvaluation Prototype Test SketchDetailed Design Concept Personas Interviews
  23. 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. 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. 25. GOOD BAD per company
  26. 26. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  27. 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. 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. 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. 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. 31. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  32. 32. • A conference is more than the proceedings • Also: it’s not that hard to get on stage!
  33. 33. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Prototype RequirementsReview Estimate SketchDetailed Design Competition Process Scope
  34. 34. Br Br eaking ead share late-night pizza with developers have lunch with clients go for drinks with colleagues 35 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. 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. 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. 38. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  39. 39. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Position Requirements Scope Estimate Detailed Design Concept Competition Process Roles Steps Interviews
  40. 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. 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. 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. 43. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  44. 44. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  45. 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. 46. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Service Design Prototype RequirementsReview Test Scope Estimate Detailed Design Personas Process Roles Steps Interviews
  47. 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. 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. 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. 50. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  51. 51. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage RequirementsReview Test Scope Optimize Estimate Detailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process Interviews Pitch
  52. 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. 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. 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. 55. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  56. 56. Life Play Learn Buy
  57. 57. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Pitch Scenarios Position Roadmap Requirements Test Scope Estimate Detailed Design Concept Personas Competition Process
  58. 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. 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. 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. 61. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  62. 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. 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. 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. 65. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Scenarios Position Roadmap Service Design RequirementsReview Test Scope Estimate Sketch Concept Personas Competition Process Interviews
  66. 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. 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. 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. 69. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  70. 70. MOBILE APP MUSIC PLAYER IN BAR out ofscope MUSIC MATCH
  71. 71. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Roadmap Prototype Requirements Scope Estimate Sketch Concept Process
  72. 72. Business Design ResearchEvaluation StrategyManage Review Process Roles Steps
  73. 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. 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. 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. 76. User Experience HCICS DesIxDIA Info Des Mar Com Copy Usab
  77. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 82. Best team?
  83. 83. Jesse James Garre Peter Merholz Jeff Veen Janice Fraser Dan Saffer Lane Becker Indi Young
  84. 84. Best place for UX?
  85. 85. Best deliverable?
  86. 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. 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. 88. MOBILE APP MUSIC PLAYER IN BAR out ofscope MUSIC MATCH
  89. 89. Best process?
  90. 90. SUP wasn’t used, and SUP-Light was created to fix that
  91. 91. Best process? your process
  92. 92. user reseach concept design detailed design prototype & evaluate Persona SITEMAP wireframesrequire- ments usability test Screen FLOW proto- type design principles
  93. 93. Best client
  94. 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. 95. Government of Jamaica
  96. 96. Best business lesson?
  97. 97. Office Managers manage the company office managers run the agency
  98. 98. don’t postpone talking about money don’t be afraid to talk about money
  99. 99. it takes A LOT of work to get work done
  100. 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. 101. Thank you!
  102. 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

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