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An Introduction to User Experience for Dev's & Techies


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Presented by Scott A. Savage ( for Web Content Mavens at General Assembly in Washington, DC on March 18, 2015.

This presentation provides an overview of how developers and non-user experience people can integrate good user experience ideas and methodologies into their professional processes and work.

Published in: Design
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An Introduction to User Experience for Dev's & Techies

  1. 1. For Web Content Mavens, March 18, 2015 An Introduction to User Experience for Dev’s & Techies Scott A. Savage
  2. 2. –Albert Einstein “Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”
  3. 3. Who is Scott Savage? ❖ UX Architect at Boost Labs ❖ Worked for WeatherBug, SAIC, US Dept. of Health & Human Services,, and a few others ❖ Loves user experience, puppies, walks on the beach, and Star Trek ❖ Tweet me @scottAsavage, and learn more about me at
  4. 4. Did you know…? Source: Leonardo DaVinci was commissioned by the Duke of Milan to design a kitchen for a great feast. He designed conveyor belts to transport food items to the chefs, and even created a worlds-first sprinkler system for safety in case the kitchen caught fire Now that’s a guy who gave thought to user experience!
  5. 5. What is User Experience? What do you think user experience is?
  6. 6. What is User Experience? us·er ex·pe·ri·ence (noun) The overall experience of a person using a product such as a website or computer application, especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use. In other words, user experience is the embodiment of everything we interact with, good or bad.
  7. 7. Why should I care about UX? Great UX creates emotional attachment and brand loyalty.
  8. 8. Why should I care about UX? Bad UX kills great ideas, and makes everyone unhappy.
  9. 9. –Yun Jong Yong, CEO, Samsung “Good design is the most important way to differentiate ourselves from our competitors*.” – Albrecht & Zembre, 1985 “Bad news travels fast. A dissatisfied shopper tells around 10 other people about the shopper’s bad experience.” hat is, when we’re not stealing good designs and suing the original designers… ;)
  10. 10. What does great UX look like? Great shopping experiences Consistent design across platforms Clean, easy-to-use interfaces & quality materials
  11. 11. What does bad UX look like? I just… I can’t even… With the right combination of checks, I think you can launch the nukes.
  12. 12. So wait… is… is UX = UI?
  13. 13. No UX is not UI
  14. 14. What constitutes good UX? ge credit:
  15. 15. Common UX misconceptions ❖ UX is only a step in the design process. ❖ My users are experts, so it’s okay to let UX go - they’ll just “get it”. ❖ It’s expensive and time consuming to consider UX. ❖ UX means it just has to look good. ❖ It’s not my job to worry about UX.
  16. 16. The truth is, though, that you’re probably already doing some user experience work. You just don’t realize it.
  17. 17. Let’s talk about processes The basis of making great things is having smart processes.
  18. 18. Discovery How Developers can get involved with UX in Discovery • Ask to be a part of discovery meetings. • Participate in stakeholder interviews. • Research the problem you’ll be trying to solve. • Look up competitors and leaders in the same field.
  19. 19. Architecture How Developers can get involved with UX in Architecture • Assist (or lead) the effort in designing a sitemap. • Contribute technical use cases. • Participate in requirements writing with BA’s. • Draw or mock up your ideas for the design & function of the UI
  20. 20. Design How Developers can get involved with UX in Design • Sit with your designers and talk through their designs from a technical feasibility standpoint. • Offer well-thought feedback on designs & style guides. • Assist designers in creating the markup (HTML/CSS/JS). • Analyze any and all UX deliverables (personas, use cases, etc).
  21. 21. Development! Finally! How Developers can get involved with UX in Development • Frequently check your code against the requirements, designs, and with your teammates to ensure that you’re keeping the users best interests in mind. • Work with designers to simplify complex workflows. • Don’t be afraid to talk to customers during development - they can provide valuable insights & help you work through rough spots.
  22. 22. Testing How Developers can get involved with UX in Testing • Work with your entire team to help write test cases based on real-world situations. • Coordinate or participate in focus groups with current/potential customers. • Push new builds on a scheduled, frequent basis to ensure that users have the maximum amount of time to put your product through its paces.
  23. 23. The Dad Test ❖ My dad loves technology and gadgets. ❖ He’s not very technically - or internet - savvy. ❖ If he can easily figure out how to use something I’ve designed - with few (if any) questions, I know my UX was good. Dad and me!
  24. 24. – Frank Lloyd Wright “You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site.”
  25. 25. The most important takeaways ❖ Whenever you can, talk to your clients/customers/users - not just about business, but about them as people. ❖ Don’t be afraid to ask questions - ever. ❖ Test early, test often. ❖ Don’t make assumptions. ❖ Collaborate. Be part of the whole process, not just a step in it.
  26. 26. Resources: Great UX People ❖ Whitney Hess: Writer, speaker, UX advocate ❖ ❖ Jared M. Spool: Founder, UIE ❖ ❖ Jakob Nielsen & Don Norman: Pioneers of Evidence-Based User Experience ❖ ❖ Luke Wroblewski: Product Director at Google, author of “Web Form Design” ❖ ❖ Jesse James Garrett: Founder of Adaptive Path, forefather of modern UX ❖
  27. 27. Resources: Great Websites ❖ A List Apart: ❖ Smashing Magazine: ❖ Boxes and Arrows: ❖ UX Magazine:
  28. 28. Resources: Great Books ❖ Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug ❖ The Psychology Of Everyday Things by Don Norman ❖ A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making by Russ Unger & Carolyn Chandler
  29. 29. Thanks for listening!