user experience team of one

the design aspect of being a user experience team of one.

for all other aspects, we’ve got lots of techniques/tools. but not so much for design, still a big question mark. still just you & the blank page/screen. what am I going to make out of all of this stuff?!

before she went to adaptive path, she was at a financial firm as ux team of one. (she still had a “development team”)

forrester customer experience model: interested -> invested -> committed -> engaged -> embedded (how it gets propagated thru an organization)  her redrawing of the model, in which most are just interested, and invested is the sticking point. no authority, no agency — mostly time spent concocting defences. “doing a lot of great work, but we gotta keep ’em in line”

and that’s why she went to adaptive path. but had to “show my work, be flexible, etc” missed a bit in scooting around. room is FULL.

forcing herself to have more ideas. (she has a library sci degree!) it looks a lot like that diagram in scott berkun’s book, the diamond of getting ideas, then winnowing down, combining & so on, to get the actual design.

1) brainstorm, a lot

2) assemble an ad hoc team “harvest their brains” nom nom nom

3) pick the best ideas

example: evite; she has love/hate; explaining how you (now) create an invite. (I’ve never actually done that, just been the person accepting)

how she used to design: one idea, sitting at the computer

6-up template: when you hit a wall after idea #2, you have to keep going all the way to #6.

conceptual frameworks

spectrums, places along a dimension to explore design ideas. in the example: first timer to expert.

2×2 (2d spectrum): adding the dimension automatic to manual. and that generates a couple more ideas.

then all the way to a grid, where you pick some arbitrary intersections to play with ideas.

word associations. (missed a bit again)

inspiration library. screengrab plugin for firefox. in the example, vox homepage inspiring new design.

(honestly, seriously? I still don’t feel like the new homepage is quite what it could be)

but not enough! get other people involved. project manager, developers, anybody else with stake. (in my world, “anybody else” is (most of the time) all there is. like, who should I be working WITH on refining that idea?!)

sketchboards. not so much about the tool, but as a guideline for discussion, more dynamic. cute video. inputs, then sketching (6-ups, etc), then take it to the team, have the discussion & mark it up, and all THAT stuff goes to the wireframe.

open design sessions. (srsly? yipes!) “pizza is important” also don’t do at 9am.

run template-based workshops.

decorate your space. (I did this with all those post-its when I was processing the usability testing results. It was actually helpful.)

tips for getting good feedback.

pass the pen, esp in sketchboard. layer of abstraction in describing in words.

refer back to the inputs. “which of these sketches most closely support [that stuff]”

black hat session. apparently is good for quiet grousers or people stuck on one thing they hate/are obsessed with. good for getting complaints heard. (i fear that i may, in fact, be too much of a special snowflake to deal with appropriately.)

special designer artsy person idea = bullshit. anybody can be.

how to figure out what ideas are the right ideas. back to the generate/refine diamond. star to sail yr ship by. high in the sky clear objective. it’s not quite business requirements, exactly. tend to be lists of features. not quite user needs, either. something about what we love that transcends.

design principles! 5-7 basic ideas about what the thing is. personality and quality of experience without neccessarily specifying any particular features.

tivo, gcal (they’re not quite there ime)

quiddity: the essence of the thing. design principles should have quiddity.

business needs + user need (+ ???) = design principle

and use those as a measurement against the (now) huge stack of concepts.

yipes, the feature request! “Where’s that scrolling news ticker I asked for?” if you have the design principles, it’s easier to say “no, but this might work”

if you want to try this stuff at home

start sketching, right away

schedule some workshops

draft design principles (even if you don’t share them!)

workshop in SF in April. (folb reg code) sigh.

originally got the feedback that generalists are going away, she disagrees 🙂 field is growing, web has finally established as real concern for more organizations. companies are focusing in innovation. (not as bad as ’01? srsly?!) still thinks of herself as team of one

join the cause! buttons!

q: how to incorporate with remote teams? tablets, scanners, making the time to be organized doing it. something about there when you see the ideas as they happen.

missed the q, but the answer said that wireframes are obsolete, or going there. prototyping with sketches scanned/photoshopped, then put in powerpoint.

dropped out for a bit.