People of, or near, London, have you registered for UX London yet? It’s a brand new conference brought to you by the people behind the most excellent dConstruct conference. I’m very excited about UX London not only because I’m lucky enough to be running a Design Research workshop, but also because we’re going to get to see The Don, Dr. Don Norman, live and in the flesh.
Please stop me from asking him to autograph my copy of ‘The Design of Everyday Thing’. That would be almost as embarrassing as when I asked Jesse James Garrett to autograph my copy of ‘The Elements of User Experience’. (Fortunately I don’t think JJG remembers that).
There are a bunch of other great speakers including the ever entertaining Jared Spool, Peter Merholz, Jeff Veen, Donna Spencer, Eric Reiss, and more, more, more!
Anyway, UX London promises to be a great couple of days of talks and workshops, with an emphasis on practical learning that you can take back and apply to your own practice immediately. I know, for one, that my Design Research workshop is going to be all about sharing a lot of what I do now for work, especially the range of design research approaches and analysis methods that I use for all kinds of clients and projects and, importantly, budgets.
Here’s a little presentation I wanted to belatedly share with you. It’s a talk I gave at the kind-of recent GUADEC conference. I’m not sure how much of it you can make out from the slides alone, but it’s a fairly entry level talk about the difference between Usability and User Experience, and the importance of identifying and understanding your end users, and also doing some observational research.
It was a great opportunity to talk to a bunch of developers and also to meet some of the people from the UX community working with GNOME and other free software projects.
I got some really great questions after the presentation, including:
a) how is user experience for GNOME (and similar) different from UX in large corporate environments? (My answer was that there were probably more similarities than differences, especially with regards to a widely dispersed audience and design/development team and that there was probably a lot to be gained from looking to companies like Google, Yahoo, EBay etc for ideas and inspiration)
b) how do you design a good user experience when your users are ‘everybody’ – from complete novice to highly experienced user, in different types of organisations and all over the world? (That question prompted this recent rant about the myth of the general public)
c) how do you enable the entire organisation/community to benefit from the UX work and observational research that different parts of the organisation are doing? (That question has gotten me thinking about ‘libraries’ of research and findings, imagining that you could share research like you share code… but some how making sure that it was being used correctly, which would mostly mean, in the appropriate context – I’ll write more about this soon, but I’d be interested to hear any thoughts/experiences you have with this!)
Free software projects are always looking for UX people to help out, so if you have some time or want to build up some experience, it might well be worth looking into!
I haven’t quite been able to watch this myself yet, but here is a video that someone took at the Interesting08 conference last weekend. I spoke about the development of the human brain and the importance of social interaction for babies. It was an excellent day – makes me feel only slightly better about missing Reboot10 this week.
Not sure what the quality is like, hopefully you can makes something of it – it’s about 10mins long.
My name is Leisa Reichelt. I am the Head of User Research at the Government Digital Service in the Cabinet Office.
I lead a team of great researchers who work in agile, multidisciplinary digital teams to help continuously connect the people who design products with the people who will use them and support experimentation and ongoing learning in product design.
If you're interested in working with me or would like to talk more please email me