This Fall I had the opportunity to facilitate my very first conference all day workshop. I must admit that when FOWD asked if I would be interested in conducting a workshop I was terrified at the thought. But, in true FOWD fashion, they saw something that I clearly had not yet seen… that I really could conduct this type of thing. So, with the help and advice of some amazingly generous colleagues (thanks Jeff Gothelf, Christian Crumlish, Donna Lichaw, Ray DeLaPena, Andrea Mignolo, Julie Blitzer and all others that helped me out!) I was able to present the workshop, Interaction Design Beyond the Interface, at both The Future of Web Design NYC conference as well as The Future of Web Design Prague conference, to pretty positive reviews (and to some amazing feedback on how to make the workshop even better).
The basis of the workshop is to instill in Interaction Designers the knowledge that we are the ones ultimately responsible for the design of the solution (we, of course, do not do this in a silo and are supported by our teams. But when #$%^ hits the fan we are usually to blame. ), and also to point out that the interface itself is NOT the solution, but instead is the medium through which users interact with the solution.
The workshop focuses on curating essential design skills including understanding and utilizing the step in the solution process of first identifying and exploring the problem space, and then understanding the solution at a conceptual level before transmitting that solution into one or multiple interfaces (Think about responsive design. How can we really do this well without understanding the solution in a conceptual way first?). We end the workshop by modeling the soultion, without doing an interface, and then we work on how to present this solution model to our teams for consensus.
All in all the workshop was a great experience for me, and I look forward to bringing it to more conferences and work places in 2013. If you enjoy the slides, have feedback, have complaints, or want to know more about how to bring it to your company please let me know! I’d love to help spread the word about how interaction design is beyond the interface… and is, instead, the solution creator.
Interaction Design Beyond the Interface
I’m sitting in the Prague airport, enroute to meeting up with the IxDA crew in Lausanne, and can’t help but sit and reflect on the amazing time that I’ve had here in Prague. I started off my trip as a lone traveler, but the Future of Web Design conference started on Tuesday, and from there it was full speed ahead. The conference was, as always, quite amazing. But, what I’m sitting here reflecting on is how incredible the people really were. I met friends and colleagues that I will stay in contact with a long time from now. I had fellow attendees provide me with a great deal of knowledge and insight both about my topics of interest and their’s. I am a better person and professional for having made this trip.
I came to this conference as one of the few “UX” people, but it was the presence of everyone else that made the real experience. You see, the most valuable bonds really still are the human kind… at least those have been found to be most valuable to me. Thanks to everyone at FOWD/FOWA!
A few weeks ago I spoke at The Future of Web Design conference here in NYC. I was thrilled to present the topic “The Future of UX: Killing the Wireframe Machine” for the first time to an awesome audience. The talk was inspired by a past blog post The De-Evolution of UX Design. What was the theme of the talk? In short, User Experience Design is NOT User Interface Design, and UXers need to know this and promote this or our profession will no longer exist (dramatic… I know! But true.).
I believe that the field I am in, UX, has started to move backwards in a way that is detrimental to all practioners. Many of us use the wireframe or sketches or other interface artifacts to sell our skills instead of selling the real value of UX. Because of this, many people outside of our profession (as well as some within it!) think that UX = UI. For example, a usable interface is seen as a “good UX”, as opposed to a touchpoint within a greater user experience with the organization.
The problem with non-UX people viewing UX people this way? It means that we only do “wireframes” and aren’t really designing for the user experience at all… we are just designing usable interfaces. Further, if we aren’t doing user experience design at all, and if UX is seen as equivalent to UI, then UX as a profession doesn’t really exist and will die out.
In the talk, I make this argument, highlight the solutions I see to this problem, as well as, highlight the outcomes of those solutions. I have included the slides here for anyone that might be interested. (PS would love to hear what you think!).
I am giving this talk later this month at the Future of Web Design Prague conference, but would love to share the message with everyone I can. So, if you know of a group that could benefit from it, please let me know.
The Future of UX: Killing the Wireframe Machine