anatomy of a design decision

[ SXSW Bios ]



What separates a good design from a bad design are the decisions that the designer made. Jared will explore the five styles of design decisions, showing you when gut instinct produces the right results and when designers need to look to more user-focused research. You’ll see how informed decisions play out against rule-based techniques, such as guidelines and templates. And Jared will show you the latest research showing how to hire great decision makers and find opportunities that match your style. Of course, Jared will use his unforgettable presentation style to deliver an extremely entertaining and informative presentation. Continue reading “anatomy of a design decision”

5 steps to bulletproof UX strategy

[ SXSW Bios ] #rhjr_ux5


Experience Strategy

Company realizes they have a bad product or service. Where are our pain points? Or are we at a point of stagnation? “The dip”. What are current usage patterns?

Case: Entry: search engine, Landing: content page, Exit: high bounce rate.

Companies usually approach this in reverse order, but should instead start with step 1.

  1. Step 5. Measure — Acquisition, Conversion, Engagement (do you keep people around?), Satisfaction (do they like you/vocal?). You can iterate: watch the metrics and adjust, repeat. The things you measure to determine success. The things that mean success.
  2. Step 4. Implement — Produce! Start using the app yourself. Maintain partnership with the developers. Test.
  3. Step 3. Plan — Identify the problems, figure out constraints (shape your approach), prototype. Design from the end goal/ideal, then plan your way to that goal with available resources. Test.
  4. Step 2. Define — “The Big Think”.The target. The vision for the user experience that must be communicated well.. Expression of why this matters (in the context of business strategy). “@simonsinek Purpose is not derived from products. Products are developed as a result of the purpose. The clearer the purpose, the better the products.” “Having a higher purpose keeps the team focused on what matters.” Start with the stories from your audience (and your team) and your co-horts. Learn their problems, seek out the common beliefs and condense to a single paragraph or sentence.
  5. Step 1. Audit — Take inventory. What are things like there? Primary tasks? Secondary tasks? Competitive difference? Problems? Obstacles? Pain points?

“Production Mode: fix all your problems by writing more code without design concept re-work.” So many decisions get made at the code level, has a huge impact on initial design. This is why fast prototyping and design/developer partnerships are critical. Use your application yourself.

“If you implement changes without first designing, you will come back to rebuild and rethink eventually.”

The moment you realize that it is time to step back is the moment you have gotten to the really important part of the UX strategy process.

“Why does it matter? Why do you do what you do? Why do you care? Why this problem/purpose?” How does this design/project support that? Makes all the other decisions make sense and be much easier because everyone knows where they are going and why throughout the entire team. Without it, everything you are doing is a guess.

Step 2 Deliverable: Vision onesheet — fit onto two sides of a piece of paper. ALl the information about your strategy and user experience vision in one document. They’re short, bulleted, and get read all the time.


thunder in the clouds

[ SXSW Bios ] #cloud

@jsoltero — vmware dude!


After many years there now appears to be agreement from traditional software vendors to web-based companies that we are now shifting from the desktop to the cloud. Is there truly harmony in the industry or are there still disagreements over how the cloud is delivered and utilized? This panel of cloud pioneers and experts will debate the state of cloud computing and where its future lies. Where does the cloud stand for consumers vs. the enterprise? How do mobile, social and open trends impact the cloud? And what is the future of the cloud – will one cloud win out over all others or will there be seamless data sharing across multiple clouds of a customer’s choice? Continue reading “thunder in the clouds”

metrics–driven design

[ SXSW Bios ]



For every design change you make affecting your user’s experience, do you know if you’re having a positive or negative impact? Are you adding to your organization’s bottom line or eroding it? Are you sure? Or, are you like most design teams who release work through a ramshackle process made up of politics, prayer, and paralysis? The health of the business must be the highest priority for designers. With a plethora of fast and cheap analytics tools available that bring us the ability to measure almost anything, we have no excuse not to be measuring every design change we make. From a/b testing small interface tweaks to measuring time-on-site for new users to measuring user satisfaction over long time periods, we can know more about the people who use our software than ever before. In this talk, Joshua Porter will provide you with a simple, easy framework for metrics-driven design. By using a combination of research methods as well as powerful new tracking tools, Josh will show you how to align your design priorities with what keeps you in business. You will come away from this talk with a clear idea of what metrics are most important, which ones to focus on, and which ones to ignore. So don’t drive blindly: use metrics-driven design to make sure the impact you’re having is a positive one. Continue reading “metrics–driven design”

HTML5? the web is dead, baby!

[ SXSW Bios ] #webdead



Wired declared Web 3.0 the age of apps and that the Web was dead and the future is native apps. Insight or naiveté? We’ll discuss the current merits of HTML5, and which companies and technologies will accelerate its adoption among mainstream consumers and create new opportunities for developers. We’ll also discuss the impact this can have on current native application strategies for Windows, Windows Phone 7, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android by looking at the impressive work that is being done today with the Web and apps to deliver compelling consumer experiences. But we’ll also address the shortcomings and the reality of HTML and what Web and app designers and developers can and should be doing today. This session is sponsored by Microsoft. Continue reading “HTML5? the web is dead, baby!”

dork intervention — bringing design to agile

[ SXSW Bios ] #agileisbroken

  • @karlnieb
  • @krismet
  • @agileisbroken


Agile is broken. How can designers help deliver products that users will love while grappling with the constraints of agile in corporations? With large companies rapidly adopting agile methods, it is crucial that these teams include designers to create great products. But the agile framework available to larger companies doesn’t take into account the work style of design team members. Agile, by its nature, shortcuts the design process without considering the value that design brings, not only in providing on-the-fly design solutions but also when crafting the vision of a product that the team can build towards. We are designers with agile team experience in the corporate world. These are our stories of triumph and tragedy. Come hear what worked for us and share your own war stories. Continue reading “dork intervention — bringing design to agile”

one codebase, endless possibilities — real HTML5 hacking

[ SXSW Bios ] #hack5 [ Presentation Files ]

  • @joemccann


HTML5 is no question the “buzzword du jour” in tech nowadays, but looking past the vernacular cruft one will discover that the HTML5 technology STACK is actually an incredibly powerful & useful framework for apps well beyond the traditional web browser. Massive companies like Google and Hewlett Packard are placing huge bets on the future of “HTML5 App development”. From HP/Palm’s WebOS to be used in their mobility products to Google’s Chrome OS, HTML5 is not simply another buzzword that can be treated as a mere passing trend, but should actually be taken seriously for app development. But what makes up the HTML5 stack and how will it truly be the future of software? What are the benefits & risks associated with using the HTML5 stack? Prove to me it works. All of these questions & demands will be answered & showcased in the presentation including important issues such as: What constitutes the HTML5 stack Benefits of using the HTML5 stack Use a single codebase Rapidly prototype an app targetting multiple devices including: iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, Chrome OS Devices, Mobile Webkit Browsers, Desktop Browsers Target thousands of developers for extensibility & community development See code & install an actual working HTML5 app that works on a number of devices See code best practices in use for tailoring the UI based on the user’s device See code using Phonegap to create native mobile apps See code using Titanium to create native desktop apps Continue reading “one codebase, endless possibilities — real HTML5 hacking”

behind the curtain — secrets of mobile application wizardry

[ SXSW Bios ] #appwiz

  • @paulgelb


A jaw dropping 80% of iPhone and Android apps have hardly any active users. Tens of thousands of developers and hundreds of thousands of mobile applications have gotten it wrong. But mobile apps done right can provide unprecedented value to users and rapid transformations of businesses. Gilt Groupe, USAA Bank and Pandora can attribute much of their recent success to their mobile applications. The biggest barrier to success? More is absolutely less. As Mark Twain famously said, “It would have been shorter if I had more time.” With seemingly infinite options of features, ‘what’ and ‘how much’ is the hardest part of development. This presentation will provide a detailed unbridled view into the strategy and creative process of creating a compelling, successful mobile app by finding the right balance between business objectives content, design, functionality, and concept. Continue reading “behind the curtain — secrets of mobile application wizardry”

ordering disorder

[ SXSW Bios ] #odogrids

  • @khoi


Everyone’s using grids, and grid tools and frameworks are everywhere. But do you truly understand the ins and outs of this powerful design principle, and how it’s changing along with new media and platforms? Chances are most digital designers have only a cursory knowledge of the grid’s concepts and best practices, overlooking the tremendous value that truly smart grid usage brings. In this expansive sequel to his famous 2006 SXSWi talk “Grids Are Good,” designer and grid expert Khoi Vinh (, will give a bracing tour of the many ideas packed into his new book “Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design.” This solo talk will span the history of grids, take a brass-tacks tour of best practices, and look ahead at some of the most enlightening and innovative thinking that’s shaping grid thinking in the future. Continue reading “ordering disorder”