Today’s virtual guest was Pat Neeman (twitter). Please take a look at his comprehensive UX career guide and check out Pat’s newest project, Audience Discovery. If you are on Twitter, please thank him for spending the time to join us.
Today I provided an introduction and overview to the next big step in the user-centered design process: Conceptual Design. It involves brainstorming, sketching, wireframing, prototyping, user testing, and finalizing the information architecture.
You can refer to the same slides about the design process I used earlier in the semester.
We discussed some of the things you need to learn in this next step and that we will cover in the coming weeks:
- the tools of the trade (wireframes, prototypes, evaluation, etc.) – see plugin wirify
- Visual design principles
- Usability principles
Then, we had alumnus Aaron VanSchyndel (Aaron on twitter) talk to us for about 25 minutes. He gave a lot of interesting advice and I would like to ask you to help out and put your notes in the comments. What did Aaron say? What did you take away from what he said? What did you think about what he said?
You can feel free to comment under a user name (as opposed to your real name) if you prefer. Just let me know privately who you are, lonelygirl15.
I mentioned that your bok chapters are written by experts in the field – and it is worth looking them up!
The first one is Jakob Nielsen – when his name is mentioned, usually the phrase “usability guru” comes into play.
Some things to check out:
- Usability and UX articles from his company, Nielsen/Norman Group (for example – Windows 8 – Disappointing for both novice and power users or this one about trends in homepage design)
- Nielsen himself doesn’t seem to be on Twitter, but the company is
- List of books authored by Jakob Nielsen. Designing Web Usability and Usability Engineering Methods are classics.
In last week’s lecture, Dr. Vorvoreanu mentioned a name that you should quickly get to know: Alan Cooper, or Mr. Alan Cooper (@MrAlanCooper) if you find him within the Twittersphere.
Known as the pioneer of the user-friendly programming language, Visual Basic, Cooper is also recognized as the purveyor of user-centered design due to his landmark book, About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design. If you haven’t read this book, you should. It’s a one-stop shop for exploring the fundamentals of user-centered design — fundamentals that will not only help you develop intuitive, user-friendly products, but to also speak intelligently with other designers (or your future managers ;) within industry.
Speaking of industry, if you’re looking for an awesome internship this summer, Cooper’s design firm is looking for a few good interns:
Our internship program is a 10-week paid position in San Francisco for current undergrad, graduate, or recently graduated students. We’re looking for both interaction and visual designers who have a mix of self-motivation, design skills, open-mindedness, curiosity, empathy, and thirst for knowledge.
This is an fantastic opportunity and, based on what I’ve seen in class and in our labs, I know you’d make excellent intern candidates. So, what are you waiting for? APPLY!
He talked about the design process they use in his group (and yes, all the steps were there: user research, personas, user stories, wireframes, prototypes, user testing) and answered some of your questions about online portfolios. As we complete the topic of user research, we, too will learn about the concepts he mentioned – so stay tuned!
Here is the blog post he mentioned – full of useful tips about how to get your career started and find a job in the usability/design space. Thank you so much, Patrick for taking the time to talk to us!!!
Before Patrick joined us, I tried to get you thinking about how to choose your research tool: When would you want to do surveys rather than interviews? When and why do focus groups? I also gave you some tips about these research methods that add to today’s reading. The slides I used are embedded below.
Did you enjoy having a virtual guest? What did you take away from the exchange? Please let me know in the comments!
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