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Advanced User Experience Design


To succeed in today’s software marketplace, an excellent user interface isn’t optional. Customers are no longer willing to tolerate the crap that developers have been dishing out. An app or a program or a website that a user can’t figure out how to use is an expensive paperweight.

This class does not teach decoration. We don’t spend time on how to change a button corner radius, or set the stops in a color gradient.

This class teaches developing a user interface by starting from the user, not the toolkit. Who is your user population? How can you represent those people in a manner that your mind can easily grasp (personas)? What problems do they need to solve, and what would they consider the characteristics of a good solution (user stories)? How can you tell when you’ve gotten it right (usability testing, program instrumentation)? What happens when easy-to-use programs meet security requirements? And finally, how do we put on a final layer of polish (JMIGA™)? These principles apply equally to desktop, web, and mobile device interfaces..

Who Should Attend:

Anyone who has contact with users and impacts their experience: developers, architects, product managers and project managers.

Course Outline:

Introduction – Why Software Sucks

  • Bad user interface design
  • THE bedrock principle of software development
  • What users really care about
  • Good and bad examples of software systems
  • How to improve systems, not users

Using Personas for UI Design

  • Avoiding nebulous concept of “the user"
  • Specificity with user people
  • Users not as developers
  • Persona in action
  • Contracting personas using characteristics
  • Advanced personas techniques
  • Personas design cases

Writing User Stories

  • Storytelling and communication
  • UI from user stories
  • Defining and delineating user stories
  • Designing user stories
  • Tracking and measuring stories
  • Collecting information for stories
  • Accommodating users’ goals and constraints
  • Stories of non-users participants

Using Technology for Good and Not Evil

  • Leveraging not abusing technologies
  • Duality of HTML5, WinRT, WPF and Silverlight
  • Unintended consequences of powerful of modern graphical design environments
  • Cute and Cool are not productiv
  • User interaction and experience etiquette
  • What users care about (again)
  • Productivity, tasks, and your GUI
  • Case study analysis
  • Detailed examination of rich graphical features
  • Underlying principles of GUI choices
  • Integrating UX into development processes

Testing on Live Animals

  • Classic mistakes
  • How to test early and often
  • Timing of user interface testing
  • Issues with testing frequency
  • Recruiting test subjects
  • Hallway usability testing
  • Testing setup
  • Non-leading guidance
  • Generating prototypes
  • Test-driven changes
  • Strategies for changes

UX Instrumentation

  • Unlocking what users think
  • Incrementing and reporting UX
  • Different tracking strategies
  • Recording UX events
  • Opting in strategies
  • Analyzing recorded data
  • UX tracking frameworks

Security: The Inevitable Conflict

  • Ease-of-use vs. security
  • Hassle budget
  • Case studies in UX and security
  • Calculation and measuring of costs of security
  • Advocating for usability
  • Justifying security

JMIGA™ (Just Make It Go Away)

  • Too much interaction
  • Making tasks easy
  • JMIGA™ method of user interface analysis
  • Making simple things simple
  • Case studies from the field
  • Handling errors
  • Presenting errors with superior UX

Putting It All Together: A One-Day Mini-Clinic

  • The Platt's Method of UX design
  • Apply the principles to your own projects
  • Working in teams
  • User interviews
  • UX reviews
  • School solutions

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Date & Location

Bad Ems, Germany

May 13-17, 2013
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      Advanced User Experience Design

David S. Platt teaches Programming .NET at Harvard University Extension School and at companies all over the world. His magnum opus, Why Software Sucks (Addison-Wesley, 2007, ), points out ways in which software MUST improve if it's to accompany humanity into the twenty-first century. Microsoft named him a Software Legend in 2002. He writes a monthly column entitled Don't Get Me Started for MSDN Magazine. David is the author of eleven programming books, including Introducing Microsoft .NET from Microsoft Press, which has initiated thousands of programmers to that environment. Even today, 6 years after its most recent release, it is outselling Tom Clancy's Every Man a Tiger on Amazon, which tells you what kind of geeks buy their books there. Dave is famous for his engaging presentation style. "He is the only person I know that can make me feel sane and politically correct at the same time" says Juval Lowy.
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