This week’s NoVA UX meetup was my last as an organizer for the group, which I founded back in 2012. At the time there simply wasn’t a group for designers in the Northern Virginia area; the only UX meetups were in DC, which can be quite a hike.
Our first event was seven people watching a demo of eye-tracking hardware. Since then, we’ve done 64 monthly events and grown the group to 3,000 members. It’s been a privilege to give back to the VA/MD/DC design community, but it was time hand over the reins and let my fellow organizers take things from here. I’d like to thank my fellow organizers Kit Unger, who has since moved on to Seattle, Will King, Jody Thomas, Jane Robbins, and Alex Hsiao.
To celebrate the group’s birthday we did a little retrospective, looking back at the various topics we’d covered over five years. As promised at the event, here is a collection of presentations from late 2012 to early 2017. Enjoy!
UI testing & behavioral design
NoVa UX Presentation on Iterative Process of Action Design
Usability testing demystified
Building the Right Product: How to Approach the Discovery Process
Secrets of Site Optimization
UX Memory Design: How to Make Your UX Unforgettable
If you work on or lead a user experience design team in an organization, you’ve probably experienced challenges building executive buy-in for design. As designers, we sometimes forget that we speak our own language, and that’s not always the same language as our company’s leadership.
Check out this deck by John Whalen in which he discusses strategies for better communicating what we do, how it maps to our organization’s business priorities, and how as designers we can provide strategic leadership to our teams.
Our September event featured Curt Arledge, a UX designer at Viget, who shared a fantastic presentation about creating memorable experiences. The event was sponsored by and held at Viget’s headquarters in Fall Church, Virginia.
Curt began by describing Daniel Kahneman‘s Peak-End Rule, which describes how people remember experiences based on the average of the most intense moment and the final moment. This is important to experience design because we can mitigate poor parts of an experience by creating memorable moments that offset them, and ensuring that endings are great.
To this end, Curt suggested several strategies for creating memorable experiences:
You can check out Curt’s slides on Slideshare. If you would like to join us a future NoVA UX event, check out the group and we’ll see you soon.
For our August NoVA UX meetup event we had two fantastic speakers, Dori Kelner from Sleight of Hand Studios and John Whalen from Brilliant Experience (who also sponsored the event, thanks!)
Dori spoke about structured content, the Drupal platform, and strategies for planning content to be available in any form factor and context.
Reprising his latest UXPA talk, John spoke about how we as designers can build consensus with executive stakeholders, and act more strategically in our respective organizations. Here are John’s slides on Slideshare.
Check out video of Dori’s and John’s talks on YouTube – we’d love for you to subscribe to the channel so we can get a proper URL! – and follow us on Twitter.
Next month’s event, “User Memory Design: How to Make Your UX Unforgettable“, will be held at Viget’s offices. See you then!
This month’s NoVA UX meetup provided an introduction to biometrics and neuromeasurement technologies, how they are used, and how they can be applied to user research.
These technologies include measuring brain activity with electroencephalography (EEG), nervous system activation with Galvanic Skin Response (GSR), and facial expressions with a camera. Combined with eye tracking, these methodologies produce a better understanding of how a person feels when interacting with a website or product.
Neuroscientist Ryan McGarry shared several case studies and examples with the group, including work on the popular Angry Birds game and the current political candidates. Great talk!
Read more about this event, or check out video of Ryan’s talk.
This week the NoVA UX meetup group celebrated it’s fourth birthday with our traditional cake and a great talk by Victor Yocco about using social identity theory to create more engaging digital experiences – here are more pictures from the event.
If you are interested in user experience design or any of its related disciplines, or just want to me a bunch of friendly creative folks. check out one of our upcoming monthly events.
Four years ago I started a meetup group called NoVA UX, which brings together designers and developers in the Northern Virginia and DC Metro areas to talk about user experience design. Our group has grown tremendously over the last four years, thanks to great speakers, generous sponsors, and particularly lots of help from my co-organizers.
I thought it would be fun to share what I’ve learned with others who might be interested in organizing their own group, so I’ll be writing a series of posts about running a meetup group, as well as posts about events. More soon.