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
I shared a number of books and articles this year, but looking back the most impactful read was definitely Tom Greever‘s 2015 Articulating Design Decisions.
As designers and creative leaders, we rely on our ability to communicate our ideas, inspire our teams’ creativity, and solicit and respond to feedback. Unfortunately, these skills are not necessarily part of design curriculum, so we must develop them ourselves and coach our teams as to how to present their ideas effectively.
At a recent design summit for my organization, I used elements of Tom’s book for a workshop session, to practice presenting design, giving constructive feedback, receiving feedback, and responding in kind.
Tom’s book outlines specific strategies for developing and practicing these communication skills, which are critical regardless of the size of your specific team or organization. I encourage you to check it out, and share it with other designers on your team.
Have a safe and happy New Year’s celebration!
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.
Solid analysis by Michael Moore of how Pokémon GO’s user interface design and first-time onboarding experience has helped it’s success and popularity to explode all over the world.
We just added John Whalen from Brilliant Experience to the August NoVA UX meetup – John is a regular speaker and panelist at our events, and this presentation was a big hit at a recent UXPA conference.