UX Highlights From MassTLC UnConference 2012

by Alex Stetson

On November 16, Richard attended the annual MassTLC UnConference and dove into some key conversations about user interface and user experience design with an invested group of attendees. The conversation touched on a wide variety of areas surrounding UX, not limited to UX process, mobile and responsive design, cloud and SaaS technologies, user research and analytics.

Here are some highlights of the conversation for those of you who missed it:

1.) Follow a scientific process when you begin a project. (I.) Identify the problem, (II.) Clearly state the hypothesis, (III.) Validate the hypothesis. Don’t forget to always take a step back and see the bigger picture; keep ideas in perspective by rooting detailed conversations within the core questions, “what are we trying to do here?” and “whats the bigger vision for the company?”

2.) Get to the bottom of user motivations– the real ones. Ask questions that push past initial responses to get to the root of user behavior. Use this real data to guide your solutions.

3.) MAYA= Most Advanced Yet Acceptable. Use this acronym when trying to decide how to best strike a balance between presenting users with an interface and experience that they are very familiar and comfortable with, and introducing new UX/UI solutions to improve on the existing.

4.) When is it time to update your existing UI/UX? Keep an inventory of problems you’ve identified with your product or service, then review then and ask yourself, “have I solved the problem?” If the answer is no, or if your customers have repeat complaints, it’s probably time to update your approach.

5.) Mobile vs responsive design – Creating a mobile experience is all about catering to your users mobile wants and needs. In choosing between a mobile vs responsive design solution for your business, first take a close look at the user analytics.  How many mobile users are accessing your site? What’s the most popular area of your site for desktop vs mobile users? Is there a surprising discrepancy there? Analyzing the answers to these questions can help you determine which select content should be delivered through a mobile experience.

Responsive design uses one code base that not only lets you resize site content for mobile optimization, but also lets you re-flow it– that is, by select only the most relevant content and layout each size display. A quick and simple way to identify if you definitely want a native mobile app is to ask yourself if your product utilizes built in phone features like a camera, or push notifications (read more in our post, Native App vs Mobile Web, on how to decipher which better suits your needs.)

Read more on the UnConference UX conversation on the MassTLC blog here.

 

About Fresh Tilled Soil

Fresh Tilled Soil is a Boston-based user interface and experience design firm focused on human centered digital design