Triangle User Experience Professionals Association (TriUXPA)

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  • 07 Sep 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    TAPWORTHY MOBILE DESIGN

    From first concept to polished pixel, learn to create a mobile app that delights. This full-day course teaches you to "think mobile" by planning and creating app interfaces in tune with the psychology, culture, ergonomics, and context of an audience on the go. You'll learn to conceive and refine an app's interface and user experience in tune with the needs of a mobile audienceundefinedand their fingers and thumbs. You'll explore the practical principles of mobile and touchscreen design using examples from all major mobile platforms.

    Who it's for

    This class isn't (only) for geeks. The workshop's interdisciplinary approach is appropriate for everyone involved in the app design processundefineddesigners, programmers, managers, marketers, clients. The workshop takes a hands-on approach to intermediate and advanced design concepts but requires no specific technical knowhow. Experienced designers and newcomers alike will uncover the shifts in mindset and technique required to craft a great mobile app.

    What you'll learn

    The course will equip you to ask the right questions (and find the right answers) to make aesthetic, technical, and usability decisions that will make your apps a pleasure to use. You'll learn:

    • the key elements of the mobile mindset and what your audience expects of your app
    • the ergonomic demands of designing for touch
    • strategies for crafting your app's visual identity
    • techniques for introducing your app to your audience
    • how to work with gestures
    • how these rules apply (or don't) to the iPad and other tablet devices

    Register here: http://triupa.org/events/tapworthy-mobile-design-and-user-experience-workshop-josh-clark-oct-5

    File Attachments
    Download file:
    Tapworthy Mobile Design and User Experience Workshop_0.pdf

  • 24 Jul 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    Imagine a complex system with many different users, used in many environments, to support a continuum of activities from health and wellness to sickness to life and death emergencies. The system is the patient medical record. In today’s healthcare domain the patient medical record, more commonly known as the electronic medical record (EMR), or the broader version, the electronic health record (EHR), is in the spotlight.

    No matter what view you take of healthcare, you are going to find the EHR.

    Take the view of healthcare reform. The goals of healthcare reform are to make healthcare more affordable, hold insurers more accountable, expand coverage to all Americans and make the health system sustainable. The means to achieving this goal includes building systems that are used to document the medical treatment a patient receives, systems that talk to each other, and systems that improve quality of care that individual patients and populations of patients receive. One of those systems is the EHR.1

    Take the view of healthcare privacy and security. The Office for Civil Rights is responsible for protecting the privacy of our individually identifiable health information, HIPPA. This same office is responsible for setting national standards for the security of electronic protected health information. Those national standards are created and applied to the design, development, and use of EHRs so that a patient’s medical history, symptoms, diagnoses and treatments are only shared with appropriate clinicians and only shared with people that patients give permission.2

    Take the view of interoperability (information exchange). The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) is the government agency inside of Health and Human Services (a government agency) that is responsible for healthcare information technology. One of ONC’s Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) programs is focused on building the infrastructure so that the secure exchange of health information can take place with the goal of improved clinical care and reducing cost. That health information is the data in the patient’s EHR.3

    Who are the users of the EHR? Doctors, nurses, specialists, medical technicians, and patients, to name a few, are. For simplicity, let’s focus on doctors. Not all doctors are using EHRs. With the promise of patient data in an electronic format that is easily shared…patient data that can be searched, reviewed, graphed, manipulated, and studied in order to provide better quality of care… patient data that is easily portable so that when a patient changes doctors, moves or becomes ill while on vacation … a means by which the current doctor knows all the important medical information about the patient. Why wouldn’t a doctor use such a system?

    A number of reasons have been suggested to explain why doctors are not adopting and using of EHRs. One of those reasons is lack of usability.

    Usability is defined as the efficiency, effectiveness, and satisfaction with which a specific user can complete a specific task.

    EHRs lack USABILITY. Most EHRs are inefficient systems. Many EHRs are ineffective in some capacity. And users (doctors, nurses, specialists, medical technicians, patients, to name a few) are not satisfied with EHRs.

    Doctors describe and user researchers observe that many EHRs add hours of work to the doctor’s work day. In some EHRs it might take:

    • 10 mouse clicks to indicate “right hand,”
    • 5 additional clicks to indicate skin (as opposed to bone),
    • 3 clicks to get to place in the user interface to indicate rash,
    • 3 clicks to indicate “severe”,
    • 3 clicks to indicate “longer than one week”,
    • 3 clicks to indicate “red and swollen”,
    • 3 clicks and typing “2” to indicate a 2 inch area.
      Adding the clicks: 10 + 5+ 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = too many clicks.

      Too many clicks in an era where the doctor should be able to click the right hand in a graphic of the body or where the doctor should be able to snap a picture to document a severe rash on the right hand.

    The lack of effectiveness of EHRS is seen in a number of areas. Effective EHRs will talk with other systems. However, many EHRs in a doctor’s office don’t talk to the EHR used at the local hospital. But let’s highlight another component of effectiveness. EHRs carry the promise of improved quality of care.

    According to Jeff Shuren5, from January 2008 to December 2010, the FDA received approximately 370 reports of adverse events or near misses related to healthcare information technology including EHRs. This number grossly underestimates the actual number of events that actually occur for a number of reasons; there is not a common reporting system for such errors, the FDA does not control or regulate EHRs, many EHR companies make EHR purchasers agree not to report or talk about the relationship of the EHR to an adverse event6.

    These reports of the adverse events were associated to EHRs in the following ways:

    • failure to adequately address interoperability with other technologies,
    • user error,
    • inadequate workplace practices,
    • design flaws,
    • failure to properly test the technology prior to distribution, upon installation or during maintenance (such as validation testing),
    • or failure to adequately address problems that can arise when people interface with machines.5

    In terms of satisfaction:

    • Added hours to the end of the work day,
    • multiple log ins into multiple systems that don’t talk to each other,
    • too many clicks,
    • potential errors if “I” am not thinking about the software--
      …where is there satisfaction?

    EHRs are in the spotlight… within the spotlight is a movement to improve the usability of EHRs. There are many avenues and opportunities to improve the usability of EHRs. Many of the companies that make EHRs are learning about usability and applying user centered design activities to improve the usability of an EHR. Physician practices and hospitals are including usability requirements in Requests for Proposals and procurement guidelines for EHRs. In addition, physician practices and hospitals are learning the value of conducting usability tests to inform purchase decisions. Professional organizations (e.g., Health Information Management Systems Society7 (HIMSS) and physician academies (e.g., Academy of Family Physicians) are educating their members about usability. Even the government is getting involved with the movement to improve the usability of EHRs. The ONC has described that usability will be included as criteria in the ONC’s Meaningful Use program and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) recently released their proposed EHR Usability Evaluation Protocol8 which in some way yet to be defined will be the usability test method by which EHR usability will be measured according to the government.

    The usability of EHRs is in the spotlight. As usability professionals and patients, be proactive in assuring that the tools used to keep us healthy, to heal us in time of sickness and to help us survive life and death emergencies are efficient, effective, and satisfying…that EHRs are systems characterized by high usability!

    About the author
    Janey Barnes, PhD is a principal and human factors specialist at User-View, Inc. Janey is responsible for obtaining and managing projects and conducting state of the art user-centered design and evaluation for client programs. She has developed and taught human factors courses at universities and for professional organizations. Janey is affiliated with several professional organizations and participates in these organizations by making presentations and teaching workshops. Janey is active in the HIMSS Usability Taskforce. She is currently serving as the 2011 chair of the taskforce. In addition, Janey serves on the TriangleUPA Advisory Board.

    1 http://www.whitehouse.gov/healthreform, accessed July 7, 2011.

    2 http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/, accessed July 7, 2011.

    3 http://healthit.hhs.gov/portal/server.pt/community/healthit_hhs_gov__hitech_programs/1487, accessed July 7, 2011.

    4 https://www.cms.gov/ehrincentiveprograms/, accessed July 7, 2011.

    5 http://www.iom.edu/~/media/Files/Activity%20Files/Quality/PatientSafetyHIT/Meeting%201/Jeff%20Shuren%20-%20Oral%20Statement%20to%20the%20IOM.pdf, accessed July 7, 2011.

    6 Ross Koppel, David Kreda (2009), Health Care Information Technology Vendors' “Hold Harmless” Clause: Implications for Patients and Clinicians, JAMA.; 301(12):1276-1278.

    7 http://www.himss.org/ASP/topics_FocusDynamic.asp?faid=358, accessed July 7, 2011.

    8 http://www.nist.gov/healthcare/usability/usability-technical-workshop.cfm, accessed July 7, 2011

  • 08 Jul 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    How do you most effectively visualize data so that it can be easily understood and readily interpreted? That was the topic of a 2 hour panel presentation and discussion sponsored by the TriUPA on Effective Data Visualization held at the NCSU Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI). Members of the panel were leaders in this field and included Christopher G. Healey, Ph.D. from NCSU, Sidharth Thakur, Ph.D. from RENCI and Lisa Whitman from SAS. The panel was moderated by Richard Phelps, Ph.D. from Unisys.

    “It has long been recognized that understanding visual perception is crucial to designing effective visualizations”, said Dr. Healey. “To address this need, we conduct controlled psychophysical experiments in collaboration with colleagues in Psychology to investigate how our visual system ‘sees’ fundamental properties of color, texture, and motion. These findings are used to build visualizations that harness the strengths and avoid the limitations of our visual system.”

    Dr. Thakur added, “Effective visualization of data has long been regarded as a grand challenge in the area of data visualization. Even as practitioners and researchers in the area actively explore principles and designs of successful visual representations, new challenges to understanding the effectiveness of visualizations have emerged due to democratization of visualization and due to our ability to serve complicated information on ubiquitous small and large display screens.”

    ”Bombarded by information from different avenues of technology, every day people are faced with the task of monitoring and making sense of increasingly large amounts of information,” said Lisa Whitman. “Dashboards are a popular method for organizing and displaying data so that the information can be monitored at-a-glance on one screen. Dashboard contents may include various forms of data visualizations, graphics, tables, and key performance indicators (KPIs). Dashboards can be an effective means of displaying actionable data to support decisions, but only if they are designed well with the goals and tasks of the user in mind.”

    Please feel free to download the full presentations by our panelists.

    Biographies

    Christopher G. Healey, Ph.D.
    Christopher G. Healey received a B.A. in Math from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Canada, and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California at Berkeley, he joined the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University, where he is currently an Associate Professor. His research interests include visualization, graphics, visual perception, and areas of applied mathematics, databases, artificial intelligence, and aesthetics related to visual and data analytics.

    Sidharth Thakur, Ph.D.
    Sidharth Thakur, Ph.D. is a Senior Researcher at RENCI where he focuses on applied information and scientific data visualization. Dr. Thakur is passionate about creating visualizations that allow scientists and researchers to explore new and exciting hypotheses about pressing research problems in their domains. During his three years at RENCI Dr. Thakur has developed visualization applications and techniques for a variety of disciplines and has published research articles on his work. Dr. Thakur’s current areas of focus are visualization of socio-economic and census data; analysis of spatial and temporal dynamics of molecular systems such as polymers and proteins; and analysis of geo-spatial data in weather and terrain modeling. Prior to joining RENCI Dr. Thakur obtained a doctorate in Computer Science from Indiana University Bloomington where he developed visual-analytical methods to explore geometry in high-dimensional spaces.

    Lisa Whitman
    Lisa Whitman has worked in usability for over ten years, analyzing user experiences and designing user interfaces for websites, software, and mobile applications. She has worked for SAS since 2005, and before that she has done usability research and design work for Lenovo, Distance Learning Systems Group, and Dunlap & Associates. Her current focus is designing software that enables SAS customers to build interactive dashboards which organize multiple data visualizations on one screen. She has presented her research at conferences including Human-Computer Interaction International and the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Lisa holds a degree in neuroscience, earned a Master’s degree in human factors psychology from California State University, Northridge, and is studying in the Human Factors and Ergonomics doctoral program at North Carolina State University.

    File Attachments
    Download file:

    Part1 Christopher G. Healey, Ph.D.(NCSU)-Effective Data Visualization Panel (5-25-2011).pdf
    Part1 Christopher G. Healey, Ph.D.(NCSU)-Effective Data Visualization Panel (5-25-2011).pdf
    Part 1 Lisa Whitman.pptx
    Part 2 Lisa Whitman.pptx
    Sidharth Thakur, Ph.D. (RENCI)-Effective Data Visualization Panel (5-25-2011).pptx

  • 15 Apr 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    The Information Architecture Summit organized by ASIS&T each spring wrapped in Denver a week ago. On that closing Sunday, and later during the week, there have been many positive comments placing this as one of the best IA Summits we’ve had; with a great lineup and a great community feeling.This year, the Summit had an interesting variety of recurring topics: Data/Statistical Analysis, Content Management, Agile methods, Design. In fact one of the highlights of this event was the variety of interesting topics under discussion, unlike some other years where just a few topics (ie. Tagging) had appropriated the conversation.

    There have also been good comments on the quality of the presentations; The IA Summit has always attracted good speakers, and even the most popular speakers see this venue as a special place, where the ante is high. This year, the organization put up a team to help prepare first-time speakers: they gave speakers a series of suggestions via email and set up a mentoring program where they could rehearse by videoconference before making the trip. At the venue, they also had a speaker studio where speakers could give a final dry-run to their talk, with an experienced moderator (thanks Adam Polansky!) giving final moment suggestions. This provided for an interesting mix between accomplished and new coming speakers, and while I was not part of the committee this year, I’d guess that there were an important number of submissions which they had to filter out, and they did a great job at it.

    Another difference that worked for many people is that the size of the event cut back; after several years of growing, to where we had reached 650 people, this time we had around 250-300 people, and although this is not the best thing for the organizers, it helps create a sense of warmth between the crowd, and helps newcomers feel better integrated.

    By now you all would like to know something more specific about the sessions. Most of the slides can be found on slideshare (http://www.slideshare.net/event/ia-summit-2011) and they were also collected on a blog (http://www.currybet.net/cbet_blog/2011/04/ia-summit-slides.php). Podcasts will become available soon thanks to UIE, although I’m not sure where they will be posted at the moment. The Summit website will surely send an announcement and it’s probably going to make noise on the #ias11 twitter tag.

    I was very pleased to see they gave plenary sessions to both Jared Spool and Lou Rosenfeld, these were both excellent talks, as expected: Lou covered the balance between quantitative and qualitative research. Jared made us reflect on what the core skills for UX are and how they can be measured.

    Nate Silver’s opening keynote was a great walk through of the power and challenges of statistics. The panel by Arango, Hinton and Resmini did a great job at keeping a continuity of discourse and reminding us of why the architecture metaphor is so powerful and useful for what we do. Russ Unger and Dan Willis took the role of bringing a dose of entropy into the conference with their “UX of Disruption” presentation, where they brought the audience and made a whole dramatization in order to allow participants to feel disrupted, and later discuss the experience. I later peeked briefly into an interesting conversation about building UX communities; I was saddened to arrive late, as I have lots of interest and experience in this subject. Later came my own presentation (http://www.slideshare.net/mantruc/posting-our-hearts-out), where I covered the research project I’ve set up for my dissertation; including problem definition, a large-scale survey I ran last year, a model I’m building with this, and future plans for research. In brief, I’m trying to understand how and why tech-savvy adults – much like the kind of people at the Summit – are becoming used to sharing private information in public online spaces. I received very positive comments and good questions; there was lots of interest in the topic and encouragement to continue with my line of research. We closed the day with Jared Spool’s plenary, full of food for thought.

    On the second day I paced down on the presentations although I still caught some very interesting ones. Johanna Kollman did a great job at explaining why the changes we make to websites can be very painful for our users, and how we can make cleaner transitions. Eric Reiss, one of the not-to-miss characters of the IA Summit, delivered a great talk on how to make e-commerce work, with four essential rules of thumb; some very basic principles that seem so hard to follow by many retailers. The day was closed by Lou Rosenfeld’s neat talk about interpreting research data.On Sunday, I saw a very clear talk by Kim Bieler reminding us of the power of the top layer of interface/visual design and how it can improve the user experience. I was unfortunately unable to attend the closing plenary by Cennydd Bowles, who graciously posted the transcript of his talk on his blog (http://www.cennydd.co.uk/2011/fall-and-rise-of-ux/)

    There were many presentations I was not able to attend – sometimes for schedule conflicts – that I’m looking forward to catching the podcasts for, these include: Rethinking User Research for the Social Web with Dana Chisnell, The Stories we Construct by Stephen Anderson, Upping Your Game by Leanna Gingras, Peter Morville’s Ubiquitous IA, Nailing it Down by Joe Sokohl, and I also heard great things about the presentation by Belén Barros Pena and Bernard Tyers on Mobile Usability Testing. I’m sure there were other great talks I’ve not even made a note to look at, the Summit was packed with great work.

    There is still some good stuff coming out of the Summit site http://2011.iasummit.org/ and I’m guessing the podcasts will be announced and linked to from there as well.

    ------------------------------------
    About our guest blogger – Javier has been an information architect since 2000, he’s also been involved in the IA/UX community since. He co-founded his first online community in 1998 – evolt.org – in an experience that would later become a case study in Rosenfeld & Morvile’s IA Book, in a chapter for which he was liaison. Javier has been attending the IA Summit since 2004, for which he has been a reviewer four times. He has been a leading force in the field in Chile and Latin America, starting a strong IA Community in Chile that has its own IA Conference for already six successful years. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Information Science at UNC Chapel Hill, focusing on communication in social media, under the direction of Gary Marchionini, who is also one of the founders of the IA Summit. You can find out more about Javier at http://www.unc.edu/~jvelasco/

  • 06 Apr 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    2011 is off to a great start.


    We have a very energetic and enthusiastic group of volunteers in the Executive Council. Please join me in welcoming them:
    Secretary and Treasurer: Don Sugar
    Co-Directors of Community Programs: Jake Geib-Rosch and Richard Phelps
    Co-Directors of Professional Development: Teri Brooks and Leslie Tudor
    Director of Marketing & Communications: Dorian Van Gorder
    Director of Membership: Laura Blanchard
    Director of Social Programs: Evan Carroll
    Director of Technology: Katrina Lee


    We held several events in the first quarter. The Professional Events team hosted a talk by Andrew Hinton on Information Architecture as well as several UIE Webinars, which have been extremely well-attended and insightful. We will continue to host Webinars throughout the year.


    The main focus of this year’s training is on two topics that stood out in the survey we did last yearundefined Mobile User Interface Design and User Experience in an Agile World. We hope to organize a couple of training events for each of these areas to provide different viewpoints and approaches to these topics.


    On the Community Events side of things, we are planning several exciting events starting in April. The first event is a presentation by Professor James Lester of NC State on highly interactive user interfaces.


    In May, we will bring a panel of practitioners together for a discussion on Visualization. In October, we plan on holding a BarCamp event where participants will work on several specific design problems with advice from several experts. So, please start getting your problems ready!


    As we work through the schedule of events, we will keep you informed with our digest-style emails. If you have any comments or concerns please feel free to contact us at contact@triupa.org.

    Mona Singh, Ph.D

    President
  • 15 Mar 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    Usability, Accessibility, and SEO (search engine optimization) all contribute to successful website projects. Though not always adequately addressed for a variety of reasons, when they are it is typically by different teams, at different points in the design/development process (see A. in figure 1). This makes sense if they are three distinct disciplines, but what if they are approached as three aspects of the same process (see B. in figure 1)?

    Usability, Accessibility, and Search Engine Optimization

    Figure 1: Two ways to look at Usability, Accessibility, and Search Engine Optimization. A. Illustrates a common approach, with the issues addressed separately. B. Illustrates a coordinated approach to the three disciplines, displaying the intersection between the three.

    How can this be? One concerns making websites easy to use for the majority of visitors, one for serving the special needs of a subset of visitors (thought of together as “the disabled”), and the last focused on how the website does in search engine results. If you really think about it, they are all forms of usability; only the latter two serve special audiencesundefinedthe disabled, and search engines. This is of course somewhat simplistic; though there are many differences they are not completely unrelated.

    In the realm of website design and development, a good example of this interaction is the crafting of hyperlinks, the heart of html (hypertext markup language). It is generally accepted that the link text (i.e. the hyperlink) should contain descriptive text to help a user easily determine what a link refers to. Jacob Nielsen named “non-standard links” one of his Top Ten Web Design Mistakes of 2005.

    “Explain what users will find at the other end of the link, and include some of the key information-carrying terms in the anchor text itself to enhance scannability and search engine optimization (SEO). Don't use "click here" or other non-descriptive link text.”

    As Nielsen suggested, using non-descriptive text such as “click here” is not just poor usability, it is also weak SEO, since search engines such as Google favor text in hyperlinks in ranking pages for given phrases. How many websites ignore these suggestions? If you perform an exact phrase search on Google for “click here” you will receive over 1.3 billion results.

    'click here' Google Search Results

    Descriptive hypertext is also a factor in how disabled users interact with websites. A common form of assistive technology (AT) used by the vision impaired is screen reader software. One of the ways screen readers allow users to interact with web pages more efficiently is to skip from link to link. If all of the links read “click here,” this shortcut is rendered useless.

    Something else all three have in common is that extensive thought and planning should be done at the very beginning of a website development project for it to be successful in these three areas, at least if time and money is a factor (and when is this not the case?).

    While most website publishers (the website developer’s client) will put some thought into usability, whether they consciously realize or not, they won’t put much thought into search engine optimization, and even less into accessibility (unless they are in an industry in which there are accessibility requirements). Just as with designing for usability, deciding a website needs to be accessible, or perform well in search engines will be time consuming (which equals expensive) if only considered during development, or after the deployment of the website.

    While its possible content can be rewritten to optimize a site for search engines without programmatic complications (in the case of a well implemented content management system), recoding a website for accessibility, as with usability, can involve drastic reengineering later.

    With SEO on the other hand, the issue is knowing the correct parameters to optimize for. In contradiction to popular misconceptions, SEO is as much about researching, and selecting the correct keyword phases to optimize the website for, as much as anything else. If you haven’t taken the time to figure out what terms your potential site visitors are searching by, you can’t properly optimize a website for search results. Only once the best terms are figured out, can the website be optimized by including the phrases in specific parts of each webpage. Successful SEO (at least the on-page portion of organic SEO) requires either writing copy to appeal to search engines (by including the search terms), or rewriting the copy on an existing website.

    In the end, the best strategy is to figure out the goals of the project at the start, and determine the importance of Usability, Accessibility, and SEO, since they will all come with a price, which may come in the form of time, money, simplified design, or a reduced feature set. No matter the combination, the effort will be more efficient if usability, accessibility and search engine optimization are performed in a concerted effort.

    David Minton is a founding partner of DesignHammer, a full-service website design and development agency in Durham. He regularly writes about Usability, Accessibility, and Search Engine Optimization on the DesignHammer blog.

  • 03 Mar 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    by Mona Singh, Ph.D.


    The last few years have seen a much welcome move towards the adoption of user experience design (UX) and Agile development. Although both these fields have been around for a long time, their recent concurrent introduction into software development organizations has led to some interesting and unexpected process enhancements. I describe one such recent enhancement of the Agile process and assess how effective it is in practice.


    The latticed approach
    Often, the process that Agile organizations have followed for incorporating UX is running the design and development sprints concurrently. In essence, the design sprint feeds the development sprint and the development sprint feeds the next design sprint by providing something testable. That is, design Sprint 0 feeds into development Sprint 1 and development Sprint 1 feeds into design Sprint 2. The diagram below, adapted from Krtizberg and Little, summarizes the current processundefinedhence, the name latticed.


    latticed

    This process presumably creates a win-win situation for UX professionals and developers: the developers get a clear specification for what they need to build and the UX professionals get software that is user-centric.


    So what’s wrong with it?
    Well, if you look closely, you see this approach is what one might call a short waterfallundefinedthe way the design and development sprints are structured misses out on benefiting from the communication and collaboration between the design and development teams. As a result, the design produced in a particular design sprint may suffer from technical problems that make it expensive to implement or otherwise suboptimal. The waterfall flow quickly breaks down and the finger-pointing begins. Even when there is no overt disagreement about a design, the development team can feel left out of the design process. I have seen various manifestations of the tensions that arise between the design and developments teams, including majorly bloated effort estimates and unnecessary criticisms of the design.


    The collaborative approach
    Instead, shouldn’t the team be a multidisciplinary? An alternative process is where the UX and development teams work within the same sprint. All user stories are organized within the same backlog. This approach fits the Agile philosophy much better than the lattice approach in that it brings teams together and fosters communication between designers and developers.


    collaborative


    User stories look like the following:


    story


    Both the developer and the UX designer can work together on a story discussing potential designs, prototyping, developing, and even testing. When the developers are made a part of the design decisions, there is a tremendous benefit due to the resulting buy in. Isn’t that what agile was all about anyway: communication!

  • 23 Feb 2011 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    Hi everyone, Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Dorian, your helpful Director of Marketing and Communications for 2011.


    If you haven't noticed, the year has started with a great bunch of events, and many more on the way. We're excited to be helping provide you with informative and fun workshops and seminars, both hands-on and in webinar form.


    Hey, I'm looking for people who like to write about UX-IA-usability-design-etc. to be guest posters here on the blog. Raise your hand if you have something to say. (And I know you do-- we have the most talented pool of UPA-ers out there!) Please email me at dorian.vangorder@duke.edu with your ideas. You know you have something you've written in the past for work (or school, or your own blog) that you can share here, don't you? Or maybe it's something you've been dying to write about but didn't have the motivation. Well, here it is!


    We're also looking to spread recognition of our group. We've started tweeting and Facebooking some. Have you seen us? Follow us on Twitter! Like us on Facebook! Help spread the good word!


    And now, to the "better-late-than-never" part of this post... I've attached the newsletter from the last quarter of 2010 (with a few minor adjustments) for your reading pleasure. Enjoy, and hope to hear from you soon.

  • 09 Dec 2010 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    It's time to vote for the 2011 TriUPA Executive Council.

    Below please find the link to the official 2010 ballot for the
    selection of the TriUPA Executive Council for the 2011 term. The
    individuals elected by this ballot will assume their offices in January
    2011.

    We encourage you to carefully read the attached candidate statements
    and vote for the individuals whom you believe will provide TriUPA with
    strong and steady leadership.

    Please access the survey by clicking on or copying the following link into your browser's address bar:

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FHQXFSN

    Please complete the online election ballot by 11:59pm ET December 17, 2010.

    If
    you have any questions concerning the above instructions, please
    contact Don Sugar, 2010 TriUPA President at president@triupa.org.

    File Attachments
    Download file:
    2011 TriUPA Cadidates Statements.docx

  • 11 Nov 2010 5:00 PM | Richard Phelps

    Ever wanted to speak at a national UX conference? The upcoming 2011 IA Summit is interested in finding new speakers that want to contribute their voices to the UX community. Dan Willis Has a great post up on the IA Summit blog, "Fresh Voices," that encourages anyone interested in speaking to submit their ideas:

    If you have never presented at the IA Summit, we are particularly interested in what you have to say and how you can help us make the 2011 more interesting and diverse. And if you haven't had much occasion to present before, this is a great opportunity: We have a group of experienced volunteers eager to work with you one-on-one as you frame your content, coach you on its delivery and support you while you develop your presentation. So don't delay, propose a session now.

    If you haven't been to the IA Summit before, I highly recommend it. It's one of the best UX conferences I've ever attended, a great way to meet new people who share your passions, or even connect with your UX heroes.

    I would love to see the Triangle's active UX community represented at national conferences like the IA Summit. There's a ton of talent, experience, and great ideas in this area, and it's time we shared it.

    To learn more, follow @iasummit on Twitter or visit IASummit.org!

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