Triangle User Experience Professionals Association (TriUXPA)

Blog

  • 16 Jan 2014 9:37 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    Everett McKay is offering his UX Design Essentials course in Durham on February 4 – 6, 2014. Mention that you are a Triangle UXPA member for a 33% discount! Check http://uxdesignessentials.com for more info.

    The Triangle UXPA is hosting a free talk with Everett on Tuesday, February 4. To attend, please register on the event page.
  • 15 Dec 2013 9:55 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    Our parent organization, the UXPA, has announced the dates for their 2014 annual conference. The conference will be held July 21-24, 2014 at the Park Plaza Hotel in London, UK. The hotel is steps away from the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and London's Southbank.

    For more information on how to attend, submit, review, or sponsor the conference visit https://uxpa.org/event/uxpa-2014-conference
  • 07 Nov 2013 8:59 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    Triangle Startup Weekend is in need of UX, visual and interaction designers. Currently, they have an equal mix of developer and non-technical folks.

    Registration is just $74 and $50 for students, which includes lunch & dinners all weekend at UNC Chapel Hill. Sign up at triangle.startupweekend.com.
  • 04 Nov 2013 9:42 PM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    This month is World Usability Day 2013 (sign up for our free event at SAS), and the focus this year is on healthcare.

    EHRs, or Electronic Health Records, have overall been an improvement to the healthcare, but still cause medical errors. Recently, on NPR WAMU (DC) some leading experts sat down to discuss the challenges EHRs present:
    http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2013-10-30/improving-electronic-health-records (click the "Listen" link at the top of the page for a great hour-long discussion). One of the guests is Ben Shneiderman, who is a usability author and expert at the University of Maryland.

  • 23 Sep 2013 10:32 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    All Things Open is an open source conference featuring some of the most well known open source technologists and decision makers in the world.

    The conference is October 23-24, 2013 at the Raleigh Convention Center in downtown Raleigh.

    Use the code "triuxpa" to save 10% on registration.

    http://www.allthingsopen.org

  • 12 Aug 2013 9:13 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    The Blend Conference is a 3-day generalist conference in Charlotte, NC Sept 5-7 covering user experience, design, & development. The lineup has over 50 speakers, including several from the Triangle. 

    The discount code TRIANGLEUXPA will save you $100 on registration.

  • 26 Jun 2013 12:47 PM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)

    Durham-based mobile app agency Two Toasters is working on a new site that local companies can use to recruit participants for user interviews or usability testing.

    Here is the announcement from Two Toasters:

    "Hi, I'm Geoff Mackey from Two Toasters. We're building a product called Tribe that connects experience design professionals to their users. Tribe will make it easy for you to schedule user interviews and will allow users to make their contact and demographic information available to other companies in their area or "Tribe." We're still in development, but if you visit www.tribeapp.net and leave your email address, we'll keep you updated as we approach launch. Of course, we'd love your feedback as well! If you have any comments or suggestions regarding branding or features, please drop us a line at tribe@twotoasters.com.

    Thanks!"

  • 21 May 2013 11:05 AM | Andrew Wirtanen (Administrator)
    The Triangle UXPA recorded the "Is School Preparing Me for a UX Career?" panel on April 4, 2013. If you are a student, or just getting started in UX, we recommend watching the video on our new YouTube channel:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtIiJqXLNrE

    This is the first time the Triangle UXPA has offered a recording of an event. We hope to offer more videos or audio recordings of events in the future.
  • 03 Dec 2012 8:58 AM | Anonymous

    TTomer Sharonomer Sharon works in the Search team at Google New York. He conducted a half-day workshop for TriUXPA on October 17th. The theme of Tomer’s workshop was how UX practitioners can get support from their colleagues for doing user research and doing it right. Tomer discussed ten ideas, which he calls silver bullets.

    • 1.       Empathy. While UX practitioners find it easy to empathize with users they do not empathize with other stakeholders. Organizational stakeholders often do not understand user research. It behooves us as user researchers to take the time to understand and empathize with our stakeholders.
    • 2.       Maturity. Often, (organizational) stakeholders are not mature in terms of UX. Tomer discussed instances where we might be able to increase their maturity and instances when we may not.
    • 3.       Participation. Having stakeholders participate in user research can be extremely helpful. Invite them to watch a user research session and comment on what they observed.
    • 4.       Lean. Cross-functional teams in a lean environment are the true recipe for progress. Having everyone involved in the whole process, and doing whatever it takes, goes a long way.
    • 5.       Be patient. Organizations are slow to change and so are people.
    • 6.       Get them to listen. People have to listen before you can persuade them. A good way to getting people to listen is by taking all the “buts” out of the conversation.
    • 7.       Collaborate. A key to getting stakeholder buy-in is to collaborate with them. Involve them in user studies from the beginning to select tasks, select users, and so on. Make UX each stakeholder’s baby!
    • 8.       No reports. Identify insights from user research as it is going on; don’t wait till the end. Tomer showed an example of summarized data from user research that provides a quick overview and makes formal reports redundant and saves time. He suggested presenting findings in an expo-like fashion to attract attention from stakeholders.
    • 9.       Quantitative findings. People like data so why not present them with data, ideally visualized properly.
    • 10.   Find the balance. Balance what the stakeholders want from user research with what you want.

     

    Next, Tomer had the audience break out into teams to enact several scenarios that typically arise in corporate environments. Each team used some of the silver bullets to make its case for user research.

     

     

     

     

  • 05 Sep 2012 8:33 PM | Anonymous

    Content creation feels like it should be a purely creative process -- you pull ideas from the air and work inside your head before releasing the product into the world with a flourish. Voilà!

    Then you hope that your ideas and the needs of your users match.

    You can do better than hope you meet your users’ needs. You can use data to help shape your content strategy. That’s right -- cold, hard data. Data give you insight into what your users are looking for, what they are finding, and even what they may want more of.

    You can use this information to create compelling content and hone your content maintenance plan. Let’s look at three data sources you can use in content strategy: analytics, search logs, and user feedback. There are more, but these three are key.

    Analytics
    Use your site metrics to help with updating and pruning your content. If a page is visited regularly, you may need to update it more regularly than other pages. If incorrect information on a page is bad, then incorrect information on a popular page is worse.

    Also consider axing pages that don’t receive many views. As we add fresh content to sites, older pages may no longer be relevant to users or to the business. Removing the content from the site means that’s one less piece you have to maintain.

    Search logs
    Search provides two sources of data: what people searched for on external search engines that led them to your site, and what they searched for once at your site.

    An entire industry focuses on external searchundefinedit’s called search engine optimization and it focuses on getting people to your site. It should be a part of your content strategy in conjunction with marketing.

    What about those that are already on your site? You can make sure they have a better experience by looking at what they are searching for on your site. I like to look at the top 50 searches and actually perform those searches each month to make sure the best pages for those terms are at the top of the results.

    If they aren’t, I tweak the page content to make it more relevant. And if no page exists, then I know what content I’m creating next.

    User feedback
    Users can provide more direct feedback. Comments, surveys, and user testing all give users a voice that you can listen to and adjust your content accordingly.

    Comments come in various forms these days, from likes on Facebook to questions posted on a blog. You can delve into this feedback to better understand content your users want and the question they tend to have.

    Where comments are often a side effect of content, surveys offer a directed feedback mechanismundefinedthe intent of a content survey is to learn how users think you’re doing and what they’d like to see more of. These tools can be great for planning new content.

    And you can’t beat the brutal honesty of user testing for raw feedback. From labels to words on the page, you’ll hear it directly when things don’t make sense to a user. The key is making changes that improve the user experience.

    Make Data a Part of a Larger Strategy
    Data alone doesn’t make for a content strategy, but it should play a large role. I like data because it’s hard to argue with numbers.

    Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology at Duke, recently tweeted: "If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine." I think that sums up why data should be a part of your content strategy.

    When you need to make a case, point to the data. It may not be as exciting as creating from thin air, but it’s hard to argue against.

    Michael Gowan
    Michael Gowan is a content strategist, writer, and editor based in Carrboro, North Carolina. His skills for content prophecy are available for hire. Follow him on Twitter @zebgowan.
     

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