User Experience Research – Is there an Academic – Practitioner Divide?
Rather than draw a distinction between academic and practitioner research, Michael Zarro and Michael Carvin will present a view of research based on its contribution to fundamental understanding and considerations of use. Research in the fields of usability/user experience and the social sciences can be more alike than not with motivation and presentation being a primary difference.
In addition to discussing the similarities and differences of academic and practitioner research, they will look at academic research specifically and the role it can play in improving day-to-day projects for UX practitioners. They will share tips on finding the appropriate research papers and articles, understanding their contents and examples of how projects have directly benefited from such research.
About our Speakers
Michael Zarro is a doctoral candidate in Information Studies at Drexel University. Research interests include digital libraries, healthcare informatics, search, and social media. He holds an MS in Library and Information Science from Drexel and a BA from The George Washington University. Previous experience includes time spent as a Project Lead / Developer at The University of Pennsylvania, Web Applications Developer at Bryn Mawr College, and Information Architect in industry.
Michael Carvin is a Principal Experience Designer at Red Privet, with more than 16 years of experience in evidence-based design, usability testing, analysis, and information architecture. He seeks to engage, enable and empower everyday people through simple and enriching online experiences. Previous experience includes Trellist Marketing & Technology, where he helped businesses ranging from startups to Fortune 1000 companies realize their business goals through improved user experiences, and at Thomson Peterson’s, an industry leader in college search and selection publications.
Have you ever labored on a design only to see it not implemented or changed so drastically that it’s not really the design you crafted anymore? Have you ever felt confined to discrete portions of the design projects, completely left out of decision making?
If so, you’re not alone.
As designers of experiences, we spend our time thinking about users. We research them and their environments. We forge strategies centered on their needs and desires. And we create designs with their tasks and goals in mind. And that’s how it should be.
But what about finding better ways to work with clients and colleagues? Have you ever wondered what the quality of experience is like for them in working with you to create those experiences?
In this presentation we will discuss the attitudes and approaches that enable an active role in engaging clients and colleagues. Approaches that will not only make their experience in working with us better, but ultimately ensure better products and services for the user.
We will also discuss: – the privileged role of documentation and the virtues of leaving wireframes behind
– the double-edged sword of expertise
– the benefits of being perceived as an advisor and not simply as a service provider
– and tips and hacks for designing with clients and not just for clients
This presentation and discussion is for anyone who would like their user experience work to have more influence with their clients and colleagues. It will also be a good time for folks needing a little inspiration for their design practices. Examples and explanations from consulting services and design thinking will be given freely.
2010 is the 30th anniversary of Carl Sagan’s “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.” Not only is his explanation of our universe relevant today, it can teach us a great deal about how to create better websites.
* What can Carl Sagan teach us about the Web?
* What can constellations tell us about Web analytics?
* What does man’s ancestry tell us about people choosing to interact via the Web?
* How does the evolution of the human brain affect a site’s brand?
* What can we learn from Heike crabs about how our users influence our designs?
* What does the deciphering of the rosetta stone tell us about people new to a website?
* How can the search for extraterrestrial life help us understand our users?
* How can the mating patterns of whales be used to help searchers?
* What parallels can be drawn between viruses and information architecture?
* What can the evolution of our solar system tell us about the future of our websites?
In the spirit of “expanding our boundaries,” we’ll look to disciplines like social sciences, psychology, neuroscience and cognitive science for insights. However, attendees will leave with actionable tools and examples making it easier to bridge theory with tomorrow’s deadline. As a profession, we talk about mapping user goals to business goals. But what if this focus on goals is no longer enough? And what if we can’t get users to stick around long enough to see the value in our apps? Come get inspired by examples of applications that have moved beyond just goals, and succeeded in both satisfying and delighting people.
To design Communities of Care, you must commit to writing a narrative of human behavior mediated through time and space. While great strides have been made over the last 40 years drawing on a rich history of Cybernetics and Human-Computer Interaction, those models of interaction are limited in explaining social and psychological modalities of social interaction in physical space and particularly in mediated online spaces which is becoming more the norm for collective and collaborative group social interactions in the healthcare industry.