PhillyCHI | UPAPA Joint Meeting – Jared Spool

“Brave New World: Usability & Web 2.0″
Date: Monday July 23, 2007
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
* Meet & greet from 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm *
Location: Berger Auditorium, Skirkanich Hall, University of Pennsylvania
210 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Map: http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/mapsBldgs/view_map.php3?id=140
RSVP: http://upadelawarevalley.org/events/event_register.php?id=6 Space is limited so RSVP early!

About This Event
Once again, everything is exciting. The advent of social networks, APIs, mashups, RSS, aggregators, and folksonomies promise a world where the information and services we’ve always wanted are delivered right to our browser.

However, delivering on the promise is easier said than done. Moving from a great concept to an exceptional user experience proves to be more of a challenge than many people thought. What works on a small scale is a very different story, when put into production.

As Spiderman’s Uncle Ben pointed out, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Just because we can do all these things doesn’t mean we should do them. In the early 1980’s, the cheap availability of laser printers and digital fonts produced a plethora of documents that more resembled ransom notes than professional publications. We could easily imagine designers going wild with the capabilities of this new technology and not using the restraint necessary to ensure they produce an optimal experience.

In this entertaining and informative presentation, Jared will show examples of the usability challenges we face as the web continues to change and evolve. He’ll discuss the implications of “The Long Tail”, the introduction of a mashup mentality in business environments, and how basic techniques, such as usability testing and field studies, change when social network is at the center of the design.

About Jared Spool, Founding Principal, UIE
If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that he’s probably the most effective, knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. What you probably don’t know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. He’s been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term “usability” was ever associated with computers.

Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

About User Interface Engineering (UIE)
User Interface Engineering is a leading research company, specializing in helping design professionals produce delightful and enticing user experiences. They work with all of the top organizations in the technology space and help thousands of designers every year. Hosting events, such as the annual User Interface Conference and the brand new Web App Summit, UIE continues to push the envelope of new design practices and techniques.

You can find more information about UIE and learn about their latest research at http://uie.com.

About the Sponsor: Refinery, Inc. now G2
This event is sponsored by Refinery, Inc., now known as G2, an award-winning Advertising Age Top 30 interactive agency servicing area Fortune 1000 clients.

You can learn more about Refinery at http://refinery.com.

Super Meeting – Maximum Value Design

Austin Govella speaksWe had excellent turnout and great discussion during Austin Govella’s “Maximum Value Design: Strategies for Creating a Larger Impact on the Business.” Given the interest in what Austin had to say from folks from all over (and some gentle nudging from Christina Wodke), we made an audio recording of the talk. We’re currently in the process of turning it into a podcast. And as soon as it is ready, we’ll send out an announcement.

You can view a few photos from the meeting at: http://flickr.com/photos/saturdave/sets/72157600555488955/.

Thanks to Austin for taking his time to share his insights with us in such an entertaining and engaging way.

P.S. If you’re interested in contributing to PhillyCHI’s effort to produce a podcast, please let us know: phillychi@gmail.com.

Thanks!

July Happy Hour

For the summer, PhillyCHI will take a break on holding socials. So get out and enjoy the sun already! Look for our regularly scheduled happy hours, which are held on the third Thursday of the month, to return in September.

PhillyCHI June Meeting – Austin Govella

“Maximum Value Design: Strategies for Creating a Larger Impact on the Business”

* Please join us this month as Austin Govella presents six strategies for providing maximum value design for your organization, business, and clients. *

Date: Thursday, June 28, 2007
Time: 6 – 8 pm
* Meet & greet from 6 – 6:30 pm *
Location: Berger Auditorium, Skirkanich Hall, University of Pennsylvania
210 South 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
Map: http://www.facilities.upenn.edu/mapsBldgs/view_map.php3?id=140
RSVP: phillyCHI@gmail.com – Please RSVP by Wednesday, June 27, 2007

About the Presentation: The world over, designers are busy with day-to-day projects and business as usual that they can’t find time to work on bigger issues, the mythical strategic design.  This prevents designers from offering input that impacts the entire organization.

Fortunately, strategic design isn’t a type of work: it’s a way you work.

We can adjust our tools and techniques to become more relevant and offer more value to our organizations. By changing how we approach specific tasks, we can transform lessons from small projects into frameworks that guide entire systems.

This presentation will discuss six experiences, collected from experience collected at global IT companies, universities, political campaigns, interactive agencies, and financial institutions that shows how common design deliverables can be used to influence – and change – the broader organization.

Though the examples and strategies are useful for practitioners of any skill level in any discipline, newer and intermediate information architects, interaction designers, and user experience designers will learn the most.  Those interested in design strategy, information architecture, or user experience management will find the presentation especially useful.

About the Presenter: Austin Govella works as a Senior Information Architect with Comcast Interactive Media. In his off-time, Austin works as a development editor for Boxes and Arrows (http://www.boxesandarrows.com), the web’s premier user experience and design publication.

He writes about IA, design, and business on his blog, Thinking and Making (http://thinkingandmaking.com).

June Happy Hour

For the summer, PhillyCHI will take a break on holding socials. So get out and enjoy the sun already! Look for our regularly scheduled happy hours, which are held on the third Thursday of the month, to return in September.

Great Meeting – Collaging: What Your Users Wish They Could Tell You

Priyanka Kakar and Steve Cleff discuss Priyanks's collagePhillyCHI had a great May meeting on the user research methodology of collaging. Steve’s presentation and exercise were really interesting and sparked a lot of conversation. The technique seems really simplistic, but offers surprisingly rich contextual understanding to a project.

For those of you who missed the meeting, collaging is a user research technique where users are shown a number of random images with the instructions to select images that they think convey what they want from a product, service, or brand.

Pictures of the event: http://flickr.com/photos/19552960@N00/sets/72157600230137812/.

For the exercise on Thursday, two users from PhillyCHI (Priyanka Kakar and Jon Deutsch) participated, pulling images to describe what they wanted from the new PhillyCHI website. Both Priyanka and Jon gave great feedback as to what they would like the new site to provide users. This information will be used in the design of the new site.

Thanks again to Steve and everyone at Avenue A | Razorfish for hosting a great social & meeting!