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This blog is for updates on my presentations and how to download them (look for "attachments"). Also, I am slowly adding presentations to Slideshare - the darling of the IA world.


When User Experience Becomes Mission Critical

I am doing a user experience presentation at the Lima Tech conference (LRITA) tomorrow. Below is the description from the program. I will upload the slides afterwards, in the slight chance anyone wants to see them.

When User Experience Becomes Mission Critical

The role of CIOs and the focus for IT leaders is constantly evolving. In 2006, it was about Innovation, in 2009 is was about Collaboration, in 2011 it was Intelligence, in 2014 it was Customers. In 2015: Digital Transformation. Now in 2016, CIO priorities includes User Experience.

As the corporate IT mindset for User Experience evolves from "Don't care" to "Mission critical", there are many paths, steps, and options along the way. Keith will share stories and examples of how companies have made progress along their journey to mission critical user experiences.

Aspects of the journey include:

  • User interface design: from "lipstick on a pig" to guidelines and standards that improve usability, reduce costs, and increase business value
  • Requirements processes: from spreadsheets of features to priorities based on deep user insights
  • Project management: from waterfall management focused on cost-savings to agile & iterative design and development focused on quality, hypothesis-testing and user satisfaction
  • Governance: from chaos and technology-driven decision making to portfolios of projects based on user experience (and business value) benefits

Because the paths to mission critical user experiences will be different for each company, the session will be interactive, where you can ask questions to understand what other companies have done, and discuss what might work for your companies, based on where you are at in terms of UX maturity and what your goals are.

Project Management & UX

I will be doing a short talk at the next PMI WLEC meeting, January 12th. That's Project Managers in Western Lake Erie, aka Toledo Region. I am going to give them an intro to the user experience and software developer communities around here, and see what we might want to do together.

Below is what I wrote to help me prepare and give them some sense of what I want to cover. I will pull up a few web pages along the way to provide some context and trigger discussions.

Many software project managers are finding that they need to collaborate with user experience teams in order to accomplish the organizational results required for business success. User Experience professionals do more than make screen looks pretty. They do more than make features usable. They make the experience of using the product or service delightful. UXers often also use design methods to lead strategic customer decisions and stakeholder engagements.

As software development teams adopt agile, scrum and lean methods to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, they are also exploring how to collaborate with user experience professionals. Design is becoming an important competitive advantage in e-commerce, mobile app and other software marketplaces. Intranets and enterprise software are expected to be as good as consumer applications.

Project managers, software developers, and user experience designers all need to work together for projects to be successful. Shouldn’t we also be learning together and networking with each other “outside the office”? Let’s talk about what PMI WLEC is doing this year, what the software, tech & design communities in the Toledo Region are trying to accomplish, and see if we can do some things together. For example, we have already collaborated on EPIC’s Connect IT, where we had a PM roundtable to go along with application development and IT infrastructure topics.

The next (best) opportunity for learning together and networking might be the 4th User Experience Toledo Region conference on February 3rd. It will be at the Toledo Museum of Art and features remote speakers by Rosenfeld Media. The topic is PRODUCT management and user experience (not quite the same as PROJECT management, but close). The world-class experts include Jeff Gothelf, Jeff Patton, Laura Klein and Christina Wodtke. Learn more at User-Experience.org.

About Keith Instone - Keith is a user experience consultant and experience planner. He has “global” clients (like Lenovo) that he works remotely with, “midwest” clients (like a consumer products company in southern Ohio), and “local” clients (like Owens Corning). They usually hire him to make their technology easier to use but he often ends up helping them change the organization and culture that is getting in the way of people-centered design.

His most intense experience with PMI-certified colleagues was during a 10 year stint with IBM, where he worked with a wide rage of “pure” PMs and “UX” PMs. He was part of the first cross-IBM Agile UX working groups, which did early attempts at integrating agile software development and user-centered design processes.

Today, he is active in building up the UX and software tech communities in the Toledo Region. Check out User-Experience.org, TechToledo.com, and the community calendar ToledoTechEvents.org to join us.

Blog topics: 

UX Shop Talk

I am giving a talk on Thursday (3/26) at the Mad Ave Collective, part of their Shop Talk series. My topic is "User experience concepts, skills and methods for strategic creatives".

My basic agenda:

  • My life as a User Experience Freelance Consultant
  • Who we are: Strategic Creatives
  • UX Concepts, Skills & Methods that you can use to do your current job better
  • How to "learn me some of that UX"

Links to things I plan to mention:

Blog topics: 

IVLA 2014 Conference talk

Way back in November, I did another talk about user experience and visual literacy. This time I partnered with Mike Osswald. We led a session entitled "Visual literacy in a business context" (aka "Design and visual literacy") at the IVLA 2014 conference, right here in Toledo.

Mike did a great job putting the slides together, even tweaking them for the 9-screen display we had. Slide 28 shows that well, and also serves as the list of UX "top of mind" topics that we thought had strong connections to visual literacy issues.

  • Modular Content for
 Multiple Contexts
 (Responsive)
  • User Interface 
 Metaphors
 ("Flat" design)
  • Layers and Motion
 in User Interfaces
  • Gesture Literacy
  • Storytelling
  • Human Factors 
 and Devices
  • Data Visualization Democratized
  • Infographics & Information Literacy

We got the audience engaged, heard good feedback afterwards, and learned a lot doing it. So it was a success! Not sure what UX & VL connections I will make next, but I plan to keep exploring the intersection.

Blog topics: 

Visual Literacy & User Experience

I will be presenting "Visual literacy: Expanding how we practice UX" at UX Thursday in Detroit on June 26th. The official blurb about the talk:

Visual literacy, traditionally applied to educational settings, has become important for users to make sense of digital media. Keith Instone will share the how and why behind his research and the ways he applies what he’s learning about visual literacy to UX. You'll hear how this exploration is making him a better UX practitioner.

Keith hopes to inspire UX practitioners to embark on their own discipline-crashing journeys to help strengthen the future value of UX.

Leave Keith’s session with:

  • A process for expanding your UX expertise by "crashing" other disciplines
  • Examples from visual literacy that apply to UX
  • An invitation to participate in the next virtual literacy conference

I will add the slides and other information here as I make progress.

User Experience Research-Practice Interaction

Here is the presentation that I did at the Connecting Dots conference on Saturday, March 15th.

The presentation was based on the paper that I wrote for the conference, plus what I learned during the first day+ of the conference. I added and deleted things once I was there.

Blog topics: 

Integrating User Interface Design Specifications

It is time for another Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor. Next week!

In addition to Eight Years of IUE: Reflection and Perspective, I am doing a talk about Integrating User Interface Design Specifications.

At the 2006 IUE conference, Keith Instone presented "ibm.com re-design and standards", where he talked about how they managed the user interface specifications for IBM's public web presence. This talk will be an update on what has happened since then:
  • Advancements in the type of UI specifications covered, such as interaction patterns, mobile, tablets (and the challenges in organizing this information)
  • Changes in governance approach, from less compliance to more community leadership and innovation
  • Broadening of scope and engagement within IBM: merging intranet and internet specs and collaborating with IBM product groups
  • A re-design to celebrate IBM's 100th anniversary, which included building a business case for the UI design system

Because he has left IBM, he can share a more honest assessment of what things worked in that culture and what did not.

One of his first freelance projects has a cross-business unit UI design system aspect, so he can relate some early experiences "out in the real world".

If you have the feeling that there is a better way than drawing the same wireframes over and over again for each project, then you will want to hear some of my stories about how you can document a design system to speed up the design process, create more consistent experiences, save your company money, and still leave room for innovation.

I will use this blog entry to post links to background information, share the deck afterwards, and give people a chance to comment. A few links for starters:

Eight Years of IUE: Reflection and Perspective

It is time for another Internet User Experience conference in Ann Arbor. Next week!

I get the honor of helping kick-off the conference on Tuesday with "Eight Years of IUE: Reflection and Perspective", a short talk to give you some of the history of this great event (hoping this will help you enjoy the 2012 conference even more).

To do my research about the first 8 years of IUE, I compiled a set of links to older versions of the conference web site and a few other things. Here is my list, in case you want to re-live some of the past experiences.

I will update this blog posting after the talk, including the slides. If you have links to other things about IUE, leave a comment or contact me.

WUD Research-Practice Interaction pre-work

On November 11th - World Usability Day - I will have the honor of giving a keynote "talk" at the Dayton-area event. I say "talk" in quotes because I really want it to be a more interactive session, where I provide enough background to get the discussion going, then the audience (participants, really) take over from there.

In the spirit of trying to make it easier for attendees to become participants, Douglas Gardner, the awesome organizer of the event at LexisNexis, has asked me to compile some pre-work / questions that he can distribute to people who have signed up to attend the Dayton event. I feel like a teacher giving students homework to do, but here goes!

Issues to consider, questions to ask yourself

  • If you are a user experience practitioner, what types of challenges do you face often that you wish you had a "scientific" answer to? Have you tried to find answers in the research literature? What roadblocks did you encounter when looking for answers? What successes have you had in taking research findings and improving your practice?
  • If you are a researcher, what is the value in engaging with practitioners? What is in it for you? Do you have any examples of success stories, where your research got better because of interactions you had with practitioners?
  • What should students of HCI, interaction design and other user experience disciplines be taught about research to better prepare themselves for the practitioner world?

Things to read

Things to do

  • If you are on Twitter, tweet something about the research-practitioner interaction topic with the #uxrpi hashtag.
  • Get a napkin (or some scrap of paper) and sketch something. Bring it to the session, you will have a chance to share this with every one else. (Even better, post your sketch to Flickr.)
  • Brainstorm a list of possible solutions to what you think are the most important research-practitioner challenges. Or make a list of solutions you know about from other fields. Bring it to the session.

Also, I have not quite figured out how to handle the interactiveness with a session in Ottawa who is planning on listening in remotely. My IBM/Cognos colleagues are hosting their own WUD event and will be joining both IBM's Social Media in the Workplace session (at noon ET USA) and mine (at 3:30).

And we might have others joining us remotely. We will have a LiveMeeting and call in: (800) 963-3556 / Conf ID: 266.4656. 3:30pm ET USA, November 11.

I hope I can make the session worthwhile for everyone who joins us.

November 21 update: I finally got around to posting the slides (as presented) on SlideShare.

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