James O’Brien

Freelance UX Consultant

James is a UX Designer and experienced Agile practitioner. He loves to create exceptional products and can often be found complaining on Twitter about the frustrations that get in the way of the process. In the last ten years he’s worked with agencies, enterprise codeshops and independent startups, always preaching the importance of designing for the user and coding to web standards. James started his career working for startups before one failed from management incompetence and the other failed from the dotcom crash. And management incompetence. He went freelance in 2001 on the basis that if he was doomed to be managed incompetently, better the devil you know.

James lives on a rusty Dutch barge moored by Tower Bridge. He doesn’t do anything in his spare time because he lives on a rusty Dutch barge, so he never gets any spare time. When he’s lucky, he sleeps. He usually smells faintly of diesel and was described by Remy Sharp as being “a man from the 1960s” because he knows five different ways to fix a leaking pipe.

Follow James: @sparrk
Tumblr: sparrk.tumblr.com

Agile UX (How to do big design up front when you're not allowed to do big design up front)

Agile’s bottom-up, get-it-started approach can help us make better products faster, but it does so in a way that’s hard to reconcile with the UX and design desire to approach products holistically. How can we get around the rule of “No Big Design Up Front” when design up front is at the core of what we do? Can we escape the tyranny of the sprint when design effort and development effort are so orthogonal?

We need to begin crafting our own tools, techniques and strategies for working in an Agile environment, just like developers, BAs and project managers before us. Plus we need to understand where we can find spaces in Agile that we can carve out for our own purposes. In this talk we’ll find a little space where we can push Agile to let us do some design, and a few ways to avoid being dragged off our feet when Agile pulls at us.

John-Henry Barac

John-Henry aims to design apps that people love to use. He recently joined Shazam as Senior UX Designer following up two years as a freelance consultant – designing apps for mobile, particularly iOS. Before that he was an Art Director at the Guardian newspaper for over a decade but decided in about 2008 that it was time to go digital. He designed the award winning Guardian iPhone app, and has since provided mobile design services to  the Financial Times, Met Office, Mumsnet and Metro as well as co-designing a philosophical game app called Situationist which was recently included in a show at the New York Museum of Modern Art.

He has previously spoken at the International Symposium for Online Journalism 2010 and Online News Association (ONA) 2010.

He likes the sentiment expressed by Milton Glaser: “Just enough is more”.

From Print to Pixel, a Journey to Mobile Design

Coming from a print background, John-Henry will touch on some of the lessons to be learned in mobile design from other areas of information design – handling of type, structure of content as well as a focus on understanding user and producer needs. Design always involves constraints, perceived requirements, opinions and cul-de-sacs. John-Henry will explore some of the decisions and debates which emerged while designing apps in the last few years.

Mo Syed

Head of User Experience, 10CMS

Mo Syed is Head of User Experience at 10CMS and has designed interactive experiences for a range of brands including Mercedes Benz, Kodak, Vodafone, RBS and Thompson Reuters. He is also a final year PhD candidate in Social Psychology at the University of Cambridge researching the application of theories of social psychology in the design process of social software. His research has a particular interest in the psychology of motivation, engagement and the emergence of game dynamics within social environments.

Blog: mosyed.com

The psychology of engagement and how to use it to deliver on your design goals

What is it about the structure of content and the design of an experience that keeps users engaged? This talk will consider a range of theories and practical approaches that help designers make their digital experiences more compelling through a better understanding of their user’s cognitive and decision-making processes. We will consider what motivates users to engage with an experience, how you can remove barriers so that you keep users engaged, and the underling patterns of how people perceive the information they are presented with.

Applications for these techniques include conversion rate optimisation for e-commerce, helping define design and content strategy and making your designs persuasive.

Leisa Reichelt

Freelance UX Consultant

Leisa quit agency and consulting land to go freelance a few years back with the goal of being able to make User Experience more accessible to the kinds of organisations who wouldn’t usually spend a lot of money on UX.

Since then she’s found herself doing less wireframing and more work bridging the divide between business, product design and interface design/usability – the heartland of strategic User Experience.

Leisa often works with startups and sometimes with larger companies, and she also contributes to the Drupal community and is currently working on ‘The Prairie Initiative’ – a social architecture and collaboration initiative.

Leisa is a regular speaker and workshop-giver and has spoken at conferences including London IA, UX London, UXLX, dConstruct and Interaction (IxDA). She mentors at Seedcamp, organises UX Bootcamps (Visual Design and Prototyping in Code), co-founded UX Tuesday (UX for Startups) and coordinates the London UX Bookclub.

When she’s not working, she can be found writing a book on Strategic User Experience, pottering on her allotment, playing with her two small boys, and when time permits and inspiration hits, blogging at Disambiguity.com.

Follow Leisa: @leisa
Website: www.disambiguity.com

Strategic User Experience

Really powerful User Experience comes only when the strategy and values of an organisation align with the design values of the user experience designer – unfortunately all too often these strategy and values are either undefined, unclear or misaligned.

While there’s no way UXers can come in with a silver bullet (or six) and resolve the situation, a greater appreciation of the strategic work done in other parts of the organisation and how they relate to user experience is invaluable.

In this session we’ll explore a framework for approaching User Experience in a more strategic way by working more broadly and cooperatively across the organisation, and we’ll also explore some tools and techniques that you’re probably not using right now but probably should be!

This is an archived site from our event on 25 November 2011. Find out about UX People 2013 »