Just What is a UX Manager? | Adaptive Path Earlier this week, I wrote quick blog post, calling out seven lessons for UX managers from this year’s MX conference. Then on Twitter, Livia Labate, who leads the experience design practice for Marriott International asked, “Dear @AdaptivePath, what is a UX Manager?” Here’s my not-so-twitter-length response: UX managers come with all sorts of fancy-pants titles. This isn’t about titles. This is about responsibilities. Someone who manages user experience has stuck their neck out and said they’ll deliver business outcomes through improving the experience that customers have with a product or service. That means you believe UX is a force that can not only improve people’s experiences but that it can also drive business. Why I <3 UX Managers Okay, let it be said that I’m biased. I’ve spent the past six years trying to get to know as many of you as I can, either speaking at or chairing Adaptive Path’s Managing Experience conference. What I’ve learned is that this is an emerging discipline.
Rapid Prototyping: Tips for Running an Effective R&D Process So you realize that it's important to prototype your ideas before launching into production -- but how do you do it? Arkadium's director of R&D, Tom Rassweiler, lifts the veil on his company's process and explains why it shifted to central R&D for new game prototypes. As the director of Research and Development at Arkadium, I'm tasked with identifying unique and successful game mechanics for our future games. The decision to move to a central R&D model was not made lightly. Due to new distribution methods, new audiences, and new platforms, the game industry is now rewarding unique, creative game ideas like never before. In response to the increasing complexity of the industry, the idea of effective prototyping is very hot. Prototyping is useful because the best way to know whether a game will be fun is to play it. The advantages of prototyping are generally well known, and most development teams spend sometime prototyping before each project. Often, this tension is good.
Product Manager and UX Designer - What's the Difference? Photo Credit: pelican via Compfight cc Product Manager vs. UX Designer I always advocate in favor of broad definition of User Experience Design practice. Here’s the definition from my recent ebook UX Design for Startups: “User experience design (abbreviation UX, UXD) – A discipline focused on designing the end-to-end experience of a certain product. A UX designer’s work should always be derived from people’s problems and aim at finding a pleasurable, seductive, inspiring solution. When you’re designing an experience, you are in fact planning a change in the behaviour of your target group. User experience lies at the crossroads of art and science and requires both extremely acute analytical thinking and creativity.” Planning, measuring, building, validating – that’s pretty broad set of actions, but this is what, I believe, have to be done to create stunning UX Design. Is there anything left for Product Managers? PM = UX Designer PM ≠ UX Designer Reimagining the way you design.
Prototyping: You’re (Probably) Doing It Wrong You’re not alone, I was also doing prototyping wrong until a few years ago. There are probably many different ways of prototyping games correctly, and maybe your way works great for you. In that case, a more accurate title for this post could have been “Prototyping: I Was Doing It Wrong”. A good game prototype is something fast/cheap that allows you to answer a specific question about your game. Chris Hecker and Chaim Gingold gave one of the best presentations on the subject of rapid prototyping. Mistake #1: Going With The First Idea Every company I’ve ever worked at has done this mistake. Creating a prototype for a game you know you’ve already committed to is pointless. What I do now is to force myself to prototype several of my top ideas before committing to any one project. With a good prototype it’s easy to see if an idea is worthwhile. Also, often times, after doing one prototype and deciding against it, a new idea will come up. Mistake #2: Not having a good question
How important is user experience? 9 things you need to know about UX. UX is based on 200 years of scientific knowledge, 30 years of industry best practices and specifically applied research. - @mashable User experience (ux) is an emerging practice that sits at the intersection of behavioral science, web development, and domain-specific knowledge. It’s a human-centric approach to understanding how people engage with technology, and how to build the best web experiences possible. Consider the following: 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad experience. -@econsultancy94% of a user’s first impressions are design-related. - @Veopix73% of consumers access websites on their mobile devices. - @Bond_Group The best user experience practice comes from a deep knowledge of buyer personas. The practice of user experience spans multiple disciplines, including buyer research, information architecture and knowledge management, interactive design, and visual design. User experience carries a significant, measurable ROI for organizations.
Quick and Dirty Prototyping: A Success Story Last November at the IGDA Leadership Forum, I gave a short talk on quick and dirty prototyping as a production method for small PC games. The topic was met with curiosity, as most producers were already comfortable with their existing waterfall or agile methodologies. While our studio, Boomzap Entertainment, is agile in the simplest definition of the word ("can move fast, is flexible"), we don't follow Scrum, XP, or any of the popular frameworks. Instead, we've tweaked a process that works best for our indie studio for the past five years -- a process I like to call "quick and dirty prototyping", though no one else at Boomzap refers to it as such. You can read a short summary of the presentation here. To give you some context on how we work: Boomzap Entertainment is a small indie casual games developer in Southeast Asia. The Awakening team worked with each other entirely online, from meetings and documentation to asset and build processing. 1. 2. 3.
The business value of User Experience (UX) Design – UX Passion The importance of user experience and designing it correctly has been gaining more attention from the companies who aim to keep their users happy. In this article, we explain why investing into UX is crucial for your business. What do your friend’s startup, your small local business and a large company such as Google have in common? No, this isn’t a trick question. The answer is actually fairly simple and intuitive. In the recent years many have noticed the importance of UX design and are investing more and more into its research and development. Be it physical or digital, a product is bound to rouse both an emotional and intellectual response in its consumer based not only on the way it works but also how it looks and feels. Why “X” marks the spot UX is about two things only – the User and the Experience. While having a great product is paramount, in today’s market it often is not enough to keep you ahead of the curve. Designing experiences But what about design?
Herman Tulleken's Blog - Rapid Game Prototyping: Tips for Programmers The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community. The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company. In November 2013, two colleagues* and I made 30 games. Although I have done some game prototyping before, working on so many games in such a short period gave me some insights I did not have before. In this article, I collect some of these observations in the form of a set of tips. (*Their names are Jonathan Bailey and Eduard Beukes. A. Making something very quickly is a lot of fun. Building a rapid-prototype gives you immediate satisfaction. But you need to get out of development mode, and out of tinkering mode. You have to get to the core. Know and remember the goal The reasons for building a prototype are varied. To have a finished game at the end of a fixed time (such as in a jam). The best way to work and make decisions depends on this goal. When you schedule, assign time accordingly.
How Important is UX to Your Product's Growth? | UserTesting Blog Today’s guest post comes from Sean Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Qualaroo and founder of GrowthHackers.com. Enjoy! UserTesting’s own Hannah Alvarez recently posed a question over at GrowthHackers.com regarding the importance of UX within the larger framework of growth hacking, or more broadly its role in a company’s growth strategy. Not only did the question spark a fun discussion among the community, but it highlighted just how important a role UX plays in driving growth. Most growth teams that work with digital products are aligned around the critical need for the product to create lasting growth. Growth teams often report into the product team, not the marketing team. One of the most famous examples of this is Dropbox, where file sharing (an intrinsic piece of the product) became an important growth vector for the company. Image via Dropbox Reduce friction to improve key conversions Reducing friction is one of the most powerful ways to drive growth. [Tweet this.] Image via Quicksprout
Where the UX team belongs in your organization | User Experience, User Interface Design Coaching, Speaking and Workshops In the majority of organizations I consult with, their internal UX teams (or those to whom UX responsibility falls) are typically subservient to one of three major company divisions: Engineering, Marketing or Product Development. The names may change, but the essential roles are the same. Each department typically has management-level juice and C-level representation. In other words, both departments contain influencers and decision makers. But as they’ll tell you themselves, the vast majority of their UX efforts fail. UX teams don’t have a seat at the big kids’ table. UX teams are typically lacking influence and authority — while still given a massive amount of responsibility for product success. “Thinking that one’s own discipline is the most important of all gets in the way of teamwork.”- Don Norman If any particular discipline rules all conversations, every other discipline suffers. UX and the Organizational Model Respect is a Two- (or Three- or Four-) Way Street Related