by Tim Kadlec
What you don’t know can’t hurt you, at least that’s the old saying. But on the web, it is precisely the things that you don’t know and can’t see that can cause the biggest headaches. The web is an unstable and unpredictable environment and every day there are complications that go unnoticed and unseen—but not by the people trying to use your site. Building a stable, usable experience online means anticipating these issues as much as possible, making some of the more commonly overlooked components of development more visible in the process.
Scenarios and storyboards: Getting to structure and flow
by Kim Goodwin
Most digital experiences don’t fail in the design of a single screen; they fail in the transition states between process steps, between platforms, or between organizational silos. The good news is that we can borrow two things from filmmaking to help fill this gap. The first is the power of character-driven storytelling: if you know the characters well enough, you know how they’ll react to a certain plot twist. Scenarios are stories told about a specific person using the future product in a particular situation. Kim will show you why scenarios are excellent tools for generating ideas, testing ideas at the whiteboard, and communicating with stakeholders. Kim will also illustrate how to combine scenarios with storyboards—thumbnail sketches of structure and flow—to help derive navigation, layout, and eventually even visual hierarchy on the screen. Better yet, these techniques are great for cross-platform and responsive design.
Empathy and Web Performance
by Lara Hogan
As a web technologist, you have tough choices to make when it comes to weighing aesthetics and performance. Images, fonts, and interactivity are necessary to engage your audience, and each has an enormous impact on page load time and the overall user experience. This talk will focus on performance optimization basics, and why it’s so important for us to improve page speed for our users.
When Great UX Goes Offline
by Katie Dill
Great user experiences are coherent across every touchpoint online and offline. Companies like Airbnb are creating a platform on which these experiences can happen, between real people in the real world. Learn how the Airbnb Experience Design team as well as others leverages pixels to create a better offline experience at all stages of the user’s journey—even when the company isn’t directly in control.
With all of us living more and more intimately with our Internet-enabled devices, it’s sometimes hard to tell where they stop and we begin. Sometimes it seems that we strive to BE a device. We like to talk about ourselves in terms of technology: a good athlete is “a machine;” or, if we’re not done thinking about something, we might say: “I’m still processing.” Even our movies and literature give us tremendous super powers, as if, being human wasn’t already good enough. Lisa will talk about how special it is to be human in the information age; what unique and irreplaceable attributes human beings bring to the table and why we need to make sure we stay in touch with “us.”
Charles Babbage’s mouse pointer
Humanities x Technology
Steve Jobs said that “technology alone is not enough – it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” Through practical examples, this keynote explores modern interpretations of the intersection between humanities and technology, and identifies what it means to approach technology from this unique perspective.
Emoji for fun and profit
By 2020, all written language will have been supplanted by emoji. But how did it come to this? To understand how emoji work, you first need to learn a little bit about Japanese cellphones in the late 90s, the mechanics of Unicode, and how computers render display fonts. With an understanding of how strange pieces of Japanese culture have become so deeply embedded in the way we communicate, you can start to use them in the things you build. Join CTO of Slack, Cal Henderson, as he shares how to use emoji for fun and for profit.
Why Beauty Matters
Throughout the most of the 20th and the 21st century beauty has gotten a bad reputation: Most respectable designers claim not be interested in it, the contemporary art world has almost completely abandoned it and you can sit through hours of lectures on architecture without hearing the term uttered once. Stefan Sagmeister will talk about why this is so utterly stupid and what we can do to reverse it.
Wicked Ambiguity and User Experience
How do you solve the world’s hardest problems? And how would you respond if they’re unsolvable? As user experience professionals, we’re focused on people who live and work in the here and now. We dive into research, define the problem, break down silos, and focus on people’s intent to create solutions.
But how does our UX work change when a project lasts not for one year, or even 10 years, but for 10,000 years or more? Enter the “Wicked Problem,” or situations with so much ambiguity, complexity, and interdependencies that—by definition—they can’t be solved.
Using real-world examples from NASA’s Voyager program, the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, and other long-term UX efforts, we’ll talk about the challenges of creating solutions for people whom we’ll never know in our lifetimes. The ways we grapple with ambiguity give us a new perspective on our work and on what it means to build experiences that last.
Beyond The UX Tipping Point
by Jared Spool
For the longest time, making a great experience for the user was a business-strategy luxury item. A great product only had to work and ship. A great experience was a nice-to-have, not a requirement. Times have changed. The cost of delivering a product is no longer a barrier to entry. Quality is no longer a differentiator. What’s left? The user’s experience.
Every part of the organization must be infused with an understanding of great design. Your organization has to cross the UX Tipping Point. You must increase everyone’s exposure to users, communicate a solid experience vision, and install a culture of continual learning. With that, design will become your organization’s competitive advantage.
Jared will share with us:
– Which path organizations take to become design-infused
– How a centralized UX team is a stepping stone to a more UX capable organisation
– Why the market needs to demand a better experience before it will matter
– What your organization will need to do to cross the UX Tipping Point
If This Was Real Life, You’d Be Dead (or at least really uncomfortable)
Hollywood has tried hard to convince us that space suits of the future will be sleek, sexy, and as easy to put on as your favorite skinny jeans and t-shirt, but how would these suits fare when moved from the backlot to a real NASA mission? Join NASA Space Suit Engineer Lindsay Aitchison as she separates fact from fiction, with some fascinating insights on what it takes to put boots on Mars.
Go where the work is. Inside the US Digital Service.
Millions of people rely on the government every day. Veterans apply for benefits. Students compare financial aid options. Small business owners seek loans. Too often, confusing user experience and cumbersome processes make these interactions difficult and frustrating. Enter the United States Digital Service, a start-up at the White House using technology and design to improve the government’s most important digital services.
Join Janine Gianfredi to learn how the organization hired over 200 top techies into public service, established a values-based organization, and drove change in one of the largest bureaucracies in the world.
Scaling Lean: Principles over Process
by Jeff Gothelf
The term Lean has become widely popular, particularly with the word “startup” attached to it. This has led many people to believe this is an approach to work relevant only to new companies or initiatives. Lean-curious companies who have tried to implement these ideals often stall at one or two teams citing organizational complexities, politics and dependencies as insurmountable obstacles to Lean Startup at scale.
Can Lean Startup practices be scaled — not just as culture and philosophy but as tactical process? In this practical presentation, Jeff will share several methods for scaling Lean Startup techniques in large organizations exemplified in detailed case studies and professional experience. Jeff will cover knowledge management, intra-team dependencies, infrastructure requirements and several other elements of ensuring successful Lean Startup practices in companies of any size.
The Dark Matter of Democracy
by Indy Johar
Our Democracy is more than the vote – it is the radical distribution of the power to create society. This future require us to recast and reimagine our institution infrastructure – the dark Matter of society – from the future of citizen rights, trade rights to standards. Like the Industrial Age where the birth of British Standards Institute went hand to hand with the rise of the industrial revolution – progress is dependent on recasting our institutional infrastructure; our model of “red tape” for a digital age – this is our challenge to unleashing progress.
Talking to Artificial Intelligence
We have been talking about robots and artificial intelligence forever, or so it sometimes seems. Images of smart machinery have inhabited our thinking and our literary/cultural imaginations long before technology made such objects possible. It is tempting to keep such things separate – the art and science of the robot, or of the artificial intelligence that underpins it. However, there are reasons to thread them back together. After all, the AI of our imagination, is the AI we have built. In this talk, anthropologist and technologist, Dr. Genevieve Bell explores the meaning of “intelligence” within the context of machines & its cultural impact on humans and their relationships. She interrogates AI not just as a technical agenda but as a cultural category in order to understand the ways in which the story of AI is connected to the history of human culture.
Toward Humane Tech
by Anil Dash
Tech is now the wealthiest, most powerful industry in the world, but the way it is leaving some people out and leaving some people behind poses a grave threat to our ability to keep making good tech that people love. Anil Dash will talk about how we got here, and some ideas about how we can move toward a more ethical and humane tech industry.
Here’s what everyone will be speaking about: