Code QA and UX, sitting in a tree. Kissing.

Jamie Appleseed recently wrote a brilliant article on bugs and user experience. It won’t help you magically prove the ROI of QA testing, but you should definitely read it because… It’s about accepting that things do go wrong sometimes. And that therefore, we should design systems that degrade tolerably and fail gracefully when they are actually broken. It argues that we should keep simplifying and using progressive enhancement. Think of accessibility in the widest sense, and design for the least capable people & technology first. Not everyone has good vision, good motor skills. Not everyone has a powerful computer, a fast broadband connection. It happens. Simple, lean, fast… then add the funk I know that as developers we already think about contextual impediments. Our task models sometimes show that not everyone has time to really concentrate on the information we present to them. Designing for degradation and failure is the same thing –  stuff gets in the way. So make it simple, make it lean, make it fast. Then layer up the funk. Spec it out good and proper. Like the other ‘premium’ (ie. done properly) things we try to do, this approach may initially take more time and therefore cost more than you expect. It’s a relatively easy thing to sell-in on public sector projects – those where accessibility in the traditional sense is a stated requirement. We’re working on a number of projects with Bristol City Council, and the teams for taking this approach already: keeping things simple and designing transactional forms that work well, with or without JavaScript; leveraging GPS capability on your phone, but not...

UIEtips: Hiring a UX Pro – 4 Techniques from Smart Teams

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, I share ideas on how to hire the best UX professional. I also make the case that hiring the right person is the most important factor to a UX team’s success. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Hiring is not a natural process. It needs to be designed, just like any experience. In our research, we learned that most teams amble into the hiring process by copying actions from others or by inventing wacky steps. Read the article: Hiring a UX Pro – 4 Techniques from Smart Teams. How do you get the most out of your UX hiring process? Leave us a note...

Aviva Rosenstein – Working with UX in an Agile Environment

[ Transcript Available ] Integrating UX into an Agile workflow has historically been a bit of a challenge. This could be due to a general lack of communication with the development team, or not feeling like the proper time or value is given to UX within the organization. Through her research, Aviva Rosenstein discovered that many problems people were having are commonplace. Additionally, she found that others had actually already worked out solutions to some of these. In her virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams, Aviva discusses the position of UX on Agile teams and some of the problems they face. There were a bunch of great questions from the audience during the live seminar and Aviva joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast. How do you manage the change from Waterfall to Agile? Are requirements fairly well defined before the Agile process? If the designers are working sprints ahead, then how much time are they also spending on the current sprint? Where do research and testing fit into the Agile process? Can you give some examples of UX tasks that are estimated? What are some best practices for documenting design in this process? What’s the development team’s role in UX design? How do you handle technology limits in UX design? Are there UX success measures for new products? Can a dedicated UX design team work successfully with product development teams in this scrum environment? Recorded: September, 2014 [ Subscribe to our podcast via ?This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] Full Transcript. Adam Churchill: Welcome,...

Whitney Quesenbery and Joe O’Connor – Accessible WordPress

[ Transcript Available ] WordPress powers over 25 million sites with more than 14 billion pages viewed each month, making it one of the most popular web publishing platforms. Imagine if every one of those sites was accessible. Joe O’Connor has been a leader in making that happen, through the WordPress accessibility team which works from the inside to make WordPress into a web publishing platform for everyone. Joe joins Whitney Quesenbery for this episode of A Podcast for Everyone to talk about what it takes to make an open source platform that can help authors make their sites accessible. They talked about: How can you make your WordPress accessible? What are the best accessible-ready WordPress themes? What tools can help you keep your content accessible for everyone? Joseph Karr O’Connor lives in Santa Monica, California. When Section 508 came into effect in 1999 he began leading Accessible UX teams creating accessible web environments. Joe has been using WordPress in support of non-profits, research, and university news since 2005. Now leading Cities, a world-wide effort to build free accessible WordPress themes, Joe also contributes to Make WordPress Accessible and asks you to get involved. He’s known on Twitter as AccessibleJoe. Resources mentioned in this podcast WordPress Guidelines: Accessibility Accessibility-Ready WordPress Themes Making WordPress Accessible WP Accessibility plugin by Joe Dolson The Cities project Accessibility checking tools Accessible WordPress themes that Joe recommends: Blaskan Simone WordPress Twenty Fourteen WordPress Twenty Thirteen Recorded: July, 2014 [ Subscribe to our podcast via ?This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] Full Transcript. Whitney Quesenbery: Hi, I’m Whitney...

Jim Kalbach – Identifying a UX Design Strategy

[ Transcript Available ] The concept of strategy can be fuzzy at best. And the word strategy tends to hold a different meaning depending on who you’re talking to. Jim Kalbach says that strategy needs to show causality. He defines it as a hypothesis of a desired position, and a belief about how you’re going to succeed and overcome challenges. In his virtual seminar, Defining a UX Design Strategy, Jim details the elements of strategy. He shares this in the form of his UX Strategy Blueprint a tool he uses to explore and generate strategies in his own work. Jim fielded a lot of questions from the audience during the seminar. He joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast. How does UX strategy differ from product strategy? Can this be applied at the product level or is this just a byproduct of the process? Can UX designers become strategists? What does “upward alignment” mean in the strategy hierarchy? Is UX strategy independent of business of product strategy? Recorded: September, 2014 [ Subscribe to our podcast via ?This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] Full Transcript. Adam Churchill: Welcome everyone to the SpoolCast. Recently, Jim Kalbach presented a fantastic virtual seminar for our audience. It’s called “Defining a UX Design Strategy.” The recording of this seminar along with over 175 other UX seminars are now part of UIE’s “All You Can Learn.” Establishing a realistic strategy is a creative endeavor, based on analysis, and it results in a practical plan. Of course, it can also be a frustrating ambiguous process...