As a design researcher, I focused on measuring user experience: how learnable, usable and effective is a user interface? The answer depends on a combination of qualitative findings and quantitative metrics. It’s a challenge that requires specialized skills and experience, and here at EY Intuitive we have a very strong team.
As I have transitioned to a more managerial role, it’s become important for me to measure the effectiveness of our teams. It’s one thing to evaluate the quality of an interface, but how do you define the quality of a user-experience team? You might start by looking at the individuals that make up the team—their work accomplishments, portfolios and credentials. However, such information still doesn’t speak to the quality of the whole. A group of otherwise capable individuals who don’t collaborate effectively is not a team.
In fact, the ability to effectively collaborate and share knowledge has always been both a critical job requirement and a vital part of the culture here. We support that both informally, via open communication and mentoring, and formally, through activities like our Inspire presentation series and workshops. We also value sharing our knowledge outside of our offices, with clients and with the greater design and business communities.
Further, we are highly proactive in publishing and speaking at industry conferences. These are not only knowledge-sharing opportunities, but also de facto external measurements of our team. Submitting to a conference is a competitive process and a proverbial “battle of ideas,” with conference organizers and reviewers determining which presentations are compelling and valuable enough to make it to the stage.
We have a good track record, but this year we achieved something remarkable—we’ll have a combined eight speakers at two of the UX industry’s most prestigious conferences: the Interaction Design Association’s Interaction 16 in Helsinki, Finland, and the User Experience Professionals Association’s 2016 UXPA International Conference in Seattle.
At Interaction 16, Jes Koepfler and Nidhi Jalwal will present their research on Connecting Children with Nature through Smart Toy Design. Jes will also team up with Kieran Evans to share their work on Getting (Dis)Connected: Shallow Interaction Patterns for Deeper Human Experiences. And Nidhi will present solo on Design For Change: Sprinting Away From Poop.
At UXPA 2016, Victor Yocco and Ashley Pulli will teach a workshop on A Design Method for Visualizing Complex Data for Users. Georgia Spangenberg and Ed Hertzog will discuss UX Research within an Agile Design and Development Sprint Cycle, and Georgia will follow that up with VR Demystified: Delivering Experiences Beyond the Screen. Finally, I’ll be co-presenting on Intellectual Property and UX Design – The Preceding Year and the Next Decade.
As a peer, it’s satisfying to see how popular and respected our company is being received by the design community. As a manager, it’s valuable to see this objective, positive validation of our team’s ideas. We hope to see you at these upcoming events.