Online Together

Human-Centered Design

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  1. Working Together in Diverse Teams

    Every day, we work with people who aren’t like us, and it’s a trend that will only grow over time. Working in diverse teams, we share more perspectives and ways of thinking; using these, we can improve the ways we solve problems and build products. On the flip side, like an invisible hand, our home cultures influence how we perform day-to-day tasks at work. This can mean diverse teams are prone to increased conflict and misunderstanding, because cultural biases influence how we deal with conflict, how we handle feedback and critique, and how we communicate.

    In this wide-ranging talk, Farai will share underlying principles, practical recommendations, and ready-to-use tactics you can use to become more effective working in diverse teams. When we know more about cultural biases and their influence, we can reduce friction, giving us a better chance to gain the true benefit of working in diverse teams.

  2. I Brake for Users: Content Strategy for Slower Experiences

    Online experiences can be fast, efficient, easy, orderly-and sometimes, that's all wrong. Users click to confirm too soon, confuse important details, or miss key features in product descriptions. Efficient isn’t always effective. Not all experiences need to be fast to be functional. In fact, some of the most memorable and profitable engagements are slow and messy...and that's just right.

    By designing for pace, we can intentionally help users focus on details and gain confidence in their choices. We can also encourage their sense of discovery and help them build stronger memories. Not all experiences need to be slower, but by appreciating and identifying opportunities for friction as a feature we can support user experiences that demand greater care and attention. In this talk, Margot will look to REI, Target, Fidelity, Patagonia, Disney, and others for lessons you can apply to aid learning, retention, and user satisfaction. Help your audience soak up the journey or just engage with more certainty, all by design.

  3. Performance is Accessibility

    Poor site performance is not just an annoyance. For the average user, it's often a fundamental accessibility issue... a barrier to using and accessing the web. With network speed and stability improving each day, we might think this problem is fixing itself. But recent trends show that performance has actually been getting worse, and that our own practices are often to blame.

    Thankfully, we have great tools today to analyze our site performance, and with careful use of standard web features and patterns, we can regain the resilience and speed our users desire–without the complicated workarounds of the past. In this session, Scott will argue that performance is an accessibility problem, and show how we can prioritize it to improve access for everyone.

  4. Practical Ethics for the Modern Web Designer

    Ethics is front of mind these days, especially in the tech industry. The industry ethos of “move fast and break things” has resulted in real harm to real people—ranging from the erosion of privacy to the deterioration of democracy itself. We need an ethics for our industry, of that there is little doubt. But how do we make it happen? How do we incorporate ethics into our design and development work?

    In this talk, Morten lays down a path toward an explicit ethics for web workers, by anchoring the work we do in the capabilities we manipulate in the people we design for, and providing an ethical foundation to stand on when making the decisions that build the future for our users.

  5. Designing for Emotion Revisited

    Design for delight was the mantra of many teams a decade ago, but our world and the web have since changed, bubbling up a complicated range of emotions in us all. It's time to do more than delight. Let's take a more sophisticated approach to design to address the challenges of our times.

    How do we design experiences that build trust with skeptics, address people's fears, and are more inclusive of those who have been left out? In this talk, Aarron Walter will show you how emotional design—the intersection of design and psychology—can help you and your team design better experiences for all.

  6. The Researcher’s Role in Consequence Design

    All designed interactions have consequences. Whether it's someone getting stuck buying a train ticket from a kiosk, hidden menus inside of web applications, or card-only convenience stores. In an "always-on" world, an increased constellation of digital tools can bring both significant benefits, but also harm with every notification, menu, or poorly researched interaction. As we attempt to capture more users' attention, hostility is often baked into every screen, forcing people to contend with unintended consequences that costs time, money, and erodes trust with our platforms.

    In this session, Ron will introduce a framework to empower designers doing research to improve methods of interrogating common assumptions. He'll share an ontology of common frictions, and explore ways that researchers can use improve iterative design methods to build better user-centered tools for everyday use.


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