UX Week Early Bird Pricing Ends Monday, August 30!

Adaptive Path’s UX Week 2009, for which I’ve done extensive programming, is only a few weeks away. And the deadline for early bird pricing ends August 30.

Enjoy 4 days of UX goodness, combining thought-provoking presentations with hands-on activities-based workshops. It’s a mix of inspiration and information unlike you’ll find at any other event!

Use discount code FOPM and get 15% off the registration price

Toronto, Ontario, Here I Come

I tweeted something similar, but I thought I’d ask here: tomorrow (Thursday) I head to Toronto for a little over a week. What must I do? Eat? Drink? Understand, these are the things I know I like:

  • awesome hole-in-the-wall ethnic cuisine
  • great breakfasts
  • great relaxing afternoon pub
  • coffee coffee coffee (drip, not espresso, and comfortable places to drink it)
  • museums with an historical bent
  • museums with local quirk
  • relaxed, fun neighborhoods
  • pinball

Suggestions? Add ’em in the comments. Thanks!

What does the user experience field have to say about social media?

In recent months, likely due to the rise of Twitter, potential clients of Adaptive Path have been asking more and more about social media, and how to respond to it. And while we have some definite ideas, one thing I realized is that the field of user experience has been oddly silent about how to engage in social media. If you read the blogs and mailing lists that designers frequent, they rarely address how to consider Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., from a user experience point of view.

This surprised me, since the UX community is a remarkably active participant in social media. Since the field began to take off in 1998 or so, blogs and mailing lists have been the single best means of learning about the field and leveling up.

I fear that the user experience field has defined itself by a series of artifacts (flow diagrams, architectures, wireframes) and this has placed a conceptual boundary on the kinds of problems we successfully engage. The user experience of social media is not addressed through wireframes — unless you work for one of these social media providers, your company’s or client’s user experience of social media will be outside of your design control. It’s meaningless to draw a wireframe of a Twitter conversation.

I suspect that in order to embrace this opportunity, user experience types will have to put down Visio and Omnigraffle and find other ways to “deliver”. The most obvious next step is that we’ll need to be more comfortable writing principles and guidelines, akin to Christian Crumlish’s recent piece for the ASIST Bulletin.

But, as designers, the distinct value we can bring is in experiential tangibility, and it leads me to wonder, how, as a field, can user experience folks best engage in the social media dialogue? Because right now, it’s sadly dominated by douchebags who seem to think that social media = a sexy new form of marketing communications.

UX Week 2009 – Single Day Registration, Crazy Day 4

Sigh. I really need to write more on this thing, eh? The combination of Twitter, raising a child, and writing for the Harvard Business online has definitely sapped my publishing here.

But that’s not what I want to discuss. I want to talk about another thing where I’ve also been devoting my time, UX Week 2009.

We just announced single day registration, so if you can’t commit to the entire event, you can still come and enjoy part of it. Each day is a self-sufficient gem (just look at the schedule), so you’re doubtless to find some day worth attending.

We’re also trying something quite different this year. Day 4, which has no workshops, is priced at $300 less than the other days. And with speakers like Matt Webb, David Merrill, Liz Ogbu, and Robin Hunicke, we’re pushing the boundaries of design, and engaging a range of contexts from games to physical computing to social activism. We think there’s a larger conversation to be held, and so we’ve dropped the price on that day to encourage more people to come.

If you use my special discount code FOPM, you’ll receive a 15% discount on whatever you register for.