#TCCamp Workshop: User Experience from Insights to Action

UI/UX Workshop – TC Summer Camp 2017

User Experience from Insights to Action

In this interactive workshop, you will learn the “Why” of UX (user experience): Why placing emphasis on the users is fundamental. You will understand users and types of user research. We’ll examine the UX lifecycle from insights to an actionable prototype and to a very useable product or experience. We’ll survey a variety of key UX artifacts such as personas, empathy maps, customer experience maps, journey maps and more.

Workshop leader: Vera Rhoads, Senior Managing Consultant UX at IBM, Adjunct Lecturer at University of Maryland iSchool

Vera Rhoads has been teaching at the University of Maryland iSchool in the MIM program since 2004. Her focus has primarily been usability and user experience. She has been working on optimizing web solutions for large-scale Fortune 500 companies and non-profits (Fannie Mae, AARP, IMF) for 19 years. Vera’s specialties include web strategy and operations, next-generation website evolution, usability, branding, multi-lingual globalization, web content management and search implementations. She is PMP, ITIL and SCRUM master certified and works on enhancing process methodologies into the web development lifecycle.

When: Saturday 9 September 2017, 8:30-10:30 AM

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Lessons in saving lives

An interview with Vera Rhoads, IBM UX professional and lecturer at University of Maryland College iSchool by the TC Camp roving reporter, Li-At Rathbun.

Vera Rhoads was in the closing panel at STC Summit in May. She’s a working professional and instructor for UX. She will be leading the UX workshop at TC Camp. Our intrepid Camp reporter, Li-At Rathbun, sat down with Vera to get her perspective on what technical communicators need to know about UX to advance their careers and capabilities.

“UX Saves Lives” -Vera Rhoads

When you hear Vera Rhoads talk about UI/UX, you become an instant believer. As technical communicators, we have the power to save lives and change the world. Vera teaches us how.

Li-At: Why is UI/UX interesting to you?

Because it has the power to change the world.

I’m being quite serious. By focusing on changing the user experience, we’re changing how people interact fundamentally with each other. It’s not so much about the interaction between humans and machines. At the end of the day, it’s how people experience the world and interact with each other.

Even if you think of a shopping experience—of how people interact with Amazon.com and the like, it’s about the connection between people. That’s why user experience and the power of user experience is so interesting to me.

Li-At: What attracted you to UI/UX?

In the early 90’s, I was working in a book publishing agency and then for a literary agency. At about the same time, I was going to graduate school. Hypertext—the Internet—was gaining momentum and I got very interested in the UX mostly from the publishing perspective, from the writer/editor/publisher perspective. I then got so involved in the technology that I got much more technical because I wanted to understand how this communication can be empowered.

This is before the term UX was even used. I was doing a lot of information architecture (IA) , navigation systems, and search systems. I’ve always been interested in the human factor of communication.

Li-At: Who should attend this September 9 workshop?

This workshop is for people who want to learn more about user experience and UX research methods. It starts with placing focus on the users: how to find out more about the users and how to create empathy with the users. How to find out what the users think, feel, say, and do.

The workshop is geared towards people who are starting in the field, but also towards people who’ve been in the field for a while and want to share their experiences.

Li-At: What’s the one thing that all technical communicators should understand about UX?

As technical communicators, we already understand about purpose and audience. We already have a lot of skills and knowledge. So what we need to know about UX is that we are not the users—and it’s all about the users.

We must study and understand the intended users and gain insight into who they are.

Don’t assume you know everything about the users. And don’t try to substitute your own experiences for their experiences. You are not your users.

Li-At: Okay, this is TC Camp. So my next question is, what’s your favorite camping spot?

Definitely Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia.

My husband grew up touring America in a VW Van, the kind that you can sleep on top of. I’ve promised him we’ll tour the U.S. in one of these some day.

Li-At: If you could take one person camping with you, who would that be and why?

Elon Musk or someone smart like that might be interesting. But I’ll stick with my own husband.

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Michelle Chin shows us how to make a professional portfolio

UXPADC logo

At the #UserFocus2014 conferenc on October 17th, Michelle Chin made a presentation about building a professional portfolio that all technical communicators should see.

Highlights from this presentation include
• Let it go
• Inventory your work
• Show the process
• Create a project
• Design it well
• Tell a story
• Be unique
• Less is more

Have a portfolio to share? Come to Speed Mentoring and Portfolio Review on October 29th, show us your work, and get feedback from your fellow communicators.

Many thanks to our friends at The Washington DC Chapter of the User Experience Professionals Association for bringing such a great conference to the DC area and for sharing Michelle and her wisdom with us.

Special discount code for Eye Tracking in UX Design event – Oct 16 in DC

We are a proud strategic partner of The Eye Tracking in UX Design Conference, taking place on October 16 in Washington DC. Leading experts in eye tracking will discuss how they have taken advantage of this new technology to understand, design, and evaluate user experience. They will explore recent advances in the technology, which tracks how users interact with mobile devices, large-screen displays and video game consoles. Methods for combining eye tracking with other research techniques for a more holistic understanding of the user experience will be discussed. This is an invaluable resource to those who want to learn how eye tracking can be used to better understand and design for their users.

Want to attend? We have a special discount code for our friends! Use code STC when registering to get 20% off! Hope to see you there!

Follow @EyeTrackingUX on Twitter for updates and live tweets from the conference!

Ideas and Notes from STC WDCB Summer Vision Day 2014

Photo of a spot at the beach with a chair, sunglasses, coconut drink with an umbrella

The recording for Summer Vision Day 2014 in in our list of podcasts in the sidebar.

Download the Summer Vision Day 2014 PowerPoint Slides (3.2 Mb .pptx).

During the meeting, we asked members to post ideas and needs for future events. Please use our WDCB website as a forum for sharing ideas.

  • What kinds of events would you like to see in the coming months?
  • What kinds of topics should we cover?
  • For what kinds of speakers should we look?

We asked to hear from you, the membership, and we mean it. What’s on your mind? What do you need?

Please share your thoughts here.

World Usability Day, 14 November 2013

Healthcare: Collaborating for Better Systems

World Usability Day

The importance of user-centered design in healthcare is truly life or death. Whether it’s new medical devices or technologies; drug research, approval or delivery; patient forms or medical record sharing; emergency disaster planning or increasing the functionality of hospitals and everyday healthcare delivery, everyone is affected in some way by the intersection of usability in healthcare. There are many commonalities, yet each region of the world faces its own set of unique challenges. We believe that focusing World Usability Day 2013 on healthcare will create a stronger awareness of these issues and lead to initiative that have long term impact on the quality of everyone’s life.

 

Virtual Conference: Apply Usability and Accessibility Skills to Your Work-3 Days

STC, together with UXPA, has a unique, three-day online event lined up for you September 24, 25, and 26. For two hours on each of those three days, you will follow presentations on many aspects of accessibility and usability and learn how they fit into the bigger picture of technical communication.

The current roster of speakers has some great names.

  • Changing the Way We Design Software presented by David Dick
  • Storytelling the Results of Heuristic Evaluation presented by Carol Barnum
  • Effectively Communicating UI presented by Karen Bachman
  • Usability Testing to Evaluate Web and Mobile Content presented by Cory Lebson
  • Writing for Everyone: SEO, ESL, Translation, and Accessibility presented by Char James-Tanny
  • Game On! Creating UX Gamified Products presented by Marta Rauch
  • The Ethics of Assessibility presented by Dan Voss

Visit the registration page at STC.org now for pricing and … registration!