Another CanUX conference has wrapped up. This annual gathering of UX professionals (mostly Canadian) is a great opportunity to connect with one another, share knowledge, ideas and approaches. I love attending and can’t imagine a year without it. This was the last year for the conference in Banff, coming years will see it move around (as I understand), a chance for others to get in on the action.
Matthew Nish-Lapidus and I put together this year’s design slam topic about food banks. The topic turned out to be a good challenge and though some similarities existed between solutions (e.g. colour coding, sorting methods), it was a great way to get people warmed up and thinking on Day 1.
Lane Becker – Get Satisfaction
Lane, a co-founder of Adaptive Path, shared with us his view of the ever-evolving landscape of customer satisfaction and how organizations are changing and learning to adapt in this age of transparency. The success of his company, Get Satisfaction, is impressive (over 28,000 companies on the roll) and some fantastic brands using the tools to connect with customers.
Jess McMullin – Business Origami
Jess shared his BETA of business origami — a methology originally created at Hitatchi. With thousands of cut-out paper characters we helped map scenarios for a number of problems. As basic as this tool was, the complexities of some scenarios could be effectively communicated. Everyone had a blast trying it out and sharing feedback on the BETA run.
Nathan Curtis – Modular Web Design
Nathan, from EightShapes, shared with us his approaches and thinking on modular web design. We were introduced to patterns, components and how these elements can be combined to speed up UX deliverable development. I’ve been using a similar approach for the past couple years (minus the InDesign supported workflow) and found it very interesting. I think the best part was the hands-on group work at tables that helped people understand components and how they can be re-assembled to create other pages.
Chad Fournier – Shaw Communications
Chad shared with us the Agile UX approach at Shaw in re-tooling their customer call centre application. An interesting inside look at creating a UX culture, advancing the purpose of UX, finding success and building on that success over time. Chad and his team have a lot to be proud of here and have clearly delivered a lot of value to the organization.
Matthew Milan and Alex Eberts – Akoha
A walk through the path to the game Akoha — a game that has the goal to make the world a better place. This start-up is exploring ways to leverage social capital and will be curious to watch over time as they continue to re-invent themselves and try to find their market niche.
Kristina Halvorson – Content Strategy for the Web
An entertaining and information-rich presentation from the author of Content Strategy for the Web. She was so excited when talking that she almost forgot to breathe, but had a lot to say and share. The big take-away is that you need to include content as part of our process — not as an afterthought. The exercises were a good intro into the pains of writers, the need for copy and the benefits of having copy earlier, rather than later in the process. Although you have to wonder how many people went back to the office and continued the same-old-same-old with content.
Rahel Bailie – Content Strategy Case Study
Following Kristina takes guts and Rahel delivered a ton of confirmations and insights into her content strategy and approach. I really enjoyed seeing some real-life application and the depth of effort and role of writers in interactive projects. Lots of room for growth in this area of UX, especially for those with a command of words, language and organization.
Peter Merholz – Upgrading our Mandate
Peter, as always, gets the last word. His talk took us through a range of inspiration, big and practical ideas. What really stood out for me from his talk is that designers are really becoming facilitators. We solve problems, that aren’t always visual.