Cross-Platform Mobile Apps and Agile UX at Jurmala Conference

May 9th, 2014

CROSS-PLATFORM MOBILE APPS

We’re currently working on a course, aimed at non-developers, for building cross-platform mobile apps using HTML5, JavaScript, JQuery Mobile and Adobe’s PhoneGap Build. It will answer questions such as whether this is the right approach for you and tie together some of the myriad threads you need to pick up to get started and to understand the benefits as well as the drawbacks.

Having done a lot of the groundwork already means we are also in a position to offer mobile app development using the above tools – primarily for Android and iOS (phones and tablets) but also Windows Phone if required. If you’d like to see examples of what we’ve done so far, or of these tools in practical use, just visit the Google Play or Apple App stores and search for ‘syntagm’. Alternatively, see our apps web page at www.syntagm.co.uk/apps.htm

These are entertainment apps, but of course the principles can be applied to purely commercial requirements as well.

AGILE UX AT JURMALA CONFERENCE

Our two-day Persona-Driven Design workshop plus the half-day Agile UX & UCD course that we’ve just presented at the CHI conference in Toronto both feature in the programme of the second DevConFu conference in Jurmala, Latvia (near the capital, Riga). See www.devconfu.eu for further details and booking (look for sessions by William Hudson). The Persona-Driven Design workshop on 26/27 May precedes the conference which starts on the 28th.  Jurmala is a sea-side resort and hopefully the sea will be a little more welcoming than it was for the first conference in November!

SynCaps V3.1.2 with Participant Matching Feature

May 9th, 2014

We’ve released SynCaps V3.1.2. It addresses a number of minor bugs but also introduces a new feature to allow participants to be included or excluded from analysis based on their participant ID line (in the raw data file). This means that if you include participant profile information along with the ID (any text is permitted, up to 1000 characters) you can do analyses selectively. A screen shot of the new feature is shown below.

To make use of the new release, uninstall any previous version of SynCaps V3. Then download and install the setup program from www.syncapsv3.com.

SynCapsV3 with Participant ID Feature

SynCapsV3 with Participant ID Feature

February Update – Guerrilla UCD Live and Card Sorting

February 4th, 2014

February Update – Guerrilla UCD Live and Card Sorting

We now have a series of dates for our Agile User Experience and Persona-Driven Design workshops in London, Tallinn and Hamburg (March, April and May, respectively). These sessions are aimed at building better understanding of how to integrate user experience and user-centred design with Agile approaches (day 1) and walking participants through the entire design cycle with a practical project (days 2 & 3). Early booking for London runs until 24 February:

  • Day 1: Agile User Experience (how to do UX in lean and Agile ways to better fit with the development process)
  • Days 2 & 3: Persona-Driven Design (a two-day workshop taking participants from user research through to conceptual models and visual specifications)

Full details and booking are available online.

Guerrilla UCD at the Interaction Design Foundation

Our recorded Guerrilla UCD webinars are still going strong at the Interaction Design Foundation web site. All 16 webinars are presented as a course, free with the cost of membership (currently EUR 98 / GBP 80 / USD 150). Visit http://bit.ly/ixd-ucd for more details.

Also, our two courses at CHI 2014 in Toronto have been scheduled; they are Card Sorting for Navigation Design on Tuesday morning, 29 April and Agile User Experience and UCD on Wednesday morning, 30 April. Further details (and 23 more courses!) at http://chi2014.acm.org/program/by-venue/courses.

Card Sorting with SynCapsV3

Speaking of card sorting, we have news of two special offers on our card sorting analysis package for Windows, SynCapsV3. The first is that it is now free for academic use – all you need is an academic email address to obtain a free license during checkout (limited to one license per email address). The second is that UXPA members are now entitled to a 15% on SynCapsV3 licenses.

In both cases, just download and install the software. Then click Buy/Transfer to obtain a license. Visit www.syncaps.com for general information, videos and downloads or www.syncapsv3.com to jump straight to the V3 download.

Guerrilla UCD Winter Sale – All webinars 75% off until 31-Dec-2013

November 20th, 2013

With the completion of recording for 2013, we are offering a substantial 75% discount on downloadable videos and slides until the end of the year. Most webinars are now €13 / £11 / $17 while all 16 in the series will cost only €162 / £137 / $212 with our 5-for-the-price-of-4 discount.

Use the “+ all” button at the bottom of the webinar basket to easily order the whole series and then choose your billing currency. Videos are in WMV format; slides are one-per-page PDFs.

The full series is listed below. Several of the Agile & Lean UCD webinars (13-15) include persona stories – see www.personastories.com for my ACM Interactions article on this topic.

1. Guerrilla UCD Boot Camp
2. Visual Design for Usability
3. Navigation & Menu Design
4. Designing for SEO & Accessibility
5. Human Error, Messages & Feedback
6. Usability Evaluation
7. User-Centred IA with Card Sorting
8. Dynamic Web Pages: Effective Use of Ajax
9. Writing Effective Web & Intranet Content
10. Designing for Advanced Users
11. Persuasion, Trust and Seduction
12. Making the Case for UCD in Agile
13. Integrating UCD & Agile
14. Agile UX: Users, Personas & Design Maps
15. Agile UX: Use Cases, Stories & Scenarios
16. Agile UX: Conceptual Models

October Update – Guerrilla UCD, New Article and Events

October 10th, 2013

We’ve almost wrapped up Guerrilla UCD for this year. If you missed any of the earlier webinars or cannot make some of the upcoming dates, you’ll be able to download the slides and recording from the My Webinars section of www.guerrillaucd.com.

Lean & Agile Webinars (12 Sep – 17 Oct)

12. Making the Case for UCD in Agile (recording)
13. Integrating UCD & Agile (recording)
14. Agile UX: Users, Personas & Design Maps (recording)
15. Agile UX: Use Cases, Stories & Scenarios (10 Oct)
16. Agile UX: Conceptual Models (17 Oct)

You can get a quick overview of the webinars and dates for upcoming sessions by visiting http://www.syntagm.co.uk/cgi-bin/basket.pl

New Article: I have an article coming up in the Nov-Dec issue of the ACM Interactions magazine called ‘User Stories Don’t Help Users: Introducing Persona Stories’. I hope the title says it all but if you need further clues, the I describe numerous deficiencies with user stories (from a user-centred design perspective) and explain how moving to ‘persona stories’ improves user experience. You can read a draft of the article (with full references lacking in the published article) at www.personastories.com.

I’ll be talking about persona stories at several events:

If you’re in striking distance of London, do have a look at the UCD 2013 conference. It was very well received last year (as UCD 2012!). Early booking discounts are still available.

June Update – Card Sorting and Guerrilla UCD

June 4th, 2013

Our SynCapsV3 Spring Sale continues. It is the world’s most comprehensive card sorting analysis package and works equally well for online sorts (for WebSort or Optimal sort) and paper sorts. Until the end of June, you can receive a 25% discount by entering the promotion code ‘SPRING13’.

Guerrilla UCD has moved into the tactics phase. If you missed any of the strategy webinars or cannot make some of the upcoming dates, you’ll be able to download the slides and recording from the My Webinars section of www.guerrillaucd.com. Also, this year you will have access to the 2012 resources as soon as you sign up for a 2013 webinar.

Tactics Webinars (starting 23 May)

7. User-Centred IA with Card Sorting

8. Dynamic Web Pages: Effective Use of Ajax

9. Writing Effective Web & Intranet Content

10. Designing for Advanced Users

11. Persuasion, Trust and Seduction

Our Lean and Agile webinars start on 12 Sep after a summer break. You can get a quick overview of the webinars and dates for upcoming sessions by visiting http://www.syntagm.co.uk/cgi-bin/basket.pl

 

May Update – Card Sorting and Guerrilla UCD

May 13th, 2013

May Update – Card Sorting and Guerrilla UCD

We’re having a Spring Sale on the world’s most comprehensive card sorting analysis package, SynCapsV3 for Windows. When you buy a license, enter the promotion code ‘SPRING13’ before the end of June and you’ll receive a 25% discount. The normal price is €240 / £200 / $320 but with the sale the figures are €180 / £150 / $240 (plus VAT where applicable). You can choose the billing currency during checkout. Visit the downloads page to get the software and click ‘Buy’ in the licensing dialog to purchase a license. Don’t forget to enter the promotion code!

In our Guerrilla UCD webinar series, we are just coming to the end of the first five strategy webinars. Last week’s session was on human error and error handling (messages and feedback). Coincidentally, Jakob Nielsen has just published an Alert Box article on one of the topics we discussed, novel versus routine tasks. See http://www.nngroup.com/articles/novel-vs-routine-tasks/

If you missed the session, you can buy instant access to the video and slides downloads. Next week’s webinar is on usability evaluation methods while our tactics webinars (covering more specific design topics) start on 23 May.

Strategy Webinars

2. Visual Design for Usability

3. Navigation & Menu Design

4. Designing for SEO & Accessibility

5. Human Error, Messages & Feedback

6. Usability Evaluation

 

Tactics Webinars (starting 23 May)

7. User-Centred IA with Card Sorting

8. Dynamic Web Pages: Effective Use of Ajax

9. Writing Effective Web & Intranet Content

10. Designing for Advanced Users

11. Persuasion, Trust and Seduction

Our Lean and Agile webinars start on 12 Sep after a summer break. You can get a quick overview of the webinars and dates for upcoming sessions by visiting the Guerrilla UCD shopping cart.

 

Reminders, reminders

April 9th, 2013

Don’t forget that our second Guerrilla UCD webinar, on visual design (for non-designers), is this Thursday at 16:30 London time. Visit bit.ly/gucd-2 for details and to register.

Also, please complete our 30-second user requirements survey if you haven’t already (and don’t forget that user requirements are the things that you start with to identify needs – so chances are that if you’re using use cases AND user stories on the same project, the use cases are being used for specification, not user requirements).

The survey is at bit.ly/ur_survey

Please circulate/RT to friends and colleagues, especially anyone on the development side.

30-Second User Requirements Survey

April 4th, 2013

Please take our 30-second user requirements survey (use cases vs user stories vs other) and RT. bit.ly/ur_survey
(It’s for an article I’m writing.)

April Update – Card Sorting and Guerrilla UCD

April 3rd, 2013

April Update – Card Sorting and Guerrilla UCD

Our latest card sorting analysis package, SynCapsV3 for Windows, was released a few weeks ago. It provides a number of new features currently unavailable elsewhere, including nested groups and the ability to filter and partition results according to how similar participants were in sorting. For more details, follow the links below.

On the Guerrilla UCD front, we ran a free, one-hour overview in March. The recording and slides are available here:

YouTube

Tomorrow (Thursday) will be the first, full 90-minute webinar, Guerrilla UCD Boot Camp, where we cover the some of the background and need for user-centred design and why just introducing usability testing is not the best solution. We’ll then cover the rest of the strategy webinars in April and May:

Getting Started

1. Guerrilla UCD Boot Camp

Strategy Webinars

2. Visual Design for Usability

3. Navigation & Menu Design

4. Designing for SEO & Accessibility

5. Human Error, Messages & Feedback

6. Usability Evaluation