I’m at the IA Summit, hard to believe it’s the fifteenth anniversary of this event (which means that I’ve been working in this field for, well, let’s just say that if my career was a kid it could be drafted but can’t yet drink). The summit is in San Diego, which is a great city in terms of tourism, but the location of the hotel (it’s a glorified airport hotel) means that cab ride into the city are running $15-20 a pop, which is a bummer.
Usually I have good success picking relevant talks to attend, but this year I had a lot of session envy, feeling like there was always a better talk happening next door. So I’ll start with the talks I missed but have been told I must get my hands on:
- Designing for Emerging Technologies by Erik Dahl
- The UX of Sales by Erin Malone & James Young
- Designing for Villians (roundtable)
- Because McLuhan by Dan Klyn
- Design for the Network by Matthew Milan
Key Take-Aways from the sessions I’ve attended
Keynote by Irene Au:
- The feeling people are left with after interacting with you / at the end of the experience is more important than the outcome. Context–when people disagree with you make sure they are able to fully voice their concerns and feel heard. Allow them to feel ownership of your idea if that’s what it takes.
- The world is ever changing. Find the courage to abandon practices that have worked for you in the past.
- What you know matters less than how you do your work.
- The body knows before the mind; respect feelings of jealousy–it’s a fast way to get in touch with your gut instincts.
Lessons from Leading UXers by Russ Unger
Create a Team Charter that states your team’s purpose
- What do we do?
- What are we good at?
- What should we be known for?
- How do we want to work together?
- What are our expectations of each other?
- What are the types of work we do?
Growth & Improvement
- Where do we need to grow/improve–where do we need more experience?
- What is the rationale for the need?
- How will we know when we’ve achieved the goal?
Perception of the Team by Others
- How do we want others to view our team?
- How do we build this perception?
- How do we know when we are there?
If you’re not enjoying something, it’s almost always because you’re doing it too fast.
Architecting a Sustainable Design Team by Tim Caynes
- Flat org charts don’t work
- Too tall/too much hierarchy doesn’t work
- Best results come from only having 3 direct reports–enables mentoring
-Design Director –> Sets Vision
-Principal Designer ->Sets Strategy
-Senior Designer–>Sets Direction
-Designer –> Execution
This would accommodate a UX organization of about 50 people and I can definitely imagine it working in an agency context. Less clear to me whether it would be as effective in a large corporate setting.