I am very excited to announce that I have been selected to speak at Big Design on September 20, 2019. My Talk will be about “Preventing cognitive biases from creeping in to your UX design and user research.
I feel really lucky for this first opportunity to speak at a national conference. I will be sharing the stage with some very prestigious UX professionals. This is a great opportunity for me and I am very excited. Read my full bio on the Big Design page. And save the date. My Talk is September 20 at 2:30 p.m.
March continues to be a busy month for me with a speaking engagement for continuing-education students. I always enjoy speaking for the Agile for Patriots class. According to their website, Agile for Patriot’s mission is:
Preparing Patriots for Agile careers through focused training, practical experience, professional certification, and employment referral.
I am very fortunate to speak to these hungry and eager students, who are bettering themselves by becoming scrum certified. Not only have they served our country by being in the military, their commitment and drive will propel them in to a new career as an agile scrum coach.
My topic is very similar to the previous times I have spoken to this group. I talked about what User Experience Design is, and how it fits in the the agile process. The group seemed quite intrigued about the topic and asked a lot of great questions.
One professional goal I am working on for 2018 is to speak publicly more about my craft. I do feel comfortable talking in front of a group. It just takes a bit of discipline on my part to have a presentation ready to go. ha ha
My good friend and professional networking guru, Greg Gomel, reached out to me to ask me to speak to the current Agile for Patriots Scrum master certification class. I was honored that he thought I was capable and a good candidate to speak to his class. I was nervous because I didn’t have a lot of time to throw a presentation together. Yikes! But I knew with a kick in the butt like this, I could get a good presentation together in no time.
I was up for the challenge. I had a presentation I created a while ago for a previous employer explain the basics of UX. So I could use that former presentation as a base. But I wanted to cater this talk to show the scrum masters-to-be how UX ties in to agile.
I know there is a lot of confusion about how and where UX falls in the the agile lifecycle, and in to the developers’ sprints. I wanted to demystify that a bit and prepare them for the future of when they will be leading teams that will (hopefully) include a UX designer. I wanted them to not only learn about UX, but know how User Experience Research and Design works in to the development team.
After I gave my presentation, the asked me to stay and review and critique the website they were building for the class. So I gave them practical advice on some of the design decisions they had made as well as how to improve some things. The students were very receptive to my professional feedback and suggestions. It was a healthy dialog. I helped them to learn about better User Experience and Design. And they helped me to learn about the constraints they were dealing with and the business goals they needed to accomplish for their client.
One point I wanted to emphasize to the scrum masters in training is to always to include the UX Designer in all scrum ceremonies. As a UX Designer, I have been excluded in scrum ceremonies because it was considered too “developer” focused. The value of UX designers being included is so vast:
UX Designers should be in the scrum meetings so that we are “in the know.”
We need hear what is coming down the pike so we can plan our projects and research accordingly.
We can hear when design decisions are being made without consideration from users or the UX designer. (This should NEVER be happening, but it does. Uhg.)
We can provide insight in to how we can do testing on the projects as they are in flight.
Finally, we are part of the team. Make sure we are not excluded, and therefore left out of important discussions and decisions.
The personas I worked on for a major financial institution took months of research to create. I wanted to involve the company’s interested stakeholders so that they were involved in the creation process as well. At the very least, I wanted their feedback on what they needed in personas so that I could meet their needs.
When I shared the personas with my colleagues for the first time, I did not want it to be a “Big Reveal.” I wanted to reflect that I had taken the stakeholders’ feedback and suggestions on board. I had researched and built a first draft of the personas. And I wanted my persona presentation to reflect that these were not just “my” personas, but in fact, they belonged to the whole organization.
Some of the Persona Feedback session included:
Sharing the stakeholder feedback I had gathered
Explaining what a persona is
Showing the difference between UX persona and marketing segments
Illustrating the persona development journey
Showing the first draft of the personas
Presenting the components and portions of the personas and describing the purpose of each part
After I explained the process of creating the personas, defining them and sharing them, then I asked the groups to critique them. I wanted feedback on four aspects about the personas:
What they liked
What they did not like
What they needed more information about
What they needed less information about
After gathering their feedback, my intension is to roll that feedback in to my next round of qualitative research. I want to make sure I am meeting the users’ needs. In this case that is the stakeholders, including designers, design lads and product managers.