Project Showcase History

The following projects were represented at previous ConveyUX events. This is an informal exhibition of project work that attendees visit at their leisure. The project representatives are be on hand to demonstrate their work and explain their design challenges and solutions. This is a great opportunity for face-to-face discussions about cutting-edge projects.

Microsoft Band

Microsoft

Jennifer McLean Oliver and Larry Butcher

The Microsoft Band was released on October 30, 2014. As described on the website, it is a wrist-worn device with an accompanying app for iPhone, Android and Windows. Powered by Microsoft Health, it is designed to help you achieve your wellness goals by tracking heart rate, steps, calorie burn, and sleep quality. You can review your stats with a glance at your wrist or in detail in the app. Just like a personal trainer, the Microsoft Band guides you to improved wellness by constantly learning about you, your fitness level and your future needs. It even guides you through workouts. Besides the wellness features, the Microsoft Band helps you be more productive by providing email previews and calendar alerts right on the wrist. These and the other great features will be demonstrated by members of the team who researched and designed the Microsoft Band experience.

What attendees can expect to learn

  • How does the Microsoft Band work
  • What are the features of the Microsoft Band
  • What methods were used to design and test the Microsoft Band

Jennifer McLean Oliver, PhD, recently joined Microsoft as a Senior Design Researcher working on innovative new experiences for Microsoft’s business customers and partners. Previously, while on staff at Blink UX, she consulted with the Microsoft Band team, conducting usability studies of the Band and its companion apps. Jennifer led UX consulting engagements with clients at NASA, Amazon, and Starbucks, among others. She co-authored a book on cognitive development called Amazing Minds (2010) and developed Spacecraft Navigation software at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. She earned a PhD in cognitive psychology and an MS in applied math from the University of Washington.

Larry Butcher is currently the Senior UX Design Manager for the recently launched Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health, where he has led a team of designers, prototypers, researchers, and integrators to bring the fitness smartband and companion apps to market. Previously a design manager at Xbox, and on other internal startups at Microsoft (Courier, PMX), Larry is passionate about bringing storytelling to user experiences, and ultimately turning users into advocate storytellers. Prior to Microsoft was a Creative/Technical Director at Girvin, and also worked in Film VFX and editorial. TV/Film credits include “Titanic,” “X-Files,” “The Day After Tomorrow,” and others.

Expedia Notifications System

Defining Connections for the Right Context on any Platform

Expedia

Andrea Zeller

“Content” is no longer a container on a page, it can come from everywhere: Emails, texts, alerts, etc. The way we plan, create and govern useful content needs to evolve to the delicate craft of storytelling across devices and channels with one goal – to engage people. At Expedia, we are identifying the possible “connections” a customer can make within each travel context to develop a platform-agnostic messaging strategy. The showcase will feature a prototype of our MVP notifications system, which responds to the user’s state and context. We will demonstrate how the underlying content strategy hinges on container-less thinking and sets us up for a scalable content system. We will talk through the challenges of prioritizing messages appropriately based on the user’s context.

What attendees can expect to learn

  • How collecting data about the user’s context can help inform content decisions
  • How context shapes a messaging strategy across the travel lifecycle
  • How to use a Think/Feel/Do framework for device-agnostic content planning

Andrea Zeller is a content leader with experience in the travel, healthcare and non-profit industries, and is well versed in scalable storytelling and driving strategy for quality rich media and content that meets the needs of the online customer. Since 2007, she has held various content roles in operations, editorial and is currently a part of the global product content strategy team at Expedia. Andrea also likes to talk about Contextual Storytelling as a faculty member at UW’s Communication Leadership program.

Using UserZoom for Research for Equifax Customer Experience

Equifax Personal Information Solutions

Tim King and Sarah Sturm

In late 2013, Equifax made a strategic decision to bring all Customer Experience research, testing and listening activities associated with the development and management of its B2C products in-house. In the months that followed, Equifax selected a set of powerful DIY UX tools, with UserZoom at the core, to establish a cost-effective and flexible platform that would serve as the cornerstone of a new internal UX research and testing offering. Only a few months after launching this new capability, our team of UX practitioners has successfully designed, conducted and analyzed more studies than in the previous 2-year period combined. In terms of non-operating budgetary expenses, we’ve realized cost savings that have more than paid for the first year’s licensing cost of the platform. In addition to generating valuable insights that are starting to influence the product strategy, design and optimization of several key Equifax B2C offerings, these projects have created opportunities for follow-up studies that can be quickly executed, analyzed and synchronized with data from previously conducted studies – all without the need for additional budget requests – which is an exciting capability to have at your disposal in the emergent agile product development culture at Equifax.

Examples of research and usability testing projects that attendees can expect to learn from include:

  • Assessing and prioritizing audience visitation goals and content needs at fundamental points in the customer experience journey using UserZoom’s surveying and card sort functionality.
  • Establishing baseline usability and efficiency metrics for the first release of a new e-commerce purchase flow using UserZoom’s unmoderated remote usability testing capabilities.
  • Evaluating the relative effectiveness of and customer preferences for several competing email designs while still in comp form using UserZoom’s screenshot timeout and click testing tools.
  • Sampling, collection and analysis of reactive and proactive voice of customer feedback in different areas of the Equifax web site using the true intent feature within UserZoom’s VOC solution.

Tim King is the Director of Customer Experience Research and Management at Equifax. He is responsible for ensuring that customer-focused research, evaluation and listening activities contribute meaningful insights to the creation and evolution of Equifax B2C product offerings. Prior to joining Equifax, he was an Associate Experience Director at Razorfish where he established a regional usability testing practice, managing engagements and day-to-day operations for in-house usability testing activities.

Sarah Sturm is an Information Architect with an emphasis on Usability, User Experience Research, Competitive Analysis, and Content Strategy. Since joining Equifax in 2013, she has been part of building a research and testing team focused on gathering user feedback that intelligently informs business decisions. She earned a graduate certificate in technical communication and a master’s degree in Information Design and Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University.

Rosetta Stone Travel Apps

Rosetta Stone

John Collins

Some people love the concept of Minimum Viable Product. Others hate it. Not familiar with MVP? It’s a concept that favors shipping software early and iterating over time.

This showcase will cover the MVP-style approach that Rosetta Stone took to building out a family of seven native iOS apps and later six native Android apps. It took the Rosetta Stone Travel app team about 3 months to release its first set of four apps, and within 18 months we had the total of 13 full-featured apps to teach basics of French, Italian, German, Spanish, Russian, and Portuguese. The showcase will show how we started with landscape orientation for apps for four languages, then changed to portrait orientation for improved usability, added in-app purchase, then added a new language, a walkthrough for new users, a Russian app in time for Sochi, a Portuguese app for the soccer tournament in Brazil in summer of 2014, as well as corresponding Android versions.

What attendees can expect to see:

  • how Rosetta Stone applied a Minimum Viable Product approach to create a suite of travel-themed language-learning apps
  • how some iteration revolved around improvements to user experience
  • how a newly-formed UX team played a key role in the MVP process

John Collins loves to help craft quality user experiences. As a member of the UX team at Rosetta Stone, he focuses on the role of content in software design. John passionately believes that all users should have the content they need in the language they need, when and where they need it. John became Senior UX Content Strategist after spending 5 years as a technical writer at Rosetta Stone. He enjoys speaking at conferences to help people learn from his experiences–and mistakes!

Sesame Street Go

Designing for Children and Adults

L4

Chris Brummel

There is more to designing an app for kids than just large visuals and bright colors.

Take a look at how L4’s Creative Director Chris Brummel navigated through how to create an interface that works for children and adults alike into a full blown product on 5 platforms within a 5 week timeline. We’ll be looking through how we balanced our experience of having designed numerous video streaming apps with their experience of 45 years of making content for children to find the perfect balance. We’ll talk through:

  • The corners that we had to cut to get a product out in such a tight timeline and how that affected the development team and quality assurance.
  • Finding the right style that fits with Sesame’s strict brand guidelines.
  • How to handle content that is reserved for adults within a children’s app and the legal restrictions that come with it.
  • Our process from ideation, wireframes, visuals, and assets and red-lines.
  • Integrating Chromecast to add the ability to stream video to your television

Chris Brummel is responsible for overseeing the user experience of L4 products. Chris takes projects from basic requirements and forms them into fully realized products, taking each platform’s distinct differences into account. He as designed dozens of mobile apps that have been downloaded millions of times, including Foursquare for Android, the Daily Show, and Crackle.

SeamTrak

Epicenter Consulting

Jeremy Wells

SeamTrak is a baseball training application built for players that want a competitive advantage in their sport. This cloud-based subscription app teaches players how to recognize and react to a pitch. Hitters have less than 400 milliseconds to recognize the pitch, and then react accordingly. By building a training application, with some fun competitive challenges, SeamTrak is able to make training fun and simple.

  • Strategies for exploring and researching a new market for a product
  • Ways to help your client develop and fine-tune their vision for their product
  • How to build an intuitive application that encourages ongoing use
  • Creating a cohesive brand that fosters an overall quality user experience

Jeremy is the Lead UX Designer and Creative Director at Epicenter Consulting, a web application design and strategy firm. He aims to intimately understand every client’s needs, and helps guide his team through detailed design processes. With an obsessively thorough approach to research, exploration, and prototyping, he creates high-quality and industry-leading products. Working with both small start-ups, and Fortune 500 companies, he has nearly a decade of experience solving intricate problems through great design.

TurboTax

Designing for Emotion

Intuit

Garron Engstrom

Filing taxes is a chore that nobody looks forward to doing. Over 10 years ago, TurboTax introduced the concept of filing taxes by asking simple interview-style questions instead of filling out forms. Since then TurboTax has been recognized as a pioneer in solving for ease and benefit, but those are simply table-stakes in the era of beautifully designed, connected experiences. The next big opportunity is creating positive emotions by going beyond customer expectations so that people tell others about their experience. We’ll showcase case studies and specific experiences where TurboTax is beginning to deliver delight to its customers.

Attendees can expect to learn:

  • How to go from usability to delight
  • Examples of where design meets business goals
  • How data can be an enabler of delight
  • How to identify “ownable moments” where introducing emotion and delight is absolutely crucial and delivers the most benefit

Garron Engstrom is a Senior Interaction Designer on the best damn design team west of the Mississippi, delighting customers and changing their financial lives so profoundly they can’t imagine going back to the old way. One such financial product he works on is Intuit TurboTax, the simplest and most innovative online tax software on the market. Garron relishes simplicity and strives to change lives through design and innovation. In his down time he serves on the board of UX Speakeasy, the San Diego chapter of IxDA, and was the Conference Lead for MOB’d UP, a one-day conference on July 27th 2013, that focused on the latest in mobile design and development from local and national experts.

Responsive Redesign of the Creavea Web Site

Creavea

Stéphanie Walter

I worked on the responsive redesign of one of the biggest retailers in arts and craft in France: creavea.com. The new site is not online yet since they are currently developing and putting our HTML/CSS/JS files in their homemade e-commerce CMS. The main goal for the client was to have a new site that would work on mobile and tablets, with a more modern design. They hired us to help they with the ergonomics of the new site, the design and the HTML/CSS and JS front development. Quite a challenge since they sell more than 50 000 different products on the site. We also ended up redesigning the logo in the process.

Our Process

Since this is a pretty big site, we tried to work in flexible way. Instead of doing all the wireframes, validate, then all the design, validate, then the front-development, we worked in many little iterations. We first worked on the whole architecture of the site (though the client made it pretty clear that they would not change the number of items in the main menu). Then we grouped the different pages to design in bundles : homepage, all the categories and sub categories, everything related to the product page, all the pages for the checkout process, etc. We worked on the usability and the wireframes for one bundle, then validated some hypothesis, discussed with the front-developer on what she would be able to do on mobile, what was impossible, went back to the wireframes, proposed a better solution for mobile. Then we designed, validated again, built the HTML/CSS of the bundle, tested and after the test sometimes went back to design or wireframing phase since we noticed that what we were building was not that usable on mobile. We did this for the navigation for example : we wanted to keep second level of navigation items for the mobile, but changed once we tested it on real devices. The team work here was really huge between the ergonomics design and front-development team. We also tried some fun and unusual methods to communicate design decisions between the designer and the front-developer in a very quick and easy way. We did not design all the pages in mobile and table version, instead took a lot of design decisions directly in the browser after testing on real devices.

What Attendees Can Expect to Learn

  • some not unusual design decision methods that can help to gain time and efficiency
  • the importance of designer/front-developer communication for mobile design
  • some tips and tricks to communicate better in team work on a big project
  • that you don’t need to design all the pages in all the version aka isolated complex UI patterns (sliders, tables, maps, etc.) and prioritize what you really need to design or wireframe for the mobile, and trust your front-developer for the easy things to adapt (title size, etc.)
  • how presenting interactive prototypes with links helps the client get a better understanding

Stéphanie is a French Web Designer, Pixel & CSS lover and coffee addict. She focuses on designing for user experience on mobile and web applications : native and Responsive Webdesign. She works both in an agency in Strasbourg called Alsacréations and as a freelance for her little studio inpixelitrust. She loves to share her knowledge, ideas and discoveries by publishing articles on her blog and at Smashing Magazine, Codrops, Onextrapixel,etc. Stéphanie also teaches courses on Mobile design and optimization and HTML & CSS for beginners at the University of Strasbourg.
You can find here on twitter under @walterstephanie

Safeco Internal Portal

Safeco/Liberty Mutual

Sarah Barrett

I spent most of the last year up to my elbows in an enterprise portal project for Safeco’s underwriting division, where I learned more about the personal insurance industry than I ever dreamed possible. The underwriters use this portal constantly to find the information necessary to do their jobs, but the experience they had was untrustworthy, hard to use, and difficult for the owner to maintain.

In our redesign effort, we did lots of things right (and a few things wrong), and I learned an enormous amount about how to manage both the research or design activities activities and the project itself. This showcase will focus on some of those big lessons and illustrate how to structure discovery and testing to get as much good information as you can, how to get big UX and IA wins from small development investment, and how to make sure stakeholders actually understand what they’re signing off on (so they don’t change their minds later.) The new portal that we designed launched a few months ago, and the feedback has been resoundingly positive –to the extent that the project sponsor has reported being tackled with hugs. I want to take you through how we did it and what we learned along the way.

What attendees can expect to learn:

  • How do you address user goals when your users seem to speak a language of their own?
  • How do you make sure testing gives you valuable results?
  • How do you stand up for users when developers dominate the process?
  • How do you engage stakeholders to turn them into evangelists?

Sarah Barrett is a partner at Factor (http://www.factorfirm.com/), specializing in designing and modeling information and experiences. Her specialties include rapid prototyping and interaction design, facilitating usability testing, and integrating user centered design methods with information architecture and taxonomy activities. She has used these skills on projects for many enterprise clients, including Adobe, Microsoft, Safeco/Liberty Mutual, Expedia, and Pearson.

Feedback Panel

Blink UX

Kelly Franznick

This year we created and launched an interactive video streaming and archival tool designed to allow our clients to view user research, focus groups, and testing sessions as they occur, whether in the Blink UX labs, in mobile environments, or in the field. Built on a robust cloud services infrastructure, clients log in to the secure online tool with any browser and over any Internet connection. In addition to video streaming, Feedback Panel allows for interactive chat, session transcriptions, and access to archival footage, usually as quickly as 10 minutes following a session’s conclusion. Feedback Panel also supports concurrent studies and streams, allowing our clients to compress their research schedules into days, not weeks, as needed. Stop by for a live demonstration.