– Hi, I’m Joe Welinske and I am the program manager for Convey UX and our eighth annual Seattle Conference is coming up. It’s hard to believe it’s been going this long, but we are looking forward to ah hosting people again in the Seattle area. Bringing in a lot of interesting speakers, and so that’s one of the fun things I get to do is talk about who will be here when we get around to March third, fourth, and fifth of next year. And today I am talking with Keith Hannee, hello Keith how are you doing today?
– [Keith] I am doing great today thanks Joe.
– [Joe] Well I am in the downtown Seattle headquarters office of Blink UX and where are you talking to us from?
– [Keith] I am in Farmington Utah, this is my home office where I do work on occasions.
– [Joe] And whereabouts is Farmington Utah located relative to major city?
– [Keith] It’s about a 20 minute drive north of Salt Lake City.
– [Joe] Well I, it’s great to have you in the program, we’ll talk about your session in a little bit. But why don’t you just start by telling us a little bit about your background and types of things you do at your company.
– [Keith] Sure, sure I kind of had a strange gateway into the user experience, customer experience ah profession. I graduated college with a degree in Broadcast Communications with an Art minor. And been working you know for several years as a designer, you know little industrial design and ah just general artistic kind of stuff. Uh when I stumbled into a web development job, kind of doing radio station websites and things like that back in the mid 90’s. That really was my gateway into user experience. Um, if you remember a company called iomega, they got famous for making zip disks, started up a software company internally and I joined that effort Back then it was called uh human factors design, but that was really my introduction to the idea of crafting an experience for the end customer. And uh I spent a few years there before I moved on to a company called Oakley Networks, that was later purchased by Pantheon. They did a lot of enterprise monitoring software, got to kind of cut my teeth um working in that environment um more deeply. They were a bit of a start up um and as they grew and got bigger, I moved on from that effort and joined a company called Land desk that did remote management software, and managing desktop software across large companies, keep things uniform, or send out software packages. But, really kind of sunk my teeth into user experience, when I started at Control Four. It’s uh a home automation company that is really focused around uh install, technician installed home automation. You might be aware of like Google and Amazon and Apple, and other companies that do kind of the direct customer sales. We are more of an inter grater platform. So that’s
– [Joe] And, and so what’s a day in the life like for uh Keith Hannee?
– [Keith] Ah we start off every morning with a, the stand up meeting, where uh the whole team gets together and discusses the accomplishments from the day before any, anything that’s blocking us from moving forward, and what we intend to achieve that day. It’s an opportunity for us to kind of synchronize and synergize around kind of the work we’re doing, for that day or for that coming week.
– And uh a lot, a lot of us spend almost all of our time working with digital products, virtual products but you get the opportunity to work with uh uh the physical components as well so uh what’s that like in your work?
– [Keith] We, we support a broad range of hardware interfaces so our customers will use their cell phones, they’ll use their watches, they’ll use touch screens you know whether its Android or Apple or custom products that we make in house. Um, and things as large as uh uh television screen so we make Gooeys for all of those and we have to standardize across them which is a little bit what I want to talk about you know at the conferences. How we deploy to all those things and what tools we use to do that.
– And uh are there any uh new and exciting things going on?
– [Keith] Well we just, I just got back from Cedia which is an industry tech show in Colorado. Where we uh we managed to get some, some pretty nice accolades this year. We won best new software, and best product of the show. So we’re feeling pretty good about what we managed to put together and uh we’re feeling like it got received well by the audience we were targeting.
– Well uh the topic that your going to uh present at the conference is titled The points scalable solutions across multiple platforms, so uh how did you come around to that, um and what can we expect to hear from you?
– Well uh it was, it was a lot of thought went into the title of that. There was so many challenges on the way from the inception of the design to the delivery of it last April. Um, that could have been great subject and material for a conversation, but when I went back and looked over the notes and journals that we had done during that process I really looked at the, the milestones and the innovations that came through to me as something valuable, and I thought well these, don’t get generally shared as much as I think they should. So I was trying to pick part of that process was really gonna be insightful to our process and hopefully helpful to anybody else whose tackling those solutions across many different supporting platforms.
– And ah so uh as you were uh digging into that were there any particular aspects that uh really were ah challenging or maybe unexpected?
– Well early on we had to come to terms with what we wanted to build, right. We were augmenting or changing a 10 year old platform that our customers had gotten very used to. We’d been refining and refining and refining for years, and we had a very small team, and we had a tight window to release on this. So we had to get smart and tactical about how to move forward, and one of the things we used to do that to move forward was defining our tenets for design up front. That really helped kind of frame our thinking as we reached these little milestones, or friction points in the design process, and I really want to talk a little bit about how when you have that layout of of things that you value, and the order that you value them, how that resolves against design challenges small and large.
– Well it’s great to have you in the conference program, we’ll look forward to seeing you here in March.
– Looking forward to it Joe appreciate the invite.