Innovation vs. Best Practice – Conflict or Opportunity?

“Best practice” implies doing things in the best possible manner, based on past experience. But we like to think of ourselves as innovators in a dynamic industry – we want to go where no one has gone before. Thus, “best practice” and “innovation” are like oil and water – they don’t easily mix.

How can we, as user-experience professionals, balance the need for consistency that “best practice” provides, with our on-going mission to improve the quality of our products? How can we create genuine improvements – and when have we been seduced by the evil twins, Fad and Fashion?

“Innovation vs. Best Practice” is a highly interactive 45-minute exploration of the elements that make up these two ends of the user-experience spectrum. It’s a combination of demonstration and common-sense review, in a single, high-powered, bullet-point-free session.

During the presentation, we’ll take a closer look at the popular definitions of both innovation and best practice – and discover why these are frequently inadequate, misleading, or both. Why is a “standard” not always a “best practice”? And if “invention” can be spontaneous, why is “innovation” always planned?

We’ll also take a closer look at some of the worst reasons to innovate, which are also some of the most common, plus the Japanese concept of “chindogu” – “useless innovation.” Perhaps most important of all, we’ll see how User Driven Design helps us avoid harmful innovation in comparison to the more common User Centered Design methodology.

Want to learn the four Laws of Innovation? Want to be able to recognize the three danger signals of Fashion and Fad? Want to know why usability guru Jakob Nielsen may actually be right 37% of the time?

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Date: January 22, 2015 Time: 9:15 am - 10:00 am photo of Eric Reiss

Eric Reiss