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Thursday, May 10

10:15am EDT

10-Minute Talks - Curated
Benjamin Basseches - Ethnographic Diary Studies: Value & Best-practices (Feedback Survey)
In the age where seemingly everyone carries a smartphone, you can now conduct some forms of ethnographic research without the logistical challenges of field work! Imagine the value of viewing your users’ snapchat stories and other social media profiles to gain a window into their daily lives. Ethnographic diary studies leverage similar mobile platforms, and enable you to send participants specific prompts to gain insights into their lifestyle factors and behaviors that might influence the design of your future product or service.
Ethnographic diary studies share several similarities with typical diary studies aimed at collecting extended product-usage feedback, but their broader research objectives warrant special considerations. For example, the diary prompts must be clear and straightforward, but open-ended enough to encourage participants to report anything they consider significant. Furthermore, you should select a diary platform that facilitates communication with participants, enabling you to provide encouragement and ask follow-up questions throughout the study.  If designed and conducted thoughtfully with an appropriate mobile diary platform, ethnographic diary studies offer economical access to rich, in-context data that used to be obtainable only through extended field observations and interviews.
In this 10-minute talk, I will summarize the value of, and best-practices for, conducting ethnographic diary studies. I will offer specific guidance by citing examples from a recent study to understand the lives of individuals with chronic medical conditions. Attendees will leave with the knowledge and confidence to start planning an ethnographic diary study.

Maggie Foley - Lessons Learned: Designing for Augmented Reality (Feedback Survey)
Designing for augmented reality today can feel like the wild wild west — everyone’s talking about it, brands are starting to experiment with it, but there aren’t a lot of successful case studies or established standards to lean on. This talk covers notable interaction models and key considerations when for designing in AR, helping you to avoid pitfalls in new territory.
During this session you’ll learn:
Three key interaction models in AR
Eight considerations when designing in AR
Low-cost ways to get started today

Tania Schlatter, Julian Gautier, and Derek Murphy - Gut-check: the Boston UX community and the current tech backlash (Feedback Survey)
According to the New York Times, these are serious times to be involved in digital product design. In the past ten months, the Times has published over six articles about a backlash against the technology sector, covering topics ranging from the negative effects of new devices on kids (1) to the addictive nature of smartphones (2).
One article (1) reports that two primary shareholders are asking Apple to “study the health effects of its products.” Another (2) asks an expert on addiction, “Do the designers of the new technologies understand what they’re doing?”
Facebook and Twitter have recently faced controversy over the spread of misinformation on their platforms by hackers and bots. Graduate students in this presenter’s class are concerned about topics such as dark UI patterns, how to avoid creating them, and the negative effects of too much technology use.
We are wondering if these kinds of concerns are on the minds’ of the Boston UX community members. This talk will present findings from a survey of the Boston UX community about their perception of the potential dangers of digital products and their role in creating them.
1) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/08/business/apple-investors-children.html?action=click&contentCollection=Technology&module=RelatedCoverage®ion=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article
2) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/science/technology-addiction-irresistible-by-adam-alter.html

avatar for Benjamin Basseches

Benjamin Basseches

Human Factors Specialist, UL-Wiklund
I'm a human factors specialist and UX researcher, passionate about improving our designed world by understanding users!Let's chat about ethnographic research, usability testing, medical devices...or anything you've been working on.
avatar for Julian Gautier

Julian Gautier

Product Research Specialist, The Dataverse Project/Harvard University
avatar for Derek Murphy

Derek Murphy

UX Researcher, Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science
avatar for Tania Schlatter

Tania Schlatter

Lecturer, Northeastern Digital Media, Northeastern University
Talk to me about:Teaching interaction & information design"Visual Usability" bookDesigning with dataUser centered design strategy & processInformation Architecture before the Web

Thursday May 10, 2018 10:15am - 11:00am EDT
Commonwealth (Upstairs)

11:15am EDT

10-Minute Talks - Students
Jen Siegel - The Ethical Implications of the Chatbot User Experience (Feedback Survey)
Humans seem to love yelling at robots. We probably all have our own stories of asking inappropriate questions or saying mean things to chatbots. In fact, according to Dr. Sheryl Brahnam, Assistant Professor in Computer Information Systems at Missouri State University, 10%-50% of our interactions with conversational agents (CAs) are abusive. While we may not physically harm the AI behind these chatbots/virtual assistants, there could be unintended consequences of this behavior. Since most virtual assistants are female and our behavior towards machines can blend into our treatment of humans, I argue UX designers have an ethical responsibility to consider social problems in our designs. In this presentation, I will walk through this space - describing the current research and the open questions that remain.

Hoshedar Framroz Bamji - Brand in the age of UX & IxD (Feedback Survey)
Companies invest millions of dollars to build brands that are unique and connect with the emotions and aspirations of their audiences. They attempt to carve a special space in the minds of their audiences to become a business that is relatable and connects on a subconscious level. In today’s digital world, the experience of a product/service has an impact on the brand perception of a company. With voice activated systems, wearable teach, and IoT; users experience a product/service/brand in a variety of mediums and proximities.

Sean Higgins - Psychology & UX - Research and Design (Feedback Survey)
User experience and user-centered design are nothing without investigating the motivations, tendencies, and behavior of users.  Dr. Nick Fine, a digital psychologist, computer scientist, and UX practitioner has suggested that web designers with no research background subsume the psychology of UX at the expense of good products and the users themselves.  Can one create user-centered design without performing user research?  Do small test samples obviate the need for rigorous, clinical testing, and do our personas arise from that testing?  This presentation will look at both sides of the argument and attempt to bring together a suggestion for a symbiotic relationship between the "scientists" and the "designers."

avatar for Hoshedar Bamji

Hoshedar Bamji

Graduate Student, Northeastern University
I am currently pursuing my masters in Interactive Design from Northeastern University. Prior to this I was a brand design manager at a design agency in Mumbai, India. I love to create experiences that build relationships between people, products and brands. I have over 5 years of... Read More →
avatar for Sean Higgins

Sean Higgins

Graduate Student, Northeastern University
A native New Orleanian, Sean managed to somehow parlay his undergraduate Psychology degree into a career as a social worker doing psychiatric crisis interventions and as a high school counselor advising students on college applications. He also taught remedial English to summer-school... Read More →
avatar for Jen Siegel

Jen Siegel

Experience Researcher, Mad*Pow

Thursday May 10, 2018 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Commonwealth (Upstairs)

11:15am EDT

You Keep Using That Word... On the need for a shared vocabulary in UX
How often have you discussed something in a meeting, only to find that nearly everyone in the room had a different definition of what that “something” was? Have you ever delivered a “wireframe” only to have your stakeholders confused and disappointed because what they really wanted was what you call a “prototype?” The UX field likes to come up with lots of different names for very similar things. This is problematic, and we need to find a way to have a shared vocabulary. In this session, we’ll brainstorm some terms that have nebulous meanings and try to tease out what makes something X and not Y.

avatar for Danielle Cooley

Danielle Cooley

Owner & Principal, DGCooley & Co.

Thursday May 10, 2018 11:15am - 12:00pm EDT
Back Bay C/D

2:00pm EDT

10-Minute Talks - Curated
Ben Kertman - Zooming Out: how to contextualize concepts like behavioral economics, game design, tiny habits, nudge, and more, into a single, cohesive UX strategy (Feedback Survey)
We hear a lot about the potential of using strategies from behavioral economics, or applying what we learned from a course on B.J. Fogg’s Tiny Habits, but how do we know when to use one vs. the other? How do concepts like game design relate to Thaler’s Nudge? Are there other behavior change strategies out there that we don’t know about? It’s all a bit confusing when rummaging around in the details of behavior science.

In this talk, I hope to zoom out to a bird’s eye view so that we can place all of these concepts in relationship to each other, and more importantly, in a way that helps us strategize when to use one behavioral strategy over another. My hope is that by the end we can all walk away with a mental framework for contextualizing and discussing what these behavioral science concepts are and how we might go about integrating them into our work.

Liz Harris - The Four Pillars of Effective Design-Development Collaboration (Feedback Survey)
Seasoned Product Designers understand that design is all about co-creation, but when you’re just starting out, it can feel like designers and engineers are on opposing teams. With the Four Pillars I’ve learned to live by as a Product Designer, collaboration and understanding are made easy from kickoff through design handoff. They outline tried and true ways to work together that lead to growing a successful product and building something amazing. In this talk, we’ll look at processes you can start using right away to collaborate more openly and successfully with development counterparts. We will talk about:
  • The how’s and why’s of involving development in the discovery period
  • The cadence that designers should align with development throughout a project
  • Empathizing with development by learning the basics of front-end code.
  • The power of staying organized, from kickoff through hand-off

Dan ZollmanQuestions for the ethical practitioner (Feedback Survey)
As human-centered designers, we want to do good—we hope that our work will improve the lives and experiences of others. But in our complex technological world, it’s hard to know what’s right. Current events in our industry show that consequences are difficult to predict, and ethics are not straightforward.

As designers, how do we know what’s right, and how can we incorporate ethics into our practice? I will discuss some of the big questions and challenges for the ethical practitioner. In design, “ethical practice” means engaging in ongoing dialogue and seeking new answers in each new context.

This talk advances a vision for our profession—that ethics are at the core of our practice, and that every practitioner is able to do ethical work—and we will end with next steps to continue the conversation beyond today’s conference.


Elizabeth Harris

Product Designer, LogMeIn
avatar for Ben Kertman

Ben Kertman

Behavior Change Consultant, Self-employed
Ben is a behavior change scientist and public health specialist who became a user research consultant to help organizations design experiences that change behaviors and improve human well-being. Impatient with the tendency of behavior change companies to use a single discipline approach... Read More →
avatar for Dan Zollman

Dan Zollman

User Experience Professional, User Experience Professional
Dan is a UX Strategist with expertise in digital product & service design, design thinking, information architecture, and user research. He has spent most of his career in the financial and education industries. His personal interests are in design ethics, design theory & methodology... Read More →

Thursday May 10, 2018 2:00pm - 2:45pm EDT
Commonwealth (Upstairs)

3:15pm EDT

10-Minute Talks - Students
Cameron Brown-Cross, Amanda Holmes, & Stuti Jhaveri - Voice Visualization: A New Tool for Testing Voice User Interfaces (Feedback Survey)
Voice user interfaces have gained popularity in recent years, however usability testing methods have traditionally been optimized for the graphical user interface. Researchers must then adapt existing methods or invent their own in order to accommodate the challenges unique to voice-only systems. Our team will share our success in combining an adaptation of the Retrospective Walkthrough with a tool of our own, Voice Visualization, when conducting testing of an Alexa Skill application. Voice Visualization offers a method of translating a user’s experiences with voice into a physical artifact. This artifact can be used to explore emotion, trust, and confidence in an interface. We will share our methodology and present select results from our testing experiences in order to highlight Voice Visualization’s value as a tool for usability researchers exploring voice.

Margot Lieblich - Getting UX out of NPS (Feedback Survey)
The Net Promoter Score (NPS) is becoming an increasingly popular metric for businesses to measure anything from customer interactions with the support team to overall brand loyalty. As UX professionals, it is important to understand what this tool is and how we might leverage it to drive buy-in for user research and design initiatives within our companies. As many know, however, the NPS system is not without its drawbacks. In this 10 minute talk, I will outline an overview of NPS, focusing on its foundational goal of drawing negative feedback to identify target areas within a product, as well as the ways it is commonly used (yearly "big batch" surveys vs continuous surveys). I'll consider different arguments regarding whether the system produces valid and informative results. After discussing several criticisms of the system, I'll end with a few tips for how to make the most out of your NPS survey.

Louise Chapman - Inclusive design, Dyslexia, and Usability (Feedback Survey)
My ten-minute talk will be on testing and the approach to someone who is dyslexic.  I want to touch on sub-topics when it comes to testing and creating inclusive design when it comes to dyslexia. I will also use my own story as a Graduate UX student who happens to be dyslexic and how my approach so far to even task I have encountered in my classes and how I might have to approach even those differently. The talk will be full of firsthand information and personal antidotes on being a UX student who is also dyslexic. I want to leave the audience thinking about how to do inclusive designs with not only users in mind that are dyslexic but also colleagues who may be too.

avatar for Cameron Brown-Cross

Cameron Brown-Cross

Graduate Student, Bentley University
Hello! I'm Cameron! I'm a full-time graduate student and proud member of Bentley University's Human Factors in Information Design program. ​I'm fairly new to UX, but I am constantly on the lookout for opportunities to improve. I am excited to apply my prior background in psychology... Read More →
avatar for Amanda Holmes

Amanda Holmes

Student, Bentley University
avatar for Stuti Jhaveri

Stuti Jhaveri

Student, Bentley University
I'm a recent graduate from Bentley looking for exciting UX Design opportunities. In my previous life, I was a Production Designer, i.e. I designed, built and styled sets for TV shows and ad films in Mumbai, India. I have special love for spatial design, interior decoration, cats... Read More →
avatar for Margot Lieblich

Margot Lieblich

Senior UX Researcher, HubSpot
After stumbling into a design thinking workshop while working in healthcare IT, I found my passion in the field of UX and design research. Since that happy accident, I've gone on to complete my Master's in Human Factors and Information Design at Bentley University and currently work... Read More →
avatar for Louise Padilla

Louise Padilla

graduate student, northeasteen university
Graduate student at Northeastern University. In my third quarter pursuing my masters in Digital Media with a concentration in Interactive media and a professional track of Usability and development.

Thursday May 10, 2018 3:15pm - 4:00pm EDT
Commonwealth (Upstairs)

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