creative juice / happenings

UX Cake: avoid the sharks

By guest blogger Kaitlin Flanigan

Picture this: you’re in a meeting giving a review regarding a UX/design project you’re working on for a company. About halfway into your review, members of the meeting start attacking the details. They’re asking a ton of question and not letting you get a word in edgewise. Soon, they have critiqued your work and have ten new things for you to fix. Maybe you even lost control of the entire meeting and were unable to effectively convey your vision.  These “sharks”, can derail any UX review.

What can you do to avoid the mistakes that derail UX reviews? Look no further than the Seattle-based podcast UX Cake. On Thursday, June 28th, Allovus co-sponsored the live recording of the podcast UX Cake, hosted by Leigh Allen-Arredondo entitled, “Shark-Proof Your UX Presentation: Avoiding the Perils that Derail UX Reviews.” A panel of UX professionals discussed the topic in all its teeth-gnashing and frenzied glory.

Here is an overview of the event in case you missed it. A recording of the event will be available on July 15, 2018.

The Panelists

  • Laura Barboza: A CX research strategist at REI with over 10 years of experience. Her research experience spans across the agency, in-house, and independent consultancy world, She’s previously worked with agencies like Blink UX, was embedded with design teams at Nordstrom, and has operated as a vendor with Amazon and Microsoft. Additionally, she is a part-time instructor at Seattle Central, UW’s HCDE department, and SVC and biz partner at Amplify Alliance.
  • Ruth Kikin-Gil: A design strategist and digital product designer at Microsoft. She has spent the last 10 years working in an innovation lab and on future experiences in Office. Prior to Microsoft, she co-founded a digital product design agency in Tel-Aviv, was the corporate art director of a startup, worked for Nokia in Helsinki, and freelanced in London – a world traveler! She also lectures at the HCDE department in the University of Washington here in Seattle.
  • Tony Yates: A UX director at Smartsheet in Bellevue. Tony has a long history in visual and UX design and brand strategy, and he has contributed his vision at Fortune 50 corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft, and HTC, as well as boutique agencies, agile startups, and nonprofits. He makes a mean logo, loves churros, and has a biting sense of humor.
  • Laura Blanchard: An owner and creative director at Blamo Corps a design studio here in Seattle. Blamo Corps is focused on creating user experiences for comprehensive application ecosystems. They’ve created some diverse user experiences including the redesign of the KEXP app. Laura’s career ranges across photography, radio, printed publications, software development, and user experience design. Laura is also an instructor at Cornish College of the Arts.

Don’t take the bait! Follow these rules to keep the sharks from circling…

  1. Prepare and practice. Regardless of who your audience is, you should go in well prepared with what you want to convey, and know what you need to get from the review.
  2. Set up the context, purpose, and objective right at the beginning of the presentation. Add some prompts or hooks for yourself so you don’t forget to do this, because neglecting this can cause the meeting to go sideways.
  3. Make sure that you’re tying the objectives of what you’re reviewing to what your stakeholders think is important.

For more details about how to “shark-proof” your reviews, be sure to listen to the entire UX Cake podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Google Play, Sticher, Tune In, or directly on the UX Cake website.

Host of UX Cake, Leigh Allen-Arredondo

UX Cake is a podcast for user experience professionals who want to be more effective and happy in their career. In every episode, they talk with experienced UX pros and industry insiders from around the globe, for practical advice on how to increase the value of UX work, and get the best outcomes for teams, users, and their UX careers. Their aim is to help the UX community become stronger and more effective by sharing the experience and expertise from leaders in the field.

Watch for Part 2 of this post, with an interview with UX Cake host, Leigh Allen-Arredondo, and a link to the recorded podcast.

One thought on “UX Cake: avoid the sharks

  1. Pingback: UX Cake | Allovus Design

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