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Holistic Usability: Techniques for creating a good user experience for clients, stakeholders, and end users

A workshop for user experience professionals who regularly encounter brick walls in working with clients and business stakeholders

This workshop will add techniques to your UX toolbox that create good user experiences for all consumers of your skills: clients, stakeholders, and end users. These techniques treat the user experience as a single process, moving from client to end user, and will increase client investment, decrease productivity blocking, increase efficient information sharing and ultimately improve the end user experience.

Workshop by Christina York (ITHAKA)
Advanced Practitioners (AP)
8:30am to 5:30pm on Monday, May 24, 2010
Position Paper:
download position paper template (RTF)
download presenter's position paper ( RTF)

Note: You may wish to right-click (or control+click on Mac) the download link and choose "Save File As..." to save the file to disk.

About the Workshop

The main goal is to present a variety of information gathering, sharing, and analysis techniques that can be used when working with clients/stakeholders. These techniques focus on creating a good user experience for our clients and stakeholders in our quest to create a usable and useful product or interface.

Secondary topics include, but are not limited to, the following: • Communication skills – how to understand what best speaks to your audience and how to create compelling deliverables that will have a greater chance of being read • Information gathering techniques – how to use client/stakeholder knowledge, characteristics, and expertise to your advantage • Presentation and moderation skills needed for successful use of the techniques • Concepts of strategic and responsible usability (reforming old thoughts into new concepts about what we do)

Summary of Activities Exercises are conducted both in the larger workshop group and also in small peer groups. Exercises also heavily involve role playing, with pre-defined roles created for participants.

Each technique will be demonstrated for the larger group as a whole, with volunteers from the audience participating in pre-defined roles. These volunteers will be given personas to guide them in the role playing. Personas will be based on generalizations of my personal experiences as well as experiences I elicit from colleagues on the UTEST listserv prior to the workshop.

I will explain each technique and demonstrate application through role playing to the entire workshop group. There will be a brief period for clarification questions and then attendees will be broken into small groups of 4 or 5, with members representing diverse backgrounds, experiences, and interests. Group members will take turns moderating each of the four techniques. When not moderating, team members will be asked to play the role of stakeholders or clients, with personas to choose from to help them role play.

After each team has tried each technique (with the presenter circulating and jumping in to help when needed), the teams will be given 15 minutes to summarize their critiques of the techniques, both strengths and weaknesses. These critiques will be created with the use of a template and be turned in as part of the team activity. The teams will then be dissolved and a large group discussion will take place with the purpose of sharing team ideas and forming new ideas based on hearing what ideas other teams came up with.

The day’s activites will be summed up with a 30 minute wrap-up by the presenter, who will try to leave participants with concepts and reactions that encapsulate value, lessons learned, and reinforce good practices for creating a holistic and positive user experience for all people we come into contact with in our daily work. During this time, attendees to volunteer to participate in a post-workshop survey to collect additional data and demographics needed for the proposed post-workshop article.

Position Paper

Should you choose to register for this session, you will need to complete a position paper. Workshops have limited attendence. In order to select attendees who can best contribute to the discussion, the session presenters will select attendees based on your position paper.

The template contains instructions for filling in the various areas. Provide information about what background and interests you have that are relevant to the session topic.

Save the form in Word or RTF format with a filename that has your last name followed by ”_position_paper”. For example, Smith_position_paper.rtf.

Position Paper:
download position paper template ( RTF)
Note: You may wish to right-click (or control+click on Mac) the download link and choose "Save File As..." to save the file to disk.

The due date for the Position Paper is 16 April, 2010.

Please send your completed document to the session leader identified via email when you registered.

The session leader will notify you of your acceptance status to the workshop and then the registration office, will complete the registration process.

If you are not accepted, you will be able to register for a tutorial. For instance, if you registered during our Early Registration period but were not accepted to the workshop, you could register for any open Tutorial paying the Early Registration price.

If you have questions about this, please contact