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NUI talk and more at our May pub event!

Posted: May 28th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

On May 17th, we had a great turnout to our NUIs in your living room, in a pub event!

To spice things up, we asked those who attended the event to submit their recap of the event!  Not only does this summarize the event for those who didn’t attend, but those who did attend can hear what the other end of the table was talking about!

Quote 1: In our conversations we talked about the user experience of a video store, a grocery store and independently owned/operated establishments and what they offer over big chain stores.  We proposed that there is a certain niche for independent stores like this, and while some people may switch to this niche market if they knew of it, others just demand the convenience of the big chains.

Quote 2: Alas, we did not have an iPad to play with, but many of us have been able to play with one or know someone who has one.  We heard about some of the technical specs and who was excited to get an iPad or Kindle and those who were happy with just their smartphones and laptops.  It’s clear that NUIs (natural user interfaces) are becoming all the rage as these products become more mainstream, so we as usability professionals will definitely need to become more aware of ways that we can ensure the products we work on are suited for NUIs.  Here’s an article that outlines some of the challenges NUIs cause for development and prototyping.

Quote 3: It was a low-key discussion about user experience in a very broad sense.  Our talk touched on traditional software-based UX topics, but concentrated on the user experience in retail environments, with a focus on the differences between a globalized and a localized retail experience. Essentially, the ideas that we explored had to do with the different feelings associated with shopping at a local small business with a unique perspective and tightly focused set of offerings, versus shopping at a larger global chain with a wide variety of products, often at a lower price point. Overall, it was a great time, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Quote 4: The most striking conversational detour from me was around relationships that the best stores have with their customers. We talked about it in the content of independent video stores, music stores (of which there are fewer and fewer), and even grocery stores. I pointed out that I’ll often go to my favourite video store (Waterloo’s Generation X, as it turns out) and ask “What should I watch?” or “What should my wife and I watch?”, and have never been disappointed with the recommended film that I then rent. The personal, local relationship has become more meaningful in an age of online access to just about anything.

For anyone who had additional thoughts on our last event or has ideas about future events, feel free to add a comment!

Hope to see you at the Current Think Aloud Practices event on Thursday, June 24, 2010, where Amy Gill will be sharing information about her research and we’ll discuss think out loud sessions!

May 17, 2010 UX Group Event- NUIs in your living room, in a pub

May 17, 2010 UX Group Event- NUIs in your living room, in a pub

(June 2010) Current Think Aloud Practices

Posted: May 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Thursday, June 24, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Accelerator Centre
Meeting Room #2
295 Hagey Blvd., Waterloo

Many of us have used think aloud sessions as a way of understanding how users interact with a software product. In tonight’s meeting, we’ll run some actual sessions to see how a think aloud session works in practice.

We’ll also hear from Amy Gill, who is a pursuing a Masters degree in Applied Computer Science at the University of Guelph under the guidance of Dr. Blair Nonnecke (no stranger to the UX Group). The focus of Amy’s research is the think aloud method which is often used during usability testing. Her research aims to explore current think aloud practices to compare the use of think aloud in the usability field with the original use of think aloud in psychology. For this research, practitioners in the usability field were interviewed to gain an understanding of current think aloud practices.


Please click here to register for this UX Group event. Thanks! Hope to see you there.

UX Show and Tell Recap

Posted: May 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Hey UXers!

Hope you can attend our next UX group meeting tomorrow (May 17th) from 5:30-7pm at Barley Works at the Heuther Hotel.

To read more about what we’ll be discussing and to register, check out our blog post about the event: NUIs in your living room, in a pub.

If you missed our last UX group meeting on April 19th, here’s a quick recap.  We had 20 UXers attend our “show & tell” session, which turned out to be very interactive and fun!  We split into groups and each group listened to design challenges and ideas that their peers have been working with.

Then, each group picked a representative that presented their design challenge to the whole room.  Some of the interesting ideas we heard about include:

  • Design challenges for group collaboration and some of the time wasters that get in the way when individuals are working together in an office or on a tabletop surface.
  • How Adobe Fireworks can be used for wireframing and for finished designs.  We saw how this can be a great tool for creating a design and gathering commentary.
  • Overview of recommendations for revamping a website that is used by students and staff at Wilfrid Laurier University.
  • Saw examples of how menu options for an application were brought from early prototypes to the final product.
  • Got a sneak peak of a new feature for math software and heard about the design challenges of designing for a small space in an existing application.

Thanks to everyone who shared their ideas and opinions at this event!  Photos from the event are posted below.  Hope to see you at our event tomorrow!

April 19th- UX Group Show & Tell

Group 2

Group 3

Group 5

NUIs in your living room, in a pub

Posted: May 9th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Events | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

Well, our plans for May have changed due to scheduling challenges. For this month’s event on Monday May 17 we’ll be enjoying an evening of fine conversation in the informal atmosphere of a pub. While everyone is, of course, free to follow whatever path the conversation goes in, we’ll at least set out to answer this question:

What are the UX implications of NUIs in the living room?

We fully acknowledge that the question is inspired by the impending arrival of the Apple iPad in Canada this month, with its gestural interface and lightweight form. There are other devices, though, that are here already (Nintendo Wii, anybody?), and there are certainly more on the horizon.

Finally, we may well have an iPad for those of you who would like to see and feel one up close. If anyone has any devices that they’d like to share, please do bring them along! Otherwise, bring your ideas and contribute generously to what we hope will be  friendly and illuminating discussion.

May meeting (Updated with new date and location)
Monday, May 17, 2010
5:30 to 7:00 pm
Back room at Barley Works, Huether Hotel, 59 King Street North, Waterloo, ON N2J 2X2

Please register here.