Crossposted at provenmethod.com.
In web development, not every project scope includes a designer or user experience expert. Despite this, the move toward more interactive and complete experiences on the web has raised users’ expectations. In the startup world- in some of the leanest business situations imaginable- the dream team once consisted of a developer and a marketer. Today, the team has shifted toward development and UX. Though this shift begs the question, “Why don’t we all have a design budget?”, it also exposes an opportunity. Team members who can serve a secondary role in UX stand to seriously benefit projects tight on design dollars.
Finding a developer with design abilities is tough. In the office, we’ve informally begun to call these people “hybrids”- and we keep an eye out for their resumes. Not only is there a need to be filled, but it’s a fun, safe career choice to have a foot in both camps. I’ve been interested in learning more about UX and design for these reasons and because, well, it’s kind of cool. Needless to say, the developer/designer track split at Web Directions left me with some tough decisions to make.
Web Directions, which just finished up this weekend, is a conference focused on the future of the web. The conference caters to a wide range of professionals and interests, including web design, front-end development, user experience, and everything in between.
I’d like to tell you a bit about talks from the first day of the conference, sharing my experience as a developer who decided to take the design route.
Learning to Love Humans: Emotional Interface Design
Bow Down to the Machine No Longer!
Aarron Walter (@aarron) of Atlanta’s own MailChimp gave the first design-track presentation. Aarron used an adapted version of Maslow’s famous pyramid to frame a discussion on taking interface design to the next level.
He argued that functionality, reliability and usability in product design are just stepping stones to a more ambitious goal- providing a pleasurable user experience. In comparing usability to edibility, Aarron points out that great chefs aim for something far beyond edible- and that one of the key ingredients to a pleasurable user experience is personality.