Resources for All Things Open Attendees

I’m speaking at the All Things Open Conference in Raleigh this year.

“Getting Started with UX Research” is scheduled for Monday, October 22nd at 2:15pm in Room 301A. Details are here.

Here are the slides. Thanks to everyone who attended!

Resources referenced in talk

10 Usability Heuristics from Jakob Nielsen

UI Tenets & Traps Cards from Microsoft

Google Analytics Academy

WordCamp Raleigh

Nielsen Norman Group newsletter

Invision’s “Inside Design” blog (you can also learn a lot from UX Pin’s ebooks)

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug - FREE downloads here of a usability test script and a recording consent form

Web Accessibility Initiative

Baymard Institute - a gold mind if you work in ecommerce

You Should Test That by Chris Goward - Covers conversion rate optimization, A/B testing and more

Design for How People Learn by Julie Dirkson

Local Resources (talk with UX professionals working in the field!)

Triangle UXPA - now hosting a new 1-day conference called UX Y’all

Ladies that UX Durham - events happen around the Triangle

Explore UX

Resources for NCCASA Conference Attendees

Please use and/or share any of the following items with others.

Great book for further learning about UX: Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

The webinar on August 11 will be on NCCADV's webinar page soon. 

Let's make trauma-informed websites a trend so we can better help survivors!

Is Your Website Trauma-Informed?

In the field of user experience (UX), we often talk about designing for delight. We focus on how good we can help a person feel when interacting with a website or other technology. But in some cases, website design and content choices aren't about delight at all. They might be about relief. Or they could be as serious as life or death.

I'm studying how to improve websites serving domestic violence (DV)/interpersonal violence (IPV) survivors. How can these websites meet the complex needs of this group of people? There are neurological, social, and physiological effects of trauma and interpersonal violence. Plus, there are safety and privacy issues in these situations.

Looking at the websites of organizations that serve survivors has led me to these questions:

  • Are the websites helping survivors feel empowered to take the next step toward help?
  • Or are the websites aggravating the symptoms of trauma itself?
  • So...what would a trauma-informed website look like?
Here's a screenshot of the current North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence homepage. We are addressing the UX issues and also thinking about survivor-sensitive features. A grant from the staffing agency  Aquent  makes this possible!

Here's a screenshot of the current North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence homepage. We are addressing the UX issues and also thinking about survivor-sensitive features. A grant from the staffing agency Aquent makes this possible!

The US government offers some direction on being trauma-informed in general. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Government (SAMHSA) has Six Key Principles of a Trauma-Informed Approach:

  1. Safety
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
  3. Peer Support
  4. Collaboration and Mutuality
  5. Empowerment, Voice and Choice
  6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues

Some of these principles overlap with those of UX. For example, trust is often critical to share personal or financial information with a website. It's important to be trustworthy both to be trauma-informed AND to have great UX. Plus, a positive user experience can feel empowering. A poor one can feel overwhelming and disheartening.

I'm exploring how these SAMHSA principles combine with those I've learned in my UX career. I'm hoping to translate these principles into action items to make websites trauma-informed. There are also a number of survivor-sensitive features that are necessary for service agency websites. 

Becoming trauma-informed and user-friendly may not require a costly redesign. I suspect it's often about making smarter design and content choices. With a UX and trauma-informed lens, we can improve survivors' experience.

I'm speaking at the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault conference in May. I'm not going there knowing all the answers. But I'll share what I've learned so far about making a website trauma-informed. This work is important for the safety of all people suffering within violent relationships. 

I'm all for designing for delight, but I'd love more people to help on this more serious issue too. Please get in touch if you want to join forces for good.

Resources for High Five Conference Attendees

Here is a PDF of slides from my talk Go Go Bananas with Research: How UX Research Can Better Your Marketing (and Even Change Your Business Model).  It's possibly the longest talk title ever!

Books recommended and referred to:

Other resources:

8 Highlights from edUI Conf 2016

I have a new favorite conference called edUI! I attended it few weeks ago in Charlottesville, VA. Following are some highlights from it, including resources for you:

Steve Krug kindly plugged my usability workshop with Julie Grundy of Duke University. He then joined us as a helpful participant!

Steve Krug kindly plugged my usability workshop with Julie Grundy of Duke University. He then joined us as a helpful participant!

  1. Running with a keynote speaker is a unique experience. What a memorable jaunt planned by the conference organizers! It was worth getting out of bed early to hit the pavement with the inspiring Josh Clark. Wonder what the future of tech looks like? Watch Josh's fun talk Magical UX and the Internet of Things. 
  2. Steve Krug first sparked my interest in UX in 2007. His fantastic book was required reading in grad school. If you are a person making choices about a website, read Don't Make Me Think! Your website visitors will thank you. At edUI, Steve gave a keynote speech. But he also participated in workshops, including mine, and made them better just by his quiet presence and helpfulness. He offers a great example to follow.
  3. Charlottesville, Virginia, is a walkable, fun and friendly location. How did I not realize this before?
  4. Aussie Donna Spencer rocked her workshop on moving from research to design. She wants us to write down a coherent story before jumping to content and functions. UXers, see Donna's detailed slide deck here. 
  5. Getting fresh air between sessions = a better conference. Two thumbs up for having 3 interesting venues. How great not to feel stuck in a hotel with terrible carpet all day. 
  6. You can hike to beautiful Humpback Rocks in the morning and still make an 11am session!
  7. Analytics master Mitch Daniels of the interaction agency Viget wants you to stop wasting your analytics budget. So stop tracking everything and focus on the KPIs for your organization.  Learn from Mitch about analytics.  
  8. The edUI organizers know how to put on a conference. They also made themselves very accessible throughout the event. If you work in the higher ed, library or museum field, attending edUI should be a high priority. 

Learn more about the edUI conference here. Maybe I'll see you in Charlottesville next year! 

Three Reasons to Go to WordCamp

Wordpress Logo I had a fantastic weekend attending WordCamp Raleigh, a conference for those using or working with WordPress (WP). Just in case you don't know, WP is an open source content-management system and blogging tool based on PHP and MySQL. I use it to run my website and those of my clients.

I learned a bunch of helpful things at WordCamp - plug-ins and e-commerce tools and even some of the history of WP. There were three tracks of sessions you could attend - users, power users, and developers - lots of options no matter what your level of understanding of WP is. Some folks had been using it for years (WP has been around 10 years,) but others had just started exploring it two weeks prior.

Here are three reasons to go to a WordCamp:

1) Ubiquitous use. Approximately 20% of the websites in the world are run on the WordPress system from tiny blogs to major sites like CNN. Even if you think you don't want to use the WordPress system, it's good to understand it so you can compare other systems to it. How else will you know if WordPress is right to use for your business or blog (or those of your clients)?

2) Unbelievably friendly users. Maybe it's the open source thing, but wow, I was impressed by how forthcoming and helpful WordCamp speakers and fellow attendees were. The conference organizers were on site and very nice as well. The event was organized but informal, which I liked.

3) Unbeatable value. Professional development was a stellar deal for a mere $35 conference fee, which also included lunch and a t-shirt. And I was able to sit down with and ask questions directly of core contributors to WordPress. All of my questions were answered, and during the various sessions, I was exposed to features of WordPress that I was unfamiliar with. Super helpful.

So, go check out the upcoming schedule of worldwide WordCamps and see if you can attend!