Future of UX Education (#uxce15)

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Post on 08-Aug-2015




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1. Future of UX Education Vorkronor Petr tdr This is a talk for designers looking for a direction to grow. Education professionals thinking about teaching design. And other people trying to gure out how to get into UX. 2. Rules? Are you serious? (authors note) This was supposed to be a discussion with slides rather than a talk and therefore the rules were necessary to make this clear to the participants (end of note) 3. 1. There are no dumb questions. 2. No holding back. Ask away! 3. If you disagree Id be honored to know. 4. Designers? Researchers? Information Architects? To know you a little bit better, let me ask a few questions How many of you are designers of any sort. User researchers and information architects? Raise your hands. 5. What if we could make it better for others that come after us? Those of you with your hands up. You folks probably share a similar story. A story of the education system of our time. Its not a particularly sad one. But what if we could make it better for others that come after us? Wouldnt that be a project worth using our skills on? 6. Maybe you noticed it too? There arent enough good designers to hire. And this is not the problem of just our company. 7. I believe there is a systematic error that is causing this situation. ! Amassing the amount of knowledge and skills required for a user experience designer is nowadays typically achieved either through higher education at a university or over the course of multiple years of focused practice in a supporting environment on a job. 8. Its possible to take the Ill work on it long enough route. According to my personal experience it takes 30 to 50% of a senior persons time for at least a year to train a junior so he is able to start working autonomously on projects. ! In companies that are trying to build their design teams, this is a luxury that will require great sacrices. Therefore most companies look to the existing school system to produce the workforce they need. 9. In User Experience as you might have noticed the system has failed. ! Maybe the universities produce enough designers although that depends on how do you dene who is a designer. And the designers that come out do not have the right skill-set. They lack prociency with basic methods widely used in the industry. 10. You would think they would be able to prepare and moderate and evaluate a usability session, they would be able to lead an in-depth interview or put together a half-decent mobile app design. Most of them are far below our expectations even on the basic relevant dimensions ... 11. These are borrowed from a really great interaction design exercise I am using over the course of many years in interviews. https://www.gv.com/lib/how-to-interview-a-designer-with-the-perfect-design-exercise 12. Using these dimensions enabled us to better evaluate candidates after an interview. 13. Uncovering constraints Many people do not ask questions. They just take many things for granted without questioning anything. This is more of a mindset issue than a lack of a hard skill. 14. Dening tasks Some designers do not bother with thinking about people. How and when will they actually use the product. They usually dive straight into interface design. 15. Visual thinker I had people in an interview that did not lift the whiteboard marker during a 30 minutes design exercise. 16. Some of them come up with one idea and stick with it. Full of ideas 17. Critiquing their own work And last, but not least, some convince themselves that their solution is good enough without any evidence. 18. Up until one autumn day I did only think about hiring designers. 19. That changed when Berka approached me. 20. Maybe you dont know Berka, but theres a chance you know his RealUXCamp. And if theres still room, youre gladly invited to spend time with us in August in Bukovina. 21. We spent countless hours discussing this idea we called UX Academy. Looking at it from todays perspective it seems as if the goal was always this clear. But it wasnt. 22. Help the students improve to the point where I or any other lecturer from the UX Academy would want to hire them to their team." our goal Why this goal? Because many of our students want to change careers and move into UX. This is why they spent more than 3.600 Euro on it. Joining a team a year from now is the outcome they are looking forward to. Delivering anything less than that would be considered failure in my world. 23. Having the goal to guide us, we continued to explore and dene other constraints. The boundaries we would not cross. ! On most projects I was part of, there has been one single technique, that helped me get clarity on this. ! Design principles universal rules that would help me dene the boundaries of the experience 24. Straightforward, rather than clever. This was a design principle that Microsoft used in 2007 to kill Mr.Clippy during the re- design of their Ofce suite. 25. I will reveal our principles in a moment, but let me walk you through their creation. That was the really fun part. We started with dening what we DID NOT want to be like and why. ! Looking back at the school systems that created us, we found it pretty easy to dene what NOT to be. 26. 1) Stand there in front of the students preaching and hoping that they would make some sense out of it 27. 2) Give them school projects to work on. 28. 3) Leave them isolated from the UX community. Getting a job is though when you do not know anyone. 29. 4) Ask them to learn techniques that professional designers arent using in their jobs 30. 5) Last but not least use external motivators like exams, grades and similar ! These are traits that many existing university programs have in common. And exactly this negative image helped us better reect on what we thought dened a good learning experience. 31. Academy Students We divided the principles into two groups ! Academy principles focused on us and Students principles focused on the people we want to help ! Our principles were ... 32. We are pragmatic All newly acquired knowledge should be immediately usable and useful in a project. 33. Professionals and practitioners We teach what we do in our day jobs. Sharing our experiences as well as mistakes so others will not repeat them. 34. Were improving. Constantly. Because nothing is born great. Therefore we seek feedback and use it to improve going forward. ! The student focused principles were ... 35. Every student has a mentor. For an hour per week for the whole year. 36. Working on real projects. Iterating. Learning by trying and sometimes failing in a safe environment. 37. We prefer group work. We prefer to help each other. A different point of view is encouraged and respected. 38. We are pragmatic Professionals and practitioners Were improving. Constantly. ! Leading students into UX Learning by doing Sharing and working together Those 6 principles were the foundation of our efforts. Our Occams razor. As good designers we looked for other constraints. 39. We are pragmatic Professionals and practitioners Were improving. Constantly. ! Leading students into UX Learning by doing Sharing and working together W E NEED M OAR CONSTRAINTS !!! We found many more. My previous explorations of the topic of education and learning led me to believe that there are these four core elements that a person must develop for effective learning to take place. 40. Curiosity Being intellectually aroused by unknowns is a must. If you have children, you probably can observe real curiosity rsthand. 41. Intrinsic Motivation The drive to learn something new has to come from within you. There is no one else besides you who can push you as hard as you can. 42. Openness to new ideas Know your biases and avoid prejudice. New ideas are to be admired and combined not thrown away. 43. Critical Thinking There are many cargo cults and false gods in UX. You need to be able detect and avoid them. And critical thinking helps with that. 44. Now lets move on from what we built the UX Academy upon to how we built what we could in the old world call the curriculum. What topics we chose and how much time are we spending on each one. ! The course consists of 9 weekends spread over the course of one year. 45. UX as a practice in general User Research Information Architecture Interaction Design Usability Testing and working with devs Measurement and validation UX Management There are seven topics we touch during the course. User Research and Interaction Design get two weekends each. 46. warm-up mayhem party mayhem The structure of each weekend should be pretty familiar to you. ! I like to call the weekends mini-UX camps. We start with a warm-up party on Friday evening, continued by one day of an intense learning experience on Saturday. We follow up with one more party with yet another day of intense learning on Sunday. 47. Each day ends with a retrospective where we openly discuss what worked and what needs to be improved. And not everything is roses and unicorns. Were learning and improving as we go. This is what matters. 48. Weekend 1 UX Practice Weekend 2 User Research, part 1 Weekend 3 User Research, part 2 At this point in time were past three of the nine weekends. To understand another key aspect of UX Academy Ill go into little bit more detail on the opening weekend. ! The rst weekend that took place in late April was a great experience. We discussed what it takes to be a designer and how do different environments look like. ! More than about describing the UX Academy is about experiences. As they have the power to transform you. 49. I had few of those as well. And they changed me in ways I did not expect nor anticipate. ! One of those moments happened on a sunny day in May 2011? I still remember that workshop like it was yesterday. ! First we did a Design Studio workshop. Sketched alone and in groups. And when we went past the fourth iteration Russ Unger started packing something into plastic bags. I thought whats that about? What do we need these plastic bags for? 50. And then it came. We were said to take our designs, leave the building, nd participants, walk them through the design while recording them. What an adrenaline that was cannot be properly expressed using words. You would have to experience it yourself. ! At that day something changed within me. I started to have this voice inside my head that would push me forward. Telling me to go and do research before I start designing. Always. ! So we subjected the students to the same experience. 51. Many students shared they almost wanted to quit on the spot and go home. Fortunately no one did. They performed well and what they went through seemed to reach the goal. To transform their view about user research more than any textbook ever could. 52. This is the shopping mall that we sent them to. 53. Some of them ended up on the nearby bus station. 54. Fast forward to today. Were currently past the third weekend.The initial one plus two weekends full of research. They have seen or tried basic methods and techniques including interviews, surveys as well as more advanced ones such as Product Reaction Cards of Personas. 55. Yes, indeed. Theres more. There are two other major factors that we try to use in the favor of our students. 56. Most of you experienced designers probably have your own library of design books. In cooperation with mentors and lecturers, we are building a personal library of each student. ! And were trying to help them work reading into their daily schedule. Without that no amount of books in the world would help them learn anything. ! The other factor that speaks for the success of our students are mentors. 57. Each student has his own mentor for one year. And we guarantee at least 40 hours of mentoring. Mentors and mentees get together regularly every week. And its up to the mentee to bring up anything he wants to discuss with his mentor. I am personally mentoring two students and its been a great experience for me. 58. And this is the future of education. Perfectly balanced mix of knowledge, practice and reection. And most importantly experiences that change the way you think. 59. For a designer there is nothing more rewarding than designing these pure experiences that help people achieve their goals! Thank you for reading this far. If you want to get involved, use the #futureofuxed hashtag on Twitter :) Or visit our Facebook community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/715128451967385/