About Practical UX Design

Practical UX design is a seminar about user centered design, lean method and framework based on these approaches. It’s dedicated to companies and individuals from ICT, design, marketing or management sector who are new to UX design or they’re looking to expand their knowledge in field. Seminar is organized in 15 lessons totaling 12 hours. The concept of seminar is based of my development method. I wrote the seminar program during 2015 and started teaching it in the form of course in a private school in Belgrade, Serbia. Later, I started organizing seminar at local IT companies. I update the program every month with fresh examples, new research findings and other relevant data. Practical UX also focuses on analysis of a specific project or case study, creation of various UX deliverables and user testing. So far, seminar has been attended by more than 500 people from more than 100 different companies, their feedback has been very positive.

Business development and user centered approach

Business development, lean method and user experience have something in common and that’s user. There is a widespread belief that if we build a product, users will come. While I’m sure this might have worked for someone, I believe that more sensible, scientific approach is to realize we’re just programmers, designers, stakeholders and get to know our user, develop empathy and understand his pain points, behavior and attitude. Both lean method and UX design offer frameworks and tools to facilitate research, data analysis, planning, development and user testing, so it was easy to combine them in my seminar. UX isn’t some esoteric discipline detached from real world, that’s why my goal is to present it as a necessary, functional, tangible part of a successful business.

The goal

Practical UX design has three goals.
The first one is to understand what UX designer does daily. We cover the basics of

  • User-Centered Design
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Information Architecture
  • User Research
  • Data Analysis
  • Interaction Design
  • User Testing
  • UX Deliverables
  • Project Management
  • and more

We also study common practices, successful solutions, conclusions and examples of key opinion leaders from the field, analyze websites and applications from the point of UX design, discuss research, planning and development related to specific projects, and learn about latest trends in technology and programming in order to understand technical limits. I hope people who attend seminar can help correct popular misconception that UX is same as UI and eradicate “UX/UI” description as semantically incorrect and fundamentally wrong.

UIUX

The second goal is to present through examples benefits of user-centered design and its effect on growth, Customer Retention Rate, Customer Lifetime Value, daily and monthly activity and other business success metrics. By following these metrics and other Key Performance Indicators, we can measure the success of our solution, detect problems and react accordingly. This way we have detailed insight on return of investment in UX.
The last goal is to enable people who attend seminar to go back to their company and immediately use everything they learned on their product. Practical UX offers knowledge, framework and a set of tools that that can be used by almost anyone, the only prerequisites are curiosity, ability to develop empathy and understand problems from the user’s perspective.

research

The program

Practical UX is divided in 15 lessons with total duration of 12 hours. There is a lot of information in seminar, so usually it’s divided into 3-6 parts over the span of one week. Here is partial description of the program.

  • Introduction – we discuss UX basics and general problems related to development of user experience such as, who is the customer, interaction between user and product, what is success and other.
general questions
  • Design and emotions – analyzing various examples of aesthetically pleasing products and their performance versus usable but not aesthetically pleasing products.
  • Cognitive psychology – lots of examples and info from research studies related to human-computer interaction. We also analyze usability heuristics and mental models.
  • Development framework – this is my approach to implementing UX in product development. It’s divided into research, data analysis, planning, deliverables, development and testing.
  • Research – covering behavioral and attitudinal research methods, finding participants, body language basics, assuring success and benefits of data analysis.
  • Planning – we talk about project management agile method, idea generating techniques, content strategy, information architecture, management and organizational tools. We discuss these topics, try to figure which method is best suited for specific project and we perform few exercises.
cardsorting
  • UX deliverables – creating various deliverables, such as user flow, storyboards, personas and sometime others like user stories, user scenarios, use cases, user journeys… We specifically focus on prototype creation and testing, and present different ways to create prototypes with paper, apps or HTML/CSS code.
wireframe
  • Development – we concentrate more on design side and less on programming. Although we discuss various front-end and JS frameworks, their pros and cons, responsive and adaptive design, browser and device compatibility, we focus more on UI patterns, media optimization, optimistic actions, interstate anxiety, empty states, onboarding and other often neglected elements of product. We also discuss best practices regarding Android and iOS UI design.
  • User testing – covering different types of tests and analyzing popular testing services. Special attention is dedicated to organizing UX lab and running tests.
  • Dark patterns – reviewing lot of examples and reminding everyone that knowledge we get from this seminar should be used to make user’s life easier.
dark pattern

Future plans

Thanks to the positive feedback, I received so far regarding seminar I decided to create video seminar, probably in collaboration with Udemy. I still have to figure out some logistic problems regarding exercises and presenting examples, but once it’s finished I should be able to complete videos and make them available. Contact me for additional info or possible collaboration.

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