Jared Spool

Jared Spool took UX to a new level in 1988 when he launched UIE. And by, "to a new level," we mean "validated UX as a vital component of our work, then spent the next 25 years conducting research and writing tirelessly to keep validating it."

Fortunately, for users everywhere, his continued efforts are still paying off.

Jared often can be found onstage, where he captivates crowds with stunning data that reveal how UX can affect a company’s bottom line. He's helped thousands of companies worldwide to increase their profits, identify interaction failures, and integrate UX research and design into their product development cycles.

Reaching designers is a priority, too—aside from these virtual seminars, Jared and the UIE team organize annual conferences chock full of hands-on, practical workshops led by the best industry minds around.

One last thing: Jared is a masterful storyteller with a seemingly endless supply of energy and practical advice, too. He rarely takes the spotlight for our virtual seminars, so this will sell out fast—snag your spot now.

Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

It’s a Great Time To Be a UX Designer

There’s never been a better time to be a designer. After years of wishing we’d have the recognition and appreciation for the value we bring, we’re now highly sought after for our talents and skills. A growing number of organizations have seen success through great design, from Apple to Cirque de Soleil to the White House. Others now want to get the same results. The demand for great designers has never been better.

Yet, as the proverb says, "Be careful for what you wish for, lest it become true." Now that everyone expects us to deliver great things, are we ready? While we’re presented with more opportunities than ever, we also have increased challenges.

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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Search, Scent, and the Happiness of Pursuit

You’ll learn to…

  • Form a search implementation strategy around your customer's mission (and why that's the fastest way to success)
  • Find a hidden resource on your server that shows you exactly how to make search more effective
  • Understand why focusing on "searchers" is a design strategy that gets teams into trouble
  • Put together your own Search benchmark test, that will give you regular feedback on how well you're doing
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

The Road to Informed Decisions

You’ll learn to…

  • Tailor specialized research techniques, such as Five-Second Tests and Inherent-Value Tests
  • Build out your analysis toolbox, with easy-to-execute techniques, such as conducting a pair-wise comparison or building a weighted decision matrix
  • Bring your entire team to consensus on the most important design issues in under an hour
  • Compare multiple design alternatives using solid user research quickly and cost effectively
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Testing Your Critiquing Skills: Site Navigation

You’ll learn to…

  • Encourage other team members to use critique to look at other on-going work
  • Use critique to encourage designers to become introspective and revisit underlying precepts of their design
  • Give great critique and encourage the designer to be receptive and engaged in the discussion, instead of being defensive and argumentative
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Galleries: The Hardest Working Pages on Your Site

You’ll learn to…

  • Utilize the Scent of Information to ensure the user’s trigger words are present
  • Understand how galleries help users make confident choices
  • Identify the key elements that search result pages borrow from the average gallery (and what makes them different)
  • Use strategies for ordering links for easy findability. (Hint: Alphabetical order isn’t one of them!)
  • Know when images help and when they get in the way
  • Understand how dynamic Ajax elements can help or hinder a user finding what to click on
  • Take advantage of when users are scanning and when they are reading
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Strike Up the Brand: How Smart Design Can Strengthen Your Brand

You’ll learn to…

  • Recognize the two important outcomes of branding efforts -- affinity and dispositional returns
  • Understand why 'message' branding doesn't strengthen engagement, but 'experience' branding does
  • Understand the important role that user experience research plays in the design process for branding
  • Measure brand engagement to show the effects of a design
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Building Robust Personas in 30 Days or Less

When design teams take advantage of personas, they see faster development times and better quality products. The entire team is on the same page, resulting in designs that satisfy the actual needs of real users.

However, if you've never developed personas before, the task ahead can look daunting and overwhelming. But it doesn't have to be. Based on UIE's research into state-of-the-art development practices of today's most successful teams, you can learn the secrets to building robust personas in 30 days or less.

In this presentation, usability and design expert, Jared M. Spool, will walk through an easy-to-accomplish 30 day plan for developing your own persona-based scenarios. He'll tackle each of the four development stages: gathering the field research, analyzing the data, building the personas and their scenarios, and integrating the results into the development process. You'll learn how to be up and running with your own personas with only a small team and some easy-to-acquire resources.

Gathering the Field Research: Quality results from field research doesn't have to be complicated or time consuming. With the right preparation and an attentive team, you can quickly and easily collect valuable data in less than a week. Jared will show you how to decide how many folks to visit, who they should be, and how to prepare for meeting them. He'll talk about the best ways to collect information and how to best involve other team members.

Analyzing the Data: With a few simple techniques, we can quickly organize the seemingly chaotic field data into the coherent patterns we need to create our personas and their scenarios. Jared will demonstrate several techniques from the analysis toolkit, including pair-wise comparisons, KJ Analyses, and weighted charts. He'll show you quick and easy methods for sorting, organizing, and identifying the trends and insights you discovered in your study.

Building the Personas and Their Scenarios: By taking good notes and following a few simple steps, writing up the personas can be both fast and fun. Jared will show you how robust personas utilize the elements uncovered in the research and analysis, making their creation easily flow from your pen (or keyboard). Jared will walk through several effective techniques for readying your insights about your users and their needs.

Integrating Personas into the Development Process: The best teams have a ready-made plan as to how they'll infuse their newly created personas and scenarios directly into the existing development process. When integrated well, the personas and scenarios become an important tool for almost every part of the development process, helping ensure the product managers, developers, designers, writers, and quality folks are all measuring the design against the right standards. Jared will share techniques you can use immediately to introduce the personas, walk through the scenarios, and ensure they become fixture of your development process.

As with all of the UIE Virtual Seminars, you'll get a complete handout with plenty of examples and an opportunity to ask Jared those burning questions about how to do this well in your environment. And after this seminar, you'll have the tools in hand to build your own robust personas, in 30 days or less.

This seminar is for any designer, developer, usability professional, or project manager who wants to learn how to improve their design team's productivity with simple and proven techniques.

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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

Web 2.0: The Power Behind the Hype

You’ll learn to…

  • How Web 2.0 works with a walk-through of Flickr, demonstrating how the application's developers integrated Web 2.0 approaches to create an improved user experience for sharing pictures
  • How APIs expand the user experience by allowing outside developers to build supplemental interfaces that are outside the core development team's resources and priorities
  • How RSS brings data to your users on their schedule, allowing them to monitor the portions of the data which are most important to them
  • How Folksonomies (also known as tagging) can enhance the existing data hierarchy, making personally important information easier to retrieve
  • How Social Networking can enhance the users' experience by combining the information and opinions of multiple users into view
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Headshot of Jared Spool
Jared Spool

The Analysis Toolbox: Making Sense of Usability Test and Field Study Data

Are you overwhelmed by the incredible amounts of data you're left with after performing a field study or usability test? Can you effectively analyze the data you've collected, and use your findings to successfully guide your product development process?

Field studies and usability tests produce a vast amount of quality data. However, these techniques produce a vast, often overwhelming, amount of quality data. Interacting with users provides great insights, but making sense of what you've learned is often a huge challenge that many teams find difficult to overcome.

Part of the secret to good data analysis is preparing properly *before* the study begins. Preparing a good set of focus questions, putting together data collection worksheets, and carefully studying participant recruitment will simplify the post-observation analysis. This in turn will help you understand how to spend your observation time more productively. In the first part of this presentation, Jared will walk through these techniques, providing examples as we prepare for a real study.

Once you've collected your observational data, the next challenge is to turn it into information the team can act on. In the second part of our seminar, Jared will explain some classic techniques for turning qualitative observations into quantitative analysis. He'll demonstrate participant pairing to extract attributes, attribute ratings, Pugh diagrams, and the K-J Analysis technique. All of these are essential tools for any team's analysis toolbox.