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The AYCL Blog

Learn about what’s new, what’s coming, and find blasts from the past.

Watch Dana Chisnell's Preview: Insights from Recruiting

December 15, 2015
by Jared Spool

Real user research — the kind that doesn't waste everybody's time — means finding qualified people whose feedback shapes your business. That involves a more strategic recruiting process; one that might be shorter and less budget-intensive than you think. Dana Chisnell knows what it takes to get the right people for a research study, by using open-ended interviews with respondents instead of screening questionnaires.



In this seminar, Dana will teach you her repeatable process for finding and interviewing real users to get great data.

Watch Margot Bloomstein's Preview: Controlling the Pace of UX with Content Strategy

December 8, 2015
by Jared Spool

Good content guides us, helps us focus, and encourages us to explore: it helps us make better choices and have more positive memories of an experience. In Controlling the Pace of UX with Content Strategy, Margot Bloomstein will share how companies use content to control and focus users' attention.

In Contolling the Pace, Margot will show you how brands structure conversations to help their target audiences make decisions. With her as your guide, you'll start identifying the content hurdles that are preventing your users from feeling satisfied.

Watch Leah Buley's Preview: Research & Design for the UX Team of One

December 1, 2015
by Jared Spool

In Research & Design for the UX Team of One, Leah Buley captures strategies to help small teams structure realistic processes that integrate with their existing workflows. She walks us through a repeatable process for any team to follow, whether in-house or remote. You’ll get practical discovery and planning techniques, plus some tips for collaborating with colleagues on UX research, design, and testing.

Even if you’re on a teeny design team—or the solo voice at your org—you can make great UX designs. Let Leah show you how.

Cultivating Curiosity

November 30, 2015
by Jared Spool

You may turn your nose up at Honey Boo Boo, Justin Bieber, and all things Twilight, but a certain level of pop culture awareness is a necessary part of being an effective designer. Besides, “There’s a difference between knowing about something and loving it,” says Steve Portigal, author of Interviewing Users: How to Uncover Compelling Insights.

Cultivating your curiosity means exploring the world that your users inhabit, understanding the currents of meaning that swirl around them. It can help you identify their pain points, problems, and expectations. It creates empathy. And, it allows you to connect with your users in ways that move your research forward.

Of course we’re not saying that you should fake enthusiasm for things that you loathe. Your users can pick up on that from a mile away. Just stay open to understanding why your users love what they love.

Adapted from "Culture: You’re Soaking In It," a Virtual Seminar by Steven Portigal.

New to the library: Teaching UX, a presentation by Fred Beecher

November 12, 2015
by Jared Spool

Junior designers are hungry to learn. The experience, knowledge, and wisdom you take for granted may be just what they need to master in order to move into more senior positions. And the benefits of mentorship go both ways. In Teaching UX Fred Beecher shows you how to find your next design MVP, how to leverage usability testing as a teaching tool, and how to be an effective mentor. Most of all, he'll convince you that investing your time, energy, and effort in the next generation of UX designers is the most valuable contribution you can make to the UX field.

  • Identify potential UX talent
  • Find compelling UX projects
  • Leverage the educational power of usability testing
  • Learn effective mentoring skills

So you've identified some UX talent in your organization?  Let Fred help you cultivate it with this presentation. Take advantage of the All You Can Learn Library team pricing.

Use the Power of the Brave New Web

November 10, 2015
by Jared Spool

The most dangerous phrase in a language is we've always done it that way.
— Grace Hopper

For over 20 years, websites have followed the same general pattern. Headers, footers, sidebars, all laid out in an orderly rectangle. When screen sizes grew from 640–800 pixels, designers filled the extra space with sidebar content.

This content was, according to Jen Simmons, “the original way to find things.” But over the past two decades, the sidebar has become something to be ignored. Does that mean that designers stopped including them in their designs? Nope. Because we’re stuck in a rut.

We don’t have to be, says Jen. We have the power to float text, wrap it around images, or pour it into text “boxes” that aren’t boxes at all. They can be ovals, circles, diamonds, and more. The power to do this exists today. If we’re not using it, we’re missing out.

Adapted from “Innovation and the Power of the Web,” a Virtual Seminar by Jen Simmons

Watch Nathan Curtis' Preview: Cohesive Design Systems for Enterprise

October 23, 2015
by Jared Spool

In Cohesive Design Systems for Enterprise, Nathan Curtis demonstrates how to approach design systems and standards across products, teams, and organizations to produce cohesive user experiences at scale. You’ll gain an appreciation for the core of the design system and understand how to promote its value throughout your organization.

If you want to learn how to navigate the system and bond your design community, this seminar is for you.

New to the library: Modern Layouts - Getting Out of Our Ruts, a presentation by Jen Simmons

October 22, 2015
by Jared Spool

We’re in a rut. Web design solves problem by mirroring what’s always been done. This means reusing the same layouts again and again. And again. But it doesn’t have to be this way! In Modern Layouts: Getting Out of Our Ruts, Jen Simmons rallies web professionals to take a fresh approach.

Attend this seminar if you want to:

  • Find inspiration beyond what already exists
  • Use the ideas you had but didn’t think you could use on the web
  • Shake up your layouts with tools available today
  • Create something beautiful and fresh

Would your entire team benefit from Jen's solutions? Take advantage of the All You Can Learn Library team pricing.

Avoid Painful Power Struggles

October 16, 2015
by Jared Spool

According to Cennydd Bowles, co-author of Undercover User Experience Design, there are two varieties of power problems. They represent the two possible extremes of organizational power structures.

Flat structures are the flavor du jour. No hierarchy and everyone has an equal vote. Sounds good on paper, but when you have to design by committee, things get ugly fast. One way to handle this type of structure is to ask stakeholder teams to appoint representatives.

If you’re dealing with a HIPPO (Highest Paid Person in the Office) scenario, you’ve got to tailor your pitch to his or her business interests. Or, you can put your ninja powers of persuasion to work and convince the HIPPO to delegate some decisions. Either way, make sure your schedule accommodates any potential delays for sign-offs and reviews.

Adapted from UX Design when Time, Money, and Support is Limited, a virtual Seminar by Cennydd Bowles.

The Most Watched UX Presentations in the All You Can Learn Library - September and October  

October 16, 2015
by Jared Spool

Here are the most watched recordings from the All You Can Learn Library over the past 30 days.

A User-centered Approach to Product Planning and Visioning, with Christine Perfetti

Designing Remotely, with Jim Kalbach

Voice and Tone: Creating Content for Humans, with Kate Kiefer Lee

Story Mapping for UX Practitioners: Tying Agile & UX Together, with Jeff Patton

Get More From User Research, with Kim Goodwin

The Why and How of Successful Style Guides, with Brad Frost

Get at these and hundreds more with your access to the All You Can Learn Library.

New to the All You Can Learn Library: Hiring for Building UX Teams, a presentation by Kim Goodwin

October 16, 2015
by Jared Spool

Convincing an organization to invest in growing a UX team is an achievement worth celebrating! Once the glow of that success fades, though, most leaders realize that hiring for an effective UX team is incredibly difficult. In Finding the Perfect Fit: Hiring for Building (and Joining) UX Teams, Kim Goodwin teaches you how to build successful agency and in-house teams.

Attend this seminar if you want to:

  • Match your hiring plan to your real needs
  • Make better hiring decisions with less time invested
  • Involve the team to increase your flow of good candidates

Get access to Kim's recording and 225 other UX presentations, for just $23 a month, with your All You Can Learn subscription.