Posts from "May, 2009"

UXcamp Berlin 09 is over: a first recap

What a weekend! The first UXcamp Berlin is over right now. To me it has been an extraordinary weekend. About 300 people shared two days full of discussions, presentations, networking, and chatting. Although there were many barcamp newbies (maybe half of the participants), there have been many many sessions (Saturday and especially yesterday, on Sunday). The people made this barcamp a very special one. And I’m glad having seen many of our sponsors participating in the sessions and doing their own sessions.

It has been a pleasure seeing all the different groups coming together for one common event: the information architects, the interaction designer, the usability guys, graphics designer, and all the others. I’m happy, that Henning Breu from German UPA has been there. In my opinion it could be a model for the more scientific conferences like Usability Professionals and IA Konferenz to organize one big conference with different tracks. There are differences in the topics of the conferences, but from a broader point of view, they have a lot in common.

At the final session yesterday afternoon I asked the audience three questions, which I’d like to answer in here as well: What I liked? To meet all the great people and see that they enjoyed the UXcamp. What I didn’t like? Well, most sessions lasted almost an hour, which led to the fact that the breaks for networking were quite short. What surprised me? The very positive feedback that we are getting right now and all over the weekend. That was great! (Just have a look at twitter and search for #uxcb09)

Thanks to all participants for this weekend! See you all next year at UXcamp 2010.

New Release – Menu stencil

This week is a tough one. Tonight starts the UXcamp with a get together at St Oberholz and there has been a whole lot of preparation to be done. However, we also deployed a new release last night. There have been quite some new things to mention. First, we added a context menu to multi selection with two features: you can now align several elements in six different ways. Top, center, bottom, and left, middle, right. And you can edit properties for multiple elements at once. All properties that the elements have in common can be modified.

The second big thing is the menu stencil. We have thought a lot about how to make a menu easily editable. After having a look at Axure, we decided that our menu editor should be very lightweight and simple instead of many dialogs. Therefore, we went for a wiki style. You can see a sample in the picture below. You can choose several levels of nested submenus. When you want to set the target page for an entry, just select a piece of text and choose the target page from the dropdown box on top of the edit field. The link will then be inserted.

In case to have to change a link, simply click somewhere between the brackets and you will see the target page selected in the dropdown box (see picture below). You then can change the target page as you like. We know that the page IDs are not ideal and we would have liked to hide them. But this way you can easily use copy paste to swap the menu entries. If you like to point a menu entry to a different location, just exchange the page ID by an external link.

We hope that you like our menus and that the wiki syntax is not too complicated. We plan to extend this mechanism to our text stencil, to allow for having links within a text. Especially tricky will be a table stencil, which we already started working on but aren’t yet happy with it.

This not being enough we also added a phone stencil, to enable you to design apps for mobile phones and having the phone shape already at hand. The phone has three versions, a classic one, a blackberry like and an iPhone like. For the iPhone we also added a keyboard stencil that you can add whenever necessary. However, you can also open a prototype on your iPhone to test the real interactions!

Calculate the ROI of your Usability Work

Just seen on User Effect | Strategic Website Usability blog: a tool to calculate the return on investment of your usability work. Simply add the numbers for # visitors / month, monthly sales, profit per sale, and your costs and you’ll get a table showing you how many months it takes for the payoff in case of different conversion rate improvements.

In case you have to sell your usability projects, you can easily impress your manager with some nice figures.

UXcamp coming up

Just some few more days and the UXcamp is finally starting. There are still plenty of things to do like printing the name tags or preparing the session grid. On the other hand, the main task is done: getting enough sponsors. The UXcamp seems to be a hot topic, judging from the number of sponsors that we were able to acquire and the few days that passed until the list of attendees was full.

Taking a look at the session proposals the weekend is promising to be very exciting. And there seems to be one topic especially interesting to many out there: prototyping. We have proposals for every kind of prototyping and prototyping tools on the list. Paper and Flash, Expression Blend and Axure, Visio and Acrobat. And somewhere on my personal to-do list is the preparation of a pidoco┬░ session. (Although I’m sure we will be mentioned in at least some of those prototyping sessions.)

I’m really looking forward to the UXcamp, especially after half a year of preparation. Let’s have an excellent weekend in Berlin!

For those of you who are going to attend the UXcamp I added some Infos to the German version of this entry.

Meet us at IA Konferenz 09

 16 und 17 Mai

Just one more week and the German IA Konferenz 09 is held in Hamburg (16th and 17th of May). Tino and Philipp will travel to Hamburg to join the conference with a booth and a poster session. The session will be 6.45 pm on Saturday. Although we do not know exactly where our booth will be, it shouldn’t be very difficult to find us. Just follow the white rabbit and get an introduction to our web based prototyping software. You could also meet us for a drink and a chat at the get together on Friday night.

We’d be happy to see you in Hamburg.