Our Workshops

Discovering User Needs: Field Techniques You Can Use
As companies expand their user-centered design practices, many are venturing outside their usability labs to visit people where they actually do their work. These field visits bring new insights into true customer needs, working environments, and social situations.

This 2-day workshop is an in-depth exploration of how to plan and conduct a field study, how to do a detailed task analysis, and how to conduct contextual interviews. It includes creative ideas for collecting and using data, as well as tips for planning and conducting the visits. Throughout the course, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions, discuss their own methods, and exchange experiences. The instructor will present case study examples, and there will be many exercises designed to give participants practice using techniques.

The class will be divided into teams of 4 - 6 people. The exercises will be based on a case study of the course organizer's choice. Teams will use the case study to practice planning a field study, gathering data, and analyzing data. The course stresses active participation; more than 50% of the class time will be spent in discussion and exercises.

User-centered Design and Prototyping
Today's interactive systems are becoming increasingly complex. To build a successful and integrated human interface, interface designers must gather user input at all stages of design, particularly in the initial stages when the tasks of the system are defined.

By involving users of the potential system throughout the design process, interface designers can direct system development to meet the needs of users. An interface design team made up of professionals from different disciplines and with varying skills, including graphic design, psychology, and software expertise, helps to ensure an interface that meets the needs of its potential users.

The best way to learn how to design interfaces is to practice building them. This 2-day class provides hands-on experience through exercises in interface construction, including task analysis, techniques for visualization and rapid prototyping, usability testing, and design iteration. Class lectures cover methods and approaches to user-centered interface design. Step-by-step guidelines for interface design and prototyping are presented with example interfaces drawn from the instructor's experience.

Usability Testing Workshop
The best measure of any design is to have the intended users of the product test it. This course is a 2-day in-depth training workshop that takes participants beyond the basics of usability testing. Over the 2-day course, participants will prepare their own test materials, practice running an actual usability study, record data, and analyze results. Participants will work in teams, taking turns at the various usability roles. There will be ample opportunity to ask questions, to critique each other's skills as they practice, and to become confident in the role of usability test administrator. Volunteers from outside the class will be recruited to act as test participants for the class exercises.

The Art of GUI Design
Good design makes for engaging products that are easy to use, allowing people to be more productive. The designers' responsibility is to be the users' voice in the development process. GUI platforms and programming tools make it easy for most anyone to lay out user interfaces, but those who are not versed in design risk creating difficult-to-use software, because design is more than layout. This 2-day course covers taking a problem from high-level conceptual design through interaction and visual design to screen layout. Design principles and elements are discussed, along with GUI control usage. Participants will practice what they learn through design exercises.