UX Boot Camp Sessions

The UX Boot Camp takes an innovative approach to education, comprising hands-on workshops, detailed presentations by leading authorities, and an expert panel from leaders in the UX community. Please note that topics listed below may be slightly modified based on participants' backgrounds and current needs. Continental breakfast and lunch are included in each day's schedule.

User Experience as Strategic Advantage

This session examines the changing marketplace for technology products and the role of the user experience as a competitive advantage. We will consider how to leverage your investment in the user experience strategy to every touch-point with the customer, assuring a consistent and appropriate total customer experience. Numerous case studies from diverse industries will serve as a basis for this presentation.

Elements of the User Experience

This session examines the sensory and psychological aspects of the user experience. We begin by considering the design of the sensory experience. We directly relate how the sensory scene is processed and organized to the processing of that information in the mind. We then consider the role of the user’s mental model in assigning meaning to the sensory scene and the role of prior knowledge in top-down processing. We further examine the role of high-value cognitive processes such as decision making, learning and search. Finally we’ll consider the role of memory and how we can better manage cognitive workload through more efficient designs.

User Research and Definition

This session focuses on the process of conducting diligent user requirements gathering. Building on the preceding session that identifies universal interaction behaviors, here we discuss key methods applied in user research and field studies, to identify contextual variables critical to a successful user experience. We focus on the importance of defining the user population with standard methodologies ranging from market segmentation to personas. To conclude this session and prepare for design implementation, we will learn how to translate requirements from users and key stakeholders into communicable inputs for design.

Design Implementation

This session implements the previously defined user requirements by exploring the potential design space and discovering opportunities for innovation. We examine the design stages, techniques, and real-world examples through hands-on design and prototype development. Student teams generate scenarios and storyboards, providing a foundation to synthesize features into logical areas comprising an information architecture. Teams explore the relationship between content types and navigational metaphors to iteratively create designs that maximize the efficiency of content, presentation, and interaction. Teams then share, critique, and defend their progress to identify revisions before usability assessments.

Validation and Evaluation

Throughout the design process and particularly in the final stages of design, the product must be evaluated to ensure it meets the user, business and technical requirements. This session examines the benefits and mechanics of testing and distinguishes between formative, summative and competitive protocols. Participants will have the opportunity to design, facilitate-observe a test in our newly renovated User Experience Center. Teams will learn to analyze the test results, prioritize findings, and make research-supported recommendations. The session will consider remote testing technologies, heuristic reviews, and cognitive walkthroughs as alternatives to traditional lab-based assessments.

Process Improvements and Success Metrics

In addition to the primary benefits to the user community, a successful user experience strategy must also deliver returns to the development organization through measurable process improvements and a subsequent reduction in development costs. The week-long session closes out with a discussion on the importance of accountability in the user experience lifecycle.