July 19 meetup: UX Beyond the UI
When we talk about user experience (UX) and software development, we tend to focus on the visual and interactive – user interfaces, graphic design and UX activities such as user research. However, we often forget that UX can be affected by other aspects of software development such as the application code across the stack and even the development process itself.
This talk will cover:
- the importance of UX given the near constant interactions we have with software today
- the impact of software development considerations such as performance, security and reliability on UX
- how a focus on software quality can improve user experience in subtle yet meaningful ways
- how all members of a software development team contribute to user experience
Joe Regan is a UX Designer/Developer for Red Arrow Labs in Milwaukee WI, helping to create technology solutions and great user experiences in the healthcare and life science industries. Prior to his transition into UX, he was a long-time software developer working with iOS, Android, .NET and Java technologies
Here is an interview we conducted with Joe so you can know more about him before attending the meetup.
Where are you currently employed and what is the primary focus of your daily workload?
My primary focus thus far has been UI design for mobile and web apps with a bit of front-end development. I’m hoping to get more involved with user research activities in the future.
How long have you been working as a UX practitioner?
Strictly speaking since April 2015. But I did mobile development for a number of years before that so UI and UX concerns were certainly foremost in my mind then as well.
Tell us about your path to the UX field.
My path to UX could be described as slow in that it took me a number of years before I finally took the leap to commit to a career in UX! I’d guess my path is somewhat atypical too since I came into UX from a developer role.
What are some misconceptions you had about UX before you started working in it?
I’m not so sure I had misconceptions but perhaps an incomplete and evolving understanding of UX. Like many of us, I started at UIs and usability and later came to learn about other facets of UX like user research, information architecture, content strategy and more.
In regards to your July talk, what was there a certain set of circumstances in your professional life that inspired you to talk about this topic?
As I started to learn more about UX while developing mobile applications, I began to see that outside of the UI, the impact of the actual code and the software development process on UX hasn’t fully been examined. There’s a lot going in websites and applications behind the UI, so I hope to delve a little deeper and see how the rest of the software stack can affect UX.
Where else will you be presenting this talk?
I’ll be presenting this talk at That Conference, a developer conference, in the Wisconsin Dells August 8-10. Nervous but excited!
Anything else you’d like people to know about your talk?
Stay for the outtakes after the credits (really!)
Do you have UX book, article or video recommendations for others within the mkeUX community?
As far as books go, anything from A Book Apart is great but I really feel that Eric Meyer’s and Sara Wachter-Boettcher’s Design for Real Life is a very important read for anyone in UX. It discusses designing for stress cases – certainly pertinent for Red Arrow’s work in health care but for everyone else as well given that we interact with software on a near-constant basis.