Presenting at BayCHI: Christian’s Greatest Hits

A few hours ago, on Tuesday, January 13th, 2009, I had the privilege of presenting as the final speaker at the BayCHI monthly event at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) auditorium.  The topic?  Christian’s Greatest Hits from the past 10 years.

Well, they are not necessarily my hits – just important work and insights in the field of user experience research that I think are really important for any practitioner to know and understand.  In this talk, I covered the following:

  • The User Research Landscape
  • Qualitative Validity
  • User Research Classes
  • Desirability
  • True Intent Studies
  • User Experience and Strategy

A PDF version of the presentation can be found here (also listed in the Publications sections of this site).

What was great about the experience for me was having everyone come up afterward and, after saying some nice things, provide some really useful suggestions.  Among the comments I got, here are a few notable ones:

  • In the Landscape slide (number 20), the term “data mining” is not strictly a behavioral method (could be applied to any type of data set.  (Nice catch, Garett.)
  • The term “Utility” doesn’t necessarily equate to “meeting needs”.  What’s at the core of user experience (see slide 36) needs to be better fleshed out.  Some suggestions I got:  Utility (as is);  Value;  Usefulness.
  • The term “Attitudinal” might be better replaced “Self-Reported” as one end of the data source dimension (see slide 20).
  • Culture isn’t really dealt with in this presentation.

The wide range of meaning behind the term “Desirability” (see slides 44-46) suggests that we, as an industry, need to lock down what we mean or choose another term, like Enjoyability, Engagement, Emotional connection, Addiction (yes, this was a suggestion), Aesthetics, and the like.  In this talk, I was able to describe the usage and research of Desirability from the past and then point out how variable we are when using the term.

I will be presenting a version of this talk in a Webinar on January 29, 2009, published by Rosenfeld Media.  Should be interesting.

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