I’m sure some of you have noticed the radio silence lately — that’s because I’ve been busy preparing for DEVWEEK 2015 this coming week. I am absolutely honored to have been asked and am looking forward to a fantastic week of learning from all the sharp minds sure to be in attendance.

I’ll be doing three sessions; here’s a quick summary of each.

Think first: why great UX starts between your ears
(and not on the screen)

Wednesday 25th March / 11:30 – 13:00

When developers are tasked with improving UX, their focus tends to be on the screen: elements, interactions, workflow — often accompanied by the harried cry of “I’m not a UI designer!” Fortunately, I have good news: you may never be a UI designer – and it doesn’t matter. You can still design great user experiences without a shred of visual design talent. In this session, I’ll show you how changing the way you think about features, functions and implementations can make a massive, positive change in the experience people have with your UI and your product as a whole.

The big lie: why form doesn’t (and shouldn’t) follow function

Thursday 26th March / 16:00 – 17:30

The prescriptive interpretation of “form follows function” has guided the work of engineers, programmers, developers – and even designers – for a very long time. The result of this has been sites, software and systems that exhibit poor usability, frustrating user experiences and a marked failure to deliver expected business results. In this session, I’ll show you why pure function is rarely the single or most important component of success — and you’ll see how every force at play in any project is what really evolves form (and dictates function).

Generating meaningful requirements

Friday 27th March / 09:30 – 17:30

Ask any group of people what they want or need and you’ll find no shortage of opinions or answers. Clients and stakeholders will always have a voluminous laundry list of features and functions, all of which they will insist are equally important. Your clients, employers, project stakeholders and users all share something very important in common: they’re all human beings. And we human beings all have a fundamental flaw: we often make very confident – but equally false – predictions about our future behavior.

So the requirements that will actually be most useful and most valuable – the ones that will increase user adoption or sales, the ones that will make or save money – are almost never surfaced in traditional requirements sessions.

In this workshop, I’ll show you how to change that, along with how to tell the difference between what people say they need and what they actually need. And I’ll also show you how to uncover the things they don’t know they need (but absolutely do).

I’ve written a blog post to give folks a taste of this full-day workshop; you can check it out on the DevWeek 2015 blog.

If you’re headed to #DW2015 as well, I’ll see you there! If not, I will report back as soon as I am stateside. Until then, my best to you all.


Announcing my upcoming book, Think First!

Announcing Think First, the upcoming book on UX strategy from Joe NatoliI truly believe Think First is unlike no other book on the subject of UX strategy. Instead of addressing the narrow, tactical pieces of the design process, Think First shows you everything that must be considered to create great UX — and gives you a roadmap to make it happen.

Think First details my no-nonsense approach to creating  successful products, powerful user experiences and very happy customers.

The book shares lessons learned from my 25 years as a UX consultant to Fortune 100 organizations. You’ll find step-by-step methods and straightforward, jargon-free advice that can be applied to anything you’re designing or building. Here are just some of the things you’ll learn:

  • Simple user research methods that anyone
    can conduct and apply
  • The right questions to ask stakeholders and users
    at the outset of any project
  • The 3 crucial questions you must ask of every
    client, every time
  • How to tell the difference between what people say
    they need
    vs. what they really need
  • A better, simpler way to generate meaningful
    UX requirements 
    at the outset of the project.
  • How to avoid scope creep and the never-ending
    project scenario

Think First will be published in 2015, as an exclusive hardcover edition, eBook and audiobook format for all device platforms. As we move closer to publication, I will share updates and excerpts from Think First — stay tuned!