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Monday, April 30 • 15:20 - 16:05
Design Primer for Agile Teams (Basia Coulter)

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Tech companies are increasingly investing in design. To stay relevant and competitive in a digital age, in which new technologies come and go faster than we fully learn how to use them, prioritizing design and user experience (UX) is simply good business.
While many development teams customize their Agile processes to make room for design and UX, design continues to be the first on a chopping block if cuts are made to a project. “We could make it look nicer, but it’s working,” continues to be an all too common rationale. And it’s hard to argue with such statements in the context, in which “working software is the primary measure of progress.”
Design, including visual, user interface (UI), and UX design, is not, however, about making things look nicer. Design is a tool we employ to plan and modify systems in order to make them work better. It is also a language, a means of communication. In the case of software development, UX design is about planning and modifying the system to best fit user mental models, while visual and UI design are tools used to communicate the resulting functionality to the user through an interface. Design improves experience by reducing cognitive load and facilitating decision-making processes, and it helps make software usable. After all, the value of “working software” is limited if that software does not work for the end user.
This talk is meant for all members of Agile development teams, from developers (including embedded user experience designers) to product owners, and for designers working with Agile teams, who are interested in understanding how design harnesses the properties of human perception and cognition to communicate meaning and support comprehension.
Basia will discuss selected elements of human perception and cognition, including pattern recognition, Gestalt principles, mental models, and decision-making, demonstrate how they are leveraged in visual and UI design, and what implications they have for user experience.

Learning Outcomes:
  • Participants will walk away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for design, a greater design awareness, an ability to identify design principles critical for delivering interfaces that works for end users, and the underlying properties of human cognition.


avatar for Basia Coulter

Basia Coulter

UX Designer, Caktus Group
Neuroscientist turned UX designer, Basia is passionate about UX research, UX strategy, and leveraging properties of human cognition to build experiences that address user needs.

Monday April 30, 2018 15:20 - 16:05 CDT
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