One of the trickiest things as a designer (or, really, as a human being) is working with people in real time. Being able to listen, react, persuade, observe, adjust – communicate effectively – is difficult.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could just wave your hand and say “These are the designs you’re looking for….”? Well, my young padawans, being able to understand and be understood is not a magic trick – it is a real, learnable skill. This talk will outline steps I have found useful over the years in teaching others how to understand who you are talking to and help them understand you.

Remember: “If no mistake have you made, yet losing you are, a different game you should play.”-Yoda



Dr. Rebecca Baker 

Rebecca Baker

A usability disciple, quixotic scientist, excellent listener, and writer of mundane fantasies, Dr. Rebecca Baker is a professional storyteller with over 20 publications and 30 speaking engagements on topics ranging from information encapsulation to remote usability testing. With 20+ years of enterprise software experience, she currently leads the world’s most amazing UX team at the Active Network to demystify user experience problems and provide elegant design solutions. The Force is strong with her.

Thank you, everyone for a successful event!

You can download the Power Point here.

The two readings Dr. Backer mentioned are:

  • 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People by Susan Weinschenk

  • Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug

Some additional readings she would suggest, depending on people's interest:

  • Hooked by Nir Eyal - this is a great combination of psychological principles and design.  Nicely put together and a pretty quick read

  • Thinking Fast and Slow - this is a tome, so not for the faint of heart. However, it delves directly into a lot of the research done in how people think and provides lots of great examples that you can leverage in your work.  I recommend this one be done in pieces, with a discussion group at intervals (maybe every two chapters) to improve consumption and retention of the information.

  • GUI Bloopers by Jeff Johnson - GREAT practical examples of the do's and don'ts of design.