It was truly humbling being invited to conduct two workshop sessions in the i-USEr Unbounded 2016 Conference. Taking place on the campus of Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka (UTeM) in the city of Melaka, it was not only an incredible opportunity to share my experiences with attendees, but also for myself to soak in the conference presentations, experience the university first hand and be in Melaka to enjoy a truly incredible city and its delicious foods.
From the first moment I’d arrived to the conference, I was immersed into intriguing presentations on a broad range of topics; studies on programmable mouses for gains in efficiency of tasks; analysis on how the elderly use online supermarkets; research about impacts of e-learning on autistic spectrum children… each session exposed me to a wealth of HCI applications that drew me from the day-to-day corporate projects I typically live, so enriching.
Prior to conducting my workshops on the third day, a tranquil walk through the beautiful campus was enlightening. The feeling of the campus was warm, friendly, inviting and beautiful. Its modern buildings, rolling landscapes and water features felt as though it would be a wonderful place for students to study and learn. Having gone to schools in my early years that more resembled army bunkers than places of learning, I certainly appreciated the surroundings.
The first workshop I conducted, entitled Just Right Usability Testing, took attendees through the essentials of moderated usability testing. In particular, what I coin “Just Right” usability testing, as a response to the many people I’ve encountered in the past that said they’d struggled to introduce usability testing into their businesses typicality due to time, cost and resource concerns. By finding a perfect middle ground between doing very rudimentary guerrilla testing, and more formalised lab testing, you’d harness the cost efficiencies of one, and valuable user insights of the other.
After going through the details on how to prepare, conduct and analyse the findings of testing, attendees were given the opportunity to conduct their own mini usability tests. The session was a great chance for them to dry run getting comfortable interacting with test participants, recording their observations and trending their findings. I thoroughly enjoyed watching everyone navigate their way through the process for their first time, and many insights were gained about the usability of the products they chose that only testing could reveal.
The conference wrapped up with my last session, The Mall Builder Workshop. It examined modern mall design and whether it speaks to our human desires and the demands of contemporary consumers. Attendees were taken on a journey exploring various retail and venue designs that demonstrated alignment or misalignment with us as a species. Specifically highlighting how particular elements of design impact emotional state.
Afterwards they were invited to unleash their creativity to imagine a mall concept that disrupts the status quo. In teams they formulated and designed their ideal mall floor plans and accompanying storyboards that highlighted key features. It was a fun and energetic session, with fascinating mall designs that came from their efforts. Thoroughly enjoyable.
To everyone that was involved in putting the i-USEr Unbounded 2016 conference together and assisting me in my involvement, my tremendous appreciation to all of you for your efforts and great kindness at every moment of the event. My thanks and gratitude goes out to many people from the university, Professor Nor Laila, Dr Afdallyna Fathiyah Harun, Ahmad Iqbal Hakim Suhaimi and Dr. Jasber Kaur.
I also wish to thank all the people that attended my workshops, hope they enjoyed and benefited from the experience. To the keynote speakers Professor Steve Benford and Professor Adrian David Cheok, I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations, they were rich in thought provoking and genuinely interesting perspectives – what an absolute delight. And a very special thanks to Professor Laila, who kindly reached out to me in Jakarta and offered me the chance for this all to happen.
Download Slide Deck (PDF): Just Right Usability Testing by Jon Deragon Workshop
- Challenges of gaining acceptance for testing
- Basics of usability testing
- Usability testing process explained
- Workshop instructions
Download Slide Deck (PDF): Mall Builder by Jon Deragon Workshop
- Analysis of modern mall designs
- Photographic examples of design that speak to human desires and needs
- Workshop instructions