IEEE Computer Society and GBC/ACM

7:00 PM, Thursday, January 20, 2011

IBM Innovation Center, 404 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA

The Anatomy of a Design Decision

Jared M. Spool, Founding Principal, User Interface Engineering

jaredspool What are the habits of highly effective design teams? The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the quality of your decisions. Where do they come from?

For the last five years, we've been studying how designers make their decisions. When do they use outside information, such as research about their users? When do they go with their gut instinct? When do the designers look to past decisions and the lessons they've learned?

What we found will surprise you. In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You'll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst.

If youíve ever seen Jared speak about usability, you know that heís probably the most effective, knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. What you probably donít know is that he has guided the research agenda and built User Interface Engineering into the largest research organization of its kind in the world. Heís been working in the field of usability and design since 1978, before the term "usability" was ever associated with computers. Jared spends his time working with the research teams at the company, helps clients understand how to solve their design problems, explains to reporters and industry analysts what the current state of design is all about, and is a top-rated speaker at more than 20 conferences every year. He is also the conference chair and keynote speaker at the annual User Interface Conference, is on the faculty of the Tufts University Gordon Institute, and manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time.

The IBM Innovation Center < https://www-304.ibm.com/isv/spc/waltham.htm> is located at 404 Wyman Street, Waltham. There is free parking in the garage at the north end of the building. To reach the meeting room, walk out the front of the garage and around to your right to the front door of the building. Directions to the room will be available when you sign in at the front desk.

We will be taking Jared to dinner at the Green Papaya after the talk at about 9pm.

Up-to-date information about this and other talks is available online at https://ewh.ieee.org/r1/boston/computer/. You can sign up to receive updated status information about this talk and informational emails about future talks at https://mailman.mit.edu/mailman/listinfo/ieee-cs, our self-administered mailing list.

For more information contact Peter Mager (p.mager at computer.org)

Updated: November 2, 2010.