As our industry matures, there’s been an evolution in attitude toward design. From Google to startups, there’s a burgeoning belief that the competitive advantage lies in user experience. That said, most of us don’t work with trained user experience designers. On small or dev-focused teams, we need to be scrappy, and often it’s developers and engineers who make crucial user experience decisions—from workflows to errors to labels. Regardless of your team composition, having some rock-solid user experience principles will help improve the products you build and make your users’ wildest dreams come true.
Okay, maybe that’s a stretch, but they’ll definitely be glad you’re willing to give them some love.
Josh Clark and Mike Biglan give you some tools to use so that you, as a developer, can be a UX beast. They explore how to nurture curiosity as a means of understanding the user; how to leverage psychology, including decision science, in the process of developing workflows; how to communicate and argue well; and how to become a UX developer unicorn—winning friends and influencing people (including your boss) to become a more valuable and critical member of any team.
Josh Clark is the design director at Twenty Ideas, and he’s just like you. He builds digital products for a wide variety of users—you know, real people—to use everyday. His goal is to design environments of access so that the excluded can be included, and communities can benefit from their inclusion. He does this by designing mobile and web applications in the healthcare and education sectors. Josh has over a decade of experience working as a frontend developer and alongside developers as a UX/UI designer, and he believes that the best teams are those who can stay focused on the people they make products for and listen to what they need. In his spare time, Josh loves getting mistaken for Sam Tarly, John Snow’s friend in Game of Thrones, and being a pathetic excuse for a potter. He has a BA from Valparaiso University and studied semiotics, culture, and literature at Portland Seminary.
An avid technologist, Mike Biglan is the founder and CEO of Oregon-based Twenty Ideas, a company that builds elaborate products and platforms, nurturing them from ideation to launch and beyond. With a range of experiences from statistics to education and psychology to economics—and with expertise rooted from leading hundreds of projects, Mike leads the Twenty Ideas team to guide successful new projects and products for organizations such as the XPRIZE and Avant Assessment. Forged as a developer, he’s worked with a variety of languages, frameworks, and technologies touching on software architecture, coding, AI, machine learning, and DevOps. Previously, Mike was head of technology of Silicon Valley startup Joya, the creator of Marco Polo App. Mike earned his BA in economics at the University of Chicago and his MS in computer science and engineering at the University of California San Diego. He’s served on a variety of boards and spoken several times at OSCON.
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