Design Essentials for Executives – Behind the ‘Magic’

Anthony Franco (EffectiveUI), Michael Salamon (EffectiveUI)
Location: Conference Room F Level:
Average rating: ***..
(3.80, 5 ratings)

You’ve embarked upon a user experience project – updating your website or creating a Web or mobile app. You know there will be an element of visual and experience design, but do you understand the basics behind why your designers are making the decisions and recommendations they make?

It’s important to understand some design basics in order to communicate effectively with the designers on your team. While many of us have an intuitive feel for what works and what doesn’t, developing a vocabulary to describe your issues and feedback and understanding the techniques required to validate your hunches are important skills in order to ensure the success of your project.

This session goes in-depth on which design techniques and principles ought to be part of every executive’s vernacular. By the end of the session attendees will understand the basics of both high level interaction design and lower-level visual design in a way that maximizes energy and time in the approval process, including:

• Basic design principles to help executives understand a design’s intent. This includes a basic understanding of layout, color theory and typography.
• Design vocabulary, heuristics and analysis techniques
• The difference between information architecture and interaction design, and how both have a critical yet often unseen influence on the development of the end project
• Why incorporating user research is critical to good design

This session is sponsored by EffectiveUI

Photo of Anthony Franco

Anthony Franco


A self-described, “usability fanatic,” Anthony Franco, president of Denver-based EffectiveUI, co-founded his company in 2005 under the core belief that people deserve better software. Anthony has served as a presenter and panelist at many industry trade shows and conferences, including Adobe MAX, Web 2.0 Expo, Microsoft MIX, AJAXWorld Conference & Expo and AlwaysOn Media. Anthony has also written and contributed to several industry white papers, Forrester research reports and articles, and contributed to “Effective UI: The Art of Building Great User Experience in Software,” a book published by O’Reilly Media.

Photo of Michael Salamon

Michael Salamon


Michael Salamon is lead experience architect at EffectiveUI, an award-winning and recognized leader in the design and development of custom desktop, mobile and rich Internet applications.

With more than 20 years’ experience, Michael’s work spans print, Web, mobile, interactive, motion, illustration and animation. With a thorough history in the printing industry, Michael made the move to the Web with the rest of the chunky-black-glasses crowd and helped define interaction methods still used today. His clients have ranged from huge multi-national companies to modest one-person shops, including: Qwest, Quark, Intuit, Cendant (CheapTickets), JCPenney, Home Depot, Cabela’s, Dish Network, Staz, Ci-Ci’s Pizza and Northrop Grumman. He is an adjunct professor for the College of Arts and Media at the University of Colorado Denver.

Comments on this page are now closed.


John Wyatt
10/13/2011 12:37pm EDT

Direct, non-evasive & frank responses to your comments in 30 minutes or less. He’s shaping the UX of his own talk. Nice handle, Sams.

Picture of Michael Salamon
Michael Salamon
10/13/2011 11:10am EDT

Hi Rick, sorry you thought that – but I believe you may mis-quoting me and taking my comment out of context.

It was a response to a question about non-interaction designers forcing bad UX and design on an application. I was trying to offer up a little bit of humor, and point out that strict-graphic designers (typically from the print world) use constructs that don’t relate to digital well, and that these types of people are a dying breed and to not worry about them so much.

For the record, I’m pushing up against 40 and have a traditional print background – and most of my colleagues are too.

I’m sorry if you thought my comment was ageist, it wasn’t meant to be. It was meant to be elitist. It was meant to empower the Interaction Designer with their expertise over the Print Designer with their antiquated approaches.

Rick Allard
10/13/2011 10:45am EDT

Michael Salamon’s comment that 45 to 50 year old designers are probably from print, are “dinosaurs” and that they should be put out was ageist. I still find it hard to believe it was voiced.

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