Category: UX

Not so long ago, Morgan McKinley sponsored a UXPA event, in which Dr. Jurek Kirakowski of UTEST, extended a welcome to all attendees to the UTEST community.

UTEST is predominantly a private online community of UX practitioners and researchers.

UTEST exists to promote new approaches to user experience (UX) practices, increase general knowledge of UX-related disciplines, and facilitate healthy and productive discussions among community members while protecting their privacy and their rights to their own intellectual property….

UTEST is not a “list,” “alias,” “archive,” “database,” or other public resource. It is a private community of professionals working together to create new knowledge and better practices.

The Journal of Usability Studies just published an article  about the now 20 year old Community, which explores the What, Why, When, Where and How’s of UTEST.

Why don’t you request access to the community today?

“UTEST is better than Google! When I have a question about methodologies, I get answers that are backed by years of experience, often times from those who are pioneers in our field” —Rebecca Destello


“As a one-person Usability team, it’s invaluable to be able to confer with colleagues on stuff that no one else around here understands” —Mary Mascari


“My years involved in UTEST have been a virtual Master Class in all areas touching User Experience. I owe much of my career progress to this fantastic community” —Tomas Sola


“UTEST…was my connection [to usability], my link to mentors and education, and even occasionally my cheering section as I broke into the field. I owe the UTEST community a world of thanks for helping me start and grow my career” — Mitch Berg


“The safety of UTEST for its members seems to me to arise from the fact that it is closed…and private…so we may feel relatively free to speak frankly and to float ideas that are less than fully developed and not (yet) rigorously supported by evidence” —Douglas W. Anderson



IxDA Event - Defuse

IxDA Event – Defuse


I regularly attend different IT events and meetups around town. Some are great, others can turn out to be snorefests. Some of them are filled with people who, maybe don’t have a great interest in the subject of the speakers, but are waiting for the networking recess, business cards cocked and ready.


Anyway, my point is that people attend events in pursuit of different objectives.


Defuse (presented by IxDA Dublin) though, is guaranteed to be packed to the rafters with genuinely passionate Interaction Designers. The concise pitches by the 12 speakers, promise to offer powerful insights, derived from real world UX experience.


Head on down to the Sugarclub  at 7pm tomorrow today.

Have you heard about

I met with Colman Walsh a few months back and we discussed his vision for We also discussed how I, and Morgan McKinley, can help support it.

We began by sending out emails to targeted groups on our database and put out some blogs about it. 1


—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- 2


We would also mention it to individuals whom we would speak with. The feedback was excellent, there was a feeling amongst many that; it’s about time, about time Ireland has our own dedicated User Experience training resource. Some companies we had spoken with had previously paid for costly trips to the UK, so that their teams could receive comparable training.

Colman is a true UX evangelist, having plied his trade across the world with companies like; IQ Content, Sapient and Distilled Media. He understands UX, is passionate about it and wants to spread the word.

If interested in hearing more, why not check out the website;

The UX Community is a tightly knot one. For a UX Professional, it can help your career greatly to network with your peers.

Have you seen the UXPA’s User Experience Magazine? –

Its great, although I would like to see more content there. One article; discusses how networking, whether it be via online or face to face, can help your career. It explores how widening your own network can bring more job opportunities, and offer you additional support from Industry peers.

Why not attend UXPA’s latest event, entitled; “My Favourite UX Tool” which will be held in Engine Yard’s offices on Barrow street.

See or for details. You will have to move quickly though, its close to being sold out…

The next UXPA supported event; The UX Factor, is scheduled for the 10th of April, and will be held in the Digital Hub. This is kicking off the IIA’s programme of talks, which will focus on different areas of the digital Industry.

This event will hone in on topics such as; inclusive design, mobile development and bridging the gap between aesthetic design and effective customer experience.

See here for details

And see below some pictures from the last UXPA event.

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

UXPA Morgan McKinley event

One of my blogroll favourites, is Paul Olyslager’s;


One of his latest posts discusses what he feels are the most common misconceptions about users, and how this can contribute to poor interface design, and ultimately, “bad UX”.


He discusses also, how it is really hard to look at your own product, website, interface, etc; objectively. He also underlines that, typically, you will not fit the profile of a “typical user”.


In his post, he highlights 9 misconceptions, and offers creative advice around approaching each of them.


There are, in fact, lots of ways to approach these issues. Its about understanding the users, knowing what they want and reacting accordingly. All in the pursuit, of good UX.


So, what are the misconceptions?


1.) Your users like having options, but hate make decisions

2.) People don’t read all your content

3.) Your website users don’t come through your front door

4.) You are not your users

5.) Your users look to the actions of others to guide them

6.) Your users are creatures of habit…

7.) Your website visitors are impatient

8.) Users will click more than 3 times…

9.) People hate scrolling but do it anyway


For more, check out Paul’s blog.

Planning UX can become a balancing act between getting the correct amount of user input within the constraints of a project.

As with most projects, a fundamental is to establish the best use of your time. Also crucial, is to optimise results, within a budget.

If you are interested in choosing the right mix of tools, to optimise UX, within a tight budget, this event might be of interest…

This event will offer a solid introduction to UX, and offer a practical guide / approach to implementing UX; “On a Shoestring”.

There should be two important dates in your diary for this month.

The first is 14th February, Valentines day. The second is 28th February, the UXPA event; “Why Experience Matters”

I can’t help with Valentines day dates, but I would be more then happy to discuss the latter with you…

UXPA Ireland, in association with Morgan McKinley and hosted by Eircom, are offering a free event. This will offer an excellent insight into the latest news in the UX world. It also offers good networking potential, with companies and practitioners, from Industry and University set to attend.

See below description, courtesy of Eventbrite;

Many of the most important interactions with a business take place before you actually become a customer – like looking around a shop, waiting to be served, or seeing an advert. This is why many web and software designers use the term user experience to reflect that the person interacting with the product or service may not be a customer as such.

Amid the rise of digital technologies and marketing, some might regard User Experience as a business buzzword.

  • What is User Experience all about?
  • Does User Experience make a difference, and if so, how?
  • Who are the people doing it?
  • How can you improve the user experience of your product or services?
  • How can you get involved or find someone to deliver UX services for you?

The UXPA is hosting this event to bring together interested parties to discuss these questions and more.

Event Programme

18:25 – Meet @ The Customer Experience Room, Eircom, 1 HSQ, Heuston, Dublin and refreshments

Welcome from the UXPA Ireland President, Stephan Weibelzahl

An overview from UX Consultant and Author, Matt Watkinson

Viewpoints from the agency, client-side, and academic spheres of UX

A Q&A session with the panel of speakers

19:45 – Networking


The event will take place in the Customer Experience Room at Eircom, 1HSQ, Heuston, Dublin, not far from Heuston station.

Morgan McKinley consultants will be there to greet you, look forward to seeing you on the 28th 🙂

The proliferation of Web and Mobile means that Web and Mobile Designers and Developers are in demand. I speak with Designers and Developers, and the Companies who seek these people, every day.

It is true that, over the last couple of years, the acronyms “UI” and “UX” are appearing on more and more jobs specs and more and more CVs. UI Designers, UI Developers and UX designers. These, of course, relate to the acronyms; User Experience and User Interface.

What prompted me to write this blog, was a conversation I had with a candidate this week.

I had been discussing a particular contract opportunity with him and was qualifying his skillset V’s the requirements. Throughout this candidate’s career, he has described himself as a UX Consultant, UX Architect, UX Engineer, UX Strategist or UX Specialist.

Because the role I was hiring for was for that of a UI Developer, I was curious as the extent to his knowledge of particular front-end development languages. I was trying to ascertain, how much of his experience was hands on UI development and how much was more high level UX design.

My efforts led me to saying something to the effect of; “I know UI is an element of the broader UX, but I really want you to elaborate as to your hands on UI Development”. I was a little taken back when this particular candidate’s response; “they are the same thing”. He went one step further and stated that he could play a game of Recruitment Buzzword Bingo, and do a “replace all” on his CV: UX –> UI.

This prompted a telephone debate, as we began to discuss the intricacies and eventually, we where both in agreement that UI is a part of UX, yet UI and UX are separate entities.

After the call, I realised that, the candidate in fact has all the necessary skills to be an excellent candidate for the role; UI Developer. I believe that, his CV did not highlight in great detail all the development work, because the particular candidate was probably worried that by doing so, he could marginalize himself as being “JUST” an interface designer/developer. He wanted to ensure that his impressive experience with the broader nature of UX was also highlighted.

The reason why he had displayed his CV that way, is probably in response to the general lack of understanding between the two concepts.

Props to Dan Willis’s blog; for the below image:









Because UX is generally followed by the word; design, it is easy to see why people could come to see UX designers as the same as UI designers. However, UX design work is different to that of a visual or interface designer’s work. This is because, a lot of UX relates to the intangible design features of a particular strategy, that in turn, brings the user to a solution. It encompasses the overall experience of the user.


Image Props;