Recap: Designing for the Multi-Device-Owning Consumer

Marta StricklandAt our April 21, 2011 meeting, Michigan UPA welcomed Marta Strickland, Innovation Director at MRM Worldwide, who shared her insights on emerging trends and next generation technology.

The room was filled with attendees who came from as far as Lansing and Ann Arbor to hear about digital innovation, consumer behavioral trends, and identifying opportunities for platforms and brands.

Thank you to sponsor Cengage Learning and contact person, Derek Poppink, for their support of Michigan UPA and hosting Marta’s presentation.

Here are notes from the presentation:

Three Things We Know About “Emerging” Devices

  1. People are buying more smartphones
  2. People use their smartphone differently than a feature phone
  3. Owning a smartphone changes what people expect

Consumer Usage of Smartphones and Tablets

  • We are creating a hyperconnected multi-device ecosystem
  • First-time early adopters of tablets aren’t replacing any current device
  • Highest tablet use is from 6pm to 10pm -> the “sofa effect”
  • 70% of smartphone users access the Internet on their mobile device daily
  • NFC and RFID have a lot of potential, but until phones have those technologies, you’ll be speaking to a small population.

11 Consumer Trends Driving Digital Innovation

  1. Power of Now
  2. Concierge Culture
  3. Consumer Control
  4. Evolution of Commerce
  5. Coupon Chic
  6. Worlds Collide
  7. Brand Me
  8. Know Me
  9. Seamless Experiences
  10. World’s a Game
  11. Attention Management

Attendees at Marta's presentation


Asked how do you build consumer trust around the use of consumer’s information, Marta responded:

  • Give consumer levels in which they can engage
  • Educate consumers. “Here’s what we’ll offer if you give us this information.”

Final Takeaways

  • It’s not about creating more screens for the consumer, it’s about creating the right content for the consumer
  • Every screen and experience needs to speak clearly and quickly as to what it will do for the consumer

After the presentation, we had a lively discussion about user experience and best practices with Marta and attendees, with questions about mobile, social, statistics and the applications Marta mentioned during her presentation. Thank you to Marta for providing a copy of her slidedeck.

Posted by Deborah Edwards-Onoro, an officer for Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association since 2008. She owns Lireo Designs, a web development company, is a group leader of Refresh Detroit and host of Tweetea. You can find her tweeting about usability, user experience, accessibility and higher education @redcrew.

User Experience Architect

Enlighten, a digital marketing agency in Ann Arbor is seeking a User Experience Architect to join the User Experience Strategy team on a contract basis with the potential for full time.

As a UX Architect at Enlighten, you’ll research and develop intuitive user interfaces that meet both user and business objectives using tools such as wireframes, personas, and prototypes. You’ll work closely with content strategists, client stakeholders, visual designers, creative leads, engineers, and analytic and social media experts to shape the information architecture, usability, and interaction design of the digital experience – websites, mobile applications, and social media.


  • Lead strategic research efforts to determine what types of research and artifacts are appropriate within projects; coordinate existing research inputs and new efforts. Use a wide range of general, industry, and site-specific research inputs to develop a user-centered plan for design and features.
  • Build a thorough understanding of business and user needs. Conduct stakeholder interviews to determine business and site objectives and help clients integrate online processes with offline business practices. Employ a variety of user research techniques to bring new insights into how clients understand their users’ interactive needs.
  • Work collaboratively to translate business requirements, user goals and creative strategy into engaging experiences.
  • Observe, conduct and analyze qualitative and quantitative user research, such as focus groups, interviews and surveys. Design and conduct user testing including prototype and post-launch evaluation.
  • Clearly and concisely communicate impactful findings to clients, designers, engineers, and other project stakeholders.
  • Create and refine necessary documentation to develop user experience and provide needed deliverables to other project members, such as content inventories, heuristic evaluations, task analysis, CMS content models, user scenarios, personas, site maps, wireframes and other specifications.
  • Maintain awareness of evolving UX standards and best practices while continually seeking to innovate and revolutionize processes and deliverables that lead to internal efficiencies as well as client satisfaction. Be an ambassador advocating for the user and UX Research within the company and industry.


  • Three to five or more years of experience as an Information Architect (IA), User Experience (UX) Specialist, Interaction Designer (IxD), or any other role which involves strategizing and architecting user experience design for high-traffic, dynamic digital properties. Interactive agency experience is a plus.
  • Strong knowledge of user-centered design and HCI principles as applied to current Web and app technologies.
  • Experience designing and conducting usability tests and using site diagramming software, such as Visio or Axure.
  • Exceptional analytical and creative problem-solving skills.
  • Strong written communication and presentation skills.
  • Ability to closely collaborate as a part of a team comprised of business, creative and technical types.
  • Work effectively with project managers to meet expectations on time and on budget.
  • Ability to articulate and present ideas based on sound user experience and interaction design principles.

Enlighten offers a generous benefits package, along with an attractive compensation and bonus plan. If you’d like to join their team, check out their website. To apply for this position, send cover letter and resume to jobs AT enlighten DOT com.

Recap: Overlappings and Underpinnings: Content Strategy and Information Architecture

In his presentation to Michigan Usability Professionals February 10, 2011, Chris Moritz of Campbell-Ewald proposed “information architects and content strategists can create the same deliverables. The difference is what you spend the bulk of your time on.”

Thanks Chris for a great presentation and for posting your slides online. Here are my notes from his talk:

  • What everyone thinks content creation is:
    • create
    • review
    • approve
  • What content creation actually is:
    • audit
    • analyze
    • strategize
    • categorize
    • structure
    • create
    • review
    • approve
    • publish
    • update
    • archive
  • Some people argue that information architecture and content strategy are:
    • the same
    • completely different
    • partners
    • redundant
  • There is no single way to do information architecture and content strategy; it depends on the project.

Chris shared a chart used in Campbell-Ewald projects to define responsibility for tasks and deliverables:
How tasks are divided between information architects, content strategists and content marketing

Additional notes

  • Focus your content creation by developing strategic pillars.
  • What’s different between information architects and content strategists? Content strategists need to know more of what’s going on page(s).
  • Information architects define structure. Content strategists define mass. Creatives define surface.
  • Ensure continuity between information architects and content strategists by having them report to same person. If it’s a small project, have one person manage content strategy and information architecture.
  • Good resources for content strategy and writing:

Posted by Deborah Edwards-Onoro, an officer for Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association since 2008. She owns Lireo Designs, a web development company, is a group leader of Refresh Detroit and Tweetea. You can find her tweeting about usability, user experience, accessibility and higher education @redcrew.

Overlaps and Underpinnings – Content Strategy and IA

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chris MoritzYou’ve no doubt heard the buzz that 2011 is the “year of content strategy” (just like 2010 was supposed to be).

You’ve read blog posts, magazine articles, heard podcasts and watched videos on the topic. You’ve got deliverable lists that include content audits, taxonomies, labeling guidelines, etc. Sound familiar? Isn’t that what many of you are already doing? Does that make you a content strategist?

For our February meeting, Chris Moritz, Digital Content Strategy Manager at Campbell Ewald, will provide his definition of the practice of content strategy and where it overlaps and diverges from information architecture. We’ll discuss the maddening ambiguity and energizing opportunity of the pairing and partnership of these critical disciplines.

You can find Chris on Twitter and LinkedIn.


Campbell Ewald
30400 VanDyke
Warren, MI 48093 (map)


$5, Current students
$10, Michigan Usability Professionals’ Association members
$20, All others

Register online at Guestlist so we know who’s coming and how much refreshments to go around. We’ll also take payment (cash or check) at the door. Questions? Email events {at} miupa dot org.


6:30pm, Networking, food, announcements
7:00pm, Program begins

Agile and Beyond Conference

Thanks to our partnership and support, MIUPA members have been offered a discount to attend the second Agile and Beyond Conference, to be held March 12, 2011 at the Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan.

Agile and Beyond Conference

Mary Poppendieck, noted author on lean software development, is the morning keynote speaker and David Hussman, well-known Agile Coach, provides the closing keynote address.

The conference features breakout sessions, lunch and workshops featuring regional experts on a variety of relevant topics. In addition, Tom Kubit will facilitate Open Space meetings throughout the day for impromptu discussion. The conference wraps up with a panel discussion featuring Poppendieck and Hussman.

Check out the complete list of conference presenters andsessions. Register before January 31 for a significant discount. Use the discount code “MiUPA” when you register (note: the discount code is case-sensitive).

This looks to be a great event! It’s not often we have conferences of this type that are held locally.