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.

Pioneering the Agile UX Frontier

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mara EvansDispatches from the field report an ever growing need and desire for Agile software development teams and UX professionals to work together to produce software that delights rather than frustrates. Scott Amber, in an excellent article on this topic wrote: “User experience and agile practitioners need to learn about and respect each other’s philosophies and techniques, and then actively find ways to work together. This requires both communities to make minor changes to the way that they work, but if they choose to make these changes I suspect that their work products will be much better for it.”

Organizations have been crying out for individuals who have the skills and knowledge to bring these two worlds together.

In this presentation, we will explore some of the challenges and triumphs experienced by teams as they attempt to forge a new way of working. Attendees will learn successful strategies for integrating UX into Agile, a combination that could very well be the next big step in a paradigm shift in software development.

About Our Speaker

Mara Evans has been working in the realm of software development for over fifteen years. Like many others in this industry, her role is ever changing and evolving Dash/Connector – but almost always within the context of a high performing team. She has played the part of product manager, project/program manager, Solutions Architect, business analyst, designer, UX champion, High Tech Anthropologist™ [Menlo Innovations], QA, and Agile Coach. But she also has another realm of experience and background that brings an interesting if not unique perspective to the art of building teams and building software.

Mara’s academic background is in Anthropology and Transpersonal Psychology with specialization in spiritual psychology as well as organizational development. Integration of these two worlds has become her foundation – as well as her core work. For Mara, it is really about the people, their relationships, and creating a phenomenal team dynamic. The product, or the software, becomes incidental – yet reflective of the quality of human collaboration from which it sprung.

Mara is currently working with the Institute for Social Research, helping to define and deliver their cutting edge survey management system. She is also part-time faculty at Washtenaw Community College, a transformational consultant for organizations, and a spiritual coach for individuals and groups through her consulting business, Arammai Services.


789 E. Eisenhower Parkway
Ann Arbor, MI (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.


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

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.

Holistic Usability: Making Stone Soup for Stakeholders and Clients

Tuesday June 22, 2010, 6pm to 8pm

Quicken Loans in Livonia, Michigan

What things do you create that allow people to make connections and share experiences?

As UX professionals, we are often the champion of the end-user. Whether an IA, an IXD, or a usability specialist, our main goal is to create good experiences surrounding products.

But our products are more than just interfaces, designs, software, or widgets; they are reports, personas, presentations, recommendations, and a myriad of other deliverables that we created for the people who commissioned our work: clients and stakeholders.

The UX skills we employ every day in creating positive and memorable experiences for the end-user can be used on business stakeholders, software engineers, and clients of our services in order to:

  • increase investment
  • decrease productivity blocking
  • increase efficient information sharing, and ultimately
  • improve the end-user experience

Through the concepts of holism and corporate culture, this talk will present case studies that examine how UX techniques, methods, skills, and deliverables can be repurposed to create good experiences for all people who come into contact with our work. (Christina’s talk is based on a workshop given at the 2010 UPA Conference in Munich, Germany in May 2010.)

Christina York is Manager of the User Experience Design group at ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that provides ways of finding and accessing scholarly information online in the creation of new knowledge. She is passionate about all things usable, useful, and meaningful.

Christina has worked in the UX field for more than eight years and still loves what she does every day. Her favourite things are the UX community, horror films, beer, and Deeeetroit Basketball. Find Christina on Twitter (@UXtina) and in local brew pubs in Ann Arbor.


Quicken Loans
Puerto Rico Room – Third Floor
20255 Victor Parkway
Livonia, MI 48152 (map)


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

Register online at Guestlist so we can ensure we have enough refreshments to go around. We’ll also take payment (cash or check) at the door. Questions? Email events {at} miupa dot org.


6:00pm, Networking and food
6:45pm, Announcements
7:00pm, Program begins

Interview with Brian Phelps on User Interface Prototyping Tools

This interview was recorded on December 3, 2006.

Brian Phelps, an employee of Pfizer in Ann Arbor, presented to the MIUPA on “A Survey of User Interface Prototyping Tools” in August of 2006. Four months later, Timothy Keirnan caught up with Brian to review what Brian told the chapter about GUI prototyping in that meeting.

Continue reading “Interview with Brian Phelps on User Interface Prototyping Tools”