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Design Principles: The Philosophy of UX

On Monday, I had the honor and privilege of presenting a new talk at An Event Apart Boston 2011, titled Design Principles: The Philosophy of UX. This is my third year speaking at AEA and it never gets less exhilarating — and terrifying!

My presentation description:

The visual principles of harmony, unity, contrast, emphasis, variety, balance, proportion, pattern and direction (and others) are widely recognized and practiced, even when they aren’t formally articulated. But creating a good design doesn’t automatically mean creating a good experience.

In order for us to cultivate positive experiences for our users, we need to establish a set of guiding principles for experience design. Guiding principles are the broad philosophy or fundamental beliefs that steer an organization, team or individual’s decision making, irrespective of the project goals, constraints, or resources.

Whitney will share a universally-applicable set of experience design principles that we should all strive to follow, and will explore how you can create and use your own guiding principles to take your site or product to the next level.

Giving a new presentation for the first time is always nerve-wracking, and it’s particularly challenging when you have so much admiration for the conference organizers, fellow speakers and caliber of people in the audience. An Event Apart is a fantastic conference and a very special group of people. I still find it hard to believe I’m a part of it.

Huge thanks goes out to Jeremy Keith and Luke Wroblewski for their fantastic summaries of my talk, as well as to Virginia DeBolt who covered it over at BlogHer.

Last but certainly not least, thank you to the 30+ folks who attended my dry run of the presentation last Wednesday at New Work City, for all of their incredibly valuable feedback on how to make it a better, more impactful talk. And to Scott Reynolds and Adam Connor for their tireless attention to detail.

I got some great feedback on my presentation via Twitter that I’ll capture here for posterity:

I’ll be giving this talk again at several more conferences this year. Check my Speaking Engagements page for the latest.

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  • http://www.uddertalk.com Devon Lambert

    Whitney, I had the pleasure of attending the conference this year but I never got the opportunity to tell you how great your presentation was in person. Continue kicking ass and taking names, ohhh and continue designing great experiences for your end clients. ;-)

    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      Devon, thank you so so much for your incredibly kind words. Thrilled you enjoyed my talk. I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet up at AEA, but hopefully our paths will cross again!

  • http://www.matthewgreen.net Matthew

    Whitney, Sorry I wasn’t at your presentation, but I was hoping to cite it in a presentation I am giving to a client next week. Is that cool? It won’t be publicly avail, but I can send it to you if you want.

    Very useful presentation btw.


    • http://www.whitneyhess.com/blog whitney

      Matthew, please feel free to use any of the deck in your presentation, so long as you cite me and provide a link back to the Slideshare page. Good luck!

  • http://blogs.perficient.com/spark Molly Malsam

    Hi Whitney,

    One thing I found ironic about viewing this in slideshare is that I had no context for some of your images. :) I was wondering what the explanation was behind the inhaler image. I’m assuming this is a reference to the fact that most of them do not provide any indicator as to how many puffs are remaining. This brings me much frustration as I manage two kids who need inhalers at home, in two cars, at school, and at day care and I can never tell how full any of them are. Yes?

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://design4um.com web design egypt

    This was my webdesign practice in Cairo,Egypt
    Please if you think you need a better lookin then look at my website.

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