UX Focused Sessions at MIX08


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With only two weeks to go for MIX08, the conference is sold out again for the third year in a row! We have more than 100 Canadians attending from industry, academia, and community. As I was browsing the this year's sessions, I felt like a little girl in a candy store. It's hard to choose from so many great sessions, especially there's a lot more UX related content this year. Here are some of my top choices. The picture on the left is one of the winning restyles for MIX08 webiste, called Gung Hay Fat Choy.

UX design beyond desktop: blending physical and virtual experience, connecting online and offline experience, and integrating various UX touch points such as desktop and mobile are my top UX topics. There are so many possibilities when you think beyond the desktop interface. Check out the following sessions to explore these topics further.

  • Beneath the Surface: The Natural Experience Vision - Daniel Makoski (Microsoft)

Come hear how the Surface User Experience team is focusing on design and user experience as a key driver for creating more natural, intuitive and emotional products. Learn how Surface shifts the approach that has been used for more than thirty years of making users learn the language of computers and products to an entirely new approach where technology, computers, and products learn the language of people: touch, voice, and gesture.

  • Virgins, Spaceships and Hob-nailed Boots! - Paul Dawson

Experience Design must go wider than simply 'the Web'-for any business. Using well known brands like Virgin and Harrods as case studies, you will learn how to create Experience Architectures that touch all customer interactions and how great offline customer experience can flow into digital media.

  • Take Your Content Mobile with Windows Mobile, Microsoft Expression, and Zumobi - Shannon Carter, Kyle Lampe, John Sangiovanni

Come watch us debunk the myth that creating content for mobile phones is a limiting proposition. We demonstrate how the triple-play of Windows Mobile, Microsoft Expression and Zumobi can help you light up devices with your content (and make money doing it).

Practical UX design and development: it's great to think big and design the whole experience but what are some handy advise when working on real world projects using Microsoft platform and technologies. In the following three sessions, our partners offer their first hand advise and best practice tips from their experience.

  • The Human Brain Relationship: Advanced and Adaptive User Interfaces - Ya'akov Greenshpan, Yochay Kiriaty

Come learn how Windows Presentation Foundation can be used to create a flexible and adaptive UI that matches our cognitive abilities. Learn how to create a UI that solves the "too hard for beginners, and too easy for pros" problem. Find out what it takes to create real, efficient UX using adaptive UI, and review real production applications that implement the paradigm.

  • Making it Simple: Designer/Developer Workflow - Marcelo Marer (Avenue A Razorfish), Ken Azuma (Second Factory), Robby Ingebretsen (Identity Mine), Ryan Lane (Wunderman), Mark Ligameri (frog design), Christian Schormann (MODERATOR), Robert Tuttle (frog design)

How do you combine a designer's vision with the requirements of productive software? Left brain/Right brain workflow is a sophisticated problem that impacts us all but has no easy answers. Industry experts will share their learnings and invite you to join in on a lively discussion about the merits and costs of different approaches.

  • Designing Next Generation User Interface Experiences with Microsoft Expression Blend and Windows Presentation Foundation - Johnathan Lansing, Stuart Mayhew, Nicholas Petterssen

Learn how Electric Rain utilizes the power of .NET 3.5 (Windows Presentation Foundation / Windows Communication Foundation) to build its breakthrough StandOut user interface using Microsoft Expression Blend and Microsoft Visual Studio C#. This session covers early traditional user interface concept designs, using Blend and .NET 3.0 for 2D and 3D UI prototypes, and ultimately creating a final award-winning user interface experience. Find out what worked (and what didn't) and what you can apply to your own next-generation UX projects.

Just UX: Independent of technology and design tools, how can we communicate our design vision, sell our designs to the business owners, and have a reliable work process that guarantees producing great user experience for our projects? The following sessions will provide some valuable insights.

  • Getting Clued In to Experience Management - Lou Carbone

Experience Management thought leader and author Lou Carbone urges managing "experience clues", conscious and unconscious, because clues affect the emotions that shape customer attitudes that drive their behaviors. He stresses the need to adapt our business thinking from the "make and sell" approaches of the industrial age to "sensing and responding"-a dynamic change that requires new framing and competencies. He discusses how the systematic design and delivery of experiences can be achieved, and the immense impact this has on customer value, loyalty, and the bottom line.

  • What's the Secret Formula? - Dan Harrelson, Jensen Harris, Nishant Kothary, Daniel Makoski (Microsoft), Mike Schroepfer (Mozilla)

We've built airplanes that travel faster than sound, ships that resemble small towns, rockets that take people to the moon, and phones that you can carry everywhere you go. Why is it, then, that we haven't found a way to build software that always looks good, feels good, and just works? Shouldn't it be easy in comparison? Is there a secret formula to building great software?

  • The Back of the Napkin: Solving Design Problems (and Selling Your Solutions) with Pictures - Dan Roam

Let's face it: describing user experience is hard... unless we use pictures. This session demonstrates step-by-step how anyone, regardless of artistic talent or training, can use simple pictures to describe complex design and technical concepts, solve fuzzy problems, and sell others on breakthrough ideas.

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