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30/04
2013

UX Masterclass Madrid. The Way It Was

UX Report
UX MasterclassOpen in a new window hosted by UXallianceOpen in a new window is a biannual international conference. UIDG held it in MoscowOpen in a new window last year and this time up to 100 UX-experts including Natalia Kirillova representing Russia (partner @UIDGOpen in a new window) went to Madrid.
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UX Report
The conference was aimed at specialists and business with 11 keynotes going in 4 parallel streams of worldwide expertise together with traditional "Around the World" panel.

One of the hottest presentations UX and ROI was made by Eric Marillet representing Axance (France) where Eric discussed metrics and ways UX can cut spendings and increase income citing Yuri Vetrov (Mail.ru):

UX Report
One of the points Eric made was illustrated by the case of Concord hotels that had their website's conversion boosted from 1,8% to 5.5% by working on it's localization - UIDG took part in this part of the project.

Unmoderated remote user research was discussed as well covering such aspects as testing mobile applications in addition to websites and promoting this approach in professional environments (UIDG does it in Russia).

"I took part in the "Around the World" panel representing Russia and can say that this section of the conference was one of the most exciting providing interesting facts on various type of cultural differences out there. Similarities between Italians and Russians were confirmed, and localisation tips for Russian to Japanese and vice versa were given." - as highlighted by Natalia.

UX Report
Next we have 2 UX Masterclass conferences in Prague and Rome this fall, feel free to join us :)

04/04
2013

A carrot for devs Platon Dneprovsky @ CodeFest 2012

Codefest
CodeFest 2013Open in a new window was held in Novosibirsk (30-31 March 2013) and had a design section together with traditional QA and Web. Platon did a keynote A carrot in the front or in the back?   where he covered some motivational and gamification issues (apart from vegetables) related to businesses and their clients.
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Carrot


Almost two hundred listeners were live as hell and even technical issues played on the side of the speaker: random slides popping up brought lots of fun.

Platon: The section was great, code geeks turned out to be nice folks with some good questions and we even brainstormed on 2GIS game mechanics. I should note cool tees hosts made for speakers with corresponding names on them this is +100 karma points!

Platon and Carrot


09/11
2012

UIDesign Group we are 10 years old!

Weve been helping our clients with creating beautiful and useful interfaces as well as improving existing ones for 10 years. Thanks to them, their success and satisfied users were celebrating our first anniversary.
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UIDesign Group was founded by Platon Dneprovskiy and Alexey Kopylov in January 2003. It has become one of the leading players in the field of UX and usability in Russia and grown from 3 to more than 20 experienced professionals.

In addition, we became one of the internationally recognized partners of UXalliance that unites leading user experience companies from all over the globe. Our partnership with UXalliance made it possible for us to host UX Masterclass conference, take part in the range of international research and usability-testing programs and close a lot of projects for major international companies.

Gained experience, hundreds of projects and research programs allow us to be optimistic about our future. Were looking forward to our next anniversary confidently sustaining our positions. Cheers!

30/01
2013

"Metro UI plug in the unpluggable" by Platon Dneprovsky @ 404fest (Samara)

As we all know the 404fest conferenceOpen in a new windowheld in Samara is a place to go for everybody interested in web-development, design and usability. This time it attracted about 800 participants from all over Russia as well as from Ukraine, England and US.
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Platon Dneprovsky, Director of UIDesign Group, moderated the UsabilityOpen in a new window section. Speaking on the section itself all the material was structured in order to prevent leaving anybody behind and provide some useful information both for beginners and experts in the field of UX. In their keynotes experts from different parts of Russia shared useful tips and how-tos on UI design, understanding user needs and developing mobile apps.

Apart from moderating the section, Platon did a talk on Metro UI basics Metro UI plug in the unpluggableOpen in a new windowwhere he spoke on designing interfaces based on this concept not only for the Web but mobile ones as well, highlighting problems and possible recipes to solve them. Attendees received tons of useful information from the basic principles of Metro UI (Segoe font, Tiles, horizontal scrolling) to some practical tips on bringing Metro UI design to the Web.

Auditorium was fully packed and everybody had a chance to form his or her own understanding of how websites featuring Metro UI principles should be designed. As a recap of Platons talk, lets use his own words: scenarios, structure, content, contrast and responsiveness are the core concepts behind Metro UI style.

08/11
2012

The 6th International UX Masterclass Conference on usability and UX related topics was held in Moscow on 21 September 2012.

It was hosted by UIDG supported by UXallianceOpen in a new windowand UXMarathonOpen in a new window. that consolidates 25 leading user experience firms from all over the world. Here are more details on the conference.
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UX Masterclass was held at a high levelwith attendees and guests from Russia and CIS (from Novosibirsk and Samara to Kiev and Minsk) as well as representatives of 17 countries USA, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Spain, Republic of South Africa, France etc.



Each of the guests had an opportunity to try out the national sweets brought from all over the world.



The main UX event of the year attracted around 200 UX specialists usability and user experience professionals, developers, designers, SEO- and marketing specialists, products managers, IT professionals and others. The conference appeared to be a great place to network and we hope that our guests and attendees got useful knowledge as well as professional contacts and made friends with interesting people.



One of the main goals of UX Masterclass was to share practical skills in usability and user experience and as a part of the conference, UX Businessclass section was held for the first time. UXalliance and UIDesign Group experts provided their consultancy allowing each and every attendee to ask questions on any business case they were interested in.



Speakers covered the influence of usability on the quality of products, services, sales and customer loyalty as well as sharing their research outcomes and expertise.



The scale of the conference was enough for some of the guests to lose their directions. Though Twitter helped out a lot in finding the way around.

Some attendees were interviewed during conference breaks and appeared to be eager to share what they got out of it all with their colleagues and start implementing new ideas right away. Some were camera shy at first but gladly shared their opinions behind the scenes. Anyway, were thankful for everybody who participated in the interviewing process.



In addition, we gave out some prizes provided by conference sponsors including Protoshare software licenses and books from Rosenfeld Media and Morgan Kaufmann publishing houses on conference breaks.



The lucky ones were picked at random as well as based on their online and offline activity and questions to those performing on stage.



And by the way the next UX Masterclass is going to be hosted in Madrid and an author of the most interesting questions to our speakers received a free invitation to the conference.



All the attendees took part in an exciting Food Design Workshop by half-a-teaspoon right after the lunch break and this one raised lots of positive emotions as well. And adding just one more nugget to this attendees tested their cooking skills and took part in creating gingerbread humans.



UX Masterclass was closed by a unique panel presentation Around the World in 60 minutes. Speakers revealed the most interesting, sometimes even comical stereotypes and cultural differences directly or indirectly influencing UX research and user interface design in different countries. Each presentation consisted of two parts country peculiarities and research recommendations. Speakers appeared to be having a good time as well as the audience who appreciated the humor and the insight.



Our presentations were held in 3 parallel streams and for the first time in UXMasterclass history online streaming was provided for those who could not attend the conference in person, allowing participants from Russia, Ukraine and Finland to join in.

UX Materclass organizers UIDesign GroupOpen in a new window, UXallianceOpen in a new window, an international network of 25 leading UX-companies from around the world, and UX MarathonOpen in a new window are very grateful to all attendees and would liketo invite everybody to the next UX Masterclass in Madrid, spring 2013!



PicturesOpen in a new window

UIDG UXAlliance UXMarathon

 
11/11
2011

UXalliance's Report for WUD 2011

UXallianceOpen in a new window published a free report Cultural Differences in Usability Testing Around the World for World Usability Day 2011. UIDesign Group together with the partners from more than 20 countries took part in its preparation.
The report says about cultural aspects of usability testing in different countries, and warns about pitfalls to avoid when testing in a culture other than your own. The report is available for free downloadOpen in a new window.
"WUD report
19/08
2011

UX Marathon 2011

In October UIDesign Group will host the 4th worldwide online conference UX Marathon. The theme of this year is UX Toolkit, all webinars will focus on different tools and methods for prototyping and conducting user researches.
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Among UX Marathon 2011 speakers there are authors of popular books: Mental Models: Aligning Design Strategy with Human BehaviorOpen in a new window(Indi Young) and Storytelling for User ExperienceOpen in a new window(Whitney Quesenbery), as well as practitioners from leading UX companies Chris Risdon from Adaptive Path, Rick Omanson and Aga Bojko from User Centric.

Some webinars will be based on extensive researches, e.g. Denise Belling will present the Best of Commonly Used Usability Techniques relying on the survey with over 40 user experience teams around the globe, and Aga Bojko, who is the author of many publications and the author of the coming book Eye Tracking the User ExperienceOpen in a new window, will analyze the spheres of eye tracking usage. Other webinars will focus on speakers broad experience of working with certain programs and services, such as Axure, WebSort, Plainframe, CogTool, or designing for certain platforms, such as iOS. Speakers will reveal many practical details of their own work with these programs and answer all questions from attendees. All webinars are divided into 3 tracks: Design & Prototyping, User Research, and Evaluating ideas.

No travel and extra costs are involved; one can benefit the global training from home or office for a very competitive price. The information considering event agenda, registration, fees and sponsorship is available on the website http://uxmarathon.comOpen in a new window.
 
27/07
2011

404 Fest

Our technical director Alexey Kopylov participated as an invited expert in start-up contest HarvestOpen in a new window which took place in Kazan on July 16-17. He has been also invited to chair usability section on 404 festOpen in a new window in Samara in October.
 
01/07
2011

Alexey Kopylovs article Can virtual buttons be better than hardware ones: iOS experience

Alexey Kopylovs article Can virtual buttons be better than hardware ones: iOS experience has been published in UXallianceOpen in a new window blog . The article is written following his presentation for Flash GAMMOpen in a new window conference, which has been mentioned in our news earlier.

PS: Following his presentation for Flash GAMMOpen in a new window conference, Alexey prepared an article in English for UXalliance blogOpen in a new window.
 
30/06
2011

"User Experience Management" a reference book for UX project managers

"User Experience Management"
Morgan Kaufmann has recently published a new book on usability topic User Experience ManagementOpen in a new window by Arnie Lund. The author has extensive experience in managing usability projects in such large companies as AT&T and Microsoft, so he has first-hand knowledge of the challenges that UX managers and team leaders may face in their work.
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As the editorial review states it:

The role of UX manager is of vital importance it means leading a productive team, influencing businesses to adopt user-centered design, and delivering valuable products customers. Few UX professionals who find themselves in management positions have formal training in management. More often than not they are promoted to a management position after having proven themselves as an effective and successful practitioner.

"User Experience Management"
User Experience Management " outlines the robust framework for how to be an effective UX manager, from creating a team, to orchestrating product development, to ensuring UX is not compromised, to achieving company buy-in on results.

Dr. Lund takes a deep and wide look at the kinds of organizations and the different kinds of work that he has seen, from many vantage points, and uses that to engage a remarkable set of colleagues to reflect on, explain, and extend the practice of managing experience design.

Natalia Kirilllova, commercial director at UIDesign Group, contributed to 2 chapters of the book. She shared her experience in managing large international projects remotely and talked about how to find and educate talented team members. It hasnt been the first time Natalia participated in writing a book. Together with other colleagues from UXallianceOpen in a new window she was involved in writing The Handbook of Global User ResearchOpen in a new window edited by Robert Schumacher.
 
25/06
2011

Large-scale redesign, the experience of Odnoklassniki.ru

As a prologue

Some time ago we decided to revive our long-standing tradition to hold Fridays general meetings (known under the name 5 oclock meetings). At these friendly meetings we eat pizza and discuss current news. Sometimes we invite experts from other companies in order to share experience. In April Vlad Golovach from "Usethics"Open in new window visited us, and in early June we had another visitor - Alisher Yakupov from "Odnoklassniki"Open in new window, a Russian social network. He spoke about the process of large-scale redesign that they have employed in Odnoklassniki.
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How was the workflow changed?

When Alisher joined Odnoklassniki team, the designers work was uncoordinated between different departments. Designers were working on their part of the service, being not involved in the whole development process. They just performed the tasks assigned by the managers. So, it was necessary to get people interested in each other's work, to build integral process of design.

The first step in this direction was the move to Agile. The team began to meet weekly and share information. However, it did not bring many changes. Uploaded templates and layouts were hardly reused. To solve this problem, Alisher suggested turning the guidelines from a static document into an interaction process. But at first, the team was to examine their interfaces, to gather all pieces of information on the current service design.

Alisher: "My major at university was history, and as a part of our study we had a practice of archeology, where a very interesting systemic approach to the study of layers was used.

First, one needs to determine the site, then to make a grid with ropes and wooden stakes, and carefully dig up every square in search for coins and pottery fragments. All finds are than put on the ground in the order they were found. Here are how step by step, archaeologists move from one layer to another. That is the first part of the work the collection of information, which is followed by analysis. Students sort out their findings according to the age they belong to, thus acquiring knowledge about the developments in different times.

Alisher decided to try applying this approach to interfaces and to arrange a workshop. During the workshop the site Odnoklassniki.ru was divided horizontally and vertically, and the following abstract layers were defined: the grid, registration form template, repeating blocks, elements of the blocks, graphics, complex interactive elements, styles (headings, colors, links), texts (the form of address), etc.

Alisher: "We started not with the inventing of a new ideal world, but with a simple inventory of interface items we had. For example, lets take the styles. We wrote down all the colors, headers, types of links. We found some things redundant, which could be easily dismissed. We removed all the unnecessary in each layer. As a result, dozens of grids was reduced to three of them, same with headings and styles. Since then we have been holding such meetings every Friday. During these meetings we discuss what new elements have emerged, and put them in a special section of our corporate wiki ABC" (as we called it).

As a result, designers started to use the available database to the full, and the work process became more efficient.

Work together!

To understand better each others work and responsibilities the following approach was used.

In addition to his work every designer was assigned to monitor some part of the "ABC", to ensure that all relevant documents are consistent and accepted by others.

If someone is working on a new functional, and he needs to decide on headers, indentation, etc., then this person will address the man who knows all about the style, the style custodian. He can also talk about his new ideas, and if the custodian agrees, new ideas will be added to the ABC for public use.

Alisher: "We continue this process. On the one hand, you can always use the old patterns, but on the other hand, it's a poor designer who always sticks to the solutions of the past. It is natural to want to do something new and better. All new ideas are thoroughly tested. If the functional is complex and requires a long implementation, we invite people from our target audience to test prototypes before the development."

Do not drag out the process!

Designers are creative people, but everyone needs discipline. All projects are to be finished in time, so ask designers and developers to give you exact timing.

Alisher: "I always ask designers when exactly the will show some results of their work. As soon as they give a date, I immediately send an invitation to everyone in the shared calendar. If I clearly see that a designer is postponing the meeting for no apparent reason, I suggest discussing whether there is any problem. If the designer has some ideas straight away, I ask him to make a quick paper prototype, so we could discuss it in an hour. Usually, when we discuss mock-ups several times during one day, the time required for the final design is reduced several times. It is essential to create more occasions for personal discussions - the more discussions you have, the more integral product is. "

 
19/05
2011

Our Social Project Plant a tree!

Photos on FacebookOpen in a new window and FlickrOpen in a new window.

A popular saying teaches that everyone is to build a house, plant a tree, and bear a son. In our company weve already had people who have sons, a new house for our growing team has been found (soon we will move to a new office), but as it turned out, no one has ever planted a tree. Taking into account that last year Russia suffered a lot when massive wildfires stretched across the country, the decision to become a part of the green action was made unanimously.

Plant a tree!
Over 8 years UIDesign Group has been helping clients to make this world a little better and more beautiful place with some good interface design for various online products and services. It was time to move on and contribute to the social and economic development of the community in which we operate. So, the decision to carry out a social project was not a spontaneous one. We considered several options and unanimously decided to plant trees. Such a project can be quickly realized, and it is another great occasion to meet together and spend some great time out of the office.

It goes without saying that to plant a tree in Moscow is not an easy task. Regulations that govern urban agriculture occupy dozens of pages, and we werent willing to waste our time on receiving endless necessary approvals from different institutions. Therefore we decided to address "private landowners" community hospitals. Interestingly, many head dpctors did not believe in our sincerity, and they worried that hospitals will have to pay some sum or fill out some papers. Our idea found a warm welcome in the 32nd Child Neuropsychiatric Hospital and the 5th City Gynecological Hospital in Moscow.

In order to plant trees correctly we resorted to a professional landscape designer Ludmila Yelchina. Under her friendly guidance, trees were selected and the territory zoned. We were to plant willows, birches, maples, chestnuts, lilacs, spirea and red oaks.
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So, early Sunday morning on May29 we met near the 32nd Child Neuropsychiatric Hospital. At first we thought that planting 150 trees will take a lot of efforts, but it proves to be like in the saying - You never know what you can do till you try. And, indeed, we coped with all work faster than we thought.

Although digging holes is a blokish activity, our ladies didnt stand aside. To our regret we did not have enough spades, and that encourage competition for them.

An even greater excitement was stirred up over oaks. There were only three of them and they require careful attention, otherwise they wont naturalize. First of all we needed to find a right spot for our oaks. As planned by designer Ludmila, trees had to be visible from the walking path. We had to fill in three holes before the "safe" place for our red oaks were found. These trees have large roots, thats why it is essential to ensure that there are no bricks and pieces of iron (which we had dug a myriad of) hidden in the soil.

Once we figured out the right spot, a new problem arose. Oaks should be actively watered when planting and the water hose we had was too short. We had to carry water in buckets; however the works were joyous and pleasant.

The day passed quickly and cheerfully. We finished much faster than we had planned, and in the evening we had barbeque and played frisbee near the lake.

On behalf of UIDesign Group we would like to thank everybody who helped with this social project, our friends and relatives: Anton Alyabiev and his wife Lyudmila, Elena Borodina, Ksenia Gerasimova, Ivan Degtyarenko, Platon Dniprovskiy, Vladimir Zimin, Natalia Kirillova, Tatiana Shpilevskaya, Lyudmila Yelchina, Alexey Kopylov and his son Anton, Viktor Goy, Anastasya Lapina, Ilya Alexandrov and his wife Olga, Nickolay Makarov, Artem Ostapets, Elena Terekhina, Alla Shamsheeva and Fedor Lavanov.

Two weeks later we called the hospitals to learn how the trees were doing. They all naturalized, and changes with the hospitals were noticed not only by employees but also by patients, their friends and relatives. Everyone was wondering where it was from. Deputy Head Doctor of the 5th gynecological hospital replied to such questions that there was a miracle. As it turned out, indirectly we helped to get rid of unauthorized parking on lawns as well.

We are very glad that we could do something good for people around us, and make a small contribution to the community. What was the most important and valuable for us? Our colleague Artem Ostapets noted: "I think it is really cool to plant a tree. It will serve as memory, which might long outlast you. When I was born, my parents planted three birches next to the house. They have already grown big, up to the 7th floor. I think planting trees is very important thing in life. "

We had a great time all together, and each of us made an important thing. People got used to taking from nature without giving anything back. It is always a pleasure to create something with your own hands, especially something that will please others for years. We thank both hospitals for letting us fulfill our ideas.
 
19/05
2011

UXalliance is organizing the 4th international conference UX Masterclass

Our UXalliance partner, User CentricOpens in new window will host the 4th bi-annual conference UX MasterclassOpens in new window in Chicago on September 15 and 16. User Centric invites researchers and industry professionals to this unique event. The UX Masterclass will allow attendees to tap into trending topics in healthcare, mobile, design and eye tracking presented by global experts in these fields.

With three successful global conferences held in New Zealand, Canada and Denmark in the last 18 months, this event will appeal to user experience enthusiasts who understand that great experiences lead to customer loyalty. The most recent UX Masterclass in Copenhagen, held on April 1 of this year, gave over 200 attendees an opportunity to learn first-hand from 40 leading experts.

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User Centric is excited to bring the conference to Chicago this year, because attendees will learn so much. What we do, user research and design, isnt just about a productits about the entire experience. Sometimes the change we affect is revolutionary but more often the small differences matter. Either way, we should recognize that what we do matters. said Gavin Lew, User Centric Managing Director.

This conference is more than moving from presentation to presentation. We want to make sure that attendees have the opportunity to share and debate practices and trends. We will have workshops and plenty of interaction allowing attendees to exchange ideas with colleagues from around the world, said UXalliance Marketing Coordinator Aimee Reif.

For current program details, location information and registration visit uxmasterclass.comOpens in new window. RegisterOpens in new window before August 15 to benefit from the early registration discount.
 
13/05
2011

Can virtual buttons be better than hardware ones: iOS experience? Presentation for Flash Gamm

Alexey Kopylov talked about the examples of good and poor realization of virtual controls at the 6th conference for games developers Flash GAMMOpens in new window.

iOS has become a leading mobile gaming platform. Unlike competing platforms Sony PSP and Nintendo DS, the gameplay on iOS doesnt require hardware buttons. To a considerable extent the success of the game depends on the usability of its controls.

In his presentation Alexey shared examples of good and poor realization of virtual controls and defined guarantees of success.

The presentationOpens in new window (in Russian) is available on our slideshare. You can also watch the videoOpens in new window (in Russian) on vimeo.

Presentation
 
25/03
2011

Alexey Kopylov spoke at Codefest in Novosibirsk




Alexey Kopylov spoke at Codefest in Novosibirsk
Alexey has come back from another design industry conference. Last week he flew to Novosibirsk to take part in CodefestOpens in new window. Alexey highlighted the peculiarities of prototyping for iOS and Android and shared the experience how he resolved the difficulties which he encountered in his professional activity.

We are very pleased that the organizers of the event sent us worm words about Alexeys presentation after the conference.

Dmitriy Pilikov, one of Codefest organizers, UI designer at 2GIS: Apart from speaking at the conference, Alexey participated in two informal events, including the lecture for students at the local university. The professors noted that the subject of usability awoke interest in students, who had known just a little about it before. Students asked to organize some more lectures on this subject. Thank you for popularizing usability and supporting our conference!

Photos from Codefest Opens in new window
 

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