projekt202 Sr. Developer Chris Williams is the author of the new book, "The Command Line for Web Developers."
Especially in the technology industry, professional events and conferences are valuable resources for education, career growth and peer-to-peer networking. Ahead of the Oct. 24 Front Porch Conference in Dallas, projekt202 Vice President of Technology Paul Tidwell shared insights on Austin's edition of the premier tech conference and projekt202’s active role in providing an environment for people to network and learn.
projekt202 is a proud sponsor of Front Porch 2016: The Conference for Web Developers. The tech event takes place Monday, Oct. 24, at Dallas' historic Granada Theater. Founded and organized by projekt202 UI Developer Chris Williams, Front Porch is the premier Dallas conference for front-end web development.
In this new podcast, projekt202 Vice President of Technology Paul Tidwell takes a look at the current state of Austin's tech scene. He also discusses key industry conferences, such as Front Porch, and projekt202's involvement in helping a nonprofit that serves children and families affected by trauma.
By Kelly Moran
Building something people can use is one thing. Building something they appreciate is, unfortunately, something different.
You work hard and feel like users aren’t getting it. But have you tried “getting” them first? Understanding what users want from your software and how they’re using it can make the difference between a functional product that people grudgingly fumble through and something they love to interact with. Clear up misunderstandings with an ethnographic approach to learning from your users.
Below are my five top tips for bringing ethnography – or any qualitative research – into your projects:
1. There are a lot of misunderstandings out there. Avoid jumping to conclusions by spending some time with your users in their environments.
2. Use “thick description” to help your team back at the office see what you saw. Clifford Geertz talks about thick description as providing enough context surrounding an action to understand what it means to the actors. Was a wink an act of flirtation? A shared joke? Or dust in a contact lens?
3. You have to learn before you can solve a problem. Make sure you gather data first and figure out what’s going on second.
4. Use careful observation to find the things that others find so natural they’d never tell you about them. If aliens visited and asked you about your life, you wouldn’t mention breathing, but it’s critical to your survival.
5. Don’t forget to say “thank you.”
Understanding others is a skill you strengthen over time. Start engaging your users now with conversations and field trips; you’ll notice it gets easier and you learn more every time.
View my talk, or reach out and ask a question. We can all learn something from each other.