Development

ES Next: What Do I Need to Know?

By Joshua Kemmerling
Architect, projekt202

Joshua Kemmerling
Joshua Kemmerling

ES Next is a term used to refer to future versions of ECMAScript that have not been released. Most of the features have been proposed but are not very close to being approved. Developers usually don’t try to learn any new features until they make it to Stage 3. When a feature makes it to Stage 3, it will eventually be approved and put into a future version of ECMAScript. You can find out more about ECMAScript stages here.

After features are accepted and officially added to a new version of ECMAScript, these features can begin to be added to JavaScript engines, which is when developers can get hold of them with an extra framework.

Who is Using ES Next?

There are a lot of projects currently taking advantage of these new features. Some of these are projects that you are probably already using and didn’t realize it. Some of the projects are, but are not limited to, Angular, React, Ember and Node.

How to Start Using ES Next

Because ES Next features have not been officially added to JavaScript engines, the only way to start utilizing these features are to use a transpiler to convert your ES Next code to a supported format that browsers accept. There are a bunch of transpilers out there, but I am only going to talk about a few different ones. All of these transpilers can easily be brought into your current workflow by using something like Grunt, Gulp or Webpack to have them generate your JavaScript.

Babel

Babel is a great compiler to get started with. It supports ES2015, ES2016, and features that are in Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3. Babel even has an interactive shell that let’s you see what your ES Next code will compile to. Babel is my recommendation for people getting started with future features of JavaScript.

Traceur

Traceur keeps good documentation on the Github repository, has a huge following, and was created and is maintained by a team at Google. You know who Google is, right?

esnext

esnext is easy to use when getting started and the website provides an editor to try out some test code, but it is mainly used as a compliment for Babel.

Should We Be Using ES Next Now?

I know it won’t be the popular opinion, but I don’t think we should start using ES Next quite yet. The reasons are pretty simple. Using a transpiler adds another step to the development process without any true benefit. I say that there isn’t any true benefit because these transpilers convert your code to the most recently-supported version of JavaScript. Plus, not all transpilers support the same ES Next features, meaning if you want to switch transpilers, you will most likely have to rewrite some of your ES Next code.

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Front Porch Conference on July 19 is Newest Development in Austin’s Tech Scene

Front Porch Conference on July 19 is Newest Development in Austin’s Tech Scene

projekt202 is bringing an exciting new development to Austin’s tech community on July 19 with Front Porch: The Conference for Web Developers. Front Porch focuses on front-end development, and the workflow and technologies used to successfully deliver great user experience (UX).

Agile Isn't Enough: Here's a Better Way to Build Software that Users Want

Agile Isn't Enough: Here's a Better Way to Build Software that Users Want

By incorporating behavioral science with agile methods, companies can deliver software that customers and users genuinely want and need. projekt202's CTO Rob Pierry explains the importance of this approach to move beyond agile and stand above the competition.

Bringing UX Issues to Light in New "Expose UX"

Expose-UX-ep-14.jpg

projekt202's Senior UX Designer Chelsea Maxwell and Vice President of Customer Experience Jeremy Johnson share their expertise in an illuminating new episode of "Expose UX," a TV show devoted to identifying user experience (UX) issues and solutions.

The latest episode shines a spotlight on Openbrite, whose modular LEDgoes products allow businesses to create programmable LED marquee displays of any size, shape, color and speed. However, its creators are struggling to clearly pinpoint their key audiences.

Along with fellow UX expert James Helms, Chelsea and Jeremy open up with their own bright advice on the importance of targeting exact users. Watch the new episode now.

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projekt202 podcast: Why Successful Teams Move Beyond Agile

projekt202 CTO Rob Pierry
projekt202 CTO Rob Pierry

An entire industry has grown up around agile methods for software development, but isn't there something better, something beyond agile?

In this podcast with projekt202's Chief Technology Officer, Rob Pierry discusses key aspects that make cross-functional teams effective and how moving beyond agile can have a profound impact on a company's success.

 

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Why You Should Send Your Developers to Tech Conferences

Why You Should Send Your Developers to Tech Conferences

By sending your employees to conferences, you are letting them know that you care about their careers, you want them to learn and grow, and you want them to be active in improving your business.

Enterprise UX 2016: Our Thoughts and Hopes

By Jannis Hegenwald projekt202 Experience Researcher

and Amber Lindholm projekt202 Director of Experience Strategy and Insight

In June, we are heading to the 2016 Enterprise UX Conference in San Antonio. In its second year, Enterprise UX focuses on the unique challenges of designing experiences for people who work for and in large-scale enterprises. This conference is exciting to us because it fills a gap in the UX community, where the historical focus has been on UX for end consumers. projekt202 has a long history and passion for working on enterprise solutions, and we look forward to meeting fellow attendees to understand your specific challenges and points of view.

Here is a brief overview of the topics we are most excited about: fear of change, getting started, prioritizing and design systems.

FEAR OF CHANGE

In today’s enterprise environment, developing great experience strategies and UX designs is not enough anymore. As business challenges become increasingly complex and enterprises need to react with more agility to market developments, equipping organizations to take action immediately and confidently is key to successful experience design. This requires experience strategy teams to take on various roles (researcher, strategist, facilitator, mediator, coach, etc.) and to be comfortable with working across disciplines fluently (design, research, business, economics, sociology, coaching, etc.).

At projekt202, we work with some of the biggest companies in the world on keystone projects that change products, organizations and industries. Because of the scale and the level of uncertainty, clients often turn to us to guide teams who are afraid of change. It will be interesting to hear how Steve Baty approaches this topic in his talk, "Breaking Out of Ruts: Tips for Overcoming the Fear of Change."

GETTING STARTED

Fear of change is only one facet of an unwieldy beast of enterprise challenges when it comes to implementing impactful experience strategies and design. We have built numerous strategies that guide our clients’ efforts over 5-10 years, and one of the key things we focus on every time is breaking things down and helping teams get started. Russ Unger from 18F will talk about "Getting Out from Under Everyone: How to Escape the Paralysis of Getting Started" and it will be interesting to hear about his experience working with federal agencies.

PRIORITIZING

Another piece that is of the essence in getting organizations started is helping them prioritize initiatives. The art here lies in directing -- but not constraining -- the prioritization efforts, while ensuring that stakeholder and user voices are heard. Helping organizations understand the value of trade-offs is key. The intriguing title of Harry Max’s talk -- "Priority Zero: Some Things are More Equal than Others" -- has us excited to find out more about how he approaches prioritization.

DESIGN SYSTEMS

Zooming out a little bit, we see a clear trend that we as designers, researchers, strategists and managers don’t design products or services anymore; we design systems. The times of isolation are gone for good, both on the front end as well as on the back end of enterprise UX. For us at projekt202, this means building resilient systems that are able to evolve and adapt over time. It will be interesting to learn how Nathan Curtis views this development in his talk, "Design Systems: From Project Done to Product Sustained."

What are the biggest challenges for enterprise UX in your opinion? Do you agree with our choice of topics? We would love to hear from you or, even better, see you at Enterprise UX 2016 in San Antonio.

Let’s chat. Message us to meet up during Enterprise UX 2016:

Jannis Hegenwald
Experience Researcher
jannis.hegenwald@projekt202.com
@jannishegenwald

Amber Lindholm
Director of Experience Strategy and Insight
amber.lindholm@projekt202.com
@amberlindholm

projekt202 podcast: Why Smart Companies Adopt UX

projekt202 Chairman and CEO David Lancashire
projekt202 Chairman and CEO David Lancashire

 

"It's going to tie directly back to what we're designing, building, taking into market and driving revenue streams with."

How are companies missing out if they fail to employ user-experience (UX) strategies and what impact does this approach have on their bottom lines?

In this conversation with projekt202's Chairman and CEO, David Lancashire shares the real-world ROI of user experience, his advice to skeptics about embracing UX, and his predictions on the resources that companies will invest in and adopt in coming years.

Follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to stay current on projekt202 news.

CEO David Lancashire Celebrates UX at Dallas Tech Event

What was your user experience "aha!" moment? That was the question put to North Texas technology leaders, including projekt202 Chairman and CEO David Lancashire, at Celebrate UX on May 12. The networking event for Dallas' technology, design and business communities was hosted by producers of the TV show "Expose UX."

projekt202 Chairman and CEO David Lancashire shared some of the steps he took to rise to the top of the UX field.

David shared his UX story of meeting projekt202 Co-Founder Peter Eckert.

"Peter talked about the programmatic methodology he'd been working on since 2003, a repeatable framework to gain customer and user understanding to capture their wants, needs, aspirations and even their emotional connection points. It was the reality of delivering a great user experience," David recalled. "This framework for gaining real customer insights was a breath of fresh air."

It was so refreshing, in fact, that David bought projekt202. The trustworthy methodology developed by Peter -- now the company's Chief Experience Office -- is used by projekt202 today to help companies and organizations deliver better digital experiences for people everywhere.

Along with David, executives from AIGA Dallas, Launch DFW, Women Who Code Dallas, Big Design Events and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center discussed their key moments of UX enlightenment.

Compelling user-experience stories also liven up "Expose UX." In each episode, startups make their best product pitches to a panel of local UX experts; panelists have included projekt202's Vice President of Customer Experience Jeremy Johnson and Senior UX Designer Chelsea Maxwell. Participants receive useful feedback and, if their pitches are strong enough, a variety of prizes. As one producer described the show, "It's 'Shark Tank' for design."

The Celebrate UX event in Dallas was the kick-off to the "Expose UX" Kickstarter tour, as well. The TV crew will travel to 25 U.S. cities to showcase its program and, no doubt, capture more UX "aha!" moments along the way.

projekt202's Lindsey Norman, Anne Grundhoefer, Hayley Parham, Lori Lodwick, Karen King, Lan Nguyen and Chelsea Maxwell

Jeremy Johnson, with Ryan and Rayn Breault

projekt202's Matt Scamardo, Jeremy Johnson, Drew Loomer and Anne Grundhoefer


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projekt202 podcast: A Conversation with Co-Founder and CXO Peter Eckert

"I believe that form also needs to follow empathy. We need to truly understand the things that people try to accomplish in their daily lives, how they do it, where they struggle ... and have that empathy on the deepest level for their situation. Once we understand what they truly need, then everything comes together."

projekt202's CXO and Co-Founder Peter Eckert
projekt202's CXO and Co-Founder Peter Eckert

In this podcast with projekt202's Co-Founder and Chief Experience Officer (CXO), Peter Eckert sheds light on his company's origins, the principle of "form follows empathy" and his predictions about the evolution toward a global, connected Experience of Things.

Follow Peter Eckert on Twitter: @petroid

projekt202 podcast: Designing Experiences that People Really Value

"It is changing the industry ... This approach has at times been called 'design thinking.' At projekt202, we like to call it also 'experience thinking,' because it really is all about people's experiences."

projekt202's VP of Experience Strategy and Insight Aliza Gold
projekt202's VP of Experience Strategy and Insight Aliza Gold

In this conversation with projekt202's Vice President of Experience Strategy and Insight, Aliza Gold discusses the importance of fully realizing customers' wants, needs, motivations and goals.

"Understanding those elements," she says, "is what helps us design, create and envision experiences that people really value and can connect with emotionally."

Follow Aliza Gold on Twitter: @alizagold

A Prescription for Health Care Innovation and Disruption at Austin Hackathon

What's the cure for health care's stagnant status quo? Creating change and disruption through technology. That was the focus of the 2016 More Disruption Please Austin Hackathon, presented by athenahealth.

Recognizing the robust opportunities available for innovation, the April event brought together forward-thinking experts to prescribe tech solutions for the health care industry.

projekt202's Amber Lindholm, Director of Experience Strategy and Insight, served as featured speaker and judge, along with leaders from athenahealth, Dell Medical School and Patient IO.

With $6,000 in prize money at stake, teams strategized and made health care tech pitches to the judging panel.

Winning teams were Hemolabs for best overall health care technology solution, DxMachina for best use of athenahealth API and Remedi for the best inpatient solution.

Serving CX Food for Thought at projekt202 Breakfast

projekt202's Joe Dyer, Russ Bair and Matt Scamardo
projekt202's Joe Dyer, Russ Bair and Matt Scamardo

North Texas business leaders recently got a taste of what's possible in delivering improved customer experiences.

The projekt202 team shared customer experience (CX) insights at an invitation-only breakfast, held May 3 at the scenic Four Seasons Resort and Club in Irving.

Chairman and CEO David Lancashire and Vice President of Customer Experience Jeremy Johnson discussed projekt202's observation-based methodology for helping companies understand and deliver solutions their customers genuinely want and need.

To illustrate the importance of fully knowing an organization's audience, time was blocked out for a brief but creative exercise. Using Legos, teams were tasked with building prototypes for package-delivery vehicles.

Without a clear and complete picture of customers' and users' specific requirements, however, teams assembled a variety of vehicles, ranging from trucks and vans to airplanes and drones.

The constructive activity shed light on the basic understanding -- or, in many cases, misunderstanding -- that companies have of their users.

David said that most organizations fall somewhere on a broad spectrum of understanding their customers' needs, wants and emotional connection points. Customers are hungry for better, more fulfilling experiences, which can only be created through deeper, lasting insights.

This methodology is further outlined in the new book, "Designing Software for People: Application Development in the Experience Age." The book marks the latest chapter in projekt202's work to help businesses and their customers realize the full potential of technology.

Get Your Tickets to Join projekt202 at Expose UX Party in Deep Ellum

Join projekt202 on Thursday evening, May 12, for the Expose UX Kickstarter Party in Dallas' Deep Ellum.

It's an opportunity to meet, mingle and network with fellow technology, design, development and UX professionals. projekt202 CEO and Chairman David Lancashire will be a featured speaker and panelist, along with North Texas-area user experience professionals sharing their UXpertise.

This May 12 event is the kick-off to the Expose UX team's 25-city U.S. tour. Produced in Dallas, Expose UX is a TV show where startups make their company and product pitches for prizes, while receiving in-person feedback from local UX experts.

Get your free tickets now while supplies last.

What: Expose UX Kickstarter Party

When:
7-11 p.m.
Thursday, May 12

Where:
Common Desk
2919 Commerce St.
Dallas, TX 75226

Embracing the Evolution toward the Experience of Things

Embracing the Evolution toward the Experience of Things

Over the next few years, many advancements in technology will unfold and dramatically shift our behavior and expectations in society. Just look at the IoT, the Industrial Internet, autonomous driving and flying, virtual and augmented reality, wearable devices, biometrics sensors and implants, among others. It is on us to bring these things together in a meaningful way. Welcome to the Experience of Things.

projekt202 podcast: Coming to Terms with Design Thinking vs. Customer Experience

In this conversation with David Lancashire, the chairman and CEO of projekt202 shares his perspective on why some industry terms -- in particular, "design thinking" vs. "customer experience" -- resonate better with the business community, and the importance of uniting user observations with clear business goals to solve customer challenges.

Highlights from the podcast:

-- There's a fundamentally new approach to design and development ... We're calling that 'experience-driven' design and development ... It's all about new techniques that have emerged that allow us to observe the users and customers in context.

-- By gaining a much deeper and richer understanding of our customer at a persona level, we're able to design solutions that are able to really thrill and have them be much more enjoyable than was previously possible.

-- With 'design thinking,' people ... feel it's this creative thing that they may or may not even be able to understand and appreciate ... Whereas, a buzzword like 'customer experience' is a lot easier for a business-oriented person to consume, because they think in terms of an experience they're delivering for their customer. It's just an interesting quirk: What is the right name to call something and whether it's really helping the industry as a whole.

-- We need to help the rest of the world -- particularly the business community --understand that the essence and the frameworks that are behind these thoughts are actually things that drive real business value, real gains in market share, real gains in revenue growth ... How do these techniques -- these ways of understanding the customer in a more profound and detailed way -- potentially play into improving these financial metrics? They're very, very connected.

-- The methodology of getting closer to the user through these new techniques out of behavioral science should be incorporated into modern American business in a really systematic way. Companies that are understanding and gaining this clearer insight of their customers and the problems that customers are grappling with ... these companies are ... able to get design teams focused on solving the right problems.

-- There's a far more trustworthy, methodical, scientific program for incorporating ... this picture of what your customer or user really wants. It instills confidence.

-- That's the great news: what we're talking about is ... a very clear approach of observing people in the context of their everyday world. Through this observation, we're able to see that there are different personas, people acting and thinking in different ways.

-- projekt202 has a step-by-step framework for going through this process. You're empowering that designer to be focused on exactly the right thing, which means when the ideation process is in full swing, you're getting great ideas for solving these exact problems ... Our ability to tie these together is what sets projekt202 apart.

Success Story: Improved UX Breathes New Life into the ERP Market

Challenge: We need to disrupt the ERP market … starting with our own software

An operational technology distributor decided to change how enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is built and used in the marketplace. Over the course of the global company’s growth, its existing ERP software had fossilized into a cumbersome, difficult obstacle. Inconsistent user experiences began negatively affecting sales as more niche-focused competitive threats emerged, increasing pressure on the firm’s R&D.

Recommendations: New personas facilitate better communication and awareness

Observing over 200 core ERP users across 12 countries in more than 60 enterprise environments provided projekt202’s Experience Strategy and Insight and UX team with a wealth of key insights. For instance, while most users had difficulty learning and using the software, the two largest issues were process awareness and communication. Most enterprises using ERP solutions also experienced inefficient use, long training times and high staff turnover.

From this comprehensive data, projekt202 created eight company-wide personas to emphasize users’ needs. Workflow models for each gave teams more insight into persona needs. New navigation frameworks were validated with users before core development and platform planning began. Tools and concepts were created for communication and process awareness. projekt202 also created and presented design guidelines, principles and themes to the client's R&D team.

Results: Improved UX leads to greater demand and renewed customer loyalty

The client saw improved demand for its existing and in-development ERP solutions. Reduced needs for training, call center activity, and help and documentation validated improved user experiences. Improvements led to increased customer loyalty.

Tools built for the new ERP solution became omnipresent across the client platform. The R&D team was trained on projekt202's methodology, now an essential part of the team’s strategy. Interactive design resources and pattern libraries are used throughout the organization to drive marketing efforts and further increase growth.

More than five years later, projekt202 continues its successful design and development partnership that grew out of this initial project.

Success Story: Applying an Enterprising Solution for Suite Consistency

Challenge: Applications are running into language barriers

One of the world’s top technology and hardware development companies needed consistency across its enterprise suite of over 80 applications. A streamlined enterprise design language, uniform navigation and standard product guidelines were essential.

Recommendation: Create language and workflow consistency

With its experience-driven design research methodology, projekt202 was asked to improve key workflows for high-revenue products and establish a design-thinking approach within the enterprise organization.

To gain insights into core users, projekt202’s team observed IT administrators, revealing that more than half of the applications were controlled by third-party development teams. In addition, many products had overlaps in functionality.

projekt202 also conducted a visual design exploration that would become the foundation for the company’s enterprise design language. This created a new look and feel to apply to an initial set of core products, showcasing their scalability and flexibility.

Results: Uniform language delivers pronounced revenue increases and brand reception

Applying its synthesized data from direct user observations, projekt202 built a new navigation across large portions of the application suite. The team also created an online repository to facilitate the new enterprise design language and its patterns. With these guidelines, the client established requirements for all third-party teams, which formed a more streamlined, cohesive and integrated suite of applications.

As a result of projekt202’s work:

  • The client’s software as a service (SaaS) revenue has grown dramatically, along with its Net Promoter Score (NPS), a valuable indicator of business performance and brand experience
  • The company bulked up its internal user experience (UX) team from three members to more than 30
  • Employees have access to continuing education on experience-driven design and UX classes, taught by projekt202