User education involves researching, creating, and delivering information about technical processes or products targeted at a specific audience. User assistance refers to the guided assistance for using those processes or products, and includes all forms of help. Both require specific skills and are components of the broader category of user experience, a user-centered design approach to create satisfying experiences for all customer interactions.

This session introduces the concepts of usability and user experience and shows how to maintain a creative edge when applying them to user education. You will get a historic perspective, basic theory, and hands-on practice that will help you assess your development team’s current skills, develop new skills based on user-centered design principles, and learn how to tap creative, often-hidden talents that can offer solutions or innovations which might otherwise be overlooked. You will see examples of user-assistance programs and learn methods to provide fast and accurate evaluations for improving the user experience—methods that can help you keep pace with evolving technology and the increasing demand for speed and delivery.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to define and express the importance and value of user experience and usability
  • How to define and assess the roles and skill sets in a comprehensive user experience team
  • How to set up group evaluation sessions for quick and optimal results
  • Techniques to create easy-to-write-and-read evaluation reports
  • How to set up group sessions to discover and utilize hidden resources and skills for creative solutions and innovation

This session addresses methods for evaluating and improving user experience that are derived from usability testing, interface design, and collaborative brainstorming techniques. Participants who are acquainted with these fields but have limited practical experience may gain the most value. 

Technology discussed in this session:
Web-based technologies. 

Student technology needs:
A laptop. No special programs required.