2017 Main Conference Talk
Because we use all use language proficiently every day, we tend to assume we know how it works. Sometimes we’re even right! When designing communication systems for others, however, we frequently run into wild discrepancies between what we expect our users to understand – and what our users actually understand.
One culprit of this understanding gap is the set of assumptions our always-on, automatic cognition systems make about what we see, experience, and read. By understanding how these systems work – and what sometimes makes them work against us – we can learn to make smarter recommendations for user-facing design vocabularies that not only technically “work,” but that also help us better facilitate user, experience, and business goals for our clients.
This talk will draw on recent cognitive sciences research in perception and decision making to unravel the common ways the words we design sometimes work against us. Using examples from my own work and from the web at large, we’ll look at:
- the brain’s two modes of interrogating the world around us
- the role of context in the meaning we assign to words
- the salient thresholds at which the message we’re trying to convey “clicks” … or crumbles
- ways you can leverage this knowledge to make better design decisions in the work you do
About the speaker(s)
Andy Fitzgerald is an independent digital experience designer with applied expertise in design research, information architecture, interaction design, and prototyping. He works with organizations of all sizes to create elegant solutions to complex information problems.
Prior to forming his own practice, Andy held design and director positions with Frog Design and Deloitte Digital where he tackled the problem of effective communication in complex information spaces for a wide range of client organizations in healthcare, education, financial services, retail, entertainment, and transportation. Andy is an active member of the IA and experience design communities and has spoken and led workshops at UX and IA Conferences all over the world.