GoodFellas’ Guide to UX


BarCamp Perth 2.0

At BarCampPerth 2.0 stepped up again and presented. This time I wanted to push things a little, well a lot. I didn’t want the standard presentation. What I wanted was something entertaining with a defined takeaway message.

Now I really wanted to focus on an introduction to User Experience. But that can be a very dry and lets be honest, boring topic.

So I opted for a thematic talk following an information journey. The slides are on slideshare. There was a video recorded, so we shall see if it is encoded, if it is, it may give you a better insight than the transcript and slide set.


The views, side comments and delivery method of this presentation do NOT reflect the views of the author or presenter and where included for entertainment value only. If you are offended by adult only content and views proceed no further.

My World

This is my world. The world of the back alleys, the dark dingy bars.

The girls looking for their last few johns for the evening.

The stale odor of the last cigarette and the tack tack of the sticky beer carpet underfoot. This is my experience.

The cars, the girls, the guns, the good times, the bad.

This is me, – Vince (Vinny my friends).

This is my tale. I deal in “User Experience”. It’s my trade.

I run a number of businesses for m’ boss, Sol. Now Sol is good boss, can’t complain. You just have to look out for his right hook and love of new shoes.. if you now what I mean.

So Sol calls me into the “office” the other day.

Vinny, my boy I have heard there is something new on the streets. Something we need to get onto. I need you to find out about this “User Experience”. Go find me the secret to this user experience before the Fenchenso Brothers do.

The Mission

So I have been out on the street researching this “User Experience”, and well because I feel I can trust you, so this is what I know.

This user experience thing it seems is all about the users. That’ll be the clients and the johns, the users. They are, it seems important, seems without them we can’t have a family business.

Now I’ve been thinking on this and well. seems right to me. We like need the clients. Gotta have someone to protect. Need the punters, the johns, hey they are bringing in the cash, right.

They say this user experience thing has to be a good one.

But I just don’t know about having to be friendly with them and making things pleasant and nice. A good user experience.

I mean lets get real, some of my clients like to be scared, they understand, fear is good for them. So I suppose that’s a good experience overall. Better than having a conversation with Billie the Bat.

So with these users I guess we need them, as they let us know about the important factors:

  • Like the business needs
  • And their user needs and wants.

So with all this user experience I have found that it is all emotional with lots of this Psychology stuff . Seems the emotions like

  • Fear
  • Lust
  • Desire
  • Greed

These are all good. They are a good user experience.

More User Research

But Jerry, he’s Sol’s bookeeper, tells me research is important too.

He says I have to research and get to know the users more than just a few chats.

Seems that doing this research, getting all cosy with the clients, johns and punters then we’ll get to know them better.

So I just send Justine and Rhonda out to get all close with these users. That worked a treat. Yeah this research thing is easy!

You know what I found out,

Most of the time its not secrets, just lots of whining about things not working, about this is too hard, this is not right, whine, complain, complain, bitch…. bitch. This and that!

Glad I asked the right questions during this research. Cause now I know that we just have a bunch of “whining arseholes” for users.

Seems the right questions enable me to stop us having problems later. See I was able to cut of the problems before they started. Sent Billie the Bat to visit them. Now they are having a sweet user experience. Just what was ordered.

So this user experience thing isn’t easy, you have to be skilled in a number of areas. But lucky I’m multi-dimensional. I can understand all about the aspects that it covers.

Making the User Experience is like making good lasagna, you build it up layer by layer, emotion on emotion, experience on experience. So people can understand what is expected.

Yeap like the good lasagna mama used to make.

But then some ponce on this intraweb thing tells me people don’t want a user experience.

That it should invisible.

That the best customer experience is one that people don’t know they are getting. Like it’s an experience not to have an experience. like an experience by stealth.

I tell yer this is getting confusing.

Now hang on I’m sure Justine and Rhonda would be a little upset if their customers didn’t get an experience!

This just seems, wrong, So you I suppose what they mean is you have to experience Billy the Bat to know what’s a good experiencing.

They say that people just want to find information and stuff and be able to use it easily, with little experience. No experience that is invisible, by stealth after a “sweet” experience

Now that I’m totally confused, So I decided to go do some more research with Billie the Bat and few friends.

So what is a Good Experience

Turns out it’s a lot more. After a few conversations down the dark alleys I have the secret. The secret to this user experience. People it seems have been hiding it. Damn those Fenchenso Brothers.

Now I don’t know if I can trust you. So I’m just going to remind you, there is Billy and maybe you need some new shoes.

So can I trust you.

Well it seems this all about this user experience not being a Science, It’s an Art. Now I like me a bit of the arts. The Mona Lisa, Elvis or Superman (the american way and all that).

This Experience it seems is all about being

  • Useful

    Seems we have to be useful, innovative in our solutions. Honing our skills to find creative ways of doing things.

    Well I love I little creativity, a little flair for the different. So I’ve taken up golf too!

  • Desirable

    Things must be desirable. We have to appreciate the the ways things look and make them even more appealing.

    Well der. I think we all know that! Lust and money, sex sells. The Family has that one nailed. No work needed there!

  • Valuable

    The user experience must return a profit. It’s all about the business needs. But also making the customer satisfied.

    I don’t know about you but this Experience thing is a just easy. Everything we do is about profit. And really our customers are always satisfied, I never hear a complaint twice. Which is good, eh.

  • Accessible

    Its good business practice to allow for the disabled and make things easy for them. We have to make the places accessible to them.

    At first I was, why!

    But then I get to thinking, well, their money is good too, and most of them are loaded! So we’re going to be accessible in all our business now.

  • Credible

    Then things are presented to people they have to appear credible.

    So things have to be credible, Liek the mother church, any one disagree! There are guidelines for this it seems. But Don’t need them.

    Well again, we have been doing this.

    All our businesses are on the level, we paid tax once. It’s all very neat and orderly, and what you see is what you get. I just don’t see that the problem here.

  • Findable

    Things, like people and information and stuff has to be findable. This is so users can find it when they want to.

    Okay I can see this.

    When the john, wants a girl, she’s there.

    If our clients need to reminded then they can ‘find’ us.
    Need to get some extra stuff, we have people on the corner.

    That’s what they call good findability. Yeah, good navigation, navigation to the source! Navigating the user to what we want.

  • Usable

    This is important, they say, how you do it and opinion of the people are helpful in making things usable.

    Well, that’s a given, if you can’t use it, what good is it. Client can’t use the stuff, then its a problem.

    If it’s there problem its my problem. And you know you have a solution to all this. Fix the problem with Billy the Bat.

The Team

So I looked at all this and reported back to Sol.

Sol looked up at me:

Vinny, So now you have the experience. But you don’t have the soldiers, the team the team to deal out the experience.

So now I have only a few hours to assemble a team, so you being people in the know, peeps of the streets. You will help me. eh.

So you know nothing! Your not working with the Fenchenso Brothers are you!

So What skills do we need in a team

  • Information Architect

    Seems I need these peoples to organise the information, helps the users find what they want. So I need someone good with locating things or organised.

  • User Researcher

    So we know tis, gotta go talk with the uses, get the information outta them, you need someone with lots or people skills and bend the users to our will.

  • Visual Designer

    It’s good look good, eh, product has to be “appealing” Need to have our products leap out at people entice them to buy it. all this. So the person need good design, layout and an eye for what is beautiful but not er, slutty.

  • Information Designer

    This is about the interfacing with the user. Sounds like a Justine and Rhonda job to me. But it;s more it’s about these columns of information called “data sets” and tree maps and weird stuff.

  • Interaction Designer

    This needs someone tough, they have to work with the arty designers and the back room boys. They get to know tools what to use in the interaction and when.

  • Copy Writing

    All about sounding good, you know a well worded contract, its very important. People have to understand the best way to explore out products, but this has to be inline with the Family Business.

Yeah, Now I have the user experience team and the “secret” , now it is time to take a hit out on those pesky Fenchenso Brothers.


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