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Design DRifter


STU KING: UX INNOVATOR & DIGITAL PATHFINDER

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Design DRifter


STU KING: UX INNOVATOR & DIGITAL PATHFINDER

IT ALL STARTED WITH MY FIRST LEGO SET IN 1972...

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With more than 20 years of experience, I have driven creative innovation throughout my career in companies of all types from small startups to fortune 500s. I have crafted an innovative approach to User Experience Design grounded in sophisticated and standards compliant prototypes that allow clients to truly visualize the outcomes of an engagement through compelling demonstrations of functionality, design and branding.

I love the challenge presented by complex business systems and processes and have helped countless clients deliver exemplary experiences to their customers in all platforms and on devices of all kinds. As a UX professional I have been directly involved in all aspects of design engagements and have a passion for delivering insightful workshops that guide clients through the complex and often overwhelming design process to achieve results above and beyond their expectations.

TRUELY WHOLISTIC EXPERIENCES AND PERSPECTIVE

THE INTERSECTION OF CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE (CX) & USER EXPERIENCE (UX)

I have been involved in UX for at least thirteen years and in the IT industry for even longer and I have a lot experience in both the B2C and B2B spaces.  Over the last six years I have integrated UX processes and deliverables into CX engagements and understand the close relationship between the strategic objectives of CX programs and the tactical processes and deliverables of UX programs. If you are looking for an experience professional with a complete understanding of omni-channel customers experience...I am your guy!

 

Just a few of the clients I have worked with

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Process


USER CENTER DESIGN PHILOSOPHY & LEAN UX METHODOLOGY

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Process


USER CENTER DESIGN PHILOSOPHY & LEAN UX METHODOLOGY

User Flows: Conversational UX & User Stories

Wireframes: Demos & Prototypes

Art Boards: Messaging & Mobile

Storyboards: Visual Design & Process Improvement

Sound design process & the right tools for the job

The UX process is a flexible and varied creature.  The tools used during an engagement change based on the business objectives and the longer I work at this discipline the more tools I have found to draw from.  For each deliverable in a typical UX project there are often numerous design meetings, workshops, interviews and testing sessions.  My role is to guide clients and stakeholders through the complex process of determining what they need and what they already have that will allow them to succeed.  This is often accomplished through visual representations of the concepts we discuss.

As a User Experience Designer I love helping people unlock the power of design in workshop settings.  Persona work shops, card sorting, rapid prototyping, contextual inquiry, focus groups and user testing are just a few of the techniques I use to drive the design process to successful outcomes.

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Work


CHECKOUT SOME OF MY WORK

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Work


CHECKOUT SOME OF MY WORK

 
 Content Models & Taxonomy

Content Models & Taxonomy

Content Model workshops

A great user experience starts with good research.  The content model is used to test the validity of our taxonomy and helps to feed the navigational structure of a site or application.  Helping clients understand the complex concepts associated with meta data is one key to the success of our projects and what the Content Model is all about.

Taxonomy documentation

Designed to bring clarity to data structure, taxonomy is a reflection of our audience and the critical bits of data required to surface targeted content and personalize our user experiences.  Together with the content model, taxonomy becomes a very powerful and essential tool for reaching the right users at just the right time.

 
 Audience Profiles & Personas

Audience Profiles & Personas

User Centered Design Philosophy

The user is the pebble in the pond and our research radiates out from the individuals who use the software we design.  I have spent many years refining the user persona and the workshops that surface this critical information.

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With years of experience in the consulting, corporate and startup worlds, I know how to confidently and reliably draw information from users and stake holders at all levels.

SAMPLES OF MY WORK

 
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Leadership


DISCIPLINE & INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

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Leadership


DISCIPLINE & INDUSTRY THOUGHT LEADERSHIP

 

CONVERSATIONAL USER EXPERIENCE

 

By Stu King - Published April 2, 2018

Digging into User Personas and Conversation Flow

UNLOCKING UX FOR CHAT BOTS

Use of message applications has surpassed use of social media.  What does this mean for companies interested in reaching the billions of potential customers using chat platforms?  It means strategy and design but how do we design for a platform with no UI?

The popularity of chat is growing at a rapid rate, and businesses are finding it hard to ignore. According to a study by Betaworks, messaging apps have now surpassed social networks in popularity and usage, and the trend is not slowing.

The potential to reach customers through chat is massive and companies like Facebook and Kik are investing heavily in not only chat platforms but AI frameworks that allow them to respond in more human ways.  With more than a billion combined users, applications built on the combined Facebook and Kik platforms have incredible reach.

In addition to AI, investments in Cognitive Services such as Microsoft’s Language Understanding platform LUIS, developers now have access to powerful entities known as “Domains”.  These domains contain language and knowledge specific to industries that allow chat bots instant access to terminology thus providing valuable business context to every interaction.

There is no doubt that with chat comes tremendous business value but how do you design something that has no UI?  How do we align our design process to this new method of interaction to ensure we are getting the most out of our chat applications?  The answer is Conversational UX.

Conversational UX studies how users interact with chat systems and looks for ways to introduce enhanced functionality and new features that address business objectives while dealing with the unique challenges of the chat interface.  We are able to achieve this by integrating new tools with some of the techniques uses in a typical User Experience Design engagement.  In many cases the classic deliverables are still extremely powerful but for very different reasons.

USER PERSONAS

At the center of good UX design is the persona.  The guiding principle of User Centered design is that we must understand our users goals and design outward.  Conversational UX is no different.  By starting with well crafted profiles of our target audiences we are able to create powerful design strategies that are tailored for the mostly text based interactions of the chat platform.

CONVERSATION FLOW

With personas in hand we can get to the work of defining our Conversation Flows.  The Conversation Flow is a visual map of queries and responses between the users and our chat bot and allow us to better understand how visitors will reach a goal, such as “order confirmation” for example.  However, the conversation flow is about much more than just linear conversation mapping

In an environment where we cannot count on flashy UI to attract the attention of users we must find other ways to give them feature hints or guide them to new services.  Conversation Flow diagrams are used to plot types of interactions and arrange them in priority based on business importance, frequency of use and complexity.

Quite often we are able to use a common interaction to gradually guide users to other services they may not have considered. For example, a common usage of chat is often to check the status of an order.  While most customers would think of this immediately they may not have considered the idea of chat as a “Personal Shopper”.  As designers, our goal is to find ways to introduce new ideas during common interactions allowing us to surface features that surprise and delight customers.

MICROCOPY

Once we have started mapping our conversation flows we can begin to build and test through simulations.  These simulated interactions allow us to quickly test our conversation structures as well as the “Microcopy” we have chosen for each response.  Is our system utilitarian or conversational in tone?  Does the way we are using language reflect the style we want, make the user interaction feel natural and encourage comfortable and engaging interactions?

Besides style and tone there are also some very practical considerations to building an AI driven chat bot.

  • How do we handle gender-specific pronouns?
  • How do we gracefully handle unsupported responses and topics?
  • When do we inject suggestions and help?
  • How many versions of responses to we create to enhance variety?
  • When do we resort to buttons versus text?
  • How will be validate user input?

All of these questions are vitally important and are tested through conversation flow and documented for copywriters.

FINAL NOTES

It’s exploding popularity makes a strong business case for chat and the advances in AI, Natural Language Processing(NLP) and Cognitive Services allow for quick build times.  Even so, the design considerations are every bit as important. Before building, businesses must clearly define the objectives and focus development efforts on delivery of great core features with an eye on expansion over time.  Conversational UX is the key to exceptional chat experiences.

 
 Lean UX Program Development & Best Practices

Lean UX Program Development & Best Practices

THE MAGIC OF HEURISTIC UX ASSESSMENT

During my career I have established and conducted UX Assessment programs for companies such at International Dairy Queen, Art Van Furniture and the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA).

WHY ARE ASSESSMENT PROGRAMS IMPORTANT?

Heuristic assessment of a user interface (UI) is the critical step in determining how your sites and software applications meet UI Design Best Practices.  However, performing a quality heuristic review is not an easy task.  Jakob Nielsen set the bar for usability in the 1990s with his list of 10 User interface Design Guidelines but much has changed since then.

To get the most value from a Heuristic UX Design Assessment there are several elements that should be included to ensure the best possible experience:

  • Customized heuristics, to ensure you are evaluating the most relevant design guidelines for your application.
  • Qualified evaluators, to give the results of your efforts credibility and authority.
  • Actionable results, to take your assessment from pure evaluation to a roadmap for process and UI improvements with measurable results.

Establishing a thorough evaluation program with heuristics tailored to your business takes time, money and expertise.  A good program is an essential tool in the enhancement of any user interface and will allow you to establish a solid baseline that is critical for measuring the impact of future improvements.

 
 American Graphics Institute: User Experience Design Instructor

American Graphics Institute: User Experience Design Instructor

MENTORING & TRAINING UX DESIGNERS

I am an instructor for the American Graphics Institute (AGI) teaching online courses in User Experience Design.  I love sharing my knowledge and experience with others and have found that one of the best and most inspiring ways to stay on top of my field is to teach.  I am currently teaching courses in Touch & Mobile Design and Rapid Prototyping.

 
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Creative


LIVING THE CREATIVE LIFE

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Creative


LIVING THE CREATIVE LIFE

Logo & Brand Interpretation

Mockups & Art Boards

 Podcast & Audio Production

Podcast & Audio Production

 Video & Social Media

Video & Social Media

The creative life

I love the creative life and User Experience Design is just one expression of that passion.  As a creative I have explored graphic design, video production, metal fabrication, product design and podcasting.  I have a lifelong love of story and over the years have expressed that in my creative pursuits and applied its universal principals to the UX discipline.

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Contact


LET’S BUILD SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER

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Contact


LET’S BUILD SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER

CONTACT ME

I am always looking for new opportunities to explore User Experience and Customer Experience Design.  Feel free to reach out and let's build something great together!

 
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Social & Email

Email: fivealarmstu@gmail.com
LinkedIn: linkedin.stukingux.com
Behance: behance.stukingux.com
Twitter: @characterwonk