CareerFoundry webinars cover the latest trends in tech, with a focus on UX design, UI design, web development, and app development. Each webinar is presented by an industry expert, and followed by an exciting Q&A discussion.

This webinar recording is a must-watch if you’re studying UX design or you’re simply interested in user experience. In the webinar, UX designer Clark Wimberly walks us through the UX Playbook; easy tools that people from any discipline can employ to improve user experience. He pulls from his experience as a UX designer and speaker for InVision app, and shares his all-time top tips for making users happy.

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The webinar ‘ The UX Playbook: How to Keep Your Users Happy ’ took place on August 25th 2016, and was presented by Clark Wimberly, UX designer and speaker for InVision app. He walks us through the exercises that even ‘non-UXer’ designers can do to improve user experience, from personas, to storyboarding, prototyping and user testing.

Watch the video to:

  • Understand how to improve your relationship with your users to keep them customers for longer
  • Learn how to use a few of the tools from within the UX Playbook to keep your users happy
  • Learn some amazing, proven tips to improve your UX Design
  • Grasp new skills through a number of fun and challenging exercises aimed at keeping users happy

Q&A transcript

RYAN: Thank you so much for that. We’ve got a few questions lined up for you, okay?

CLARK: Yes, go for it.

RYAN: First of all, yes I just want to say that if anybody wants to cofound a drunk user testing company with me, that would be awesome.

CLARK: I always debate whether or not I should put that in there, but I’m like yes it’s fun. It really is fun. Like I’ve done it a lot around, you know, the holidays or whatever. Like what have you been working on; let me show you.

RYAN: Yes, it sounds like you really get some honest answers there too.

CLARK: Yes, you really do. When those users that are… You know, they’re kind of half… They’re joyfully playing with it and can get through it, okay that’s a tight user flow, if you got through it while distracted and joking with me, so it really helps iron some things out.

RYAN: That’s really cool. That’s good. Well I’m just going to jump into this. The very first question is really simple; what was your book again, what was the name of it?

CLARK: Oh, yes, let me scroll all the way back up to the top. I assume you all can still see… Let me turn it back on. You can see these slides. It’s called Design Workflow With Sketch. I don’t have the link handy on me, but if you search Design Workflow With Sketch InVision it will pop up.

It’s a ten part series and it’s emailed to you I think once a week or maybe daily. I forget how they do it, but you’ll get a chapter a day and it has a sample file. I did a full on like editorial design with symbols and with styles and with all that stuff done ready to go. So it kind of takes you through it and gives you that file you can peek around in.

RYAN: That’s nice. Going onto the next one. How do you create personas if you don’t have the resources to conduct interviews or how do you go about with the personas if it’s just you and a friend or you and co-founder sitting there?

CLARK: That would be the proto persona where basically you kind of identify the target audience that you have in your head and kind of start defining things. And, like I said, it’s not as good as something based on research, but it’s still not nothing.

Every idea starts with that little inkling of who this is for and who it could benefit and that’s kind of where your first personas can come from. And then as soon as you get even a hair of traction or people start using it, that’s when you can double down and say okay, people responded to this, let’s figure out who is responding to this.

So you kind of… It’s fair to start just kind of made up… You just have to get ready to get serious if you get some traction.

RYAN: Got you. That’s a good answer. So if you have something creative and you did some testing and then maybe a year later or something, should you ever go back and redo a test on the site, maybe test the same thing that you have maybe one in the past?

CLARK: I would. Lots of times with A/B tests it’s hard to tell the true winner without a decent amount of time passing. And so sometimes when everyone wins and you have it in place for six months or whatever, it’s decent to go back and maybe test that again with an A/B or with user testing.

Especially like I said earlier just because the landscape changes a little bit, people expect different things out of products as stuff becomes easier and easier and fewer and fewer taps. Something that was made a year or two ago may feel very dated by now and you may need to streamline it a bit.

RYAN: Got you, totally makes sense. You talked about the importance of storyboarding and going back. Should there be a new storyboard every time you update a site, like if you add a new product or something?

CLARK: Sort of. Storyboards, like I said, they should be flexible. So if you need to add steps in or say you add a new feature or required flow, it’s fine to just kind of open your storyboard up and put three new steps right in there. It does help to evaluate them over time, because like I said that’s really… I don’t even know what to call that. I’ll call it like storyboard creep or something. That Southwest example I gave, that’s not the way any of them would’ve planned it but three years in with an app that’s been rewritten twice with a team that’s changed 80%, you know, stuff just falls through the cracks.

So it’s great to go back and analyse that is this storyboard ideal and are we really holding to it and how many steps does it take to book a flight. So there’s a lot you can re-evaluate as your product matures and as the network and just the populous starts to change a bit.

RYAN: Do you think teams ever plan like every December just go back to everything again, make sure it’s all still relevant this year?

CLARK: I don’t know. I don’t know if I’ve ever been on a team that did like a calendar based review like that. I’m trying to think. I don’t think I ever have. It makes sense, but lots of times my products don’t exist in one form for that long.

I’ve been lucky enough to work in a lot of places with a really rapid pace and with a big team of engineers, so lots of times the stuff a year from now it’s not what it was a year previous. I guess that kind of means we kept it updated all the way through the year.

It does seem like it would pay dividends to re-evaluate the flow, especially if you have any data that shows people get stuck there. If you have a spot where people get stuck or where people drop off, you should never lose focus of that spot.

RYAN: If you’re constantly updating that quickly, do you think… It sounds like it would be more important to check to make sure everything’s working if you just had so many changes coming in all the time.

CLARK: Yes, pretty much because it’s almost like it’s a documentation game too for new workers or for contractors that come in. It’s hard to understand the intended flow and then maybe the flow that people really take, so getting all that documented and then checking it that it’s correct is just the same as, you know, making a style guide or making sure that your coders use the same format everywhere, stuff like that that keeps consistency. So it’s just another piece of your documentation.

RYAN: That’s nice. We’ve got time just for a few more quick questions. A good one. What application do you use to record users doing user testing? I believe that was what you talked about a few slides…

CLARK: Yes, so there’s Lookback.io. It’s one of the main cool tools and we have it integrated into InVision, so if you have a free InVision account there’s user testing there. There’s also UserTesting.com that I think gives a free one. There’s, you know a good place to look is to go to ProductHunt.com and then search the word user testing. Again I don’t have a link off the top of my head, but there have been so many really neat little user testing tools that have come out in the past few years that it’s kind of hard to even keep track.

There’s some that, like I say, record the face. There’s some that even just record live sessions of someone using your production website or production app, so you can just physically see where these people get stuck. So it’s hard to recommend one killer user testing tool because there are so many good ones out there.

RYAN: Nice, that’s good to hear. It’s awesome to hear there’s a lot of good options out there.

CLARK: Yes, there’s been a lot popping up lately.

RYAN: Nice. Another one; if a UX designer is working alone do they hand their designs in to coders? I’m curious about how developers and UX designers work together and where their roles overlap and separate.

CLARK: It was kind of weird. I’ll go with the Zebra as my main example, because again I was the lone UX designer but also the lone designer, right. All of the marketing design, all the visual design, all the product design, all the user experience design and for like a year when I started I was the lone front end coder.

I do front end really strong. So for a while I was doing all of that. As soon as we got better processes in place I had front ends and an engineering team I worked with really heavily and we had a series of kind of kick off meetings all the time. Anytime we had one thing done or kind of one thing decided on from the product side we’d all get together and really dissect it and see how it was going to be built and make sure that they could build it like I want it and how it should be.

And we worked together from that angle and lots of times what they would identify as a difficult thing to build would kind of cause me to go retool it a little bit, present it again as a product side, maybe do a little testing to make sure it hadn’t changed too much and then build it.

So it helps to show it to your developers and ask ‘what’s going to be hard for you in this?’ and then kind of if you can tune it, it’s nice to tune it as the designer because you… Sometimes I always joke as a designer you can kind of mistakenly assign someone weeks’ worth of work.

You make a little tweak and oh that’s cool, ‘here build that’, and you just gave them a week’s worth of stuff to do on something you didn’t really know if it needed to be done or it was a big win. So it’s when you’re the lone designer, the lone UX there’s a lot on your shoulders to make sure that you can justify what you’re assigning to developers.

RYAN: Nice. That totally makes sense. Kind of working together the whole time. We’ve got time I think for two last little quick ones.

CLARK: Yes, go for it.

RYAN: Is it truly possible for someone with no UX design or design experience to take a short online boot camp and get a well-paying job in the field? What do you think?

CLARK: Yes and no. It will get you… The short boot camp will get you in the door. I feel like it will get you an opening position or an entry level position and then again a lot of the companies don’t have established UX roles. A lot of companies do, but you shouldn’t look to that as your end all that I’m going to go somewhere and be the UX designer.

You may end up just being a designer that’s very passionate about UX and that’s identified and you get graduated up into that role, which I think is just as valid but it’s hard to make that your starting target of I’m going to be a bona fide UX designer.

But that’s not a bad thing, because being a regular designer whose ideas are always correct and who comes through in the clutch and who has data to back up their guesses, that’s a designer people want on their team regardless of the title.

RYAN: Nice. So you talk about this being like a good supplement for whatever like joining UX with whatever else you’ve already done.

CLARK: Oh, yes for sure. Like I said, a lot of this stuff… I mean the Zebra was part of my official process but otherwise a lot of this is just stuff that I do myself and of course I share it with the clients and I share it with the team, but a lot of this is just self-initiated stuff I do to double check my own math to make sure that I’m not going down some crazy hole. The users kind of verify that what you’re doing is correct.

RYAN: Got you, good one. Last little question, just before we run out of time. What are some big projects that you’ve worked on in the past? I know we talked about some.

CLARK: Oh, yes, so recently I took a leave of absence from InVision and built the Southwest or South by Southwest.com site. It’s the giant convention they have here yearly. I got a call, they asked if I would join as the lead WordPress developer and I said yes, but I have a day job and I have to ask. It really worked out. My InVision team was incredibly supportive. They let me take two and a half months off. I worked with the South By team in their office every day and we built the site with a local agency here called FBA, a really great interactive firm that’s been doing it for a few years.

So that was a really, really big one and it was really neat and it kind of again added to my skillset because my main job now is explaining that process. So it was a really complex, giant build with a lot of moving pieces and, yes, I took time off to do it.

Now I’m back at InVision, been back for three or four months and my main gig now is we just launched a movie called Design Disruptors that’s showing all over the place. So I’m helping set up screenings and doing community events and making sure everyone that wants to see the movie can.

RYAN: That’s really cool. Seems like two very varied projects.

CLARK: Yes, it’s kind of all over the place. I joked it was almost like I did a little field trip, like I took a trip and worked in an office with some people and then the screening thing has almost been kind of like sales, like I’ve been talking to a lot of people explaining why design is important and what the movie talks about. But it’s been fun from a career standpoint to work on so many different things in such a short amount of time.

RYAN: Well I think we’re kind of out of time, so I’ve got to wrap this up a little bit. Thank you so much for being here, Clark. I think I speak for everybody here, I would love to pick your brain for the next couple of hours about how it was working with South by Southwest or how it is to go around with this movie, all that kinds of really great stuff, but sadly we’ve hit our time.

CLARK: Yes, well thanks for having me.

**RYAN: Yes, thanks for everything you did. That was kind of making it a little bit more personal. And thanks to everybody who did stay all the way with us tonight or today depending on where you are - this morning for the one person in Australia. Thank you. **