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Speaker Spotlight: Ian Fenn and Getting UX Done


Ian Fenn is a UX expert with very persuasive powers.  Ian will look you in the eye, harness the power of consensus, and use a few cool words like we and us to get people moving towards a common vision.  Magically, he just gets things done.

It is your chance to unlock the secrets of this un-masked UX magician, as he reveals the secrets to getting UX done. Here’s the scoop.  Ian is an award-winning veteran UX specialist with a solid reputation for consistently exceeding project targets through intelligent and thoughtful interaction design.

Getting UX Done

If there is one problem UX designers are familiar with, it is the problem of getting their designs implemented.  A 2012 survey of practitioners revealed the number one reason usability problems go unfixed is that the solution conflicts with the decision maker’s belief or opinion. When I switched from creative producer to user experience design consultant eight years ago, the first challenge I faced was that I was no longer responsible for deciding whether or not a design was implemented.

This sucked.

At first I put my faith in the facts, hoping that the decision makers would buy into them. Surely that would be enough? No, it wasn’t. In recent times, some UX thought leaders have advocated the use of collaboration techniques to get everyone on the same page. But in my experience, that doesn’t always work either. This humorous talk reveals how I threw together a mixture of psychology research and conjuring techniques to get more of my work implemented as I felt it should be. I will cover in detail:

  • How being labeled an expert grants you the persuasive power that actual experts have.
  • How I encourage people to consider me an expert. (Which starts with calling myself one.)
  • How I avoid inconsistency, which works against persuasion.
  • How I present my work to appeal to stakeholders. (Think storytelling aimed at the social styles identified in research by David W. Merrill.)
  • How to handle criticism and misdirection from stakeholders. (Hint: While a valid approach, swinging a baseball bat in their direction is not the best response.)
  • How to deal with stakeholders and team-members from different cultures.
  • What I learned from conjuring. (Hint: It is not magic.)


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