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Recordings and Materials from the 2013 User Interface 18 Conference

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Using Scenarios to Design Intuitive Experiences

Kim Goodwin

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Delve into journey mapping, then create scenarios that identify and resolve design issues. Break down internal silos so you can build user-driven experiences no matter the platform.

So stop letting organizational processes get in the way of real solutions. Learn to involve everyone in powerful sketching activities that will unite your teams.


Getting started with scenario-driven design

  • The what, why, and when of scenarios
  • How personas fit into scenario-driven design
  • How scenarios relate to use cases and Agile user stories

Creating great designs that work across all channels and platforms

  • How to determine the scope and focus of your scenarios
  • A character-driven design approach to imagining a concrete future
  • The benefits of using solution-agnostic descriptions


Using scenarios to define your design strategy

  • How personas’ human qualities help identify important requirements
  • How scenarios help teams see past organizational silos
  • Storytelling as a tool for selling your ideas

Applying scenarios to drive design at all levels

  • Techniques for using scenarios to drive structure and flow
  • Scenario-driven sketching using quick iterations for idea refinement
  • How scenarios support design decisions even at the pixel level

You’ll plan for the unknown and prioritize what’s known

Stop feature creep and design debates

Some people jump from user research to “here’s how it ought to work” without connecting solutions to data. Use journey maps and scenarios to translate user research into a plan.

Bridge the gaps across teams and devices

Everyone on your team — and every element in your design — needs to work toward a single experience. See how awesome it is when someone owns UX transitions across platforms.

Unsuck your existing experience

Learn what things people do today, how they feel, and what they would rather feel. Watch how their answers change over time and amid the journey, then use them to inform your decisions.

You'll learn how to:

  • Get to a common view of your problems, letting scenarios drive your thinking
  • Apply scenarios to cross-channel design, using stories to describe the experience
  • Slip scenarios into your existing process — whether Agile, waterfall, or a hybrid
  • Drive the vision of your design by breaking the problem into small pieces
  • Tie research data directly to the cross-platform solutions you create
  • Visualize your solutions with rich, accessible stories and sketches

4 Practical Takeaways from Kim’s Workshop

More powerful, compelling designs

Translate the flow and emotion of a good story to your UX, then follow users on their journeys.

Quicker design solutions

Use scenarios to inform your early sketches and provide design insights about users’ needs.

A UX-driven process for defining requirements

Involve product managers early by exploring ideas using collaborative sketching techniques.

Multi-channel team collaboration

Get colleagues to talk openly, solve problems, and design cross-device experiences together.

This workshop includes hands-on exercises.

You’ll work individually and in small groups to create scenarios and sketch from them. You’ll be focused on designing cohesive multi-channel experiences — which means you should be prepared to get your hands dirty with service-level scenarios, too!

Kim Goodwin, Process Maven

@kimgoodwin on Twitter

Ask Kim any question and you’ll instantly get deep, thoughtful insights that come from her years of experience working on the toughest designs imaginable. (Seriously, try it!)

In fact, as VP of UX at PatientsLikeMe, she still takes on big design challenges daily. After all, the healthcare industry is ripe with potential for innovators to connect individuals with reliable information, trusted providers, vital historical data, and extensive support networks. Kim has been dedicated to user-centric practices like this since her days running the training and design consulting practices at Cooper, a leading agency. There, she played a major role in crafting their Goal-Directed design process, which brought users into their clients’ most challenging projects.

Her scenario-driven design workshops have consistently been a favorite at the last two UI conferences, so we couldn’t wait to bring her back for a third. In fact, dozens of attendees told us they’re now using scenarios at work — Kim’s thoughtful approach to the design process made it possible for them, and that’s exactly what she’ll do for you, too.