Interaction 19
4-10 February 2019
Seattle, WA
United States

The UX of the food buffet

talk – 7 min | Feb 7 – 12:45

Teach clients how to better understand design decisions using examples from everyday life

Two years ago, at interactions16 in Helsinki, I stood in line to get food and noticed how annoying and time-consuming it was to have to pick up my napkin, knife and fork at the beginning of the buffet, even though I wouldn’t need them until the end.

A few weeks later, I struggled to explain to a client why they shouldn’t include so many input fields in their user onboarding. I tried to convince them with heuristics. Nope. I shared user research. Nada. I appealed to their own experience with online forms. They wouldn’t budge. Then I used the buffet line as an analogy.

Suddenly, their eyes lit up, they got it.

Teaching our clients concepts like Gestalt principles, Fitts’ Law, and cognitive load may explain why we design. Yet using a relevant analogy may be just the thing that will convince them to accept it.

This talk will be a playful walkthrough of how analogies can be used to apply design principles for a better user experience. It may also leave you permanently annoyed with food buffets.

Adam Dunford

Adam Dunford
Senior UX designer, inUse Gothenburg

About the speaker

Adam Dunford

Adam Dunford

Senior UX designer, inUse Gothenburg

I’m a UX designer and information architect by trade, a project manager and director by experience, and a teacher by mentality. Indeed, my most effective results have come only after a client comprehends why a design decision has been made and a user learns how to interact with a product or service to accomplish their goals.

After moving to Sweden a few years ago to get a master’s degree in interaction design, I currently work alongside excellent colleagues at inUse, bringing ethical, thoughtful, and innovative service and interaction design to clients in healthcare, automotive, government, and technology.

I still think was the best site on the internet (RIP). No one has convinced me otherwise.


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