Gail Swanson helps people solve product and service problems without blowing themselves up. Throughout her design career across many industries, she’s been dedicated to helping talented folks be effective at their jobs. Gail built the strategy practice at 18F, and has returned to public service improving the experience of disaster survivors as they recover and rebuild. Gail speaks and writes about all manners of design, strategy, and digital innovation.
For more, keep up with Gail at gailswanson.us
UX Camp Spring 2024
Design Safety: A Trauma-Informed User Research Guide
Throughout civic tech, people are striving to increase engagement with vulnerable and underserved communities, and in private industry, product teams are including more diverse pools of participants in their user research. These inclusion strategies mean that researchers will undoubtedly work with people who are living with the impact of trauma, which presents risk of causing additional harm. With attention and tools, user researchers can minimize this risk to vulnerable participants and improve the experience for everyone involved.
Tactics such as content warnings and informed consent help people protect themselves, and other tools are available to help us do user research ethically.Combining the principles of a trauma informed approach (created by SAMHSA), an ethical research framework, and a little creativity, sets us properly on a path to learning safely. Join us to learn how to apply trauma informed principles to user research, and get tools to use in your own research design.
This session includes:
An introduction to the effects of trauma and who it impacts
What is trauma informed user research
How to use the ethical researcher checklist and other tools to improve your user research with all participants
UX Camp Fall 2019
UX Camp 2017
Keynote: Presenting Design Work to Decision Makers
The job of design includes collaborating with decision makers to accomplish business goals. Successful designers create shared understanding of complex ideas, in addition to doing high quality design work. Unfortunately, explaining the design rationale yields low levels of success. More effective communication strategies use a broader spectrum of tactics to start collaboration, get buy-in, and share knowledge.
Gail will explain how to create a presentation strategy, identify purposeful details, and handle difficult moments. Be more successful by learning to use work presentations as an opportunity to connect and make progress.
Leadership By Design 2017: Prototypes, Process & Play
Designer in the Machine
Big organizations have a reputation as stifling and lonely places where design careers sputter. The structure required to become successful on a large scale traditionally left little room for creative exploration. These places are awakening to the value of design. They are looking to designers to transform their cubicled caverns into design led enterprises. Changing culture is hard, especially when you bring people who think differently together. But we already have the skills to get this done. Using the same user centered tactics that we use to design products and services, designers are creating change. Gail will show how to extend design thinking, empathy, and collaboration to thrive as a designer and be a happy part of something big.
UX Camp 2014: Mobile Camp
10lbs of Features in a 5lb App: Tips on Creating Simple Yet Yobust Experiences for Mobile Devices
People use mobile devices for surprisingly complex tasks. The constant presence of our phones trumps the extra time it may take to manipulate the small screen with clumsy fingers. So, how do we deliver a simple mobile experience while providing the breadth of functionality users and stakeholders want to cram into these tiny containers?
In this session, Gail will show you how to apply essential design concepts like progressive disclosure, complexity masking, and linear pathways to create the perception of simplicity for your users. Broaden your design strategies for getting all those features your stakeholders require into a design simple enough for your dad to understand.
UX Camp 2013: Prototype Camp
The Right Type of Prototype
How do you know what to prototype? What details are important to get right? What level of interactivity is necessary to get valid feedback?
Prototypes are very effective tools for playing out ideas, testing concepts and getting feedback. But they are often left out of the design and development cycles due to their disposable nature. It can be tough to justify the effort to make something for the purpose of experiment. Finding the right prototype medium and minimum level of detail required is essential. Without it, how will you get the stakeholder buy-in and funding?
Learn how to match your prototype fidelity to the information you need to gather. Understand the range of prototype techniques and match them to your situation. Get maximum value and minimize your project risk.
UX Camp 2013: Mobile Camp
User Research Goes Mobile
Success making for mobile users depends upon how well we can fulfill users’ needs while matching their perspectives. This is easy when your users are tied to a desk, but when they are moving throughout the world, things can be a little complicated. To get the insights we need, we use an array of user research methods. Let’s take a look at adapted methods for field research, ethnography as well as usability testing on small devices. And, let’s have some fun using core research principles to customize research for unique devices or situations. Whether you are a designer, developer or just interested in mobile technology, Gail will get you thinking beyond surveys and one way glass.