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User and Customer Experience hat

This blogging hat is where I try to connect the broad user experience topic (encompassing HCI, usability, IA, design, writing, branding, and so on) with the even broader worlds of business, technology, society, etc.

I invented the name "Experienceologist" for this role, as a bit of a joke, but I am no longer using that term.


Presenter and speaker hat

This blog is for updates on my presentations and how to download them (look for "attachments"). Also, I am slowly adding presentations to Slideshare - the darling of the IA world.


Information architecture hat

This blog is when I have my IA hat on: navigation, wireframes, taxonomies, content management and other "down in the trenches" work.

RSS feed of only my Information Architect blog


IBM employee hat

This blog is where I posted when I was focused on my employer, IBM. I was on various forms of the corporate web User Experience Design team from 2001 to 2012.

I am not planning on adding any more entries to this blog after leaving IBM.

This is a personal blog, of course. "The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions."


Toledo User Experience Professional hat

This blog is for when I have my local (Toledo, Ohio) hat on. I will concentrate on pointing out activities for other user experience professionals in the area (and within the Ohio-Michigan region).

In May, 2013, I started doing Toledo region UX updates and news at user-experience.org


Project Management & UX

I will be doing a short talk at the next PMI WLEC meeting, January 12th. That's Project Managers in Western Lake Erie, aka Toledo Region. I am going to give them an intro to the user experience and software developer communities around here, and see what we might want to do together.

Below is what I wrote to help me prepare and give them some sense of what I want to cover. I will pull up a few web pages along the way to provide some context and trigger discussions.

Many software project managers are finding that they need to collaborate with user experience teams in order to accomplish the organizational results required for business success. User Experience professionals do more than make screen looks pretty. They do more than make features usable. They make the experience of using the product or service delightful. UXers often also use design methods to lead strategic customer decisions and stakeholder engagements.

As software development teams adopt agile, scrum and lean methods to improve their efficiency and effectiveness, they are also exploring how to collaborate with user experience professionals. Design is becoming an important competitive advantage in e-commerce, mobile app and other software marketplaces. Intranets and enterprise software are expected to be as good as consumer applications.

Project managers, software developers, and user experience designers all need to work together for projects to be successful. Shouldn’t we also be learning together and networking with each other “outside the office”? Let’s talk about what PMI WLEC is doing this year, what the software, tech & design communities in the Toledo Region are trying to accomplish, and see if we can do some things together. For example, we have already collaborated on EPIC’s Connect IT, where we had a PM roundtable to go along with application development and IT infrastructure topics.

The next (best) opportunity for learning together and networking might be the 4th User Experience Toledo Region conference on February 3rd. It will be at the Toledo Museum of Art and features remote speakers by Rosenfeld Media. The topic is PRODUCT management and user experience (not quite the same as PROJECT management, but close). The world-class experts include Jeff Gothelf, Jeff Patton, Laura Klein and Christina Wodtke. Learn more at User-Experience.org.

About Keith Instone - Keith is a user experience consultant and experience planner. He has “global” clients (like Lenovo) that he works remotely with, “midwest” clients (like a consumer products company in southern Ohio), and “local” clients (like Owens Corning). They usually hire him to make their technology easier to use but he often ends up helping them change the organization and culture that is getting in the way of people-centered design.

His most intense experience with PMI-certified colleagues was during a 10 year stint with IBM, where he worked with a wide rage of “pure” PMs and “UX” PMs. He was part of the first cross-IBM Agile UX working groups, which did early attempts at integrating agile software development and user-centered design processes.

Today, he is active in building up the UX and software tech communities in the Toledo Region. Check out User-Experience.org, TechToledo.com, and the community calendar ToledoTechEvents.org to join us.

Blog topics: 

UX Shop Talk

I am giving a talk on Thursday (3/26) at the Mad Ave Collective, part of their Shop Talk series. My topic is "User experience concepts, skills and methods for strategic creatives".

My basic agenda:

  • My life as a User Experience Freelance Consultant
  • Who we are: Strategic Creatives
  • UX Concepts, Skills & Methods that you can use to do your current job better
  • How to "learn me some of that UX"

Links to things I plan to mention:

Blog topics: 

IVLA 2014 Conference talk

Way back in November, I did another talk about user experience and visual literacy. This time I partnered with Mike Osswald. We led a session entitled "Visual literacy in a business context" (aka "Design and visual literacy") at the IVLA 2014 conference, right here in Toledo.

Mike did a great job putting the slides together, even tweaking them for the 9-screen display we had. Slide 28 shows that well, and also serves as the list of UX "top of mind" topics that we thought had strong connections to visual literacy issues.

  • Modular Content for
 Multiple Contexts
 (Responsive)
  • User Interface 
 Metaphors
 ("Flat" design)
  • Layers and Motion
 in User Interfaces
  • Gesture Literacy
  • Storytelling
  • Human Factors 
 and Devices
  • Data Visualization Democratized
  • Infographics & Information Literacy

We got the audience engaged, heard good feedback afterwards, and learned a lot doing it. So it was a success! Not sure what UX & VL connections I will make next, but I plan to keep exploring the intersection.

Blog topics: 

Visual Literacy & User Experience

I will be presenting "Visual literacy: Expanding how we practice UX" at UX Thursday in Detroit on June 26th. The official blurb about the talk:

Visual literacy, traditionally applied to educational settings, has become important for users to make sense of digital media. Keith Instone will share the how and why behind his research and the ways he applies what he’s learning about visual literacy to UX. You'll hear how this exploration is making him a better UX practitioner.

Keith hopes to inspire UX practitioners to embark on their own discipline-crashing journeys to help strengthen the future value of UX.

Leave Keith’s session with:

  • A process for expanding your UX expertise by "crashing" other disciplines
  • Examples from visual literacy that apply to UX
  • An invitation to participate in the next virtual literacy conference

I will add the slides and other information here as I make progress.

UX Tips Toledo region conference, April 24

I am organizing another Rosenfeld Summit virtual conference in the Toledo area. After doing a survey of local folks early in 2013 and finding that "virtual training" was the top need, I organized the 31 UX Tips virtual conference in May of 2013. I have also encouraged others to host Rosenfeld virtual events in the area. It is a good way to get the local community together, enjoy top-notch speakers, at a very low cost.

I still need sponsors for the April 24 event. Let me know if you are interested, or if you want to recommend a company for me to contact.

Blog topics: 

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