User Experience Blooms at JavaOne 2008

Jeff HoffmanJeff Hoffman is the lead user experience designer for Java Standard Edition. He's been designing both consumer and developer oriented products since before the boom.

Springtime is in the air! The flowers are blooming and the trees are sprouting branches. Along with nature's beauty all around us, it's a sign that we're getting closer to a special time of year for Java developers...JavaOne!

I've been attending this show since 1999 and have always been amazed at the array of Java development related topics -- except for putting good user experience design practices to work for your applications. Sure, there are always wonderful discussions about adding fun visual effects like animations, reflections and transparency to help make your application stand out from the crowd. But developers have deeper questions -- like how to make an application work the way their users expect.

JavaOne SpeakerI'm very excited to report that the 2008 JavaOne show (May 6-9 at Moscone Center, San Francisco) will include at least four technical sessions focused on user experience. There are also a whole bunch of sessions on the latest fun stuff you can do with Java 2D and 3D Graphics, Swing, JavaFX Script and more. I'll be holding a session along with my xDesign colleague Jindra Dinga called Designing GUIs 101 (TS-4968) where we will use an end-to-end example to illustrate our straight forward, repeatable process for designing GUIs that meet the user's needs effectively and efficiently.

Our talk will cover the important phases of a good design process:

  1. Discovering the User's Goals and Tasks
  2. Gathering Requirements
  3. Defining the Task Flow
  4. Designing the GUI
  5. Gathering Feedback

And how we apply these practices when we are designing a specific feature (based on a current command line interface) within a GUI desktop tool. I'll be writing more about our technical session in the weeks right before JavaOne.

To round out this "mini-track" of User Experience sessions, I've discovered three talks from folks who (like me) are interested in enhancing the user's experience with software and are spreading the word about how to make sure it is properly considered during development. They are:

Looking forward to seeing you at the show!

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