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Stephen Anderson joins the CanUX 2016 lineup

April 12, 2016 by Corneliux

Another fantastic speaker makes his CanUX debut.

What Board Games can Teach Us about Designing Experiences
} Time: TBD / 40 MINUTES

There’s a reason so many board gamers show up UX events. The same skills that make us great information wranglers are the same things that make board games like Catan, Pandemic and yes, even Exploding Kittens so appealing! It should come as no surprise that we’ve seen prominent UX leaders cross over into board game design (Matt Leacock, Dirk Knemeyer).

If we scratch beneath the surface, there’s a set of shared skills (and struggles) common to these different professions. Specifically: the spatial arrangement of information, visual encoding of information, creating designed spaces, a systems view, playtesting / user testing, competing tensions, triggering emotional responses, and many more.

Okay, so what? Sure, it’s kind of neat that we have so much in common. But how might this change what I do at $largecompany? Here’s the honest truth: The game design profession is just a little bit farther down the road than us, and we have a lot to learn from this group if we can look past the superficial differences. We talk about designing for emotions, but let’s face it, game designers are actually winning at this. Processes? We talk about lean and agile, but game designers have mastered playtesting (and the design to playtest ratio should make us embarrassed at how little we actually iterate with users). And there’s plenty more. I’m confident that if we can look our our own profession through the lens of game design, we’ll see plenty of glaring opportunities for improvement, and a few tricks we might pick up, as well.

Speaker Bio: Stephen Anderson

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Stephen is the Chief Experience Officer at BloomBoard, and the creator of the popular Mental Notes card deck, a tool to help businesses use psychology to design better experiences. He is also the author of “Seductive Interaction Design” which answers the question: “How do we get people to fall in love with what we design?”

He is also one of the original co-founders of the Big Design Conference, one of North America’s largest UX events. When he’s not working or speaking, Stephen offers workshops and training to help organizations manage creative teams, make use of visual thinking, and understand the role of design in creating valuable customer experiences and envisioning unseen opportunities.

Prior to venturing out on his own, he spent more than a decade building and leading teams of information architects, interaction designers and UI developers. He’s designed Web applications for businesses such as Nokia, Frito-Lay, Sabre Travel Network, and Chesapeake Energy as well as a number of smaller technology startups. He also likes to believe that someday he’ll have the time to start blogging again at his personal homepage at poetpainter.com

One of the reasons why Stephen is a first-rate designer and speaker might also have something to do with him spending his early years as a teacher.

For more info, you can follow Stephen on on Twitter @stephenanderson

*Image credit: UX Salon

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