The Brandeis GPS blog

Insights on online learning, tips for finding balance, and news and updates from Brandeis GPS

Tag: UX

My Experience at UXPA Boston 2021

Contributed by: Lauren Haynes 

Through the Brandeis Graduate Professional Program (GPS), I had the opportunity to attend UXPA Boston 2021UXPA Boston is an annual full-day conference that brings together UX professionals from varying experiences and industries. During the conference, attendees can participate in a series of presentations, lunchtime table topics, mentoring, raffles, and “speed” networking. 

The week before the conference:

A few days before the conference, I was granted access to Hopin—the virtual event platform. Through Hopin, I was able to personalize my profile and plan my conference itinerary. In addition, I was able to read the bios of the event speakers and see other professionals attending the event. 

Day of the conference:

The day started with a welcoming address delivered by the UXPA Boston President, Bob Thomas. Following the address, the conference continued with presentations delivered by seasoned industry professionals. The presentations spanned topics including career development, strategy, design, user research, strategy, and UX in society. Several 45-minute presentations were scheduled concurrently, so attendees had the option to choose between sessions or bounce in between.

I planned out my day accordingly and chose sessions that were of interest to me. (There were so many great sessions to choose from, it was hard to decide). I ultimately attended the following presentations:

  • Design for Users Everywhere – How to Craft a Meaningful International UX
  • Stakeholder Relationships: Leading UX researching to greater success and impact
  • Give me the Quick Version! Using one-pages to communicate research findings far and wide
  • The Indispensable Principles of Designing Complex Interfaces 
  • Build for Action, not Distraction: Five practical steps you can take to build successful UI
  • Over-complicated? Over-simplified? The UX Efficient Frontier
  • Designing Meaningful Visualizations: A case study in connecting users to their data 

During lunch time, there were also “table talks” where you can discuss hot topics moving the industry. I participated in the Design for Behavior Change group where we discussed how to avoid dark UX/UI patterns. 

I had a great experience at UXPA Boston 2021 and would love the opportunity to attend again. There was content appealing to all experience levels—whether you’re looking to transition into the field to seasoned vets. The presentations were relevant and informative, and I most certainly obtained takeaways that I can apply to my current role.

How psychology can change user behavior

In a world where websites and digital ad networks serve us nearly one million marketing messages each year, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of web users going about their daily business. As content consumers, we tend to be task-oriented and ignore the things around us. “Banner blindness” occurs when users automatically ignore the ad-heavy right side of web pages.

As most of us tend to skim web content quickly, bulleted lists and short paragraphs to break up text are considerably effective at keeping users engaged. When it comes to online marketing, understanding the psychology behind web user activity is crucial to successfully promoting a product or running a business.

These topics are furthered explored in Brandeis University’s Cognitive and Social Psychology of User-Centered Design spring 2017 course. As part of the MS in User-Centered Design  graduate program, this part-time, fully online course will examine the psychological and social aspects that impact human interface interaction in both physical and virtual environments. Topics will include:

  • Signal Detection Theory, Gestalt Theory, Cognitive Load Theory and various motivational theories
  • The cultural and social implications of design
  • Cognitive and social psychology principles that will impact the use of a particular design

By the end of the course, students will be able to make reasonable predictions of human behavior with regards to a user interface and/or design and offer design solutions that will ensure effective user experience based on these principles.

Those interested in the course who do not yet wish to pursue a full master’s degree can still participate. At Brandeis GPS, you can take up to two online courses without officially enrolling in a program. This is a great opportunity to get to know our programs and approach to online learning. View our full course catalog here, and preview our spring 2017 courses here.

Questions? Questions? Contact our enrollment team at gps@brandeis.edu or 781-736-8787.

Brandeis University’s Graduate Professional Studies division (GPS) is dedicated to developing innovative programs for working professionals. GPS offers 11 fully online, part-time master’s degrees and one online graduate certificate. With three 10-week terms each year, Brandeis GPS provides exceptional programs with a convenient and flexible online approach. Courses are small by design and led by industry experts who deliver individualized support and professional insights. For more information on our programs visit the Brandeis GPS website.

The Best Jobs for Life-Work Balance

Glassdoor, a popular jobs and recruitment website, recently released a crowd-sourced list of best jobs for achieving work-life balance. Many of the positions in the Glassdoor list directly correspond to the industry-driven master’s degrees offered at GPS. Among the 29 positions profiled include:

1. Lab Assistant
2. Creative Manager
3. Computer Programmer
4. Marketing Coordinator
5. Data Analyst
6. Content Manager
7. Web Designer
8. Social Media Manager
9. Scrum Master
10. Marketing Analyst
11. Devops Engineer
12. Mobile Developer
13. User Interface Designer
14. Data Scientist
15. User Experience Designer

Whether you currently hold one of the positions above or are interested in advancing into a similar job, you’re probably looking to achieve balance in all areas of your life. For those seeking to pursue a graduate degree, Brandeis GPS fosters a community that is mindful of the multiple demands facing adult learners and while offering the rigorous standards of excellence that makes Brandeis one of the top universities in the country.

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