Last week Gus and I gave a talk at Shmoocon in DC. The focus was on helping technologists who don’t have experience in human-centered design processes conduct basic research to improve their existing open-source tools.

We covered four basic steps that we believe even small or volunteer teams can take:

  1. Agree on your target users
  2. Do an expert review of your UX to identify (& fix) low-hanging fruit
  3. Interview real users
  4. Build a model of your users and their needs
  5. Smooth the path for user feedback
  6. Iterate until you get it right

Overall the talk was well received, with a few choice quotes making their way onto Twitter.

“Usability is what allows you to get the job done. Design is what brings you joy.” - @scouttle on making security tools not suck #shmoocon

Great line by @scouttle: “Actually listen to your users! Duct tape your mouth if you have to!” (With @gusandrews at @shmoocon Belay It)

We’ve gotten a few queries from folks interested in our slides. If you’d like to take a look, you can find a PDF of the deck (including speaker notes) here! We will also put them in our small-but-growing GitHub repository of resources.