Full day training course offered at Usability Week Las Vegas

Complex Applications and Websites: Day 1

Interaction patterns and special user experience techniques for data-rich user interfaces

Applications and websites that require users to make sense of and act on rich data sets to accomplish their tasks pose special user interface challenges. Examples of these user experiences are everywhere: Call centers, compensation management, process mapping, configuration and pricing, supply chain, content-heavy e-commerce, Web analytics, B2B marketplaces, and more.

Creating user experiences for end-users who engage in complex problem-solving requires an approach that’s different from traditional user-centered design (UCD) methods. In this course, we’ll explore methods, best practices and more than 40 interaction patterns geared toward complex applications and websites.

Topics covered

  • Learn how to identify user experiences that require complex problem-solving
    • What makes an application or website complex?
    • Examples of complex user interfaces
  • Understand and design for the unique domain-expert user audience
    • Who does complex problem-solving tasks?
    • How are complex tasks unique?
    • Identifying and overcoming barriers to use
  • Requirement and UCD pitfalls
    • Where requirements and definition processes fall short
    • Why use cases and personas don’t work
    • What to do instead of traditional use cases and personas
    • Prioritizing usefulness, usability, and appeal
  • User research and design for complex tasks
    • Conducting rapid design research with domain-expert users
    • Examine the important distinction between usefulness and usability
    • Usefulness testing vs. usability testing
    • Using interaction patterns to expedite prototyping and improve the user experience
  • Get tips on how to modify UCD methods for complex applications and websites
  • Day 1: Identify interaction design patterns geared toward managing large data sets and complex activities
    • Displaying large data sets
    • Searching, filtering and sorting
    • Bloated hierarchy alternatives
    • Displaying metadata
    • Information at a glance and Visualizations
    • Dashboards (Part 1)
  • Business case for using interaction patterns
    • ROI on implementing a pattern approach to design and development
  • Learn how to apply and manage interaction patterns in the design process
    • Determining when a design solution becomes a pattern
    • Pattern management and organization
    • Pattern library resources


The course is mainly in lecture format with a couple group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.

The course also includes:

  • Dozens of interaction patterns for your pattern library
  • Real-world examples and case studies
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Companion Course

Complex Applications and Websites: Day 2 is a companion course to Complex Applications and Websites: Day 1. Each course can be taken independently. Complex Applications and Websites: Day 2 covers:

  • Mapping domain-expert users’ conceptual models
  • Identifying and applying advanced interaction design patterns that support expert users
  • Employing interaction design patterns to expedite prototyping
  • Conducting user testing to identify usability issues and avoid “first use” data
  • Managing and organizing interaction design patterns
  • Tips to improve upon traditional design communication methods
  • How to apply your brand elements in data-rich environments


John Morkes

John Morkes is Co-Founder and Principal at Expero Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the definition, design and usability of user experiences for complex applications and websites. Morkes leads the User Research and Usability group at Expero. Morkes has worked as a usability engineer for Sun and HP and as a journalist for Wired and R&D Magazine. He received a Ph.D. from Stanford University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Northwestern University. He has presented tutorials at Nielsen Norman Group conferences since 2000.

Lynn Pausic

Lynn Pausic is Co-Founder and Principal at Expero Inc., a consulting firm specializing in the definition, design and usability of user experiences for complex applications and websites. Lynn leads the User Experience Design practice at Expero. Lynn has worked with companies of all sizes from many industries to design hundreds of successful user experiences. Lynn holds a B.S. from Carnegie Mellon University. Lynn has presented tutorials at Nielsen Norman Group conferences since 2006.

Course Date: December 05, 2012

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