Full day training course

Complex Applications and Websites: Day 2

More patterns, plus tactics for information architecture, visualizations, content, and user testing

Day 2 of this course explores new techniques for understanding and mapping expert users’ concept models, and it presents additional useful interaction patterns. Alternative ways to communicate designs are suggested in lieu of traditional specifications (which don’t work for complex user interfaces).

This course also covers how to deal with special challenges that complex systems bring to information architecture, navigation, usability testing, content and terminology, and visual design.

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • Transforming design research data into designs
    • Patterns of use
    • Patterns of use vs. interaction patterns
    • Identifying patterns of use and interaction patterns in design research data
    • Mental modeling
    • Learn how to map domain-expert users’ conceptual models
  • Day 2: Identify and apply advanced interaction design patterns that support expert users
    • Dashboards (Part 2)
    • System messages
    • Help
    • Social Web for business and consumers
    • Mobile UIs
  • Learn how to manage and organize interaction design patterns
  • Prototyping
    • Moving from concept models to designs
    • Employ interaction design patterns to expedite prototyping
    • Prototyping tools and considerations for complex systems
  • Usability testing complex user interfaces
    • Which specific techniques to use for complex systems and how to enhance them
    • Recruiting domain-expert users
    • User testing pitfalls to avoid with domain-expert users (for example, “first use” data)
    • Framing tasks to reveal the meat
    • Information architecture and navigation: Challenges and solutions
    • Scaling navigation: How deep should the rabbit hole go?
    • Moving between multiple software modules or websites
    • Getting started
    • Adaptive dashboards
    • Accessing metadata
    • When wizards aren’t enough
  • Content and terminology
    • Guidelines for content in complex applications and websites
    • The importance of all those little words (labels, titles, headings, button text, etc.)
    • Applying domain-expert terminology
    • How to test content and terminology
  • Visual design
    • Role of brand in complex situations
    • Applying brand elements to data-rich environments and avoiding usability problems
    • Color, affordances and visual cues for data tables and complex displays
  • How to improve upon traditional design communication methods
    • Why traditional specifications don’t work
    • “Living specifications” and alternative approaches



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

Participant Comments

Participant Comments

"The course is great, it covers a lot of problems I encounter all the time and offers very efficient ways to improve the process (also not so expensive ways)."

Marina Yancheva, Clarity International

"Great mix of topics and related examples. Covered tons of ground — so much to think about."


"This is a good course that explains the stack approach to complex usability and walks through all the elements with examples."

Nick Range, Denplan

"Very good lecturers, highly knowledgeable and able to explain in an engaging way."

Siw Overland, Ackland Strategic, Norway

Companion Course

Companion Course

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

  • Identifying interaction design patterns geared toward managing large data sets and complex activities
  • Applying and managing interaction patterns in the design process
  • Design for the unique domain-expert user audience



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.

Currently Scheduled

Currently Scheduled:

  • This course is not currently scheduled at our upcoming events

Apply this course toward UX Certification