A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Gothelf, Jeff

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Beyond Staggered Sprints: How TheLadders.com Integrated UX into Agile

Agile has a relatively short history in the broader view of software development. Integration of User Experience into Agile has an even shorter history with relatively few stories of overwhelming success. Over the last eighteen months, we at TheLadders have had some successes—and some failures—in our foray into a post-waterfall way of developing elegant, efficient and sophisticated consumer-facing software. This is our story.

Gothelf, Jeff. Johnny Holland (2010). Articles>User Experience>Agile>Case Studies


Demystifying Design

Designers are makers who craft solutions to problems that plague customers, clients, and at times, society as a whole. The specialized tools and jargon (leading? kerning? cognitive load?) often understood only by other practitioners are a designer’s hallmarks. How we actually design and arrive at viable solutions is a mystery to most. Some believe this mystery helps us maintain the perceived value of design in our organizations. In today’s world—a world craving more and better design—however, this mystery is actually holding us back as a profession.

Gothelf, Jeff. List Apart, A (2011). Articles>Graphic Design>Professionalism


Practical Applications: Visio or HTML for Wireframes

Design organizations inevitably run across the debate of Visio versus HTML wireframes. The decision for one over the other is never a clear-cut one since, as with all things IA-related, it depends. This article seeks to sort out the issues by describing the pros and cons of each and identifying situations where one may be more effective than the other.

Gothelf, Jeff. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Design>Web Design>Information Design>Visio


Redesigning and Redefining the AOL Mail UI for Millions of Users

Originally an exclusive tool targeted at the nascent Internet audience, AOL Mail's focus has shifted to provide and innovate on the tools made standard by stand-alone products in response to AOL’s changing user-base and business goals.

Gothelf, Jeff, Kiki Ross and Meghan Cesario. AIGA (2006). Articles>Web Design>Email>Case Studies


Using Proto-Personas for Executive Alignment

One way of getting execs back in tune with the customer is the practice of creating personas. Traditional personas are usually heavily researched to create validated representations of the company’s target audience which are then packaged up and presented in a tidy report to the company’s leadership. They are time-consuming and expensive to create. Especially at smaller organizations or ones that aren’t fully sold on user research, this can mean that personas won’t be developed, or funded sufficiently. For situations such as these, an alternative type of persona can be valuable: the proto-persona.

Gothelf, Jeff. UX Magazine (2012). Articles>Usability>User Centered Design>Personas

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