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Best Practices for Destroying People’s Dreams (And Other Ways UX Can Be Helpful)

1140 SW 11th Ave Suite 200
Portland, OR 97205, US (map)



Ever been handed a project or had someone come to you with an idea that immediately made you think, “This is probably a waste of time.” What if, instead of taking on the project, you first went to find out if it’s a good idea?

This talk is a mix of stories about people whose dreams were dashed (and they were thankful for it) as well as practical advice for helping you find out if that idea is any good.

The talk title comes from the fact that, over the course of his career, Matthew killed several projects by providing evidence that the project shouldn’t even begin (or should be stopped in its tracks). Twice, he’s had to deliver the bad news to someone who then went on to shutter their entire business. And they thanked him for it. Spending $20,000 to make that early decision meant avoiding spending millions to build something no one would want enough to justify the money, time, and effort.

Our Presenter, Matthew Oliphant

Matthew has been getting people from WTF to FTW since 1999 when he started down the UX road as a Technical Writer. He’s worked as a freelancer, in corporate cube-farms, agencies, and startups. He is currently Director of User Experience at Vadio, an innovative video startup.

Matthew has designed and led the development of several multi-million-dollar products, redesigned large-scale corporate design and development processes, led research efforts to understand the needs of organ transplant recipients, and ghost-edits articles on web design and development on the side.

He continues his mission to Inform and Educate by running Refresh Portland (this site!), a non-profit organization devoted to highlighting new voices and interesting perspectives on all things web-related.