Free e-book: Jack Moffett’s Eliminate UX Debt

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Enterprise UX, as we all know, is defined by a unique set challenges. Whether it’s lack of collaboration, legacy systems, or poor UX maturity, enterprise products can quickly accrue design debt and inconsistencies.

That’s why our partners at UXPin teamed up with EUX 2016 theme leader Jack Moffett on a new free e-book: Eliminate UX Debt.the-book-3-262x375

With nearly 20 years of enterprise UX experience, Jack Moffett is the UX Manager at Inmedius and author of Bridging UX and Web Development. He’s designed software for Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Shell, DaimlerChrysler, and many organizations within the U.S. military. Jack’s focused 45-page guide offers:

  • Practical tips for resolving product quality issues in enterprise teams
  • A framework for classifying, spotting, resolving, and avoiding UX debt
  • Advice on better design documentation, feasible usability testing, and component-based design

Jack’s book aligns perfectly with our conference’s Day 2 theme “Designing Design Systems” (which Jack moderated). Check out an exclusive excerpt below, or go ahead and grab your copy right now.

Excerpt (from chapter 3)

Once you’ve identified and prioritized your design debt, the next step is to work with product management to get it into your release schedule.

Agile is so popular these days that it seems like any process that isn’t Agile is labeled “waterfall.” I find that to be a bit dismissive. There are degrees of being Agile, and you can have an effective, iterative process that doesn’t involve stories, scrums, and sprints.

For our purposes, however, I’ll address all non-Agile processes at once. Then I’ll make suggestions for Agile teams.

Not Agile

Your work is likely planned based on a release cycle. Your organization decides what will go into the next release based on criteria such as how long the development effort will be; how badly a feature is needed by customers; what will sell; what bugs exist and how bad they are; and so forth.

I recommend handling UX debt issues as bugs. The real benefit of this approach is that debt items can be entered and tracked using the same tools and business processes as bugs. This will ensure that they get reviewed and treated equally. A representative from the UX team on the issue review board should prioritize items, ensuring that usability issues get the full weight they deserve.

Ideally, a representative from the UX team will also work closely with product management when releases are scheduled.

When a particular part of the application is being scheduled for work, check it for UX debt. Would it add much effort to address the debt at the same time? Often, there will be savings simply because the code is already being updated by developers. Even if it’s a low-priority item, take advantage of the opportunity to pay down some debt.


A company that employs a healthy Agile process shouldn’t have any problem prioritizing debt with other types of work, assigning it story points, and fitting it into sprints.

1. Find the rhythm

In my own experience, however, Agile has been embraced as a way to get more work done faster, rather than as a method of iterative improvement.

In such situations, you may have a harder time scheduling UX debt because (as management sees it) there’s not enough time to fit in everything they aim to wrap up, so there certainly isn’t time for all those trivial corrections you’re asking for.

Photo credit: Laura Kershaw ( Design process at Kaplan Test Prep (

Photo credit: Laura Kershaw. Design process at Kaplan Test Prep.

If you find yourself in such an environment, your goal should be to find a rhythm for addressing debt.

Propose a certain number of story points per sprint (or every other sprint). Or, perhaps a sprint could be devoted to addressing debt at some regular interval (payback sprint). This should be done at least until the backlog of historic debt—your debt inventory—has been handled. Then it should become easier to keep up with new debt that crops up without that regular schedule.

2. Try a “Cheese Day”

For even tighter schedules, consider holding a Cheese Day to knock out as much debt as possible. Management is almost always receptive to a one-day workshop every 60 days where you knock many items off the debt list.

The following procedure suggested by Roy Man is both realistic and effective:

1. About 2-4 weeks before Cheese Day, create the project in your app of choice (Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc) and encourage everyone from customer support to developers and designers to briefly describe product annoyances.

2. Prioritize the cheese list based on the advice in the below chart. Separate the “Quick Wins” from the “Nice-to-Haves”.

Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 3.48.43 PM

Photo credit: Joe Natoli

3. Schedule 6-8 hours for the Cheese Day, inform everyone of the date, then dive right into the “Quick Wins”. Everyone will feel productive, and you’ll have progress to show management at the end. After prioritizing your debt, the next step is to work with product management to get it into your release schedule.

Agile is so popular these days that it seems like any process that isn’t Agile is labeled “waterfall.” I find that to be a bit dismissive. There are degrees of being Agile, and you can have an effective, iterative process that doesn’t involve stories, scrums, and sprints.

Get the e-book
Want more? Then go ahead and download your copy of Jack Moffett’s Eliminate UX Debt. You can also check out more enterprise UX e-books over at UXPin’s free online library.

Decks, videos, and more!

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We’ve added a treasure trove of conference content to our Program page, including just about all of the presentation decks, videos (with transcripts), and MJ Broadbent’s lovely sketch notes. We’re also starting to assemble photos in our Flickr feed (yeah, we’re old skool).

So, if you attended Enterprise UX 2016, you should now be well-armed to prepare your trip report. (When you do, please be sure share it on the conference’s #tripreports Slack channel; you’ll already find some others there.)

And if you didn’t attend, you can get a sense of what we covered (and, we hope, you’ll be motivated to sign up to learn about plans for Enterprise UX 2017!).

Thank you very much for coming!

Looking ahead to Friday

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We hope you enjoyed the Enterprise UX 2016 main program. If you didn’t do it on paper, please complete your evaluation digitally to help us to learn how to do better. Since you’re sticking around for one of our workshops tomorrow, here’s what you need to know:

  • No shuttles Friday: A great many of you stayed at The Westin Riverwalk or within walking distance. That means you can roll out of bed and breeze into your workshop, which will be held in one of the meeting rooms on The Westin’s ballroom level.
  • If you are driving: There is a garage at 421 Market Street, directly across from The Westin Riverwalk.
  • Registration and breakfast will run from 7:30-8:30 am, and workshops from 8:30 – 4:30.
  • Meals, snacks and coffee will be provided throughout the day.
  • Please claim your sponsor giveaways and deals from our digital swag bag.


Looking ahead to Thursday

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We hope you’ve enjoyed Enterprise UX 2016 so far! Here’s the skinny on Thursday.

  • Shuttling to Rackspace: Our shuttle bus will continue to run (approximately every 15 minutes) between The Westin Riverwalk and Rackspace HQ from 7:00-9:00am and 4:00-6:00pm. A small van will continue its loop, departing Rackspace on the hour and The Westin on the half-hour throughout the day.
  • Driving to Rackspace: Parking will be free and plentiful. Check our location page for maps and directions.
  • Breakfast: It’s a little later tomorrow 8:00-9:00am, and there’s no need to register, so catch some extra z’s and come in fresh.
  • Lunch, snacks, coffee: free and available throughout the day. And the food trucks are back.
  • The program: Thursday’s schedule centers on our Designing Design Systems and The Politics of Innovation themes, and concludes with John Maeda’s closing keynote. By 5:00pm, the Texas sun will have set on the conference portion of Enterprise UX 2016.
  • Challenge Sprint participants are requested to meet their groups promptly at the appointed times by the bathrooms. Groups cannot wait longer than five minutes.
  • Closing Reception: At 6pm, join our friends from Google at La Vista Terrace on a lovely roof deck overlooking the Alamo.

Hello, San Antonio!

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Enterprise UX 2016 is finally upon us. As you land in San Antonio, here are a few items to guide your first hours on the ground. The weather is expected to be a sunny, pleasant, ninety degrees. Salesforce is hosting a pre-conference reception this evening at Acenar. Come by, meet your peers and pick up your conference badge ahead of the crowds. Hope to see you there.

Down to brass tacks

  • From the airport to the Riverwalk: We recommend taking a taxi or an app-based car service (these are still available in San Antonio). Expect to pay $25-30.
  • The conference hotel: The Westin Riverwalk, located at 420 Market St, is adjacent to an endless array of dining options on The San Antonio Riverwalk
  • Pick up your badge in advance at Salesforce’s pre-conference reception on Tuesday evening between 6:30 and 8:30 at Acenar, so you can avoid the line Wednesday morning.
  • Getting to Rackspace Wednesday morning: Our shuttle bus runs between The Westin Riverwalk and Rackspace HQ from 7:00-9:00am and 4:00-6:00pm on Wednesday and Thursday, approximately every 15 minutes. A small van will also run all day both days, departing Rackspace on the hour and The Westin on the half hour. If you’re driving, parking is plentiful at Rackspace.
  • Registration and breakfast: Both begin at 7:30am on Wednesday.
  • The back channel: We pride ourselves on the vibrant Slack communities that form at our conference. Don’t miss out. If you can’t find the invitation we emailed you, let us know:
  • Menu, scheduling, and other necessary information is collected for easy reference in our conference guide.
  • We have established an Enterprise UX code of conduct to ensure everybody’s comfort and safety throughout the event.

Enterprise UX Conference Toolkit

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We’ve created a handy .PDF to help you have the best possible conference experience. We have a few hints here to simplify your planning and bring your attention to things—practical and fun—that can enrich your time in San Antonio.


Also on offer

  • An interesting breakdown of the emerging Enterprise UX community describing attendees’ professional backgrounds and geographical distribution
  • Updates to our code of conduct, with new provisions for attendee safety and comfort.
  • A Conference Slack Team offering attendees back channel access to announcements, discussions, and networking opportunities. If you have not received an invitation, reach out to for an invitation.

Meet the Enterprise UX Community

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Hi all, Enterprise UX 2016 is almost here, and this is our moment to tell you about who you can expect to meet when you arrive. We’ve taken a back-of-the-envelope look at you, and here is what we’ve got so far:

You come from all over the place

People are traveling from 30 states and 10 countries over 4 continents to gather in San Antonio. The proportional breakdown looks like this:

You are a distinguished group

The terms CEO, CXO, principal, lead, manager, and director appeared in a total of 195 job titles in the sampled attendee data. This means 44% of attendees come from highly advanced and upper management positions.


You have a wealth of experiences

The proportion of conference attendees whose titles include the words ‘UX,’ ‘design’, or both is, unsurprisingly, pretty high. Nearly 10% of attendees also have the word ‘product’ in their job titles. Other disciplines, such as engineering and marketing, are also represented.


You’ll be in fine company

Enterprise UX is a gathering place for outstanding sponsors. These industry-leading organizations are here to talk shop and make connections.

Rackspace is the #1 managed cloud company. Known for their Fanatical Support®, Rackspace treats your business as if it’s their own, delivering a team of experts with a rich knowledge of your business goals to help you achieve success.

Go from lo-fi to hi-fi design in a single tool. UXPin lets you create wireframes and prototypes with your team, clients, and stakeholders. With built-in usability testing and integration with Photoshop/Sketch, we make it simple to create powerful prototypes.

At USAA, we believe design is solving problems while balancing user and business contexts. Design enables us to connect with the military community in a deeply personal way and empowers our service to them; which is critical to achieving our mission.

Google Intuitive, beautiful, user-centered design is key to the success of Google’s products. Our passionate, interdisciplinary UX specialists and designers work across platforms to create powerful visuals that highlight each of our product’s unique personalities. The team’s work touches billions while exemplifying one of Google’s core principles: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”

At Salesforce UX, we believe that people need business applications that are vibrant, empowering, and simple. We are artists and scientists, working together to make tools that millions of employees at the most successful companies in the world depend on every day.

UserTesting is the fastest and most advanced user experience testing platform on the market. The company gives marketers, product managers, and UX designers on-demand access to people in their target audience who deliver audio, video, and written feedback on websites, mobile apps, prototypes, and even physical products and locations.

XPLANE is a design consultancy focused on organizational strategy, activation, and performance. By leveraging visual thinking, people-centered design, and co-creation XPLANE helps clients clarify and navigate complexity.

IBM is using great design to create enterprise-class products that people love to use to get their work done. Scaling modern design across a portfolio of thousands of products that serve clients in more than 170 countries is much more than a two-pizza team challenge—and we like it that way. Oh, and btw … we’re hiring! Please visit for more information.

Intelligaia is a full service design consulting firm that helps enterprise customers implement design thinking and systems to rapidly scale out pervasive UX across devices and platforms. We assist our clients in innovation using a user centric UX and Design approach to solve business problems.

MURAL is a visual workspace to help you design together. Teams synthesize research, brainstorm ideas and share solutions through online collaborative whiteboards. The MURAL experience is both playful and productive, helping organizations scale their design practice. A brief overview

Optimal Workshop
Optimal Workshop is a user research platform that makes life easier for anyone trying to design things better. Their tree testing, card sorting, first-click, survey and qualitative research tools enable organisations, big and small, to test, benchmark and make evidence-based design decisions.

As a market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. With over 293,500 customers in over 130 countries, the SAP Group includes subsidiaries in every major continent and employs over 74,400 people worldwide. Stop by our booth to see how User Experience and Design teams are changing the way our customers do business.

Indigo Studio
Don’t waste valuable coding time on revisions. See your application without writing a single line of code with Indigo Studio, a rapid UX prototyping tool from Infragistics. Quickly and simply create functional, animated UI prototypes for phone, desktop, tablet, and Web, all while maintaining the focus on user experience at every step.

Projekt202 is the leader in applying strategy and insights to the development of mobile, cloud, web and workplace software. The company is actively changing the way people interact with technology around the world. Recognized for setting the standard for the way modern businesses develop software, projekt202 builds emotionally rich and intuitive solutions that enable customers and end users to access the full potential of technology in today’s connected world.

Official Guide to Enterprise UX Parties

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Want to know what’s happening after-hours at Enterprise UX? Here’s a quick rundown. There are three official Conference parties, sponsored by our friends at Salesforce, USAA, UXPin and Google.


Salesforce’s Pre-Conference Reception

Tuesday, June 7, 6:30 – 8:30 PM
146 E Houston Street, San Antonio, TX 78205





USAA & UXPin’s Hosted Opening Reception

Biga on the Banks
Wednesday, June 8, 6-8 PM
203 S St Mary’s St, San Antonio, TX 78205





lavistaterrace2Google’s Conference Closing Party

La Vista Terrace
Thursday, June 9, 6-8 PM
325 Alamo Plaza (at the corner of Houston) San Antonio, TX, 78205

We hope to see you out there. Bring any further questions to us by emailing, tweeting us @EnterpriseUX or asking in the #servicedesk channel in the conference Slack team.

EUX 2016’s four Challenge Sprints announced!

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Conferences have always been great places to learn by listening. Enterprise UX offers a unique opportunity to work on problems by talking—as well as listening—to one another in a live, collaborative setting we’re calling Challenge Sprints. You can work with peers and try out new thoughts in a space far, far away from the office.

Here’s the official sprint lineup:

Challenge Sprint 1: Governance in the face of silos

What sort of governance model could elevate UX best practices and unify a distributed digital landscape such as a university or a large dispersed organization?
Wednesday, June 8: 10:15am-12:15pm
Submitted by Meg Frisch (Digital Experience Manager, Temple University)

Challenge Sprint 2: Making dynamic maps

Can we create dynamic maps that remain dynamic when they are documents?
Wednesday, June 8: 1:45-3:45pm
Submitted by Alan Laidlaw (VP of Product, Ecos)

Challenge Sprint 3: Cross-team collaboration

What philosophies, processes, and tools best support cross-team collaboration and lead to products with high-quality, cohesive designs?
Thursday, June 9: 9:15-11:45am
Submitted by Melissa Casburn (Principal UX Designer, Puppet)

Challenge Sprint 4: Building a lean platform

How do you run a successful platform that creates the magic of both speed and quality?
Thursday, June 9: 1:15-3:15pm
Submitted by Hartmut Obendorf (UX Director, XING)

Participants will team up with design peers across the industry—with help from an amazing, multidisciplinary visual facilitation team from XPLANE: Cynthia Owens, Ryan Brown, and Tanner Bechtel.

If you’re already registered for the conference, look for an email from us with details on how to sign up (or pop us an email at

If you’re not already registered for the conference, do that first. We’ll then send you details inviting you to sign up for a Challenge Sprint.

Announcing the 2016 Enterprise UX Storytellers

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Though the Enterprise UX conference is only in its second year, we already have a tradition we’re proud of: our enterprise UX storytelling session. Dan Willis—who is really just amazing at choosing and preparing speakers—has lined up eight enterprise UX people to present their ideas, stories, and rants for five minutes apiece in rapid succession.

Last year’s enterprise UX stories truly electrified the crowd. Check out the videos, then behold our 2016 storytellers:

  • Emileigh Barnes, Lead Content Designer, 18F
    Story: From chaos to content strategy: Practical steps you can take away from the Federal Election Commission’s content redesign.
  • Matt DeSio, Senior UX Designer, QMerit
    Story: Haphazard accessibility improvements saved my job.
  • Lada Gorlenko, Principal, Everlime Consulting
    Story: Don’t be blindsided by the goodness your ideas bring; poke holes in it them now.
  • Rachel Hallock, Senior Designer, DesignMap
    Story: The story of how I messed up my first project, 6000 times.
  • Ramya Mahalingam, UX Architect, Cardinal Solutions
    Story: How a mistake led to an entire career change.
  • Elisa Miller, Principal, UX Design, CA Technologies
    Story: Defining the structure for a job classification such as user experience is a challenge in any organization; when you couple the evolutionary nature of UX over the last few years with the restrictive rules for structure in an enterprise HR organization, the journey can route through hell.
  • Teena Singh, UX Director, ADP
    Story: The unsung hero of the Enterprise UX team.
  • Jesse Zolna, Director, UX Research, ADP
    Story: A poetic expression of frustration with the Know-It-Alls that seem to be everywhere in large enterprise organizations.

You won’t want to miss these stories! They’re one of the many reasons to register for Enterprise UX 2016.