Programmers Can UX Too: A FutureTalk with Eryn O’Neil [Video]

In 2011, Marc Andreessen made the well known statement that “software is eating the world.” Now three years later, with the increasing attention on the third platform (mobile, social, cloud and big data), and the Internet of Things, it’s obvious that software is everywhere. And software will continue to permeate new industries to the extent that “within a few years, almost all business will be digitized and run on software.” Ultimately, this means that the average software user is becoming less and less technical and increasingly dependent on interfaces to be immediately intuitive in order to derive maximum benefit.

Interfaces matter more than ever

As the role of software continues to grow, the very processes developers use to craft their user interfaces become more important. With that in mind, we invited Eryn O’Neil to joined us at our Portland engineering offices to give a New Relic FutureTalk titled “Programmers Can UX Too: Avoiding the Programmer’s User Interface.” Eryn is a PHP developer and technical lead at Clockwork Active Media in Minneapolis, where she has worked on everything from e-commerce and online promotions to building a content management system. Her philosophy? Simple. Write software that’s easy to maintain and even easier to use.

In her FutureTalk, Eryn addressed the notion that programmers have a bad reputation when it comes to building user interfaces. It’s no longer enough to depend on a design team or UX expert to translate code into a user-friendly interface. Her suggestion, from one developer to another, is to put the end user at the center of the development process from step one.

Software developers should care deeply and think critically about the interfaces they write, she proposes, whether the end user is a tech novice or even another developer. For some tools and strategies developers can use to implement user-centered design, check out her full presentation video below:

More live events on the way

We have now concluded our three-month FutureTalk Summer Series in Portland and San Francisco. But rest assured we will continue to examine the code of tomorrow, celebrate the people who make it, and look ahead to the future of modern software. Next on our horizon is our second annual user and technology conference in San Francisco. FutureStack14 runs October 8th and 9th at the beautiful Fort Mason Center. Register by Sunday, Sept. 21 before prices go up $100.

After FutureStack, we’ll be back to feed your curiosity and mind with more FutureTalks. Stay tuned for updates and event details by joining our Meetup group, New Relic FutureTalks PDX, and following us on Twitter @newrelic.

Christian Sinai is the Community Relations Manager for New Relic in Portland, Oregon. He is the community lead and liaison for our local outreach efforts, and manages initiatives such as the FutureTalks PDX technical speaker series. View posts by .

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