This is an archived version of the 2011 edition of UXLx. The current event website is at
11 to 13 May 2011
Lisbon, Portugal
Andrew Watterson
Andrew was the first of a small team of UX designers at Meebo, helping users be happy and get things done. He's made wireframes, prototypes, and held three-hour design reviews debating margin sizes and button wording for all of Meebo's products: Messenger, the Bar, the iPhone client, Check-In, and the ads that run on Meebo.

Andrew dabbles in being his own coding and visual design wingman on the side. He's currently working on a web app that uses the cooler features of HTML5 to make knowing when and where to catch the bus as easy as waking up your phone. On paper, Andrew went to college for Digital Media Design at UPenn; in life, he can be plied with a slinky, a crossword, and a rousing discussion about philosophy.

Andrew Watterson

Lightning Talk

Skeuomorphs: The Good, the Bad, and the Silly

Why does my iPad calendar app look like a leather desk set from the 1940s?

We make new things look like old things because the old is familiar: it helps with usability, it makes us safer, and it's cute. Our mobile phones have replaced pads of paper and physical dials with touchscreens that have pictures of these things on them. Our digital cameras play a prerecorded shutter sound when we press the button because that's how our old cameras told us the picture was taken.

Their ability to both delight and confuse is profound - skeuomorphic touches will invariably get oohs and aahs at design reviews and from users. Yet in the quest for familiarity and nostalgia, these flourishes can perpetuate interfaces that only made sense given past technical limitations or, worse, suggest vintage mental models that are out of sync with the product's modern features.

Come listen to a light-hearted discussion about the what and the why of this increasingly common design pattern and how designers can leverage everything that's cute and rich about skeuomorphs without compromising mental models or a polished product.

Wednesday, 11 May @ 14:00-14:20
20 minutes
Auditorium II

Our Sponsors and Supporters

Main Sponsors:
Novabase - Like Life - Online Hotel Reservations
Platinum Sponsors:
Microsoft Userzoom - Zooming in on the User Experience 23 Video

Gold Sponsors:
UX Pin - Paper Prototyping Redesigned Log - Open Source Consulting Tobii Technology Cacooo - Create Diagrams Online with Real Time Colaboration Anacom - Autoridade Nacional de Comunicações
Gold Partners:
ActiveMedia - ScreenEMotion Corefactor Sensebloom

Silver Sponsors:
Moo O'Reilly Rosenfeld Media Pearson Publishing Morgan Kaufmann - Elsevier Five Simple Steps Goplan Survs - Asking for you
HotGloo - The Online Wireframe App Loop11 - Online, Unmoderated User Testing invoic€xpress TrymyUI - Get the Users View OpenHallway - Simple Usability Testing Try - Consultoria e Pesquisas
Silver Partners:
Waterdog Mobile

Supporters: Axure - See it happen Balsamiq Studios Optimal Workshop - Make it Easy TAP Portugal Tryp Oriente AHP - Applications and Hosting Provider Raio Filmes
Media Sponsors: Johnny Holland