Penelope Rance

My UX research & design ramblings

UXPA - OOUX: Object Oriented UX - A Weapon for Detangling Complexity into Structure

I was not sure what I was signing up for when I got my ticket for this month’s UXPA event. What on earth was OOUX? I was looking forward to finding out.

Three speakers from around the world helped to give us all a better understanding of what OOUX is.

Sophia Prater kicked us off, all the way from the USA, with a really good introduction to Object Oriented UX and how it can be used to work through complexity.

The whole idea is to sort out the complexity before we get anywhere near wireframing or thinking about the UI. This is about taking the whole thing apart and working out how it all fits together, rather than focusing on one small journey or task people might complete.

Once you have all your objects you can start to see the relationships between them which helps you to understand how everything fits together.

Apparently humans are designed for spotting objects in real life, so this approach works well once you have got your head round it.

Sophia introduced us to three OOUX laws, although I have a feeling there will be more.

  1. Different objects should look different
  2. Objects that are the same should look the same
  3. All Calls To Action (CTA) should be clearly connected to the object they are working on

I am not even going to go into the detail of these because any UX’er worth their salt should already know this.

She also made it very clear that OOUX is not your design system, although it should inform your design system.

She then went into detail about ORCA but that is where she lost me.

She runs classes on the whole process if it sounds interesting and you want to learn more.

After a quick Q & A, Imogen Levy then spoke to us about OOUX and the NHS. Imogen works for Moorfields eye hospital and started off by trying to explain just how complex the NHS is, never mind the tiny part of it she works in.

Moorfields have something like 16 different websites, each on a different CMS, and Imogen is in charge of sorting them all out.

She went through a case study of how she has applied OOUX to the Moorfield websites, a process that is still ongoing, and how it made coming up with solutions easier.

Gabriela Ospina then talked to us from Germany, about some of the lessons she has learnt from using OOUX in different businesses.

First she talked us through some of the different ways she has managed to get buy in from stakeholders to try a new process. Things like Lunch and Learns and running workshops.

She then spoke on the five lessons she has learnt, which included thinking about your timing when introducing a new process to a team or organisation, and making sure you have allies to help you. But most of all keep it as simple as you can.

This was a really interesting event which did a great job of introducing us to Object Oriented UX and how it might really help us in our roles. I was really excited to take it back to my team, although I do not think I sold it as well as Sophia did.

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