2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

It's Not Rocket Science: UX for Niche Communities

#sxsw #nicheUX


User experience design typically focuses on creating meaningful experiences that will affect as many people as possible. Startups covet reaching critical mass; success for larger companies is often measured in tens of millions, and designs are created accordingly.
But what if your system is only for five users? What if you had to support a complex and mature process that, if captured incorrectly, could lead to astronomical disaster?
Welcome to the world of UX design for NASA's safety communities. In this talk, we'll give you a look into the design team working on support tools for the ISS and future exploration missions.
The problem space may be space problems, but that doesn’t mean the difficulties encountered are alien. In this session, we'll discuss how working at a small scale affects research, testing, analytics, and design. We'll show how human-centered design practices impact our everyday work and how personal communication can save or destroy a project of any size.



Joseph Medwid

User Experience Designer

NASA Ames Research Center/SJSU

Joe strives to push the boundary between the quixotic and the practical through a alchemical admixture of interdisciplinary collaboration, human-centered approaches, and general subversiveness.


Kevin McMillin

User Experience Designer

NASA Ames Research Center/SJSU

Kevin McMillin is a user experience designer at NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. When not creating software for NASA engineering teams, he busies himself by geocaching and rooting for the oft-hapless Seattle Mariners. He has degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and Arizona State University.

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