My UX Fest workshops — Alignment Diagrams and Faceted Navigation — are now over. Both went over really well with lively discussions from a great set of participants. Thanks to all who attended. Here are some resources on Alignment Diagrams:

And here are some quotes from students:

Alignment Diagrams (Thursday 15 March 2012)

“Thank you very much for the workshop yesterday. It was really insightful and has changed the way I see and will use alignment diagrams in the future. I look forward to sharing my new perspective with my collegues at Bunnyfoot” — Dr Luis Santa-Maria, Consultant, Bunnyfoot.

“James took (what I previously felt was) a nebulous concept and gave it a sensible and practical background. He then walked us through, with lots of tips, how you to do it and how to deliver it to a client. After the day’s workshop I felt confident that if I apply this tool, I will get value from the outcome.” — Paul Coombs Head of UX Adfonic Ltd

Our first UxFest London in February 2011 was a great success. It included four courses, two from William Hudson and two by me.

For the Autumn, we have added two brand new, thought-provoking workshops: Agile Requirements (William Hudson) and Alignment Diagrams (James Kalbach). Here’s the full program with links to William’s site:

Online registration for UX Fest is now open. Be sure to take advantage of the 4-for-the-price-of-3 special.

All courses are from 9:30-5:00 at Wallacespace, Covent Garden in central London. (NOTE: this is not the St Pancras location for Wallacespace). Lunch and refreshments will be served.

Below are more descriptions of my workshops.

1. ALIGNMENT DIAGRAMS: Customer Journey Maps, Mental Models and More

Thursday 15 March 2011, 9:30-5:00

Identifying the touchpoints between customer and businesses is the first step in creating products and services that provide true value. The use of systematic, visual representations expose previously unseen opportunities for improvement and for growth. Called ‘alignment diagrams’, this new class of deliverable gives businesses focus and clarity in creating solutions that have impact.

Alignment diagrams have two parts: one capturing customer behavior and the other reflecting business processes. The overlap of these two parts reveals the interaction between them. By visually aligning the user’s experiences with the business offering, providers are better able to highlight the points where value is created.

This workshop will show you had to turn customer observations into actionable insight for the design of products and services through the use of alignment diagrams. First, you will learn the principles of the alignment technique. Then, we’ll take an up-close look at two specific types of alignment diagrams: customer journey maps and mental model diagrams. You’ll learn how to conduct the research necessary to generate them, how to map all of the elements in each, and how to use them in practice. At the end of the day you should have the skills to create alignment diagrams and to evangalise them.


  • Overview and background to alignment diagrams
  • Examples and elements of alignment diagrams
  • Process for the alignment technique
  • Detailed focus on two types of alignment diagrams:
    • Customer Journey Maps
    • Mental Model Diagrams
  • Using alignment diagrams on the job
  • Evangelising alignment diagrams

See my presentation from the Euro IA conference on Alignment Diagrams as well as a full-length article authored by Paul Kahn and myself called “Locating Value with Alignment Diagrams.”



Friday 16 March 2011, 9:30-5:00

Faceted navigation has become very popular in the last decade. It’s seen as way to improve the findability of information on many sites, particularly those with large collections of products or documents. The design of real-world faceted navigation systems, however, proves to be more intricate than people first assume, and designers must be aware of many details.

This workshop covers principles of faceted classification and shows you how to use facets in web design. Many examples of faceted navigation will be presented and discussed. A clear, structured framework for understanding the individual components is presented to help you understand all the decisions involved. The topics are brought to life through several hands-on exercises.


  • Facet analysis – We’ll start by looking at the background and theory facets and then discuss how to determine which facets are needed. In a practical exercise, you’ll learn how to identify and document facets needed for a navigation scheme.
  • Implementing facets – Once facets are determined, you need to design how they will appear in a web site. We’ll discuss how to implement facets using a clear framework for organising their design.
  • Interface design using facets – You’ll learn about the layout, display, and interaction with facets in detail. Together, we’ll examine numerous real-world examples. You’ll then have to chance to apply what you’ve learnt in hands-on exercises.
  • Advanced topics – You will also be exposed to advanced topics in faceted navigation design, including SEO, selecting multiple values, grouping, and more.



This course is intended for anyone involved in design and marketing activities that seek to map the customer or user experience for the purpose of improving products, services and communication. This includes designers, user experience specialists, and product managers, as well as marketers and others dealing with product and service provision.


“James delivers a range of highly valuable and relevant strategies in his workshops in a clear, friendly and engaging manner. You’ll walk away feeling motivated and inspired to put them into use.” – Steven Briffa, Macquarie University, Australia (Apr 2011)

“James very effectively surfaced the key design challenges in a lively, engaging, coherent style.” – Tony Russell-Rose, Manager of UX at Endeca (Feb 2011)

“If you are interested to know more about designing web navigation and information architecture, James’ workshops are definitely the right answer. They are practical and clear.” –Serenella Bardeggia, Information Architect (Feb 2011)

“James demonstrates excitement for his profession and, with this, opens new perspectives for work in web design. The methods presented are practical and immediately usable. My participation in the workshops was really worth it.“ – Jürgen Mirbach, Partner, ICOM GmbH (2009)

“The content was well prepared and very practical through the numerous examples. I liked the inclusion of references to read later. A valuable seminar overall.“ – Professor Dr. Uwe Klug, Technical College of Westphalia, Germany (2009)


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