Designing desirable experiences

The holy trinity: Usable, useful and desirable experiences.

“There is no justification for designing something that doesn’t solve a problem. However, the whole world is ready to consume things based on their aesthetic elegance. We cannot ignore the value of beauty. So, as a designer, if you can use your problem-solving ability to create a product that has great utility—as well as characteristics such as desirability, elegance, and beauty—and inspires pride of ownership, you can create a delightful ownership experience. Human emotions such as joy, pride, and love will enrich your product experience and actually give life to the product, making its ownership compelling and truly fulfilling.”

Arindam Roy a.k.a. /arindam-roy ~ UXmatters

Understand the social needs for accessibility in UX design

Adding social value as designer is a must.

“As designers, we need to plan and design for accessibility in UX projects. We have the responsibilities, not only to our profession but also to our users and society, to design accessible digital solutions. One simple method of including accessibility in our UX projects is to assign a disability to one of the personas. Another method is to follow the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), as developed by the W3C (directed by inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee) and inspired by the UN convention principles. As a community, we can remove discrimination against people with disabilities and protect their rights to be part of the society. By doing so, we will create access for all products and services that will delight everyone.”

Ruby Zheng a.k.a. /rubyzheng ~ Interaction Design Foundation

10 practical tips for increasing the impact of your research insights

We’re still at the level of (practical) tips, tricks, and do’s/dont’s.

“Turning research insights into positive action is a combination of what you do but also what you are able to empower others to do. Knowing your audience and bringing the right mindset to the table can go a long way to making an impact in your organization.”

Mike Katz a.k.a. /mike-katz ~ Boxes and Arrows

Cybernetics and Design: Conversations for Action

Becoming a classic for design in the new millenium.

“Working for decades as both theorist and teacher, Ranulph Glanville came to believe that cybernetics and design are two sides of the same coin. Working as both practitioners and teachers, the authors present their understanding of Glanville and the relationships between cybernetics and design. We believe cybernetics offers a foundation for 21st-century design practice.”

Hugh Dubberly a.k.a. /hughdubberly | @DubberlyDesign and Paul Pangaro a.k.a. /pangaro | @paulpangaro ~ Dubberly Design Office

When and how to create Customer Journey Maps

As said before. Customer journey maps, the personas of the 2010’s.

“Journey maps combine two powerful instruments – storytelling and visualization – in order to help teams understand and address customer needs. While maps take a wide variety of forms depending on context and business goals, certain elements are generally included, and there are underlying guidelines to follow that help them be the most successful.”

Kate Williamson a.k.a. @kateawilliamson ~ Nielsen Norman Group

Go holistic: Assess the maturity of your organization via the customer experience

Go holistic, go ecosystem and go outside-in. What a mind shift you get!

“The leap from UX to CX can be a huge mind shift for many organizations. This article spells out strategies and processes that provide a framework to assess the maturity of the CX within your own organization. (…) If your company’s CX maturity level is high, putting the customer first may be relatively simple. But if your company’s CX maturity level is low, becoming a CX-focused organization may be slow and cumbersome process. Either way, it is vital to ensure the customer is front and center in the organization’s strategic thinking. Employee training and well thought-out personas can facilitate this endeavor.”

Ger Joyce, Mindy Maxwell, Jay Brewer, Saurabh Dutta ~ User Experience Magazine 16.3

Architects of information

Information intensive environments have not been this popular in Interactions Magazine.

“We live in a world where information is part of our everyday lives, where we don’t dedicate time to “doing computing,” where information is ever present and leaves a digital footprint, and where notions of online versus offline have become almost meaningless. As mentioned, we are heading toward a state where we will stop using computers and instead inhabit interactive and information-rich architecture. Many exciting challenges lie ahead. For example: How will we design the architectural interfaces to information and interaction to create relevant inhabitant experiences? How will we give inhabitants access to how their data is being captured, manipulated, used, and stored? What role can architecture play in protecting people’s privacy and security? What does an interactively augmented environment mean for how we perceive our environment when we already know that mind, body, and environment co-shape this? Given the large number of signposts in both HCI and architecture, we suggest that the only natural expectation is stronger ties between the worlds of information and the design of physical spaces to address the challenges we now face.”

Sheep Dalton, Holger Schnädelbach, Tasos Varoudis, and Mikael Wiberg ~ ACM Interactions

Careers in UX: How different organizations approach user experience design

Multiple flavors of how to embed UX design in orgs.

“When looking for a job in UX, the company, team, manager, and even sector, company size, and focus should all factor into finding the right place. The core skills for UX jobs are consistent across different kinds of organizations, but some might be a better fit for different work styles, personality types, or interests. I’m writing from the perspective of a UX researcher, but the following exploration certainly applies to other UX roles. I’ll be drawing on my experiences working at several different types of organizations, as well as numerous conversations with other UX professionals talking about their experiences. Let’s take a look at four different but common types of organizations that employ UX professionals, along with some pros and cons for working with each.”

Laith Ulaby a.k.a. /laith-ulaby ~ UX Booth

UX research methods

After design validation, we need more and more design and user research methods.

“From new ideas to proven standards in user experience research, our toolkit is a rich collection of ways to understand people and context. The articles in this issue feature innovations, like new ways to explore emotional response, to unusual places to conduct research, like trains, ferries, and conferences.”

The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association

IDEO’s secret recipe for an innovative design team

Design as a team sport. Getting rid of the genius designer myth.

“Hire for the right roles. Some people believe that founders are the only ones who can create company culture. It’s true that founders are usually responsible for creating the original values. Consider how Larry Page and Sergey Brin from Google defined the way they wanted their first dozen employees to feel at work. In fact many of the best-loved parts of the culture started before Google had 50 employees. But as a company grows, there are still opportunities for cultural recalibration. Here are seven roles of people who help define, harness, reflect, and embody culture at IDEO. Think of them as the new faces of organizational culture.”

Mollie West ~ AIGA

UX in Government: Why we need to stop calling it ‘Citizen Experience’

As long as the ‘C’ in the hashtag #CX refers to customer, citizen or community, there’s no improvement of clearity.

“Why not Community Experience? I know it puts less emphasis on an individual user than the word “Citizen” — but let’s admit it — citizen actually refers to someone who belongs in or to a context. See? The word citizen carries with it the idea of community any ways! And the communities our ‘customers’ (users, citizens) belong to, or feel excluded from, directly impacts how they experience our services in any case.”

Jamie Lee ~ Medium

Second-hand UX: The social implications of tangible tech

In open ecosystems, the experiences of all humans matter.

“From a philosophical perspective, a lack of care about the psychological and sociological toll our products may take on users could drastically alter the concept of a traditional society altogether. It’s better to recognize and reverse potentially harmful design patterns now before habits and cultural beliefs lose sight of social concerns that were once fundamental. Despite popular belief, money and societal good do not have to be mutually exclusive. Let’s start taking second-hand experience into consideration and make it a core part of the way we practice UX.”

Dash Neimark a.k.a. /uxdash | @ux_Dash ~ Boxes and Arrows

Why emerging technologies are the next great frontier for UX

UX seems technology-driven, but it’s not. Experiences are as old as humans are, in whatever circumstances.

“Robotics. Genomics. Synthetic biology. Such emerging technologies are today at the cusp of widespread commercial adoption and will have disruptive impact across industries—from agriculture to manufacturing and health to energy. These technologies are the next great frontier for User Experience. Science, engineering, and design are percolating on solutions to many technological challenges. UX designers are bringing the expertise they’ve gained in creating digital and physical products to bear on new robotic and even biological products. For instance, at the Wyss Institute, cross-disciplinary teams comprising scientists, engineers, designers, business people, and other innovators are creating and commercializing bio-inspired products. Last year, the Bio/Nano Programmable Matter group at Autodesk created a synthetic bacteriophage and 3D printed the virus. The company, which is best known for its design and engineering software, is now working on a next-gen software platform for synthetic-biology design.”

Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ UXmatters

Customer experience versus user experience: Why the difference matters

The delta creates the concepts.

“User experience is not the same as customer experience. While most designers directly influence the UX, they also need to understand the larger context of the CX. The customer experience represents every step of the journey from when users are running price comparisons, to when users try the product, to when users may resort to customer service if their needs aren’t met.”

Jerry Cao a.k.a. /thinkjerrycao | @jerrycao_uxpin ~ The Next Web courtesy of @nicooooooon

Manufacturing Magic and Computational Creativity

Magic from the Machine.

“This paper describes techniques in computational creativity, blending mathematical modeling and psychological insight, to generate new magic tricks. The details of an explicit computational framework capable of creating new magic tricks are summarized, and evaluated against a range of contemporary theories about what constitutes a creative system. To allow further development of the proposed system we situate this approach to the generation of magic in the wider context of other areas of application in computational creativity in performance arts. We show how approaches in these domains could be incorporated to enhance future magic generation systems, and critically review possible future applications of such magic generating computers.”

Howard Williams and Peter W. McOwan ~ Frontiers in Psychology

Algorithms as the new material of Design

From code to language: algorithms.

“As experience designers, we rely more on algorithms with every iteration of a Web site or application. As design becomes less about screens and more about augmenting humans with extended capabilities, new ideas, and even, potentially, more emotional awareness, we need algorithms. If we think of experience designers as the creators of the interface between people and technology, it makes sense that we should become more savvy about algorithms.”

Pamela Pavliscak a.k.a. /pamelapavliscak | @paminthelab ~ UXmatters