Designing conversations for socially-conscious design

Design is inherently social. It’s about conversations. Conversations by the people.

“Design is inherently social. It almost always involves conversations. Designing conversations-for-design should be an explicit part of the design process, just as much as designing the-design-process should be. In brief, conversations are vital foundations for socially-conscious design. (…) A theory of conversations grows out of cybernetics, a major branch of systems, and its roots reach back to Gordon Pask, who was Ranulph Glanville’s mentor. At RSD3 in Oslo, Glanville said, Cybernetics is the theory; design is the action. We need both theory and action to tame the challenges that really matter. A theory of conversation contributes rigor and dependability to socially-conscious design.”

Paul Pangaro a.k.a. /pangaro | @paulpangaro ~ Opening keynote at RSD5 symposium

Changing routines: Designing projects for meaningful work

The more meaning, the better.

“We need a deliberate and constant investment in routines involving learning, improving, and maturing as part of integrated practices and a clear identification of the project roles necessary so that teammates can build trust with one another, help others on the team, and keep the team together over time. This effort may include defining a well-understood, comfortable, open, inviting project language. When a team defines a project’s purpose and artifacts together then iterates them over time and even across successive projects, the learning environment matures iteratively as part of the project experience.”

Daniel Szuc, Jo Wong, Michael Davis Burchat, and Jennifer Fabrizi ~ UXPA Magazine

Time to re-think Design Thinking

It’s no silver bullet but through critique the concept will only get stronger.

“Faced by growing competition and nimbler start-ups, many organizations are struggling. They suffer from a crisis of innovation. Unable to differentiate their brands, their products and their services in a digitally disruptive world, organizations’ future success depends on better managing and responding to change. Their very existence hinges on their ability to continuously and rapidly innovate. In order to do so successfully, they must place people at the heart of everything they do. They must harness the power of design. Business leaders once distinguished business strategy from customer experience but, today, that mindset is changing: business strategy has become experience strategy.”

Olof Schybergson and Shelley Evenson ~ Huffington Post courtesy of @marcovanhout

Jared Spool on UX Design

The need for designers starts to get intop formal education as well.

“The design industry is torn over the issue of certification. Today anyone can be a designer. Basically, you’re a designer if you put it in your Twitter bio. We probably have more people saying they’re designers than we have designers. On the other side we have folks like yourself who have now produced an entire curriculum that outputs a pretty well-defined industry-ready designer.”

Des Traynor a.k.a. /destraynor | @destraynor ~ Intercom

User experience in libraries: Applying ethnography and human-centered design (Book review)

UX in specific contexts, now libraries.

“It’s easy to acknowledge and broadly accept the general concepts of user experience and human-centered design in relation to libraries, but the real work illustrated in User Experience in Libraries is hard to do. It requires support, buy-in, and dedication of time and resources. As with so many things, the question becomes how to get this book, these powerful chapters, into the right hands. How do we move beyond the echo chamber of passionate advocates? There are no answers offered in this review, other than for practitioners to keep talking and sharing. If we’re lucky, with its honesty and rational approach, ‘User Experience in Libraries: Applying Ethnography and Human-Centered Design can break through’.”

Heidi Steiner Burkhardt a.k.a. /heidisteiner | @heidi_sb ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 1.5

Beyond the conversation: Context-fluid experiences and augmented cognition

How to frame fluidity into a design challenge.

“What we can do currently, however, is think about how to best make use of the available data acquisition methods to create context-sensitive applications for context-fluid experiences. As designers, it is our job to continue to facilitate and improve the two-way conversation between our technology and its users. Let’s work toward creating meaningful feedback loops between human and computer, thus optimizing the context-fluid experience.”

Cameron Miller a.k.a. /cameronalexandermiller | @ChancesAreCam ~ Boxes and Arrows

The interaction-attention continuum: Considering various levels of human attention in interaction design

Attention, the 21st century human currency.

“The article discusses the need to develop interaction designs that are usable at various levels of attention, providing a continuum to facilitate designer-researcher in applying this notion. This continuum and the design considerations we derive from case studies are relevant when designing interactive systems for everyday routines.”

Saskia Bakker and Karin Niemantsverdriet ~ International Journal of Design 10.2

On information design (.pdf)

InfoDesign is alive and kicking.

“The book you have before you is sediment, an old-fashioned document that registers an event that, in Slovenia, could well represent a utopian or at least an optimistic step into cutting-edge thought, while, in its English version, it contributes important knowledge to the existing, internationally recognized discipline we call information design. In late 2009, Slovenia’s Museum of Architecture and Design began its fourth series of lectures in the theory of architecture and design; like the ones before it, this lecture series was founded on the idea that when talking about professional disciplines on the local scale we need to speak from the experience of what is happening globally and must open new doors and seek ideas more at depth than at breadth.”

Edited by Petra Černe Oven and Cvetka Požar ~ courtesy of @pco_paralaksa

Beyond the lab: Gathering holistic, qualitative user experience data

Making UX measured. The power of numbers.

“The field of User Experience is increasingly under pressure to gather qualitative data in shorter amounts of time. As a UX professional, I’m on the hunt for novel methods and approaches that facilitate the collection of meaningful information about users’ emotions and engagement. A central tenet of User Experience is the importance of gathering revealing, informative, powerful data about the user experience by engaging with users. For example, during usability tests, users interact with Web sites, applications, products, and concepts and give us detailed feedback as they go. Whether you are a UX designer, developer, marketer, engineer, or in executive leadership, seeing users use your product first hand is invaluable.”

Heather Wright Karlson a.k.a. /hwrightkarlson | @uxheat ~ UXmatters

Task Performance Indicator: A management metric for customer experience

Making CX measured. The power of numbers.

“It’s hard to quantify the customer experience. “Simpler and faster for users” is a tough sell when the value of our work doesn’t make sense to management. We have to prove we’re delivering real value—increased the success rate, or reduced time-on-task, for example—to get their attention. Management understands metrics that link with other organizational metrics, such as lost revenue, support calls, or repeat visits. So, we need to describe our environment with metrics of our own.”

Gerry McGovern a.k.a. /gerry-mcgovern | @gerrymcgovern ~ A List Apart

Innovation and UX: Towards an adaptive and motive-based approach

Holism as a mindset for UX thinking.

“UX is more than just key performance indicators (KPIs). Yes, they are helpful for standardized testing or measures of satisfaction, but commonly used UX KPIs do not show the whole picture when assessing user needs and experiences. This is because current UX KPIs like efficiency, satisfaction, and learnability constrain the perspective to the already known and pre-defined UX dimensions. They neglect other at least equally important aspects of the user’s reality. A holistic UX approach is needed that incorporates user needs and motives and allows technical product innovations to be truly human-centered.”

Clemens Breuninger, Benjamin Dennig, and Sebastian Klein ~ UXPA Magazine

Human-centered CX: Uniting stakeholders across the enterprise

CX as an organizational dimension of performance.

“Customer experience is said to be a top business priority for most companies around the world. Many experts agree that investing in CX establishes a competitive advantage against companies that choose to solely prioritise the bottom line. While customer experience is a noble and important catalyst for business transformation, becoming truly customer-centric requires an introspective approach. This takes stepping back to define what customer experience really means from the customer’s perspective – what they truly value and also what’s primed, broken or missing to deliver next generation CX.”

Brian Solis /briansolis | @briansolis

IBM is gearing up to become the world’s largest and most sophisticated design company

After Apple with its focus on the design of artifacts, the next posterchild of design will be IBM with its focus on design in business contexts.

“IBM’s aggressive and zealous design-minded approach can help promote a more nuanced definition of design’s purview. Just by the scale of its presence in 170 countries, IBM can re-contextualize roles and careers for the design profession around the world. Expanding design’s influence beyond finessing shapes, beautifying screen interfaces, and tidying up presentations, IBM’s trained employees can demonstrate how design thinking can improve and humanize solutions for the world’s most urgent matters, from detecting cancer and fighting the Zika virus to providing drone operators with real-time weather data.”

Anne Quito /anne-quito | @annequito ~ Quartz

The Agile Manifesto for designers

No more documentation!

“Many say that UX design processes do not fit well into the agile methodology. As a UX designer who has experience working on both waterfall and agile projects—and many variants in between—I object to this assertion. The Agile Manifesto outlines twelve principles that guide the agile methodology. One by one, I’ll explain how each of these principles not only fails to conflict with good UX design practice, but can even improve it.”

Andrew Croce /andrewcroce @andrewcroce ~ UXmatters

Sensing the future of HCI: Touch, taste, and smell user interfaces

Using all the senses for information processing purposes.

“The senses we call upon when interacting with technology are restricted. We mostly rely on vision and hearing, and increasingly touch, but taste and smell remain largely unused. Although our knowledge about sensory systems and devices has grown rapidly over the past few decades, there is still an unmet challenge in understanding people’s multisensory experiences in HCI. The goal is that by understanding the ways in which our senses process information and how they relate to one another, it will be possible to create richer experiences for human-technology interactions.”

Marianna Obrist, Carlos Velasco, Chi Vi, Nimesha Ranasinghe, Ali Israr, Adrian Cheok, Charles Spence, and Ponnampalam Gopalakrishnakone ~ ACM Interaction XXIII.5

What is the User Experience of content?

UX is the outcome, interacting with content.

“Good UX is all about getting out of the user’s way. A successful ecommerce site makes it phenomenally easy to shop, deeply evaluate, and compare products. The best sites let the audience do these things without even paying attention to how they get from product description to comparison chart to category page. Good content is about the same thing. The best content doesn’t draw attention to itself, but focuses instead on its subject matter–the information you as a marketer want to impart. Good UX is also about knowing what your user wants. Do the work up front (or have an agency do it) to figure out what your user wants, what they would ask if you were standing face to face. Don’t be afraid to ask the question, ‘Did you find everything you needed today?” in whatever form you can. Pay attention to the details of all your content. Improve what you have first, identify the gaps, then start knocking them out one step at a time.”

Augustin Kendall a.k.a. /augustinkendall ~ Portent courtesy of petermorville