Designing for cognitive differences

We used to call it accessibility, and that’s still what it is.

“Inclusive design is designing to be inclusive of as many users as possible, considering all aspects of diversity in users. With increased understanding, compassionate discussions around how to design for disabilities are becoming increasingly common in the web industry. But even with this growth, there are misconceptions: accessibility is still frequently thought of as ‘design for blind people’ when it’s so much more than that. Users with limited motor functions and those who are hearing-impaired require separate considerations, for instance. But accessibility and inclusiveness also mean considering more than just physical symptoms. What about users with cognitive differences like inattention, anxiety, and depression?”

Brandon Gregory a.k.a. /brandon-gregory | @authorbrandong ~ A List Apart

Blockchain UX: Challenges, principles and heuristics

UX still remains relevant for any type of technology.

“If you are a designer looking to pave ways into the Blockchain technology and applications, it is never late to start. From my personal experience I would suggest to kick start your learning by getting acquainted with the three core components the technology is composed of being: distributed ledger technology (DLT), decentralized (or better, distributed) networks, and public-key cryptography.”

Jo Mercieca a.k.a. /jomercieca ~ Medium

The psychology of design

Knowledge of perception, cognition and emotion is the foundation of design.

“This paper analyses major social shifts in reading by comparing publishing statistics with results of empirical research on reading. As media statistics suggest, the last five decades have seen two shifts: from textual to visual media, and with the advent of digital screens also from long-form to short-form texts. This was accompanied by new media-adequate reading modes: while long-form content invokes immersed and/or deep reading, we predominantly skim online social media. Empirical research on reading indicates that the reading substrate plays an important role in reading processes. For example, comprehension suffers when complex texts are read from screens. This paper argues that media and reading trends in recent decades indicate broader social and cultural changes in which long-form deep reading traditionally associated with the printed book will be marginalised by prevailing media trends and the reading modes they inspire. As these trends persist, it may be necessary to find new approaches to vocabulary and knowledge building.”

Jon Yablonski a.k.a. /jon-yablonski | @JonYablonski ~ A List Apart

Reading in a post-textual era

Only reading sharps the mind.

“This paper analyses major social shifts in reading by comparing publishing statistics with results of empirical research on reading. As media statistics suggest, the last five decades have seen two shifts: from textual to visual media, and with the advent of digital screens also from long-form to short-form texts. This was accompanied by new media-adequate reading modes: while long-form content invokes immersed and/or deep reading, we predominantly skim online social media. Empirical research on reading indicates that the reading substrate plays an important role in reading processes. For example, comprehension suffers when complex texts are read from screens. This paper argues that media and reading trends in recent decades indicate broader social and cultural changes in which long-form deep reading traditionally associated with the printed book will be marginalised by prevailing media trends and the reading modes they inspire. As these trends persist, it may be necessary to find new approaches to vocabulary and knowledge building.”

Miha Kovač and Adriaan van der Weel ~ First Monday 23.10

Privacy by design: How to sell privacy and make change

Privacy, trust, and ethics. All aspects of your design morals.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right that has become one of the most illusive and least understood topics of the Internet. However, the time is coming for change, and it’s up to us whether that’s going to happen willfully or through regulation. This article will explain exactly why making these changes is so critical to the success of your business and how you can make the changes that need to be made in a way that also positively impacts your bottom line.”

Joe Toscano a.k.a. /joe-toscano | @realjoet ~ Smashing Magazine

UX research is essential to product success

Seeing, knowning, and understanding are just part of wisdom.

“To change the mindset of your stakeholders from being naysayers to being advocates for user research, you must help them understand how research can add value to their product and that learnings from user research are an indispensable asset to a product team.”

Apurvo Ghosh a.k.a. /apurvo-ghosh-hfi-cua™ | @Apurvo_Ghosh ~ UXmatters

Things that Beep: A Brief History of Product Sound Design

Design for the ears to provide information, to communicate and to experience.

“As we move into an artificially intelligent world whose logics of operation often exceed our own understanding, perhaps we should linger a bit longer on those blips and clicks. Compressed within the beep is a whole symphony of historical resonances, socio-technical rhythms, political timbres, and cultural harmonies. Rather than simply signaling completion, marking a job done right, a beep instead intones the complex nature of our relationships to technology — and the material world more generally.”

Shannon Mattern ~ avant.org courtesy of designobserver

Envisioning Futures of Design Education: An Exploratory Workshop with Design Educators

Rethinking design education for the 21st century, which is already almost two decades in the works.

“The demand for innovation in the creative economy has seen the adoption and adaptation of design thinking and design methods into domains outside design, such as business management, education, healthcare, and engineering. Design thinking and methodologies are now considered useful for identifying, framing and solving complex, often wicked social, technological, economic and public policy problems. As the practice of design undergoes change, design education is also expected to adjust to prepare future designers to have dramatically different demands made upon their general abilities and bases of knowledge than have design career paths from years past. Future designers will have to develop skills and be able to construct and utilize knowledge that allows them to make meaningful contributions to collaborative efforts involving experts from disciplines outside design. Exactly how future designers should be prepared to do this has sparked a good deal of conjecture and debate in the professional and academic design communities. This report proposes that the process of creating future scenarios that more broadly explore and expand the role, or roles, for design and designers in the world’s increasingly interwoven and interdependent societies can help uncover core needs and envision framework(s) for design education.”

Sapna Singh, Nicole Lotz and Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders ~ AIGA Dialectic

The role of observation in user research

User research and what you see is not what you get.

“User research consists of two core activities: observing and interviewing. Since we’re most interested in people’s behavior, observing is the most important of these activities because it provides the most accurate information about people, their tasks, and their needs. While interviewing is also very important, the information people provide during interviews isn’t always accurate or reliable. Often, research participants don’t know why they do things, what they really need, what they might do in the future, or how a design could be improved. To really understand what people do, you can’t just ask them, you have to observe them.”

Jim Ross a.k.a. /anotheruxguy | @anotheruxguy ~ UXmatters

How to recruit for user research: Tools and techniques for recruiting UX research participants

User research or user experience research?

“It’s hard to conduct user research if you don’t have anyone to research. Recruitment lets you find people that have the information you seek to learn. Recruitment is risky since the effort hinges on getting the right people in the room. There are a number of factors at play, and various methods a team can use to find the right kind of participants. Before worrying about the risks and before scheduling participants, you first must document whom you want to recruit.”

David Farkas and Brad Nunnally ~ O’Reilly Radar – Design

Creating usability maturity models for large-scale projects

Scaling-up is not always easy.

“We already had a comprehensive UX process that included user research, product definition, and iterative usability testing. We had always felt that by following our UX process we would have discovered and fixed all important usability issues so a product should be ready to ship at the end of our process. We reported UX progress metrics that were based on the number of usability studies completed and their outcomes. Apparently, this wasn’t a very effective way to communicate. So what metric(s) would be better to describe the level of product readiness from a usability perspective? Initially, we thought about this “challenge” as a way to communicate a product’s usability growth. Eventually, we started using the term ‘usability maturity’.”

Angela Huenerfauth a.k.a. /angelahuenerfauth and David Teller a.k.a. /david-teller ~ UXPA Magazine

The evolution of UX research: A job posting analysis

The job market for UX research follows the field of UX design practice.

“Our conclusion is that these seemingly opposing trends will persist for a while due to the different levels of research maturity in the market. UX teams of one, T-shaped UX, or UX unicorns are still in demand and will continue to be so. However, in our opinion, the demand for specialized UXers will keep growing. The increased understanding of UX by big companies is translated in the definition of job postings for ‘mixed’ UX researchers or specialized quantitative or qualitative researchers. It is likely to be a slow trend in the same way that UX took awhile to reach companies. However, and luckily, the future looks bright for anyone wishing to work in UX research.”

Muriel Garreta-Domingo a.k.a. @mparticulars and Alberto González Mosquera a.k.a. @Agonzalezmosq ~ UXPA Magazine

Ten questions to designer Kees Dorst

Design thinker provides a context of (digital) design.

“It’s no news that the world is changing and it is changing fast. And change demands what designer Kees Dorst says to be a need to step back from old values so that we can create a new order. And it’s in this process that designers have a key role to play. At our Master’s programme’s headquarters, Dorst explained his theory in design framing and new thinking to an audience of students, professionals, and lecturers. After the event, Ben Schouten, scientific director of the Master’s programme in Digital Design, sat down with Kees Dorst to hear more about his thoughts on the designer of the future.”

Master Digital Design (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences)

Don’t discount the role of UX in IoT

Machines have feelings too.

“The IoT network can range from a smart home thermostat to medical devices that send patient data from an ambulance to the emergency room to a tractor gathering crop yield data from different areas of the field, and so much more. IoT products are in their infancy—well, maybe the toddler stage—and spreading in different industries (for example, UX will play a huge role in smart factories of the new Industry 4.0) And, as mentioned, UX is not limited to the outside of the device; it is in all areas of the device. Let’s make it count.”

Kianosh Pourian a.k.a. /kianoshpourian | @kianoshp ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association

Designing documents for people to use

Essays, posts and messages. All types of documents needed to be designed for use.

“This article reports on the work of Communication Research Institute (CRI), an international research center specializing in communication and information design. With the support of government, regulators, industry bodies, and business—and with the participation of people and their advocates—CRI has worked on over 200 public document design projects since it began as a small unit in 1985. CRI investigates practical methods and achievable standards for designing digital and paper public documents, including forms; workplace procedural notices; bills, letters, and emails sent by organizations; labels and instructions that accompany products and services; and legal and financial documents and contracts. CRI has written model grammars for the document types it designs, and the cumulative data from CRI projects has led to a set of systematic methods for designing public-use documents to a high standard. Through research, design, publishing, and advocacy, CRI works to measurably improve the ordinary documents we all have to use.”

David Sless a.k.a. /david-sless | @davidsless ~ She Ji 4.2

The concept of the design discipline

The design discipline and the design practice, how are they in sync?

“In their previous work, the authors have demonstrated that the discipline of design has been superseded by a condition where conventionally set design disciplines have dissolved. In this age where design is typified by fluid, evolving patterns of practice that regularly traverse, transcend and transfigure historical disciplinary and conceptual boundaries, the authors have argued that globalization and the proliferation of the digital has resulted in connections that are no longer ‘amid,’ cannot be measured ‘across,’ nor encompass a ‘whole’ system. In short, this ‘disciplinary turn’ has generated an ‘other’ dimension—an alternative disciplinarity. Moreover, this reliance on the ‘exhausted’ historic disciplines has become obsolete as the boundaries of our understanding have been superseded by a boundless space/time that we call ‘alter-plinarity.’ The fragmentation of distinct disciplines has shifted creative practice from being ‘discipline-based’ to ‘issue- or project-based.’ Consequently, this paper presents a manifesto for the future design discipline that emphasizes disposing carefully of what you know, teaching what you do not know whilst always taking design seriously, protecting us from what we want, objecting to sustaining everything, designing without reproach, ensuring that objects are invisible but designed with care and within history whilst exploring design as an idea rather than an ideal.”

Paul A. Rogers and Craig Bremner ~ AIGA Dialectic

As machine learning and AI perform magic, how can UX professionals help?

Deep understanding through some deep human learning.

“(…) UX designers and researchers need to be the co-creators of intelligent solutions to make sure AI technology works for people and society. More than ever, we must consider the capabilities and roles of human versus machine. When should machines make decisions and take action, and when should they augment or support people making decisions? How will these AI solutions make people feel? Do people feel like the solution is trustable, easy, and fun, or do they feel frustrated or even potentially endangered? UX professionals must act to learn, share, collaborate, and participate in cognitive technology research and development both at a strategic level and as a part of the product development process. We should also get involved in governance. We encourage UX professionals to join us and continue this dialog so that we can help create a better world.”

Cindy Lu a.k.a. and Alice Preston ~ UXPA magazine

XR design: Imagination, immersion, and presence

New hunting grounds for experience designers with a mixed view on reality.

“XR is an incredibly powerful new tool for bridging the gap between imagination and reality. It achieves this most effectively when full immersion occurs, a solid sense of presence exists, and a multimodal experience looks, feels, and sounds believable. These are foundational concepts to keep top of mind when you’re moving from designing experiences for traditional mediums to designing the magical world of XR.”

Dashiel Neimark a.k.a. /uxdash | @ux_Dash ~ UXmatters

What augmented reality can do for the user experience

New forms of reality are kicking in and we have no idea how to deal with it.

“It’s too early to dive deep into AR technology. Sure, the UX design for headless interfaces will be an important core competence in the future. However, we’re not really able to gain experience in that area as of right now. What UX designers can and should do now, is to experiment with established technologies, such as 360-degree videos, and virtual reality. Even if these experiences will not really cover the challenges of AR, they broaden your horizon in the right direction. This is important, as your approach will have to change fundamentally.”

Dieter Petereit a.k.a. @dpetereit ~ noupe