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

Scaling Agile is not the path to business agility

Many compelling insights into the turbulent world of enterprise work, focus and culture.

“(…) a new class of digital leadership is emerging to deliver the next era of transformation. The progressive C-level digital leader can navigate both IT architectures and end-to-end digital ecosystems. She co-creates compelling customer-centred visions, drives evolving strategies and plans, unlocks investments, delivers change at scale, and continuously improves operating effectiveness. Above all else, she keeps her focus squarely on the customer.”

Inês Almeida a.k.a. /inesalmeida | @Portuguesinha ~ APD Group courtesy of @rvdhr

Embedding product design in a large Agile organization

Fitting a square into a circle can be a real challenge.

“The Agile approach can be tough for designers — if misinterpreted it creates the expectation that a solo designer assigned to a scrum team will constantly and magically generate just-in-time designs. That a great cohesive overall product experience will be envisioned and unfolded piece by tiny piece across multiple scrum teams. On the other hand, if strategically focused on both discovery and delivery, Agile represents a great opportunity to center product development around frequent user feedback, and to constantly iterate by treating every release as a prototype that demands learning and improvement.”

Scott Mackie a.k.a. /srmackie ~ Medium

UX and service design for connected products report

Take it away!

“In this Insight Report, we’ll look at the factors which make UX for IoT particularly challenging. We’ll discuss how technical architecture and business models shape UX, and how IoT blurs the line between product and service experiences. We’ll look at the need to give users transparency around how complex systems work and share data, in particular in relation to GDPR. And we’ll set out the challenges of designing distributed user experiences across multiple UIs, and show how some companies are tackling the challenges of designing for both hardware and software in parallel.”

Claire Rowland a.k.a. /clairerowland | @clurr ~ IoT.uk

What is Customer Journey Analytics?

Some people think something is real only when you can apply metrics to it.

“Customer journey analytics is the weaving together of every touchpoint that a customer interacts with, across multiple channels and over time. It connects millions of events into journeys from your customers’ point of view and is a data-driven approach to discovering, analyzing and influencing your customers’ journeys.”

Steve Offsey a.k.a. /steveoffsey | @MarketBuildr ~ Pointillist courtesy of @rvdhr

How to enhance the navigation experience on mobile devices

The space metaphore is still alive. How about space as in on sea, where you have to steer (a.k.a. cybernetics)?

“Good navigation, like good design, is invisible. Applications with good navigation just feel simple and make it easy to accomplish any task, from browsing through pictures to applying for a car loan.”

Theresa Neil a.k.a. /theresaneil | @theresaneil ~ O’Reilly Radar

The CX Tower of Babel: What CX descriptions tell us about corporate CX initiatives

These towers seem to appear in every fast growing community, like UX, AI and content makreting.

“Despite the wave of CX initiatives launched by companies in recent years, my investigation indicates that the CX roles supporting these initiatives do not seem well matched to the activities required to design successful customer experiences. There are several ways to address this. First, companies building out a CX function must put more rigor into understanding the implications of designing CXs. A VOC program without qualitative research is incomplete. Analysis and synthesis are not learned on the job. Design is not simply generating a new idea as a response to a research insight. Second, companies must recruit candidates that fulfill those requirements or implement significant training programs to improve their CX profiles. Third, CX needs more formal education programs modeled after UX curriculums and emphasizing the basics of research, analysis, and design.”

Michael Thompson a.k.a. /michaelemmett3 ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXV.3 courtesy of @riander

How to use UX research to guide an Agile Process

Pace layers in sync: research and sprints. I hope it will actually work.

“The key idea is to ensure that every action taken during the Agile process is aligned with the sprint objective and with solving a specific problem for the user. UX research is also there to continually evaluate and assess whether the outcome that the team has produced is successful. By implementing this strategy, you’ll have UX research embedded from the beginning to the end of the Agile process and empower your team to solve user problems with more alignment and feedback on their work’s impact.”

LaiYee Ho a.k.a. @laiyeelori ~ UXPA Magazine

Making the shift from designing GUIs to designing VUIs

Voice interactions, a terra incognita for designers with a focus on perception. Dialogues, conversations and narratives as the new black.

“Many of the best practices for designing VUIs are the same as those for creating visual designs or interactive experiences: respect your users, solve their problems in efficient ways, and make their choices clear. But there are some unique design principles for VUIs as well. Remember, we don’t always know for sure what a user’s intent was. Plus, it’s necessary to spend more time on error cases. If you keep the principles I’ve described in this article in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting great VUIs.”

Cathy Pearl a.k.a. /alana-schroeder | @cpearl42 ~ UXmatters

Playful interfaces: Designing interactive experiences for children

Design for the upcoming generations. Quite a challenge for UCD.

“The evidence is clear: Children under the age of 10 need different interaction support than other age groups. Referring to these seven guidelines will help you design children’s touchscreen apps that are more successful for this age group by supporting their natural development and growth. Moreover, including children as part of the design process—whether they as testers, informants, or co-designers—will ensure a better experience for all. By considering these tips, we hope you will be able to focus on the fun factor of designing for kids!”

Julie A. Kientz, Lisa Anthony a.k.a. @lanthonyuf and Alexis Hiniker ~ User Experience Magazine