What is a card?

My C5 design law of cards: Cards contain content chunks and code.

“(…) when we talk about cards in digital products, it’s important to understand that there are actually two, interrelated concepts at work that some people conflate as one. I’ll use some grossly simplified language to label them as cards as presentation and cards as third-party content. (…) A card is a single unit of content or functionality, presented in a concise visual package. More advanced cards use that form to surface content or functionality from other apps, and allow users to interact with that content or functionality directly in the context of where a user encounters the card.”

(Khoi Vinh a.k.a. @khoi ~ Subtraction)

Service Design: Pushing us beyond the familiar

You’ve been living under a rock if you haven’t notice the growth of the service design community. Or you’re not doing anything related to experience design.

“Service design is an extension of digital UX design. Most of today’s user experience work is done on some sort of digital device. It involves an application or web site. Solutions involve moving bits around on a display. (…) As UX professionals, we need the skills and techniques of service design in our toolkit. Acquiring them will push us beyond what’s familiar to us. And that’s a good thing.”

(Jared Spool a.k.a. @jmspool)

The difference between UX and UI design: A layman’s guide

No knowledge required to really understand the delta?

“We’ve all overheard conversations, walking down hip streets of the world’s tech capitals, discussions about the great UX of a product, or the poor UI of a website. Is it a secret language you will never be privy to? Are these people just using slang to look cool?Well, ok probably yes to the latter, but a determinate NO to the rest. Read on to learn what these terms mean, which jobs are better paid, and how to become a UX or UI designer.”

(Emil Lamprecht a.k.a. @EmilLamprecht ~ Career Foundry)

UX in an Agile process

Examples are great, but in the end we need more abstraction from all of them.

“Originally, the field of usability and interaction design was slow, cumbersome and costly. These were some of the reasons that it was not adopted very fast among practitioners. However, recent years a lot of the methods and techniques have been adapted to better fit the fast moving development processes that are predominant in software companies today. But what do you do when you can’t include users because of NDAs? How do you handle the fierce security demands, that are part of your project? Does your customer really know their users, or do they only think they do? And when you have a deadline, how do you avoid UI slowing your progress? This talk is a case story of how UX was included in the agile development process that resulted in the first Danish mobile bank app: Danske Banks mobile banking app. “

(Janne Jul Jensen a.k.a. @jjjtrifork ~ GOTO Conference 2014)

The next UX revolution: Transforming stodgy enterprise applications into engaging experiences

Zeitgeist: IBM and Apple showed the way.

“Businesses are starting to realize the potential of good UX. With a substantial percentage of the workforce retiring in the next three to five years, organizations need software for a new wave of workers—business software that works like the apps they use at home. Our customers who have already adopted Infor’s new UX are seeing lower turnover rates, less training time, and more satisfaction among their workers. They tell us they’re hungry for more. And we’re getting ready to deliver.”

(Marc Scibelli ~ UX Magazine)

Brand experience: There’s no app for that

Challenging the UX way of thinking from a marketing and branding perspective.

“In his opening keynote Thomas Marzano challenges the HCI community to think about Brand Experience instead of User Experience. Tapping from his experience with the new Philips Brand, he will demonstrate us how a company should approach its brand in a holistic way and thus create a better and deeper felt brand differentiation. Thomas firmly believes that putting people at the centre of imagination is the only sustainable way of creating meaningful experiences.”

(Thomas Marzano a.k.a. @ThomasMarzano ~ Chi Sparks 2014 videos)

Designing innovation

Talk about design and innovation after the phase of ‘just do it’.

“Finding the sweet spot in terms of a timeframe or design skeleton is one thing, but the real challenge comes with translating consumer insights into something innovative that the designers can stand behind. (…) And just as we’ve made the transition from a much more “magic” way of introducing design to completely immersing ourselves into the thoughts, suggestions and feelings of consumers, we’re looking to a future where the the public will ultimately be playing a much smaller role in the actual function of their products. All we can do is wait to see what comes out of the woodwork – and offer our opinions as consumers whenever we have the chance.”

(Core77 Design)

Designing for content

Great example of content-first experience design.

“Our jobs as designers, coders, thinkers and writers is to deliver relevant content in a meaningful context. We are creating a complete reading experience where not only the visual delivery is responsive (desktop to tablet to smartphone) but also the content is responsive to the context of it’s consumption. We look at new phenomena like agile publishing and self-publishing (and a pretty triumphant return of print) and we collect data to get insights in the behavior of our audiences.”

(Robert Stulle a.k.a. @robertstulle ~ EdenSpiekermann)

UX strategy blueprint

First level of abstraction: a blueprint. Kind of a template.

“Once all of the elements have been agreed on, consolidate the strategy. A good, succinct strategy should only be about two pages long. Give it multiple forms to illustrate your intent to different audiences. Create a presentation, document and a graphic, as needed. Share the strategy as often as possible. It’s hard to over communicate: print it out, hang it up, start every meeting with your strategy slide, use it as dummy text in wireframes instead of lorum ipsum. Reiterate. Developing strategy is a craft, one that involves exploration and choice but also systematic thinking. The UX Strategy Blueprint helps you see all the moving parts in a single overview. In doing so, it simplifies strategy, making an abstract concept more tangible for all involved.”

(James Kalbach a.k.a. @jimkalbach ~ Experiencing Information)

A closer look at personas: A guide to developing the right ones (2/2)

Besides wireframes, prototypes and task maps, personas still remains one of the poster childs of UCD.

“How can designers create experiences that are custom tailored to people who are unlike themselves? As explained in part 1 of this series, an effective way to gain knowledge of, build empathy for and sharpen focus on users is to use a persona. This final part of the series will explain an effective method of creating a persona.”

(Shlomo Goltz a.k.a. @MoGoltz ~ Smashing Magazine)

What is the relationship between HCI research and UX practice?

HCI evolved into UX, but is still in need of theory (a.k.a. ideas), research, and design.

“It is perhaps through effectively communicating the outcomes of academic HCI’s explorations of future interactive technologies that academia can offer the greatest value to UX professionals working in industry. Many UX professionals do not have the luxury of time that would enable them to look beyond immediate requirements. But doing research with a broader focus is common in academia.”

(Stuart Reeves ~ UX matters)