Design concepts: Creative thinking and exploration to develop and select ideas

From idea to concept. How about execution?

“A good concept can make your design more interesting. It can add depth and meaning to your work. A concept helps you generate new and related ideas. It also guides your thinking and design decisions. Your ability to develop concepts, your creativity, can help you stand out from other designers. So how do you go about developing a concept for a project?”

Steven Bradley a.k.a. /vangogh | @vangogh ~ vanseodesign

Design Research at the crossroads of education and practice

Deep thinking into one of the wicked problems of design research in academia and in practice.

“This paper takes an experiential perspective in describing the current situation in design education and design practice as seen through the eyes of someone on the ground at the crosshairs between research and design in education and practice. The current situation is marked by the fact that practice leads education in the integration of research with design. The integration is going well. The biggest challenges are the incompatibilities between how design research is done in practice and how research takes place at the university.”

Elizabeth B.N. Sanders a.k.a. /sandersliz ~ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 3.1

Seven steps to creating a solid UX strategy

Seven, that’s all.

“Everyone knows that the first step in any business venture is research on the path to creating a strategy. This strategy determines how you’ll function and guide the decision-making process. A website project – whether it is for a business or not – should follow the same concept. Without a solid user experience strategy, the design is likely to lack the features, elements and overall usability that make the website popular among visitors. While the idea of creating a UX strategy might not sound like a lot of fun, it’s a valuable exercise. And when done well, and with purpose, can definitely be enjoyable!”

Carrie Cousins a.k.a. /carriecousins1 | @carriecousins ~ designshack

Level-up email campaigns with Customer Journey Mapping

Journey mapping for all areas.

“Customer journey mapping is a visualization technique that helps marketing specialists, user experience designers, and product and business owners see the journey people take when interacting with products and services. It is a great way to put on your customer’s shoes and see where your business fails to deliver a great user experience.”

Yuri Vedenin a.k.a. /yurivedenin | @yuri_vedenin ~ Smashing magazine

The internet of things: Interaction challenges to meaningful consent at scale

Giving consent respects humanity.

“Having strong, clear apparency to real semantic and pragmatic transparency as a backbone to meaningful consent will also help clarify risks within the data flows of large-scale, heterogeneous IoT infrastructures, from homes to cities to national infrastructure. Overall, by improving apparency to s/p transparency, we make meaningful consent possible. When meaningful consent becomes part of a system, entirely new kinds of services may be imagined that create value based on visible, shareable data. We can also make services more resilient. To get there, we need the design acumen of HCI researchers and UX practitioners to help design, deliver, and evaluate apparency interactions at IoT scale.”

M.C. Schraefer et al. ~ Interaction magazine Volume XXIV.6

Ideation in practice: How effective UX teams generate ideas

Many good ideas, far less good execution.

“Data from 257 UX professionals shows that quality UX ideas come from ideating early in the design cycle, drawing inspiration from user research, and working with a group. Many struggle with generating ideas because they lack time, managerial support, and a methodology for conducting effective ideation sessions.”

Aurora Harley a.k.a. /auroralharley | @aurorararara ~ Nielsen Norman Group

The role of storyboarding in UX design

Getting closer and closer to film making.

“To come up with a proper design, UX designers use a lot of different research techniques, such as contextual inquires, interviews and workshops. They summarize research findings into user stories and user flows and communicate their thinking and solutions to the teams with artifacts such as personas and wireframes. But somewhere in all of this, there are real people for whom the products are being designed for.”

Nick Babich a.k.a. /nbabich | @101babich ~ Smashing magazine

Building a UX Team: Change is the only constant

Design is team work.

“This journey is just beginning. There are many new areas of design to explore. As a father of a 2-year-old boy, I want to be responsible and contribute in a creative way, to ensure we gift a better world to our future. We can look beyond our immediate projects to explore the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities.”

Moin Bhuiyan a.k.a. @bhuiyan_moin ~ UXPA magazine

A practical guide to improving web accessibility

It so obvious that for many it’s not.

“This article is intended to provide guidance on making library websites and other digital content accessible within the constraints of most organizations’ technological environments. Accessibility can mean different things depending on the context, but the focus in this article is on web accessibility, which the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines as “enabling people with disabilities to participate equally on the Web” (W3C, 2016). Many existing articles provide an overview of the big picture aspects of accessibility, including benefits to the organization (see Rowland, Mariger, Siegel & Whiting, 2010), legislation (see Fulton, 2011), statistics (see local census data), and general principles (see Quesenbery, 2014). The focus of this piece will be on specific best practices and guidelines, as well as their benefits for content creators, who frequently have limited access to edit digital content and cannot always apply recommended solutions that assume full control and access.”

Cynthia Ng a.k.a. /cynthiasng | @TheRealArty ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience (Volume 1 Issue 7)

The future of graphic and communication design

Design disciplines still relevant in the digital domain, even though there’re last century.

“To get a glimpse of the future of graphic and communication design, it’s not enough to think about new hardware, corporate needs, or visual trends. In the short term, digital design will move beyond screens to physical surfaces and augmented or artificial environments, and designers will occupy more positions where they are directing or consulting on larger and more complex systems of experience. Design is already less visual and more collaborative, and will continue along that trend. It’s not enough, though, to look five or ten years in the future. Will there be a Machine-Learning designer in 2050? Maybe. But in forty years, it’s just as likely that jobs will no longer exist, or at least not in a way that we would recognize them.”

Juliette Cezzar a.k.a. /juliette-cezzar | @juliettecezzar ~ Design Observer

The convergence of interaction design and architecture

Moving from the physical to the digital domain.

“The rapid development of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies is propelling us toward a world where an ever-increasing amount of our experiences are mediated by digital interactivity. As this trend continues, the task of designing our built environment will be as much about designing the interactive experiences that happen in that space as it will be about form, program, materiality and so on. The fields of interaction design and architecture will become one and the same, and we’ll need to work across disciplines and cultivate new skill sets to design new buildings.”

James Patten ~ DesignIntelligence

Human-centered design for machine learning

Always keep the human in mind, even when the mind is artificial.

“Machine learning (ML) is the science of helping computers discover patterns and relationships in data instead of being manually programmed. It’s a powerful tool for creating personalised and dynamic experiences, and it’s already driving everything from Netflix recommendations to autonomous cars. But as more and more experiences are built with ML, it’s clear that UX’ers still have a lot to learn about how to make users feel in control of the technology, and not the other way round.”

Josh Lovejoy and Jess Holbrook ~ IoT for all

Why information matters

Philosophy doesn’t mean ‘vague’. It means reflective thinking on important questions, issues and beliefs.

“When we use a computer, its performance seems to degrade progressively. This is not a mere impression. Over the years of owning a particular machine, it will get sluggish. Sometimes this slowdown is caused by hardware faults, but more often the culprit is software: programs get more complicated, as more features are added and as old bugs are patched (or not), and greater demands are placed on resources by new programs running in the background. After a while, even rebooting the computer does not restore performance, and the only solution is to upgrade to a new machine. Philosophy can be a bit like a computer getting creakier. It starts well, dealing with significant and serious issues that matter to anyone. Yet, in time, it can get bloated and bogged down and slow. Philosophy begins to care less about philosophical questions than about philosophers’ questions, which then consume increasing amounts of intellectual attention. The problem with philosophers’ questions is not that they are impenetrable to outsiders — although they often are, like any internal game — but that whatever the answers turn out to be, assuming there are any, they do not matter, because nobody besides philosophers could care about the questions in the first place.”

Luciano Floridi a.k.a. /luciano-floridi | @floridi ~ The New Atlantis (special issue Information, Matters, and Life)

On becoming a UX manager: New skills, requirements, and rewards

UX settles in the tactical (managerial) area.

“One of the most exciting career transitions one can go through, regardless of the discipline, is from individual contributor to manager. Becoming manager of a user experience team adds to that already-momentous transition its own unique set of issues, considerations, and requirements. While the learning curve can be steep, the rewards of UX management are many. Watching teammates grow professionally is immensely gratifying, as is seeing a high-functioning team address complex business challenges with ease. Furthermore, it is an exciting time to be a leader in the UX discipline as strategically minded managers have the opportunity to make design and research a vital part of their organization’s strategy.”

Jerrod Larson a.k.a. /jerrod-larson ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association 17.4