Design’s role is to bridge context gaps: Andrew Hinton on making context understandable, smart devices, and programming literacy

Each time, IA is falling off the table when technology or design have the loudest mouth. But in the end, IA provides new meaning, truth, and value.

“Information architecture has always been a critical part of creating great products and services, and many would argue that, until now, it hasn’t been given the attention or respect it deserves. The need for thoughtful IA is increasing as we enter the multimodal world of IoT. Whether you call yourself an Information Architect or Designer, you need to care about context.”

(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)

From page to stage to screen: Designing an omni-channel experience

Every classification starts with the WhatIs dimension.

“(…) how can we, as UX professionals, design user experiences for different media or channels and achieve such success? We can achieve this by understanding the unique considerations for each channel and deciding what aspects of each channel we should take advantage of to enable us to create an optimal experience for each individual channel.”

(Traci Lepore a.k.a. @TraciUXD ~ UXmatters)

Positive design reference guide

From positive thinking and doing to happiness.

“The Positive Design Reference Guide focuses on the why, what and how of human experience – both in general, and in relation to design for well-being. The guide provides you with a quick entry point into the variety of theories that we believe can be relevant for well-being-driven design. It comprises 29 models, theories and frameworks, separated into two sections. The first section presents a collection of theories drawn from (positive) psychology, and the second section presents a collection of theories and frameworks drawn from (positive) design research.”

(Simon Jimenez, Anna Pohlmeyer & Pieter Desmet ~ Delft Institue of Positive Design)

Defining intelligent content

Intelligent content or smart content?

“Content that is both digital and data-driven is poised then to be highly dynamic. This means that the content can be adapted quickly and efficiently to exactly suit the needs of different users. It is fundamentally responsive, which is much more than simply adapting to different viewing dimensions. Intelligent content that is genuinely dynamic can be programmatically adapted to reflect specific product versions, to incorporate customer-specific details, and to take into account a user’s location and even background. It can be adapted to work optimally in different formats, themselves produced automatically.”

(The Content Philosopher)

The information professions: Knowledge, memory, heritage

After all the technology, we tend to forget the information. Info and Tech are brothers in arms.

“Along with leading to growth in the numbers of people doing information work, the increasing role of information in our contemporary society has led to an explosion of new information professions as well. The labels for these fields can be confusing and overlapping, and what does and does not constitute an information profession has become unclear. (…) The analysis makes possible the incorporation of popular new information disciplines into an overarching framework that includes pre-existing fields as well. The analysis provides a perspective that clarifies the relationships among the information disciplines as well as their relationship to other professional activities in society.”

(Marcia Bates ~ Information Research 20.1)

Intelligent content demystified: A practical, easy-to-understand explanation

I’m more into smart content. Smart as in CIA (CPU, Internet, and API).

“In very simple terms (…) intelligent content is an approach. Intelligent content is the approach of thinking through the way we structure (organize) and manage content – so that it can be managed as a strategic asset.”

(Robert Rose a.k.a. @Robert_Rose ~ Content Marketing Institute)

Why the Card UI is the next big interaction paradigm

There was a time when CUI meant ‘Character-based User Interface’. That time has gone.

“I think it’s safe to say that, going forward, the majority of mobile UI designs will be based on the card UI paradigm. The next logical step is marketing professionals and ad agencies starting to embrace cards. The larger platforms are already embracing it. The card UI is set to be the next creative canvas for online content and will consequently also be the next big ad unit.”

(Juntoo)

Design principles: Insights are not about analytics

When you have no design principles, you’re not knowing where you’re going in the design space.

“Applying the Jobs-to-be-Done theory, rather than creating archetypal customer personas, we try to understand what motivates customers to use Intercom and what jobs they are addressing with the product. This practical implementation of Jobs-to-be-Done helps us to create what we call a Job Story.”

(Michelle Fitzpatrick a.k.a. @shelliefitz ~ Intercom)

Tools for mobile UX design: Task flows

When something can be carried around and the context changes, what does it mean for Design.

“For years, really ever since User Experience became a practice area with processes and principles, we’ve been saying that the best time to engage with a project is early. But we simply do not exercise that principle often enough. We’re all too happy to please our bosses and clients in the short term—and let them insist that we can do our work fast, cheap, and well.”

(Steven Hoober ~ UXmatters)

A brief history of user experience design

This brief is very, very brief.

“Today, UX has grown into an important design discipline that continues to grow and evolve. And while it’s fairly new, its multidisciplinary history can be traced all the way back to the Renaissance—if not earlier. To think about where the much debated-practice of user experience design will take us next, it’ll help to take a look back at some of the key events in its meandering evolution.”

(Ali Rushdan Tariq a.k.a. @alirtariq ~ FastCo Design)

How to grow your business by monitoring your UX strategy

Business and UX, from a strategic perspective (again).

“User experience in a company can be made superior by paying attention to various factors. Bringing good services and products to customers will directly have an impact on the business performance and results. There are various methodologies that one can use for monitoring the experience and bring about necessary changes to enhance it. Applications, software tracking systems and other useful tools and techniques can help in finding the right changes. To make sure your company offers the best to customers it is important to benchmark the user experience with these tools. Ultimately it involves delighting users so that they remain content and happy with the experience.”

(Rohan Salve ~ Techved Consulting)

Service design: An introduction to a holistic assessment methodology of library services

LUX, the Library User Experience. Cell division in the field.

“This paper explores service design as a relevant method for service assessment and creation in a library environment. Service design allows for a holistic and systemic look at the various systems that make a library function. This methodology is a co-creative process conducted with library staff and patrons. By working together, librarians and patrons can create more relevant services or refine current services to be more effective and efficient.”

(Joe Marquez and Annie Downey ~ Weave Volume 1 Issue 2)

People don’t read, they scan

Scanning also involves reading, but at a general level. Unless, the texts are relevant, interesting or remarkable.

“The emergence of highly content-based websites now means one thing: how to fit the content within a very well-functioned website while not sacrificing the aesthetics? In addition to that, the development of web nowadays mean viewers will be able to view these content across multiple sizes of screens. Such are the challenges of designing in these interesting times.”

(Zana Fauzi and Dahlia Ahad ~ Stampede)

Mystical guidelines for creating great user experiences

I would go for magical guidelines. UX and Magic, brothers in arms.

“This article aims to present an overview of the mystical process of creation and principal of co-creation and to illustrate how it can guide bringing digital product ideas into reality–although it’s easy enough to see how this could translate to other products and services–in a way that ensures a great user experience, and makes our creative process more natural and outcomes more fruitful.”

(Tal Bloom a.k.a. @TalBloom ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Design for user empowerment

Empowerment: Kickass power users.

“As an accessibility researcher, I have noticed that some of the best work comes when there are people with disabilities on the design and development team, contributing to all aspects of the design and implementation, not just as participants in user studies. I call this strong engagement by users design for user empowerment, meaning, in its strongest sense, that the users of the technology are empowered to solve their own accessibility problems. Here, I will try to explain, mostly using examples, why this approach is so powerful.”

(Richard Ladner ~ ACM Interaction Magazine March/April 2015)

Interaction design meets architectural thinking

Beside design thinking, we now have architectural thinking as well.

“Architecture is the classic, established approach to the design of our built environment. For hundreds of years, architects have focused on the design of our physical surroundings to define the frames for our lives. In doing so, architecture has established itself as the tradition of working with the material and artificial aspects of our physical surroundings to support the social and cultural aspects of our lives. With this as its primary focus, architecture as a discipline and a practice shares several characteristics with interaction design. Architecture is people-centered yet design-oriented; it deals with the intersection of human factors and artificial matters—that is, the material, designed aspects of our everyday lives.”

(Mikael Wiberg ~ ACM Interaction Magazine March/April 2015)

Multitasking on mobile devices

It’s still task-oriented. So, usability therefore. Quite something else than omni-channel or multi-device. Word, words, words. A rose is a rose is a rose.

“Multitasking involves being able to rapidly switch between different apps and to combine multiple sources of information. Small mobile screens limit users’ ability to see content from different apps at the same time, so current operating-system support for multitasking focuses mostly on switching between different apps. This increases users’ memory load, so mobile designers must help users compare and rapidly retrieve recent items.”

(Raluca Budiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group)