Service Blueprints: Communicating the design of services

The more details you need from backstage processes and roles, the more you need blueprinting.

“A service blueprint is, in essence, an extension of a customer journey map. A customer journey map specifies all the interactions that a customer will have with an organization throughout their customer lifecycle – the service blueprint goes a bit deeper and looks at all the interactions both physical and digital that support those customer interactions and adds a little more detail to the mix.”

The Interaction Design Foundation

Agile-friendly ways to think about usability testing

Agile-this and Agile-that.

“How usability testing makes its way in can depend on the product owner’s approach or the organization’s UX maturity. When it works well, there is a common pragmatism that helps makes the tortured relationship more like a healthy marriage. The differences between Agile and UX are not irreconcilable; as with many things, attitude seems to be the key in making it work. There are plenty of good guides out there on how to get user testing done in an Agile environment.”

Luke Smith ~ HandrailUX

The UX of voice: The invisible interface

A bright new future for design with natural language.

“Voice interaction represents the biggest UX challenge since the birth of the smartphone, so we break down the implications and opportunities for this paradigm shift in UX design. (…) In this post, we’re going to explain some of the profound implications of the rise of voice interaction for UX design. Just as the internet began as a playground of raw new technical capability that embraced the guiding principles of intuitive, user-friendly product design over time, so too I see today’s voice-enabled tools and devices in their infancy, with limitless potential ready to be unlocked through innovative, user-centered design.”

Jason Amunwa a.k.a. /jasonamunwa | @King_Jaffy ~ Digital Telepathy

User-centered design principles for organizing documentation

UCD and documentation, a happy marriage.

“I recently presented to the STC Twin Cities chapter on User-centered Design Principles for Organizing Documentation. When organizing your documentation, such as arranging navigation titles, workflows, or other wayfinding features, you can apply universal design principles to make your content more user centered. Some of these principles include Modularity, Hierarchy, Five hat racks, and Progressive disclosure. These design principles, based on solid user research from design gurus, will help users better find and navigate your help content. You can view the recording and audio from the event here.”

Tom Johnson a.k.a. @tomjohnson ~ I’d rather be writing

Hans Rosling: Doctor, Professor, and Presenter Extraordinaire

Eulogy by the master of preso on the master of stats.

“The Zen Master of data visualization has died. I am sorry to have to report that Dr. Hans Rosling passed away today in Uppsala, Sweden. He was just 68. A profoundly mournful day for anyone who knew Professor Rosling, obviously. But it’s also a sad day for all of us in the greater TED community or data visualization/business intelligence communities as well. Dr. Rosling’s work was seen by millions and will continue to be seen by millions worldwide. It is incalculable just how many professionals Hans inspired over the years. His presentations, always delivered with honesty, integrity, and clarity, were aided by clear visuals of both the digital and analog variety. He was a master statistician, physician, and academic, but also a superb presenter and storyteller. (…) Let us all remember Professor’s Rosling’s contributions and continue to keep the dream of a more fact-based, rational worldview alive.”

Garr Reynolds a.k.a. /garr-reynolds | @presentationzen

Big data UX: Research opportunity and ethical challenge

Ethics, the new unique selling point of design.

“As the user experience professional, when the business wants to let videos wander (in other words, business leaders or other well-intentioned team members want to use the video in a way that the participant didn’t agree to), someone must serve as gatekeeper. Whenever these moments occur, our UX Cassandra role should compel us to represent not only our users’ need for great user experience, but for proper ethical handling of their participation in our experiments. Each of our new tools provide ethical challenges. We have an obligation to consider their challenges and address them as seriously as we do with our live participant studies or any of our methods.”

Josephine Scott a.k.a. @josies

How IBM is embracing the future through design

Great posterchild of design in the enterprise.

“Shifting trends are forcing technology companies to reimagine their value proposition. IBM has chosen to create disruption through design. In embracing the future, the company is essentially invoking its past. Back in 1956, IBM was the first large company to establish a corporate-wide design program. But this time, the company’s goals are more ambitious.”

Atul Handa a.k.a. @at_hand /atulhanda and Kanupriya Vashisht a.k.a. @Kanu_Conceptell /kanuhanda ~ UXmatters

The interface of Kai Krause’s software

Know your classics. Skeumorphism avant-la-lettre.

“Kai Krause was born 1957 in Dortmund. He came to California in 1976 with two friends. He worked as a musician for Disney Sound Effects. In fact Kai won a Clio Award for his sound effects in a Star Wars radio spot. Emerson, Lake & Powell bought sound systems from him and he is still working with Peter Gabriel today in order to fulfill his vision of visualized music as 3D sculptures.”

Matthias Müller-Prove a.k.a. /mprove | @mprove

Ten principles for design in the age of AI

A little more on ethics would help.

“We’re on the cusp of a new era of design. Beyond the two-dimensional focus on graphics and the three-dimensional focus on products, we’re now in an era where designers are increasingly focusing on time and space, guided by technological advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, and smart environments.”

Katharine Schwab a.k.a. /katharineschwab | @kschwabable ~ FastCoDesign

Thinking beyond the interface

‘Insert crappy content here’. Filling empty boxes and minds with content. The Nurnberg Funnel.

“Designers have largely shifted their skill sets toward interface design, prototyping, and code. Are writing and art direction getting left behind? (…) But with designers increasingly focused on the interface, a fundamental problem has emerged. The emphasis becomes the design of the frame, and the content takes a backseat — an easily exchangeable placeholder that can be replaced with more or less anything. Layouts become filled with gray boxes and fake headlines.”

Paul Woods a.k.a. /paulthedesigner | @paulillustrator ~ FastCoDesign

The differences between enterprise and consumer UX design

It’s all about humans in the end.

“Enterprise applications typically have much greater scope and are much more complex than consumer applications, so enterprise solutions are often tailored for people working in specific roles. Plus, enterprise applications are designed for a specific business domain rather than a specific task, as many consumer applications are. Administrators usually configure enterprise applications, while consumers configure their own applications. Employees routinely use enterprise applications in their work, while the use of most consumer applications is less predictable. Enterprise applications often must connect with legacy systems.”

Janet Six a.k.a. /janetmsix ~ UXmatters

Design thinking origin story plus some of the people who made it all happen

Allways know where you’re coming from.

“Design thinking has an amalgamation of approaches, this is still quite unique — which is why sometimes — design thinking is applied as more of an umbrella term that catches multi-disciplinary, human-centered projects that involve research and rapid ideation. Most recently it has begun to monitor and measure itself in a quantified way, a trick its leant from the business and economics sectors.”

Jo Szczepanska a.k.a. /joszczepanska | @szczpanks

How to avoid UX burnout

Burn baby, burn!

“After the launch, I was all UX’ed out. Even the sight of a Post-It note felt exhausting. Attributing the fatigue to creative block, I planned to take a few days off to recharge. But because my version of “recharge” also means “process everything,” I also decided to write an article for creatives about how to deal with this kind of block. But when I sat down to write, something surprising happened. Despite my fatigue, the words flew off the page and my energy levels soared. I could hardly get my flood of ideas down fast enough! And that’s when I realized: This wasn’t a creative block at all. I had UX burnout.”

Benjamin Earl Evans a.k.a. /benjaminearlevans | @benjamineevans ~ Boxes and Arrows

Designing for the human side of banking: Inside the design culture at Capital One

Design from within the organization.

“Let’s face it: As designers, we have a reputation for being a little, well… fussy about the work we do. We’re known for seeking novelty, form over function, and creative boundary-pushing. So it’s not surprising that banking isn’t the first area to spring to mind when designers think of creative work. You know the stereotype most designers have in their heads: Suits and ties. Dry, serious and stuffy. Looking at everything strictly by the numbers — including the customers. It sounds drab and unsexy.”

Jesse James Garrett a.k.a. /jesse-james-garrett @jjg courtesy of @julienamoreus

AI and the future of design: What will the designer of 2025 look like?

We’re getting some clear messages on this topic lately.

“As I began to explore how AI would affect design, I started wondering what advice I would give my daughter and a generation of future designers to help them not only be relevant, but thrive in the future AI world. Here is what I think they should expect and be prepared for in 2025.”

Rob Girling ~ O’Reilly Radar

Strategic UX: The value of making the problem bigger

Now UX has to deliver on tactics and strategy.

“As usability and user research have matured, the emphasis has shifted from championing the concept of user-centeredness to making it happen on a daily basis. For many UX researchers, this can mean functioning tactically, like QA technicians. Even researchers who do foundational user research, which we tend to consider strategic, can face routinization, functioning as gatherers and packagers of descriptive information about users and leaving it to others to identify any decision-making implications. This is not a style of practice that earns the seat at the strategic decision-making table that so many practitioners seek.”

David Siegel ~ ACM Interactions

Algorithm-driven design: How artificial intelligence is changing design

Algos as the augmentation tools for designers.

“I’ve been following the idea of algorithm-driven design for several years now and have collected some practical examples. The tools of the approach can help us to construct a UI, prepare assets and content, and personalize the user experience. The information, though, has always been scarce and hasn’t been systematic. However, in 2016, the technological foundations of these tools became easily accessible, and the design community got interested in algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence. Now is the time to rethink the modern role of the designer.”

Yury Vetrov a.k.a. @jvetrau ~ Smashing Magazine