Design thinking: Snake oil of today?

A mindset is just a start, first step. The journey is more important.

“The word that is repeated most often when describing Design Thinking is process. Design Thinking is not a job task you can start in the morning and be done with by lunch-time. Instead, Design Thinking requires much more planning, preparation and normal work than most people that participate in just the workshops realize. But the work that you put into the process will pay itself off in the end.”

(Jukka Kaartinen ~ Service Innovation and Design programme Laurea Finland)

Responsive content modeling

Creating a model of the content world always must be systematic a.k.a. systems thinking.

“The most important thing anyone can do on a web project is find its nucleus. The core, that central piece of content around which everything orbits. Finding that reveals how all of the content fits together. It offers clarity to the relationships between the project’s content and the project’s vision, and will make your process far more successful.”

(Steve Fisher a.k.a. @hellofisher ~ Republic of Quality)

The challenges of designing for experience

Let’s call it ‘inter- and intra-touchpoint experience design’ (i2TED).

“Design has become incredibly multifaceted in recent years, encompassing subfields such as interaction design, user experience design, customer experience design and service design, to name just a few. We discuss the skills gap that exists today, and open a conversation on how you could begin your career in this industry.”

(Hyper Island)

Improving your information architecture with card-sorting: A beginner’s guide

“(…) one of those buzzwords.” OMG!

“Information architecture (IA) is one of those buzzwords you’ve probably heard before. It refers to the organization of the information on your website and how it all fits together. When planning your IA, involve users of your website in the process as soon as you can. In this article, we’ll discuss card sorting, a tried and true technique for doing just that. We’ll go through some practical tips for running a card-sorting session, and also cover some examples.”

(Smashing Magazine)

Professional UX credentials: Are they worth the paper they’re printed on

Value is in the mind of the beholder.

“The value of credentialing in various occupations is well-known. We would never consider going to a physician who was not licensed. Similarly, we wouldn’t want our tax returns filed by an accountant who wasn’t certified. In addition, some everyday activities, such as voting, owning a car, or collecting money for charity, require proof of credentials by larger organizations before they can be legally performed. Yet there are fields, including user experience, that do not regulate the credentials of practitioners, even though bad practice could jeopardize human health and safety as well as individual, corporate, or organizational well-being. Bad practice also damages the reputation of the entire profession. Do we not regulate credentials because our profession is not perceived as that important, or because we lack professional definition and integrity sufficient to differentiate a competent UX professional from one who is not? And what is the value to hiring managers of the human factors, ergonomics, and UX certification programs that exist today?”

(Anna Wichansky ~ ACM Interactions Magazine sep/oct 2014)

Cascading Style Sheets: Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor Philosophiœ

Always go to the source to read the real intensions.

“The topic of this thesis is style sheet languages for structured documents on the web. Due to characteristics of the web – including a screen-centric publishing model, a multitude of output devices, uncertain delivery, strong user preferences, and the possibility for later binding between content and style – the hypothesis is that the web calls for different style sheet languages than does traditional electronic publishing. Style sheet languages that were developed and used prior to the web are analyzed and compared with style sheet proposals for the web between 1993-1996. The dissertation describes the design of a web-centric style sheet language known as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS has several notable features including: cascading, pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements, forward-compatible parsing rules, support for different media types, and a strong emphasis on selectors. Problems in CSS are analyzed, and recommended future research is described.”

(Håkon Wium Lie, 1994-2005)

20 tips for selling UX to clients

Selling UX leads to the CX of UX.

“Do you ever feel like you’re banging your head against a wall when it comes to selling UX to your clients or colleagues? User-centred processes are slowly gaining traction in the mainstream, but there is still some evangelising to be done! We asked 20 UX professionals to share their tips on how to convince clients that a UX process is the best way to design (or redesign) a product or service.”

(Kimberley Magain a.k.a. @MelbourneMum1 ~ UXmastery)

5 ways to enhance the customer journey

Will customer journeys be the trojan horse of design in customer experience and marketing?

“The customer’s journey, from behaviors before they’ve even opted in to your marketing messages, all the way through repeat purchases as a loyal buyer, is critical to not only initial marketing success, but also to generating long-term revenue from repeat customers. Below I highlight five critical stages in the customer journey and how you can leverage digital marketing technology to ensure you’re creating that awesome customer experience. “

(Ellen Valentine a.k.a. @EllenValentine ~ Silverpop)

The future of UX leadership: Radical transformation

UX morphing into Enterprise UX.

“This column is the first in a series that will offer insights on how to help companies progress from delivering mediocre user experiences, as is all too common, to producing truly great experiences that differentiate their products and services in the marketplace. Doing so requires a radical transformation in the way business executives and UX teams engage in creating user experiences.”

(Jim Nieters and Pabini Gabriel-Petit ~ UXmatters)

Teaching and learning UX: Considerations for academic-industry partnerships

How can you make practice better without any reading from research? Only partially.

“Let’s face it: UX is difficult for many of us who study it, teach it, and do it for a living to define. We owe it to the next generation of UX professionals to introduce them to UX as soon as possible in their professional development, to be the frontline of UX education, so-to-speak. That’s the only way to make certain that students who are dedicated to becoming UX professionals have the opportunities they need to make that possibility a reality.”

(Guiseppe Getto a.k.a. @guiseppegetto ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Improving library user experience with A/B testing: Principles and process

Another item to the acro soup: LUX. Great initiative this peer-reviewed journal.

“This paper demonstrates how user interactions can be measured and evaluated with A/B testing, a user experience research methodology. A/B testing entails a process of controlled experimentation whereby different variations of a product or service are served randomly to users in order to determine the highest performing variation. This paper describes the principles of A/B testing and details a practical web-based application in an academic library. Data collected and analyzed through this A/B testing process allowed the library to initiate user-centered website changes that resulted in increased website engagement and improved user experience. A/B testing is presented as an integral component of a library user experience research program for its ability to provide quantitative user insights into known UX problems.”

(Scott W. H. Young a.k.a. @hei_scott ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 1.1)

Every company is an experience company

CX, the sum of design for UX and BX a.k.a. XD.

“Reflecting on my earlier work on brands as media companies, I realize that the word media was really a placeholder for experience. It’s not that every company should be a media company per se – but rather, that every company must become an experience company. Media is one kind of experience – but for many companies, the right kind of experience is not media, at least if we understand “media” to mean content. (…) I believe that every brand needs to get good at experience design and delivery. Those that are great at it tend to grow by exponential word of mouth – think of Google, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb, or Earnest (a new lending company). When marketing becomes experience design, brands win.”

(John Batelle’s a.k.a. @johnbattelle ~ Search Blog)

UX researcher: A user’s manual

Always handy to have a step-by-step list. Research is more complicated though

“This article is a guide on what to expect, and how to get the most from your UX researcher – a user manual, if you will. You will invest a lot in your researcher and you deserve the greatest return. You should have high expectations for this critical component of your UX team, and following the recommendations presented in this article will help maximize your return.”

(Victor Yocco ~ Boxes and Arrows)

The architecture of human experience

Everything with a structure has an architecture, human experiences not excluded.

“The built environment is the ultimate platform for human experience. No matter which social network we frequent or which software we use, we are all logging on from real, physical space – our house, our office, our favorite café or pub, or local park. In a world where up to 70% of the global population will soon live in cities, one might say that architects operate on the front lines of experiential design. Learn how architects are using design tools and back-to-basics observation to better understand the mechanics of human behavior and the qualitative value people ascribe to the experience of daily life. Discover how quick access to information and interdisciplinary collaboration is affecting the shape of building design and the patterns of city planning. See how people use and occupy space – and hear why they come back. View the world from the perspective of one profession that is designing it.”

(David Cutler a.k.a. @davidcutler_sea ~ Adaptive Path UX Week 2014)