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)

UI does not equal UX

When even the popular press gets into a DTDT conversation, we haven’t done a great job.

“The key can be found in ensuring that the UX is designed end-to-end from a core understanding of the user through to design and delivery, whereas the UI is the presentation designed to expose the power of that design process underpinning the UX for the user. Combined, UI and UX are the two different aspects that literally define the success of your product.”

(Sarah Deane a.k.a. @4HourUX ~ Huffington Post)

Meta-design: The intersection of art, design, and computation

The only thing that is missing is connectivity as a unique trait of digital.

“In a traditional design practice, the designer works directly on a design product. Be it a logo, website, or a set of posters, the designer is the instrument to produce the final artifact. A meta-designer works to distill this instrumentation into a design system, often written in software, that can create the final artifact. Instead of drawing it manually, the designer programs the system to draw it. These systems can then be used within different contexts to generate a range of design products without much effort.”

(Rune Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen ~ O’Reilly Radar)

How legend Paul Rand pioneered the era of design-led business

It’s called IBM version 5.

“In a way, what Apple does today with design is what IBM was doing in ‘50s (…) It was about simplification and cohesiveness across all platforms of the brand—products, ads, stores. These are all ideas in the modern vein that came about with Rand’s work with IBM. It set a precedent.”

(Carey Dunne a.k.a. @careydunne ~ FastCo Design)

Omni-colleagues: The new heroes of digital

Omni, inter, multi, trans, or ‘what-have-you’. All better than solo, single, mono or uni.

“The omni-channel approach runs the risk of ditching humans for automated touch points, but for digital to triumph, these services must be re-humanized. Companies need to strategically consider which services are appropriate to manage via machines, and which require human interaction.”

(Mark Curtis a.k.a. @FjordMark ~ Accenture Clicks)

Make enterprise software people actually love

The call for excellent UX within the enterprise ecosystem is growing and growing.

“There is a big, important change happening in digital product design. For a long time, there has been a clear split between business software (often called Enterprise or B2B), and consumer software (B2C, or simply ‘products’). That split is increasingly irrelevant.”

(John Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ Harvard Business Review)

How to intentionally design a happier life

The growing theme of design for happiness.

“(…) we can structure our time and design our surroundings in such a way that we can quickly make a habit out of doing things that make us happy. These changes are small and incremental, but this is precisely why he thinks they work so well. “People think that we need big solutions to do the issue of happiness justice,” Paul Dolan says. “There’s this belief that anything worth having has to be effortful, but really the opposite it true. Just make happiness as easy as possible.”

(Elizabeth Segran a.k.a. @LizSegran ~ FastCo Design)

Considering the consideration funnel

See, business is getting hold on design.

“The transaction funnel. The moment you hope a customer is sure enough of what they’re buying that they’ll go through all the necessary steps to complete the purchase. We work to reduce friction, hoping to improve the rate at which people starting down the funnel complete it. We’ve come a long way in understanding the science of the funnel and the factors that affect someone’s likelihood for completing the transaction.”

(Chris Risdon a.k.a. @chrisrisdon ~ Adaptive Path)

Strategic UX: The art of reducing friction

Frictions are the usability issues of UX.

“In user experience, friction is defined as interactions that inhibit people from intuitively and painlessly achieving their goals within a digital interface. Friction is a major problem because it leads to bouncing, reduces conversions, and frustrates would-be customers to the point of abandoning their tasks. Today, the most successful digital experiences have emerged out of focusing on reducing friction in the user journey (…)”

(Victoria Young a.k.a. @victoriahyoung ~ Betterment)

The future of the Web is 100 years old

The ideas are not new, the implementations are.

In the debate between structure and openness, 19th-century ideas are making a comeback ~ “The web has played such a powerful role in shaping our world that it can sometimes seem like a fait accompli – the inevitable result of progress and enlightened thinking. A deeper look into the historical record, though, reveals a different story: The web in its current state was by no means inevitable. Not only were there competing visions for how a global knowledge network might work, divided along cultural and philosophical lines, but some of those discarded hypotheses are coming back into focus as researchers start to envision the possibilities of a more structured, less volatile web.”

(Alex Wright a.k.a. @alexgrantwright ~ Nautilus Issue 21)

UX debt in the enterprise: A practical approach

Quants for enterprise UX, the calculator.

“As we move forward with these concepts across our organization, we expect that our company’s products will advance in their UX maturity and, consequently, pay down their debt. The calculator is a great tool for modeling this CX/UX transition in a product and reinforcing a user- and data-centric product culture.”

(Kimberly Dunwoody and Susan Teague Rector ~ User Experience)

Lean UX & MVP: Strategies to build solutions that solve real problems for the end-users

Sometimes there is fundamentally something wrong: Big Bang.

“(…) let’s peep into this article which first clears the concept of Lean UX, suggests the right UX strategy for businesses and then shares insights on the journey to build a successful user experience via Lean UX. In the end, the article also explains 11 important principles of Lean UX that will help readers to implement the concept in an effective way.”

(Sandeep Sharma a.k.a. @tissandeep ~ TIS India)

Episode 149: Of Mice and Men

Never too much attention for one of our giants: Douglas Engelbart.

“If you are looking at a computer screen, your right hand is probably resting on a mouse. To the left of that mouse (or above, if you’re on a laptop) is your keyboard. As you work on the computer, your right hand moves back and forth from keyboard to mouse. You can’t do everything you need to do on a computer without constantly moving between input devices. There is another way.”

(Roman Mars a.k.a. @romanmars ~ 99%invisible)