Design Thinking is kind of like syphilis: It’s contagious and rots your brains

Always appreciate a good metaphore or analogy.

“Have you ever heard of Design Thinking? Your answer to that question will depend largely on where you sit in the world. The phrase Design Thinking is known almost universally in design circles. It’s made its way around networks of business hype more than once. Hell, the folks at Singularity University — a cult of technological utopians who hoover handfuls of vitamins and believe we’ll all upload our minds to servers in a few decades — think Design Thinking may be your ‘Secret Weapon for Building a Greater Good.’ No doubt, many others have also heard from people excited about Design Thinking — a state of being known as having a bad case of the DTs.”

Lee Vinsel a.k.a. @STS_News

Stewardship in the Age of Algorithms

Some deep thinking going on here. Be aware of the algo’s.

“This paper explores pragmatic approaches that might be employed to document the behavior of large, complex socio-technical systems (often today shorthanded as ‘algorithms’) that centrally involve some mixture of personalization, opaque rules, and machine learning components. Thinking rooted in traditional archival methodology (…) has been a total failure for many reasons, and we must address this problem. (…) It may well be that we see the emergence of a new group of creators of documentation, perhaps predominantly social scientists and humanists, taking the front lines in dealing with the Age of Algorithms, with their materials then destined for our memory organizations to be cared for into the future.”

Clifford Lynch ~ First Monday (22.12)

Preparing your UX career for Virtual Reality

Digital designers really need to understand the underlying technologies. As always.

“Designers will need to ramp up on new design skills to make a smooth career transition to the design of immersive experiences when the inevitable wave of new VR and AR design projects hits the pipeline.”

Pabini Gabriel-Petit a.k.a. /pabini | @pabini ~ UXmatters

The mythical UX designer: Five common misconceptions

Myths are eternal stories of fantasy in the minds of many.

“Exploring the truth about the type of people who do UX. Ah, the UX designer. A mythical figure in high demand these days. Sought after for their skills in empathizing with customers, designing digital products that people love, and their peculiar love of collaboration. Their natural habitat is anywhere there are interfaces to problem solve for – in product-based companies like Adobe or Shopify, in-house at some of the largest institutions such as banks or government, and selling their services at agencies like the Nielsen Norman Group and Pivotal Labs. But what’s the truth behind the rumors about this particular creature, and if you are considering becoming a UX designer, what are some of the misconceptions you might have? Let’s bust five myths about UX designers, and I’ll share some of my personal experiences along the way.”

Linn Vizard a.k.a. /linnvizard | @wittster ~ Adobe Creative Cloud courtesy of @peterme

Customer Experience: Moving from moments-of-delight to moments-of-transformation

Some really deep thinking regarding human experiences, situated in the 21st century.

“Recently I read research reports on Customer Experience (CX) that I should have found unsettling but thanks to the journey of discovery I’ve been on during the last few months, which included slaying a rather pesky design hydra, I have embraced this as the start of exciting transformational things to come. “

Werner Puchert a.k.a. /wernerpuchert | @weenerdawg ~ Extraordinary Blog

The UX of AR: Toward a human-centered definition of Augmented Reality

Augmentation of the mind, not of ‘reality’.

“The challenge with tech-oriented definitions is that they tend to keep the tech at the heart of the matter and neglect the people, or end users. As a result, applications are driven by what kind of technology is available for an AR-enhanced project, rather than being driven by the type of human experiences we want to create through augmentation. To resolve this, we need to bring user experience more prominently into the AR conversation.”

Kieran Evans a.k.a. @kieranevans1 and Jes A. Koepfler a.k.a. @jeskak ~ UXPA Magazine

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)