50 years ago, Douglas Engelbart’s ‘Mother of All Demos’ changed personal technology forever

We need to look back to see the future.

“Imagine someone demonstrating a jet plane 15 years before Kitty Hawk. Imagine someone demonstrating a smartphone 15 years before the first cellular networks were even launched. Imagine someone demonstrating a controlled nuclear chain reaction 15 years before Einstein formulated e=mc2. On a crisp, overcast, and breezy Monday afternoon in San Francisco on December 9, 1968, before an SRO audience of more than 2,000 slack-jawed computer engineers, a soft-spoken engineer named Douglas Engelbart held the first public demonstration of word processing, point-and-clicking, dragging-and-dropping, hypermedia and hyperlinking, cross-file editing, idea/outline processing, collaborative groupware, text messaging, onscreen real-time video teleconferencing, and a weird little device dubbed a “mouse” — the essentials of a graphical user interface (GUI) 15 years before the first personal computers went on sale.”

Stewart Wolpin ~ Mashable

What is the role of creativity in UX design?

What’s the role of thinking in UX design. A big one.

“Did you know that there are three brain networks that are involved in creativity? In this article, Susan Weinschenk explores what creativity is, the recent brain science on what is happening in your brain when you are being creative, and the role of creativity in UX design.”

Susan Weinschenk a.k.a. /susanweinschenk | @thebrainlady ~ Smashing magazine

A structural model for unity of experience: Connecting user experience, customer experience, and brand experience

“Understanding customer experience from a holistic perspective requires examination of user experience in the context of marketing and branding. This study attempts to underpin the effects of UX on brand equity by developing and verifying a conceptual framework that connects user experience (UX), customer experience (CX), and brand experience (BX). A structural equation modeling test using data from smartphone users verified the effects of UX on brand equity mediated by CX. In the UX dimension, usability had a strong effect on brand equity, and affect and user value had an effect on customer experience. As a mediator, customer experience had an impact on brand equity with a high path weight. By implementing UX strategies that cohere with management strategies, companies can establish a high level of consumer perception of customer experience and brand value. The results and analyses of this research can help businesses establish a strategy for examining which element of UX is related to CX and BX.”

Hye-jin Lee, Katie Kahyun Lee, and Junho Choi ~ Journal of Usability Studies

The methods UX professionals use

Methods are useless without proper concepts, theories and even visions.

“The wide range of UX methods is one of the things that makes UX such an interesting field. Some methods have been around for decades (like usability testing), others are more recent additions, while some seem to be just slight variations on other existing methods.”

Jeff Sauro a.k.a. /jeffsauro | @MeasuringU ~ MeasuringU

Cybernetics and the design of the user experience of AI systems

Finally, two years after the workshop. Hopefully there will be another one.

“Cybernetics and artificial intelligence (AI) are often considered the same thing, with cybernetics having something to do with creating intelligent cyborgs and robots. In actuality, cybernetics and AI are different ways of thinking about intelligent systems or systems that can act toward reaching a goal. AI is primarily concerned with making computers mimic intelligent behavior based on stored representations of the world. Cybernetics more broadly encompasses the study of how systems regulate themselves and take action toward goals based on feedback from the environment. These systems are not just computational; they include biological (maintaining body temperature), mechanical (governing the speed of an engine), social (managing a large workforce), and economic (regulating a national economy) systems. In addition to reaching goals, AI and cybernetics both consider how systems can learn; however, while AI considers using stored representations as a means of acting intelligently, cybernetics focuses on grounded and situated behaviors that express intelligence and learning based on feedback and interaction.”

Nikolas Martelaro and Wendy Ju ~ ACM Interactions XXV.6

Developing a Code of Ethics for UX Design: What we can learn from the field of architecture

Learning from other disciplines is key.

“(…) the WELL Building Standard is rigorous and well developed compared to the initiatives for ethical standards in the UX field, which makes it a valuable resource that we can learn from. This makes sense as we are a much younger and smaller profession than architecture, although we are growing at lightning speed. When you think about how fast digital technology is being propagated, our profession is in a slow-motion explosion. The reach and influence of our work has the potential to be wholly pervasive. Establishing ethical standards that uphold our commitment to ‘take care of’ our users is urgently needed.”

Dorothy Shamonsky a.k.a. /dorothyshamonsky | @dr_dor ~ UXPA Magazine

Improving onboarding with employee experience journey mapping: A fresh take on a traditional UX technique

EX, the experience we all forgot.

“We present a creative method for applying the UX technique of journey mapping to improve the onboarding experience of new employees in any organization. Journey mapping is a well-known design research tool used to gain insight into how a user experiences a service, process, or product, with the goal of making informed improvements to deliver a better experience for future users. We argue that journey mapping can also be used to improve the internal process of onboarding new employees and improve the experience for future new hires, which is important because positive onboarding experiences are linked to increased productivity and greater employee retention. We share how other organizations can use journey mapping to improve the onboarding process utilizing our employee experience journey mapping project toolkit designed to help guide similar projects, complete with shareable templates. In addition, we share the methods used at our library, as well as our findings, recommendations, and lessons learned.”

Hannah McKelvey and Jacqueline L. Frank ~ Weave 1.9

Designing for cognitive differences

We used to call it accessibility, and that’s still what it is.

“Inclusive design is designing to be inclusive of as many users as possible, considering all aspects of diversity in users. With increased understanding, compassionate discussions around how to design for disabilities are becoming increasingly common in the web industry. But even with this growth, there are misconceptions: accessibility is still frequently thought of as ‘design for blind people’ when it’s so much more than that. Users with limited motor functions and those who are hearing-impaired require separate considerations, for instance. But accessibility and inclusiveness also mean considering more than just physical symptoms. What about users with cognitive differences like inattention, anxiety, and depression?”

Brandon Gregory a.k.a. /brandon-gregory | @authorbrandong ~ A List Apart

Blockchain UX: Challenges, principles and heuristics

UX still remains relevant for any type of technology.

“If you are a designer looking to pave ways into the Blockchain technology and applications, it is never late to start. From my personal experience I would suggest to kick start your learning by getting acquainted with the three core components the technology is composed of being: distributed ledger technology (DLT), decentralized (or better, distributed) networks, and public-key cryptography.”

Jo Mercieca a.k.a. /jomercieca ~ Medium

The psychology of design

Knowledge of perception, cognition and emotion is the foundation of design.

“This paper analyses major social shifts in reading by comparing publishing statistics with results of empirical research on reading. As media statistics suggest, the last five decades have seen two shifts: from textual to visual media, and with the advent of digital screens also from long-form to short-form texts. This was accompanied by new media-adequate reading modes: while long-form content invokes immersed and/or deep reading, we predominantly skim online social media. Empirical research on reading indicates that the reading substrate plays an important role in reading processes. For example, comprehension suffers when complex texts are read from screens. This paper argues that media and reading trends in recent decades indicate broader social and cultural changes in which long-form deep reading traditionally associated with the printed book will be marginalised by prevailing media trends and the reading modes they inspire. As these trends persist, it may be necessary to find new approaches to vocabulary and knowledge building.”

Jon Yablonski a.k.a. /jon-yablonski | @JonYablonski ~ A List Apart

Reading in a post-textual era

Only reading sharps the mind.

“This paper analyses major social shifts in reading by comparing publishing statistics with results of empirical research on reading. As media statistics suggest, the last five decades have seen two shifts: from textual to visual media, and with the advent of digital screens also from long-form to short-form texts. This was accompanied by new media-adequate reading modes: while long-form content invokes immersed and/or deep reading, we predominantly skim online social media. Empirical research on reading indicates that the reading substrate plays an important role in reading processes. For example, comprehension suffers when complex texts are read from screens. This paper argues that media and reading trends in recent decades indicate broader social and cultural changes in which long-form deep reading traditionally associated with the printed book will be marginalised by prevailing media trends and the reading modes they inspire. As these trends persist, it may be necessary to find new approaches to vocabulary and knowledge building.”

Miha Kovač and Adriaan van der Weel ~ First Monday 23.10

Privacy by design: How to sell privacy and make change

Privacy, trust, and ethics. All aspects of your design morals.

“Privacy is a fundamental human right that has become one of the most illusive and least understood topics of the Internet. However, the time is coming for change, and it’s up to us whether that’s going to happen willfully or through regulation. This article will explain exactly why making these changes is so critical to the success of your business and how you can make the changes that need to be made in a way that also positively impacts your bottom line.”

Joe Toscano a.k.a. /joe-toscano | @realjoet ~ Smashing Magazine

UX research is essential to product success

Seeing, knowning, and understanding are just part of wisdom.

“To change the mindset of your stakeholders from being naysayers to being advocates for user research, you must help them understand how research can add value to their product and that learnings from user research are an indispensable asset to a product team.”

Apurvo Ghosh a.k.a. /apurvo-ghosh-hfi-cua™ | @Apurvo_Ghosh ~ UXmatters

Things that Beep: A Brief History of Product Sound Design

Design for the ears to provide information, to communicate and to experience.

“As we move into an artificially intelligent world whose logics of operation often exceed our own understanding, perhaps we should linger a bit longer on those blips and clicks. Compressed within the beep is a whole symphony of historical resonances, socio-technical rhythms, political timbres, and cultural harmonies. Rather than simply signaling completion, marking a job done right, a beep instead intones the complex nature of our relationships to technology — and the material world more generally.”

Shannon Mattern ~ avant.org courtesy of designobserver

Envisioning Futures of Design Education: An Exploratory Workshop with Design Educators

Rethinking design education for the 21st century, which is already almost two decades in the works.

“The demand for innovation in the creative economy has seen the adoption and adaptation of design thinking and design methods into domains outside design, such as business management, education, healthcare, and engineering. Design thinking and methodologies are now considered useful for identifying, framing and solving complex, often wicked social, technological, economic and public policy problems. As the practice of design undergoes change, design education is also expected to adjust to prepare future designers to have dramatically different demands made upon their general abilities and bases of knowledge than have design career paths from years past. Future designers will have to develop skills and be able to construct and utilize knowledge that allows them to make meaningful contributions to collaborative efforts involving experts from disciplines outside design. Exactly how future designers should be prepared to do this has sparked a good deal of conjecture and debate in the professional and academic design communities. This report proposes that the process of creating future scenarios that more broadly explore and expand the role, or roles, for design and designers in the world’s increasingly interwoven and interdependent societies can help uncover core needs and envision framework(s) for design education.”

Sapna Singh, Nicole Lotz and Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders ~ AIGA Dialectic

The role of observation in user research

User research and what you see is not what you get.

“User research consists of two core activities: observing and interviewing. Since we’re most interested in people’s behavior, observing is the most important of these activities because it provides the most accurate information about people, their tasks, and their needs. While interviewing is also very important, the information people provide during interviews isn’t always accurate or reliable. Often, research participants don’t know why they do things, what they really need, what they might do in the future, or how a design could be improved. To really understand what people do, you can’t just ask them, you have to observe them.”

Jim Ross a.k.a. /anotheruxguy | @anotheruxguy ~ UXmatters

How to recruit for user research: Tools and techniques for recruiting UX research participants

User research or user experience research?

“It’s hard to conduct user research if you don’t have anyone to research. Recruitment lets you find people that have the information you seek to learn. Recruitment is risky since the effort hinges on getting the right people in the room. There are a number of factors at play, and various methods a team can use to find the right kind of participants. Before worrying about the risks and before scheduling participants, you first must document whom you want to recruit.”

David Farkas and Brad Nunnally ~ O’Reilly Radar – Design