Digital crafts-machine-ship: Creative collaborations with machines

Hearing Lickliders man-computer symbiosis in the distance.

“​What we call machines may be as concrete as those in industrial production or as immaterial as ideas of form, structure, and pattern that have no location at all. Both kinds, through deeply entangled and woven collaborations with us, work to construct the computer in front of you, your desk, and the cup next to your hand, as you read this. If we consider machines as our own contraptions that embody us in extended and collaborative ways, rather than as tools of automation and semi-automation, what does it mean to make with, collaborate with, or become a machine? In which ways can we share autonomy rather than delegate automation? That is, in which ways can we make together rather than delegate the making to the machine?”

Kristina Andersen, Ron Wakkary, Laura Devendorf, Alex McLean ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXVII.1

Histories and futures of research through design: From prototypes to connected things

Or how information (not data) drives design and research.

“​This article discusses how the artifact of Research through Design (RtD) is changing due to data technology. The article firstly reviews the character and role of the prototype in RtD traditions informed by practices of skillful crafting and industrial design manufacturing. It then describes the move of RtD to data-enabled practices to offer a conceptualization of artifacts as connected things, that is, decentralized objects that actively collapse the division between design participation, user interaction and the creation and distribution of products and services. By considering connected things as capable of ‘making’ things too, the article positions the changing character and role of the RtD artifact in relation to three key shifts in design practice: (1) the agential shift towards the inclusion of things as partners in design, (2) the temporal shift towards always available opportunities for co-creation, and (3) the infrastructural shift towards unstable forms of value. The article concludes with a discussion on the implications of these changes for how knowledge might be generated, critiqued and shared in future data-enabled RtD practice.”

Elisa Giaccardi a.k.a. /elisagiaccardi | @elisagiaccardi ~ International Journal of Design 13.3 courtesy of @g_ferri

Information and design: Book symposium on Luciano Floridi’s The Logic of Information

The link, connection and relation is more important than the node, place or idea.

“​The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss Luciano Floridi’s 2019 book The Logic of Information: A Theory of Philosophy as Conceptual Design, the latest instalment in his philosophy of information (PI) tetralogy, particularly with respect to its implications for library and information studies (LIS). Nine scholars with research interests in philosophy and LIS read and responded to the book, raising critical and heuristic questions in the spirit of scholarly dialogue. Floridi responded to these questions. Floridi’s PI, including this latest publication, is of interest to LIS scholars, and much insight can be gained by exploring this connection. It seems also that LIS has the potential to contribute to PI’s further development in some respects.”

Gorichanaz, T., Furner, J., Ma, L., Bawden, D., Robinson, L., Dixon, D., Herold, K., Søe, S., Van der Veer Martens, B. and Floridi, L. (2020) ~ Journal of Documentation 76.1

Confronting the tensions where UX meets AI

Without tensions no glory.

“​AI research has now been around for about 65 years, and the consequences of design decisions on AI outcomes have been a lively debate for 20-plus years, if not longer. Governments, companies, and investors are now pouring in copious resources to advance AI techniques and create ‘AI-powered’ products. Amid the hype, however, people question whether breakthroughs are reproducible and transferable to practice, and who benefits from them. Keeping up with the latest trends has become increasingly challenging, even for the experienced. And the definition of accepted terminology itself is ever changing. As we – HCI researchers and UX practitioners – struggle to keep up with where the field is going, it is easy to lose sight of its past, repeat mistakes, and stumble on unintended consequences.”

Henriette Cramer and Juho ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.6

Facilitating structures: Toward a new way of working and learning together

All together now…

“​What does it mean to be a designer at this time in history? Think about that for a second. Or several days. At the risk of speaking for all designers, I’ll say we’ve moved beyond just surface and tactical concerns, at least in our discourse. I still see religious debates over design tools, and excitement over the latest visual design trends. But, if five years ago we were debating round corners on buttons, we’re now debating whether these things should even exist, and the effect on our society and the world at large. We’re designing from a more thoughtful perspective. (…) In recent years, I’ve come to recognize that the biggest influence I can have, as a designer and design leader, is to become more of a facilitator.”

Stephen Anderson a.k.a. /stephenpa | @stephenanderson

There is no design system

Tagged as ‘There is no such thing as’ a.k.a. #tinsta.

“​So in the design systems work we do, you often think of a style guide. Or a component library. Or a Sketch UI Kit. And there are arguments on whether either of those things can be called a design system if it doesn’t include this other thing or that other thing. We even talk about whether design systems are products or are more of a service. My take? The word “design” and “system” used in combination together literally just means to systemize your design (and in my world view that is more about the overall experience). And so if for you that means a Sketch UI Library, then you do you! My point is I think there is too much focus on the deliverables in the first place.”

Jina Anne ~ /sushiandrobots | @jina ~ 24 ways

The State of UX Research

UX Research is definitely different from UX Design.

“​I have been a UX researcher for 25 years. I did not come up through the usual degree programs available at the time, such as cognitive psychology and human factors. Rather, I came to the field from technical communication, seeing that there was a role for technical communicators to play in advocating for the user and promoting usability testing to understand the user experience, even if it meant conducting stealth testing on the documentation at the end of the product development cycle.”

Carol Barnum ~ Journal of Usability Studies 15.1

Designing for Social Technologies: Responsible Privacy Design

Designing more and more for human values, like autonomy, security and privacy.

“​We argue that, as UX designers, we have the opportunity and the ethical responsibility to design for overcoming social privacy barriers. In this article, we draw on our research and experience to illustrate how social privacy concerns affect users or even push them away from using online platforms. We conclude by suggesting ways forward to more responsible UX design.”

Xinru Page, Pamela Wisniewski, Bart Knijnenburg, and Julie Schiller ~ UXPA Magazine

The future of patient experience: Five thoughts on where we must go from here

This one will be evenly distributed.

“​In looking to the future, we must never forget it is grounded in today and the steps that brought us to this point. Those efforts and actions that led to where we stand now set the foundation for all we can do and what we will accomplish as we look to the future. This idea of not looking too far ahead without knowing where you stand is fundamental in human nature. Far too often we have let our gaze to the future miss the people right in front of us or overlook the significance of the moment in which we stand. As we look to the future of experience in healthcare, we must start identifying and acknowledging the bigger issues facing healthcare overall. When we look at experience as the strategic heart of healthcare where quality, safety, service, cost and access come together to ensure the best outcomes overall, we can then build a path forward that serves all in healthcare. To do so we must consider where we go from here and how we take the critical next steps. This article offers five thoughts on how experience will change in moving towards its future. Yet with all we know is possible in healthcare, if we remain committed to one another, to what is possible and to what we believe our fellow human beings want and deserve, then we will also know the right thing to do and the next steps to take. That is where the future of experience awaits.”

Jason A. Wolf PhD ~ The Beryl Institute | Patient Experience Journal

Introduction to speculative design practice

Always good to know the relevant backgrounders.

“​The relation between design and art (and other related disciplines) can be observed in several stages, i.e. from the high modernist synthesis of applied arts, visual arts and design in the 1950s, to the scientification of design throughout the 1960s and the emphasis on its rationality and the postmodernist position in which it is once again positioned at the centre of the interrelations of various disciplines, no longer through a complete synthesis, but, above all, through their interaction.”

Ivica Mitrović

Reflection on business, design and value

Fits into the trend of Value Sensitive Design and more.

“​What’s been important about the emergence of design thinking aside from the capacities it creates is that it points to the activities of design as a source of value, instead of focusing solely on the products of design. To me this is an important distinction and increases the relevance of design to business exponentially. It also means that design activities, when made visible as a source of value, have the potential to be learned and used across the entire organization.”

Andrea Mignolo a.k.a. /mignolo | @pnts courtesy of @odannyboy

A day in the life of a UX manager

Sounds like an old Beatles song.

“​Informed by interviews with ten UX managers, this article presents a hypothetical day-in-the-life of a first-level, non-executive UX manager. This article is meant for senior ICs who wish to learn more about UX management. (…) The UX manager’s role is to enable their team and the people on it to be successful. This purpose drives many diverse activities, from the tactical to the strategic and from the empowering to the directed. Senior ICs who wish to try UX management can start by looking beyond their deliverables and begin to help their peers, team, and products grow.”

Jerrod Larson a.k.a. /jerrod-larson ~ UXPA Magazine

Human-to-Human Interaction Style in Voice User Interface Design

Talk to me and experience how much ambiguity there is in spoken language.

“​Advancements in natural language processing, voice recognition technology, and speech synthesis allow voice-enabled devices to mimic human-to-human interactions fairly well. The levels of capabilities that devices and machines have to simulate human voices and generate natural(-like) language in a conversation vary across platforms, and since it is a relatively new technological innovation, users often do not have consistent expectations of their conversation with a conversational user interface (CUI). These inconsistent expectations are often exacerbated by the differences between verbal and written language when the CUI modality is voice; this is a subset of conversational UIs called voice user interfaces.”

Esther Horowitz a.k.a. /esther-horowitz | @estherhorowitz5 ~ UXPA Magazine

The Magic That Makes Customer Experiences Stick

Magic? It’s just thoughtful design.

“​Today’s customer journey is not just a matter of a few touch points as the consumer systematically narrows choices. Instead, most consumers take an iterative and expansive journey. They consider multiple perspectives, often through the use of social media. They interact with other people and other products and services. The journey between visiting a company’s website, say, and making an actual purchase is an emotional, cognitive, and motivational process. It’s the mix of those forces that creates feelings, memories, and stories about an organization, whether positive, negative, or ambivalent. It’s this variability that creates opportunities for companies to deliver memorable experiences. (…)”

Stefan Thomke a.k.a. /stefan-thomke-innovation ~ MIT Sloan Management Review courtesy of @2BFrank

User experience as legitimacy trap

Designers are responsible, always and everywhere.

“​For many years, telling someone in everyday settings that you worked on user interface design or human-computer interaction would produce puzzled looks and require a good deal more explanation. With the rise of design and interaction associated with the proliferation of interactive devices, these terms became much more familiar to people outside the discipline. Lately, though, there has been a second shift. Lately, if you tell someone that you work on interactive systems, or that you find new ways to make interaction effective and enjoyable, it is likely to evoke a skeptical or mistrustful response. In light of a series of scandals – over user data management, over online profiling, over online tracking, over targeted manipulation, over digital addiction, and more – user experience professionals and researchers have found themselves facing new questions about our work and its consequences.”

Paul Dourish a.k.a. /pauldourish ~ ACM Interactions XXVI.6

Patient perspectives: Four pillars of professionalism

Professionalism as core value of the Health sector.

“​Professionalism is a core component of healthcare practice and education; however, there is often not a consistent description of professionalism, and current definitions lack a key perspective: that of the patient. This study aimed to deepen understandings of patients’ perspectives on how professionalism should be enacted by healthcare providers. Using a phenomenological approach informed by constructivist theory, the study team conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups with 21 patients to ascertain their views on professionalism. Data analysis was conducted using a constant comparative approach wherein initial analysis informed subsequent data collection. Participant themes fell into four pillars of professionalism: taking a collaborative human-first approach; communicating with heart and mind; behaving with integrity; and practicing competently. This study highlights patient perspectives on professionalism and examines consistencies and differences between those perspectives and those of healthcare providers, which are extensively described in the literature. While published literature highlights competence and communication as main aspects of professionalism which our participants also focused on, participants in this study emphasized integrating patients into care teams, employing empathy, and demonstrating integrity.”

Laura Yvonne Bulk et al. ~ Patient Experience Journal 6.3

Design thinking isn’t user experience

Bounderies of labels can be fuzzy if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

“​Design thinking is everywhere, but definitions and interpretations vary. Is it a paradigm allowing you to “think like a designer?” A platform for creating innovation? A mindset you must shift into to design products? A process focused on bringing sketched ideas to life? Many believe it is the process that customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) practitioners use to do their work, and by harnessing their approach, anybody can do CX or UX work. If nothing else, it’s a cottage industry offering endless training, workshops and certifications.”

Debbie Levitt a.k.a. /debbielevitt | @PtypeUX