All posts from
January 2009

Design matters, like never before

“In a world changing faster than at any other time in human history, a dynamic and critical analysis of what is ‘good’ design could not be more urgently required. Whilst new communication technologies are offering revolutionary platforms for mass collaboration and opportunities to democratically converse within a global community (1), simultaneously the world faces unprecedented environmental, social, and economic crises (2). Are designers really capitalising on social media platforms and collaborative opportunities? What do these democratic shifts and global challenges mean, and what future role do they offer to the designer, writer and critic?” (Kate Andrews – on Social Design)

Interactions Jan/Feb ’08: The Digital Version

“This issue marks a quiet milestone for us: the beginning of our second year as editors in chief. Year one was marked by six quality issues, a new look and feel, a new website, a new team of contributors and advisors, a presence at more than two dozen premier conferences, and greatly renewed and expanded respect for the magazine. Our second year begins with a bang, with a very strong January+February issue and several additions to the interactions team.” (ACM Interactions Magazine)

Beyond Usability: Designing Web Sites for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

“The next wave in Web site design is persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. While usability is still a fundamental requirement for effective Web site design, it is no longer enough to design sites that are simply easy to navigate and understand so users can complete transactions. As business mandates for Web site design have grown more strategic, complex, and demanding of accountability, good usability has become the price of competitive entry. So, while usability is important, it is no longer the key differentiator it once was.” (Eric SchafferUXmatters)


“Tools for developing user interfaces have become increasingly sophisticated and available in recent years, ranging from object-oriented application development tools such as Java Swing to WYSIWYG HTML editors such as Dreamweaver. Such tools promise more rapid development—including quicker iteration—and potentially greater reliability. While we should welcome these benefits, increasing the ease of user interface development at a technical level can—perhaps ironically—make it more difficult for UX teams to operate effectively. We must bridge the gap between the technical skills we need to implement user interfaces and the skills that let us understand users and design maximally effective user interfaces for them.” (Peter HornsbyUXmatters)

Designing Social Interfaces: The Book

Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience – “This book presents a family of social web design principles and interaction patterns that we have observed and codified, thus capturing user experience best practices and emerging social web customs for web 2.0 practitioners.” (Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone)

Pattern Languages for Interaction Design

“Will Evans stalked and captured Erin Malone, Christian Crumlish, and Lucas Pettinati to talk about design patterns, pattern libraries, styleguides, and innovation. Erin, Christian, and Lucas are leading a workshop on design patterns at this year’s Interactions in Vancouver and, Erin and Christian are writing a book on patterns for designing social spaces for O’Reilly.” (Will EvansBoxes and Arrows)

Design Research Methods for Experience Design

“There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products. Customer interactions encompass much more than the usability of a particular user interface. They include all of the social and emotional consequences of a customer’s interaction with an organization or brand, including trust, motivation, relationships, and value.” (Michael Hawley – UXmatters)

Text Treatment and the User Interface

“Before graphic user interfaces, text was the primary means of both input and output defining human-computer interactions. Even today, much of the information user interfaces present is textual. Therefore, we should not underestimate how the right text treatment can measurably improve user productivity and increase user satisfaction. As new technologies become available—for example, larger monitors with higher resolutions—a good foundation of knowledge about effective text treatment can help designers create usable user interfaces for them more quickly.” (Tobias Komischke – UXmatters)

Researching Video Games the UX Way

“Video games are often overlooked in the scope of usability testing simply because, in a broad sense, their raison d’etre is so different than that of a typical functional interface: fun, engagement, and immersion, rather than usability and efficiency. Players are supposed to get a feeling of satisfaction and control from the interface itself, and in that sense, interaction is both a means and an end. The novelty and whimsy of the design occasionally comes at the expense of usability, which isn’t always a bad thing—that said, video games still have interfaces in their own right, and designing one that is easy to-use and intuitive is critical for players to enjoy the game.” (Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte – Boxes and Arrows)

User Experience (UX)

“How a person reacts to a Web site determines that user’s experience with the product and can determine a return visit. The usability of a Web site, which usually refers to the elegance, flow-of-content & clarity with which the site is designed, can ensure a positive user experience. User Experience (UX) is part of Business Exchange, suggested by Michael Herman. This topic contains 790 news and 1,139 blog items. Read updated news, blogs, and resources about User Experience (UX). Find user-submitted articles and comments on User Experience (UX) from like-minded professionals.” (Business Week Exchange) – courtesy of tvantongeren

Scott McCloud on Comics

“In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.” (TED) – courtesy of presentationzen