All posts from
June 2012

Agile is Wrong for UX

Can there be such a thing as software products?

“When something is wrong, it deviates from truth or fact. And I can say, with more confidence than ever, that traditional Agile software development methodologies (i.e. Scrum) are wrong for UX. In order to prove my case, I want to take you back to the inception of Agile (as I have read and experienced it) and its related software development methodologies. Along the way, we’ll point out the reasons these methodologies are incompatible with the field of User Experience Design.”

(Elisabeth Hubert a.k.a. @lishubert)

5 Tips for Effective UX Leadership

Speak up, we want heroes or champions more than (self-proclaimed) gurus.

“Your leadership superpowers will flourish as you stay engaged with the people influencing your product, become a confident voice for the user, and own the success and failure of your projects. The users of the world need UX practitioners to save them from noise, clutter, and wasted time. Producing work is not the same as providing leadership and strategic value. In the real world, people aren’t born heroes; they’re forged in moments of need. Rise up and defend your users. You are the expert, so lead and others will follow.”

(Paul Holcomb a.k.a. @paulholcomb ~ UX Magazine)

Great Brands Are About Fusing Product And Service. How Do You Do It?

The next silver bullet for companies: appoint a CXO.

“Method’s Reuben Steiger offers five ways for creating an ecosystem of products and services — and thinking like a chief experience officer. (…) The days of perfect plans within a top-down hierarchy are over. Instead, we need to influence our companies to embrace shared values and product principles. Then, each of us can be a chief experience officer creating memorable experiences and a cohesive, engaging, and delightful brand.”

(Reuben Steiger a.k.a. @method_inc ~ Fast Co.Design) ~ courtesy of nicoooooon

13 Tenets of User Experience

If academic is European, then economic is definitely American.

“User experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with a company, be it marketing collateral, a customer service call, or the product or service itself. It is affected by the company’s vision and the beliefs it holds and practices, as well as the service or product’s purpose and the value it holds in that person’s life.”

(Robert Hoekman, Jr a.k.a. @rhjr ~ Sliced)

Designing Services That Deliver PDF Logo

The founding article (1984) of Service Design and service blueprints.

“Faced with service problems, we tend to become somewhat paranoid. Customers are convinced that someone is treating them badly; managers think that recalcitrant individual employees are the source of the malfunction. Thinly veiled threats by customers and managers are often first attempts to remedy the problem; if they fail, confrontation may result.”

(G. Lynn Shostack)

Just What is a UX Manager?

UX team lead or UX champion would be a better label.

“UX managers come with all sorts of fancy-pants titles. This isn’t about titles. This is about responsibilities. The core difference between a UX manager and the staff of a UX team is the responsibilities she holds. (…) Someone who manages user experience has stuck their neck out and said they’ll deliver business outcomes through improving the experience that customers have with a product or service. That doesn’t mean soft results like better user testing results, that means delivering the things businesses ultimately care about: adoption, growth, revenue, retention, and margins.”

(Brandon Schauer a.k.a. @brandonschauer ~ Adaptive Path)

The definition of content strategy

Sounds simple: two thousand words of copy a month makes you a thought leader in the end.

“Through your content strategy you should describe your firm’s expertise as clearly and openly as possible. You want to be generous with the knowledge you share through your site’s content strategy. This idea makes many agencies feel uncomfortable (…)”

(Mark O’Brien a.k.a. @NewfangledMark ~ Newfangled)

Service Design: Beyond Customer Journey Mapping

Everything you can design, you can model and depict.

“Often, Service Design approaches can ask too much of an organization too soon. The difficulty is how to implement the opportunities uncovered from customer journey mapping. We recognize that companies work in silos and don’t change quickly. We’ve come up with ways to guide organizations through prioritized decision-making that will result in a meaningful change to the customer experience. This webinar will focus on sharing consulting experiences and thoughts on how organizations can adopt Service Design in a manner that focuses effort and drives measurable business outcomes which work within existing organizational structures.”

(User Centric)

The Past and Future of Experience Design: What a difference 10 years make

One tends to forget how long some of our histories are.

“(…) we need to better understand business language, issues, and concerns. To have the influence we think we should, we need to enlarge the solutions we create so that they can operate effectively in the economic and political systems of business. Experience isn’t just something that gets imagined and designed. It gets funded, delivered, and managed.”

(Nathan Shedroff a.k.a. @nathanshedroff ~ Boxes and Arrows) ~ courtesy of janjursa

UX Design Defined

This DTDT still forgets content. Wrapped box still remains empty.

“Unfortunately, in the field of user experience, people often confuse terms like information architecture, interaction design, visual design, usability engineering, and UX design. In some cases, people use these terms almost interchangeably. This article provides a lexicon of these terms and more clearly defines the role of the user experience designer.”

(Ritch Macefield ~ UXmatters)

The Care and Feeding of a UX Services Team

Get to work with the smart, passioned and genius designer.

“Building a quality UX team in any setting is a tough challenge. Trying to build a quality UX team in a services organization presents unique challenges, because a ready pool of qualified applicants simply does not exist. Thankfully, our profession is in demand. The unfortunate side effect is that we can’t easily find the right people to grow our team, even in this challenging economy.”

(Baruch Sachs ~ UXmatters)

Defining User Experience as Brand Experience

Brand experience: outside-in versus inside-out. It’s just a matter of direction

“I have found that the best way to think of user experience is as the core of a brand: the reactor or the nucleus. Without good user experience your brand means nothing. But what is a brand? Its most basic definition is the sum of the experiences that a person has with a company or organization. You may be wondering what branding has to do with you the interface designer.”

(Shawn Borsky a.k.a. @anthemcg ~ Spyre Studios)

Illustrating the Big Picture: Journeys, Experiences and Interactions

The journey is the reward for experience designers.

“Journey models are emerging as a welcome and valuable refresh of some old and new tools in our UX arsenal. They are not just another deliverable for your checklist; they’re a valuable method for digging deep into problems of long-term engagement, cultivating empathy, and establishing a problem space in which to generate and test ideas. Their output can serve as a backbone for strategic recommendations and more tactical initiatives. Form and function can vary widely depending on the project and stakeholder needs, but at their core, journey models are stories that focus on the meaningful relationships between individuals and organizations, and highlight opportunities to build a better future.”

(Megan Grocki a.k.a. @megangrocki and Jamie Thomson a.k.a. @uxjam ~ UX Magazine)

Adaptive Content: Our primary platform is burning. Time to jump!

Lot’s of jumping going on lately.

“I think the greatest insight I gained from Karen’s adaptive content talk is the idea that historically, all content has been designed and created for a ‘primary platform’, whose format is well understood. After its initial publication, it must then be reformatted to meet the design realities of any other contexts in which it is to appear.”

(R. Stephen Gracey a.k.a. @rsgracey ~ The Content Strategy Noob)

Service Design: Setting The Stage For The Consummate Experience

Service design, one of those fuzzy concepts with blurring borders.

“The field of service design is still young and evolving. And its interdisciplinary nature makes it difficult to define. (…) Regardless of the channel (social media, web, mobile, in-store, product experience) organizations that want to deliver great user experiences have to take time to educate their employees at all levels and at all touchpoints about what the company stands for, what it means to work there, and what kind of experiences they need to ensure for all users. Great service design means everyone involved is on board with creating the experience the audience wants. Take it from me, that can’t happen without a common goal, proper communication, and lots of practice.”

(Megan Grocki a.k.a. @megangrocki ~ UX magazine)

Socio-Technical System Design

Put your teeth into this monstrous 30,000 word chapter: the social and technology synergy.

“Some say the Internet is making us stupid but a mirror just reflects. Online media showing human brutality, corruption or stupidity just reveal what is. The Internet, as a microscope and telescope on humanity, is showing us to us. It isn’t physical, but thoughts cause words and deeds as guns fire bullets. Humanity’s thoughts are now online for us to choose. We, the human race, are choosing what we think and what we think is now online, with web-counters keeping the score. What the Internet electronic mirror shows isn’t always pretty but it is real and to change oneself one must first see oneself. The evolution of computing is a part of human evolution, of a social experiment that has been ongoing for thousands of years. Only by personal evolution, by seeing beyond ourselves, do we help it succeed.”

(Brian Whitworth and Adnan Ahmad ~