All posts from
October 2012

When Is User-Centered Design Selfish?

Is there any other design approach than UCD?

“Who benefits from user-centered design according to standard wisdom? Designers and their employers benefit, because they end up with better products. End users (that amorphous generalised group) benefit, because their software-using lives are more satisfactory. Researchers benefit, because they get papers published about their thoughtful and inclusive design methodologies. What I want to know is whether particular users who contribute to the design process actually get anything out of it? And do they stand to lose anything?”

(Judy Robertson ~ Communication of the ACM)

Tablets and the age of comfortable computing

Tablets are ‘just’ computers.

“Since their introduction in 2010, tablets have taken the mobile industry by storm, with sales expected to reach 120 million in 2012 alone. Whether novelty or need, tablets are clearly a big and growing part of the mobile device landscape that won’t be going away any time soon. Which begs the question: Now that these shiny new gadgets are finding their way into the world, how are people actually using them? In this talk, Rachel Hinman will share findings from her year-long study of tablet usage as well as provide design implications for designing tablet experiences.”

(Rachel Hinman a.k.a. @Hinman ~ The Web and Beyond 2012 ~ Amsterdam)

Make It So: Apologizing for bad SciFi UI

Especially, his Keynote design was remarkable.

“Interfaces in sci-fi serve a primarily narrative purpose. They’re there to help tell the story of how a character disables the tractor beam, or hacks into the corporate database, or diagnoses the alien infection. But what would happen if we tried to build these same interfaces for the real world? Some would fare just fine. Most would need a little redesign. A few appear to be just plain stupid or broken. They couldn’t work the way they appear to. That is, until you use the technique of apologetics to discover that in fact far from being stupid, they’re brilliant.”

(Chris Noessel a.k.a. @chrisnoessel ~ The Web and Beyond 2012 ~ Amsterdam)

Why Big Content Is Worth the Risk

So from Big Data, to Big Content to Big Wisdom?

“We all want the low-hanging fruit, but let’s be honest – the low-hanging fruit is rotten, bruised, and covered with the grubby fingerprints of all the other spoiled brats pawing at it. There’s a time for easy wins, but easy only gets you so far. Sadly, I see too many SEOs putting days or weeks of effort into crafting the perfect low-value scheme, when that same time could’ve easily gone into content that has real staying power and drives sales. I’m obsessed with ‘Big Content’ lately – resources that go beyond our narrow bins of blog posts, videos, and infographics. I’m going to show you how that obsession is paying off, and why building real content is easier than you think.”

(Peter J. Meyers a.k.a. @dr_pete ~ SEOMoz)

Fixing A Broken User Experience

Addressing design in the enterprise.

“Understanding an organization and its users and designing the right interaction and visual system take exceptional effort. You also need to communicate that system to teams that have already produced work that doesn’t align with it. This isn’t easy work. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a strategy for fixing the broken experience that starts with surface improvements, goes progressively deeper into structural issues and ends with a big organizational shift.”

(Stefan Klocek a.k.a. @klocekian ~ Smashing Magazine)