All posts from
May 2013

Sense-making in cross-channel design

Designing the in-betweenies for meaningful IA.

“Successful cross-channel user experiences rely upon a strong informational layer that creates understanding amongst users of a service. This pervasive information layer helps users form conceptual models about how the overall experience works (irrespective of the channel in which they reside). This paper explores the early development of a practical framework for the creation of meaningful cross-channel information architectures or ‘architectures of meaning’. We explore the strategic roles that individual channels can play as well as the different factors that can degrade a user’ s understanding within a cross-channel user experience.”

(Jon Fisher, Simon Norris, and Elizabeth Buie ~ Journal of Information Architecture Fall 2012)

Improving UX with customer journey maps

CX or UX? Who cares. Users are customers for capitalists.

“The necessity of providing user satisfaction on every key touchpoint in your business is critical to your success. The issue, however, is identifying those crucial touchpoints. Customer journey maps could be an incredibly helpful solution in this area.”

(Jacek Samsel ~ Six Revisions) ~ courtesy of thomasmarzano

Design in teams: What designers contribute to multidisciplinary teams

Shared understanding, commitment and direction, team work.

“Products are developed by large multidisciplinary teams. The teams deal with many topics requiring the expertise of several specialists simultaneously. They have to decide together if something is a problem; propose multi-disciplinary solutions; and align their activities into a seamless whole. Stated differently: team members have to ‘think collectively’, which is named team cognition.”

(Guido Stompff a.k.a. @guidostompff ~ About DiT)

Findability is a content problem, not a search problem

Search, find, and use. But then the fun part starts: the information experience.

“Findability is a constant theme in content strategy and technical communications, yet it seems to me that people often treat findability as a problem existing outside the content. Findability is addressed using SEO tactics and by devising sophisticated top-down navigational aids, such as taxonomies and faceted navigation, but it is seldom seen as issue to be addressed in the content itself. I believe this focus on top-down findability is wrong. Top-down finding aids have their place, but the majority of the focus should be bottom up, and it should start with the content itself.”

(Mark Baker ~ Every page is one)

Exploring and enhancing the UX for television: A debrief

The fourth screen coming soon in this theatre.

“At the BBC R&D, we have been working on how to exploit the interactive functionality now available through connected televisions through a number of projects under themes such as companion screens, authentication, Internet of Things, recommendation services, accessibility and so on. They are all exciting topics to explore and we were interested in finding out what the research community had to say on the subject.”

(BBC R&D blog)

Interview with content strategy author Ann Rockley

Getting your hands dirty with markup for real.

“Content strategists should realize that XML isn’t scary and it is really powerful for doing cool things with your content. In the ‘olden days’ when we first began creating Web-based content we used to have to use HTML codes to tag the content, now you create content in web forms or Word and rarely, if ever, have to think about the HTML codes. The same is true of XML, you don’t have to use codes to create content, there are lots of tools that ‘hide’ the XML tags. However, XML is much smarter than HTML. HTML tags describe the formatting structure of the content, XML defines the semantic structure of the content. For example, we can define that some content is a teaser and then have the system handle it differently when published to the Web, mobile, or even print.”


Expanded user journey maps: Combining several UX deliverables into one useful document

The more data the document contains, the stronger the need for proper information design.

“UX deliverables had a rocky year so far. I feel particularly bad for the humble wireframe, which took some serious knocks over the past few months. There’s also a growing skepticism about the value of Personas. The Persona thing made me particularly uneasy because I’ve always been a huge fan, and we still start most of our projects with a workshop to define Personas and User Journeys.”

(Rian van der Merwe ~ Elezea)

Information architecture’s teenage dilemma

Depicting the growth of a discipline as the growth of human is based upon biological and social laws. Mmmm… let me think.

“Imagine if you will information architecture as a pimply-faced, malcontent teenager. IA is eager to express and redefine itself. It wants to be an individual yet accepted by its peers. It is simultaneously aggravated and apathetic about its parents, mentors, and role-models. It is a bit of a mess, but a wonderful, beautiful mess with endless opportunity and potential.”

(Jeff Pass a.k.a. @jeffpass ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Is the iPad mobile?

Nice example of a rhetorical question.

“Listen to your users and always check whether the new features are desirable. As you first release an app, start with your core competency and consider the features that are essential to your primary user path. As you iterate and add more features from your business and product road map, take into account what users are saying. You may find yourself adding or sunsetting features based on how and where people are using your app. Mobile or not, the tablet market is here to stay and, directly or indirectly, users will tell us what features to build next.”

(Marina Lin ~ Boxes and Arrows)

The Governance component of content strategy success

The larger the organization, the more important this component becomes.

“While all three components (creation, publication, governance) of the content strategy lifecycle are intended to be ongoing, it’s the Governance component that often requires the most dedication due to its never ending need for attention. Once content is created and published then it will forever need to be managed, maintained, optimised and compliant which leads to the age old question of ‘where to begin?'”

(Jessica O’Sullivan ~ Siteimprove)

Service design for UX designers

Explaining it to UX designers is one thing, to your mother is another.

“If you are in an agency or consultancy environment, you might categorise service design as part of user experience and/or experience strategy. If you come from a product environment, service design might vibrate more to what you consider as product management and business design. In a nutshell, service design is delivering a designed experience onto different levels of actors with a more holistic approach in mind. Let me elaborate on that.”

(Patrick Neeman a.k.a. @usabilitycounts ~ Usability Counts)

Defining Design ‘as agent of change’

Service design and change. Any design field is a changer.

“Framing a people-centred design challenge as a service design project, will always initially require lots of pursuasive communications. This is why my focus is now on the generative research, co-discovery and co-design fuzzy front end of the design process, where you begin by understanding the experiences of people who are the new design experts, but who are too often ignored in design process.”

(Richard Louis Arnott ~ Curiosity Junkie)