All posts from
August 2013

Content as medium

As medium, material, and Marshall McLuhan.

“The industry seemed to assume that it was the very physicality of books, newspapers and magazines that we craved – or that we required in order to comprehend the idea of a digital equivalent. The industry was wrong. Digital newspapers that were actually much more like TV news-channel tickers have now all but disappeared.”

(Matt Gemmell a.k.a. @mattgemmell)

Design is about relationships

In the end, all things in life are human.

“It’s easy to get so caught up in theory and process that we forget that design is about relationships. It’s not about Photoshop comps or bytes of code. It’s about people. And content. And, especially today, their devices. It’s about the interplay between content and form, between real-time data and how, when, and why we share and consume it. It’s about enabling connections where they couldn’t have existed before. It’s about focusing on creating experiences that are more meaningful, more delightful, and ultimately, more human.”

(Josh Brewer a.k.a. @jbrewer ~ Designers & Geeks)

Information architecture: More than just a pretty menu

Sounds like attractive navigation only. Anyone can do it.

“The good news is there’s no magic involved. Anyone who can focus on both the big picture and detailed elements simultaneously has the potential to be good at IA. (…) In other words, it’s now easier than ever to do it yourself when it comes to creating or updating your site’s IA.”

(Chris Nodder ~

The language of dynamic and interactive graphics

A way to make meaning out of big data, content and information.

“This blog post explores if and how the framework for the analysis of static graphics offered by Yuri Engelhardt in his PhD thesis, The language of graphics: A framework for the analysis of syntax and meaning in maps, charts and diagrams (2002), might be usefully extended to become applicable to dynamic and interactive graphics as well. This brief exploration will center on a discussion of one example of a dynamic graphic: Gapminder World.”

(Lucas Reehorst ~ Masters of Media)

Enabling new types of web user experiences

Trucks and cars. ‘Cars’ as the new driving experience on the information highway.

“The goal of this document is to rise above the current alphabet soup of technical standards and create some conjecture and possibly even motivation around how these standards can work together. The web can be so much more that what native apps can do. It can offer interactivity like water, pouring out of any device with nothing but a click. This is the super power of the web and isn’t appropriately appreciated as the key differentiator from native apps.”

(Scott Jenson a.k.a. @scottjenson ~ W3C Blog)

Cognitive science and design: Biological computation

Some deep thinking into design.

“This session will provide an in-depth look at human perception and cognition, and its implications for interactive and visual design. The human brain is purely treated as an information processing machine, and we will teach the audience its attributes, its advantages, its limitations, and generally how to hack it. While the content will provide a deep review of recent cognitive science research, everything presented will also be grounded in example design work taken from a range of Google applications and platforms. Specific topics will include: edge detection, gestalt laws of grouping, peripheral vision, geons and object recognition, facial recognition, color deficiencies, change blindness, flow, attention, cognitive load balancing, and the perception of time.”

(Alex Faaborg a.k.a. @faaborg)

The paradox of wearable technologies

Still lots of design territories to discover in the ‘wearable sphere’.

“Welcome to the new world of wearable computers, where we will tread uneasily as we risk continual distraction, continual diversion of attention, and continual blank stares in hopes of achieving focused attention, continual enhancement, and better interaction, understanding, and retention. Google’s latest hardware toy, Glass, which has received a lot of attention, is only the beginning of this challenge.”

(Donald A. Norman ~ MIT Technology Review)

User-centred design research for international users

i18n for UX design.

“It is helpful to consider the principles of user-centred design when building any website, but it is of particular importance when creating a site that is intended to appeal to a global audience. At a high level the process is simple: understand your users’ needs, try to build those requirements into your digital solution, the test your design throughout to validate your assumptions or revise accordingly, and only release the product when you are certain you have met as many of these as possible. This should ensure that most potential usability issues have been removed, and that the user has a memorable, persuasive, and compelling experience of the brand and the useful services it offers.”

(Chris Rourke a.k.a. @crourke ~ .net magazine)

How emotional design can give your website much more impact

Go Flin, go!

“While emotional design isn’t currently in scope of many (corporate) interaction design projects, it should be. Because interaction design is about how it works. You can interpret this in many ways, but we think ‘how it works’ also means what your product ‘does’ with the user, i.e. how it feels. In this article I’ll give you an idea of the potential of emotional design. We’ll be looking at copywriting and visuals but especially looking at interaction, since we’re interaction designers.”

(Flin Nortier a.k.a. @flin84 ~ The Next Web)

These are my people: The value in UX organizations

Find your UX home conference. Various community tribes to choose from.

“Getting out some evening to an organizational event or activity may seem scary or time-consuming. You may not know anyone. You may be tired after a long day at work. Going to a new national or international conference may also be intimidating, but other UX-ers want to meet you. They want to teach you things and they want to learn from you. Get out there. Associate yourself with an organization. Your UX career will be stronger for it.”

(Cory Lebson ~ UX Magazine)

Controlling the pace of UX with content strategy

Content and interaction, a perfect match for the UX of apps?

Interview with Margot Bloomstein ~ “In some scenarios, getting a user to convert or react to a call to action is the desired outcome. It means your design and experience work. But if users are coming to and then quickly leaving your site, what are they really experiencing? If they don’t take the time to explore and discover they may not have any loyalty to you or the experience. And if you’re dealing in complex decisions, you want your users to take the time they need to fully understand and commit to their choice.”

(Sean Carmichael ~ UIE Brain Sparks)

Ok so… “I am a designer”

After decades of thought still no clear understanding, other than creative and out-of-the-box.

“Design has existed as a discipline for over 60 years, but there still seems to be an enormous gap between what we designers think we do, and what people recognize we can do. (…) Designers are pretty good at thinking creatively and ‘outside of the box’.”

(Maria Beatriz Vivas a.k.a. @VivasBea ~ Behaviorial Design Lab)

Content re-framing: A digital disruption survival kit

Hope it helps.

A manifesto to connect experience design with content thinking. ~ “New challenges are upon us content people. The era of digital disruption requires adaptation at many levels by anyone involved with content, whatever its form or shape. As content crusaders, we want to point the road to travel with 10 imperatives. “Old school” and cutting-edge content organizations and professionals all face the same challenge of inventing and discovering mechanisms, rules and principles of unknown territories for content application. With this manifesto, we intend to reduce the friction in our collective journey of credible, useful, and relevant content for the digital era.”

(Bas Evers a.k.a. @everbass and Peter Bogaards a.k.a. @bogiezero ~ βiRDS on a W!RE)
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands)

The human in HCI: What you can learn from the bard (and others)

But can HCI et al. handle this significant upscaling?

“How does one account for the human within human-computer interaction? One approach historically embodied by the HCI field is firmly reductionist, a distillation of functional entities in which a human comprises “information processing systems” and “decision-making agents.” It has a quantitative outlook with scientific rigor and statistical significance of data to ensure accurate validations of hypotheses. This grounds everyone in rational discourse and technical conclusions. And it’s absolutely important and useful, just not entirely sufficient.”

(Uday Gajendar a.k.a. @udanium ~ ACM Interactions magazine)