"(...) sometimes design teams don't have the patience to see the value in dragging out a study in an effort to make it scientifically or statistically significant. We're just not wired that way; we prefer to make and experiment and then analyze later. So what is research good for?"
(Jon Freach ~ The Atlantic)
"So in short, when I'm 'interacting' with a website I'm using its user-interface design. How I 'feel' and my 'preferences' when using it is my user experience and how 'easy and intuitive' it is for me to perform the functions I came to do, is a measure of its usability. As you can see, it's really hard for someone to specialise in one of these areas without an understanding of the other two."
"If we can measure the exact ROI of UX, we can demonstrate the value of the UX team, their work and also justify the need for research when it is necessary. Often the complaint around UX is speed. We can speed up the UX process by sketching, measuring features when they are live, and evolving our designs rather than working to create a final and highly polished version at launch. We can calculate the trade-off of using this faster deployment method rather than the more traditional process of doing lots of user testing up-front. There will be times where it isn't appropriate, and knowing the numbers allows us to justify this to the business. A caveat for the faster deployment method is that the UX team must be very senior and experienced."
"For too long usability has been the preserve of geeks – a specialism confined to websites and screens, form factors and devices. We need to realise that usability – in other words 'how easily people can use something to achieve a goal' shouldn't just be restricted to the lab and the engineer. It should be something that everyone expects to get, and everybody strives to provide. Usability should apply to all walks of life and everything that we encounter – it should be ubiquitous. It needs to be about the services we use and the spaces we inhabit."
"Children are becoming an increasingly important target group on the web. Good usability and high user experience are crucial aspects for a successful website. Early and repetitive user testing is the way to go. If we address children on our website, we need to focus on what they want. We need to include children as a target group in our user testing. In this post, I'd like to take a look at usability testing with different age groups."
"Religion, nationalism, and sports-team rivalries? They can't compare to the passion of a nerd's technical conviction. And so kerfuffles result. Well-intentioned zeal leads to distracting dustups. Alas, complex problems rarely resolve themselves into neat black-and-white principles. The only principle that ever seems reliable is drearily unsatisfying: 'it depends'. In the mobile world, we have the persistent and circular debate over whether the mobile web should be powered by the very same sites and webpages that render the desktop web."
"As UX designers, our role in our industry is more important today than ever. Our medium is maturing into a broad, multiple-platform, always on, multi-context, center-of-our-universe conduit for information. Our clients and customers are demanding more of us. We're not just designing web experiences anymore. Our designs have to adapt and respond to a variety of devices with different input methods that are used under very different circumstances where user goals and expectations change as well."
"Mobile user research can no longer afford to be confined by physical space and geographic boundaries. People are on the move. If we as researchers are to to understand their true behaviors, we need a robust toolset to meet them where they are and understand where they are going."
"How many times have you wondered how you can collect meaningful and significant metrics to validate your research? Many researchers struggle with this same dilemma on a daily basis. For example, how can we know the magnitude of the issues we are detecting in a traditional usability lab study? Surprisingly, there are many ways to capture useful UX metrics if you have the knowledge of what solutions to use and how to use them."
"In comparison to traditional cell phones, smartphones do a much better job of letting users stay connected on the go. They have bigger screens and higher-resolution displays, and their industrial design is more fashionable. Common features of smartphones include, but are not limited to touchscreens, high-megapixel cameras, global positioning systems (GPSs), and many gaming and entertainment options. Smartphones enable people to engage in a wide range of activities, including communication, entertainment, personal-information management, and social networking."
"Screen-less wearable devices allow for the smallest form factor and thus the maximum mobility. However, current screen-less devices only support buttons and gestures. Pointing is not supported because users have nothing to point at. However, we challenge the notion that spatial interaction requires a screen and propose a method for bringing spatial interaction to screen-less devices. We present Imaginary Interfaces, screen-less devices that allow users to perform spatial interaction with empty hands and without visual feedback. Unlike projection-based solutions, such as Sixth Sense, all visual 'feedback' takes place in the user's imagination. Users define the origin of an imaginary space by forming an L-shaped coordinate cross with their non-dominant hand. Users then point and draw with their dominant hand in the resulting space."
"Last week, I presented the following talk on Mobile Prototyping at Web Directions Unplugged in Seattle. It was a great opportunity to share content from my latest chapter of The Mobile Frontier on prototyping. Thanks to John Allsopp, Maxine Sherrin, and Brian Fling for including me in such an inspiring event."
"Janice Frasier, talking about lean UX (...)"
"Maps API applications are accessed on desktop and mobile devices of many shapes and sizes. Each application has unique goals for conveying information effectively and for facilitating user interactions. Learn how to improve user experience by optimizing the presentation of your map and data and by thoughtful user interface design."
(Luke Mahé, Jez Fletcher, Justin O'Beirne ~ Google I/O sessions)
"iPad apps are much improved, but new usability problems have emerged, such as swipe ambiguity and navigation overload."
"One designs the interface of the experience and the other the service and organization behind it..."
Navigating Streams in an Information Ecosystem ~ "Welcome to the sixth electronic edition of the Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Although generally organized in the same manner and sequence as earlier print publications, articles in this edition use Portable Document Format (PDF) files, with integrated images, graphics, and other material. Addresses to websites and other Internet locations may or may not be active hyperlinks, depending on individual author decisions. Returning this year is an integrated schedule and table of contents, clicking on any session title will open the paper or session description."
(American Society for Information Science and Technology a.k.a. ASIS&T)
"Mobile context has been overblown. It is device capabilities and constraints plus the fact that mobile devices are with you anywhere and everywhere. But those factors are important enough that they force us to rethink Web design."
(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @lukew)
"The aim is to facilitate ordinary users to formulate semantically unambiguous queries so as to support the fast and precise access to information. Used interaction concepts are e.g. a directory tree and interchangeable columns that are already well-known from other applications. The directory tree, for example, is used to enable the intuitive exploration and selection of hierarchical facets."
"The idea of content strategy isn't as easy to grasp for others, and that's ok because some folks appreciate naming things and seeing them all in relation to one another. It's a kind of wayfinding in the growing complexity of the digital age."
"Code is the material that breathes life into a user experience, so we ought to get familiar with it."
"One of the features of Scrum that is difficult for us to implement relates to specialization. We are indoctrinated to focus our talents on one primary field or specialty. When specialists work as a team, they contribute their unique work at the prescribed phase of a project and otherwise they sit on the sidelines and watch the progress. While they're on the bench, they might as well work on other projects. So it is not uncommon for one person to be involved in a dozen or more projects with the hope that the timing will align and they can do their part when needed in all of them. Of course, it rarely works that way. Project plans overlap. So specialists typically vacillate between crazy overtime and burnout." (James Mathewson ~ Writing for Digital)
"In his presentation at at Mobilism in Amsterdam, Netherlands Jared Spool outlined four major forces driving the value and visibility of design in Web-based applications. Here are my notes from his talk." (LukeW writings)
"Gamification is an informal umbrella term for the use of video game elements in non-gaming systems to improve user experience (UX) and user engagement. The recent introduction of 'gamified' applications to large audiences promises new additions to the existing rich and diverse research on the heuristics, design patterns and dynamics of games and the positive UX they provide. However, what is lacking for a next step forward is the integration of this precise diversity of research endeavors. Therefore, this workshop brings together practitioners and researchers to develop a shared understanding of existing approaches and findings around the gamification of information systems, and identify key synergies, opportunities, and questions for future research." (Sebastian Deterding ~ Gamification Research Network)
"Some web design and web development agencies have it all. They provide their clients with a complete site solution from beginning to end, from site planning and information architecture to web design, web hosting, and SEO. It's tough for a smaller web design company or the solo freelancer to compete. Or is it? It may be easier than you think to broaden your competitiveness by adding web content writing services to your web design company." (Rick Sloboda ~ Six Revisions)
"A feel of the real is very important in User Experience Design and we often find clients asking for prototypes (proof-of-concept) during the design process. Prototypes better communicate the interactions and navigation of the proposed design than static wireframes and mockups. Prototypes can be created at various stages of the design process (Analysis, Design or actual Test), for an informed user and client feedback to reduce number of design iterations. There is a broad array of prototyping applications available to suit the purpose, skill set and the fidelity required of a deliverable. In this blog we present a brief survey of common prototyping tools." (Design for Use)
"Edward Tufte occupies a revered and solitary place in the world of graphic design. Over the last three decades, he has become a kind of oracle in the growing field of data visualization - the practice of taking the sprawling, messy universe of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of everyday life and turning it into an understandable story. His four books on the subject have sold almost two million copies, and in his crusade against euphemism and gloss, he casts a shadow over the world of graphs and charts similar to the specter of George Orwell over essay and argument." (Joshua Yaffa ~ Washington Monthly) ~ courtesy of jasonkottke
"Karen McGrane, of Bond Art + Science and an interaction design instructor at SVA, spoke to a packed crowd of audience of content strategists searching for tips and tricks on making the content strategy sell within organizations. She started with a personal history, entitled, Ways I Fucked Up By Not Talking About Content Strategy a Lot Earlier. It was a painful kind of funny, as most of us nodded when she spoke about dealing with organizational structure, budgets where one person wins and another loses, and recurring scoping heartaches. McGrane says we need to see our present day as an opportunity to change the way we work and do business. Not just to fix things for unhappy people. And psst, it's also a good opportunity to sell more work." (Sadia Latifi ~ barbarian group)
"Great products and services depend on their users having great experiences. But it's not about what users do or how they do it, but rather why. Why they do what they do, why they keep coming back, and why they tell their friends. And social design aims to explain the why behind great experiences." (Eric Fisher ~ UXmagazine)
"First, consider what is the most critical action you want your customers to accomplish on your site - what is your primary conversion? For an ecommerce site, the purchase that a thank - you confirmation represents is commonly the key conversion. From there, work backward to determine the key steps a user takes to get to that conversion point. In checkout, it might be - in reverse order - order confirmation, order review, shipping/billing/payment information, and adding a product to the shopping cart." (Kristi Olson ~ UXmatters)
"Nelson's ideas, once dismissed as utopian, have become central facts of modern life. But none of this is enough for him. The computing world we know is but a dim shadow of what might have been." (Mark Bernstein)
"Over the past 30 years, designer, writer, and researcher Bill Buxton has been collecting input and interactive devices whose design struck him as interesting, useful, or important. In the process, he has assembled a good collection of the history of pen computing, pointing devices, touch technologies, as well as an illustration of the nature of how new technologies emerge." (About TBC)
"The new generation of web tools are enabling us to collaborate to filter massive information overload. Creating visual frameworks can be a powerful way of making sense of information. The role of futurists is pattern recognition. Selective filtering to reinforce our biases is not new. Most of us will experience more diverse views than before the web." (Ross Dawson ~ Trends in the Living Networks)
"How did you come to think of influential content in this way? Two big reasons. One was I studied rhetoric in grad school. I kept using rhetorical principles in my work successfully. But, if I tried to explain to people what I did as rhetoric, they had no idea what I was talking about. So, I saw an opportunity to make those principles practical and usable. The other big reason was over the past few years, I've seen persuasive marketing and design use pushy tactics in the name of cognitive and social psychology. Psychology principles focus more on form than on substance. Psychology, as a simple example, would tell you to have logos and quotes that endorse your product or service. Rhetoric would tell you to have those endorsements be from brands and people that your audience identifies with." (Rachel Lovinger ~ Scatter/Gather)
"The Design Studio methodology provides a collaborative, pragmatic process of illumination, sketching, presentation, critique, and iteration leading to a shared vision and hopefully more coherent and elegant solution - but this is not 'design by committee,' by any stretch." (SemanticFoundry)
"Jeremy Keith outlined the problem of digital preservation on the Web and provided some strategies for taking a long term view of our Web pages. (...) Preserving our culture requires holding on the little things that define our history. It's not a technical problem to preserve our culture and our story. But we need people to want to do so." (LukeW)
"Designing with modular scales is one way to make more conscious, meaningful choices about measurement on the web. Modular scales work with - not against - responsive design and grids, provide a sensible alternative to basing our compositions on viewport limitations du jour, and help us achieve a visual harmony not found in compositions that use arbitrary, conventional, or easily divisible numbers. As we've seen in this article, though, modular scales are tools - not dogma. The important thing for our readers, our craft, and our culture is that we take responsibility for our design decisions. Because in so doing, we'll make better ones." (Tim Brown ~ A List Apart)
"RIGHT NOW is the best time in more than a decade to create websites and applications. There are new opportunities: Webkit and Mobile, HTML5 and CSSS3, UX and Content Strategy. The landscape has changed in a good way. It's bringing up a lot of challenges (...)" (Jeremy Keith - Adactio)
"Most of the content strategy literature tries to define the discipline in terms of the deliverables practitioners produce–audits, plans, style guides and other resources, UX recommendations, human resource models, tooling recommendations, process engineering flow charts, etc. This is all well and good. But it won't help to evangelize the practice of content strategy, or help define what unifies all these activities." (Writing for Digital)
"83% of consumers prefer retailers offering a continuous and consistent shopping experience across the different channels: people would like to seamlessly interact with a company independently by the touchpoint, medium or place." (Pervasive Information Architecture blog)
"Patterns are how we capture and share some of the common insights we see bubbling up across projects, as well as out and about in the world. They are a foundation for intuition. A way to elevate insights to the level of cultural impact. And a way to tap into IDEO's collective intelligence to do better work for our clients - even faster. We've had the privilege of tackling some of the toughest design challenges for some of the most innovative companies around the world. And what we've found is that many of these challenges are shared by multiple companies across a variety of industries. These are challenges we all have the potential to solve. But we believe that can only happen when we work together. Openly and collectively." (IDEO) courtesy of ruurdpriester