Function follows feature follows user.
"The process by which most enterprise software is developed is fatally flawed. There are flaws in any software development process, but in the past 13 years I've seen one approach produce more bad software and blow more budgets than any other: requirements-driven software development. Thankfully, I've also had the opportunity to see the success of an alternative type of process, a process in which user experience design drives what gets developed. This type of process helps teams deliver good software on time and within their budgets."
Remember the days of computer-based training, courseware and instructional systems design.
"Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process. So let's learn a thing or two about learning itself. (...) Far from being monopolized by schools, learning is an essential human activity. Empathizing with and supporting users as they traverse the many stages of learning fosters happier users and a more profitable business."
For commercial contexts, that's true. But there is so much more...
"Internally focussed business tools, processes and systems are often thought about and designed in isolation from the design of the things customers interact with. Or to put this another way, projects that focus on improving the customer experience often don't fully consider the tools, processes and systems staff use in the delivery of the experience."
Paradigms from paper technology (like 'The Page') are deeply rooted in our minds.
"Content decisions should be driving the design of each page. As people scan the page, they are looking for content that seems relevant. Following this information scent should lead them below the fold if that is where their target content exists."
Or what a lot of reading, days of conversations and writing a book can do to your use of terms.
"Cross-channel is not about technology, or marketing, nor it is limited to media-related experiences: it's a systemic change in the way we experience reality. The more the physical and the digital become intertwined, the more designing successful cross-channel user experiences becomes crucial."
I love the phrase "Jakob Nielsen has long been at the forefront of information architecture innovation."
"It's a common misconception that UX for mobile is all about creating something for users on-the-go - users with little time, checking in on their mobile on the train or at the bus stop waiting for a bus. But today's mobile user is so much more than that, with the rise in tablet usage further contributing to the growth and variety of their needs. No longer can UX practitioners expect to satisfy the mobile user with added pinch-and-zoom functionality or bigger call-to-action buttons; these things are expected, and don't improve UX. So as mobile use continues to grow in popularity and capability, how can we better appeal to a mobile audience?"
(Laura Hampton ~ UX Magazine)
Labels, copy, and paragraphs are all text. Where's the strategy for all the other content?
"Content strategists should work with interface and UX designers to minimize these changes, by considering what future features and updates are likely to appear in the app. With this knowledge, the interface and labels can be designed to minimize changes in position or text."
A lot of things stories can do. Make sure they do.
"Within the everyday chaos of an average design project, part of what makes stories so valuable is their nimbleness and flexibility. They can easily be ordered, re-ordered, and grouped in any number of ways depending on your current need, such as by category, priority, complexity, sprint, or whatever, and you can do this in a highly ad-hoc manner. Team members can use the same card for everything from affinity diagrams to product road maps to scrum boards and on and on. But this level of flexibility also has drawbacks."
(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)
Raising the bar. I might consider to change the goal of 'compelling user experiences' into 'transformative user experiences'.
"Although the initial discussion of transformation focused on the changes planned for the museum, she also discussed the desired transformation that visitors to the museum would experience. She noted that individual transformation was unique to each person and the result of not only the experience offered by the museum, but by each person's frame of reference, personal interpretation of the information, and their culture and background."
The impact of G+ is noticed on the social web and beyond.
"The tools that weave themselves deepest into the way humans communicate, do so with our help. The designer releases their invention into the world with a few bold statements, and then it's up to us to tell them what the significance of the tool is, and how best to use it. Google+ is no exception: it's a relatively compact first release of just a few core concepts. Like many, I look forward to watching millions of people build on these concepts with improvised hacks, shorthand and other homemade enhancements, to complete a product story started by what may have been just a few dozen in Mountain View. When taking a look at some of the decisions Google made, I found five ideas worth keeping in mind when designing any new service."
G+ is a great example of the importance of UX in social.
"(...) a new economic paradigm in which the act of producing and consuming are one and the same, and he believes it's upon us right now. I subscribe to this theory, and I believe its most fascinating expression takes the form of social software, in which there is no consumption unless its users produce, and there is no production unless its users consume. The secret sauce that starts this virtuous cycle is not just technology, but also user experience design."
Having an eagle eye reading through it might improve the post.
"Service Design is still a relatively new and emerging field within the design industry. Many people are unsure what exactly service design is and how it helps their business and their customers. Put simply, service design is planning, organizing and improvement of a service. Service design is not just about fixing the existing services of an organization, it is also used to provide new and innovative ways to fill unmet customers need."
(Gary Davies ~ Article Base)
In the end, hierarchy will be replaced by network.
"When we integrate content creation early in our web development processes, we are more effective at orienting our conversations to the end goals for the user and the business. This is a huge win for our users, who are increasingly demanding meaningful content experiences before they engage with our web sites and apps. It's also vital to businesses, whose success depends on communicating value in ways that convert bystanders to buyers."
Always thought perception was an integral part of feeding the experience.
"Conceptually I believe you can break design into tangible and abstract activities. Tangible design typically draws on the artistic skills of the designer and results in some kind of visually pleasing artefact. This is what most people imagine when they think of design and it covers graphic design, typography and visual identity."
Reminds me of scenario-based design of John Carroll.
"If you are a UX designer who wants to quickly get up to speed with integrating Agile and UX, there are few better places to start than with User Stories. They are both a quintessential embodiment of Agile thinking (i.e. if you understand User Stories, you understand Agile thinking) and a potential power tool for a UX designer on an Agile team. But like any tool, they can be both highly useful and help your team be highly effective, or, if you have no idea how stories work, cause some serious damage, especially to the UX dimension of your product. So, if you're using User Stories or thinking about adopting them as a tool, here are ten tips to help UX designers understand User Stories (we'll just call them Stories from hereon) and wield them to both yours and the team's benefit."
(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)
And I thought CSS meant something else in Design.
"(...) to be a really good storyteller, you need to understand three basic concepts: Context, Spine, and Structure (CSS). Each is critical and necessary, and all three need to work together."
Adding some more buzz to the launch.
"Lou Rosenfeld's newest book, Search Analytics for Your Site: Conversations with Your Customers, has been the subject of more prelaunch buzz than most UX books have gotten this year. It seemed everyone was tweeting, talking, or speculating about it before the ink had even had a chance to dry. And, true to the hype, this book delivers in spades. If you read one book this year to hone your craft, add value to your UX practice, or enable you to help your clients, this is the one! Lou recently found some time in his very hectic schedule to sit down and talk with me about his book and the burgeoning practice of site search analytics (SSA)."
The term 'portal' sounds a little old-fashioned; just like 'intranet'.
"Nineteen new case studies of enterprise portals find slow growth in new features; the focus is on robust integration and formalizing governance."
Adobe now moves into interaction design. Can't wait for their classes on UX, IA or CS.
"Understand what interaction design is and how the five essential principals of interaction design could help you make better interaction design decisions. This quick introduction will help you get started thinking about how to design your interfaces in the most effective way with the behavior of the user in mind."
Keynote presentation by longtime reseacher of MUX ('Mobile UX'). Afterwards, the two planets (research and practice) kept their distance.
"Good user experience is increasingly important for profitable business: once utility and usability are taken for granted, successful companies design for experiences. But how to manage the fuzzy thing called user experience in product development? Can UX research help UX work in practice? This talk discusses the impact of business goals on UX research and the transfer of UX research results into practice."
Nice keynote presentation by Mister Sketch with some remarkable projects from CIID.
"Human-computer interaction is spreading into everyday objects like phones, cars, toys, books and instruments. Many interactions are implicit (the door 'does the right thing' when I approach); others are more 'explicit' (I push it). How do you know what the door is doing (e.g. 'not allowed')? Can you control it more expressively (e.g. 'fling'). If the door has a motor in it; can we 'feel' the force/motion/inertia/reluctance? Music and musical performance are a challenge to HCI. Some of the best performances require precise expressive motions. I will describe experiments which use active force feedback (haptics) in the design of musical controllers. There are lessons for a broad range of interaction designers."
Definitely one of the highlights of the Chi Sparks 2011 conference.
"In the past years scores of methods for user-centered design have been developed - and validated. But do they really work? In reality that is. In practice user-centered product development is hectic and messy, at best. This presentation discusses barriers and enablers for usability in the development practice of electronic consumer products, identified through three case studies across 10 product development groups."
DTDT: One is a quality of an artifact in use; the other is an emerging phenomenon within the human, at the moment, during the episode, and in the long-term.
"After web site accessibility, 'user experience' is probably the phrase that most people tend to confuse usability with. Whilst this topic has been discussed by various experts in the respective fields, I feel the need to write about it for two main reasons. The first reason is that several posts I have encountered emphasize the distinction between these two terms, yet they fail to highlight the relationship that exists between usability and user experience. The second reason is that whilst most of the posts are similar in nature, I have found some minor, albeit very valid points scattered in various posts I have read. Therefore, the objective of this post is to discuss these two terms, whilst highlighting their differences and more importantly the relationship that exists between them in a clear, concise way."
A nice practice case with a few exceptions to the rule.
"There are two explanations for the endemic publishing paralysis. Either no one has made a good CMS yet - perhaps putting words and pictures on pages is the limit of our engineering capacities - or the CMS is a broken concept."
(Erik Hinton ~ TPM)
"At UC Berkeley there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of business analysis (BA) and user experience (UX) in the software development lifecycle. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of involving BA and UX practitioners in your development process, when and how to involve them, and the similarities and differences between the two professions."
(Allison Bloodworth, James Dudek, and Rachel Hollowgrass ~ Modern Analyst)
"As tech companies try to build social applications that click, the business world at large is struggling to figure out where and how social networks fit into their overall marketing and customer relations strategies."
"To design better search and discovery experiences we must understand the complexities of the human-information seeking process. Numerous theoretical frameworks have been proposed to characterize this complex process, notably the standard model, the cognitive model and the dynamic model. In addition, others have investigated search as a strategic process, examining the various problem solving strategies and tactics that information seekers employ over extended periods of time. In this paper, we examine the needs and behaviours of varied individuals across a range of search and discovery scenarios within various types of enterprise. These are based on an analysis of the scenarios derived from numerous engagements involving the development of search and business intelligence solutions utilizing the Endeca Latitude software platform. In so doing, we extend the classic IR concept of information-seeking to a broader notion of discovery-oriented problem solving, accommodating the much wider range of behaviours required to fulfil the typical goals and objectives of enterprise knowledge workers."
"What's interesting is that over 20 years before sparklines came on the scene, Tufte developed a different type of data visualization that didn't fare nearly as well. To date, in fact, I've only been able to find three examples of it, and even they aren't completely in line with his vision. (...) In this post, we're going to look at slopegraphs - what they are, how they're made, why they haven't seen a massive uptake so far, and why I think they're about to become much more popular in the near future."
"One of the nice things about working on your own product is that you can try new ideas at your own discretion. So over the past few weeks, we've been exploring new interactions for common Web forms on Bagcheck and I've been writing articles about the results."
"In a news environment, there is ultimately one asset that the web designer has to enhance and protect. Credibility. News is all about telling a believable version of real life. A brand as well established as the BBC's naturally goes a long way to distinguish its content from lesser-known, opinion-led publishers. But all brands are vulnerable to erosion if the presentation doesn't do them justice. The painstaking work that goes into the BBC's online output - the designer's understanding of what its content really is, who its readers are, what flavours of content to mix, and the mastery of formal methods of presentation - is all part of the never-ending preparation and re-preparation of an enticing Bento box."
(Tammy Gur ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)
"The internet is becoming a sort of operating system, providing networked services to applications; online social networks are evolving into communications and identity platforms; and boundaries between the virtual world and the physical world are increasingly blurred. These changes are not independent; they are connected and mutually reinforcing. Service, social, and physical are converging."
"To be a top-notch film editor you need to have the eye of a painter, the ear of a composer and the story sense of a writer. You also need the ruthlessness of a commodities trader. What can designers, architects and writers learn from the art of film editing?"
(Adam Harrison Levy ~ Design Observer)
"Architect, designer, and living legend Ephraim Goldberg, better know as Frank Gehry, is one such individual. His explorations in light, sound, movement, and materials, as well as his innate ability to understand the psychology of human behavior, set him apart in the fields of architecture and design. To Gehry, the physical form of architecture isn't really about a physical structure at all, but rather the manifestation of all disciplines of art, design, and technology coming together to solve a problem."
(Christian Saylor ~ UX Magazine)
"As somebody who has publically stated that they "don't care about user experience" and is fed up of "defining the dammed thing" I find myself being drawn into discussions about the term far more often than I'd like."
"Any organization that has a searchable web site or intranet is sitting on top of hugely valuable and usually under-exploited data: logs that capture what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved. Search queries are gold: they are real data that show us exactly what users are searching for in their own words. This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs."
"While the presence of many trust elements, aids, and cues throughout an ecommerce site contributes to customers' perception of its trustworthiness, as UX designers, we can build greater trust by including and appropriately placing these identified trust elements on a site's home page, as this article describes."
"Every day, your users make judgments and decisions about the products and services you provide based on the way you present them. In this column, I'll talk about why seemingly insignificant aspects of information presentation can have surprising effects on people's perceptions and behavior."
"A confusing startup screen that offends existing subscribers dooms The Wall Street Journal's iPhone app to low ratings."
The Least Boring Computer Magazine In The World ~ "It's always a crap shoot, you never know how an issue is going to turn out.Just coordinating all the elements is a task only slightly less humbling than trying to align all the planets. No wonder it's become a standing joke around the EW office: that moment each issue when we start laying out pages and I get to see the magazine in its final form for the first time, when I proclaim in genuine surprise, hey, this issue isn't so bad - in fact, it's even better than the last. What makes it doubly gratifying this time is that this is the first issue of the rest of our lives. Thirty six months and two publishers later, ElectricWord is independent."
(Louis Rosetto) ~ courtesy of johnrynne
"So, I changed my job title a few months ago. I dropped the 'service' bit. I'm now just Sidekick's Design Director. I'm now MASSIVELY EXCITED about a new thing - designing products. But not your old products. No, I'm excited about designing a new type of evolving, networked product that requires a multi-disciplinary team just to keep it alive, let alone make it awesome. I'm calling this the New Product. Let me explain."
(Nick Marsh a.k.a. @choosenick)
"There are three areas that I covered in the talk. First, how the visual language of UI has evolved and been shaped in to what we find in the interfaces we are familiar with today. Second, I'll discuss why I think a new approach to the visual design of interfaces, influenced by Print Design, is emerging and necessary. And finally, why I think Print Design is an important influence to the next evolution of UI, and what we (as UI and Interaction Designers) can learn from the discipline of Print."
(Mike Kruzeniski a.k.a. @mkruzeniski)