Or, what a paragraph can do for you.
"In this article, I'd like to reacquaint you with the humble workhorse of communication that is the paragraph. Paragraphs are everywhere. In fact, at the high risk of stating the obvious, you are reading one now. Despite their ubiquity, we frequently neglect their presentation. This is a mistake. Here, we'll refer to some time-honored typesetting conventions, with an emphasis on readability, and offer guidance on adapting them effectively for devices and screens."
Significant body of work on this type of software development. But what about design?
"End-User Development (EUD) is inherently different from traditional software development, and trying to support EUD by simply mimicking traditional approaches is often insufficient to produce successful results. End users usually do not have training in professionals' programming languages, formal development processes, or modeling and diagramming notations. Moreover, end users often lack the time or motivation to learn these traditional techniques, since end users usually write code in order to achieve a short- or medium-term goal rather than to create a durable software asset that will produce a continuing revenue stream. Consequently, supporting EUD requires providing appropriate tools, social structures, and development processes that are highly usable, quickly learned, and easily integrated into domain practice."
From an unexpected angle: the arts.
"Attention to the customer experience must be paid by all departments in order to ensure delivery of top quality experiences and services because this service delivery is critical to nurturing the customer relationship, building value and ensuring sustainability."
AAPL seems to falsify this. People willing to pay high prices for superb quality.
"The digital age changes our notions of quality, and in particular, our notions of the limits to quality. Generally, there are two limits to quality: The first limit is your imagination. If you are innovative, you can increase quality in many creative ways. The second limit to quality is what the customer will pay for. If your product is priced too high, even if it is of super high quality, you won't be able to sell many."
Great reference article to pass around. The more Otlet, the better.
"He dreamed of a 'mechanical, collective brain' and his complex system for indexing information could be considered an analog version of Google. Belgian lawyer and librarian Paul Otlet died in 1944, poor and disillusioned. But his work is now being looked at in a whole new light."
(Meike Laaff ~ Der Spiegel)
A first hand recollection of ideas, concepts, and prototypes.
This is a verbatim transcript of a public lecture given on October 28, 1997. ~ "We got clearance, thankfully, from the Apple lawyers, which came about two - three weeks ago, so we could give it here, just in time to announce it. We're grateful to Apple to release this for public disclosure, because we think it's of general interest."
It's academic, so it must be European.
"Dr. Marc Hassenzahl is Professor for Experience Design at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany, and research manager at MediaCity, Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa, Finland. He is interested in the emotional and motivational aspects of interactive, mostly tangible technologies, that is User Experience, Experience Design, the hedonic side of product use. Marc worked with companies, such as Samsung, Nokia, German Telekom, and lately BMW, on his vision of designing 'the experience before products', arguing for a postmaterialistic notion of designing things. He recently published Experience Design: Technology for all the right reasons with Morgan Claypool."
The Don at TEDx (again), event organised by a Dutch 'university'.
Understanding features in terms of complexity instead of functionality ~ "His studies and books on design theory coupled with his extensive academic and industry experience help companies produce enjoyable and effective products and services. Norman brings a systems approach to design, arguing that great design must touch every aspect of a company."
Great to see B&A revitalising.
Understanding features in terms of complexity instead of functionality ~ "The best products don't focus on features, they focus on clarity. Problems should be fixed through simple solutions, something you don't have to configure, maintain, control. The perfect solution needs to be so simple and transparent you forget it's even there. However, elegantly minimal designs don’t happen by chance. They're the result of difficult decisions. Whether in the ideation, designing, or the testing phases of projects, UX practitioners have a critical role in restraining the feature sets within our designs to reduce the complexity on projects."
Introducing an old concept to a 'new' field of practice. Sigh!
"All it takes is a moment for our mood to change. Ideas and complex concepts can form in seconds given the right amount of cognitive capacity. Even something as simple as the way a sentence is structured or the words we choose will impact perceptions or the potential for another's comprehension. It's precisely for all of these ambient, behavioral and situational factors that content strategists should be better leveraging mental mapping and modeling for the planning, design and implementation of content. Mental Modeling is far from a new thing. (...) the first post in a three part series about adapting traditional views of mental modeling for the practice of content strategy."
How much information does an image contain? 1.3 Mbyte?
"Visual storytelling is nothing new. We only need to look to the earliest signs of humanity for proof-simple paintings on the walls of caves tell the story that people are a visual tribe."
But what if 'everything' is, then 'nothing' is.
"The emerging service economy will require business and society to do some some fundamental restructuring. The organizations that got us to this point have been hyper-optimized into super-efficient production machines, capable of pushing out an abundance of material wealth. Unfortunately, there is no way to proceed without dismantling some of that precious infrastructure. The changes are already underway."
Whatever you build, make sure it's usable and 'fun'.
"So, when is an immersive digital experience appropriate? Although platforms should focus on getting users to their destination, the content users find there can be immersive. Programs should be immersive, but balance experiential design with usable design. Immersive experiences are notoriously difficult to document, from a UX perspective. The frameworks I've outlined are helpful in defining immersive experiences to a sufficient level of fidelity for a client to feel comfortable with the direction your solution is taking, but doesn't inordinately influence the creative team."
Are we re-inventing everything now it's mobile?
"Users visit mobile sites not only to consume content, but to get things done. Let's take air travel as an example: tasks that users often find themselves performing on an airline company's mobile site include checking flight status, checking in for a particular flight, and searching for and booking a flight. How does mobile user interface design support task completion? What are the optimal ways of communicating and displaying interactions on mobile sites? With the aim of discovering optimal ways of designing simple interactions on mobile devices, I examined the task of checking flight status. I'm hoping that my analysis sheds some light on this topic."
The more knowledge and understanding you have, the better the design. Or intuition.
"Better to accept a wider margin of error in usability metrics than to spend the entire budget learning too few things with extreme precision."
ROI ('return-on-investment') is this weird bean counter concept addressing the question what do you buy, in atoms or in bits.
"The idea that content contributes to the bottom line is no longer a novel idea. I can't really blame management for their skepticism; after all, what has been rather thin in public discourse about the benefits of content is the actual ROI."
We've banned the term 'user-friendliness' for more than a decade.
"User Research allows us to create hypothesis that are aimed at improving the website's user-friendliness, but more common, conversion. Usability testing allows us to test those hypotheses."
Goals are achieved when certain events occur. But what are the events? In all other cases, it's not a goal but an intention, motivation or just a task.
"There are a lot of theories about what drives people and how they move through life. It's my belief that on a subconscious level we are goal driven creatures. There is nothing people do that can not be defined as a goal. From this starting point I designed a simple model that can help us as designers make the decisions where to focus on in the design process."
Out with deliverables, in with prototypes.
"By not focusing on the deliverable value, but on the quality of the idea within, we stand to motivate and engage people to a much higher degree. By helping focus colleagues on the value of their direct input, we stand to create a sense of accountability as ideas spread and evolve."
"Contents is a digital magazine devoted to content strategy, online publishing, and new-school editorial work. We publish each issue gradually, over several weeks. Each issue explores a central theme; each piece offers a different angle. We're glad you're here."
Lots of food for thought in it.
A Conversation with Don Norman and Jon Kolko on Trends in and the Relationships between Art, Business, and Design ~ "The ~2-hour exchange with and between Don and Jon and the audience was particularly engaging, thoughtful, rich, and delightful."
(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @Riander)
Couldn't deny the proper framing of 'Pictures Under Glass'.
"As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I'm a little skeptical of, given that I've actually tried them and the animators presumably haven't. But that's not my problem with the video. My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It's a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible. This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world. If you're a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact. This little rant isn't going to lay out any grand vision or anything. I just hope to suggest some places to look."
Know your computer design materials in and out: content, code, connectivity, and computation.
"(...) craftsmanship comes through intimate understanding of medium and material. The medium of painting is fairly obvious, as is the material of clay. But both the medium and materiality of service design, interaction design, and public policy are vague, abstract, and seemingly invisible. They are, however, not without definition. (...) one of the most fundamental failings of design thinking education is the lack of craftsmanship."
A great piece of work on social computing.
"As humans we are fundamentally social creatures. For most people an ordinary day is filled with social interaction. We converse with our family and friends. We talk with our co-workers as we carry out our work. We engage in routine exchanges with familiar strangers at the bus stop and in the grocery store. This social interaction is not just talk: we make eye contact, nod our heads, wave our hands, and adjust our positions. Not only are we busy interacting, we are also remarkably sensitive to the behaviors of those around us. Our world is filled with social cues that provide grist for inferences, planning and action. We grow curious about a crowd that has gathered down the street. We decide not to stop at the store because the parking lot is jammed. We join in a standing ovation even though we didn't enjoy the performance that much. Social interactions like these contribute to the meaning, interest and richness of our daily life."
Or what the form of the character T can initiate. And what about the A, K, or X?
"This second installment of my series on hiring IA practitioners, therefore, expounds on the Boersma T-model by presenting a grid that can help hiring managers make informed recruiting decisions by giving them a clear picture of the key verticals of UX practice, while taking into account three potential levels of an IA practitioner's professional experience."
What would happen if we only talked about experience, human, user, or customer?
"In the fields of user experience and service design, we use storyboards to illustrate our solutions, so clients can walk in the shoes of their customers, staff, or community and see our solutions as we see them. Storyboards are appealing at an aesthetic level, but are trickier to use in persuading clients who are more used to cold, hard numbers, charts, and tables. Offering more tangible measures of customer sentiment helps clients make connections between the experiences we depict and the sorts of technology, financial, and resource decisions that are necessary to make those experiences happen."
Usabilty guidelines are just heuristics, for desktop, laptop and mobile.
"Many guidelines are similar for mobile and desktop design, but their mobile interpretation is much more unforgiving."
Spreading the gospel with exposure of the person and the field in the MS universe.
"Content strategy identifies how content will help achieve your business objectives. It informs how organisations create, deliver and govern or take care of their content, online and beyond. It helps people move from thinking about content launch to content life cycle, allowing them to create a plan to manage that content over time."
Great set of resources all things graphics.
"Graphic Design undertakes the task of translating messages intended for specific audiences through visual communication. Such communication uses various outlets including typography, visual arts, page layout, and Web displays to effectively represent the message of a company, product, or brand. (...) Consider the following resources as you make your way in graphic design. Whether you are a student or teacher, just starting out in your career or simply looking for new information in this exciting field, these articles and resources will assist as you climb the ladder to success."
Where did I read that definition of Design before?
"Jay zeroes in on the design process at companies that do design well. The companies come in different shapes and sizes. The point is that design is something at which any company can succeed. Jay will talk about how companies that embrace the idea that design is about creating a great experience are the ones that will flourish in the 21st Century."
(Jay Greene ~ HIVE 2011)
Allways good to be remembered where we're coming from.
"Information design principles should not be rewritten by relative newcomers who show no awareness or appreciation of the field's long history."
Another way of phrasing dark patterns would be e-Commerce Magic.
"We might not like to admit it but deception is deeply entwined with life on this planet. Insects evolved to use it, animals employ it in their behavior, and of course, we humans use it to manipulate, control, and profit from each other. With this in mind, it's no surprise that deception appears in various guises in user interfaces on the web today. What is surprising, though, is that up until recently it was something web designers never talked about. There was no terminology, no design patterns, and no real recognition of it as a phenomenon at all. If it wasn't a taboo it certainly felt like one."
The problem with most UX projects is that there are clients involved, not customers.
"The relationship between client and designer does not always work out as smoothly as we would wish, despite the best efforts of all concerned. In this column, I'll take a look at some of the questions that can arise on a project team - and how they should and should not be answered. I hope these raise a smile - and possibly help you tackle the next awkward client conversation you encounter."
Convincing is as hard as persuasion.
"In your work as a UX professional, do you ever find that you need to convince people that the team should follow a user-centered design process? Do you need to convince stakeholders they should do user research? Do you try to get user experience thinking inserted earlier in the project lifecycle? Perhaps you need to sell yourself or your company? I certainly do. In fact, I find that there are many of these persuasive moments in the practice of user experience design. To be successful as a UX professional, you need to know how to be persuasive."