CX is getting a lot of traction due to Forrester these days. I wonder why.
"An increasing number of companies are appointing a single executive to lead customer experience efforts for a business unit or the entire company."
Mental modeling, the black swan of webdesign.
"If you don't have much of a background in philosophy, the social or psychological sciences, you may not be familiar with the concept of intersubjectivity. Most would agree that it refers to a cognitive state somewhere between subjectivity (judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts) and objectivity (judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices), which refers to a shared understanding of meaning or concept by more than one person."
Great read about the making of the iconic vision video by AAPL.
"Sparked by the introduction of Siri, as well as products such as iPad and Skype, there have been many recent posts and articles tracing the technologies back to a 1987 Apple video called Knowledge Navigator. The video simulated an intelligent personal agent, video chat, linked databases and shared simulations, a digital network of university libraries, networked collaboration, and integrated multimedia and hypertext, in most case decades before they were commercially available. Having been involved in making Knowledge Navigator with some enormously talented Apple colleagues, I thought I would correct the record once and for all about what really happened."
Systems lead to models, and modelling is what we do.
"Information architects are inveterate systems thinkers. In the Web's early days, we were the folks who focused less on pages than on the relationships between pages. Today, we continue to design organization, navigation, and search systems as integral parts of the whole. Of course, the context of our practice has shifted. Increasingly, we must design for experiences across channels. Mobile and social are just the beginning. Our future-friendly, cross-channel information architectures need to address the full spectrum of platforms, devices, and media."
(Peter Morville ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 3 Issue 2)
Great write-up of the founding mothers and fathers of our beloved field.
"Information architecture is a professional practice and field of studies focused on solving the basic problems of accessing, and using, the vast amounts of information available today. You commonly hear of information architecture in connection with the design of web sites both large and small, and when wireframes, labels, and taxonomies are discussed. As it is today, it is mainly a production activity, a craft, and it relies on an inductive process and a set, or many sets, of guidelines, best practices, and personal and professional expertise. In other words, information architecture is arguably not a science but, very much like say industrial design, an applied art."
(Andrea Resmini & Luca Rosati ~ Journal of Information Architecture Volume 3 Issue 2)
I'm wondering if traditional media also have this chrome thing.
"Chrome is the user interface overhead that surrounds user data and web page content. Although chrome obesity can eat half of the available pixels, a reasonable amount enhances usability."
And who's Darth Vader of visualization?
"If there is a Jedi Master of presenting data clearly, visually, and simply, then it is Hans. He proves time and time again, that data are not dull-and when you are trying to change the world, there is no excuse for boring presentations."
Or, how anti-patterns become dark patterns.
"Design patterns are generally considered a good thing, but do they actually help run a user experience group? As a user experience group manager and an observer (and sponsor) of design pattern exercises, I've come to have serious questions about their actual utility. It's not that design pattern libraries are bad, but that in a world of limited resources, it is it is not clear that the investment is worth it. Fortunately, there is a better approach: reaching outside the design group to solve the whole problem."
Why 5 and not 7, 9 or 3?
"User interface details matter to the overall user experience. Many users may not consciously notice these details on your site yet they do have an impact on the overall user experience. When everything feels just right the perception of your site and brand is improved. In this article, we'll look at 5 different types of UI details you should pay attention to."
Morphing UX into CX increases organizational complexity by several levels of magnitude.
"Most companies say they want to differentiate themselves based on a superior customer experience. But the reality is very few manage to provide an experience that truly differentiates a brand from competitors."
Like any other practice, through time professionals gravitate towards different epicentres of expertise.
"Interaction Design is reaching a critical point in its history. We have spent the better part of the last half century converging. We have built our entire identity by bringing in other disciplines and practices into our fold. We are often decried as 'land grabbers', but I say it is more about shoring up our knowledge base and practice so that we can be ready for the ever-increasing complexity of the tasks set before us through our acknowledged focus on human behavior as it relates broadly to the interaction of systems."
Or, on the value of working with models. Of any kind.
"An interaction model is a design model that binds an application together in a way that supports the conceptual models of its target users. It is the glue that holds an application together. It defines how all of the objects and actions that are part of an application interrelate, in ways that mirror and support real-life user interactions. It ensures that users always stay oriented and understand how to move from place to place to find information or perform tasks. It provides a common vision for an application. It enables designers, developers, and stakeholders to understand and explain how users move from objects to actions within a system. It is like a cypher or secret decoder ring: Once you understand the interaction model, once you see the pattern, everything makes sense. Defining the right interaction model is a foundational requirement for any digital system and contributes to a cohesive, overall UX architecture."
Old borders evaporate, new ones emerge.
"In our increasingly connected world of 2012, we have more ways of continually learning to better understand, communicate, live, and work with each other, both locally and globally. The old boundaries, borders, and divisions are slowly disappearing, and established systems are starting to break down, making it challenging to learn what this new world means to all of us. When it is easy to become a friend of someone who does not live in our neighborhood or even our country, our assumptions about other people start to change. Similarly, the UX research and design professions are seeing a shift that edges us beyond the boundaries within which we live and work, forcing us to look outside our window when designing and improving the products and services we work on."
Also, content strategy can learn a whole lot from the field of Techical Communication.
"In this webcast recording, Sarah O'Keefe explores how to develop a content strategy specifically for technical content. That means stepping back from the temptation to focus on tools and instead taking a hard look at what the users need and how best to deliver it."
But when does a startup become a non-startup?
"These principles describe how best startup teams have always worked. By attempting to describe Lean UX, we hope the approach can be repeated, taught, and practiced deliberately to make startup teams more successful, more quickly."
Keep, hide or move. But are you telling the same story different on the desktop, the iPad or the smartphone?
"Responsive design can have a major impact on your content. I'll tell you how it works, how it can affect your content, and why you should-and need to-care."
Less usability, more friction.
"In this article I'll be applying a similar approach to introduce Positive UX; the idea that good UX isn't simply the absence of usability issues. I intend to draw parallels between the fields of well-being and UX in order to illustrate the factors that define and foster Positive UX and the implications this may have on measuring good experience with the web."
(Rob Howells ~ Humanising Technology)
Useful reference work from 2008.
"An online publication devoted to metadata, its types and uses, and how it can improve access to digital resources."
(Edited by Murtha Baca ~ Getty Museum)
Design as seen by many non-designers as the new silver bullet. Forget it!
"It's becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that design has a massive role to play in the evolution of the web and the next generation of web products."
Hyperlinking used to be called hypertext, hypermedia or hyperspace.
"Linking is the essence of the Web. Web professionals must focus primarily on links, rather than the content or technology."
But the thoughts coming out are not always usable.
"Simple usability tests where users think out loud are cheap, robust, flexible, and easy to learn. Thinking aloud should be the first tool in your UX toolbox, even though it entails some risks and doesn't solve all problems."
Technology moving into the fibers of our emotions.
"As Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design moved from designing and evaluating work-oriented applications towards dealing with leisure-oriented applications, such as games, social computing, art, and tools for creativity, we have had to consider e.g. what constitutes an experience, how to deal with users' emotions, and understanding aesthetic practices and experiences. Here I will provide a short account of why in particular emotion became one such important strand of work in our field."
DTDT no. N.
"If design be seen as the integration of art and science, or applied arts, it can be broken into several distinct, but closely-integrated components. One of these is craft, and the tangibility of design - as a means of both exploring and communicating a concept."
Re-usable patterns, templates, components, modules, elements, and 'what-have-you' for content is the future.
"Content modules are small chunks of content that can be placed on standard web pages, typically in the right side-bar area or at the bottom of the page. Each module contains content that can be automatically (or manually) updated or changed based on certain criteria. Some types of pages, such as a home or landing pages, can be built almost entirely by using content modules as building blocks."
The Technium does its work.
"There is a technological revolution in the air, not because new principles and technologies have been discovered, but because so many past technologies have simultaneously reached a state of maturity that they can be incorporated into everyday technology. These cusps in technology produce new opportunities, but until the marketplace settles down, they also deliver considerable confusion and chaos. Each of the changes discussed here seems relatively minor and inconsequential, but taken as a whole, they pose considerable problems and potential risks which I summarize in the afterward."
(Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1er)
This is not a variant of Catholic math, Buddhist chemistry or Protestant engineering.
"Note that the arguments of this essay are specifically relevant to industrial and interaction designers. So even were one to accept that the impact of culture upon mass-produced products is minimal, other areas of design are apt to be far more sensitive to culture. Because social interaction is still the major source of cultural variation, I would expect service design to vary considerably from culture to culture. As social networks pervade the communication and internet space, they too will vary with culture. Other areas of design will have their own special sensitivities to culture."
Start somewhere, then practice 10.000 hours.
"Quite often, Web magazines, blogs, and other Web sites feature many interesting and informative articles about how to do UX design, graphic design, and Web design, but offer very little content about the fundamental steps that one must take to actually develop a career in one of these fields. So what should you do if you are just starting out as a UX designer, and what steps should you take to further your career?"
Follow the leader, follow the path.
"(...) the most interesting element in the use of a map is that it allows the anchoring of certain tasks to specific places. In other words, the map allows for a greater deal of information to be easily and unambiguously contextualized."
As far as most companies are concerned, people are completely different species before and after the transaction.
"This is a big gap where businesses choose to invest in their services. They spend a lot of money to tell you how great the service is, and then, all too often, the service doesn't live up to the hype. Brands become hypocrites thanks to their own investments."
Or in terms of scope, service design relates to customer experience; web and app design relates to user experience. And what about experience design a.k.a. cross-channel experience design?
"In reading what they write about, it is disturbing how little reference Customer Experience people make to User Experience people. I've come across several references to human factors and usability, but you'll almost never find Customer Experience and User Experience in the same book, article, or room. This worries me. It worries me because I think that actually, this is possibly one of the best, strongest alliances that could exist in companies. It worries me because so much of what CX people do is what we need done so that the experiences we're designing have a real chance of being good. And it worries be because I think we as UXers could really benefit from understanding, in greater detail, a lot of the structure and discipline and business focus that CXers bring to our combined cause."
And give me one word and I'll make a thousand prototypes. Words are just like requirements.
"Building a good set of wireframes that become a working prototype helps your web project get off to a flying start, it becomes the hub of the design and development project which everyone involved can refer back to. You need to find the right tool to build your prototype. It must be capable of demonstrating how everything will work, whilst not being a complex or fickle beast you have to battle with. Ultimately you need a tool to help shape your thoughts and create a tangible model which is robust enough to be tested with real users and take you through to the next stages of the design process."
The brightness of Design as the silver bullet is increasing.
"The purpose of this design plan is to bring the design elements of the strategy together in one place and to communicate these as widely as possible across design, industry, government and education. The Design Council's aim is to provide a useful strategic framework for organisations, institutions and individual businesses with an interest in making design-led innovation happen. Design can help organisations transform their performance, from business product innovation, to the commercialisation of science and the delivery of public services. That is why design forms an integral part of the Government's plans for innovation and growth and features strongly in our Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth."
Tagging content, references or other BLOBs systematically is not for everybody an easy task. Most are just lazy.
"Although I've explored different strategies for findability, it seems that faceted classification through the attachment of metadata (such as tags) to resources remains the most compelling strategy. It can suit a diversity of audiences, purposes, and needs."