"HyperCard's problem was that Apple never quite figured out what the software was for."
And boy, what a symphonies did it bring us.
"In the mind of today's technological entrepreneur, the ideal user (and employee) is semi-skilled - or unskilled entirely. The ideal user interface for such a person never rewards learning or experience when doing so would come at the cost of immediate accessibility to the neophyte. This design philosophy is a mistake - a catastrophic, civilization-level mistake. There is a place in the world for the violin as well as the kazoo. Modern computer engineering is kazoo-only, and keyboards are only the most banal example of this fact. Far more serious - though less obvious - problems of this kind tie our hands and wastefully burn our 'brain cycles'. Professional equipment, whose mastery requires dedication and mental flexibility, may not be appropriate for casual users. But surely it is appropriate - in fact, necessary - for professionals? Just why is this idea confined to crackpots shouting in the wilderness? I hope to learn a definitive answer to this conundrum some day."
Just looking for my stereoscopic goggles.
"Content strategists have been leading the charge on how to deliver a consistent message across channels. The advent of smaller, cheaper technology is making it possible for every surface to be a new channel. Sensors such as the Microsoft Kinect depth-sensing camera are removing the need for complex input devices or even touchscreens. The more that physical environments gain digital and interactive dimensions, the more important it is to provide clear, focused storytelling that has been considered carefully. The strategies that have become codified over time for the web and are helping us with the transition to the mobile web also provide us with a powerful framework to design great experiences in physical environments."
(Scott Smith ~ Boxes and Arrows)
Next up, design models for content experiences.
"Information architecture relates to science as its models draw on insights and theories of cognition. And its models relate to art as they aim to create a meaningful experience. Both aspects are important. Only if IA models manage to blend science and art can they touch the head and the heart."
A kind of method acting.
"We spoke with Adam StJohn Lawrence, who describes himself as a a customer experience and service design consultant, a professional comedian and an actor. Together with service innovator Markus Hormess working under the name of Work•Play•Experience, they use unique theatrical tools to help companies turn good services into memorable service experiences."
That's easy, just six hundred words.
"My master's thesis, is an insightful look at content strategy effectiveness, including web writing, aesthetics, information architecture, social media, information design, and usability. The research focus was on college and university websites, but much of the information is applicable to nearly any industry."
Complexity increases when objects and their relations are added all the time and at multiple levels of abstraction.
"The story of usability is a perverse journey from simplicity to complexity. That's right, from simplicity to complexity - not the other way around. (...) Usability is a messy, ill-defined, and downright confusing concept."
Interesting European initiative.
"Back in 2008 we started working with some projects involving interaction design for large networks of connected products and services. Not Internet of Things-ish stuff, but in that direction. The challenge was to come up with a graphical user interface which was both scalable and very easy to understand. Or that was what we thought the challenge was to begin with."
Going back to The Document as the base concept.
"It's never been a better time to be a writer. Anybody can publish their thoughts. Anybody can write a book and publish it on demand. Authors can reach out to readers, and enriching, fulfilling conversations can blossom around the connections we develop out of the things we make."
Rule: verify the facts from three independent sources.
"People turn more often to digital content but don't necessarily trust it. Why? One reason is that people judge the credibility of content by the credibility of its source. Let's take a closer look at the role of source in perceived credibility."
Finally, somebody said it.
"I was one of about 5 technical writers among the 650 attendees, which is why I found it surprising to hear Kristina Halverson say, We can learn a lot from tech comm. Let me repeat that. We can learn a lot from tech comm."
Lights at the end of the tunnel.
"For a UX professional, one of the hardest things to measure is how much stakeholders and clients have bought into UX research. There is no clear, quantifiable answer to this question. Nevertheless, there are several signs that indicate stakeholder engagement, uptake, and buy-in. This article identifies some of these signs."
Now UX Strategy is the subject for this DTDT format.
"In the minds of many UX professionals - at the levels of both members of UX teams and UX executives - there is no such thing as UX strategy. But based on the scenarios that I've described in this column - all of which I've taken from real-life situations - the felt absence of UX strategy indicates that it urgently needs to become a reality."
Repurposing design or content has never a successful strategy.
"It's cheap but degrading to reuse content and design across diverging media forms like print vs. online or desktop vs. mobile. Superior UX requires tight platform integration."
I can think of another 25 valuable skills. It takes at least 10.000 hours of work to become a real pro.
"The background, education and skills of professionals in User Experience are diverse. Regardless of whether you're more on the research side or more on the design side of the User Experience, here are five skills that will make you more valuable and effective in your job."
Service design connects here to customer experience.
Presentation - "This presentation shines the light on what's missing in turning A customer experience vision into tangible business value. How do you use all that is good and useful from typical customer experience approaches? How do you add commercial rigour and the hard core analytics in a way that one competency doesn't dominate the other? What is the secret in bringing together the skills and perspectives that result in a great customer experience and an equally great commercial outcome?"
Scope is clear: the design of user interfaces.
"It contains a list of 20 or so design principles that I refer to all the time. This was a good way to get them down into one spot.. so I can point people there in the future."
Enhancing user involvement with digital cultural heritage: The usage of social tagging and storytelling
Dutch museums enter the universe of metadata.
"This paper focuses on the use of online social tagging and storytelling to enrich digital collections of cultural heritage. Together with several Dutch museums, we examined the question of whether and how social tagging could benefit these museums in disclosing specific digital collections. This led to the development of a social tagging tool as a means of researching behaviour when tagging cultural objects. The results show that tagging and storytelling can help museums enrich their collections and involve their audiences."
(Harry van Vliet and Erik Hekman ~ First Monday, Volume 17, Number 5)
One image, a thousand words. One word, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
"It is all too easy to create UX deliverables that are not visually pleasing. But UX expertise encompasses Web design, graphic design, and branding, so why should we be satisfied with mediocre design in our deliverables? When we present our personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables."
Conventional might be a better adjective than classical.
"(...) the practice of information architecture has confronted the need to solve the effects of information overload from its very beginning. It did not begin as a struggle for better user experiences, site planning, usability, or budgets. Information architecture arrived as a practice specifically to address the challenges that information abundance brought on within the context of the Internet. This is the seemingly narrow scope of information architecture through which the classic IA perspective survives."
In the end, high quality screens will have more social impact than faster CPU cycles, improved bandwidth or cheaper storage. Think Retina Displays and beyond.
"Reasonably big monitors have finally become the most common class of desktop computer screen, dethroning the 1024×768 resolution that was long the target for web design."
The silver bullet is not as silver as you think it is.
"Reading blogs out there, you will notice that every attempt to fix a responsive design process is still very experimental: there are as many offered ways as there are blog articles about it! Progress is being made, but nothing is really set in stone at the moment. Knowing that, the most important thing right now is to make sure you ask the right questions at the start of each project, make the right choices, and jump into experimentation yourself with a maximum amount of pragmatism. If you find a good idea to make all of these challenges smoother, please write about it and share your discoveries on the web!"
(Rudy Rigot ~ Dev.Opera) ~ courtesy of luctiemessen
Again a broken 20th century institution to refocus on experience: the PX
"In my view, UX designers can do more. Learn about the problematic healthcare cultural characteristics that dominate and that need to change. Alter how you do design research. Don't limit yourself to incremental innovation and work that is narrowly focused on UIs. Question the advisability of doing projects that, in essence, only amount to putting lipstick on the very large healthcare pig. Escape your comfort zones in order to have the kind of impact on the world that you desire."
(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @riander)
Are we all in a state of (design) confusion?
"It's a thrilling but overwhelming moment in the history of technology, and most of us are running hard just to keep up. I strongly believe this is a time to be generous... to share ideas, offer critique, and do everything we can to help one another develop the techniques and philosophies necessary to push our digital efforts forward."
(Anthony Wing Kosner ~ Forbes) courtesy of birgitgeiberger
One of my rare original blogposts.
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ "In this post, I would like to talk about what has been on my mind for the last year or two: the relationship between user experience and customer experience and how user experience designers can extend their influence in businesses."
And what happens when love goes stale?
"Service design is about creating living entities that evolve and change over time. This is fundamentally different from other forms of design, which generally aim for permanency."
The DTDT thing disguised as an opinion.
"The complex interplay between UX and content strategy allows for many different scenarios, but one thing is clear to us: Most of the time, content strategy efforts should not fall under UX. UX professionals are expert in creating intuitive, clear paths within websites for visitors to consume all your audience-targeted content. Content strategists are expert at creating content that meets audience needs."
War might not be the proper analogy.
"When companies don't care about user experience, it is clearly reflected in the products they create. Although everyone can agree that software should be intuitive, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing, many managers aren't willing to invest the time and resources it takes to build something compelling. A large part of our job as UX advocates, then, is explaining design's impact on the company as a whole. Determining which battles to win and which battles to lose - even intentionally - can help you win the UX war."