Simple yes, but for whom? The novice, the expert or for both?
"If a designer or product owner wants their service to be beautifully simple, they must defend that principle through each stage of the design process, and beyond."
Embedding in the existing organization. A big challenge for UX and CX management and staff.
"It's time to leave the web sandbox and lead the organization into a deeper understanding of the power and use of digital channels. It's time to inform and engage executives so that organizational expectations are reasonable and that they're supported culturally and fiscally. So maybe you can clean up the mess in six months - but it's going to take a lot of resources and a cultural shift that can probably only be directed from an executive level. Most likely though, tough 'redesigns' are going to be ongoing evolutions."
Always loves categorizations of our history. Surfing the waves of Information Design.
"As practitioners, we must broaden our understanding of innovation from both business and user-experience perspectives. From a business perspective, we need to empathize with the impluse to reject the investment of resources innovation requires. Innovation is embraced only when the value gained is substantially greater than the investment costs: a marginal gain is rarely adequate. Our past practices have been confined almost exclusively to our existing, primary user market. It's time to direct some of our attention to the fringe markets where disruptive technologies take hold."
We tend to forget how important the content infrastructure and technology is.
"They create a language to express publishing, content management, or reuse concerns, and then expect writers to write directly into what is really an internal content management format. Putting a graphical face over the markup does nothing to change this. The graphical interface only hides the syntax of the XML. It does nothing to change the fact that authors are being asked to create what should be the internal semantics of the publishing system — semantics they generally neither care about nor understand."
(Mark Baker ~ EveryPageIsOne)
Mobile not only disruptive for industries, but also for established design practices like UI design.
"Designers and UX professionals use design techniques like sketches, wireframes and mockups to visualise a website during the design process. Can these web design techniques also be used for mobile app design - or is it time for change?"
They should invest in design in general.
"Service is even more important than the product, because it is the experiences that are often remembered. Even more important than the customer experience is the value of the conceptual journey between brands and people, and service design is about creating delightful customer experiences, which in turn benefit businesses by enhancing brand loyalty and reducing the costs to serve."
Project manager versus project leader: It is about leadership, not bean counting.
"Planning user experience projects is a balancing act of getting the right amount of user input within the constraints of your project. The trick is to work out the best use of your time. How can you get the most UX goodness for your client's budget? This article explains how to choose the right mix of tools for the task at hand."
Identify similarities and differences, the way to a better DTDT.
"Recent questions about the difference between Snook’s service design approach and the LEAN approach have inspired me to put my thoughts around this into writing. As advocates of the benefits of design thinking, methods and tools we believe that these bring an additional creative dimension to organisations seeking to innovate and co-design new services that are user-centred and user-friendly. I have put together a table outlining some of the differences I see in LEAN and Service Design Approaches below. Although the different aspects are presented in binary form, we recognize that each item is on a spectrum from the analytic and scientific to the intuitive and creative."
I'm afraid spirituality now also enters UX design. Help!
"To help reframe things, I'd like to propose a new way of modelling our design space: one that reflects both the core components of any good design effort and their overall alignment on an ongoing basis. The goal of the model is to improve learning and understanding throughout the journey. It's not necessarily a replacement for contemporary methods, but simply a different way of looking at things."
Missing the design part, because it all seems strategy.
"So how do you turn your product-based company into one that provides services? Here are three simple principles you can use to escape the commodity market and turn anything you do into a valuable service."
Conceptual model, the mental model of user and engineer. Old school HCI topic.
"This article explains what conceptual models are and describes the value of developing a conceptual model of a software application before designing its user interface."
(Jeff Johnson ~ Boxes and Arrows)
Pigs and lipsticks. Never thought pink was nice on an animal, except flamingos.
"Beauty is one of the oldest and most powerful concepts in human history—inspiring artists and lighting up cultural movements, philosophical debates, and, in modern times, curious scientific interest. Beauty is a desirable feature of the products we buy, with the power to shape consumer choices and preferences."
They will always be a great starting point for the unknowns of empathy and UCD.
"There have been some who have proclaimed the impending demise of personas as a UX design approach since shortly after their introduction. While the optimal approach to creating and employing personas is still evolving—thanks to more useful data becoming available to design teams and new project-management methods—their usefulness has not yet diminished. If anything, personas have become even more useful because they put a human face on aggregated data and foster a user-centered design approach even within the context of efficiency-driven development processes."
Another DTDT on IA for the web shows it's still a vibrant practice.
"Many practitioners of information architecture have come to understand the fundamentals of creating an information architecture through direct training, text books about practical methods, or real-world experience. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find documentation on the formal theory of information architecture."
Carousels and accordions are for fairs, children parties and other festivities, not for web design.
"The user's target was at the top of the page in 98-point font. But she failed to find it because the panel auto-forwarded instead of staying still."
Being recognized, valued and appreciated by business is important in a society in which everything is seen as a market and a transaction.
"I think user experience will continue to become more strategically important instead of just service-oriented. What I'm seeing right now is user experience company-wide goals and metrics that are driven by the highest management level. This is starting to happen more in the technology world, but might spread to other types of products. UX roles might become a lot more specialized; however, what companies will look for is people that have cross-functional skills and can work in a variety of settings. You will start seeing compartments in the field as companies try to find out the best user experience strategy. You will also see the new grads with lots of different skills in their education and a background in design combined with other types of fields that previously might not be associated."
Always pleasantly surprised when digital connects previously disparate disciplines and practices. Now, it's television et al. and the search, find, and use trinity.
"As a digital analyst, it's my job to study how technology disrupts business markets and models. As an aspiring social scientist, I also study technology's impact on culture and behavior. These two worlds are colliding with increasing velocity as each day passes. One of the trends I've been following over the last several years is the relationship between TV, smartphones, tablets and PCs."
Gastronomy as a metaphor for UX is (still) my thing.
"A good kitchen-content strategy can turn your kitchen into a place that other people can use, too. This means you have to organize your kitchen in such a way that people can just walk in and find exactly the spoon or other object they need, quickly and without asking. Your personal guidance should become unnecessary, because the kitchen would be intuitively and universally organized. No one will ever open the wrong drawer or door or canister again. Everyone's unique kitchen style will now make perfect and immediate sense to everyone."
A provocative idea, but on the mark.
"Most products support activities underpinned by collaboration and sharing. Designing for individuals may actually be harmful because these activities reflect ongoing transformations of artifacts, individuals, and social interactions. Focusing on individuals might improve things for one person at the cost of others."
A diagram showing how customers mentally travel now. But what about the future territories.
"One of the biggest challenges facing companies when they want to become customer focused is that their own organisation is based around functional silos. This is not only noticeable to customers as they are passed from function to function looking for service, but also to companies themselves either when they look to start a customer improvement initiative, or look to implement change based around customer feedback. With organisational hierarchy based around functions the ability to make effective decisions and push through change is fundamentally opposite to how a customer wants to experience dealing with them. A customer wants to experience an organisation that provides a single seamless journey across all touchpoints from initial enquiry right through to any required post sales support. An approach to overcome these barriers is to consider the total customer journey."
Content models, schemas and DTDs. Good old skool abstracting stuff. But... what's a page anyway?
"Recently, we discovered the page description diagram, a method for documenting components without specifying layout. At first, it seemed limited, even simplistic, relative to our needs. But with some consideration, we began to understand the value. We started looking at whether or not PDDs could help us improve our process."
One of the giants on whose shoulders we (HCI) stand.
"Man-computer symbiosis is an expected development in cooperative interaction between men and electronic computers. It will involve very close coupling between the human and the electronic members of the partnership. The main aims are (1) to let computers facilitate formulative thinking as they now facilitate the solution of formulated problems, and (2) to enable men and computers to cooperate in making decisions and controlling complex situations without inflexible dependence on predetermined programs. In the anticipated symbiotic partnership, men will set the goals, formulate the hypotheses, determine the criteria, and perform the evaluations. Computing machines will do the routinizable work that must be done to prepare the way for insights and decisions in technical and scientific thinking. Preliminary analyses indicate that the symbiotic partnership will perform intellectual operations much more effectively than man alone can perform them. Prerequisites for the achievement of the effective, cooperative association include developments in computer time sharing, in memory components, in memory organization, in programming languages, and in input and output equipment."
(J.C.R. Licklider a.k.a. Lick, 1960)
Information management and technical communication appear to be the parents of content strategy.
"Over the years technical communication has transitioned from a conventional author-reader engagement to a realm of social collaboration. Let's take a look at how technical communication has progressed over time and the significant milestones along the way."
(Monalisa Sen and Debarshi Gupta Biswas ~ tcworld)
What you also can do with Big Data and Feeds. Creating meaning out of information.
"So, a big but sincere request to everybody who's making analytics or stats apps, either standalone or as part of a larger app: Please throw away the dashboard. I know they demo well and look great in investor pitch decks or screencast videos. But they don't actually help me make decisions, or get better at what I'm doing. And that's the only reason I'm measuring something in the first place."
With this book, Milan Guenther achieved a comprehensive reframing of the Enterprise concept for the 21st century with Design as its primary driver. Intersection will become a beacon for many in the design, business and technology communities.
"Many organizations struggle with the dynamics and the complexity of today’s social ecosystems connecting everyone and everything, everywhere and all the time. Facing challenges at the intersection of business models, technical developments and human needs, enterprises must overcome the siloed thinking and isolated efforts of the past, and instead address relationships to people holistically. In Intersection, Milan Guenther introduces a Strategic Design approach that aligns the overarching efforts of Branding, Enterprise Architecture and Experience Design on common course to shape tomorrow's enterprises. This book gives designers, entrepreneurs, innovators and leaders a holistic model and a comprehensive vocabulary to tackle such challenges."
Knowledge sits in the relations, not in the nodes.
"Now we have a new medium and this medium is capacious beyond belief, and is linked. So what we're seeing within this capacious medium is knowledge living at the level of the network, not in the individual nodes, not in the books, not in the minds of the individual experts, but knowledge now consists, in my view, of knowledge networks."
The delicate position of UX between all the powers that be in business.
"It is easy to see that there are a few common ingredients across these different strategies, such as executive commitment, access to customers, new technical prototyping skills, and small, interdisciplinary teams. All of these ingredients are critical not only to UX, but also to developing the sort of bottom-up, risk-taking culture that is central to succeeding in the 21st century market. These skills are standard in the startup market where UX is increasingly appreciated as a key to success and value creation. The startup market is creating a new breed of business executives, like Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, who are impatient with requirements-driven waterfall product development processes. They think 'UX-first'. The big challenge now is to drive these same skills into the more traditional, top-down management culture at big companies. The companies that get it right will be either be at the forefront of disrupting business or much more likely to thrive in the era of disruption."
Integrating, relating, and syncing multiple important fields of practice and disciples always results into something interesting.
"McLuhan's idea is compelling, but media aesthetics is not as simple and singular as McLuhan suggests. It is not simply that technology changes and extends our perceptual systems, because we are not passive in this process. As individuals and as a whole culture, we create new technological forms and designs that define new relationships between us and our environment. There is a feedback loop in which our view of the world changes our designs, and our use of new artifacts and designs changes how we perceive the world. If we take a historical view, we can see these feedback processes at work. Media studies can then contribute to aesthetic design, which we can define as the practice of reconfiguring the way the user perceives her environment through technology."
(Jay Bolter, Maria Engberg, and Blair MacIntyre ~ ACM Interactions Jan/Feb 2013)
More DTDT necessary for Service Design?
"In this column, I'd like to briefly recap some highlights of the conference as a foundation for sharing the service design community’s upcoming task of redefining service design."
The end of DTDT seems near.
"The external validation model ensures that we're always arguing from a position of weakness—begging for resources before our managers or clients have seen what they're buying. We need to have the conversation about value after we’ve proven that the UX process works, not before. (...) Actions are stronger than words. We have the power to break the cycle of learned helplessness and earn the respect we crave—if we stop explaining UX and start doing UX."
Channel, device or touch point. Typical inside-out thinking.
"Channels are completely fluid to the context of our needs. We can define them broadly: digital channel versus phone channel. Or we can zoom in and define them more narrowly: mobile channel versus desktop web channel. Or more narrowly still: native app versus mobile web. The purpose of defining channels largely depends on the context in which they are being discussed - at what detail do you need to define a particular channel to support the experience? You'll typically define them more broadly at the organizational level, and then more narrowly as you move down to the strategic and then tactical level."
Service design forces user experience design to sync with the new normal.
"If there is one thing that has held the test of time, it's that history is bound to repeat itself. What was once old will most certainly become new again in the cycle of time because good ideas never go out of style. Service design is a shining example of this fact. In spite of the fact that the conception of service design is nearly 30 years old, it is an idea that is more relevant than ever today."
(Mark Eberman ~ Digital Compass)
More UX galore for the near future. Now we have to deliver the real goods.
"For years, UX professionals have vigorously lobbied for a "seat at the table" when it comes to formative decisions about products and product development. Looking back at 2012, trends indicate that this wish is becoming reality. Many leading UX consultants reported that their clients are more open to research and design methods with a UX focus than they have been in the past. This elevated focus on UX ideas and concepts will require informed engagement with several high-level topics that emerged in 2012. This article discusses five of the themes that we expect will have relevance into 2013."