"Information architecture is the only field I'm aware of that is concerned with the structural integrity of meaning across contexts."
With optimal design, search goes down, browse goes up.
"This crossover presents a challenge for site search: how do we meet the advanced needs of professional users without confusing members of the public who just want a simple answer? We can't rely on the page they searched from to define which type of user they are; some people expect to search only within that department, but others have landed in the wrong place and need to find the general results. One of our priorities for this project was to start making search better for advanced users, without getting in the way of less experienced users."
Every field should know its history and be proud of it.
"Content strategy is a new 'old thing', as old as publishing itself, so it's potentially a foolhardy exercise to lay down a history - although we won't let that stop us, oh no! (...) When it comes to web content in particular, whether technical content or marketing comms, content strategy has experienced exponential growth in the past decade."
Requirements are these wet pieces of bath soap you can't get a strong hold on.
"The replacement activities of creating hypotheses, conducting research, creating scenarios, and running critiques will take more time. A lot more time. How do we do that when our schedules are already full? We have to put it into context with the rest of the project. How much time will we save by getting closer to a great design faster? How much time will we get back because everyone is on the same page about why we’re doing what we’re doing? We spread these activities evenly throughout the project, instead of a small box upfront. They make practically every other box in the project chart better and faster. In a weird twist of project physics, we end up saving time by spending time. Most importantly, we end up with a design that uses real requirements to create a great experience. That's what we were brought in to do in the first place."
(Jared Spool ~ User Interface Engineering)
Minority Report in laymen's terms. HCI for academics
"We are web designers and developers. As obvious as our work is (we build interactive media applications) there's a deeper meaning to what we do. We analyze design problems and explore different concepts to solve them. This also means that we think of the communication between a device and the user. We develop that communication. We design what the user sees and does."
CX design thinking to the rescue.
"(...) services aren't made on an assembly line. They are complex and difficult to get right, because your users might interact with the service across a wide array of touchpoints. You can’t predict precisely which of them each user will need, in what order she will encounter them, and who will help her along the way. The service is experienced differently by every person, because every person is different."
When you know the context, you know the meaning.
"If you've been in the mobile field for a while, you're sick of context debates. Sure, they all start innocently, but soon enough they collapse into a sad tangle of metaphysics ("But what IS context anyway?"), lazy stereotypes, and implausible scenarios involving public transport. So let's try a fresh approach. Dictionary definitions and "it depends" generalizations are hereby banned. Let's talk details. We'll discuss whether context even matters in modern web design, ways to find out how people will use your product, design principles for different situations, and why we've been looking at the whole thing upside-down anyway."
Just follow the tips and you'll sketch the stars on the mobile heaven.
"Sketching helps you better understand the problem you are trying to solve and lets you visualize possible solutions. It is a fast and inexpensive way to brainstorm and to test out a lot of UI ideas before committing to one. Sketching speeds us the concept creation and iteration phase and makes it possible to get feedback early on, when changes are easy to make."
Business thinking going downhill; design thinking going uphill. An uphill battle that is.
"(...) several conclusions can be drawn. First of all, the typical iterative and holistic way of working of design thinking is also a viable option for generating business. Possibly many of you design thinkers will say: we knew that. Point is: our stakeholders needed to learn that! Second, we were amazed by the results of the 'business prototype'. Many new insights arose, and admittingly some of our assumptions turned out wrong. A next step will look different already. For a relatively small amount of money and resources this was learned, instead of the hard way in actual business. Third, and possibly most important: it created a platform all stakeholders could look at, reflect and decide. They could invite others, including even their friends. They could discuss with us. Suddenly it was not a 'good idea', but a viable option."
Thin versus deep reading and understanding: online versus offline.
"When web content helps users focus on sections of interest, users switch from scanning to actually reading the copy."
Great how resolution can drive design decisions.
"Proper use of color can enhance the user experience of any design as color affects humans psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. (...) Remember that user experience is overarchingly affective. Both objective and subjective evidence supports the concept that color affects humans psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. Importantly, these effects come wrapped in cultural contexts. This means that the reactions that color evokes in us can change depending on the culture or cultures in which we were raised, currently reside, or are currently acting as a user. Selecting and using color with thought, purpose, and care can enhance the user experience. We would love to hear your experiences with color use and choice in your designs. Please write your comments below. Until next time, please enjoy the experience."
Change is the only constant.
"As UX continues to broaden in scope and appeal, I'd like to look at certain aspects of current UX design practice to identify some emerging themes indicating that a fundamental shift in the UX landscape may be occurring. By considering its diversity, its varying roles, and its growing relevance, my intent is to provoke conversation and reflection on current practice and speculate on some future disciplinary goals beyond the screen. In this article, I'll put forth a few dimensions of an expanded view of UX practice that ties directly to current themes in design education and explicit shifts in industry as UX continues to gain clarity and mainstream status."
Brenda presents a holistic view of technology, humans and the planet Earth.
"I see us developing technologies and design practices that reduce cognitive distance for people who use them. I hope that we will continue to create alternatives to the trivial pursuits currently favored by the marketplace. (...) Technology is an extrusion of the human spirit."
Copernicus and his heliocentrism are getting a lot of traction these days with outside-in thinking.
"HCD has been a breakthrough for our industry - it's repositioned design as a tool to help transform product development by ensuring customer's needs are met and also by helping to uncover people's latent needs (those not surfaced by traditional focus groups for instance). We are taught to think about the world in three lenses as designers: desirability - what people want, feasibility - the capabilities of a firm, and viability - its financial health."
Edge cases are a lot of fun.
"Instead of using the default route and using bricks and mortar to solve a problem in the physical space, which is what architects are good at, this case shows that service designers offer an alternative approach. An approach that is focused on understanding the behavior of people in the space."
(Marc Fonteijn ~ 31Volts)
Librarians and their iconography. A perfect match.
"But librarians are a naturally curious and skeptical people and one round of qualitative research would not satisfy them."
Language generates structure, said RSW.
"Information architecture has been characterized as both an art and a science. Because there's more evidence of the former than the latter, the academic and research community is justified in hesitating to give the practice of information architecture more attention."
Tools that shape us, mobile us.
"There are several ways to approach the design of interactive systems and an ever larger number of specialized products to help UX professionals do their work. But I think there is a bit of a gap between some well-discussed practices that many of these new tools support and the way many UX professionals actually do their work."
Business pressure leads to CX quantification. What else can they see in CX?
"Since customer experience is so important, shouldn't we all want to know how our digital products, services, and interactions compare to those of our competitors? Are they sparkling examples of interactive delight that rival those of the CX champions or more like the punch-in-the-face customers get when they deal with health-plan providers?"
Design has still a long way to go in CX.
"Helping your customers find what they need is a primary objective for ANY customer experience. In some cases, the customers you are serving are other employees or departments within your organization."
Design trying to gain legitimacy through business thinking.
"The Design ROI project was a research project conducted between September 2011 and September 2012 with the aim of developing a model and a set of metrics for measuring the return on investments in design. The project was funded by Aalto University, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes) and fifteen member agencies of the Finnish Design Business Association (FDBA)."
Tacit knowledge on the cognitive principles of instructional design gets revitalized in my brain.
Great connection between two of my beloved disciplines and fields of practice.
"In the shorter term (say, the next two to four years), I think we'll see some pretty obvious changes that have begun in certain places but have yet to enjoy a wider adoption."
"Touch. Sweet touch. You've given me too much to feel. Sweet touch. You've almost convinced me I'm real."
"(...) getting the technology to work is hard, but the really hard part is getting the human-system interaction right, making it easy for people to use the systems. Here are the issues. Touch and sensing technology is becoming more and more popular, whether it is on mobile telephones and tablets, navigation systems, or even cooking appliances. These give great opportunities, and of course, great opportunities also pose great challenges. Some are technical, but more and more they are interaction and design challenges - how to ensure that the capabilities of the technology are well matched to the needs and capabilities of the people who use them."
Standing on the shoulders of giants gives a perfect view of the future.
"Initially I went back to 1976. That's a fairly well-known time when Wurman introduced the idea of the architecture of information at this conference that he was the chairman of in Philadelphia but then going further back from there the artifacts become increasingly more difficult to get your hands on and yet the payload for how it could influence how we do our work today gets richer and richer."
Design thinking representing the soft side? The human side.
"Businesses have always looked at ways to improve, to either save cost or improve operating performance. The drive for improvement is even greater today due to the current economic climate we find ourselves in. Traditional buzz words such as process re-engineering and process improvement are becoming part of every day language once again, as organisations try to become leaner. The challenge faced by organisations when applying these improvement techniques is that the world we find ourselves in today is very different to when these approaches were first defined. Organisations are no longer stand alone entities, most are now part of a large ecosystem with complex interdependencies, spread in some cases across the globe."
(Mike Clark ~ Bridging the Gap)
Or connecting UX with CX in a quantitative way.
"A bad experience will impact how likely users are to recommend a website or product to a friend. Fixing those bad experiences is critical to increasing positive word of mouth. Unfortunately, there are usually too many things to fix and just as many opinions on what should be fixed. Development teams need to prioritize."
Facts, not 'factoids'. Find 'Facts', replace 'Content'.
"Users hunt for facts online, so factually rich content will attract readers and keep their attention."
Government, the service provider avant-la-lettre. Now it's time for transformational CXs.
"Many agree that a combination of factors – a demand for better user experience, the rise of ubiquitous technologies and more readily accessible datasets – present the conditions necessary for a more enjoyable life as a citizen of our country. But necessity is just the mother of invention; it takes hard work to get there. To narrow the gap between today's promises and tomorrow's opportunities, designers are increasingly intent on improving what's known as the citizen experience."
Sense making of big data a.k.a. design for understanding.
"Wurman is among a relatively small group of sensemaking oriented thinkers who figured out, early on that what is important is not the data but rather the understanding, the making sense of it. If you look at the present, relatively early cycle of the Big Data wave this realization regarding the importance of sensemaking is only just starting to emerge. At the moment in the Big Data phenomenon cycle tons of beauty-oriented graphics are being thrown up on the web everyday, a small fraction of which have anything to do with helping others reach understanding."
Hype, silver bullet or market opportunity, CX is a serious, complex, and holistic business.
"Without commitment, promising a focus on the customer widens the gap between expectations and delivery. This leads to disappointment for shareholders, who will not see the long-term financial returns expected, and for customers whose experience below expectations will be perceived as worse than if no promise was made in the first place. This may explain why some of the most successful, and most loved companies do not try to differentiate themselves with a promise of better customer experience. In fact they rarely even use the word. Instead, they focus on the actual delivery of it."
Getting lured by the latest gadgets is indeed not the way to go.
"When trying to start a business, you are probably going to focus on what your possible target market is first. You will then start to look at gaps in that market and what the various opportunities and outcomes are, which can be achieved based on this research."
(Michael Clark ~ Bridging the gap)
Getting lured by the latest gadgets is indeed not the way to go.
"Future civilizations will know we were crazy when they see clips of us talking into our screens."
Design not only an agent of change, but design itself is changing all the time.
"Smart companies no longer just 'sell product' - they build ecosystems of genuine value, comprised of dynamic, interconnected touch points that stoke customer interests and support their needs. Customer experience becomes an essential business strategy. In the midst of this shift, where lagging businesses struggle to follow suit, our role as UX professionals is evolving and forcing us to work differently."
Is 'mobile' losing its meaning?
"In large technologically-driven organizations with a broad and complex product range, establishing a user-centric approach to product design can be very challenging. The shift towards designing products and services for compelling experiences for users requires (among other things) changes in planning, resources and processes."
Is 'mobile' losing its meaning?
"It seems like it's taken forever, but everyone is finally taking designing experiences for smaller screens seriously - whether they're doing responsive design or designing stand-alone mobile Web sites."