Designing with a system in mind is just an important hygiene factor.
"Planes, buildings, automobiles, software. On the surface, one of these things is not like the other. But at a recent talk at the Warm Gun conference in San Francisco, our UX Developer Federico Holgado connected the systems of manufacturing and app development. The rapid iterations and MVPs inherent to software already exist in the assembly of products much bigger and more complex. What Federico points out is that a ship, a building, and a car are merely collections of components. Components are manageable and flexible. So long as the components join together seamlessly in the end, modularizing the pieces translates to flexibility, speed, and paradoxically both independence and collaboration."
DT is a mindset, not a silver bullet.
"Design thinking is a slightly murky concept that means different things to different people. At heart, though, it is about fusing the creative and open-ended with the analytical and operational, combining very different ways of thinking and acting. This is, of course, easier in theory than in practice. How do you get children's book authors and chemical engineers to click into something greater than the sum of the parts -- rather than devolve into warring camps? Here are some of the lessons I've learned along the way as CEO and rules we all try to adhere to at Lippincott."
Many products and services suffer also from UX deficits.
"UX debt is the quality gap between the experience your digital product delivers now and the improved experience it could offer given the necessary time and resources. Put another way, UX debt measures the number and magnitude of potential product enhancements that would improve the user experience."
Challenges for UX managers and their teams are mounting.
"When UX'ers talk, they tend to talk about process, but the ability to deliver an innovative user experience starts before kickoff and lasts after the launch. Repeatable success in UX depends on the right culture. This is particularly important in enterprise scale organizations, with long-lasting relationships."
Online typography, typefaces and fonts get mature, finally.
"With the chaos of different screen sizes and a new generation of web browsers, the design paradigms of layout and typography have shifted away from static layouts and system fonts to dynamic layouts and custom web fonts. But screens have not just changed in size but also in pixel density. In other words: maybe we do not just need responsive layouts, we might also need responsive typefaces."
xChannel, one of the many challenges for experience design teams.
"A seamless user experience, regardless of channel or device, is one of the 4 requirements for a usable cross-channel experience. Companies and organizations that allow users to switch channels while completing tasks have a competitive advantage."
Love the suggestion that designers should wear suites in order to make a dent in the business world.
"Ask a designer what their toughest challenge is and many will say its being asked by clients to justify a business case, or return on financial investment in design, before anything has been designed."
There is no field that's stable. High levels of dynamics require repositioning and reframing all the time.
"Designing service experiences is a multidisciplinary affair. You need people with business management, psychology, and social sciences experience alongside designers and developers of all flavors. A key skill that trained designers bring is the ability to make ideas tangible in some form, through diagrams, sketches, and prototypes. That takes the business idea out of the spreadsheet, which is a poor vehicle for understanding human experiences, and turns it into something that people can look at and interact with. Then they can make informed decisions about the concepts."
Multiscreen experience design coming up, including for our large home screen.
"Television is evolving. For those aspiring cord-cutters, its transformation may seem too slow, but the change is continuous and continually accelerating. As we approach the design of TV's future, we remember its past and ask, What's worth saving?"
Every current field has its longtime history. You should only look for connections, inspiration and influences.
"Around the time when Austrian sociologist, philosopher, and curator Otto Neurath was building his ISOTYPE visual language, which laid the foundation for pictogram-based infographics, another infographic pioneer was doing something even more ambitious: The German polymath Fritz Kahn - amateur astronomer, medical scientist by training, gynecologist by early occupation, artist by inclination, writer, educator and humanist by calling - was developing innovative visual metaphors for understanding science and the human body, seeking to strip scientific ideas of their alienating complexity and engage a popular audience with those essential tenets of how life works."
Cards, tags and organizing, the Google way.
"The idea is that each card is a single atomic contextual piece of information; essentially, a suggestion, a prompt, a call to action."
(Graham Hunter a.k.a. @MarketerGraham)
The intersection of user experience, customer experience and corporate strategy: The holy grail for 21st century business?
In the end, it all depends on the execution. Like always.
"UX and CX advocates and practitioners would do well to have a few beers together and explore how they can work to the common purpose of increasing customer uptake, loyalty, and advocacy across the entire ecosystem of their business' interaction with their target market. And, senior executives need to lead that collaboration, if not mandate it. Their competitive position in the marketplace and future profitability may be at stake."
(Chris Allen ~ HFI Connect)
The customer is not who you think it is, shareholder, stakeholder or stockholder.
"(...) there was an unspoken goal to bring design thinking, gamestorming and traditional UX practices into the executive suite. We wanted to see how it would fare and how the team would react. It was our hope that this would give UX an even stronger foothold at the executive level then it enjoys today. Given the feedback received, the team enjoyed the exercise and saw value in it. Whether we'll get invited back will be answered in time."
Contextualized version of the UCD process: Health.
"(...) there is much to be learned from typical patients as well, and observational research might be particularly favored in such cases. Unfortunately, whether you are talking about ePatients or most patients, patients continue to be the most underutilized resource in the badly needed redesign of healthcare and the patient experience."
Computers start to evoke all kinds of human reactions, including civil ones.
"The concept of a person is arguably the most important interface ever developed. (...) As software becomes increasingly complex and entangled in our lives, we begin to treat it more and more like an interaction partner. Losing patience with software is a common sentiment, but we also feel comfort, gratitude, or suspicion. Clifford Nass and Byron Reeves studied some of these tendencies formally, in the lab, where they took classic social psychology experiments but replaced one of the interactants with a computer. What they found is that humans exhibit a range of social emotions and attitudes toward computers, including cooperation and even politeness. It seems that we're wired to treat computers as people."
It's not anecdotal anymore. Content has been low on homepages.
"Websites spend too little homepage screen space on content of interest to users and fail to utilize modern monitor sizes. And? It's worse now than it was 12 years ago."
The enterprise context always adds complexity to the matter.
"Content strategy, its processes and tactics, are for many employees a new way of doing things. With so many content stakeholders and creators within a company, it can be incredibly difficult to not only get buy-in for strategic enterprise content approaches, but also on-going adoption."
Dynamic DTDT at the edges of our field.
"Our intention is to help business and design collaborate more intelligently. Unlocking the power of design allows a business to anticipate, plan for, and deliver experiences that are more likely to engage a customer in value-based relationships - ones that can be differentiated in ways that are both meaningful and measurable."
Like enterprise software applications, SERPs are the pages UX forgot.
"An effective site search tool is hugely important tool for ecommerce as it's a common way for shoppers to navigate sites and find products. In fact up to 30% of visitors will use the site search tool and these tend to be highly motivated shoppers who know exactly what they're looking for. The speed in which results are returned is very important, but there are also many other factors that influence the overall user experience and could be the difference between making a sale or losing a potential customer."
Not only sites, but all information products and services.
"Psychology provides a framework for understanding how your users think. This post explains how to use that knowledge to improve your websites."
Extending the reach of personas to scenarios.
"User stories are one of the most popular alternatives to traditional user requirement specifications. But despite their promising name, user stories are not about - and don't necessarily help - users at all. In most cases, user stories are written about roles that users adopt and take no account of the needs and behaviors of real users. Were that not indictment enough, user stories suffer from demonstrable flaws in structure and are often written by the wrong people at the wrong time. Here, I examine the background of user stories in their current form, highlight their failings, and propose a more appropriate alternative for the development of interactive systems: persona stories."
The economic transaction of design is not its core.
"(...) we'll expand on our approach to mapping business value to User Experience and explain how we have put it to use. Our goal in sharing this information is to be as transparent as possible about our process and our intentions, so the greater UX community can pursue an important conversation that we've been eager to have. What is that conversation going to be about? It is a dialogue that centers around selling User Experience - which goes far beyond user-interface design - to all of our organizations. This is a dialogue in which we, as an industry, need to engage. Hopefully, hearing our story will inspire you to share your own story."
Just a matter of browse versus search.
"Information can be organized in either flat or deep hierarchies; both have their advantages and pitfalls."
Charlatans, bozos and nitwits are everywhere, UX included.
"The most amazing thing, to me, is when people try to pretend that they have expertise when they actually know very little. This is an epidemic in UX. And like any good vaccine, I have to infect you with a small dose so you can kill it in real life. So here's my guide to how it's done."
The end of a long-lasting law. New law will be based upon another perspective of technology: paralellism.
"Technology cycles have been on a tear for decades, with each chip iteration bringing more capabilities at lower prices. But less can be more in tech products-and design is the way to balance that factor."
xChannel design needs systematic and analytic thinking integrated with a right brain approach.
"This article is a primer for people that want to gain an overview of cross-channel design. It will also address its impact on the ways we need to think and act in this new era where the digital-physical relationship is becoming increasingly blurred."
(Simon Norris ~ Nomensa)
It's going the route of artificial intelligence. From hype to back-end implementation where nobody sees it.
"The focus on the semantic web was fun, but ultimately missed the big picture, which is people care not about knowledge graphs but about the people and current events happening in their social graphs."
(Dominiek ter Heide ~ GigaOm) ~ courtesy of mikeatherton
It's like the information architect persona project.
"The employment outlook for IA is healthy overall. Knowing this is encouraging - so now what? To help craft your personal career storyline, join this web conference to engage in some creative, divergent thinking about what's possible. This presentation reviews the employment and career landscape for IA."
I couldn't agree more with the urge to extend our scope and need for foundational theories.
"Can a craft-like profession of information architecture that lacks internal theory keep up with the growing complexities of ubiquitous ecosystems that comprise both digital and physical objects? I don't think so. To position the practice of information architecture for future success, we must not wait for the future to arrive, but try to anticipate it - and, in some cases, even help to create it. To offer theories of information architecture that transcend Web sites, applications, and screens, we need to pursue original theories of information architecture that address Web sites, applications, and screens, period. If we fail to do this, Toon and the rest of the IA community will have to be satisfied with stolen insights from other fields."
Confusion is the result of constant change for professionals as well.
"Companies with disdain for their customers provide bad service and poor user experiences. If an organization is just starting to think about customer experience, it's a sign they have also just started thinking about any kind of experience design - customer or user experience. You might be able to help them, but you'll be launching a culture-change initiative as much as a product-design initiative. Be prepared. Culture change is hard stuff."