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."
Like opinions, lots of ideas floating around.
"This article lays out the principles and foundations in order to share them with other problem solving practitioners. We also add practical hints for how to conduct such sessions successfully."
(Michael Ohler ~ Innovation Excellence)
Brian has always been a great myth buster.
"While the concept of user experience and the term UX have become seemingly ubiquitous in the workplace, most non-UX people still have the wrong idea about what it is. Here are four common UX myths and how we can bust them."
It must be the pressure from the IT department that everybody in UX now wants Agile and Scrum.
"This post illustrates how my UX role fits within the Agile methodology at ADstruc. This process won't necessarily work for every organization or product, but I hope it will provide some guidance for marrying product with design decisions and using your UX deliverables as ways to feed the Agile machine."
Feedback and critique for design professionals.
"Design critiques - when a team gets together and reviews a design or a product prototype - can be painful. When people aren't on the same page about goals and context, critiques can take a long time, they can lead to inefficient or unclear outcomes, and, let's be honest, they can hurt feelings. But they don't have to be that way. Here are my favorite rules to make them efficient, focused, and worthwhile."
These stories will go further than agile, scrum or service design.
"I've written about the problem with user stories before. At the time, I found it better to just have the team talk over proposed changes to the product. This worked great when the team had gelled and the product is very mature; however, now I'm working with a new team and building a product from scratch. In this case, because our canvas is blank, we are having trouble getting on the same page when it comes to customer motivations, events and expectations. But today, things have turned around. I've come across a great way to use the jobs to be done philosophy to help define features. I call them 'Job Stories'."
i18n for UX design.
"It is helpful to consider the principles of user-centred design when building any website, but it is of particular importance when creating a site that is intended to appeal to a global audience. At a high level the process is simple: understand your users' needs, try to build those requirements into your digital solution, the test your design throughout to validate your assumptions or revise accordingly, and only release the product when you are certain you have met as many of these as possible. This should ensure that most potential usability issues have been removed, and that the user has a memorable, persuasive, and compelling experience of the brand and the useful services it offers."
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."
Although I like the label 'prototypathon', I still wonder why you should have them.
"In our work with design teams, we see a lot of teams using prototypes today. We're also seeing many of those same teams fall into traps that reduce the effectiveness of their prototyping efforts. Here's five of the most common ones we see."
A great initiative. Now, keep it up-and-running. And fresh!
"We believe that creating objects that people love requires the right tools and methods. In fact, using the wrong method can lead to bad design decisions. But with over 200 methods and tools available, which ones could you use in your situation? That's why we give you access to a large chunk of the worlds' created methods, tools, techniques and resources for User Centered Design. We are making all of them searchable and executable. You can even publish your own method."
Reading the high-level phases, thought it was rather circular, iterative and incremental than linear."
"What really differentiates user-centered design from a more traditional waterfall model of software design is the user feedback loop, which informs each phase of the project. This feedback loop is established through the use of a range of techniques that have become the staple for UX Designers. There are a ton of them, and knowing when to use which techniques during which phase of a project comes with experience. Personally, I find experimenting with new techniques and tweaking old favorites is part of the fun of being a UX Designer."
Great proof that software design is the cinematography of the 21st century
"Using storyboards in software design can be difficult because of some common challenges and drawbacks to the tools we have. The good news is that there's a new, free tool that tries to address many of these issues. But before I get into that, let's revisit the value of using storyboards (and stories in general) in software design."
OK, time to move on.
"User-centered design has served the digital community well. So well, in fact, that I'm worried its dominance may actually be limiting our field."
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."
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."
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."
Multi-disciplinary teams rulez.
"Products are developed by large multi-disciplinary teams. The teams deal with many topics requiring the expertise of several specialists simultaneously. They have to decide together if something is a problem; propose multi-disciplinary solutions; and align their activities into a seamless whole. Stated differently: team members have to think collectively, which is named team cognition. In September 2012, Guido Stompff received his PhD at Technical University of Delft, faculty of Industrial Design Engineering. The topic was team cognition in high tech development teams, and how designers contribute to it. This website are bits and pieces of his observations and findings, combined with reflections on trending topics."
Is there any other design approach than UCD?
"Who benefits from user-centered design according to standard wisdom? Designers and their employers benefit, because they end up with better products. End users (that amorphous generalised group) benefit, because their software-using lives are more satisfactory. Researchers benefit, because they get papers published about their thoughtful and inclusive design methodologies. What I want to know is whether particular users who contribute to the design process actually get anything out of it? And do they stand to lose anything?"
(Judy Robertson ~ Communication of the ACM)
Not enough maybe, but still a lot better than profit-centered design.
"Many designers will, no doubt, object to this analysis. They will point out that UCD simply acknowledges the unique physical capabilities and needs of individual users, or types of user."
(John Wood ~ Core77)
The leaner, the meaner.
"Many organizations are moving from waterfall to agile software development methods. They often combine this shift with a move to user-centered design (UCD). This makes sense because, in addition to bringing great intrinsic benefits, UCD has a lot in common with agile. Both encourage a multidisciplinary approach, are iterative, encourage feedback, discourage bloated and overly rigid documentation, and value people over processes. However, the combination of agile and UCD all too often leads to UX design becoming the main blocker in the development process. Why is this?"
Follow the Money, but money isn't following the Experience.
"An overriding theme mentioned by many concerned the lack of understanding regarding the need for, execution of, and requisite resources required for User Experience Design. This resulted in insufficient importance given to design and inadequate resources being applied to it."
Nothing is perfect.
"Although achieving Agile UX was a gradual process, we eventually made the shift. In this article, we'll share some insights we gained and barriers we had to overcome to develop successful approach to UX agility."
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).
Industrialize Processes In Support Of A Digital Customer Experience Strategy - "To consistently meet or exceed customers' expectations, firms must take a systematic approach to digital customer experience management. In conducting in-depth interviews with 16 business professionals, Forrester found that several of these companies had adopted some best practices for digital design that delivered improvements in customer experience - leading to improved business results through increased revenues, improved loyalty, greater customer engagement, and reduced costs. However, no organization had a mature, systematic approach to consistently differentiate through superior digital customer experience. For firms to turn their digital customer experience into a sustainable source of competitive advantage, they must define a digital customer experience strategy and introduce robust tools and repeatable methodologies to support it."
LukeW and Forbes: quite a combination.
"To me it seems more like inside-out versus outside-in. Inside-out thinking is, This is our process, this is our org chart, this is how we do things, and everything is sort of we, we, we. And they try to project that out to the world. Versus outside-in is like here's some poor guy who's going to wind up on our website, let's look at it from his perspective. He doesn't care that we have these fifteen departments. He doesn't care about these fifteen processes that we have for making decisions, he wants to do blank. And just kind of flipping your mindset like that can go a very long way."
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."
What's the common denominator of structural programming, OVID, OOA/D, RUP, rapid/extreme programming and Agile? No design thinking regarding use involved.
"There really is something here. Lean UX is an important new way to think about what we do, and I think there's real meat on it. Let me explain."
Significant body of work on this type of software development. But what about design?
"End-User Development (EUD) is inherently different from traditional software development, and trying to support EUD by simply mimicking traditional approaches is often insufficient to produce successful results. End users usually do not have training in professionals' programming languages, formal development processes, or modeling and diagramming notations. Moreover, end users often lack the time or motivation to learn these traditional techniques, since end users usually write code in order to achieve a short- or medium-term goal rather than to create a durable software asset that will produce a continuing revenue stream. Consequently, supporting EUD requires providing appropriate tools, social structures, and development processes that are highly usable, quickly learned, and easily integrated into domain practice."
Goals are achieved when certain events occur. But what are the events? In all other cases, it's not a goal but an intention, motivation or just a task.
"There are a lot of theories about what drives people and how they move through life. It's my belief that on a subconscious level we are goal driven creatures. There is nothing people do that can not be defined as a goal. From this starting point I designed a simple model that can help us as designers make the decisions where to focus on in the design process."
Lots of food for thought in it.
A Conversation with Don Norman and Jon Kolko on Trends in and the Relationships between Art, Business, and Design ~ "The ~2-hour exchange with and between Don and Jon and the audience was particularly engaging, thoughtful, rich, and delightful."
(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @Riander)
Or how designers can communicate with MBA's on strategy.
"Alignment diagrams bring actions, thoughts, and people together to address the causes of poor experience at their root. Ultimately, they are a tool to help designers have real business impact. James Kalbach shows how designers can use their skills to map value creation and use design to solve business problems."
I would say AAPL, but that's problably not a satisfying answer.
"Many companies struggle with the question of whether to develop UX strategy, research, and design capabilities internally, or to engage external UX firms as-needed when projects arise. Companies must forecast their need for these services on a long-term basis, and weigh the comparative costs and benefits of each approach. But is it purely a question of economics? Does an external UX team offer value beyond the flexibility and overall cost savings of not maintaining an internal team? When asked only in the context of individual projects, the answer to this question is probably 'no'. For a single project, the rationale for engaging an external UX firm may remain purely financial. But it's crucial to ask a broader question: how effective will each approach be at fostering ongoing UX innovation, beyond the limits or needs of existing projects?"
"Speed, cost or quality, just pick two." is 20th century thinking. "Creativity, productivity or freedom, just pick one." is 21th century.
"What's wrong, you might argue, with keeping costs down? Quite a bit, it turns out. If your objective is to design a product people want to use, or to invent something brand new, you must embark on a journey of creativity and innovation. That might seem like normal, every day business, but don't make the mistake of trying to run your creative organization like a conventional one."
We call this "Eat your own dog food."
"In pilot studies, you can occasionally relax the need for real users and let members of your own team serve as test participants. It's good for them."
I love the phrase "Jakob Nielsen has long been at the forefront of information architecture innovation."
"It's a common misconception that UX for mobile is all about creating something for users on-the-go - users with little time, checking in on their mobile on the train or at the bus stop waiting for a bus. But today's mobile user is so much more than that, with the rise in tablet usage further contributing to the growth and variety of their needs. No longer can UX practitioners expect to satisfy the mobile user with added pinch-and-zoom functionality or bigger call-to-action buttons; these things are expected, and don't improve UX. So as mobile use continues to grow in popularity and capability, how can we better appeal to a mobile audience?"
(Laura Hampton ~ UX Magazine)
A lot of things stories can do. Make sure they do.
"Within the everyday chaos of an average design project, part of what makes stories so valuable is their nimbleness and flexibility. They can easily be ordered, re-ordered, and grouped in any number of ways depending on your current need, such as by category, priority, complexity, sprint, or whatever, and you can do this in a highly ad-hoc manner. Team members can use the same card for everything from affinity diagrams to product road maps to scrum boards and on and on. But this level of flexibility also has drawbacks."
(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)
Reminds me of scenario-based design of John Carroll.
"If you are a UX designer who wants to quickly get up to speed with integrating Agile and UX, there are few better places to start than with User Stories. They are both a quintessential embodiment of Agile thinking (i.e. if you understand User Stories, you understand Agile thinking) and a potential power tool for a UX designer on an Agile team. But like any tool, they can be both highly useful and help your team be highly effective, or, if you have no idea how stories work, cause some serious damage, especially to the UX dimension of your product. So, if you're using User Stories or thinking about adopting them as a tool, here are ten tips to help UX designers understand User Stories (we'll just call them Stories from hereon) and wield them to both yours and the team's benefit."
(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)
Definitely one of the highlights of the Chi Sparks 2011 conference.
"In the past years scores of methods for user-centered design have been developed - and validated. But do they really work? In reality that is. In practice user-centered product development is hectic and messy, at best. This presentation discusses barriers and enablers for usability in the development practice of electronic consumer products, identified through three case studies across 10 product development groups."
"Every day, your users make judgments and decisions about the products and services you provide based on the way you present them. In this column, I'll talk about why seemingly insignificant aspects of information presentation can have surprising effects on people's perceptions and behavior."
"A common feature amongst the top design portfolio and agency websites is a visually presented explanation of their design process. This simple idea of describing how a potential client's project will be handled from start to finish is a great way of securing projects and giving the customer an insight into what their working relationship with the designer(s) will be like. This showcase rounds up a bunch of impressive examples of how various designers have explained their design process with the aid of clever graphical elements."
"Good practice focuses on the process, while work focuses on the outcome. When doctors, musicians, and pilots are practicing, they are not doing the entire job. They are looking at the process of the work, often repeating the same step multiple times."
"Mobile user research can no longer afford to be confined by physical space and geographic boundaries. People are on the move. If we as researchers are to to understand their true behaviors, we need a robust toolset to meet them where they are and understand where they are going."
"The Design Studio methodology provides a collaborative, pragmatic process of illumination, sketching, presentation, critique, and iteration leading to a shared vision and hopefully more coherent and elegant solution - but this is not 'design by committee,' by any stretch." (SemanticFoundry)
"Savant. Rockstar. Gifted genius. Many of the ways we talk about creative work only capture the brilliance of a single individual. But creativity also thrives on diversity, tension, sharing, and collaboration. Two (or more) creative people can leverage these benefits if they play well together. Cooper's pair-design practice matured over more than a decade, and continues to evolve as we grow, form new pairs, and learn from each other every day. While no magic formula exists, all of our most successful partnerships to date share remarkably similar characteristics." (Stefan Klocek ~ Cooper Journal)
"Effective Intelligence is a helpful concept in the design toolbox. User research and testing are the best ways to know your users, but knowing what may limit a user in reality helps design ways to make them smarter." (Stephen Turbek ~ Boxes and Arrows)
"The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the quality of your decisions. Where do they come from? For the last five years, we've been studying how designers make their decisions. When do they use outside information, such as research about their users? When do they go with their gut instinct? When do the designers look to past decisions and the lessons they’ve learned? What we found will surprise you. In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You’ll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst." (Jared Spool ~ UIE)
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me break this to you gently. Design Thinking, the topic we're here to analyze and discuss and get to grips with so you can go back to Mars and instantly transform your businesses, is not the answer." (Helen Walters)
"Physicists often have to construct clean, clear-cut models to describe messy realities. They do this by cleaning up their concepts about reality, assuming things like frictionless surfaces, lossless mirrors, and yes, spherical objects. UX designers often do the same thing, assuming a spherical user (...) who knows what he wants to do and takes the logical path in achieving his goals. Our scenarios describe happy paths that lead to success for this user." (Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)
"As we've mentioned in the past, improperly conducted user research can be a liability that could lead you down the wrong path. These kinds of mistakes are extremely costly and easily avoidable. The trick is to know where the pitfalls lie and ensure that you navigate them properly. This month, we'll talk about ways to be a critical consumer of user research." (Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain ~ UXmatters)
"Interview with Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2011. Topics include design thinking and India, design,innovation and entrepreneurship driving India's inclusive growth, transdisciplinary design education and design thinking and designers." (aabhira aditya)
"This thesis explores why and how designers use mood boards in the early stages of the design process, and how augmented reality can support mood boarding by following a user-centered design approach. The main research questions in this thesis are: (1) what are MBs and why do designers use them, and (2) how can AR tools provide support for professional users in their work. Mood boarding is explored in depth by means of interviews with Dutch and Finnish practicing designers. The knowledge gained in these interviews is fed into co-design sessions with Dutch and Finnish designers in which researchers and end-users (i.e. designers) create augmented reality tools that support mood boarding. The co-designed tools are later evaluated to address the two research questions. In terms of the complete research process, this work also leads to an improved understanding of using different user-centered design methods (i.e. cultural probes, workshops, contextual inquiries, interviews, co-design sessions, prototyping) when trying to unveil the needs of users." (Andres Lucero Vera)
"Service design is the natural progression from UX – taking interactions across platforms and concentrating on the invisible and tangible connections around customer or user interactions. Information architects should be at the heart of this design work and don’t be surprised to start to see IAs appear in companies that you didn’t even think of as 'digital'. (...) It is not just interface design. It is not just about making the world more usable and ethically correct. It’s all this and more. It is a force for changing business in its approach and to make it economically stable by providing for needs but also satisfying wants beyond the present day. This is the business value of UX. How you interpret the data you collect, and create something truly unique, relies on the teams skill set and experience." (James Kelway ~ user pathways) | courtesy of petermorville
"This month we'll discuss the process of putting users at the center of the design process and what that means in regard to both design and product strategy. We'll also discuss some different approaches to a user-centered design process that we've come across and outline their positives and negatives. Finally, we'll outline the steps necessary to make user-centered design a reality and how to get the most out of a user-centered design process when working on different types of products. The insights we gain from interacting directly with users are invaluable. They can assist us greatly throughout the product development process and ensure user adoption." (Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain ~ UXmatters)
"In this case study, Laura Klein takes us inside the design process in a real live startup. (...) Interactive prototypes and iterative testing let you improve the design quickly before you ever get to the coding stage. Targeting only the confusing parts of the interface for redesign reduces the number of things you need to rebuild and helps make both design and development faster. Lean design is about improving the user experience iteratively! Fixing the biggest user problems first means getting an improved experience to users quickly and optimizing later based on feedback and metrics." (Eric Ries ~ Startup Lessons Learned)
"Bad interviews can result in missing data, incomplete detail, misleading results, partial insights, and lost opportunities. Your reports, presentations, and recommendations document what you've learned from your research and the decisions you’ve made based on it, so you need to ensure your research is the best it can be—that you get good interviews." (Mia Northrop ~ UXmatters)
"At a project's start, the possibilities are endless. That clean slate is both lovely and terrifying. As designers, we begin by filling space with temporary messes and uncertain experiments. We make a thousand tiny decisions quickly, trying to shape a message that will resonate with our audience. Then in the middle of a flow, we must stop and share our unfinished work with colleagues or clients. This typical halt in the creative process begs the question: What does the critique do for the design and the rest of the project? Do critiques really help and are they necessary? If so, how do we use this feedback to improve our creative output?" (Gabriel Adauto and Jacob Klein ~ d.news)
"I now focus a lot of time on facilitating collaborative design workshops, and other methods focused on quickly creating a shared understanding of objectives and buy-in for and execution approach." (Jason Furnell ~ The Architecture of Everything)
"For the most part, we create Web sites to get users to do something—for example, to make a purchase, donate to a cause, or sign up for our service. It is our expectation that users will make decisions about how to proceed. But are we designing for optimal decision making by users? In my column, Decision Architecture, I'll discuss how people make decisions and how we can design Web sites to make decision making easier for them and get the decision outcomes we need." (Colleen Roller ~ UXmatters)
"(...) although demographics and task analysis play an important part in persona creation, personas are more than just a collection of user profiles and groups. You should make them as real as you can. They should embody all the human attributes you'd expect to find in your users. For example, they could be moody, very task oriented, work in a specific type of environment, or even hate the idea of referring to documentation unless they are absolutely compelled to do so." (Niranjan Jahagirdar and Arun Joseph Martin ~ UXmatters.com)
"(..) I'll provide an overview of a product design process, then discuss some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit ~ UXmatters)
"This is an information graphic poster illustrating the underlying lifecycle, methods, principles and techniques in a user centred design process where the visual part is only the tip of the iceberg." (Pascal Raabe)
"The way disciplines are often defined is by what people do, but really they have always defined by how people think. (...) Let’s stop using the term interdisciplinarity as a magic buzzword and actually tackle what it means to mix mindsets, to work across disciplines." (Andrew Polaine)
"Much of economics theory is based on the premise that people are rational decision-makers. In recent years, behavioral economics—also known as behavioral finance—has emerged as a discipline, bringing together economics and psychology to understand how social, cognitive, and emotional factors influence how people make decisions, both as individuals and at the market level. Many of the findings of behavioral economics have a direct influence on how users interact with a product. In a worst‑case scenario, a product’s design may encourage user behaviors that are detrimental to users’ best interests." (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)
"No process guarantees success. If there were a process that guaranteed happy users everyone would be using it. Nobody gets it right every time. Design doesn’t work like that. It’s iterative, responsive, ever-changing. You have to react as much as plan. You have to change your process on the fly to react to the marketplace. That's why we need to optimize for what's most important, a happy user, and do whatever it takes to make it happen, process be damned." (52 Weeks of UX)
"The success of UCD has sustained demand for user experience design skills, and the land rush has continued in 2010. UX is becoming a cookie cutter add-on for digital agencies and I rarely meet a web designer now who doesn’t claim UX proficiency, although not all can articulate what that means. And it’s not just the designers: I also see back-end developers, SEO professionals and marketers rapidly appending these two magical letters to their CVs." (Cennydd Bowles)
"Well, first of all let's get rid off the word user and let’s talk about people. Because user implies something totally internal: I'm a user, I want to use this machine, so let's use it. This is a utilitarian/task cognitive approach to interaction design, a rather medieval kind of approach. If you talk about people, what they are and what they do in their daily lives, there are so many opportunities to discover… so users will not evolve, they will die out, but people will remain and I would like to talk about their lives and conquests." (I'm not a user)
"(...) a real iterative UX Strategy that is based on Design practice not software engineering practice." (Jonathan Arnowitz - User Experience in ArnoLand)
"As UX professionals, we have a great many analytical and descriptive tools available to us. In fact, there are so many that it can sometimes be difficult to decide which tool is most appropriate for a given task! Hierarchical task analysis (HTA) is an underused approach in user experience, but one you can easily apply when either modifying an existing design or creating a new design." (Peter Hornsby - UXmatters)
"I am not anti-Agile although I’ve been bitten a few times and feel trepidation when I hear someone singing its praises without having much experience with it. Over the last eight years, I’ve seen Agile badly implemented far more often than well (and yes, it can be done well, too). The result of this is mediocre product released in as much time as it would have taken a good team to release great product using a waterfall approach. In this article, I will describe Agile and attempt to illuminate a potential minefield for those who are swept up in the fervor of this development trend and want to jump in headlong. Then I will present how practices within User Centred Design (UCD) can mitigate the inherent risks of Agile and how these may be integrated within Agile development approaches." (Anthony Colfelt - Boxes and Arrows)
"Overall, it seems other examinations of innovation have proven the exact opposite of what Norman claims in his article. There is indeed a wealth of evidence that people’s needs can and should precede technology. And frankly, Norman's 'examination' seems more of the back-of-the-napkin type with several errors." (James Kalbach - Experiencing Information)
"User-Centered Design is the methodology by which you design a holistic product while considering the needs of stakeholders and users. Agile Development is a programming methodology and philosophy intended to overcome the challenges of the waterfall development process and to deliver clean and functional code. How can these two methodologies come together?" (David Farkas - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Follow a young man's journey as he discovers the three secrets of user-centred design. After reading this 40-page fable, you'll understand the framework of user-centred design and know how to apply it to your own design project. It's a small book that has big results." (UserFocus)
"A simple product like a hammer is best tested in it's final form. But a digital product, that in some ways is much more complex, is being tested before, by lesser means as if you can extract important feedback about the hammer." (Thomas Petersen - Black & White) - courtesy of jameskelway
"Understanding the people who will ultimately engage with a product or service provides the foundation for user experience design. Modeling those people and segmenting our models into meaningful groups lets us explore different clusters of needs, then address our solutions to meeting the needs of people belonging to specific clusters." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"In my discussions with designers, one of the interesting recurring conversations is the tools and process they use to prototype and mock up experiences. In particular, there’s a lot of divergence on how high or low-fidelity to go with a prototype." (Andrew Chen) - courtesy of uxtweets
"The sole purpose of this exercise is to document and map the emotional states of a user so that it can guide the creation and communication of personas to stakeholders while also informing the design process itself. I'm not one for ux deliverables for their own sake, but this is one that carry's a lot of weight and also goes a ways towards 'traceability' - that is, the ability to show all the real research that went into your personas." (Will Evans) - courtesy of ppf
"There are many good processes for software design. By process, I mean a prescribed way of performing software design. Every software company I’ve ever worked with has a design process they've adopted or created to meet their needs. However, after working on numerous software projects, I have come to realize how few projects actually follow their companies’ intended design processes. Why is it that so many companies don't follow their existing processes for software design?" - (Ron Gagnier - UXmatters)
"(...) the set of methods employed by most user-centered professionals fails to deliver truly user-centric insights. The so-called 'science' of usability which underlies user-centeredness leaves much to be desired. It rests too much on anecdote, assumed truths about human behavior and an emphasis on performance metrics that serve the perspective of people other than the user. - If we could de-couple user-centered design and usability then there might be some benefit but I don’t think this is as important as it might first appear. More important is the very conception we have of users and uses for which we wish to derive technologies and information resources. Designing for augmentation is a very real problem and a great challenge for our field theoretically and practically." - (Andrew Dillon - InfoMatters)
"Remember: a person is a first-time user exactly once (and in the case of the infusion pump, because of training and observation, nurses were actually never really first-time users), and in many cases a beginner for only a very short while." - (Steve Calde - Cooper Journal)
"Users of technology products—from mobile phones to ecommerce Web sites—often stop learning and adopting features long before they've mastered those products’ full capabilities. A learning plateau usually occurs once a user has learned the features that meet his minimum product-adoption criteria, when the benefit of adopting more features doesn't seem worth the extra effort or risk." - (Mike Hughes - UXmatters)
"In the world of designing interactive products and services, prototype is generally defined as some representation of a design idea. In the world of physical products, the term tends to connote something quite similar to the finished manufactured form. Indeed, industrial designers use the term model to describe what interaction designers think of as a prototype." - (Dave Cronin - Adobe Dev Connection) courtesy of janjursa
"In this article we present the methodology and initial results from qualitative research into the usage and communication of digital information. It considers the motivation for the research and the methodologies adopted, including Contextual Design and Cultural Probes. The article describes the preliminary studies conducted to test the approach, highlighting the strengths and limitations of the techniques applied. Finally, it outlines proposals for refinement in subsequent iterations and the future research activities planned." (Kelly Snow et al. - D-Lib Magazine May/June 2008)
"Web designers often concern themselves with optimizing sites for spiders from Google, Yahoo, and other search engines, but pay little attention to creating sites that real people can use. This problem has sparked a movement towards user-centered web design, a topic that covers accessibility, web standards, and interfacing. Check out these blogs for the latest and greatest in this people-centric field of design." (Jessica Hupp - Virtual Hosting)
"Using a case study drawn from the Orbitz.com information architecture environment, our 2007 IA Summit poster uses visuals and text to describe a rules-based soft systems methodology for collaborative decision-making. In this case study, the Orbitz information architect was faced with a need to rapidly develop specifications for new web application features. Produced in the absence of use cases, functional requirements, or business requirements, these new specifications had to be both culturally and technically acceptable, and meet changing business and user needs." (Joanna Wiebe and Scott Confer)
"A simple, semi-structured, one-on-one interview can provide a very rich source of insights. Interviews work very well for gaining insights from both internal and external stakeholders, as well as from actual users of a system under consideration. Though, in this column, I'll focus on stakeholder interviews rather than user interviews. (And I'll come back to that word, insights, a little later on, because it's important.)" (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"Conceptual prototypes are often very interesting projects because the ideas are leading edge. But they also present some unique challenges compared to more traditional projects where we are designing for actual implementation." (Heidi Adkisson - Blink Interactive)
"In design research, the issues of what exactly constitutes user value and how design can contribute to its creation are not commonly discussed. This paper provides a critical overview of the theories of value used in anthropology, sociology, philosophy, business, and economics. In doing so, it reviews a range of theoretical and empirical studies, with particular emphasis on their position on product, user, and designer in the process of value creation. The paper first looks at the similarities and differences among definitions of value as exchange, sign, and experience. It then reviews types and properties of user value such as its multidimensionality, its contextuality, its interactivity, and the stages of user experience dependency identified by empirical studies. Methodological approaches to user value research and their possible applications in design are also discussed. Finally, directions for future research on user value are discussed giving particular emphasis to the need of tools and methods to support design practice." (Suzan Boztepe - International Journal of Design 1.2)
"Drawing lessons from my experience with this kind of agile approach, I can state that its advantage is certainly the ability to produce a satisfying result despite time and budget constraints—even though the result is not perfect and will certainly need refinement later on. Another advantage of this kind of project is that both our team and our client's team got to know each other better and learned how to exploit each person’s know-how, improving the overall ability of the design team." (Luca Mascaro - UXmatters)
"Making the case for user-centered design (UCD) is a topic of recurring discussion for UX professionals. Much of the discussion has centered on strictly objective approaches such as cost-benefit or return-on-investment (ROI) analysis. However, recent commentary suggests proving ROI is not always enough. For example, Dray, Karat, Rosenberg, Siegel, and Wixon have raised concerns about significant weaknesses of the ROI argument, including their concern it ties UCD to tactical, not strategic initiatives." (Colleen Jones - UXmatters)
"This book will help software makers - developers, designers, and architects - build effective prototypes every time: prototypes that convey enough information about the product at the appropriate time and thus set expectations appropriately. This practical, informative book will help anyone - whether or not one has artistic talent, access to special tools, or programming ability - to use good prototyping style, methods, and tools to build prototypes and manage for effective prototyping." (The Book)
"Recently, I was reading through a sample chapter of a soon-to-be-published book. The book and author shall remain nameless, as shall the book’s topic. However, I was disappointed to read, in what otherwise appeared at first glance to be an interesting publication, a very general, sweeping statement to the effect that qualitative research doesn't prove anything and, if you want proof, you should perform quantitative research. The author's basic assumption was that qualitative research can't prove anything, as it is based on small sample sizes, but quantitative research, using large sample sizes, does provide proof. This may come as a shock to everyone, but quantitative research does not provide proof of anything either." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"User experience professionals continue to attempt to move their work and impact 'upstream' -- to play an earlier and more strategic role in their workplaces' business. But exactly what does that mean? What is it that user experience practitioners or groups thereof should be doing differently or working towards doing (more)?" (Richard Anderson - riander)
"Agile software development has become fairly popular in the last few years, leaving many UX professionals wondering how user-centered design (UCD) can fit into an extremely fast-paced development process that uses little documentation. User-centered design can involve a variety of techniques that provide insights into users’ wants, needs, and goals, including ethnography, contextual inquiry, contextual interviewing, usability testing, task analysis, and others. But all of these take time-time that an agile development process might not allow. There is hope, though. Agile and UCD methods are not completely at odds with each other-and in some cases, agile development can even enable a more user-centered approach. By taking the time to understand the differences and similarities between agile development and UCD, it's possible to devise a process that is both user-centered and agile." (Richard F. Cecil - UXmatters)
DRAFT: Chapter 1 of 'The Design of Future Things' - "As our technology becomes more powerful, more in control, its failure at collaboration and communication becomes ever more critical. Collaboration requires interaction and communication. It means explaining and giving reasons. Trust is a tenuous relationship, formed through experience and understanding. With automatic, so-called intelligent devices, trust is sometimes conferred undeservedly." (Donald A. Norman) - courtesy of michelvuijlsteke
"There has been an interesting dialogue on the IxD Discussion mailing list in recent months, in which some participants have questioned the need for and benefits of doing user research rather than relying on the experience and intuition of designers. These comments led others to voice concerns about the actual quality of the user research companies are undertaking and the validity of any conclusions they have drawn from the resulting data." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"The design community keeps making a lot of noise about designing for people/users/customers. However, while this notion is well-intentioned and even conceptually correct, I find much of it boils down to empty rhetoric. What exactly are we doing? More user research? More usability testing? Certainly these are valid approaches to finding out about people’s needs, but they’re only a small part of an optimal solution. Are we using hollow tasks and tools like personas and scenarios? Those approaches typically take design farther away from the people for whom we are designing products rather than closer. How about focusing on usability and the user experience? That gets at only part of the issue and tends to come from the perspective of the product—as opposed to the more universal needs and desires of actual people" (Dirk Knemeyer - UXmatters)
"Communicating Design is for everyone who creates, uses, or approves documentation during the web design process. Covering 10 of the most common types of documents, the book walks readers through creating and presenting each deliverable. It describes the document's essential contents, tips for preparing the document, strategies for managing risk, how to structure presentation meetings, and lots of other practical advice." (Dan Brown) - courtesy of petermorville
"Usability testing is like Beta testing of software. It should never be used to determine 'what users need'. It is for catching bugs, and so this kind of usability testing still fits the new, iterative programming models, just as Beta testing for software bugs fits the models. I have long maintained that any company proud of its usability testing is a company in trouble, just as a company proud of its Beta testing is in trouble. UI and Beta testing are meant simply to find bugs, not to redesign." (Donald Norman - uiGarden.net)
"Words matter. Psychologists depersonalize the people they study by calling them 'subjects'. We depersonalize the people we study by calling them 'users'. Both terms are derogatory. They take us away from our primary mission: to help people. Power to the people, I say, to repurpose an old phrase. People. Human Beings. That's what our discipline is really about." (Donald Norman)
"The most successful sites are those that understand the experience range of their users. Some are veteran traders who know what to do, while others can’t tell a bid from an ask price. Accommodating the novice traders is crucial to the success of these markets, as well as moving them along as they gain experience." (Alex Kirtland - Boxes and Arrows)
"Communicating design does take time, no doubt about it. But it will save a lot more time by reducing the thrash that occurs when developers don't have a clear understanding about what it is they are supposed to build." (Steve Calde - Cooper Newsletter3.2)
"(...) the European Thematic Network for the human-centered design of interactive technologies. Convivio supports and promotes the development of 'convivial technologies', ICT products, systems and services that enhance the quality of everyday life and human interaction." (About Convivio) - congrats fabio!
"Carolyn Snyder’s Paper Prototyping: The Fast and Easy Way to Design and Refine User Interfaces provides the only complete guide to paper prototyping. It teaches you everything you need to know to successfully do paper prototyping and offers many practical tips. However, only about a third of the book is actually about doing paper prototyping. The majority of the book’s content comprises a basic reference on usability testing. While some of the information on usability testing describes how to test paper prototypes, most of it is applicable to any type of usability testing. If you’re already an expert in usability testing, you may not find this information as useful, but Snyder has honed her approach to usability testing over her many years of experience as a usability professional and provides a wealth of practical information." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
Proceedings from the Nordic Design Research Conference (May 29-31 2005, Copenhagen Denmark) - "Design is a restless field positioned as a productive practice in between conceiving and making. Design research is no less volatile, as it explores, explains and challenges what we know in and through design." (About the conference)
"Mockup... The term itself brings to mind the duality inherent in this omnipresent design artifact. It’s both a direct representation of a product experience and a shallow portrayal of an interactive system at the same time. Perhaps the term originated with engineers or product managers intent on pointing out that the mockup was just that: a superficial representation that could never compare to the real product they had to build." (Luke Wroblewski - UXmatters)
"Think about how you are going to structure things. What is important? What is not? What needs to be on every page? Depending on the scale of the project you might want to create a visual sitemap for your client. Preparing a sitemap is essential if you are reorganising content in any way." (PingMag) - courtesy of kelake
"When putting together a design study, whether it is usability testing, field research, or focus group activity, it turns out that the most critical activity is recruiting the right participants." - (Jared Spool - OK/Cancel)
"Planning is crucial if you want your user research efforts to be effective. You need to think about what information you need to gather, and why, before embarking on any research. Good planning, well communicated to the client or project, and followed by careful implementation will ensure your research is effective." - (Daniel Szuc and Gerry Gaffney - Apogee)
"In fact, many of the changes went against what their user feedback seemed to suggest. In other words, in many ways the team deliberately did not listen to users." (Kathy Sierra- Creating Passionate Users)
"(...) activity theory is always already part of user-centred design, and vice versa. They are part of the same tree: a mental or cybernetic species. Whether modelling users or activities, the models are systemic, relatively stable, quantifiable, hierarchical, discrete, and often predictive. More importantly, they make it difficult to imagine other ways of understanding." (Anne Galloway - purselipsquarejaw)
"Human-Centered Design has become such a dominant theme in design that it is now accepted by interface and application designers automatically, without thought, let alone criticism. That's a dangerous state — when things are treated as accepted wisdom. The purpose of this essay is to provoke thought, discussion, and reconsideration of some of the fundamental principles of Human-Centered Design. These principles, I suggest, can be helpful, misleading, or wrong. At times, they might even be harmful. Activity-Centered Design is superior." (Donald Norman)
How to Lead Multidisciplinary Teams, Generate Buy-In, and Create Unified Design Views in Compressed Timeframes - "Collaboration Sessions are highly interactive meetings (or more accurately, work sessions) with representation from each discipline. These meetings address everything from strategic planning to the design of site sections and page details. For example, a team working on the Travel section of our site used this technique to brainstorm a new line of business and then used it to help design page details. This method is most helpful for redesigns, new features, and controversial or strategic sections of a site. Typically, an interaction designer or product manager leads the meeting at the beginning of the Design phase." (Sasha Verhage - Boxes & Arrows)
"Most importantly, task-based segmentation puts your team in the right frame of mind for insightful design research that very probably will uncover that 'killer product idea'." (Indy Young - Adaptive Path)
"When I started working for the company in December 2002, the user interface department was growing fast. Instead of a small number of generalist Web designers, it was becoming a large collection of specialists, with titles such as information architect, visual designer, art director and producer. These new employees, each with their own specific backgrounds, brought with them a surprisingly wide array of new words for what they did, their own jargon. The department's manager realized something had to be done before his team turned into a new Tower of Babel." (Peter Boersma - ASIS&T Bulletin Feb/Mar 2005)
Book Excerpt - "Today companies want to infuse more user data into their processes. But if we analyze the 'right' way to do customer-centered design for any project we may be dismayed at the time and resources it takes. And, companies are also resistant to changing their own development processes. So what to do?" (Karen Holtzblatt et al. - ACM Ubiquity)
"(1) The brain is a complex adaptive system. (2) The brain is a social brain. (3) The search for meaning is innate. (4) The search for meaning occurs through 'patterning'. (5) Emotions are critical to patterning. (6) Every brain simultaneously perceives and creates parts and wholes. (7) Learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception. (8) Learning always involves conscious and unconscious processes. (9) We have at least two ways of organizing memory. (10) Learning is developmental. (11) Complex learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat. (12) Every brain is uniquely organized." (Renate Nummela Caine and Geoffrey Caine - New Horizons for Learning) - courtesy of elearningpost
"But good design is a lot more than style. Good design includes substance: function, comfort, pleasure, safety, economy, environmental friendliness, and a lot more besides. A concept car should be an opportunity to explore all of these directions." (Donald Norman) - courtesy of usability views
"(...) web developers seem reluctant to adopt methods and approaches from other disciplines that could reduce their problems. Particularly during the crucial initial phase of projects, we can benefit from emulating certain software engineering practices." (Norm Carr and Tim Meehan - A List Apart) - courtesy of ui designer
"This paper introduces a lot of taxonomies to help understand different form-factors and mobile usage contexts. It is arguing for the application of a User Centered Design process for mobile devices, and presumably within IBM. They strongly differentiate the differences with Fully Mobile Wirelessly Connected (FMWC) devices. A number of examples of UCD activities are given. In particular the effects of context are shown with examples and the need for task-analysis that includes the surrounding activities is promoted." (Mobile Community Design)
Presentation - "This show-and-tell session describes the results of combining three points of view: (1) It is useful to manage design projects as a collaborative work of "translating research into design. (2) It is useful to manage the design process not as a series of activities, but as a chain of milestone artifacts, each of which requires collaboration by the whole team to complete. (3) Collaboration is better, and therefore translation better accomplished, when the milestone documents are created in large-scale physical form using walls, paper, ink, tacks and glue, rather than digital form." (Marc Rettig - about, with and for) - courtesy of louise ferguson
"(...) most of the conference presented a rather different story. Speakers from the business world offered their views on the role of design; designers shared cases in which they'd helped businesses; and even the presentations on design methods were squarely in 'service' of business innovation." (Nico MacDonald - Usability News)
"A comparison of methods for understanding mobile behavior to inform technology design." (Mobile Community Design) - courtesy of john rhodes
"The purpose of this special issue is to consider the spectrum of approaches being used by different libraries and service providers as they negotiate the future with their user communities. At a time when a digital information future is increasingly certain, this timely and much needed collection of articles explores, documents and reflects on the theories, practices, and experiments focusing on digital library users." (Anita Coleman et al. - Journal of Digital Information 5.3)
"A good overview coming out of IBM research of some usability issues of mobile devices in the context of User Centered Design." (Mobile Community Design)
"The Web is a flexible medium, and designers and users share responsibility for its design. The Web designer still must make design decisions and attempt to accommodate user needs and expectations." (Sarah Horton - Digital Web Magazine)
"The most important thing about a brainstorming session is what happens after it ends." (Scott Berkun) - courtesy of column two
"Because typical experiences will differ, the mentality of the typical Internet user, or Homo interneticus, is likely to be significantly different from that of the typical reader of printed works or of writing or of the typical member of purely oral cultures. These differences include deep assumptions about time and space, authority, property, gender, causality and community." (Michael H. Goldhaber - First Monday 9.6)
"How are user-centred methods going to play a role in developing the mobile communications products and services of the future? This panel debate, a special invitation to CHI 2004, brought together the most qualified people in the industry to show delegates what they have in store." (Gerred Blyth - Usability News)
"This presentation of the Model of Attraction and Personal InfoCloud was given to the User Interaction with Information Systems class (INFM 702) in the University of Maryland, Master of Information Management program on June 8, 2004." (Thomas Vander Wal)
"During the past twenty years, user-centered research (UCR) has become an increasingly common and important part of contemporary product development. The origins of this approach to design and development actually stretch back to the beginning of industrial design in America. Starting in the 1940s and 1950s, Henry Dreyfuss, widely considered the father of industrial design in the United States, practiced a method of design that clearly focused on studying people's behaviors and attitudes as a first step in designing successful products. During the next forty to fifty years, Dreyfuss' example served as motivation for other highly successful and influential designers (e.g., Robert Probst, Jay Doblin, Niels Different and William Stumpf) to adopt a user-centered research and design approach." (design philosophy papers)
"An important principle of user interface design is that the user should always feel in control of the software rather than feeling controlled by the software." (MSDN) - courtesy of column two
"User-centered design professionals pay special emphasis to one type of stakeholder—the users of the system-arguing that user experience needs to be carefully crafted to satisfy user needs. While understanding user needs and goals is certainly necessary, it is often not sufficient for producing a successful design. Apart from an understanding of user needs and perspective, design needs to incorporate the goals and perspective of other stakeholders in order to get their buy-in and be considered a success in the corporate workplace." (Jonathan Boutelie - Boxes and Arrows)
"Design is disorienting. Especially when you are designing something in a collaborative environment, with multiple stakeholders, pressured deadlines, business objectives and budgetary constraints. We all go into design with the firm belief that the user is our pole star, but so often we lose that focus because of tossing waves, buffeting winds, and the crew screaming in our ears—never mind the dense cloud cover that always seems to obscure that trusty star just when a committee forms to gather requirements." (Andrew Hinton - Boxes and Arrows)
"I like to say that the Web is about people. It's been one of my many mantras over the years and it's becoming more and more apparent to me that I'm not the only one who feels this way." (D. Keith Robinson - Asterisk)
"Now that the consumer is in control, the industry may simply have to come hat in hand and adjust the expectations it's built up over the years" (Brian Fuller - EETimes)
"As information technology devices and applications grow in number and importance, the significance of ease of use in their design grows apace. In this issue, twelve papers focus on aspects of design for ease of use as applied to the entire design process, from understanding user requirements to conceptual design, prototyping, field testing, and redesigning. The history and future of User-Centered Design (UCD) and User Engineering (UE) are discussed, and case studies illustrating the role of UCD and UE in many fields are presented. Topics include the design of wireless devices, on-screen documentation, and database management and data visualization systems." (IBM Systems Journal)
"I spend a lot of time helping clients conduct task analysis to form mental-model diagrams. When teams first start analyzing the interview transcripts they’ve collected, they often run into a confidence issue. 'How will we know if we get the task groups right?' This question usually arises because the team doesn't have the kind of details it needs to identify clear tasks. The problem isn't in sorting; it's in the data-gathering stage. If interviews don't provide details, task sorting becomes much more complex. Fortunately, there are six simple things you can do to improve the quality of your interviews, and clarify task analysis." (Indi Young - Adaptive Path)
"In the future, computation will be human-centered. It will be freely available everywhere, like batteries and power sockets, or oxygen in the air we breathe. It will enter the human world, handling our goals and needs and helping us to do more while doing less." (MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory)
"It is NOT enough to just design from intuition and good intentions. We need the benefit of these scientific insights. As we move toward mature usability engineering, institutionalized in organizations, we must have resources to constantly incorporate these insights into our practice." (Kate Straub - Human Factors International) - courtesy of usability news
"An executive dashboard is an intranet for a select group of users. These users tend to be executives—VPs and above, the people who are the main decision-makers in the company." (Alex Kirtland - Boxes and Arrows)
"The topic of this thesis is users' models: the representations users may form of the computer system which they are interacting with. It has been proposed that user interfaces which support the construction of appropriate users' models facilitate learning and use of computer systems." (Angela Sasse) - courtesy of iawiki
"Card Sorting is a methodology for assessing mental/conceptual models by asking users to categorize a list of terms. uzCardSort is open source (...)" (Andy Edmonds - mozdev) - courtesy of louis rosenfeld
"Ethnography isÝa fascinating technique toÝdo research onÝhuman behaviour." (Peter Van Dijck) - courtesy of column two
"The expert user is dead, not because we no longer need sophisticated tools to find informationóemphatically we doóbut because we can no longer get away with designing for expert users only." (Leo Klein - Library Journal)
"User-centered design is now widely accepted, but the emphasis on its usability component under-estimates peopleís abilities and limits innovation." (Nico Macdonald | Spy) - courtesy of oskar van rijswijk
"One of the greatest misconceptions about web sites is that they should be designed for selling.Users now come to web sites with the intent of exploring their options to make a decision. By making it easier for users to make decisions, we can create a much more compelling experience than a sales-oriented site." (Andrew Chak - UIE Roadshow)
"Organizations increasingly view usability and user-centered design to be a key ingredient in creating high quality products. Designing for ease of use is a well-accepted goal, even if many organizations have far to go to create user-centered products. Even with the present downturn in the economy, more companies, from new media to established banks, have larger usability and design teams than ever before." (John Zapolski and Jared Braiterman - Boxes and Arrows)
"eXtreme Programming and other Agile processes provide a middle ground between chaos and over-elaborate processes sometimes referred to as 'death by documentation'. A particular attrtactive aspect of the Agile approach for many teams is its willingness to accomodate change no matter how advanced development might be. However, this very flexibility can cause user interface design issues and ensuing usability problems. Adopting a user-centered approach to user interface design can address these issues, as I hope the following simulated conversation between a user-centered design consultant and an XP team leader will explain." (William Hudson - Syntagm) - courtesy of beth mazur
All files on this site are PDFs. (MIT Virginia Tech)
"Every design is defined by three basic components: inspiration, tools and people." (Maria Acosta - Thread Inc.)
"I'm increasingly convinced that, as networks of smart objects permeate our environment, people's attitudes toward technology will become more animist. In other words, we'll start to anthropomorphize our stuff." (Mike Kuniavsky - Adaptive Path)
"An organization is a form of group. Groups can be elitist. Groups are always trying to define who is in and who is out. To a great many organizations, the customer is on the outside. To be a success, a website must live on the outside." (Gerry McGovern)
"Putting the user at the center of the process and setting the metrics for project success implies that user-centered design is the 'right' approach. Assuming UCD is THE right approach suggests that there is a sort of moral imperative to pursue a user-centered methodology." (Jess McMullin - Boxes and Arrows)
"One of the biggest challenges an organization faces is to stop thinking it's the center of the universe. Customers think that they are the center of the universe. Customers come to your website to get their needs fulfilled. They will only think you are great if you meet their needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner." (Gerry McGovern)
"The most valuable asset of a successful design team is the information they have about their users. When teams have the right information, the job of designing a powerful, intuitive, easy-to-use interface becomes tremendously easier. When they don't, every little design decision becomes a struggle." (Jared Spool - User Interface Engineering)
"If IDEO is the yang of the design industry, then Sony is the yin as the two companies ideologies are diametrically opposed." (Simon Tsang - The Age) - courtesy of fabio sergio
"Researching the users of your product is extremely important in making it more popular, more profitable, and more compelling. But companies make products, not user research teams. A company needs more than data about its users; it needs to be able to take that knowledge and act on it. Unless the benefits and techniques of user-centered design and research are ingrained in the processes, tools, and mind-set of the company, knowledge will do little to prevent problems." (Mike Kuniavsky - Usability News)
"Empirical research is finding that users rather than manufacturers are the actual developers of many or most new products and services ñ and that they are a major locus of innovative activity in the economy. This finding opens up new questions and avenues for exploration in fields ranging from economics to management of technology to organizational behaviour to marketing research. Examples are patterns in innovation by users, characteristics of innovating users, design of a user-centered innovation process, economics of a distributed innovation process that includes users as innovators, and social welfare implications of innovations by users." (MIT) - courtesy of fabio sergio
"If the time is taken to FOCUS on the user through out the life cycle of a project it will assuredly be all the better for it." (D. Keith Robinson) - courtesy of nick finck
"With this case study, I want to show how our team used the concept of personas - fictional, representative user archetypes - and the customer decision-making process model in a project, in order to capture the nature of customers and their needs and concerns as they progress through the customer decision-making process." (Henrik Olsen - GUUUI)
"Every piece of user research is part of an ongoing research program, even if that program is informal. However, making a program formal provides a number of advantages: It gives you a set of goals, a schedule that stretches limited user-research resources, and results when they're needed most. It also helps you avoid unnecessary, redundant, or hurried research." - (Mike Kuniavsky - Adaptive Path)
"(...) when searching large web sites for information, there were some sites where users always seemed to know where to find the content. No matter what content they were seeking, every user somehow knew to make a bee-line for it. Not every site worked this way and we wanted to know what made these particular sites work so well." (Jared Spool - User Interface Engineering)
"When new ideas and visions emerge from collective thinking and from a better understanding of current limitations related to technological achievements, the challenge remains as to ascertain how to put these ideas and visions into practice. That opens new research issues. My argument in this paper is that this principle is applicable also to the development of User Centered Design. UCD, of course, may contribute to the improvement, consolidation and verification of ideas and visions in the field. Yet, in order to be certain that UCD perspective is widely accepted and can properly influence the direction followed by technology and service development, we should be able to demonstrate that the approach will be useful and that it can be successfully implemented in relevant projects." (Michele Visciola - ACM Ubiquity)
"The goal of user-centered design focuses on the actual users of the product, but the users of a process are the members of the product development group itself." (Whitney Quesenbery) - courtesy of webword
"This article analyzes consumer behavior on the Web. The purpose is to research patterns that characterize consumer actions in this environment. The study employs Nielsen//NetRatings Internet panel data in Finland. The four-month data for 65 panelists suggest three interrelated Web usage patterns that are highlighted here. The text will outline how these conclusions were reached and present other observations." (Nina Koiso-Kanttila - First Monday 8.4)
"Now is the time to change, to move from user to participant. And the same approach applies for terms such as consumer or customer." (Josh Alkire - Thread Inc.)
"There is no such thing as sound user research without an airtight user-selection process behind it. No matter how good the observation and analysis, it's all for naught if you've studied the wrong people." (Peter Merholz- Adaptive Path)
"These are the notes I took, it’s a cross between transcription, commentary, summary, and BS." (photo matt) courtesy of vanderwal
"I recently conducted some online course usability reviews for a client when I came across a strange but, I suspect, not unusual phenomenon that I have encountered elsewhere in the past." (Dave Smulders - ACM eLearn Magazine) - courtesy of elearningpost
Underestimation is a two-way street.
"In traditional user-centred design, focus is on users' needs and their use of the product, while marketing is left to the marketing department. On the web, usability and marketing go hand in hand." (Henrik Olsen - guuui)
"The fundamental challenge for computational media is to contribute to the invention and design of cultures in which humans can express themselves and engage in personally meaningful activities." (Gerhard Fisher - First Monday 7.12)
"The problem was one of design -- learning how to use this system was quite difficult, and often ran contrary to how people currently worked." (Peter Merholz)
"A detailed understanding of your target audience provides you with an effective metric by which to evaluate all your design decisions: structure (content and organization), visual presentation (personality and tone), and interaction (functionality and behavior)." (Luke Wroblewski - Creative Behavior)
"This handbook on user-centered design is intended for those responsible for commissioning or carrying out usability work during the development of interactive systems." (Nectar)
Patterns, principles, and processes for crafting a customer-centered web experience (Nectar)
"Although a Web site development team generally includes a usability expert (...) user centered design is the responsibility of every single member of the team, programmers no less than graphical designers, database wizards no less than usability experts." (Peter-Paul Koch - Digital Web Magazine)
"To be successful, ubicomp applications must be designed with their environment and users in mind and evaluated to confirm that they do not disrupt the users' natural workflow." (Sunny Consolvo et al. - UbiComp 2002 Lecture Notes)
"The goal of user-centered design focuses on the actual users of the product, but the users of a process are the members of the product development group itself." (Whitney Quesenbery)
"In order to remove our personal biases, expectations and opinions from the questions asked, I practice a kind of questioning technique called the nondirected interview." (Mike Kuniavsky - Adaptive Path)
"When rigorously applied, a UCD approach meets both user needs and the business objectives of the sponsoring organization." (Charles L. Mauro - TaskZ)
"(...) the first paradox of software development: users are not software designers, nor are software engineers users." (Charles L. Mauro - TaskZ)
"(...) Moggridge gave a presentation to explore where interactive design had come from and where he hoped it was going." (Usability News)
The role of mobile telecommunications in the 21st century (Kate Fox - Social Issues Research Centre)
"(...) more and more Web site users are having problems accomplishing their tasks, and it is increasingly important to provide them with support." (Johan Aberg PhD Thesis)
"Ethnography treats people as if they are in a zoo" (Usability News)
"(...) a discipline for designing user experiences that match users' expectations." (IBM/Ease-of-Use)
"(..) stop thinking about products' end-users and start thinking about the system's end-designer." (Ann Light - Usability News)
"I'm a fan of art and beauty, of aesthetically pleasing design" (Don Norman)
"(...) tips for which user-centered technique to use when, so you can better translate user needs into good design." (Deborah Hinderer Sova - Technology Executives Club)
"(...) various types of projects: selecting a vendor application, evolution of an existing application, rewrite of an existing application, and development of a new application." (Lynn Percival & Jack Scanlon - IBM developerWorks)
"Ethnography is a fascinating technique to do research on human behaviour." (Poor But Happy)
"Much has been written about methodologies for designing software that meets user needs. But little emphasis has been placed on what types of activities are truly essential in achieving these goals." (Jack Scanlon & Lynn Percival - IBM developersWork)
"(...) cues from Interaction Design, Usability Engineering and Product Design on a process known as empathic design, a user-centered approach to design that can lead to innovative e-learning." (Maish Nichani - eLearningPost)
"UCD seeks to answer questions about users and their tasks and goals, then use the findings to drive development and design." (Raissa Katz-Haas - STC Usability Interface) - courtesy of elegant hack
"(...) both usability engineering and HCI in general have a much wider range of tools and methods available for use" (Ross Philip and Susan Turner - Usability News)
"(...) paragraphs and illustrations describe the many dimensions to consider when designing usability tests or tests of conceptual prototypes." (Marc Rettig)
"(...) a technique that enables technical and non-technical personnel to cooperatively design user interfaces for GUI and Web applications." (Information & Design)
"Non-technical computer users don't read manuals and stick with known procedures, no matter how inefficient" (John M. Carroll & Mary Beth Rosson - Winterspeak)
"Logical User-Centered Interaction Design is a methodology for designing the interactional components" (Cognetics)
"(...) a formal methodology for designing the user experience based on the analysis of users' goals and tasks" (IBM Ease-of-Use)
"a non-profit organization (...) to serve the user modeling research community" (Ingrid Zukerman et al.)
The Epistemics of User Modeling (Michael Ramscar et al. - Sixth International Conference on User Modeling)
"Why Don't They See The Need?" (Richard I. Anderson)
"At the heart of any good user-centred design process is the practice of prototyping." (Tom Farrell - Usability InfoCentre of frontend.com)
"(...) to evaluate the efficiency of an information structure and to build user-centered information structures" (Ishantha Lokuge et al. - CHI 96)
Reorganize the Company (Donald Norman - NNGroup)
"Calculating cost benefits" (The TRUMP Project)
"In theory, the web is the ultimate user-empowering environment" (Dey Alexander)
Design Implications for Content Organization (Usability News Summer 2000)
Problems delivering User Centered Design (uidesign.net)