In general, poor UX kills all human-facing digital applications.
"Because of the word design, UX often gets conflated with styling. But they're not the same. UX is a problem solving discipline. Identifying problems, solving them and designing elegant solutions. Styling is often part of the solution, but doesn't have to be."
Enterprise software, the apps UX forgot. Use it or you're out!
"Most big businesses globally are locked into some kind of reliance on enterprise technology. Unfortunately such systems are not only fiendishly difficult to install and maintain, but often equally challenging for the workforce to use. When the stakes are so high, why is the user experience of enterprise systems so bad?"
Galaxies and Copernicus, doesn't that ring a bell.
"So with three different starting points - UX from product development, service design from service delivery, and customer experience from marketing and customer support - we've all arrived at the same place: the realization that by consciously crafting the experiences people have with those products, services, or organizations, we can help those people be more successful and find more satisfaction. Oh yeah, and it's good for business too."
Always interesting to see the DTDT question answered again, again and again.
"The common misconception comes from the word design. Due to influence of fashion, design is often associated with aesthetics of the product. User Experience Design is much more complex than you think."
Formal power entering the field of UX. Who's to decided?
"Are educational institutions equipped to prepare UX designers for the workplace of the future as advances in technology outpace those in education? Should the UX community be pushing for levels of accreditation to verify that someone has the skills and education necessary to call himself or herself a UX designer? How can an employer ensure that a candidate meets their expectations for a role in user experience?"
Integration, synergy and connections of bits and atoms. A new design ecosystem with many options.
"We're at a revolutionary information crossroads, one where our symbolic and physical worlds are coming together in an unprecedented way. Our temptation thus far has been to drive ahead with technology and to try to fit all the pieces together with the tried and true methods of literacy and engineering. Accepting that the shape of this new world is not the same as what we have known up until now does not mean we have to give up attempts to shape it to our common good."
CS and UX in concert.
"Understanding how people think and what makes them tick is the common building block behind both creating content and designing experiences that matter to people. But before you dive into content planning or begin designing an experience, you have to understand what your audience finds meaningful. This is where UX research can provide insight to help inform content marketing efforts."
A flying vision of the future.
"According to J.D. Power, eighty-seven percent of travelers used the Internet for the bulk of their travel planning in 2012, yet the online booking experience being offered by modern airlines is still stuck in the 90s. Inspired by the opportunity to bring progressive disruption to this huge marketplace, we reviewed all major airline websites, and graded them against design and usability criteria including: information architecture, interaction design and visual design. The results were disheartening. We believe that unless the airlines take drastic measures to improve their digital experiences, third-party sites like Kayak and Expedia will continue to eat into their profits. So we launched an experiment to explore, What if?"
When people talk about it, there is such a thing by definition. Beauty, love, friendship, experts, you name it.
"2013 saw a lot of discussion around the topic of UX Strategy. In fact, there was at least one conference on the topic and a string of articles. However, all of this activity around a topic doesn't actually mean it exists."
Will they then become CX consultants?
"UX is a broad field and designers are increasingly playing a strategic role in many companies. Be that designer. Businesses are increasingly adopting user-centered approaches to create experiences, moving UX design to be one of the core activities driving the company strategy and operations. This is an incredibly valuable opportunity that we designers can take to step up and contribute to create the great experiences and services they envision, taking our vision, tools and understanding to a different level. But we need to learn the new skills to play at this table, a table that's often speaking a different language with a lot of politics and different stakeholders. This talk will cover exactly these extra skills that are required to make this strategic jump: understanding the business needs, educating the client, understanding the hidden request, managing the various party involved in a project, defining the right process, understanding the internal impact and more."
Design for the unique traits of each and every touchpoint.
"Emphasize and leverage each channel's unique strengths to create usable and helpful context-specific experiences. (...) Incorporating helpful and usable context-specific elements creates an exceptional user experience in a world of competing channels, devices, and screen sizes. In order to focus design efforts, teams must understand the common tasks completed by users within each channel. This will help identify the best opportunities for creating channel-optimized experiences that will build user loyalty and differentiate the organization from competitors. In addition to being optimized for the channel, cross-channel experiences must be consistent, seamless and available."
A little write-up, for sure.
"It's a conversation I've had many times with fellow designers over the years."
(Jesse James Garrett ~ Adaptive Path)
What's a product without use, user and usage. Useless.
"Today's enlightened leaders are achieving success by crafting the entire customer experience - shaping, innovating, branding, and measuring it. They are mastering a new discipline we refer to as experience innovation by going beyond the discrete product or service to re-imagine the customer journey. The result yields new, unexpected, signature moments that delight customers and create significant opportunities for new growth."
Everybody is a designer, so everybody can learn UX design. Sure.
"The following list isn't everything you can learn in UX. It's a quick overview, so you can go from zero-to-hero as quickly as possible. You will get a practical taste of all the big parts of UX, and a sense of where you need to learn more. The order of the lessons follows a real-life UX process (more or less) so you can apply these ideas as-you-go. Each lesson also stands alone, so feel free to bookmark them as a reference."
Behavioral data as input for strategy. Where's the vision?
"Google Analytics is filled with very useful information for UX Strategists defining a baseline and tracking trends in order to define goals, strategies, and concepts for a brighter tomorrow."
(Jennifer Cardello ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
Jesse's booklet still vital for instructional and learning purposes.
"Designing learning experiences must be treated in the same way as designing any sort of user experience. Learners, just like users, have needs that can only be solved through proper research, design, validation, and iteration. Anyone involved in adult learning should step outside the limiting boundaries of curriculum design in order to account for the learner's entire experience. By only focusing on content, we are missing out and what actually makes up a person's reality, including the environment in which they're learning in, and their lives before and after the learning experience. By taking each of these elements into consideration, any teacher or instructional designer can start begin to think beyond those limitations, and look to create immersive and enriching experiences for their learners. This not only allows us to be more effective at teaching others, but it also establishes a higher level of quality that people should expect of a learning experiences."
Changing from UX design to CX design, just like that.
"Customer experience stretches far to either side of any interaction that can be influenced by UX interface design. Customer experience starts from when a customer first hears about what your product or service is promising, gets cemented by how well you deliver on that promise (through UI and well beyond), and gets broadcast in social media to influence the impressions of future customers. As such, it's important to have a way to quantify the effects of the customer experience improvement that stretch beyond Google Analytics and screen attention heat mapping."
University sites, another piece of software UX forgot.
"Effective university websites can increase conversions, strengthen institutional credibility and brand, improve user satisfaction, and save time and money."
And so, every content object gets its own UX application.
"Designing a digital magazine app that gives users a pleasing experience requires attention to their reading behavior. Do today's readers want static magazines or interactive magazines, and how interactive should a magazine be?"
Getting software development more into the world of people through UX design.
"This article looks to educate developers, project managers, ScrumMasters, Product Owners, product managers, UX team members, and the like about a way to integrate UX and Lean UX principles into Scrum projects. It specifically focuses on the Scrum framework so familiarity with that method is encouraged when implementing the UX Runway practice detailed here and understanding this article. There are some concepts from SAFe but an in depth understanding is not critical. Though I have based the UX Runway around Scrum, it does have reusable concepts and could be readily adapted for other Agile methods."
Job market for UX professionals growing and growing. In the US, that is.
"Across a thousand UX professionals we found high job satisfaction and extreme diversity in terms of hugely varying educational background, 210 job titles, and wide-ranging work roles and activities."
Typography as the integral part of UX design.
"The right font choice along with the absence of sidebars and popups makes everything feel easier and better to read. Websites like Medium, Signal vs. Noise, and Zen Habits are like yoga studios for content. Their presentation of content puts me at peace while reading, allowing me to fully focus on the stories without distraction."
As there is always UX, there's always lean or fat UX.
"This all boils down to something that I call principle-driven design. As stated, some lean UX is better than none, so applying these principles as best you can will get you to customer-validated, early-failure solutions more quickly. Rules are for practitioners who don't really know the value of this process, while principles demand wisdom and maturity. By allowing principles to drive you, you'll find that you're more nimble, reasonable and collaborative. Really, you'll be overall better at getting to solutions. This will please your stakeholders and team members from other disciplines (development, visual design, business, etc.)."
Always thought service design and UX design were close cousins.
"We hear plenty of talk about the power of design. It is a very pragmatic discipline. Look around you, nearly everything you touch has been designed. For this particular scenario, design attempts to ask (and answer) questions such as: what should the customer experience be like? What should the employee experience be like? How does a company maintain a consistent brand essence and stay relevant to its customers? How might we take the principles of design and stretch them to examine the intangibles?"
Differentiation of the UX field into multiple roles: customers, patients, citizens and kids.
"Designing for kids is a unique and challenging situation for any UX professional. While many principles and practices span across all ages, there are many issues which arise exclusively when dealing with children. In this introductory article we'll look at kids and the specific issues that they bring about. We'll also examine some guidelines, constraints, and considerations that you should take into account when designing UX for kids."
When is still was HCI, it was called a science. Now, it's an art.
"User experience is an art form of its own. You never can predict for certain how your site or app will be perceived. What you can do is arm yourself with the tools to make informed decisions about UX in the design process."
Embedding UX capabilities in the enterprise is a major challenge for the field.
"The biggest barrier I've seen to using UX in a firm is often simple lack of knowledge of what UX can deliver. (...) An integrated internal UX team is critical to organizational success, and the stakes are higher in larger enterprises. An internal practice that builds lasting relationships, provides thought leadership, and acts as trusted advisors provides long-lasting value to the firm. As the digital space becomes increasingly human-centric, and organizations evolve offerings around consumer need, the internal user experience agency plays a significant part in delivering both short term wins as well as long term success."
Formal education and curriculums of design for UX, interaction or information architecture has been a neglected area for years.
"For the inaugural event, we brought together 25 people interested in education to listen to provocations from educators within different contexts and then to workshop around those same provocations. Although the outcomes were not as I had hoped, I do think it was a successful and well-timed event. I didn't even know that the hosts of the next year's Interaction conference were already thinking along the same lines and wanted to lead their own initiative. So we coupled our talents together to help prepare this year's event with lessons learned from the previous year and we have prepared an amazing single-day event for people interested in the intersection of education and interaction design around the world."
We have many maturity models, for usability (Nielsen), CX (Forrester) and now for UX.
"In a perfect world, companies would take a systematic approach to product design from their very first days. But, in reality, early product design efforts can be sporadic for various reasons - for instance, because a product must launch as soon as possible, there's not enough money at the start, the user base must grow at the fastest rate possible, or the product idea changes constantly in trying to discover an effective business model. Why is this?"
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."
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?"
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)
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."
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."
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."
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."
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)
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."
Driving towards UX strategy and UX foundational elements, components and patterns.
"The strategic and tactical aspects of UX are foreign to most folks, hence the typical 'lipstick on a pig' approach they call UX design. Knowing a few key things about strategy and tactics makes the difference between designing a struggling site and a successful one. The examples and tips illustrate successful approaches to UX design that you can apply to your site."
Wearables as the new hunting grounds for designers dealing with perception, cognition and emotion.
"In this article, experience is described as interpretation, and semiotics are applied to analyze the new wearable augmented reality product, Google Glass. Various readings of Google Glass are offered, and a prediction is generated which implies that through drawing on the traditional syntax of spectacles (eye glasses) a greater user group will be reached including not just technology leaders or adventurers, but also technology laggards. Experience takes place before, during, and after technology usage, and by making new devices more familiar to the target market, there is increased likelihood that user experience will be positive."
(Rebekah Rousi ~ UX magazine)
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."
The future is definitely unevenly distributed when you pose such a question.
"The world of Human Computer Interaction was distant and unconnected to this glossy world of communication. Here, the problems concerning mechanical or electronic interfaces were critical to the very success of the systems they were part of. The user's ability to understand, learn and remember, were paramount and Visual Designers and Psychologists were brought in to resolve interface issues. Although these two disciplines also formed the basis of much of the traditional advertising work, the connections were not apparent. In HCI, the feedback loops were shortest - press a button, and you either got something done or failed at it. It wasn't like releasing an ad and waiting for the consumers to react next time they went shopping! The former needed the user's intervention, an action; the latter required just a reaction."
Make things simple, not simplistic.
"A designer's ability to understand and communicate business objectives can have a greater impact on a project's success or failure than their UX chops!"
(Matthew T. Grant ~ Wired)
UX design for real professionals.
"Flat design hides calls to action, and swiping around the edges can interfere with carousels and scrolling."
And information architects, visual designers, interaction designers, web designers, applications designers, etc. too.
"If we, as UX designers, are providing complete UX solutions and setting our clients up to successfully manage their site or application moving forward, then we are providing some form of information architecture, interaction design and content strategy together."
It's all human.
"Behind every successful design is a dynamic creative team, and it takes all kinds of personalities and skills to get the job done. However, the culture and expectations of a design agency are often largely centered on one outspoken, gregarious personality. Things such as group brainstorming, on-the-fly presentations and open workspaces have become the norm in most design agencies."
Adding XD to the X-soup.
"Luckily, the healthcare industry has figured out more effective approaches to treating patients and achieving better outcomes. Unfortunately, those of us in experience design (XD) consulting have not. In this column, I'll first explore why the typical XD consulting approach is not healthy for our client organizations. Then I'll look at what I think should be the ultimate goal of an XD engagement: educating our clients and being transparent about our XD methods and approaches."
Connecting Lean, Scrum, UX and canvas thinking.
"As Lean UX becomes more mainstream in the practice of product design and build, more and more teams are coming up against an interesting problem: by focussing so much on results not deliverables, and shipping small and often, the product itself can be in danger of feeling like a loose collection of features added over time, rather than a cohesive, robust, well-considered experience."
Design with prose, not pixels.
"In this interview, Jeffrey Zeldman explains why you should use words and stories to frame an experience. He reveals his writing process and why good copy teases interest; and why making your content the focus, and removing distractions, engages readers and improves web experience."
(Jeffrey Zeldman a.k.a. @zeldman)
An three-part article we wrote for the Touchpoint 5.2 issue from the Service Design Network.
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ "This three-part article is about a new technique in design projects for citizen-centred government services: the 'dialogue'. We will introduce dialogues to the service design community and share our lessons learned in using this technique. We also want to explore how dialogues create a shared understanding and commitment among designers and internal stakeholders."
Mens sana in corpore sano a.k.a. Νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ.
"Similarly with design, be clear about what your intentions are with your offering, whether a product or service. Internalize your mission and values, and let design be the expression of your intent. When your intentions are clear, so too are the fruits of your labor."
As long as you can explain it to your parents.
"In recent years, user experience design has become a popular topic in the web design community, with discussions focussing on successful examples of good UX design. With regard to websites, the term covers all aspects of a user’s experience within a particular site. In other words, the visual layout, information architecture, usability, graphics, user interaction: everything. User interface design and HCI, or Human Computer Interaction are both included in UX. UX design has its roots in the late 1940s as machines become both more complex and more prevalent in daily life, but it was in the 1990s that the concept of user experience design was named and popularized in relation to computer use. It is a multi-disciplinary field, covering aspects of sociology, psychology, graphic and industrial design, and cognitive science."
The theory, discipline, and practice of software engineering never really understood HCI. Why would they do now?
"For Scrum and Agile to live up to its full potential, it must address the needs of all team contributors, not just software developers. Giving support and trust to UX contributors will help motivate them to do their best work and leverage more of their skills in the pursuit of excellence."
Trucks and cars. 'Cars' as the new driving experience on the information highway.
"The goal of this document is to rise above the current alphabet soup of technical standards and create some conjecture and possibly even motivation around how these standards can work together. The web can be so much more that what native apps can do. It can offer interactivity like water, pouring out of any device with nothing but a click. This is the super power of the web and isn’t appropriately appreciated as the key differentiator from native apps."
Go Flin, go!
"While emotional design isn't currently in scope of many (corporate) interaction design projects, it should be. Because interaction design is about how it works. You can interpret this in many ways, but we think 'how it works' also means what your product 'does' with the user, i.e. how it feels. In this article I'll give you an idea of the potential of emotional design. We'll be looking at copywriting and visuals but especially looking at interaction, since we're interaction designers."
Find your UX home conference. Various community tribes to choose from.
"Getting out some evening to an organizational event or activity may seem scary or time-consuming. You may not know anyone. You may be tired after a long day at work. Going to a new national or international conference may also be intimidating, but other UX-ers want to meet you. They want to teach you things and they want to learn from you. Get out there. Associate yourself with an organization. Your UX career will be stronger for it."
(Cory Lebson ~ UX Magazine)
Content and interaction, a perfect match for the UX of apps?
Interview with Margot Bloomstein ~ "In some scenarios, getting a user to convert or react to a call to action is the desired outcome. It means your design and experience work. But if users are coming to and then quickly leaving your site, what are they really experiencing? If they don't take the time to explore and discover they may not have any loyalty to you or the experience. And if you're dealing in complex decisions, you want your users to take the time they need to fully understand and commit to their choice."
(Sean Carmichael ~ UIE Brain Sparks)
Change of job title is a daily business.
"In this column, I'll look at some of the common discussions about user experience and the use of language within the UX community."
Hope it helps.
A manifesto to connect experience design with content thinking. ~ "New challenges are upon us content people. The era of digital disruption requires adaptation at many levels by anyone involved with content, whatever its form or shape. As content crusaders, we want to point the road to travel with 10 imperatives. "Old school" and cutting-edge content organizations and professionals all face the same challenge of inventing and discovering mechanisms, rules and principles of unknown territories for content application. With this manifesto, we intend to reduce the friction in our collective journey of credible, useful, and relevant content for the digital era."
Tug of war between design and software engineering.
"The real challenge with the standard approach to integrating UX into Agile is fundamental to the staggered sprint model. The challenge is essentially that it is not wholly effective to try to be working ahead on the upcoming backlog items while at the same time supporting the development team, answering their questions, reviewing what they're doing, and providing ongoing feedback/microiteration with them."
Systematic, deep thinking and research. Sounds academic.
"This is not an issue of corporations' putting roles into silos. It's a systemic problem of companies' underestimating the importance of developing a deep understanding of their customers on an ongoing basis. More fundamentally, companies underestimate the great, untapped potential of UX professionals to leverage their deep understanding of customers at a strategic level within an organization. It's time that we expand the role of User Experience beyond execution, beyond output, and yes, even beyond design."
System thinking for UX design is disrupting our field.
As web and industrial design begin to collide, UX and UI design are particularly ripe for disruption. ~ "The last major shift in design arguably occurred in the 90s as print design gave way to web design, and designers suddenly had to deal with web safe colors, alias fonts, and the information design challenges of a non-sequential medium. Two decades later, design is approaching a similarly monumental shift as designers move from designing for the web to designing for systems."
Strategy for UX. But where's the UX vision?
"When you take your place at the strategy table as a UX leader, lean in and ground yourself in your deep understanding of customer behavior. Make it central to how you express your product strategy. This customer-focused approach will allow you to provide unique value to the master plan when you practice and evolve the three conventional business skills that I shared from my journey."
Increasing the relevance of HCI in the world. After people, now it's business, government and health.
"(...) three successes: transformative technology, the importance of experience, and the user-centric design process."
(Steve Whittaker ~ ACM Interactions Magazine) courtesy of markvanderbeeken
A little bit of "CMS, the software UX forgot.
"In today's digitally savvy world, end-users are making more and more decisions about what they want to get out of software solutions and how they want to experience those solutions. By keeping this in mind, UX teams can be the heroes of their own organizations - building tech experiences that both IT teams and end-users love to use."
(Michael Ashley ~ UX Magazine)
Well, that sounds dramatic and calls for a major reboot of our community.
"I had a profound experience last week, which unfortunately pushed me over to the dark side regarding my perpetually optimistic perspective on how UX design professionals will eventually take a place of equal rank in the boardroom. (...) the future ownership of the UX agenda will become the provenance of people not trained as designers or HCI specialists but of people who have never actually practiced design. At least they will employ designers."
(Daniel Rosenberg ~ ACM Interactions)
Art as experience and how information design can be an important part of exhibition design.
"What started with a conversation over coffee led to a realization that our lines of work had parallel purposes, processes, and goals. We found that we were both passionate about designing for people, regardless of what we were developing. This common vision led us to wonder if our industries are converging on a similar point: designing excellent experiences."
A kind of anthropomorphism, products with personality.
"We judge products by the personalities we sense through their aesthetics and style of interaction. It takes the skill and sensitivity of designers, marketers and user experience professionals to properly identify the personality that appeals to their target audience, and then consistently design, market, advertise and package that product with the appropriate personality in mind. The A.C.T. Model can help practitioners to more fully and systematically address the requirements that lead to successful products."
Great how resolution can drive design decisions.
"Proper use of color can enhance the user experience of any design as color affects humans psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. (...) Remember that user experience is overarchingly affective. Both objective and subjective evidence supports the concept that color affects humans psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. Importantly, these effects come wrapped in cultural contexts. This means that the reactions that color evokes in us can change depending on the culture or cultures in which we were raised, currently reside, or are currently acting as a user. Selecting and using color with thought, purpose, and care can enhance the user experience. We would love to hear your experiences with color use and choice in your designs. Please write your comments below. Until next time, please enjoy the experience."
Change is the only constant.
"As UX continues to broaden in scope and appeal, I'd like to look at certain aspects of current UX design practice to identify some emerging themes indicating that a fundamental shift in the UX landscape may be occurring. By considering its diversity, its varying roles, and its growing relevance, my intent is to provoke conversation and reflection on current practice and speculate on some future disciplinary goals beyond the screen. In this article, I'll put forth a few dimensions of an expanded view of UX practice that ties directly to current themes in design education and explicit shifts in industry as UX continues to gain clarity and mainstream status."
Tacit knowledge on the cognitive principles of instructional design gets revitalized in my brain.
Great connection between two of my beloved disciplines and fields of practice.
"In the shorter term (say, the next two to four years), I think we'll see some pretty obvious changes that have begun in certain places but have yet to enjoy a wider adoption."
Government, the service provider avant-la-lettre. Now it's time for transformational CXs.
"Many agree that a combination of factors – a demand for better user experience, the rise of ubiquitous technologies and more readily accessible datasets – present the conditions necessary for a more enjoyable life as a citizen of our country. But necessity is just the mother of invention; it takes hard work to get there. To narrow the gap between today's promises and tomorrow's opportunities, designers are increasingly intent on improving what's known as the citizen experience."
Design not only an agent of change, but design itself is changing all the time.
"Smart companies no longer just 'sell product' - they build ecosystems of genuine value, comprised of dynamic, interconnected touch points that stoke customer interests and support their needs. Customer experience becomes an essential business strategy. In the midst of this shift, where lagging businesses struggle to follow suit, our role as UX professionals is evolving and forcing us to work differently."
Is 'mobile' losing its meaning?
"In large technologically-driven organizations with a broad and complex product range, establishing a user-centric approach to product design can be very challenging. The shift towards designing products and services for compelling experiences for users requires (among other things) changes in planning, resources and processes."
The fourth screen coming soon in this theatre.
"At the BBC R&D, we have been working on how to exploit the interactive functionality now available through connected televisions through a number of projects under themes such as companion screens, authentication, Internet of Things, recommendation services, accessibility and so on. They are all exciting topics to explore and we were interested in finding out what the research community had to say on the subject."
The more data the document contains, the stronger the need for proper information design.
"UX deliverables had a rocky year so far. I feel particularly bad for the humble wireframe, which took some serious knocks over the past few months. There's also a growing skepticism about the value of Personas. The Persona thing made me particularly uneasy because I've always been a huge fan, and we still start most of our projects with a workshop to define Personas and User Journeys."
A list of so-called secrets, with a description phrase. We want narratives.
"I know many UX designers present themselves as unquestionable experts on human beings; as seers whose edicts should be followed to the letter. Come on."
Explaining it to UX designers is one thing, to your mother is another.
"If you are in an agency or consultancy environment, you might categorise service design as part of user experience and/or experience strategy. If you come from a product environment, service design might vibrate more to what you consider as product management and business design. In a nutshell, service design is delivering a designed experience onto different levels of actors with a more holistic approach in mind. Let me elaborate on that."
Great piece of content marketing.
"User experience is arguably the most important aspect of a connected digital device such as a tablet or a smartphone."
Text and typography is the ultimate user interface and experience.
"The good news is that most applications are already set up for integrating information. With planning and creativity, you can create a successful, positive information experience for your users."
Interdisciplinary team work at its best.
"Soccer teams, just like teams in any other sport, share a lot of difficulties and joys with UX teams. Think about how each player needs to have his or her role in the tactic scheme. Isn’t that the same as each creative having his or her own place on the UX team based on specific skills and abilities? Egos, collaboration, controversy, fast decisions, and especially the unpredictable moves are the beauty of being part of the game or the design project. Success in both cases is also closely related to teamwork, individual talents, and leadership."
The theatre metaphor provides so much inspiration, insight and knowledge.
"Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting. These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It's these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked."
Design for the experiences of kids, the KX.
"As technology becomes more advanced, interactive devices find their path into our everyday lives. Education is one of the most recent fields where new and interactive devices such as the iPad are being introduced. When interactive systems are used to teach children, it is essential to make sure that these systems are easy to learn and easy to use. They must not create a barrier between the child and the information to be accessed. On touch screen interfaces, interaction happens through direct contact between the hand and the interface. Especially for kids this offers great perspectives, as children naturally tend to touch things they want to interact with. However, due to the young age of interactive learning systems, little research has been done on how children interact with mobile devices."
Love the title of 'User Experience Librarian'. Information architecture meet UX for real.
"UX in libraries needs to be a completely immersive experience. We make sure our shelves are full of items patrons want and need. The surroundings are designed to be home-like with fireplaces, couches, power outlets, lamps, and meeting rooms. Across the country, libraries are thus transforming themselves from book warehouses to places where people want to come and hang out."
Service design as the vehicle for adding corporate value: E2 ('Experience Engineering').
"I believe that the strategic process of experience engineering is why it is imperative that the benefits of Service Design are communicated to and supported by people working at the highest organisational business level."
Identified a new type of experience: KX ('Kids Experience').
"Kids are special. There is no doubt about that. But it does not explain why they also need special attention when it comes to user research. Here are 5 reasons why we need to start doing user testing with kids and why it's very different than what we know from testing adults."
Some would label this 'evidence-based'.
"If our community is going to actively sell the concept of user experience, we need hard data. Yet at every conference I attend, I hear about new tools, new techniques, new processes - but almost never about unassailable scientific results that demonstrate replicability. Sadly, most of the case stories I hear are merely glorified advertising. Moreover, like touching the hot iron as a child, learning about what doesn't work is also important."
Research precedes design, and the other way around.
"Usability findings derived from a broad base of diverse studies have higher credibility than those based on many users with a single stimulus."
CX being driven by the EX.
"The methods of experience design uniquely situate experience designers to address employee disengagement in textured ways. By uncovering the root behavioral causes and co-producing solutions with employees, experience designers can create the right kind of resources, which empower organizations to own their desired change over time. As employee experience design is not a tidy activity, this article will focus less on concrete deliverables or step-by-step how-to-recommendations. Instead, a working framework is presented to assist experience designers in thinking through their own process-centric approaches and solutions."
UX management, another emerging discipline, practice and community.
"It is difficult for those not in Research & Development, Quality Assurance, Marketing or other non-customer related departments to immediately see the reasoning behind the need to hire a UX Manager. This is understandable. Those in more financial or executive positions have their own sophisticated sciences and logistics with which to be concerned and are forced, often against their desires, to leave the 'creative' sciences to those who specialize in them. With that in mind, this article will list ten reasons why all enterprise level businesses need a UX manager. Before continuing to read, please note that some of these aspects come as a result of the user experience development phase, rather than being components directly thereof. All people in leadership naturally understand that one ripple in a pool affects all the others, making resultant factors just as vital as direct ones."
And of course, also outside the UK.
"So why are relatively few companies turning to UX professionals or implementing in-house practices? The answer, somewhat predictably, is often cost or lack of human resources. But Is it worth it? Here we take a look at the issues, trends and health of the UX industry. (...) A UX or interaction designer (PJB: sic!) must think about how to conceive and design complex sequences of loosely choreographed interactions and rise to the specific challenges imposed by multi-channel and multi-platform services, managing their constant evolution. It's hard to deny that the rise of a UX design community has done wonders to improve the perceived quality of many recent products and services. In the future, business is likely to call on them even more."
Business, the new hunting ground for UX professionals.
"We talk a lot about cross-channel experiences and how to address these new challenges as designers, but what about using our design skills, our hard won knowledge and empathy for customers to help companies decide what products and services will help grow their business? While companies are coming round to the value of customer experience, they're struggling to acquire the skills needed for creating and managing touch points as well as understanding and prioritizing needs. And when we're talking multi-channel ecosystems, who's better equipped to address this complexity than those who have the skill set to not only understand it, but to design it and guide how it's built. From optimizing the cross-channel customer experience, to creating new product and service extensions, we're heading into a prime moment for bringing our toolkit into the business arena. This talk is meant to be both a thought starter as well as a lively group discussion around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company's digital strategy. Using examples from my own experiences and input from a variety of seasoned practitioners, we'll examine the challenges and map the opportunities across our own journey as UX professionals who are starting to think about what's next."
DTDT: UX is everything not-UI.
"People mix the terms UI and UX together. UX is tricky because it doesn't refer to any one thing. Interface design, visual styling, code performance, uptime, and feature set all contribute to the user's 'experience'. Books on UX further complicate matters by including research methods and development methodologies. All of this makes the field confusing for people who want to understand the fundamentals."
(Ryan Singer) courtesy of thomasmarzano
Connecting the shape of UX with stories, personas and dialogues.
"Why do we even need web navigation at all? Well, for one, navigation provides access to the content of a site. But more important, it's the way that it provides access that makes navigation necessary. After all, site search also provides access to content. Why not just have site search and be done with the problem of designing and maintaining a complex navigation system?"
The journey is the story, actually. With users (a.k.a. people) as the personae.
"I'm fascinated with the concept of applying storytelling principles to the processes of product development to create great user experiences. Of recent interest is the similarity between making a film and creating a digital product or service."
Brand experience, user experience or customer experience. Sum of all interactions? Don't think so.
"The design community has done its fair share to shape a UX-centric product-development culture, and in the last ten years, the practice of UX design - also often labeled with the same "UX" acronym - has arisen in parallel with the market relevance of UX itself. Even though the term "experience" and the expression "user experience" have both been abused to the point of sounding like yesterday's tired buzzwords, it is hard to deny that the rise of a UX design community has done wonders to improve the perceived quality of many recent products and services."
You cannot design any experience, but that doesn't mean you can't design the experiential context.
"A lot of designers seem to be talking about user experience these days. We're supposed to delight our users, even provide them with magic, so that they love our websites, apps and start-ups. User experience is a very blurry concept. Consequently, many people use the term incorrectly. Furthermore, many designers seem to have a firm (and often unrealistic) belief in how they can craft the user experience of their product. However, UX depends not only on how something is designed, but also other aspects. In this article, I will try to clarify why UX cannot be designed."
Kind of challenges, we must be aware of. And what are our responses, Toynbee would ask.
"New technologies have always produced unintended consequences. But user experience designers and engineers face a number of new ethical challenges today with the rise of technology and our interaction and dependence on it. UX designers' primary job is to improve usability and extend productivity. But they also have a responsibility to address the unintended consequences of new technologies, some of them with a clear ethical dimension. Following is a look at some of the principle ethical quandaries that UX designers will run up against and must deal with responsibly."
So, grow-up you UX community.
"Unfortunately, boardroom UX literacy does not develop by itself. It is the role of UX leaders to create an environment in which it can develop within their companies’ leadership teams and to provide meaningful data to which it can be applied. (...) I would suggest that the root cause leading to CEOs remaining underserved by the typical usability data available to them is a continued lack of business leadership focus and practice understanding among the UX community."
Technology entering into the veins of society and culture.
"But the great equalizer to make this experience economy a true, two-way economy may be the simple sensor embedded in my clothing, car, or public space. Digital value exchanges are beginning to extend far beyond the screen of my phone or laptop. Embedded sensors will allow me to increasingly exchange my activity for currency."
UX and HCI facing the business community. Always interesting.
"Apple keeps doing things in the Mac OS that leave the user experience community scratching its collective head, things like hiding the scroll bars and placing invisible controls inside the content region of windows on computers. Apple's mobile devices are even worse: It can take users upwards of five seconds to accurately drop the text pointer where they need it, but Apple refuses to add the arrow keys that have belonged on the keyboard from day-one."
(Bruce Tognazinni) ~ courtesy of freegorifero
Wondering why it's 'User Experience' but Interaction Design.
"Interaction design is a young field. At least, that's what we as interaction designers keep telling ourselves. And of course, in comparison to many other fields we are respectfully young. But I get the feeling that we use it more as an excuse to permit ourselves to have an unclear definition of who we are - and who we aren't."
Likes to write agile in lower case as well.
"(...) when a UX designer is integrated into an agile team and helps model the business processes, interaction channels, and user behaviours at the start of a project, it gives everyone a clear, common vision of what they're working with, and it provides a foundation to build upon going forward. When a UX designer asks the right questions during evaluation, the models evolve, the requirements become clearer, and 'bad ideas' are caught before it's too late. And, when a UX designer facilitates group thinking and collaboration on a daily basis, design decisions get made faster and team members have a stronger sense of ownership of the final product."
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."
Lack of quality impacts all aspects of life.
"Quality assurance impacts the user experience: when things don't work, users question their understanding and develop superstitions and inefficient workarounds."
The past 100 years of the future: Human-computer interaction in science-fiction movies and television (.pdf)
HCI in films, TV shows and SciFi is really getting a genre.
"During the past hundred years, science-fiction (sci-fi) films and, later, videos, have, of necessity, had to depict detailed views of human-computer interaction (HCI) of the future, or alternate pasts/presents, in order to convey a compelling scene and, sometimes, in order move forward the plot. This publication explores some of the themes that emerge from examining this body of work. The basic premise is simple: HCI professionals can learn something from sci-fi media, and sci-fi media-producers can learn more from HCI professionals in order to show smarter views of the future."
Besides business, startups are the new hunting grounds for UX design.
"To understand how User Experience fits into a startup, it is critical that you understand the startup maturation cycle. While each startup has its own story, they all typically progress through the same stages. It is essential that you understand the personnel dynamics, the startup's need for UX design, and its immediate business objectives and constraints at each stage."
Very happy Eric (finally) contributed to UXm.
"Dissonance is a musical term. It means things are not in harmony. Design dissonance occurs when a product or service sends out cognitive signals that run counter to the desired effect. In the strictest sense of the term, design dissonance often relates to usability - when a design somehow pushes a user in the wrong direction, in terms of both understanding and action. But in a broader sense, design dissonance can create disappointment, particularly when it occurs in relation to a service."
Don't get confused. It's just a DTDT effort in Venn diagrams.
"This mega graphic attempts to tackle the relationship between UX and all other aspects of 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."
Project manager versus project leader: It is about leadership, not bean counting.
"Planning user experience projects is a balancing act of getting the right amount of user input within the constraints of your project. The trick is to work out the best use of your time. How can you get the most UX goodness for your client's budget? This article explains how to choose the right mix of tools for the task at hand."
I'm afraid spirituality now also enters UX design. Help!
"To help reframe things, I'd like to propose a new way of modelling our design space: one that reflects both the core components of any good design effort and their overall alignment on an ongoing basis. The goal of the model is to improve learning and understanding throughout the journey. It's not necessarily a replacement for contemporary methods, but simply a different way of looking at things."
Pigs and lipsticks. Never thought pink was nice on an animal, except flamingos.
"Beauty is one of the oldest and most powerful concepts in human history—inspiring artists and lighting up cultural movements, philosophical debates, and, in modern times, curious scientific interest. Beauty is a desirable feature of the products we buy, with the power to shape consumer choices and preferences."
They will always be a great starting point for the unknowns of empathy and UCD.
"There have been some who have proclaimed the impending demise of personas as a UX design approach since shortly after their introduction. While the optimal approach to creating and employing personas is still evolving—thanks to more useful data becoming available to design teams and new project-management methods—their usefulness has not yet diminished. If anything, personas have become even more useful because they put a human face on aggregated data and foster a user-centered design approach even within the context of efficiency-driven development processes."
Being recognized, valued and appreciated by business is important in a society in which everything is seen as a market and a transaction.
"I think user experience will continue to become more strategically important instead of just service-oriented. What I'm seeing right now is user experience company-wide goals and metrics that are driven by the highest management level. This is starting to happen more in the technology world, but might spread to other types of products. UX roles might become a lot more specialized; however, what companies will look for is people that have cross-functional skills and can work in a variety of settings. You will start seeing compartments in the field as companies try to find out the best user experience strategy. You will also see the new grads with lots of different skills in their education and a background in design combined with other types of fields that previously might not be associated."
Gastronomy as a metaphor for UX is (still) my thing.
"A good kitchen-content strategy can turn your kitchen into a place that other people can use, too. This means you have to organize your kitchen in such a way that people can just walk in and find exactly the spoon or other object they need, quickly and without asking. Your personal guidance should become unnecessary, because the kitchen would be intuitively and universally organized. No one will ever open the wrong drawer or door or canister again. Everyone's unique kitchen style will now make perfect and immediate sense to everyone."
A provocative idea, but on the mark.
"Most products support activities underpinned by collaboration and sharing. Designing for individuals may actually be harmful because these activities reflect ongoing transformations of artifacts, individuals, and social interactions. Focusing on individuals might improve things for one person at the cost of others."
Content models, schemas and DTDs. Good old skool abstracting stuff. But... what's a page anyway?
"Recently, we discovered the page description diagram, a method for documenting components without specifying layout. At first, it seemed limited, even simplistic, relative to our needs. But with some consideration, we began to understand the value. We started looking at whether or not PDDs could help us improve our process."
The delicate position of UX between all the powers that be in business.
"It is easy to see that there are a few common ingredients across these different strategies, such as executive commitment, access to customers, new technical prototyping skills, and small, interdisciplinary teams. All of these ingredients are critical not only to UX, but also to developing the sort of bottom-up, risk-taking culture that is central to succeeding in the 21st century market. These skills are standard in the startup market where UX is increasingly appreciated as a key to success and value creation. The startup market is creating a new breed of business executives, like Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Square, who are impatient with requirements-driven waterfall product development processes. They think 'UX-first'. The big challenge now is to drive these same skills into the more traditional, top-down management culture at big companies. The companies that get it right will be either be at the forefront of disrupting business or much more likely to thrive in the era of disruption."
More DTDT necessary for Service Design?
"In this column, I'd like to briefly recap some highlights of the conference as a foundation for sharing the service design community’s upcoming task of redefining service design."
The end of DTDT seems near.
"The external validation model ensures that we're always arguing from a position of weakness—begging for resources before our managers or clients have seen what they're buying. We need to have the conversation about value after we’ve proven that the UX process works, not before. (...) Actions are stronger than words. We have the power to break the cycle of learned helplessness and earn the respect we crave—if we stop explaining UX and start doing UX."
Channel, device or touch point. Typical inside-out thinking.
"Channels are completely fluid to the context of our needs. We can define them broadly: digital channel versus phone channel. Or we can zoom in and define them more narrowly: mobile channel versus desktop web channel. Or more narrowly still: native app versus mobile web. The purpose of defining channels largely depends on the context in which they are being discussed - at what detail do you need to define a particular channel to support the experience? You'll typically define them more broadly at the organizational level, and then more narrowly as you move down to the strategic and then tactical level."
Service design forces user experience design to sync with the new normal.
"If there is one thing that has held the test of time, it's that history is bound to repeat itself. What was once old will most certainly become new again in the cycle of time because good ideas never go out of style. Service design is a shining example of this fact. In spite of the fact that the conception of service design is nearly 30 years old, it is an idea that is more relevant than ever today."
(Mark Eberman ~ Digital Compass)
More UX galore for the near future. Now we have to deliver the real goods.
"For years, UX professionals have vigorously lobbied for a "seat at the table" when it comes to formative decisions about products and product development. Looking back at 2012, trends indicate that this wish is becoming reality. Many leading UX consultants reported that their clients are more open to research and design methods with a UX focus than they have been in the past. This elevated focus on UX ideas and concepts will require informed engagement with several high-level topics that emerged in 2012. This article discusses five of the themes that we expect will have relevance into 2013."
And then... something magic happens here.
"Stage magicians have been astonishing and delighting their audiences for years. But there is a surprising amount of repeatable principles behind the art of illusion. The bulk of the actual work in a practiced stage act is more about directing the audience's attention and expectations. Your application can also benefit from the principled application of practices such as direction/misdirection and not letting your users see your secret preparations and many others."
Thinking has always been a critical skill. Not mobile, content or user first, but think first!
"As user experience designers, we must lead our processes and people with meaning, purpose, and intent. We must connect the dots forward from a problem to solution, not the other way around. This can only be done if we become more observant, aware, and empathetic."
The relevance of user experience design in business contexts is mounting rapidly.
"This presentation is divided into two parts. The first part is about setting the stage a bit, and in order to do so I will address the interrelations between some of the changes the telecom industry is facing, and how corporate research and innovation relate to these. In the second part I will illustrate how we at Ericsson Research recon that user experience plays a role in all of this."
The hunting season for trends of 2013 has been opened.
"(...) As user experience matures, it will become more closely aligned with business strategy—so the same priorities that drive the business will guide UX design. Instead of producing designs and deliverables to meet business requirements, UX professionals will collaborate with business strategists to co-create solutions that successfully engage customers and exceed competitive offerings. This expansion will require some learning on the part of UX professionals, who must gain literacy in the business drivers that cause their companies to succeed or fail in the marketplace."
Food is not gastronomy as well.
"UI design is a huge part of UX. I would say that in a good majority of cases the UX designer does in fact design the interface as well. But UX is not UI. This is where the education of others comes in. Helping people understand just what UX is and the invaluable role it plays is illustrated beautifully with the UX Umbrella."
Design spikes to protect our design core.
"The rapid pace of UX design in the agile world can lead to shortsighted design decisions. Focusing on addressing the immediate needs of particular user stories within the limits of a sprint can lead to neglect of larger design questions, which can come back to haunt UX designers later."
Standing in the mud is the real work. The rest is just words.
"User experience design just stopped to be a niche and became a standard. (...) User Experience Design lies at the crossroads of art and science. It's a magical mixture of visual art, hard-boiled psychology and numbers. Non of these nobel ingredients can be omitted, as it may put your whole design endeavor at risk. (...) All my experience taught me that conversion optimization is not a weekend-long job - it's a way of developing your service. That's the tiresome reality. The true Dark Side."
(Marcin Treder a.k.a. @marcintreder) ~ courtesy of thomasmarzano
From application or site to service. Not really a giant leap.
"The emerging focus on user experience will be the key to companies' success as we move from an industrial to a service-oriented society. Service Design focuses on the methods and processes of a service from the point of view of the user. The goal is to make sure that when a client or customer interacts with the service, from branding to customer service to any point of contact, there is room to make the service more useful, efficient, and effective."
Adaptation is the best way to survive.
"The abilities of today’s network information technologies to create rich, immersive personalized experiences to track interactions and aggregate and analyze them in real time, together with the data collected by the sensors we carry in our smart devices, provides us an opportunity like never before to design adaptivity in order to ultimately offer a better user experience that is both unobtrusive and transparent. This article will cover the fundamental concepts for utilizing smart device technologies and sensor data in order to understand context and introduce 'adaptive thinking' into the UX professional's toolset. I will demonstrate the importance of context when designing adaptive experiences, give ideas on how to design adaptive systems, and perhaps inspire designers to consider how smart devices and context aware applications can enhance the user experience with adaptivity."
Building User Experiences: Synchronizing User Experience Design and the Supporting Metadata and Taxonomy Infrastructure
Taxonomists focus on content organization. UX designers on content experience.
"Despite their best intentions, user experience designers and taxonomy and metadata developers have often found that their work is not well connected, even though both are highly interrelated. For example, a design might be proposed that needs segmentation of content by user role, but there may not be metadata associated with content that captures the role, resulting in the need for detailed review of content and hand coding to create the experience. Taxonomists might build a taxonomy for roles without knowing which roles the design uses, leading to over- or under-specification of the taxonomy."
(Carol A. Hert, Gary Carlson, and Bram Wessel ~ ASIS&T Bulletin, December 2012/January 2013)
Be careful not to fall in any of them. Other mistakes still ahead.
"More and more organizations view UX as a key contributor to successful products, connecting teams with end-users and guiding product innovation within the organization. Though it's fantastic to see this transition happen, there are growing pains associated with becoming a user-driven organization. These are the pitfalls that I see organizations grappling with most often."
It's the human touch in a 'moment-of-truth' that makes the difference.
"While walking back to the infusion center from the hospital cafeteria, my mom briefly stopped and held the wall-railing to catch her breath. Enter a maintenance man 10 feet away who asked "Would you like a wheelchair?" My mom thanked him but graciously declined and we were on our way once again heading to the elevators. We were both moved by his kind and proactive attention. This man exceeded our expectations and two weeks later we're still talking about him. With four key ingredients, he transformed an ordinary moment into an extraordinary one for us and delivered an exceptional patient experience."
As said before, an awesome wave of change (a.k.a. Alt-J) for UX designers is coming. Just surf on it.
"(...) as we approach the end of 2012, the business discipline of customer experience, or CX, has gone mainstream. It's got its own professional organization, the CXPA. It's acknowledged as a key competitive differentiator, even by those who prefer spreadsheets to sticky notes. It's discussed in boardrooms and in media within the context of corporate earnings."
Lost in... Get lost.
"Today we can also say, translating is designing."
Can be the first rule of almost all fields of practice.
"(...) the most employable people are hybrids."
DTDT for PX.
"The sum of all interactions, shaped by an organization's culture, that influence patient perceptions across the continuum of care."
Generalist inside the UX comfort zone (think: coding, visual design or content creation), or outside (think: gastronomy, theatre or architecture).
"If you doubt whether you're up to the task, you'll probably discover that you do indeed fall short. I'd encourage you to embrace those moments when you're outside of your comfort zone."
Experience Design in the Agency Setting : Architecting cross-channel experiences to drive brand relationships
Experience design: user, customer, patient, and student experiences.
"As the user experience field has been maturing, certain unique disciplines have emerged, like user research, usability testing, content strategy, information architecture, and experience design. While different organizations may have UX departments named after any one of these disciplines, this article focuses not on taxonomy or the UX/XD service offering as a whole. Rather, it will examine the distinct "experience design" discipline itself and how this discipline can add value within the agency setting."
Having access should be a hygiene factor, not a motivator.
"People often go a bit wobbly when accessibility is mentioned. Visions of text only websites, monochrome designs and static content swirl in their heads. Teeth are gritted, excuses are prepared, and battle conditions ensue. The reality is that accessibility is simply a key part of UX. A truly outstanding digital experience is a fusion of accessibility, usability, creativity and technology. The trick is to weave those things together, and to do that successfully there needs to be a cross pollination of skills and expertise. The good news is that accessibility is usability under a magnifying glass. If you’re thinking about great usability, the chances are that you’re already thinking about great accessibility too."
(Léonie Watson ~ humanising technology blog) ~ courtesy of ericscheid
Let's rock too.
"User experience has momentum. Let it roll, and get back to work."
Is it what you are or what you do? Both."
"My work involves helping people to understand how to best plan circumstances in which users are engaged and satisfied with their experience. Yet, I do not call myself a user experience designer."
"I shall not today attempt further to define 'it'; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it."
"I am one of these people. I design experiences. Or I design for experiences, if we must mince words. I don't do this because I was trained to do so. I do this because I must. I am a User Experience Designer. Or whatever they’re calling it these days."
Revitalized and DTDT (again). Just like love.
"It makes no sense to ask what "user experience design" really means; it means whatever we use it to mean. We can ask what we need it to mean and how we already use it. I submit that we need a term for designing systems that include interaction design. And we already use "user experience design" to mean that now. If we could agree on that, I might stop feeling so bad about calling myself a "user experience designer"."
Shaping compelling experiences with data, lots of them.
"This is a new sandbox for technologists, data scientists, marketers, and experience designers. What are the corpora we have access to? What is lurking within our data smog? What are the new experiences we can create? No doubt we will continue to see art and humor, but let’s use those to inspire us as we imagine what else is possible. The biggest potential (and as always the hardest problem) is in the development of game-changing experiences. I look forward to seeing where this goes."
DTDTs are signs of community dynamics. More DTDTs, the better.
"The translation of megabytes and code into a deliverable product that fulfills the needs of a user is done through User Experience Design."
Business will open up for UX, only when UX shows respect.
"A lot of the problems with practitioners in our field arise because we are sometimes seen as almost anti-business. I've seen this attitude in the community, I've seen practitioners become zealots about the user, their feelings and their rights. They fight and resist decisions that are made for commercial benefit because they might impinge on the perfect user experience. This isn’t helped by an often evangelical, polemic and condescending attitude and language."
From business, through digital to C/UX strategy. The plan to achieve the vision.
Seeing parallels between UX and other fields of practice stimulates the creative flows.
"Since most people are not very familiar with modern competition fencing, let’s start by taking a look at the sport. Modern fencing has its roots in swordplay, but the training and tactics employed are meant to win competitions, not duels. Bouts are fenced to a set number of points. Points are most often scored by making a valid touch on your opponent although points can also be awarded if a fencer retreats off the end of the strip or for certain rule violations. There is a director who judges the bout and enforces the rules."
(Ben Self ~ UX magazine)
Organized through orchestration, choreography, or direction.
"Experience design claims to know better both a user experience as well as its design. The paradox therein being that no experience is designed. Experience is either in the Now, in which case it is event. Or it’s in the past, in which case it is reflected upon and then retold."
How fast things are going is a matter of perspective. Even in the publishing industry.
"You can debate all these things for as long as you want, but your audience has already chosen for you. They've already gone "mobile first". You probably need to start playing catch up."
A kind of atoms versus bits, again.
"Product quality has to be judged in the context of human tasks, and reviews should emphasize real use—not raw numbers."
Experience design for employees, customers, users, and (now) patients.
"The healthcare experience is improving even though we've almost all had a less-than-pleasant memory of either waiting endlessly for an appointment, forgetting when and what dose of meds to take, crying over massive and unpredictable bills, or even just locating decent care in the first place. All of these mounting complaints and expenses have finally pushed healthcare to the tipping point. As a result, a patient-centered paradigm has emerged that is forcing organizations to more closely examine and improve the experiences they provide."
The new 'homo universalis' of experience design.
"Product designers often work alone, and because they're expected to do so many things, end up working on projects of limited scope. (I think this contributes to the problem of managing complex user experiences). My supposition is that the small team of generalists can also out-produce an equal number of team-of-one product designers. You get higher quality, because folks who have a functional emphasis (such as visual design or interaction design) can deliver better than those whose priority is developing a broader set of tools. And you get greater output, because their mastery of those areas means they can deliver more quickly. What you give up are the transaction/overhead costs of teamwork, but I don't think those are as great as the gains."
Product, service, platform, ecosystem, and experience. All the way.
"(...) Service Design is about creating meaningful experiences and meaningful interactions - for and with the customers. It's not about the products itself anymore (their features can easily be replicated) it's about differentiating products by creating new ideas and emotional interconnections."
Digital agencies (also) discover experience design.
"The role of a business now is to orchestrate such experiences for its customers, in such a way that the memory itself becomes part of the product - the experience."
It's Garrett, not Garret.
"It's not every day you have Jesse James Garrett stop by to talk about the state of user experience and its role in the future of business. But, we were fortunate to have him visit the set of Revolution to talk about the importance of people and experiences and how UX deserves the attention of the c-suite."
Metrics of Usability or CX, framed as UX benchmarks.
"Quantifying the user experience is the first step to making measured improvements."
Startups being the fertile ground for UX design. That's 'users' as in 'customers'.
"Like many of my contemporary UX Design peers, I started my career as a so-called usability specialist. Fascinated by ergonomics and cognitive science, I was working to make sure users were able to actually use interfaces. Armed with user research, heuristics and a little bit of prototyping, I was trying to find my place in the 'developer-oriented' world. This wasn’t easy."
Here we go again. DTDT, re-framed as "what came first".
"Customer experience is always a little tricky to explain. It's just so darn big. What doesn't it cover (not much) and who is responsible (good question). Often, customer experience is translated into user experience - the front-end digital experience of users."
The perfect mixology: strategy, lean, UX, and design.
"Lean strategy in UX design means getting to a simple, actionable statement about what problem we are going to solve for the user as soon as possible, so that the design process can proceed. In fact, lean strategy often happens in concert with design, enabling us to be more adaptive and to more easily apply our thinking to our designs. It's about being less precious and profligate with our decks and deliverables, freeing us up to bring greater clarity and focus to our ideas. It's strategy in motion, pressing us forward rather than holding us back until everything has been figured out and proven with mathematical certainty."
The numbers - if true - are amazing.
"The growth of the User Experience Design field is breathtaking, but well deserved. Thanks to UX Designers all over the world, the quality of products has increased dramatically. Design really does matter now. It’s a user centric world in which there’s not only Apple on the scene anymore."
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."
Finally, content as main driver of the user experience.
"Discussions at recent news industry conferences have often referred to the importance of good user experience, particularly during discussions about how news outlets are reaching and interacting with their users on digital platforms. References to user experience could cover a range of aspects, including the user's journey through content, an app or a news website, the usability of those products and the experience of consuming a single piece of content. For the purposes of this feature I asked managing editor of the Wall Street Journal's digital network, Raju Narisetti, what user experience meant to him in the context of news and journalism."
(Rachel McAthy ~ Journalism.co.uk)
"As user experience extends itself across devices and channels in the years ahead the biggest winners will be companies that take a holistic and planned view of how it all works for the customer. (...) If user experience people are to be successful in changing the hearts and minds of these groups, then we need to seek out opportunities to speak with them on their own ground and use a vocabulary that resonates with them: tying UX to social benefit, improved business performance and new marketing opportunities."
Screaming and kicking into the new phase.
"We, the UX crowd, are the new brand leads. We are the ones who will win battles and wars in customer perception and preference. Advertising leaves an impression, but digital interaction creates an immediate emotional state through functional creations."
Perceptions are all based upon belief systems.
"There are many common beliefs about UX design that are, unfortunately, based on casual and inaccurate observation. However, through systematically planned and conducted user research, we can see that some of these could not be further from the truth. In this series, I'd like to single out a few such design beliefs that meet two conditions: many product development professionals believe them and little user data supports them."
Addressing design in the enterprise.
"Understanding an organization and its users and designing the right interaction and visual system take exceptional effort. You also need to communicate that system to teams that have already produced work that doesn’t align with it. This isn’t easy work. In this article, we’ll introduce you to a strategy for fixing the broken experience that starts with surface improvements, goes progressively deeper into structural issues and ends with a big organizational shift."
Signs of growth: spin-offs of UX in tourism, banking, and health. Next-up: Edu.
"As the current system of delivering care for patients has proved not to be so effective and sustainable for the future, also because of the demographic change, the health sector is looking for different models of designing and delivering services, also learning at different disciplines to mutuate tools and approach."
Whatever strategy your business has, it must be a digital strategy.
"This column focuses on three key aspects of aligning User Experience with a company's business functions and, thereby, breaking out of the mold of user interface design: understand the company, the competition and the customer."
Job titles are the starting points of the silo problem.
"The reality is that you don't need to have the title of a UX professional or consultant to make a contribution in the field of user experience. If you are passionate about making a difference for the users who will eventually use the product you are working on and have the skills you need to do the work, that's really all you need to contribute to the product's user experience. Simply decide for yourself that this is what you want to do, no matter what title you happen to have in your organization. In this article, I'll give some advice to people who want to work as UX professionals. While most of these tips provide general guidance to anyone who wants to become a UX professional, some apply specifically to technical writers."
Integrative thinking leads to better designs for user experiences.
"Let's take a quick look at the left brain-right brain theory to recap which part of our brain is responsible for what. Then, we'll shed some light on how you can consider different ways of thinking in your design in order to optimize the experience for your visitors."
Now that we have grown up, our future is to enter the big world of the marketplace for real.
"Companies all over the world clearly need user experience designers, but even more, they need an excellent User Experience."
Without a strategy, the HOW gets lost and the WHY remains static in the UX vision.
"Today, organizations interact with their customers through multiple digital channels such as call centers, mobile devices, applications, and Web sites. It is not enough to create a strategy for these channels from business, technology, and marketing perspectives. Rather, it is essential that an organization’s UX strategy be at the core of user-centered design. A UX strategy establishes goals for a cohesive user experience across all channels and touchpoints."
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?"
Something with copy, steal and artists.
"Startups really aren't thinking about what the user wants, and how to help them accomplish that goal. Focusing on that is the only thing that will actually make your users happy."
Following the UCD process in any form is no guarantee for success. No process is.
"We all know basic tenets of user-centered design. We recognize different research methods, the prototyping stage, as well as the process of documenting techniques in our rich methodological environment. The question you probably often ask yourself, though, is how it all works in practice?"
Congrats with the Forrester book on CX.
"The practices in the design discipline help organizations envision and then implement customer interactions that meet or exceed customer needs. It spans the complex systems of people, products, interfaces, services, and spaces that your customers encounter in retail locations, over the phone, or through digital media like websites and mobile apps. Design weeds out bad ideas early and focuses your customer experience efforts on changes that really matter to customers. By leveraging expertise and ideas from customers, employees, and partners, it encourages creative solutions--and helps avoid missteps by grounding those solutions in reality. "
(Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine ~ Fast.Co)
Think system, not discrete nodes a.k.a. site, app or shop.
"Digital service design incorporates many existing disciplines – like web design, information architecture, user experience and content strategy. It is, if you like, an organising umbrella principle, in which all these disciplines can work together to build something that meets – and surpasses – user expectation. Perhaps most fundamentally, it's about letting go of the website as the core idea of digital development, and thinking about service as something that can be delivered through any number of channels – some of them digital. Instead of fretting over your mobile strategy, you figure out how to express your service principles through a mobile device."
In the end, honesty always prevails.
"But somehow, it's not enough. Nor will it ever be. And where I'm aiming to go, unicorns and one-size-fits-all don’t seem to make sense. Maybe someday, I'll find something I can identify with. But for now, I don't think I can quite call myself a UX designer, because it's getting harder to identify what I do as wholly UX. For what it's worth, I am doing bits within UX – but I can't claim fame to all of it."
Keep making it better, all the time.
"Since the rise of the Agile movement iteration became one of the hot words in the whole New Technologies industry. We're encouraged to iterate, we should close iterations of our work every week or two. Iterations are simply everywhere."
Or what algorithms can learn from heuristics.
"User Experience plays an early, fundamental role in guiding basic decisions that shape websites and digital products, and is increasingly afforded a seat at the table, so to speak. The reason UX is such a juggernaut is because of the multiple disciplines it encompasses—design, information architecture, usability engineering, interface design, content strategy, and research. In spite of its relative youth, UX as a discipline has grown exponentially in stature over the last few years."
"Information Architects work to create usable content structures out of complex sets of information. They do this using plenty of user-centered design methods: usability tests, persona research and creation, and user flow diagrams (to name only a few). That said, it still seems that UX design is in vogue. (...) UX builds on the foundation that IA provides, aiming to take that experience to the next level, both creatively and emotionally. This is the outstanding difference that defines how the apps, sites, and products of today are designed as opposed to those of yesterday."
Research, the most important activity in user experience.
"In this column, let's take a look at some recent technology developments that promise to change the landscape of user experience in the months and years to come (...)"
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."
Products and services morphing into digital ecologies, ecosystems and habitats. No more spaces?
"As social media technologies and computer-supported, collaborative activities become more ubiquitous in people's work and everyday lives, UX professionals need to expand their skills and focus to take on broader experiences than just individual users engaged with single applications. It is crucial to understand people as social, cultural, and organizational components who are linked to other people, other technologies, and loads of information. The UX field is primed to step beyond just designing applications, and it's time to start thinking about the UX ecosystems in which these users and applications exist. The best way to begin that transition is to think in terms of biology."
Experiential to the max.
"The ease and fluency with which designers and clients alike can move into and around the centered set of practices and concepts of UXD brings with it a marvelous opportunity to re-define a bounded set for the remnant of cats for whom the bucket of design is interesting but not the central thing drawing one in, and for which the place of beginning isn't end users and designing their experiences."
Crossing the border to CX.
"Garrett shares how research, psychology, behavior and design can open the doors to meaningful creativity for design and product experience strategies. But more importantly, he shares how executives across the organization can learn from the UX team to improve services, business models and overall customer relationships."
Still convinced we can learn so much from the discipline of Instructional Design.
"With educational applications for kids, corporate eLearning, and online degree programs, more and more UX designers face design briefs for creating digital experiences with an educational purpose. Other applications, whether they're new or launching new features, often present micro-learning experiences that gently teach users how to use the software."
As with all new things, it will take some time before UX Strategy establishes its position.
"UX strategy is about building a rationale that guides UX design efforts for the foreseeable future. UX strategy can be effective in an agile environment if you can complete the strategy before agile development begins. Following a lean UX process, you can develop a UX strategy that is sufficient when time and money are very tight, and you need to complete a working product at the earliest possible date. However, lean UX does not serve UX strategy well in large companies that can afford the time and resources to collect and analyze the data they need to formulate a strategic UX roadmap that produces a sustainable competitive advantage."
Designing the white spaces, loud silences and waiting moments.
"The intention of this article has been to highlight some of our thoughts on creating pervasive information architectures. Our goal has always been to try to develop a practical framework that can be used early on in a design process to help us visualise the information space that we are so commonly being asked to design for nowadays."
Beauty is a joy forever.
"To make something beautiful is about deciding what to make, exposing people to it, and claiming with authority that it is beautiful."
(Marc Hassenzahl ~ Interactions July + August 2012)
The brain and strategy, an ideal combination.
"Finally, the corporate world is catching up with UX fanatics. Companies are hiring UX designers and UX strategists like crazy. As these UX professionals complete projects, many organizations are happy with the new software they’ve created, but they haven’t necessarily learned why and how they can continue to implement better user experiences in the future."
Well done, Milan!
"For me, the word Experience in the context of Design work refers to the way people experience the world, and making everything we produce fit into their lives. The word preceding Experience is about the perspective you use when talking about someone's experience, the roles and the scope you want to focus on. For an enterprise, this translates to the ways it chooses to appear in people's lives."
Designing the right circumstances so the proper experiences can emerge.
"It seems an endless discussion whether the user experience can or cannot be designed. The difficulty of the discussion lies in the level of abstraction. I believe that is because everything is an experience and everyone is a user. There is no standard definition, nor consensus among the practitioners, of what experience design really is. In this article I hope to shed some light on the issue. I will share my thoughts about the difficulties to design the user experience and give some practical tips how to overcome this challenge."
Experience designer would be a better label.
"There's a lot of best practices that Walt did that we as user experience designers should embrace and do. Here's some of them (...)"
Can there be such a thing as software products?
"When something is wrong, it deviates from truth or fact. And I can say, with more confidence than ever, that traditional Agile software development methodologies (i.e. Scrum) are wrong for UX. In order to prove my case, I want to take you back to the inception of Agile (as I have read and experienced it) and its related software development methodologies. Along the way, we'll point out the reasons these methodologies are incompatible with the field of User Experience Design."
Speak up, we want heroes or champions more than (self-proclaimed) gurus.
"Your leadership superpowers will flourish as you stay engaged with the people influencing your product, become a confident voice for the user, and own the success and failure of your projects. The users of the world need UX practitioners to save them from noise, clutter, and wasted time. Producing work is not the same as providing leadership and strategic value. In the real world, people aren't born heroes; they're forged in moments of need. Rise up and defend your users. You are the expert, so lead and others will follow."
If academic is European, then economic is definitely American.
"User experience is the net sum of every interaction a person has with a company, be it marketing collateral, a customer service call, or the product or service itself. It is affected by the company's vision and the beliefs it holds and practices, as well as the service or product's purpose and the value it holds in that person's life."
UX team lead or UX champion would be a better label.
"UX managers come with all sorts of fancy-pants titles. This isn't about titles. This is about responsibilities. The core difference between a UX manager and the staff of a UX team is the responsibilities she holds. (...) Someone who manages user experience has stuck their neck out and said they'll deliver business outcomes through improving the experience that customers have with a product or service. That doesn't mean soft results like better user testing results, that means delivering the things businesses ultimately care about: adoption, growth, revenue, retention, and margins."
Any tool extends the human body and mind.
"First nitpick, the customer should be the focus of the canvas. You're reading this sentence left to right, the canvas is the same. The Business Model Canvas is organized chronologically because it's made by business people, for business people, and it's based on a supply chain."
One tends to forget how long some of our histories are.
"(...) we need to better understand business language, issues, and concerns. To have the influence we think we should, we need to enlarge the solutions we create so that they can operate effectively in the economic and political systems of business. Experience isn't just something that gets imagined and designed. It gets funded, delivered, and managed."
This DTDT still forgets content. Wrapped box still remains empty.
"Unfortunately, in the field of user experience, people often confuse terms like information architecture, interaction design, visual design, usability engineering, and UX design. In some cases, people use these terms almost interchangeably. This article provides a lexicon of these terms and more clearly defines the role of the user experience designer."
Get to work with the smart, passioned and genius designer.
"Building a quality UX team in any setting is a tough challenge. Trying to build a quality UX team in a services organization presents unique challenges, because a ready pool of qualified applicants simply does not exist. Thankfully, our profession is in demand. The unfortunate side effect is that we can't easily find the right people to grow our team, even in this challenging economy."
Brand experience: outside-in versus inside-out. It's just a matter of direction
"I have found that the best way to think of user experience is as the core of a brand: the reactor or the nucleus. Without good user experience your brand means nothing. But what is a brand? Its most basic definition is the sum of the experiences that a person has with a company or organization. You may be wondering what branding has to do with you the interface designer."
The journey is the reward for experience designers.
"Journey models are emerging as a welcome and valuable refresh of some old and new tools in our UX arsenal. They are not just another deliverable for your checklist; they're a valuable method for digging deep into problems of long-term engagement, cultivating empathy, and establishing a problem space in which to generate and test ideas. Their output can serve as a backbone for strategic recommendations and more tactical initiatives. Form and function can vary widely depending on the project and stakeholder needs, but at their core, journey models are stories that focus on the meaningful relationships between individuals and organizations, and highlight opportunities to build a better future."
Great to see a post by Christina on B&A again.
"Because this state is so desirable, both for productivity and for pleasure, many application (web and mobile) designers are starting to try to design for it as well. This is a daunting task. First, all humans are different. This means in identical situations I hit flow at a very different moment in the ease-to-difficulty continuum than you do. Secondly, flow is extremely easily to disrupt."
As music is the structured interruption of silence.
"We talk about good user experiences an awful lot these days, but when it comes to digital interactions, hardly anyone seems to know what that really means."
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."
Sounds like cross-channel design for UX.
"(...) social media is very much our concern. That is because social media is firmly a part of the user's experience, and we are user experience designers. The user experience does not occur within a single channel (such as a website or Facebook page). Users move between multiple channels and so all of these channels need to be designed as one consistent user experience."
First character the same, second not. Must be different then.
"UI is the saddle, the stirrups, and the reigns. UX is the feeling you get being able to ride the horse, and rope your cattle."
It's academic, so it must be (almost) European.
"This workshop aims to bring together researchers from academia and industry, as well as industry practitioners, who are conducting UX design and evaluation work and who either are applying theories, theoretical concepts and frameworks in their UX research or have concrete plans to do so."
Lights at the end of the tunnel.
"For a UX professional, one of the hardest things to measure is how much stakeholders and clients have bought into UX research. There is no clear, quantifiable answer to this question. Nevertheless, there are several signs that indicate stakeholder engagement, uptake, and buy-in. This article identifies some of these signs."
Now UX Strategy is the subject for this DTDT format.
"In the minds of many UX professionals - at the levels of both members of UX teams and UX executives - there is no such thing as UX strategy. But based on the scenarios that I've described in this column - all of which I've taken from real-life situations - the felt absence of UX strategy indicates that it urgently needs to become a reality."
I can think of another 25 valuable skills. It takes at least 10.000 hours of work to become a real pro.
"The background, education and skills of professionals in User Experience are diverse. Regardless of whether you're more on the research side or more on the design side of the User Experience, here are five skills that will make you more valuable and effective in your job."
One image, a thousand words. One word, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.
"It is all too easy to create UX deliverables that are not visually pleasing. But UX expertise encompasses Web design, graphic design, and branding, so why should we be satisfied with mediocre design in our deliverables? When we present our personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables."
Again a broken 20th century institution to refocus on experience: the PX
"In my view, UX designers can do more. Learn about the problematic healthcare cultural characteristics that dominate and that need to change. Alter how you do design research. Don't limit yourself to incremental innovation and work that is narrowly focused on UIs. Question the advisability of doing projects that, in essence, only amount to putting lipstick on the very large healthcare pig. Escape your comfort zones in order to have the kind of impact on the world that you desire."
(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @riander)
One of my rare original blogposts.
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ "In this post, I would like to talk about what has been on my mind for the last year or two: the relationship between user experience and customer experience and how user experience designers can extend their influence in businesses."
The DTDT thing disguised as an opinion.
"The complex interplay between UX and content strategy allows for many different scenarios, but one thing is clear to us: Most of the time, content strategy efforts should not fall under UX. UX professionals are expert in creating intuitive, clear paths within websites for visitors to consume all your audience-targeted content. Content strategists are expert at creating content that meets audience needs."
War might not be the proper analogy.
"When companies don't care about user experience, it is clearly reflected in the products they create. Although everyone can agree that software should be intuitive, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing, many managers aren't willing to invest the time and resources it takes to build something compelling. A large part of our job as UX advocates, then, is explaining design's impact on the company as a whole. Determining which battles to win and which battles to lose - even intentionally - can help you win the UX war."
UX moves up the ladder and more into business contexts to make a difference.
"Being a services consultant in the field of user experience insulates you somewhat from the daily grind. But seeing the same problems, products, companies, and types of people can easily wear you down. However, despite the variety in UX work, a certain amount of routine and repetition can cause the exciting rituals of user experience to become habitual. When that happens, you can lose the excitement of the work, and jadedness can set it. It is vital that, as UX professionals, we re-examine not only what we are doing, but how we are doing it. Keeping our activities fresh is not only good for our professional aspirations, but in the end, serves the best interests of our customers."
Knowing to code makes a better designer.
"In this column, we'll discuss innovative approaches to application design that are based on our personal experience in the trenches."
(Jim Nieters, Amit Pande, and Uday M. Shankar ~ UXmatters)
It's one of those DTDT's again.
"Bottom line: in everyday conversation, whether one uses the term Lean or Agile or What-not is probably not that important. What's more important, is an understanding of how Agile and Lean help make traditional UX a more whole practice."
There's some real magic in all these apps.
"Design an experience. Make it as beautiful - and as emotionally resonant - as it can possibly be. Then adorn the core experience and content with only as much functionality as is absolutely necessary. Functionality - and software-based thinking in general - is like seasoning. A little is an enhancement; any more destroys the flavour, subsumes the artistry of the chef, and may well be bad for you. These new classes of devices, so immediately personal and portable and tactile, aren't desktop-era shrines demanding incantation and prostration. They're empowering extensions to our real, actual lives - and that's a profound thing. They take what was once prosaic or mundane, and give us just a taste of superpowers. They're augmentations, and they should be beautiful."
Calling it 'Customer Experience' might help.
"The closer you are to your customers, the more relevant your product will be and the more likely you make it for people to choose you. It may seem obvious, but the gap between those that do and those that talk is widening, despite the immediate bottom-line benefits. But more than this, companies that put usefulness at the heart of what they do become part of their customers' lives. Engaging with customers then becomes an ongoing conversation, rather than the stop-start involvement that characterized the 20th century. This makes it much easier for customers to come back, and keep coming back."
Assuming the computer talks to you. Computer says 'No'.
"If you were talking to a person who did this you would assume they either weren't listening or were slightly unhinged. When a computer does it you're likely to assume that using the site isn't going to be a pleasant experience, or worse, you may leave."
And beyond technology as well. All through design.
"Over the last few years, the popularity of UX has grown by leaps and bounds. Companies have come to realize the importance of offering engaging experiences to their users, lest they risk losing them to competitors that have invested time and money into improving their product and service experiences. An interesting side effect of this enhanced focus on UX is that it has helped make users more sophisticated. This, however, can be a double-edged sword; as users become more sophisticated their expectations also increase, and UX professionals must find new ways to meet these elevated expectations. One way to achieve this is to extend the experience beyond the device."
Reads like blowing the last post on UX design. Or is it IA?
"It's been seven years since I took that first step into IA, and, sadly, it seems that the practice of understanding and prioritizing information before designing the interface has been abandoned. And because of that, we are facing a huge problem in the world of UX, which is, simply put, that we are devolving."
Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).
"Digital strategy touches every fiber of your operation. We firmly believe that it takes a systematic approach that's woven into your organizational fabric to deliver compelling customer experiences - an approach comprising a recurring cycle of ideation, design, development and evaluation (...) The Design Factory is a methodical, structured design capability that comprises people, processes and tools. It infuses your organization with the creativity, agility and efficiency to successfully execute your digital strategy - from conceiving innovative solutions through to using robust and scalable approaches for design and specification."
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."
Old wisdom: What people say is (often) not what they think.
"(...) get your participants to think aloud, but encourage comments that illuminate the problem space - because that's what usability testing is all about."
Besides DTDT and "There is no such thing as...", we also have "(...) can't be designed" as a recurring theme.
"User experience has been getting a lot of attention these days, but many businesses are confused about the actual meaning of it. In my opinion, it can be defined as the summation of different considerations i.e. defining the information structure, enabling the users to manipulate the data/information, and communicate the different possibilities to the users."
Misconceptions are sometimes born out of plain ignorance.
"There are many reasons why usability professionals don't use statistics and I've heard most of them. Many of the reasons are based on misconceptions about what you can and can't do with statistics and the advantage they provide in reducing uncertainly and clarifying our recommendations. Here are nine of the more common misconceptions."
Experience getting to the heart of innovation.
"This is a User Experience Special Interest Group event by SIGCHI Finland, supported by UXUS research project by TEKES/FIMECC. We have a special guest speaker from Delft University of Technology, Rick Schifferstein, talking about taking an experience as a starting point of designing products. Finnish speakers will accompany Dr. Schifferstein with speeches on experience design."
Large organizations is a different playing field for many UX peeps.
"The consequence of UX not being seen as an essential profitability lever is that it's rarely adequately represented in the upper echelons of large organizations. It's mostly seen as an auxiliary function down in the trenches as opposed to a core foundation of the business."
CX or/versus/and UX? It's in the air. Consumer of customer, that's (still) the question.
"Forrester recently released a report on the rise of the Chief Customer Officer. The emergence of a C-level role with authority over customers' interactions has caused much hand-wringing within the UX community. It's like the job (we think) we're made for has been stolen from us."
After objects of desire, we get services of desire?
"I created the desire engine in order to help others understand what is at the heart of habit-forming technology. It highlights common patterns I observed in my career in the video gaming and online advertising industries. While the desire engine is generic enough for a broad explanation of habit formation, I'll focus on applications in consumer Internet for this post."
Oh no! Not him again!
"User Experience is about gaining insight on customers and prospects, and guiding the design of products and services based on direct input from those people on a regular basis. UX is NOT about getting people to do what companies just want them to do. UX is OPPOSITE of advertising. UX is about making things that people actually need, not trying to convince people that they should want them."
And these are just three of them. Many more to come
"(...) sought to address some of the biggest red herrings in UX today. Ultimately, I want to turn 'myths' into 'truths' and introduce my definition of Experience Strategy as well as the critical notion of the 'Aspects of the Experience'."
Like all strategies, it's still a strategy. A plan to walk the talk.
"User experience strategy builds upon an organization's business and product strategies through a shared vision for a product or service from the end user's perspective. UX strategy can also extend beyond a single product to create a vision for what a customer's interaction with your company will be like across multiple products and touch points over time."
Cross-channel becomes touchpoint orchestration.
Example: Touchpoint orchestration ~ "Consumers interact with companies in many different ways. They may receive corporate information through publicity in the media, they see brand advertisements on TV or in magazines, they interact with personnel during the buying process or at the customer service desk, they unwrap packaged goods, they sample products in stores, and so on. Ideally, the different design elements that consumers experience should work together like the instruments in an orchestra to create the overall experience. Just like the instruments in the orchestra each have a different character, the design elements do not need to be similar in order to work together in creating a great and engaging experience. Touchpoint orchestration makes sure that all different elements work together and in the right order, in order to create the desired user experience."
Is Don Draper (a.k.a. Mad Man) becoming the reference for all things and beyond? Used to be Peyton Place.
"Like so many things related to technology and new media, champions tend to push a bottom-up strategy. But, my point for this series is to complement the current groundswell by convincing executives and decision makers to lead top-down strategies that covey a vision for what customer experiences should involve. Then, and only then, we can inspire incredible UX to in turn bring that experience to life. Everything starts with defining a vision that articulates the view of the customer journey not just as you see it, but what it is that customer would appreciate, relate to, and value."
Theatre and art as sources of UX inspiration. Just like "Art as Experience" (John Dewey, 1932)
"Degas may have said that he knew nothing of inspiration or spontaneity, but in reality, he knew their meaning better than most artists. More important, he understood the work that is necessary to make either happen. So, I continue to be fascinated by Degas, his process, and the beauty of his work. Therefore, I am choosing to get a little off topic to explore some important lessons from Degas and what I like to call his performance art."
We call this an ego-document in the positive sense of the word.
"Practicing user experience as part of a larger services organization is hardly ever just about designing the user experience of a particular product. Any UX professional in a services role taps deeply into the human-relationship side of the discipline of user experience. The world of services user experience is challenging, fast paced, and, in some ways, different from a lot of other UX roles. I will be sharing this world with you in future columns."
Never seen 'convenience' as a quality attribute for user experience, like usable, useful or desirable.
"Technology and innovative design have made many products and services more predictable and efficient, the two lower levels of Different's 7 Essentials of Customer Experience. Convenience, the next essential of customer experience, is a critical factor in determining how customers make decisions about what to buy, what services to use, where to go, and with whom to engage. Conventional wisdom says that convenience is a factor of time and effort. On the surface, that's true, but if you dig a little deeper to fully understand service convenience, you need to consider another factor: perception."
There are many ways to success. UX being one of them. More and more so in the Experience Economy.
"While some people see differentiation via user experience as a bit of a copout, there's a lot of empirical evidence that suggests a product that solves a real problem with a simple, easy to use interface will succeed."
InfoArch gets rehabilitated.
"By bringing the IA phase back and by concentrating first on the information, several things will happen. First, your sketching and interface design becomes much, much better because you have prioritization and buy off on the content, context, and users you are designing for. This means that your wireframe/prototyping phase becomes a lot more about the interface and not what content should go in the interface and why. Second, you are showing your stakeholders that UX design truly isn't just form, but really is also about function. We are moving away from the interface, which is how we started, and towards a real solution of which the interface is only a part. Third, we stop lying to ourselves, and we stop saying that the best UX solutions aren't just the coolest or the best aesthetically, but they are those that take content, context and users into consideration while creating an aesthetically appropriate interface. Most importantly, we stop UX's slide down the evolution scale back towards the time of print design and outputs, and instead continue our climb up the mountain towards being the user experience experts."
See, UX gets picked up by the 'big guru guys'. Let's see what they do with it.
"User experience is a priority that should, in some way, find a home within the design of any new-media strategy. (...) User experience is now becoming a critical point in customer engagement in order to compete for attention now and in the future. For without thoughtful UX, consumers meander without direction, reward, or utility. And their attention, and ultimately loyalty, follows."
Or how UX and CX can be disruptive. Love the comments.
"A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect. Although the term disruptive technology is widely used, disruptive innovation seems a more appropriate term in many contexts since few technologies are intrinsically disruptive; rather, it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact."
The baby, toddler, teenager, and adolescent phases of UX research.
"An increasing number of organizations and individuals who develop software products, Web applications, Web sites, or other digital products are gaining a better understanding and appreciation for user experience and UX design and research. Subsequent to the introduction of some magnificent products and services that many executives now own or use-such as smartphones, tablets, Web applications, social media, and video games-they have gained a better understanding of what UX design and research can do to boost the success of a business offering."
As long as we see UX projects as software engineering projects and not the other way around, the plus and minus sides of the magnet will not connect.
"Teams moving to agile often struggle to integrate agile with best practices in user-centered design and user experience in general. Fortunately, using a UX Integration Matrix helps integrate UX and agile by including UX information and requirements right in the product backlog. While both agile and UX methods share some best practices-like iteration and defining requirements based on stories about users-agile and UX methods evolved for different purposes, supporting different values. Agile methods were developed without consideration for UX best practices. Early agile pioneers were working on in-house IT projects (custom software) or enterprise software."
As long as UX designers learn from their mistakes.
"Rather than talk about tactical mistakes, such as in prototyping and running studies, I focused on the ones we overlook the most, about attitude and culture."
Why 5 and not 7, 9 or 3?
"User interface details matter to the overall user experience. Many users may not consciously notice these details on your site yet they do have an impact on the overall user experience. When everything feels just right the perception of your site and brand is improved. In this article, we'll look at 5 different types of UI details you should pay attention to."
Or, on the value of working with models. Of any kind.
"An interaction model is a design model that binds an application together in a way that supports the conceptual models of its target users. It is the glue that holds an application together. It defines how all of the objects and actions that are part of an application interrelate, in ways that mirror and support real-life user interactions. It ensures that users always stay oriented and understand how to move from place to place to find information or perform tasks. It provides a common vision for an application. It enables designers, developers, and stakeholders to understand and explain how users move from objects to actions within a system. It is like a cypher or secret decoder ring: Once you understand the interaction model, once you see the pattern, everything makes sense. Defining the right interaction model is a foundational requirement for any digital system and contributes to a cohesive, overall UX architecture."
Old borders evaporate, new ones emerge.
"In our increasingly connected world of 2012, we have more ways of continually learning to better understand, communicate, live, and work with each other, both locally and globally. The old boundaries, borders, and divisions are slowly disappearing, and established systems are starting to break down, making it challenging to learn what this new world means to all of us. When it is easy to become a friend of someone who does not live in our neighborhood or even our country, our assumptions about other people start to change. Similarly, the UX research and design professions are seeing a shift that edges us beyond the boundaries within which we live and work, forcing us to look outside our window when designing and improving the products and services we work on."
But when does a startup become a non-startup?
"These principles describe how best startup teams have always worked. By attempting to describe Lean UX, we hope the approach can be repeated, taught, and practiced deliberately to make startup teams more successful, more quickly."
Less usability, more friction.
"In this article I'll be applying a similar approach to introduce Positive UX; the idea that good UX isn't simply the absence of usability issues. I intend to draw parallels between the fields of well-being and UX in order to illustrate the factors that define and foster Positive UX and the implications this may have on measuring good experience with the web."
(Rob Howells ~ Humanising Technology)
Technology moving into the fibers of our emotions.
"As Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design moved from designing and evaluating work-oriented applications towards dealing with leisure-oriented applications, such as games, social computing, art, and tools for creativity, we have had to consider e.g. what constitutes an experience, how to deal with users' emotions, and understanding aesthetic practices and experiences. Here I will provide a short account of why in particular emotion became one such important strand of work in our field."
Start somewhere, then practice 10.000 hours.
"Quite often, Web magazines, blogs, and other Web sites feature many interesting and informative articles about how to do UX design, graphic design, and Web design, but offer very little content about the fundamental steps that one must take to actually develop a career in one of these fields. So what should you do if you are just starting out as a UX designer, and what steps should you take to further your career?"
Or in terms of scope, service design relates to customer experience; web and app design relates to user experience. And what about experience design a.k.a. cross-channel experience design?
"In reading what they write about, it is disturbing how little reference Customer Experience people make to User Experience people. I've come across several references to human factors and usability, but you'll almost never find Customer Experience and User Experience in the same book, article, or room. This worries me. It worries me because I think that actually, this is possibly one of the best, strongest alliances that could exist in companies. It worries me because so much of what CX people do is what we need done so that the experiences we're designing have a real chance of being good. And it worries be because I think we as UXers could really benefit from understanding, in greater detail, a lot of the structure and discipline and business focus that CXers bring to our combined cause."
One of the many intro's on Service Design, trying to answer the question of its value for commercial purposes.
"If there is one thing that has held the test of time, it's that history is bound to repeat itself. What was once old will most certainly become new again in the cycle of time because good ideas never go out of style. Service design is a shining example of this fact. In spite of the fact that the conception of service design is nearly 30 years old, it is an idea that is more relevant than ever today. Service has become a serious topic of discussion in the design community these days and it's being recognized more and more as a key to business success in competitive markets. Good service design breeds satisfied, loyal customers. This post will walk you through the basics and how you can begin using it to your advantage to turn travelers into your very own brand ambassadors."
UX designers express their identity crisis. Some deep mind work needed.
"In recent times, it has become increasingly difficult to describe who UX professionals are and what they do. As a new entrant into this profession, defining who I am and presenting the skills I possess as something that is valuable to any organization has been an uphill task."
UX design remains a people business.
"Even though there is no single answer to the question of how innovative or conventional a team should be and no clear gauge for how free or controlled a development process should be, you can make thoughtful decisions about what the right settings for those knobs are within your own organization. In doing so, make sure you take a value-neutral approach and understand your own biases going in. Then, choose the appropriate balance for your team, and select whatever tools and processes make the most sense for where you’ve set those knobs."
Using patterns creates rhythm, confidence, and trust.
"Like many of you, I'm passionate about crafting communication products that help others understand and act. I appreciate the work by writing practitioners who ask how sentence structure can support humans. I'm intrigued by the work of those of us who explore taxonomic relationships and ensure our tools bring consistency to thought. And recently I've become engaged by the thinking of information architects who attend to patterns and components."
In the DTDT or 'There is no such thing as...' category. And where does this debate lead us to? It depends.
"As experience design has evolved from early ideas about human-computer interaction to our present understanding, we can see how the industry has shaped the tools for studying, influencing, mediating, and sometimes even controlling the way people experience the artifacts they interact with. But that raises a question: can experience really be designed? And it certainly triggers lively debate."
Really hope her dissertation changes the discourse.
"The attention for experiences as economic offerings has increased enormously in the last decade. However, the lack of a clear definition of experience and the bias towards the organization's perspective in the discourse cause much confusion. In this study experience is taken back to its basis: the encounter between an individual and his or her environment. Different concepts, effects and values of experience are defined to construct a more integrative discourse for the experience economy from the individual's perspective. To reap the benefits that the experience economy offers, the role of organizations has to change from a directing and controlling one to a more supporting and facilitating one. A true recognition of the co-creation that takes place in experiences shows how much latent potential for creating value there is yet to discover."
Right, always thought I was the center of the universe.
"Here's my simple response: Don't take on projects that you wouldn't personally use yourself or recommend to your friends and family."
For a lot of companies, it's just annoying that they have customers.
"Service companies can't show customers a tangible product. Since services are intangible, the only way to sell them is by making a promise to perform. But most service companies fail to keep their promises, leaving customers frustrated, confused and abused. Why do so many service companies fail to keep their promises to customers?"
Both fields seem to be at the wrong side of the magnet.
"(...) when experience design is married with agile development, the results can be a crisis of faith on either or both sides."
Learning from the seniors.
"The first thing you should decide is what you want to focus on. There is a great variety of roles in user experience. Some UX professionals are generalists who do everything from user research to UX design - and sometimes even software development. Others specialize on a particular aspect of user experience such as interaction design, visual design, content strategy, or ethnography. And many fall somewhere in between - for example, a UX Architect who conducts user research and is responsible for every aspect of UX design except visual design."
How can you ever make something worthwhile if you haven't looked into it, a.k.a. research.
"(...) we'll discuss how research planning can reduce costs and decrease the time it takes to perform user research. One of the biggest challenges in performing user research is determining which research approaches to apply and when to apply them. The research methods you choose are dependent upon a variety of factors, including budget, schedule, development phase, business goals, and research questions."
DTDT (again): Interface is part of the object and experience is part of the subject, be it for design or development purposes.
"UX Designers focus on the structure and layout of content, navigation and how users interact with them. (...) UI Developers focus on the way the functionality is displayed and the fine detail of how users interact with the interface."
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."
Great and necessary piece of information visualization for understanding purposes.
"Experience maps have become more prominent over the past few years, largely because companies are realizing the interconnectedness of the cross-channel experience. It's becoming increasingly useful to gain insight in order to orchestrate service touchpoints over time and space."
AAPL seems to falsify this. People willing to pay high prices for superb quality.
"The digital age changes our notions of quality, and in particular, our notions of the limits to quality. Generally, there are two limits to quality: The first limit is your imagination. If you are innovative, you can increase quality in many creative ways. The second limit to quality is what the customer will pay for. If your product is priced too high, even if it is of super high quality, you won't be able to sell many."
It's academic, so it must be European.
"Dr. Marc Hassenzahl is Professor for Experience Design at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen, Germany, and research manager at MediaCity, Åbo Akademi University, Vaasa, Finland. He is interested in the emotional and motivational aspects of interactive, mostly tangible technologies, that is User Experience, Experience Design, the hedonic side of product use. Marc worked with companies, such as Samsung, Nokia, German Telekom, and lately BMW, on his vision of designing 'the experience before products', arguing for a postmaterialistic notion of designing things. He recently published Experience Design: Technology for all the right reasons with Morgan Claypool."
The Don at TEDx (again), event organised by a Dutch 'university'.
Understanding features in terms of complexity instead of functionality ~ "His studies and books on design theory coupled with his extensive academic and industry experience help companies produce enjoyable and effective products and services. Norman brings a systems approach to design, arguing that great design must touch every aspect of a company."
Great to see B&A revitalising.
Understanding features in terms of complexity instead of functionality ~ "The best products don't focus on features, they focus on clarity. Problems should be fixed through simple solutions, something you don't have to configure, maintain, control. The perfect solution needs to be so simple and transparent you forget it's even there. However, elegantly minimal designs don’t happen by chance. They're the result of difficult decisions. Whether in the ideation, designing, or the testing phases of projects, UX practitioners have a critical role in restraining the feature sets within our designs to reduce the complexity on projects."
But what if 'everything' is, then 'nothing' is.
"The emerging service economy will require business and society to do some some fundamental restructuring. The organizations that got us to this point have been hyper-optimized into super-efficient production machines, capable of pushing out an abundance of material wealth. Unfortunately, there is no way to proceed without dismantling some of that precious infrastructure. The changes are already underway."
Whatever you build, make sure it's usable and 'fun'.
"So, when is an immersive digital experience appropriate? Although platforms should focus on getting users to their destination, the content users find there can be immersive. Programs should be immersive, but balance experiential design with usable design. Immersive experiences are notoriously difficult to document, from a UX perspective. The frameworks I've outlined are helpful in defining immersive experiences to a sufficient level of fidelity for a client to feel comfortable with the direction your solution is taking, but doesn't inordinately influence the creative team."
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)
Couldn't deny the proper framing of 'Pictures Under Glass'.
"As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I'm a little skeptical of, given that I've actually tried them and the animators presumably haven't. But that's not my problem with the video. My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It's a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible. This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world. If you're a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact. This little rant isn't going to lay out any grand vision or anything. I just hope to suggest some places to look."
Or what the form of the character T can initiate. And what about the A, K, or X?
"This second installment of my series on hiring IA practitioners, therefore, expounds on the Boersma T-model by presenting a grid that can help hiring managers make informed recruiting decisions by giving them a clear picture of the key verticals of UX practice, while taking into account three potential levels of an IA practitioner's professional experience."
What would happen if we only talked about experience, human, user, or customer?
"In the fields of user experience and service design, we use storyboards to illustrate our solutions, so clients can walk in the shoes of their customers, staff, or community and see our solutions as we see them. Storyboards are appealing at an aesthetic level, but are trickier to use in persuading clients who are more used to cold, hard numbers, charts, and tables. Offering more tangible measures of customer sentiment helps clients make connections between the experiences we depict and the sorts of technology, financial, and resource decisions that are necessary to make those experiences happen."
Usabilty guidelines are just heuristics, for desktop, laptop and mobile.
"Many guidelines are similar for mobile and desktop design, but their mobile interpretation is much more unforgiving."
The problem with most UX projects is that there are clients involved, not customers.
"The relationship between client and designer does not always work out as smoothly as we would wish, despite the best efforts of all concerned. In this column, I'll take a look at some of the questions that can arise on a project team - and how they should and should not be answered. I hope these raise a smile - and possibly help you tackle the next awkward client conversation you encounter."
Convincing is as hard as persuasion.
"In your work as a UX professional, do you ever find that you need to convince people that the team should follow a user-centered design process? Do you need to convince stakeholders they should do user research? Do you try to get user experience thinking inserted earlier in the project lifecycle? Perhaps you need to sell yourself or your company? I certainly do. In fact, I find that there are many of these persuasive moments in the practice of user experience design. To be successful as a UX professional, you need to know how to be persuasive."
Simply following a set of UCD processes and creating the obvious UX deliverables doesn't lead anywhere.
"(...) brands have to take the lead in innovation with a strong and consistent vision, and outlined several reasons why it's actually detrimental to listen to your users. I have to admit, their examples are compelling, but are they correct? How do we reconcile their claims with what we know about the value of design research and user-centered design? (...) I surmise that the pioneers of innovation really did have inspiration, intuition, hypotheses, hunches and non-linear thinking on their side. These are traits I would consider a part of a tinkerers' personality."
And if the enterprise had a baby with the economy, they would call it the customer a.k.a. the human being.
"If IBM and Apple had a baby today, it would be called UX. Not very likely, perhaps, but you see the point: UX has a mixed heritage, drawing from engineering traditions as well as big-D design traditions. I would like to characterize briefly what I have come across as typical values in professional UX practices. Then talk about what I see as 'designerly' ways of working within interaction design. And then finally put the two together in order to highlight some opportunities for designerly ways of working in UX."
Talk about Design in a language each can understand.
"Without a style guide, high-fidelity mockups are the best way to communicate a new feature to developers. Unfortunately, though, pixel-perfect mockups almost always result in duplicative and wrongly abstracted code. Why? First, fidelity alone (without good annotations) does not communicate the abstractions you intend. Without knowing how the designers conceive of the design language, developers may make different modeling choices and make the code difficult to maintain. Second, higher fidelity can unintentionally signal novelty. Developers may think that you mocked up something in higher fidelity because it is a new UI component, and thus fail to reuse existing code. This slows down development and results in bloated, less maintainable code."
Important knowledge from inside the mind, brain and spirit.
"How does one end up in UX after counseling delinquent girls and brain injured individuals? This question is one I am asked frequently once people find out the somewhat unorthodox route I took towards my career in UX. With some explanation, the connection between the two areas becomes much clearer and there is greater understanding for how my background in psychology has laid the groundwork for a career in UX."
Inter touchpoint is cross-channel design; intra touchpoint refers to the design of the artifact.
"Seamless, cross-channel experiences are the way of the future, as technology fades into the background and the personal, physical, and social context determine the methods we use to interact with information."
Seven is the magic number, for ux strategy as well.
"UX strategy is about building a rationale that guides user experience design efforts for the foreseeable future. This article provides an overview of the ingredients I consider essential for developing a successful UX strategy. If you want to enter the growing field of UX strategy or learn more about it, this overview points you in the right direction."
One wonders why it takes so long finding valuable stuff from other fields. And btw, a customer journey depiction is not a storyboard!
"The fields of user experience and service design typically use storyboarding to sell design solutions. They do this by casting personas in stories, showing the benefits of those solutions. They often look quite polished and professional, and can be daunting to some in these fields to pick up a pencil and try it for themselves. But not only can you draw these scenario storyboards yourself to sell your solutions, you can also use them as a powerful method for devising those solutions in the first place. Storyboards are part of the intriguing world of sequential art, where images are arrayed together to visualise anything from a film to a television commercial, from a video game to a new building. They're an effective communication device, bringing a vision to life in a way that anyone can grasp and engage with, before investing in producing the real thing." ~ UPDATE: Added part 2 and part 3
Let's register, trademark or patent all 'new' ideas we have so we can stifle society.
"Wasn't the Lean Start-up® simply a case of the Emperors New Clothes? A combination of User Experience Design and Agile development rebranded and repackaged for a new market. Also, what the hell was that ® about?"
Paying attention to UX is just good business.
"User experience is a catch-all term that we use in the software industry to describe the overall feeling an end-user gets when using a product. The UX is the attitude that is triggered when using (and subsequently thinking about) a company and their products and services. Since your user's attitude affects their future behavior toward your brand or product, a good user experience is vital to product adoption, engagement and loyalty."
Great set of interesting conference talks.
"Welcome to the world of atoms. The human body is part of the physical world. It savors touch and feeling, movement and action. How else to explain the popularity of physical devices, of games that require gestures, and full-body movement? Want to develop for this new world? There are new rules for interacting with the world, new rules for the developers of systems."
We not only love people, but products as well. And they don't talk back, sort of.
"People often say they love a product. What do they really mean when they say this, and is this a phenomenon that is relevant to the field of design? Findings from a preliminary study in this thesis indicated that people describe their love as a rewarding, long-term, and dynamic experience that arises from a meaningful relationship built with products they own and use. Inspired by existing approaches to the experience of love from social psychology, research tools are developed for the closer study of person-product love. Using those tools the research in this thesis investigates how person-product interactions are linked to the experience of love and how these influence love over time. The findings reveal how the experience of love arises from person-product relationships, how love relationships develop over time, and which factors can provoke change in the love experience and love relationships over time. These findings present opportunities for design researchers and designers to foster rewarding experiences and long-lasting person-product relationships. Person-product love relationships can bring emotional rewards that benefit people's wellbeing and stimulate sustained efforts to keep loved products for longer."
(Beatriz Russo ~ Technical University Delft)
Or, what a simple diagram can bring.
"What I also find disturbing is the lack of competency that some senior IA practitioners, with three to five years of experience, demonstrate when looking for employment. As a manager of an IA team, I have reviewed many resumes and portfolios of IA practitioners who don't meet the basic requirements; whose design artifacts don't reflect what I would expect of someone with senior-level experience. Does anyone know what junior or senior means? UX design managers, managers of information architecture, and IA practitioners should have a shared understanding of what makes a junior or senior IA practitioner a viable candidate."
Some handy tips and tricks from the ghost hunter.
"It was never my childhood dream to become a usability professional. In kindergarten, I didn't observe the other kids playing with their toys and think of ways to improve them. I didn't yearn to perform heuristic evaluations, usability tests, and contextual inquiries. Don Norman wasn't my Mister Rogers and Jakob Nielsen wasn't my Captain Kangaroo."
Sounds more like information architecture, projects and clients to me.
"To do well in either architecture or user experience design, the ability to communicate well is key, and the most important part of communicating is listening. As designers, we need to listen to our clients and their customers to understand their needs and requirements. We need to communicate our designs to both our clients and our development teams in a way that they will understand. Our ideas need to be translated into designs and made concrete, through user scenarios, workflow diagrams, mock-ups or wireframes so that they can be discussed, understood, tested and improved upon. Communication becomes even more important once those designs start being built. As I already stated, nothing ever gets built as planned. Therefore, communication is key in working with the development team to evolve and refine the design as it gets built, and to manage the expectations of the client throughout the development process as those changes are occurring. And, a lot of that communicating is listening."
Well said: "I'm getting too old for this shit."
"(...) ideally the phrase UX will disappear completely into a collective understanding and we will once again call ourselves by titles that better describe what we do all day."
'Then a magic occurs' is not enough anymore.
"Designers are makers who craft solutions to problems that plague customers, clients, and at times, society as a whole. The specialized tools and jargon (leading? kerning? cognitive load?) often understood only by other practitioners are a designer's hallmarks. How we actually design and arrive at viable solutions is a mystery to most. Some believe this mystery helps us maintain the perceived value of design in our organizations. In today's world - a world craving more and better design - however, this mystery is actually holding us back as a profession."
Market research is rooted in demographics related to consumerism. Design research does the psychographics of me and my 'group'.
"Research plays a vital role in UX, as we need to understand our users and their motivations in order to design products which meet their needs. Market research is all about finding out what people do and why. But how many companies have combined market research and UX teams? I'm going to outline what it's like to work in this kind of team and share how my background in market research led to a passion for UX."
Reading this, I would almost give up on organizations. But I don't.
"Over the last 6 years, I've been fascinated by watching how teams work together to create experiences. Much of these 6 years was spent with agile teams. Slowly, my personal practice as a user experience designer has evolved. Instead of focusing on what I can do to improve the experience, I've come to focus on what I can do to improve the organization."
Or how old skool insights can be revived.
"(...) I (and many others) have been told to "create a good user experience." We've heard this in creative briefs, project kick-off meetings and critiques. It may have been a bullet point in a PowerPoint presentation or uttered by someone trying to sell a client or company on the value of their services. But there's a fundamental problem with stating that your goal is to "create a good user experience." It's not specific, directly measurable, actionable, relevant or trackable. Thus, it will create disagreement and disorganization, sending many projects into chaos. However, we can avoid this by using S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting criteria when defining user and business goals."
It keeps coming back to the idea of 'know the material you work with'.
"Interaction design is a multi-faceted discipline that links static communications together to form an experience. Understanding the basic principles of this discipline is core to designing websites that are not only aesthetically pleasing but that actually solve business problems and bring delight to their users. This article just scratches the surface of interaction design. For Web designers of any kind, considering these fundamentals when designing any transaction or interaction is imperative."
The ship 'Titanic' sets course to a new UX iceberg.
"Over the past two decades, the volatile evolution of Web applications and services has resulted in organizational uncertainty that has kept our understanding and framing of the information architect in constant flux. In the meantime, the reality of getting things done has resulted in a professional environment where the information architect is less important than the practitioner of information architecture."
How UX influences product strategy and the other way around.
"Many UX researchers and analysts aspire to influencing not only design implementation, but also product strategy. However, it is rather difficult to effect this kind of influence because user research insights tend to center on design and fail to speak to a company's overall strategy for a product. In this article, I'll describe how you can influence product strategy through a well-defined approach to user research and illustrate this approach by describing my first-hand experience with it. I'll also discuss how any UX professional intending to add business value can leverage this approach in influencing product strategy."
Humans just have one mission in life and that's to learn. From the beginning 'til the end.
From Apple's poster for its retail employees. - "All of these experiences have made us smarter. And at the very center of all we've accomplished, all we've learned over the past 10 years, are our people. People who understand how important art is to technology. People who match, and often exceed, the excitement of our customers on days we release new products. The more than 30,000 smart, dedicated employees who work so hard to create lasting relationships with the millions who walk through our doors. Whether the task at hand is fixing computers, teaching workshops, organizing inventory, designing iconic structures, inventing proprietary technology, negotiating deals, sweating the details of signage, or doing countless other things, we've learned to hire the best in every discipline."
Increasingly 'computer' becomes a generic term; its instantiations matter.
"Mobile use will rise, but desktop computers will remain important, forcing companies to design for multiple platforms, requiring continuity in visual design, features, user data, and tone of voice."
Marketing 2.0 has a change, and that's not marketing the social way.
"Like it or not, the digital world has changed at a wicked pace, and more and more interactions between companies and their customers now happen via an interface. Software serves us everywhere, and the user experience now shapes these interactions every day. At the center of all this change sits the brand. TV and print advertising now regularly feature digital experiences from the likes of Apple, Google, Toyota, GE, and Amazon. The visual interface has become the new face of your brand. This means that the role of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) is now harder, and their influence must reach further into the organization than ever before."
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?"
As a designer, you must know the materials you're working with: computational and connected data, information and content.
"Human-Computer Interaction has strong roots in Computer Science, and user experience design is almost exclusively a technology-focused practice. How much does UX design share with its engineering-focused sibling? I'm going to share some thoughts about my experiences from making the transition from software engineering to UX, and how my past career has made an influence in my roles as a user experience designer today."
Service design as holism applied to man-machine studies, HCI, UI and product design for Linux pros.
"Like it or not, the vision of the interconnected future is coming, and our mundane devices and appliances are going that route as well. Making those things work well for users, while still allowing user freedom, is important, and it's something the free software community should be contemplating."
(Jake Edge ~ LWN.net)
Recurring issue, especially now with all the buzz around Agile, Scrum, and 'what-have-you'. IBM called it OVID.
"If the UX professional's job ends at the end of the design phase, something is wrong with the process."
As long as there is still confusion among few, these DTDT posts seem relevant. 'Filed in Graphics' (sic!)
"In today's creative and technical environment, the terms UI ('User Interface') and UX ('User Experience') are being used more than ever. Overall, these terms are referring to specialties and ideas that have been around for years prior to the introduction of the abbreviated terminology. But the problem with these new abbreviations is more than just nomenclature. Unfortunately, the terms are quickly becoming dangerous buzzwords: using these terms imprecisely and in often completely inappropriate situations is a constant problem for a growing number of professionals, including: designers, job seekers, and product development specialists. Understanding the proper separation, relationship and usage of the terms is essential to both disciplines."
"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."
Set expectations, and then exceed them.
"Whether dealing with large corporations, game developers, small businesses or a sole proprietor, most business goals tend to amount to the same needs. User experience is an area that touches almost every single business problem. While every project comes with its own unique situations, there are a few tried-and-true user experience techniques that just work well and always produce results."
Interesting observation by the Don: "When terms enter the vocabulary, they start to loose their special meaning."
"I think it comes from a growing disregard for the systems nature of product design. What's taken hold is this notion that because a user's experience with a product is influenced by that product's design, the experience as a whole can therefore be designed."
As said, promising new initiative focusing on UX.
"I'm a UX Designer, and with a strong understanding and working knowledge of interaction design, information architecture, information design, industrial design, visual interface design, user assistance design, and user-centered design, I'm able to research, design, and prototype new user experiences. While using a holistic multidisciplinary approach, I rapidly iterate on new ideas from concept to completion. Testing and designing not only the physical dimension of digital products, but using a powerful set of learned methods to design and perfect the emotional one."
Function follows feature follows user.
"The process by which most enterprise software is developed is fatally flawed. There are flaws in any software development process, but in the past 13 years I've seen one approach produce more bad software and blow more budgets than any other: requirements-driven software development. Thankfully, I've also had the opportunity to see the success of an alternative type of process, a process in which user experience design drives what gets developed. This type of process helps teams deliver good software on time and within their budgets."
Remember the days of computer-based training, courseware and instructional systems design.
"Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process. So let's learn a thing or two about learning itself. (...) Far from being monopolized by schools, learning is an essential human activity. Empathizing with and supporting users as they traverse the many stages of learning fosters happier users and a more profitable business."
For commercial contexts, that's true. But there is so much more...
"Internally focussed business tools, processes and systems are often thought about and designed in isolation from the design of the things customers interact with. Or to put this another way, projects that focus on improving the customer experience often don't fully consider the tools, processes and systems staff use in the delivery of the experience."
Or what a lot of reading, days of conversations and writing a book can do to your use of terms.
"Cross-channel is not about technology, or marketing, nor it is limited to media-related experiences: it's a systemic change in the way we experience reality. The more the physical and the digital become intertwined, the more designing successful cross-channel user experiences becomes crucial."
Raising the bar. I might consider to change the goal of 'compelling user experiences' into 'transformative user experiences'.
"Although the initial discussion of transformation focused on the changes planned for the museum, she also discussed the desired transformation that visitors to the museum would experience. She noted that individual transformation was unique to each person and the result of not only the experience offered by the museum, but by each person's frame of reference, personal interpretation of the information, and their culture and background."
G+ is a great example of the importance of UX in social.
"(...) a new economic paradigm in which the act of producing and consuming are one and the same, and he believes it's upon us right now. I subscribe to this theory, and I believe its most fascinating expression takes the form of social software, in which there is no consumption unless its users produce, and there is no production unless its users consume. The secret sauce that starts this virtuous cycle is not just technology, but also user experience design."
Always thought perception was an integral part of feeding the experience.
"Conceptually I believe you can break design into tangible and abstract activities. Tangible design typically draws on the artistic skills of the designer and results in some kind of visually pleasing artefact. This is what most people imagine when they think of design and it covers graphic design, typography and visual identity."
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)
And I thought CSS meant something else in Design.
"(...) to be a really good storyteller, you need to understand three basic concepts: Context, Spine, and Structure (CSS). Each is critical and necessary, and all three need to work together."
Keynote presentation by longtime reseacher of MUX ('Mobile UX'). Afterwards, the two planets (research and practice) kept their distance.
"Good user experience is increasingly important for profitable business: once utility and usability are taken for granted, successful companies design for experiences. But how to manage the fuzzy thing called user experience in product development? Can UX research help UX work in practice? This talk discusses the impact of business goals on UX research and the transfer of UX research results into practice."
DTDT: One is a quality of an artifact in use; the other is an emerging phenomenon within the human, at the moment, during the episode, and in the long-term.
"After web site accessibility, 'user experience' is probably the phrase that most people tend to confuse usability with. Whilst this topic has been discussed by various experts in the respective fields, I feel the need to write about it for two main reasons. The first reason is that several posts I have encountered emphasize the distinction between these two terms, yet they fail to highlight the relationship that exists between usability and user experience. The second reason is that whilst most of the posts are similar in nature, I have found some minor, albeit very valid points scattered in various posts I have read. Therefore, the objective of this post is to discuss these two terms, whilst highlighting their differences and more importantly the relationship that exists between them in a clear, concise way."
"At UC Berkeley there has been an increasing awareness of the importance of business analysis (BA) and user experience (UX) in the software development lifecycle. In this article, we will discuss the advantages of involving BA and UX practitioners in your development process, when and how to involve them, and the similarities and differences between the two professions."
(Allison Bloodworth, James Dudek, and Rachel Hollowgrass ~ Modern Analyst)
"In a news environment, there is ultimately one asset that the web designer has to enhance and protect. Credibility. News is all about telling a believable version of real life. A brand as well established as the BBC's naturally goes a long way to distinguish its content from lesser-known, opinion-led publishers. But all brands are vulnerable to erosion if the presentation doesn't do them justice. The painstaking work that goes into the BBC's online output - the designer's understanding of what its content really is, who its readers are, what flavours of content to mix, and the mastery of formal methods of presentation - is all part of the never-ending preparation and re-preparation of an enticing Bento box."
(Tammy Gur ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Architect, designer, and living legend Ephraim Goldberg, better know as Frank Gehry, is one such individual. His explorations in light, sound, movement, and materials, as well as his innate ability to understand the psychology of human behavior, set him apart in the fields of architecture and design. To Gehry, the physical form of architecture isn't really about a physical structure at all, but rather the manifestation of all disciplines of art, design, and technology coming together to solve a problem."
(Christian Saylor ~ UX Magazine)
"As somebody who has publically stated that they "don't care about user experience" and is fed up of "defining the dammed thing" I find myself being drawn into discussions about the term far more often than I'd like."
"Any organization that has a searchable web site or intranet is sitting on top of hugely valuable and usually under-exploited data: logs that capture what users are searching for, how often each query was searched, and how many results each query retrieved. Search queries are gold: they are real data that show us exactly what users are searching for in their own words. This book shows you how to use search analytics to carry on a conversation with your customers: listen to and understand their needs, and improve your content, navigation and search performance to meet those needs."
"While the presence of many trust elements, aids, and cues throughout an ecommerce site contributes to customers' perception of its trustworthiness, as UX designers, we can build greater trust by including and appropriately placing these identified trust elements on a site's home page, as this article describes."
"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."
"So what can we do to better communicate experience design vision during that window of opportunity between raw ideas and design deliverables? How can we use our abilities to visualize for the greater good? Enter experience modeling."
"Our objective during the UX Design Boot Camp was to design a user interface for a new product concept in only two weeks. Four new team members paired up to form two teams that would work on separate design projects. Deliberately vague, the description of the design problem for each pair comprised fewer than five sentences."
"Are we going to evolve into tie-wearing consultants? Do UX pros matter at all a few years down the road? And how do Africa and refrigerators fit in? Together with the awesome folks at UXcamp Europe, we discussed the future of our profession."
"It's easy to criticize the user experience of an application or website, because we're all end users. But sometimes we use it once, while many have to use it day after day as a part of their job. We talk about how we like using some sites, but there's always the 'I wish it was way.' Still, we are our own worst enemies. We constantly pick at sites and snipe on Twitter how certain missing features are UX 101, but we don't offer constructive feedback. We don't understand that some decisions are based on conscious business decisions. Worst of all, we don't get that company culture, most of all, plays a part in the final product. Not every company is Apple where design is king. Trade offs are made all the time, sometimes without any input from the user experience stakeholders. All good user experience designers make decisions regarding what they can live with and what they can't."
(Patrick Neeman ~ usabilitycounts)
"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."
"(...) I tend to think of UX design as a kind of design work associated with certain methods, processes, and values. It's not limited to the web, or even (theoretically, at least) to the digital world."
"These days we've stopped selling UX and started simply doing it. (...) Sure, some agencies or individuals haven't quite reached that inflexion point yet, but I can tell you that it's on the way. Demand is far outstripping supply, so if you're not there yet, you soon will be. User Experience is no longer a point of difference, it's just the way all good websites are built these days."
(Andy Budd a.k.a. @andybudd)
"So in short, when I'm 'interacting' with a website I'm using its user-interface design. How I 'feel' and my 'preferences' when using it is my user experience and how 'easy and intuitive' it is for me to perform the functions I came to do, is a measure of its usability. As you can see, it's really hard for someone to specialise in one of these areas without an understanding of the other two."
"If we can measure the exact ROI of UX, we can demonstrate the value of the UX team, their work and also justify the need for research when it is necessary. Often the complaint around UX is speed. We can speed up the UX process by sketching, measuring features when they are live, and evolving our designs rather than working to create a final and highly polished version at launch. We can calculate the trade-off of using this faster deployment method rather than the more traditional process of doing lots of user testing up-front. There will be times where it isn't appropriate, and knowing the numbers allows us to justify this to the business. A caveat for the faster deployment method is that the UX team must be very senior and experienced."
"As UX designers, our role in our industry is more important today than ever. Our medium is maturing into a broad, multiple-platform, always on, multi-context, center-of-our-universe conduit for information. Our clients and customers are demanding more of us. We're not just designing web experiences anymore. Our designs have to adapt and respond to a variety of devices with different input methods that are used under very different circumstances where user goals and expectations change as well."
"How many times have you wondered how you can collect meaningful and significant metrics to validate your research? Many researchers struggle with this same dilemma on a daily basis. For example, how can we know the magnitude of the issues we are detecting in a traditional usability lab study? Surprisingly, there are many ways to capture useful UX metrics if you have the knowledge of what solutions to use and how to use them."
"Janice Frasier, talking about lean UX (...)"
"One designs the interface of the experience and the other the service and organization behind it..."
"Code is the material that breathes life into a user experience, so we ought to get familiar with it."
"In his presentation at at Mobilism in Amsterdam, Netherlands Jared Spool outlined four major forces driving the value and visibility of design in Web-based applications. Here are my notes from his talk." (LukeW writings)
"Gamification is an informal umbrella term for the use of video game elements in non-gaming systems to improve user experience (UX) and user engagement. The recent introduction of 'gamified' applications to large audiences promises new additions to the existing rich and diverse research on the heuristics, design patterns and dynamics of games and the positive UX they provide. However, what is lacking for a next step forward is the integration of this precise diversity of research endeavors. Therefore, this workshop brings together practitioners and researchers to develop a shared understanding of existing approaches and findings around the gamification of information systems, and identify key synergies, opportunities, and questions for future research." (Sebastian Deterding ~ Gamification Research Network)
"83% of consumers prefer retailers offering a continuous and consistent shopping experience across the different channels: people would like to seamlessly interact with a company independently by the touchpoint, medium or place." (Pervasive Information Architecture blog)
"Let's consider branding an essential part of service design solutions. How does branding help unify cross-channel experiences? How can it make services more enjoyable, memorable, and likely to be used again? Let's acknowledge the value that marketing brings to the UX conversation by including people from marketing departments in our client stakeholder interviews. Ultimately they will be telling the world about the products and services we create." (Kim Cullen ~ Adaptive Path)
"In many respects, when we talk about, evaluate, and revise products from a usability standpoint, we overlook the most important piece: content. Our tendency is to be concerned only with the wrapper or container, navigation through that container, and the interplay of the elements that make up the container. But what about the content which populates this otherwise dead space?" (Brett Sandusky ~ UX Magazine)
"Most UX designers use qualitative research - typically in the form of usability tests - to guide their decision-making. However, using quantitative data to measure user experience can be a very different proposition. Over the last two years our UX team at Vanguard has developed some tools and techniques to help us use quantitative data effectively. We've had some successes, we've had some failures, we've laughed, we've cried, and we've developed ten key guidelines that you might find useful." (Richard Dalton ~ UX magazine)
"While CX is becoming a key competency for many companies, there isn't an agreed upon definition. I view it as an extension of UX, where non-digital experiences and services are just as important as screen interactions, and the full range of touchpoints with a brand across time has to be explicitly designed." (Samantha Starmer ~ UX Magazine)
"UX Magazine attended the 2011 IA Summit in Denver this year to interview conference speakers and attendees. In this video, interviewees respond to the question: Is Marketing the Evil Empire? We were expecting to get at least a couple of embittered responses, but instead found consistent opinions that marketing is misunderstood and should be treated as a partner rather than an adversary." (Jonathan Anderson ~ UX Magazine)
"Requirements definition is an integral part of an agile development process, and writing user stories is a fast, effective way of capturing requirements and estimating level of effort. UX professionals on agile teams sometimes add value by taking responsibility for writing user stories." (Janet Six ~ UXmatters)
"We live in a world defined by increasing time pressure and more and more things competing for our attention. In such a frenetic world, it is understandable that we place more value on the quality of our experience. We want to make the most of the time we have. Experience design has emerged in part as a response to this growing need we all have. It is no longer enough to design products and services so that they have aesthetic appeal and perform well. We demand a more satisfying broader experience when interacting with these products and services so that we more effectively pull out the true potential of these products and services." (John Hagel)
"Video games are breaking out of the roles they've traditionally occupied and are moving into spaces where they collide with UX design. There are games that serve as social glue between old friends, and games that bring strangers together to collaborate on solving problems. There are games that help people meet their life goals, and games that let people reward others for meeting theirs. There are games that facilitate creative self-expression, help people understand the news, train doctors to save lives, and advocate for human rights. As they expand into these realms, the lines separating game design from software UX design are growing fuzzier and less important." (John Ferrara ~ UX Magazine)
"Even though UX is also concerned with satisfaction, usability is seen only as a part of UX, in which the satisfaction can arise from some other source than product's good usability. Collectively, UX is about designing for pleasure rather than preventing usability problems." (User Intelligence)
Closing plenary of the IA Summit 2011 ~ "Although there's still a substantial gap between aspiration and execution, business leaders are at least now talking about the right things: experience, prototyping, design strategy, and innovation. (...) User experience converts are typically drawn to the glamour of interaction design on shiny technology, and the amateur psychology that helps them sound authoritative about their approaches. Most lack knowledge of basic information architecture, design theory and elementary programming skills." (Cennydd Bowles)
"(...) designing online user experiences is now an important process for any company that is serious about the web, from huge names such as Google and Facebook all the way down to small businesses. "User experience designers are the digital equivalent of architects," says Andy Budd." (Bobbie Johnson ~ BBC)
"An overall good user experience is an essential aspect for creating a successful website. The term user experience seems to be a popular trend recently, but how can we describe user experience and how can we make sure to offer enough of it on our websites? To keep it simple, user experience describes how users perceive a website, what kind of emotions they have when visiting a website, and whether or not they are motivated enough to return. This subjective experience is in a large part based on the visual appearance of a website." (Sabina Idler ~ DesignModo)
"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)
"I'm very excited to be kicking off my new UXmatters column, Service Design: Orchestrating Experiences in Context, with this discussion of the value of service design to UX professionals. In my column, I'll explore the concepts of service design and how to leverage its practices to optimize the user experiences our companies and clients look to us to create." (Laura Keller ~ UXmatters)
"Use UX Zeitgeist as your library of UX books and articles. Add items, keep up with what others have added, learn which are rated best, and create and share your own public reading lists." (Rosenfeld Media)
"A perfect example is developing for the mobile platform. A native iOS app will allow for much greater refinement in performance, motion and visual treatment, but there will likely be greater build costs compared to an HTML5 mobile app. Conversely, HTML5 will allow much greater flexibility in deployment and distribution. Both technologies have their place in mobile, we just need to know when plastic is more appropriate than stainless steel." (P.J. Onori ~ Adaptive Path)
"Startups don't have capital to burn or luxurious schedules for big-design-up-front. But unless your idea is by-and-for-engineers, design isn't something you want to skip on your way to market. For a startup, design may mean the difference between simply shipping, and taking the market by storm. But with tight budgets, and aggressive timelines, how to include design and get the best value for the investment?" (Stefan Klocek ~ Cooper Journal)
"A lot of designers seem to be talking about user experience these days. We're supposed to delight our users, even provide them with magic, so that they love our websites, apps and start-ups. User experience is a very blurry concept. Consequently, many people use the term incorrectly. Furthermore, many designers seem to have a firm (and often unrealistic) belief in how they can craft the user experience of their product. However, UX depends not only on how something is designed, but also other aspects. In this article, I will try to clarify why UX cannot be designed." (Helge Fredheim ~ Smashing Magazine)
"The experience delivered by a product or service can be a source of competitive advantage and business value through innovation. Experience designers – using the empathy they generate with customers during primary research, and the understanding of the customers’ broad context of use they gain – are well-placed to be the source of such innovation." (Steve Baty ~ Meld Studios) courtesy of jameskalbach
"While user-centered designers haven't always been the greatest advocates for innovation there is incredible potential for UX professionals to become the champions of innovation and the leaders of holistic design. User experience practitioners are in a unique position to reach out to users and across silos in pursuit of a beautiful user experience. Furthermore, while innovation can come from anywhere only user experience practitioners are equipped to evaluate whether a user population is willing to adopt an innovative idea. Innovation is inherently risky, and usability can mediate that risk through testing. Perhaps greater consideration needs to be given to how innovative ideas are evaluated in order to avoid focusing on the first use, but there is a place for User Experience in an world where innovation is king." (Jake Truemper ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)
"We are part of creating an experience. We are manufacturing something that wasn't there before. Sure usability is important. Yes, it needs to be designed well. Of course, it should function without a glitch. But, are those really what sell the experience? There's something more intangible that drives people to products: The desire to use it." (Francisco Inchauste ~ FINCH)
"Lean UX is an evolution, not a revolution. UX designers need to evolve and stay relevant as the practice evolves. Lean UX gets designers out of the deliverables business and back into the experience design business. This is where we excel and do our best work. Let’s become experts at delivering great results through these experiences and forgo the hefty spec documents. It won’t be an easy road. Culture and tradition will push back, yet the ultimate return on this investment will be more rewarding work and more successful businesses." (Jeff Gothelf ~ Smashing Magazine)
"Over the past few years, the term user experience has become better known in business, so selling user experience is no longer as hard as it used to be. It's becoming easier to tell the UX story, because through success stories like Apple, businesses are beginning to see the value of great design. However, there is still a gap between knowing how to make UX operational and how to source and invest in the right skill sets to make great design happen." (Daniel Szuc ~ UXmatters)
"Ultimately, the goal is to understand the entirety of the consumer experience, so we can make the most informed decisions about online strategy, content, and positioning. In this column, I'll first summarize the findings from Edelman's article, then discuss how we can apply traditional user research methodology to supporting changes in marketing strategies." (Michael Hawley ~ UXmatters)
"Children's exposure to computing devices depends on a great variety of factors—including cultural traditions, economic power, and family values. But there is no doubt that, in general, children's access to technological devices and interactive products has increased dramatically in recent years. We are now seeing even higher adoption of technology among children—thanks to the unpredictably intuitive interaction of youngsters with touchscreen technologies and mobile devices that they can carry everywhere and use at any time." (Catalina Naranjo-Bock ~ UXmatters)
"(...) this kind of a journey is a stretch for some UX professionals. It really does not suit all of us. In fact, you might be turned off by this kind of task, and that's OK. For those of you who try it, it can be rewarding and a great career expander. You will have added a new skill to your repertoire, and you will likely have professional connections with new parts of your business that you never knew existed." (Misha W. Vaughan ~ Journal of Usability Studies, Volume 6 Issue 2)
"More and more products and services are being deployed on the web, and this presents new challenges and opportunities for measurement of user experience on a large scale. There is a strong need for user-centered metrics for web applications, which can be used to measure progress towards key goals, and drive product decisions. In this note, we describe the HEART framework for user-centered metrics, as well as a process for mapping product goals to metrics. We include practical examples of how HEART metrics have helped product teams make decisions that are both data-driven and user-centered. The framework and process have generalized to enough of our company's own products that we are confident that teams in other organizations will be able to reuse or adapt them. We also hope to encourage more research into metrics based on large-scale behavioral data." (Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu ~ Google Research)
"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
An Interview with Dan Brown - "Design documentation is shorthand for the collection of techniques to capture and communicate design ideas to other people on the design team. Those ideas may be half-baked or they may be well-cooked, and designers have various reasons for creating documentation." (Brad Nunnally ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Why the gold rush? The answer is pretty simple: it's inherently impossible to design a great user experience for bad content. If you're passionate about creating better user experiences, you can't help but care about delivering useful, usable, engaging content." (Kristina Halvorson ~ UX magazine)
"(...) content people who come from or work in the UX world say content strategy and mean bits of all of the above, but with user-centered design at the core of the work. Product design becomes feature design; messaging and branding become content goals and style guides; data modeling becomes content templates and page tables." (Erin Kissane ~ Brain Traffic)
"Persuasion in design is often regarded as a subset of UX, but it goes beyond UX and the mechanics of traditional usability. It's about understanding the emotions that influence people’s behavior and decision-making, and then acting on that information to design compelling user interactions. Persuasive design applies psychological principles of influence, decision-making in a consumer context, engagement strategy, and social psychology to every stage of the design process, and it identifies potential barriers and emotional triggers to elicit the desired actions." (Elisa Del Galdo ~ UX magazine)
"(...) a result from a Dagstuhl seminar on Demarcating User Experience, where 30 experts from academia and industry worked together to bring some clarity to the concept of user experience. We see the white paper as an important step towards a common understanding on user experience." (AllAboutUX) ~ courtesy of jaspervankuijk
"Moving forward I will still use the term user experience to refer to that total library experience we want to design and deliver. In my presentations on UX I would be more likely to introduce the term 'customer experience' and point out how each term adds to our knowledge about and conversation on designing better libraries." (Steven Bell ~ Designing Better Libraries)
"Here's a question for you: would you agree that creating a great user experience should be the primary aim of any Web designer? I know what your answer is and you're wrong! Okay, I admit that not all of you would have answered yes, but most probably did. Somehow, the majority of Web designers have come to believe that creating a great user experience is an end in itself. I think we are deceiving ourselves and doing a disservice to our clients at the same time. The truth is that business objectives should trump users' needs every time. Generating a return on investment is more important for a website than keeping users happy. Sounds horrendous, doesn't it?" (Paul Boag ~ Smashing Magazine)
"(...) there are many business benefits to building HTML5 mobile apps, but few, if any, user experience benefits." (LukeW)
"For most of us, launching and maintaining a Web site is enough of a chore. But what change is there to look forward to? Once a year, a number of sites participate in a CSS reboot, where all the styles are dropped. Some sites even commit to refresh their look on this day. This gives casual visitors - especially those who rarely visit a site, reason to come back - to see what's new. Department stores regularly have sales, seasonal offerings and other events, yet the only online equivalent seems to be cyber Monday." (Stephen Anderson ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)
"The notion of (User) Experience as stories told through products has a potential to change the way we think and design. At the moment, the majority of commercially available interactive devices is either too practical or too open-ended." (Marc Hassenzahl ~ Interaction-Design.org Encyclopedia)
"Design reviews are so important for our work as user experience designers, but they too often fail us. Here is a model for design reviews that overcomes the problems of ego, emotion, and communication that so often get in the way of helpful feedback." (Davin Granroth)
"It is noteworthy when the design of an experience is so compelling that you feel wonder and delight. When designed right it feels totally natural, some might even say it is truly 'intuitive'. No training is needed, no set-up, no break in flow, the tool fits seamlessly, improving without disrupting your experience; it's like a little bit of magic." (Stefan Klocek ~ Cooper Journal)
"(...) one of the main issues that we see, but at times ignore, in this field is that most of us try to be jacks of all trades within UX." (Elisabeth Hubert)
"At the BAYCHI Interaction Design event tonight, Rachel Hinman (Nokia) talked about where and how to begin designing for mobile in her presentation. Here's my notes from her talk." (Luke Wroblewski)
"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)
"Face it, most UX design work consists of incremental improvements over the previous version of a product, and we rarely get to design holistic solutions that elegantly meet the needs of our target audience across systems, services, and devices—or wherever such needs crop up. Further, time-to-market pressures and narrow, predefined solution spaces usually constrain the occasional opportunities we may get to design a first-release product. This leaves so many UX professionals dissatisfied, because they know they could have done a better job or, worse, they may even have envisioned exactly how their design could have been better, only to find insurmountable barriers to their vision’s ever seeing the light of day." (Christian Rohrer ~ UXmatters)
"I offer no guarantees about any of these tips, all I can say is that they have worked for me and that they form the basis of my ongoing approach to UX Freelancing. Some of these I've known since the beginning, some I've learned, most often the hard way." (Leisa Reichelt)
"It dawned on me recently that, despite working in the industry since 1994, I don't really know what User Experience is." (Dean Schuster) courtesy of uxtweets
"This is an independent site to share and, one day, also collect information about user experience. There has been an active group of researchers collecting user experience evaluation methods, frameworks, and definitions for several years now. We promised to bring the results back to the people who have helped us in this work. Finally, we are able to share the results! We are aware of the immaturity of this site on the day of its birth, but the site is supposed to grow as more information reaches the maturity level high enough for publishing. It is great to get the existing information online now." (About AllAboutUX)
"In this column, we'll explore these very questions: Do UX leaders need to acquire and wield power to ensure their organizations can produce game-changing design? If they don't already have executive support, can they can collaborate their way to success?" (Jim Nieters ~ UXmatters)
"Many design teams launch into development without a shared vision of the user experience. Without this shared vision, the team lacks direction, challenge and focus. This article describes how to use the 'Design the Box' activity to develop a user experience vision, and then describes three ways of publicising the vision: telling a short story; drawing a cartoon showing the experience; and creating a video to illustrate the future." (David Travis ~ UserFocus)
"Is it possible to calculate the ROI of great design? What about the cost-per-acquisition of a customer sold on User Experience? There are no second chances for first impressions, and even the smallest opportunity is a chance to 'Wow' users. What you do with that opportunity can spark a chain of events that can make or break your business." (Nicolas Thomas ~ UX Booth)
"Curious if these three emergent paradigms make sense to you: organic material, infrastructure, and social currency." (Rachel Hinman ~ Rosenfeld Media)
"Generally speaking, as an interaction designer you don't want to invest a lot of time programming something live, since what you really want is to keep iterating on the fundamentals of the design quickly. That's why working with paper prototypes is so commonplace and effective early in a project." (Communications of the ACM 54.1)
"I'm pretty excited that the new edition of Elements of User Experience is out - the first edition was one of the first books I really connected with, and it's great to see a refresh. What are some of the highlights in this version? (...) There is so much evident care and craft in the Rosenfeld Media books - I think they now occupy the place O'Reilly books held 15 years ago as definitive works." (Russ Unger ~ Peachpit)
"Attitudes and behaviors are constantly being shaped within organizations. It's the reason there are performance reviews, processes and procedures, and role expectations. If business leaders want to foster a specific culture, then all opportunities, activities, and expectations of their staffs will be measured against the success of exemplifying that culture. To design is to plan something for a specific role, purpose, or effect - to work out its form. Company culture is designed in every conversation, and in every bit of feedback and evaluation criteria. It's possible to control the corporate atmosphere by choosing which behaviors to support and encourage, and which to discourage. Cultures grow organically, but they are actively designed." (Cynthia Thomas ~ UX Magazine)
"Many people don't see the importance of gathering the necessary explanatory documents that define what you did all throughout your project development. Either that, or they treat the documentation process as a simple putting-together of all the sketches and wireframes generated. We should, nonetheless, give more relevance to this final, whole-project document." (Pamela Rodríguez ~ UX Booth)
"And we never fully understand our technology. We may understand the technical aspect of it, but we never fully understand the social implications of it. Lots of people point out that every technology is a double-edged sword; for every positive thing that it does, there's a negative effect that it has. What we do is try to balance those. As designers, I think the role is to try to understand as much as possible about that, given the time, budget, and knowledge constraints that we have, in order to be able to make decisions to try to mitigate the negative aspects while amplifying the positive aspects of technology." (David Bevans ~ Morgan Kaufmann Publishers)
"The in-fighting has to stop. We must kill the enemy within. The real enemy is out there, in the vast realm of people who still don't get user experience." (Karen McGrane - 52 Weeks of UX)
"Have you ever seen really good improv? Did you walk out of the experience willing to swear that the actors had rehearsed it ahead of time or it was some kind of magic? I'll let you in on an actor’s secret: chances are the work was neither rehearsed nor magic! What's more likely is that the group performing the improv was a true ensemble of actors who had trained and practiced the principles of improv and were accustomed to working together." (Traci Lepore ~ UXmatters)
Karen McGrane and Jeff Eaton presentation ~ "User experience is key, and applying the basic principals we know about human-centric design can help give information and how it’s processed the place it deserves. By factoring this into pre-planning, task optimization, and above all communication, a beautiful site can have beautiful content without the last-minute chaos state." (Duo Consulting)
"Designing and indeed front-end development for a website that will have content edited by non-technical users poses some problems over and above those you will encounter when developing a site where you have full control over the output mark-up. However, most clients these days want to be able to manage their own content, so most designers will find that some, if not all, of their designs end up as templates in some kind of CMS." (Rachel Andrew ~ Smashing Magazine)
"Software Engineering is typically much more formal than User Experience in they way they model an application before development begins. After pseudo code, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) is probably the most widely used modeling language among software engineers. It has developed from other object‑based analysis and design languages over a period of many years and provides software engineers with a visual language that describes the design of a system at multiple levels." (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)
"User experience encompasses all aspects of users’ interactions with a company, its services, and its products. Prioritizing user advocacy from the beginning of a product design process puts users at the center of the process and ensures their needs are foremost in all UX design decisions." (Sean Van Tyne ~ UXmatters)
"Peter Merholz's rant The Pernicious Effects of Advertising and Marketing Agencies Trying To Deliver User Experience Design is bold, uncomfortable and dogmatic, as all rants should be." (Cennydd Bowles)
"As physical and digital interactions intertwine, new challenges for digital product designers and developers, as well as, industrial designers and architects are materializing. While well versed in designing navigation, organization, and labelling of websites and software, professionals are faced the crucial challenge of how to apply these techniques to information systems that cross communication channels that link the digital world to the physical world." (Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati ~ Pervasive IA)
"The IA Summit is the premier destination for those who practice, research and are interested in the structural design of shared information environments. Some call themselves information architects (and many don't) but all share a common desire to help people live better lives through meaningful experiences with information. (...) After 11 successful years bringing hundreds of practitioners together for five days of intense exchange of ideas and experiences, we pause to reflect on the state of information architecture and what is in store for this community of practice. As we continue to strive for more, we turn our focus to what can make us - as practitioners - and our practice, better."
"If you are an Information Architect, User Experience Designer, Interaction Designer or similar and your job is designing digital interactive (web)sites, services or products then join in with the UX Card Sort! This card sort is a way of creating insight into what UX professionals have in common and what the differentiators are, based on your daily professional activities instead of discussing what a label such as IA/UXD/ID etc. should contain. The Card Sort does start though with the request to enter your job title as that might already identify existing clusters with a common label." (George Miles)
"The "Best Careers 2009" issue of U.S. News and World Report gently mocked the user experience profession for its inability to agree on a name for itself. Indeed, many job titles seem like a mix-and-match game, mashing up words like "information" and "experience" and "architect" and "designer." And now "content strategy" comes around, looking for a seat at the UX table. Some say the profession fills a gap in our professional practices. Others argue that it's just a different name for the things that we already do. In this session, we'll discuss why UX needs content—and how UX practitioners of every flavor can put content strategy to work on their projects." (Karen McGrane ~ IDEA 2010)
"This book looks across the full spectrum of user experience design to discover when and how to use stories to improve our products. Whether you are a researcher, designer, analyst, or manager, you will find ideas and techniques you can put to use in your practice." (Daniel Szuc ~ UXmatters)
"If you emerge from university today with a web design degree, chances are rather slim that you’re employable as a user experience or web designer. Maybe you learned a lot of stuff; it's just probably the wrong stuff. Congratulations, you've been defrauded. Hope it didn't cost you or your parents too much." (Andy Rutledge)
"In Adaptive Path's newsletter of September 28, I shared my views on the European UX scene. In response, several people wrote to me with additions to the landscape. Below are the most interesting ones, followed by my impressions of 3 more European conferences: Euro IA, UX Russia and Design by Fire. And yes, I will count Russia as part of Europe in this respect." (Peter Boersma ~ Adaptive Path)
"In response to questions from Amy Knox regarding US.UX and EU.UX, Søren Muus (creative director at FatDUX and co-initiator of ECUX) recently posted on the mail list of the Information Architecture Institute some interesting ideas in this matter. We are happy to republish his piece, because we find it food for debate." (European centre for user experience)
"This talk will discuss what it means to treat information as a material, the properties of information as a design material, the possibilities created by information as a design material, and approaches for designing with information. Information as a material enables The Internet of Things, object-oriented hardware, smart materials, ubiquitous computing, and intelligent environments." (Mike Kuniavsky ~ Kicker Studio D3)
"Oliver Wolf Sacks is a British neurologist residing in New York City. He is a professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, where he also holds the position of Columbia Artist. He previously spent many years on the clinical faculty of Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine." (HBR IdeaCast)
"Making conventional interactions suck seems counter-intuitive and cruel. But there are plethora of products and services that aim to suck at common expectations for good reason. Among the many possibilities, things that suck can lead to strength, fun, good business and can introduce friction to prevent improper usage." (Cooper Journal)
"Over the last ten years, both of us have read countless articles about innovation, entrepreneurship, and socially responsible ventures that change the world. The theme that appears to emerge time and time again is the importance of getting out of the office, visiting different cultures, looking outside the bubble we live in, and experiencing new adventures. But it wasn't until a recent vacation in Costa Rica, where Bryan had the opportunity to see rural farm workers using cell phones to talk with other farm workers—people who appeared to be very poor—that he fully realized the importance of understanding the world beyond that which we encounter on a daily basis." (Bryan McClain and Demetrius Madrigal ~ UXmatters)
"Many of us in the field people now generally refer to as user experience have long used levels of severity as a means of indicating the criticality of a product’s or service’s usability issues to clients. Over the past several years, I’ve grown increasingly dissatisfied with the vague and somewhat solipsistic nature of the gradations UX professionals typically use to describe the severity of usability issues. High, medium, and low don't begin to sufficiently explain the potential brand and business impacts usability issues can have." (Paul J. Sherman ~ UXmatters)
"One thing that has been useful for me is the overall model of the problem space that emerged for me." (Keith Instone) - courtesy of resmini
"The User Experience Podcast features a wide range of interviewees and commentary. Transcripts are available for some episodes, and more are being added." (Information & Design)
"(...) I can see two issues that make this a pretty difficult task, and it's the reason why the above three methods should not be used in isolation. In combination, they help tell the whole story. It is difficult to know what users really read on a page and it is difficult to isolate the effect of content changes from the other influencing factors on a page." (Rian van der Merwe ~ Elezea)
"Today, I delivered my presentation at the EuroIA 2010 in Paris on the relation between my two passions: gastronomy and user experience design. Gastronomy: A source of inspiration for user experience design. "A crazy topic with a scary video clip of a positive eating experience", I said in my impersonation as Lars Von Trier!" (Composing Cook ~ FoodUX)
"The definitive textbook for intranet teams on how to design intranets that work for staff. In 275 pages, this book walks through a practical user-centred approach to the design process, richly illustrating each step with full-colour screenshots from organisations across the globe." (James Robertson)
"The role of data in a UX design process usually goes something like this: User researchers or UX designers gather data about users and their needs, using a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches. They then analyze the data—often developing documentation that synthesizes the data, such as a task analysis or a set of personas. Finally, they use their analysis as a basis for making design decisions or influencing the strategy of the broader organization. Throughout this process, UX professionals mediate the relationships between the data that describes users and their requirements, design goals, and business objectives, seeking to align them as closely as possible. This article looks at how we can make this process of data analysis and design—or redesign—more effective by embedding UX design knowledge in computer systems." (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)
"As in every other field there are con men that fool naive clients using experience design as a slogan. Some just make empty promises, some sell fluffy white papers, some use the slogan to hold pompous speeches, some just upsell naive clients with hot air. (...) Being an active facebook or Twitter user, a talented speaker, a winning sales man or a collector of UXD articles doesn’t make you an expert on user experience design." (Oliver Reichenstein ~ Information Architects)
"Usability and user experience design is all about making things simple and easy to use. I never would've expected such a contradictory statement coming from some one who co-founded the Nielsen and Norman group, a firm that offers usability consulting, training seminars and research reports. This statement puts a dagger into the back of usability and user experience design." (UX Movement)
"The central idea behind UCD is that designers create experiences based on a rich and nuanced understanding of observed and implied user needs over time. UCD grew out of a functional, usability-oriented philosophy that began in the workplace, but it has since expanded beyond the purely functional to take into account many dimensions of the user’s experience, including emotional needs and motivations. Using the UCD approach, designers are one step removed from the action. We influence behavior and social practice from a distance through the products and services that we create based on our research and understanding of behavior. We place users at the center and develop products and services to support them. With UCD, designers are encouraged not to impose their own values on the experience." (Robert Fabricant ~ Design Observer)
"Of course verifying the integrity of the user experience is the role of the UX and design teams. While this may be true, many do not approach verifying all elements of a user experience with the same rigor as technical QA. This is in part because of easily made assumptions that once a design is near finalized or in development that it’s already been finalized from a UX standpoint. However, there are many elements of the user experience that need to be reviewed at this stage of the development process." (Catriona Cornett ~ inspireUX)
"Information architects, interaction designers, researchers, academics. They are all UX professionals and not necessarily involved in the broad process, but are a cog in the machine. (...) Just like the debate about whether designers should be able to write HTML, this discussion is just not as black and white as every one is making out. There's a whole lot of grey in there." (Mark Boulton)
"I think the reason Ryan thinks that 'UX professional' is a bullshit job title designed to 'over-charge naive clients' is because he's never actually been in the position to need one. If you look at Ryans' background, he worked for agencies in the late nineties and early noughties when the field of user experience was still in it's infancy. As such I suspect that he's never worked with a team of dedicated UX people." (Andy Budd)
"To accomplish the good intentions of persuasive design, we need to do more than design to get people to act. We need to create content that influences people’s thinking in a positive way, motivates them to act, and makes acting easier. As the UX design industry pays more attention to content, we’ll be better prepared to influence what people do and think—and have a real chance at making the world a better place, online and off." (Coleen Jones ~ UXmatters)
"Stories are hot. And why not? We all know how to tell a story. Stories are a lot more interesting than most other ways of sharing information. And they work. Stories are a great way to introduce a concept in an imaginative way or sell an idea to your team or management." (Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks ~ UXmatters)
"Undoubtedly, interaction design is a design discipline that has become a defining element of UX. Though the preceding two quotes assert the alignment with a user's behaviour they do so here in relation to their interaction (the person and the artifact). In other words, it is the behaviour of the object in relation to the user. The following principles reassert this notion that many interaction design issues are born out of preconceptions of what a user expects to be able to do with the interface they are presented with." (User Pathways)
"As design moves into the realm of intelligent products and systems, interactive product behavior becomes an ever more prominent aspect of design, raising the question of how to design the aesthetics of such interactive behavior. To address this challenge, we developed a conception of aesthetics based on Pragmatist philosophy and translated it into a design approach. Our notion of Aesthetic Interaction consists of four principles: Aesthetic Interaction (1) has practical use next to intrinsic value, (2) has social and ethical dimensions, (3) has satisfying dynamic form, and (4) actively involves people's bodily, cognitive, emotional and social skills. Our design approach based on this notion is called 'designing for Aesthetic Interaction through Aesthetic Interaction', referring to the use of aesthetic experience as a design mechanism. We explore our design approach through a case study that involves the design of intelligent lamps and outlines the utilized design techniques. The paper concludes with a set of practical recommendations for designing the aesthetics of interactive product behavior." (Ross, P. R. & Wensveen, S. A. G. ~ International Journal of Design 4.2)
"As UX professionals, we need to extend our reach beyond just experiences for the Web and mobile applications. A website or mobile app might comprise just one interaction—one touchpoint—in the end-to-end experience that users have during their journey to complete their goals." (Samantha Starmer ~ UX magazine)
"Designers are proud of their ability to innovate, to think outside the box, to develop creative, powerful ideas for their clients. Sometimes these ideas win design prizes. However, the rate at which these ideas achieve commercial success is low. Many of the ideas die within the companies, never becoming a product. Among those that become products, a good number never reach commercial success." (Donald A. Norman ~ Core77)
"Interaction design encompasses human interaction with objects, people, environments and systems. It's not a widely held perspective outside of the Pittsburgh diaspora." (Jeff Howard ~ Design for Service)
"In Part 1 of this two-part article, I'll be discussing how emotions command attention. Then, we'll dive deeper to explore how design elicits and communicates emotion and personality to users. Emotions result in the experience of pleasure or pain that commands attention. The different dimensions of emotion affect different aspects of behavior as well as communicating personality over time. In Part 2, I'll introduce a framework for describing the formation of relationships between people and the products they use." (Trevor van Gorp ~ Boxes and Arrows)
"If we are going to begin to address these issues, we need to get at the root of the problem—our empathetic understanding of our users. Having empathy for users and understanding their needs doesn't come from reading words on a page. It doesn’t come from statistical analysis of demographics either. It comes from truly embodying and experiencing the character of a persona, so it becomes ingrained emotionally and physically in our memories. Actors understand this. From the time Stanislavski began teaching Method Acting - a process of transformation in which actors begin to take on the true nature of a character - actors have referred to this moment when they realize a character's emotional memory and have truly become the character as the moment of embodiment." (Traci Lepore ~ UXmatters)
"Writing a book has been the most complex information architecture challenge of my life. The permutations in which you can sculpt, exclude, clarify and link information are staggering. No surprise then that we relied on our familiar design process, heading up the chain of goals, structure, content and surface. We appropriated the tools of our trade: personas, content analysis, user feedback and deep iteration—but it was trial and error that finally unearthed the process that worked for us." (Cennydd Bowles)
"For most of us, the ideal when working on a product-development project would be to work with a group of like-minded professionals, each with their own areas of responsibility, but sharing the same overarching goal. Yet all too often in User Experience, we encounter unwarranted resistance to our ideas, making the product-development process much less efficient and adding to a project's costs. The apparent cost of involving User Experience early and throughout a product-development process becomes a series of hidden costs, resulting from project delays, incomplete requirements, and less than optimal products that result in higher error rates and reduced efficiency for users." (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)
"(..) 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)
"I just presented a talk to the Content Strategy Seattle group on how content strategy fits into the user experience. Here are my slides and a videocast for the talk." (Nick Finck)
"I was recently asked to describe what a user experience designer does in less than 7 words. I could only narrow it down to 16: A UX Designer designs or enhances products, services and environments based on a holistic consideration of the user’s perspective. Pulling it all together, the tactics described in this presentation are intended to help you prove the ROI of UX. To me, that means: Proving to our clients and potential clients that designing their products or services with a holistic consideration of the user's perspective will reap larger returns than other potential business investments." (Erin Young)
"Customer experience is not an altruistic endeavor; executive teams should focus on it because they believe that it will help their organization’s long-term business results. The bottom line: Improving customer experience is (often) good business." (Customer Experience Matters)
"The real benefits of BA/UX collaboration is making a product users want to use! A product that rocks their world! A product that even makes your company money! A product that improves work processes, reduces errors, gets the information to the user the quickest, or whatever your goals are. It will achieve these objectives simply by focusing on the users’ needs and understanding how they relate to your business goals and needs. Oh, not to mention that it will also result in BAs and UX professionals with expanded skill sets and a new lense to look through!" (Evantage)
"It wasn’t when I got my first job as a designer, I felt I had to achieve some degree of skill before I deserved the label. I'm not even sure where I had set that internal bar, but it took at least a couple of years. The beauty of interaction design being a relatively new profession is that it’s been easy for people to get into the field. The problem with interaction design being a relatively new profession is the same thing…there are lots of people with the job title who have great intentions and no idea what they're doing. This can affect perceptions of the profession as a whole, which is one of many reasons I think it's important to evangelize good techniques." (Kicker Studio)
"(...) changing your attitude can be much easier if you have a clear and concrete goal you are working toward. And one of the most common challenges I come across when talking to UX designers transitioning to Agile is that they do not have a clear understanding of the journey. It is not clear what is different and what remains the same. It is not clear where to begin in making a change." (Anders Ramsay)
"Subsumed under the umbrella of User Experience, practitioners and academics of Human–Computer Interaction look for ways to broaden their understanding of what constitutes 'pleasurable experiences' with technology. The present study considered the fulfilment of universal psychological needs, such as competence, relatedness, popularity, stimulation, meaning, security, or autonomy, to be the major source of positive experience with interactive technologies." (Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S., and Göritz, A. ~ Experience Design)
"The authors of this paper position pratice-led research (PLR) as an effective agent in the transformation of the seemingly inherent and natural acts found in casual practice into the formal arrangement of accepted truths and regulated practices of a discipline for user experience design (UXD) and information architecture (IA) communities of practice. The paper does not intend to exhaustively define discourse analysis, discipline practice or pratice-led research per se, but rather to introduce practitioners and the fields of UX and IA at large to the basic concepts of PLR so as to begin establishing discussion and awareness." (Hobbs, J., Fenn, T., & Resmini, A. ~ Journal of Information Architecture No. 3)
"If the user experience practice in your company was weak before Agile, Agile development isn't going to help things. If your user experience practice was strong before Agile, it'll remain strong after Agile, and evolve to adapt." (Agile Product Design)
"The words metaphor and intuitive are often used in UX. They are the metrics that we use to judge the quality of a solution. But is this quality really as universal as we might like to believe? (...) Understanding something intuitively really means that you understand it holistically. If you understand it holistically you can fill in the gaps. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make your design intuitive or improve on it, not at all. Just understand that you are doing it for the natives not for the noobs." (Thomas Petersen ~ Black&White)
"(...) the most frequent user experience design misconceptions and explains why they don't hold true. And you don't have to take our word for it, we'll show you lots of researches and articles from design and usablity gurus." (Zoltán Gócza and Zoltán Kollin)
"This is by far the nerdiest episode we ever did, so fasten your seat belts. In his session at UXcamp, Tom said: "Personas – love 'em or hate 'em – you can't not use 'em. Either you have zombies, or you have living ones." In this recording of his session he talks about different kinds of zombies like Mirror Personas, Undead Personas, Unicorn Personas or Stupid User Personas. He gives advice on how to avoid these fellas and how to make good use of living personas during a project. As a bonus, Tom explains why 37signals doesn't need personas at all." (UX Café)
"An important aspect of user-centered design is identifying a strategy for how you will support an experience that addresses user needs and business goals. It is critical to remember that you need to focus your website’s strategy based on experiences that are relevant and valuable in context of the services your organization provides." (inspireUX)
"Customers have experiences with an organization’s products and services regardless of whether the organization is consciously managing them. A good user experience delights customers—increasing adoption, retention, loyalty, and, most important, revenue. And a poor user experience discourages customers from using a product or service and drives them to the competition—eventually, making a product offering unviable." (Sean Van Tyne ~ UXmatters)
"On my current project, I'm designing and implementing a framework for business that provides workflow management and supports information gathering and reporting. While there may be a software component further down the track, for now the technology is taking the form of procedures, reporting templates, and guidance material. This technology is both intellectual and social. Its goal is to support teams within the organization, and it requires people to work together. The biggest challenge with designing and implementing such technology is not creating code or a user interface, but ensuring its compatibility with team dynamics. This is where ethnography comes in." (Nathanael Boehm ~ UXmatters)
"When I presented this question to the Ask UXmatters panel of experts, I had expected to have much overlap among their responses. However, as you can see, our experts’ favorites include a great variety of blogs and other news sources." (UXmatters)
"Over the past several months I've proposed Architecture differs from design in its strategic and political positioning. In the last article, I suggested User Experience Architecture is at its best when it forces the business to question its assumptions about its market, its offerings, the technologies it depends on, and ultimately its vision. Do all businesses benefit equally from a User Experience Architecture? When is the time, effort and cost valuable, and when is it unnecessary? Hasn't business done just fine for the past several thousands of years without a need for a User Experience Architecture? Why now?" (CHIFOO)
"Before the days of websites and user experience, the interaction designer's job was focused. The term wasn't user experience, it was usability, and there was one goal: make it simpler and easier for users to get their tasks done. The design wasn't of websites, but software applications. 99% of the software applications were being used by people to get something done: write a report, analyze financial data, or sell an apartment building. There were lots of constraints on what the technology could do, and most of the technology was largely unusable for the everyday user who was not a computer expert. It took a lot of negotiation to make any interface changes, since programming was cumbersome and every change meant someone had to rewrite programming code." (Susan Weinschenk - UX Magazine) courtesy of janjursa
"Do you like computers, but hate math? Would you love to work on creating cutting-edge technology, but don’t think you have the quantitative aptitude to be a programmer or electrical engineer? Then become a user experience professional! If you can count to 5 (the number of users in a usability test), then you already know all the math you'll need! Everything else is art! I bet you're good at art, aren't you?" (Stat 101) courtesy of usanews
"Craig Grannell talks to UX experts to demystify the process behind web design and development's fastest-growing and potentially most important industry." (.net magazine)
"Designers often neglect to focus on both well-written copy and structuring a design so that it highlights the copy on the page. Today we'll discuss why copywriting is so important, who needs to learn it, and how to create content-centric designs." (Joshua Johnson)
"Even great ideas have a limited shelf life. Bill Buxton has some stern words of advice for those looking to rest on their laurels." (Business Week)
"Good user experience isn't just about good design. Learn how to create a positive user experience by being fast, open, engaged, surprising, polite, and, well... being yourself. Chock full of examples from the web and beyond, this talk is a practical introduction for developers who are passionate about user experience but may not have a background in design." (Google I/O 2010)
From Industrial Design to User Experience: The heritage and evolving role of experience-driven design
"In this article, I want to share some thoughts about user experience design, UX practice today, and its parallels to industrial design practice. In efforts to continue the conversation about the true fit of UX as a growing specialization, I will attempt to position it within the landscape of established design disciplines. I will also to raise questions and considerations to entertain as UX emerges from its software-related origins and grows into strategic leadership across design disciplines. This is neither a manifesto nor a hard-lined stance on UX; rather just some ideas to help carry the collective discussion forward." (Mark Baskinger - UX Magazine)
"(...) if we start with the concept of experience as an event, the common historical lineage of these distinct understandings reveals itself. We are interested in this historical lineage, and would like to explain 'digital experience' as a historically developing category." (Ronald E. Day and Hamid R. Ekbia ~ First Monday Volume 15, Number 6)
"I had the pleasure of interviewing Lou and, I have to admit, I was surprised by what I learned about my own role in the world of User Experience Design. We all contribute to the Big Tent of User Experience, and the future is very bright." (Anthony Viviano ~ Three Minds)
"Many companies have used the phrase "content is king" in recent years to talk about the importance of the material their sites ship. I heard this phrase first at Adobe Max a few years ago and have since noticed it in a number of places online. I think this is near to the mark but not quite there. In our framework here I've rephrased it as "The 'why' is king" because it puts the user at the center. Your content is pretty important to your site, but without users it's kind of worthless. The reason your users are coming to your site is of preeminent importance - that should drive your content. Then your content can drive your presentation, etc. etc." (R.J. Owen ~ Inside RIA)
"The fact is that some customers are just plain wrong, that businesses are better of without them, and that managers siding with unreasonable customers over employees is a very bad idea, that results in worse customer service." (Alexander Kjerulf ~ Chief Happiness Officer)
"The conclusion of the Nielsen Norman Group's April 2010 study of iPad usability is that it has problems and more standards are the solution. Yes, the iPad is imperfect, but resorting to standards as the solution is an antiquated reaction that fails to consider how interactive systems have evolved. We're not usability engineers anymore (not most of us, anyway); we're user experience designers. Experience is more than just usability." (Fred Beecher ~ Johnny Holland)
"There is a great gulf between the research community and practice. Moreover, there is often a great gull between what designers do and what industry needs. We believe we know how to do design, but this belief is based more on faith than on data, and this belief reinforces the gulf between the research community and practice. I find that the things we take most for granted are seldom examined or questioned. As a result, it is often our most fundamental beliefs that are apt to be wrong. In this talk, deliberately intended to be controversial, I examine some of our most cherished beliefs. Examples: design research helps create breakthrough products; complexity is bad and simplicity good; there is a natural chain from research to product." (Videos of the IIT Institute of Design)
"People are the most vital asset when designing and crafting a unique customer experience. Disciplined execution requires a robust set of processes to ensure efficiency and uniformity and keep pace with the burgeoning scalability requirements of the enterprise. Automated systems are vital to augment productivity of operations and to fulfill accuracy, efficiency, effectiveness, reliability and scalability needs." (E-Commerce News)
"The book clarifies what experience is, and highlights five crucial aspects and their implications for the design of interactive products. It provides reasons why we should bother with an experiential approach, and presents a detailed working model of experience useful for practitioners and academics alike. It closes with the particular challenges of an experiential approach for design. The book presents its view as a comprehensive, yet entertaining blend of scientific findings, design examples, and personal anecdotes." (Marc Hassenzahl ~ Experience Design)
"Already last year, Mark Blythe, Effie Law and I edited a special issue on Experience Design in the New Review of Hypermedia and Multimedia. It features a more designerly perspective on and some reflections about Experience Design itself and its relation to common approaches and views in Human-Computer Interaction and Design." (Marc Hassenzahl ~ Experience Design)
"Creating a great experience for Web site users should always take the users’ perspectives into consideration. While a user's age can be a contributing factor in a design's success for a particular user, demographic information should not trump design conventions. Then, why do UX designers struggle when creating Web sites for children?" (Traci Lepore ~ UXmatters)
"As user experience designers, we tend to focus on getting users to the end of the journeys we've designed for them as quickly and effortlessly as possible. We try to take them from point A to point B in the shortest possible time. To me, it sometimes feels a little like we’re trying to get a child to quickly undergo a blood test before he notices that it hurts." (Shira Gutgold ~ UXmatters)
"Many people find it hard to picture a website as more than a bundle of content. This often makes explaining the mixture of languages used and the way everything comes together a difficult task. Because what makes up a website can be related and linked to the physiology of a human body, this article's comparison should help clients and beginners alike understand the complex nature of a site’s creation and components." (Alexander Dawson - Six Revisions)
"The founder and president of Adaptive Path explains why they're shifting away from 'user experience' and towards 'experience design'. He celebrates 360 design strategies through successful 'customer journeys' by Apple and Southwest Airlines and advocates for marketing and advertisement becoming the first touchpoint of such. He also outlines the history of personal computing in three 'waves' - and predicts the fourth." (Want Magazine)
"This month's column covers strategies for making people more aware of the filtering options that are available to them, as well as methods of improving transitions between the various states a user encounters in a search user interface." (Greg Nudelman ~ UXmatters)
"Stakeholders with business, design, and technology viewpoints can pull products in different design directions—sometimes without knowing how the design work fits into an overall strategy. This can leave stakeholders feeling lost and unhappy. Creating a focus around design goals and asking and answering the hard design questions as a team is an effective way of coalescing a team around one design direction. At the same time, it can create a more optimal and fun working environment. In this article, we'll describe a design workshop approach that can help you find that design focus." (Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong - UXmatters)
"As technology evolves and new gadgets and electronics emerge in the marketplace, our options for the use of technology in conducting our user research continue to expand. The processes through which we have long gathered data—such as surveys and interviews—are no longer the only ways in which we can understand people and how they respond to our clients’ products and services. As professional user researchers, we have the opportunity to devise new and innovative ways of more accurately understanding user experience through the use of technology." (Bryan McClain and Demetrius Madrigal ~ UXmatters)
"And while this might be just my personal feeling, I am under impression that this kind of misunderstanding and trivialization of UX comes mostly from the developer-centric cultures like ones from Microsoft, Sun and IBM. Reason more for those companies to keep investing and educating all parties involved – you owe that to the customers and to the community of practice! Good things have been done so far – but obviously much more needs to be done." (UX Passion)
"In this case study, we reflect on how a UI pattern-based design for building standard business software affects the user experience and the user-centered design process. We learned that pattern-based design does not optimize the user experience per se. Additional factors, such as user-centered design, prototyping tools, and management support determine the success or failure of the pattern-based approach. Interweaving the factors in the right way is a prerequisite for success." (Annette Stotz and Udo Arend - SAPDesignGuild)
"Design and content. Content and design. It's impossible (and stupid) to argue over which one is more important than the other - which should come first, which is more difficult or 'strategic'. They need each other to provide context, meaning, information, and instruction in any user experience (UX)." (Kristina Halvorson - interactions XVII.3)
"These days many sophisticated metrics are built into web analytics packages, but few tools help us recognize which are really measuring that holy grail of UX: user engagement." (52 Weeks of UX)
"Because I never stop thinking about wicked design problems or obsessing about user experiences, I decided to share my ideas here." (K. Bella Martin)
"Want Magazine was born out of love for new understanding of man-made experiences (...) and our resulting motivation for contributing in return with enriching experiences of our own." (David Gómez-Rosado)
"Prototypes are meant to be a cost-effective way of experimenting with ideas. They are generally considered part of the pre-planning phase, rather than part of the construction or manufacturing process that results in the final product—although obviously the discoveries made during the process of prototyping should ultimately both inform and shape the construction process." (Dave Cronin ~ Cooper)
"Decades later, these concepts remain relevant, and yet we must adapt for new contexts. As Glushko and Tabas explain, today's service systems may include interrelated sub-systems (e.g., person-to-person, self-service) across multiple locations, devices, and channels; and customer satisfaction is influenced by the extent of integration and consistency across those channels." (Peter Morville ~ Semantic Studios)
"As User Experience matures as a discipline and grows in influence in the business community, UX leaders need to support one another by sharing their insights with their counterparts in other organizations, as well as with the educators molding the next generation of UX leaders at universities offering Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) programs. Indeed, the success of UX design and research initiatives within organizations depends significantly on how UX leaders position their teams and partner and build support with other senior leaders in their organizations." (Jim Nieters ~ 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)
"In her keynote closing the 2010 IA Summit, Whitney asks if our work is just our job or our passion. To really make the difference we seek, our practice needs to be our calling. The UX community is united because of a common mission: We empower people to become self-reliant and more resourceful, organized, social, and relaxed. We don’t do it for them, they do it for themselves." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"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)
"Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our 'experiencing selves' and our 'remembering selves' perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness." (TED2010)
"The design process is messy, difficult to explain and sell, and its results are not certain from the beginning. People want more predictability." (Dan Saffer - Kicker Studio)
"A design lens allows you to view your user experience design from the perspective of a single design principle. Lenses were originally created for game design but are just as powerful for user experience design." (Bill Scott and Theresa Neill)
"Genetic algorithms essentially mimic evolutionary biology to find optimal solutions. Initially, they select a population of solutions based on some evaluation criteria, then use some subset of that population—the fittest members—as breeding stock for the subsequent generation of solutions. This process continues for multiple generations, each getting closer to an optimal solution. This article describes my experience with parallel design and discusses how to make parallel design more collaborative." (Mike Myles - UXmatters)
"Reading with interest an unfolding flameup at Design for Service caused by Jeff Howard's post entitled UX Rockstars need not apply. The gist of the conversation is a few folk getting all hot under the collar about disciplines and domains. Especially the emerging challenges in the US by this new fangled idea of Service Design and it seems to be freaking people out. Which is a good thing in my book. The argument was instigated by sweeping statement from an interview with Jesse James Garret of Adaptive Path, that went like this (...)" (Paul Sims - Made by Many)
"Large scale websites require groups of specialists to design and develop a product that will be a commercial success. To develop a completely new site requires several teams to collaborate and this can be difficult. Particularly as different teams may be working with different methods. This case study shows how the ComputerWeekly user experience team integrated with an agile development group. It's important to note the methods we used do not guarantee getting the job done. People make or break any project. Finding and retaining good people is the most important ingredient for success." (James Kelway - Boxes and Arrows)
"In February 2010 Fred Wilson, a New York based tech investor, spoke at the annual Future of Web Apps Miami conference. His talk, clocking in at just under 30 minutes, looks at his top 10 principles for creating a successful web app. A full transcript is available too." (Keir Whitaker - Think Vitamin)
"The world needs talented, passionate service designers but it can do without rock stars. Service designers are humble. They embrace participatory values, particularly the idea that we should be designing with people rather than designing for them. The practical upshot is an evolutionary divergence in approach to research, sketching, design and prototyping." (Jeff Howard)
"I think we should be called information architects and that it’s easier to talk about IA with people outside our field in terms of A than to talk with them about UXD in terms of X or D. Mr. Garrett thinks we are now and have always been user experience designers, that UXD is easier for muggles to understand, and that those of us who specialize in and choose the titles of IA or IxD are either fools or liars." (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"Collaborating with a large team of designers, who all worked as volunteers, we decided to approach the conference experience as designers creating a service, taking every aspect of the experience into account. We thought through the lifecycle of the event, in light of the needs and motivations of the 600+ participants at the event, in their various roles from attendees and speakers to sponsors, volunteers, and conference staff. We used our empathy as designers to imagine what was important to each user at each stage of the experience. And while not everything worked out exactly as we planned, based on feedback, I think conference was a success. Here are a few things we learned along the way." (Jennifer Bove - Fast Company)
"Adaptive Path co-founder and principal Jesse James Garrett's accolades range from creating seminal works on user experience to coining the term AJAX. Ahead of his UX London presentation, he talked to us about The Elements of User Experience a decade on, how service design relates to user experience, and his pick of future UX rock stars. (...) the phenomenal success Apple has had in the last ten years has been a double-edged sword for us." (Jeroen van Geel - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Large companies are the financial backbone of the web industry, but their size and complex organizational structure can make them challenging to work with. Having worked on both sides of the fence, I've seen great ideas become the casualties of this struggle between the proverbial David and Goliath, as agencies or freelancers meet face-to-face with Big Business to create web sites. Closing the door to large companies means missing out on important revenue, good work, and more people using our designs, so how can we make large companies work for us?" (Alan Colville - UX Booth)
"One of the more interesting tensions I have observed - since getting into user experience design about five years ago - is the almost sibling-rivalry tension between UX Designers and User Interface (UI) Developers. At the heart of the tension between them is the fact that most UI Developers consider themselves - and sometimes rightfully so - to be UI Designers. The coding part is like Picasso’s having to understand how to mix paint. It's not the value they add, just the mechanics of delivering the creative concepts." (Mike Hughes - UXmatters)
"Traditionally, user research involves directly observing and talking with people in the context of their work or play. Either researchers travel to observe participants in their natural environments or participants travel to a usability lab or focus-group facility. How better to understand how people use a product or technology than to observe them using it firsthand?" (Jim Ross - UXmatters)
"The president of a firm that's synonymous with User Experience and who literally 'wrote the book' on the elements of User Experience making an impassioned call for everybody who’s called information architect or interaction designer to change their business cards to omit mention of these competing paradigms, and then insisting that the way your firm does its work is different than every other kind of design approach that’s come before it? It's a sell job, if not a sales pitch. I think he doth protest too much." (Dan Klyn - Wildly Appropriate)
"When it comes to the world of UX, designers, usability engineers, and the rest, they tend to complain about how little power they have, but spend little time doing skill development in how to gain influence and power. The average designer or IA would be better served by going to a sales conference and learning sales and pitching skills, than going to yet another design event. They're already good at design, but they’re probably not very good at pitching design ideas to non-designers." (Scott Berkun)
"What's your plan for the near future? If you're like most in our field, the path forward is murky and no one at your office is handing out maps. We'll look at the trends and tactics that matter, so you can make your own map for moving ahead." (Brandon Schauer - MX Managing Experience 2010)
"When it comes to learning and genuinely retaining something, nothing beats experiences. Formal educational or speaking settings don't always allow for actual hands-on experience with the content, but almost every learning situation — including presentation in various forms — does permit the use of stories." (Garr Reynolds - Presentation Zen)
"Some people think it's just the hardware, but it’s not. It's also about the software, the context, and the overall user experience." (Michael Leis)
"UX professionals can be an egotistical lot. We like to think that only certain people with certain qualities can do what we do. Not everybody has the right stuff to fly to the moon or storm the beaches at Normandy. And in a similar way (sort of) not everybody has what it takes to create great user experiences." (Colman Walsh - IQBlog)
"The truly worldwide reach of the Web has brought with it a new realisation among computer scientists and industry professionals of the enormous importance of usability and user interface design. In the last ten years, much has become understood about what works in user interfaces from a usability perspective, and what does not." (Simon Whatley)
"Here's my open transparent written exploration of how I am navigating this concept. (...) I think the concept of Agile is fine, its the execution of it that I think is where the story kind of starts to fall a little to the way side, I think from a UX standpoint you really need to outline the features ahead but do so in a way that is suited to a ready, aim, fire model." (Scott Barnes)
"Only 11% have a very disciplined approach to customer experience." (Bruce Temkin - Customer Experience Matters)
"A surprise reaction to a product can be beneficial to both a designer and a user. The designer benefits from a surprise reaction because it can capture attention to the product, leading to increased product recall and recognition, and increased word-of-mouth. Or, as Jennifer Hudson puts it, the surprise element 'elevates a piece beyond the banal'. A surprise reaction has its origin in encountering an unexpected event. The product user benefits from the surprise, because it makes the product more interesting to interact with. In addition, it requires updating, extending or revising the knowledge the expectation was based on. This implies that a user can learn something new about a product or product aspect." (Geke D.S. Ludden, Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein & Paul Hekkert)
"In 1999, Pine & Gilmore presented a model for the progression of economic value in their bestseller 'the experience economy'. The model explains the generic progression of economic value that any business in our society goes through sooner or later; the shift for commodities to experiences. Prehaps the most used example is the progression from raw coffee beans to the starbucks 'experience'. The great thing about this model is that it's easy to use and applicable to almost any industry." (Marc Fonteijn - 31Volts)
"As a User Experience Designer, there have been moments on projects when I’ve had similar feelings of ineptitude—usually when I've been faced with a large, complex system or some completely new and foreign domain I didn’t understand. Have you ever experienced an awkward moment as you've tried to figuratively dance and negotiate your way through an uncomfortable situation? This often brings fear of making a decision or taking a step forward along with it—maybe even some shoe-flying moments. A recent acting class, in which I learned what Laban Movement Analysis is all about, helped me find a way to get past this fear. When people say knowledge is power, they are most assuredly correct." (Traci Lepore - UXmatters)
"In the design process we follow at my company, once we have defined the conceptual direction and content strategy for a given design and refined our design approach through user research and iterative usability testing, we start applying visual design. Generally, we take a key screen whose structure and functionality we have finalized—for example, a layout for a home page or a dashboard page—and explore three alternatives for visual style. These three alternative visual designs, or comps, include the same content, but reflect different choices for color palette and imagery." (Michael Hawley - UXmatters)
"In the second part of this Strategy discussion, I will concentrate on the Strategy diagram from the previous post. This post will cover what the diagram is and who is it for. There are more issues than that to be complete, but I can always add an additional post if there is a desire to read more detailed information about it." (Jonathan Arnowitz - User Experience in ArnoLand)
"So what we did was to articulate four (well, technically five) levels of consultant. These levels are based on obvious things like skills & experience, but also things like thought leadership activity, strategic acumen, client management, professional recognition, and business development. We defined specific criteria for each of these levels so that consultants can identify where they meet the criteria for their desired level and where they need to put in more effort. Granted, some of the criteria are pretty specific to an agency/consultancy model. But my hope is that those of you who work internally at large corporations, tiny startups, and anywhere in between can still use elements of our UX design career path to help structure your own." (Fred Beecher) - courtesy of jjursa
"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)
"(...) besides slowly acquiring and reviewing more books, is to begin further classification of books. Until that can happen, this is my UX library. If I don’t own it or haven’t read it, it's definitely not on this list. At the same time, there are books that I own that aren’t included because I thought they sucked for one reason or another. The third option is that I have it, have read it, liked it, but simply forgot to include it." (Semantic Foundry)
"In the first part of this series, we explored some of the basic structures and story patterns found in myths and religions. We saw how these patterns continued into modern stories such as The Matrix and Star Wars. We also explored some of the basics of bringing storytelling into the user experience process and some places to get started. Concluding this two-part article, we hear from creative professionals who are leading the way in this relatively new world of combining the craft of storytelling with user experience. We'll also see how storytelling can be applied to more than just interactive experiences: we find it in everything from packaging to architecture." (Francisco Inchauste - Smashing Magazine)
"(...) a real iterative UX Strategy that is based on Design practice not software engineering practice." (Jonathan Arnowitz - User Experience in ArnoLand)
"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)
"Stories have defined our world. They have been with us since the dawn of communication, from cave walls to the tall tales recounted around fires. They have continued to evolve with their purpose remaining the same; To entertain, to share common experiences, to teach, and to pass on traditions. Today we communicate a bit differently. Our information is fragmented across various mass-media channels and delivered through ever-changing technology. It has become watered down, cloned, and is churned out quickly in 140-character blurbs. We’ve lost that personal touch where we find an emotional connection that makes us care." (Francisco Inchauste - Smashing Magazine)
"How can we design systems that encourage the behaviors we want? One of the bleeding edge ideas we’ll be talking about at the UIE Web App Masters Tour is adding motivation to web applications. How do you encourage user behavior through the design of your web app? It may initially sound a little far-fetched, but there’s an industry that's been shaping its customer’s behavior since the beginning: the gaming industry." (UIE Brain Sparks)
"I wrote this article to give you insight into the complete design process for the redesign of Nearby Tweets. Web app developers and entrepreneurs will hopefully gain some ideas or reinforce their own processes. Users may find it interesting to see what goes into the design of a complex UI. I'd love your ideas, feedback, and thoughts at the end of this article! Enjoy." (Brian Cray)
"Usability refers to the ease with which a user can accomplish his or her goals using any tool. (...) Somewhat in contrast, user experience refers to the way a user perceives his or her interaction with a system. User experience design encompasses both interaction design and visual design and seeks to promote an interface that is pleasing to the user." (RJ Owen - InsideRIA)
"UX strategy lacks strategy, it is usually just a glorified waterfall process, even agile processes are just incremental waterfall. This presentation tells the current state of UX strategy in pictures while it outlines a real UX Strategy in words." (Jonathan Arnowitz)
"These highly recommended user experience books cover everything from user research and interface design, to information architecture and UX strategy. If you're really serious about your career as a user experience professional, these books should be the cornerstone of your personal library." (UXbyDesign)
"Due to the increasing popularity of usability design and user experience design articles that focus on the internet and web design, you might not be aware that user experience design has been around a lot longer than the internet has. This article will discuss the effects that user experience design has specifically in print design. It is my firm belief that user experience design is important in any design setting and your future success in the design industry depends on how well you can design an experience." (Preston D. Lee - Graphic Design Blender)
"Maybe I'm not very smart (don't answer that!). Possibly it's because I got my Graphic Design degree almost 20 years ago. Or maybe it's because most of what I've learned about UX design is geared toward eLearning, where the overriding goal is to make sure the user has the best possible chance of absorbing whatever content is presented. But I seem to have some concepts about what constitutes good usability that are at odds with what I see demonstrated on websites that are about UX and design or are by people who are using their sites to market their UX design services. Before I get specific about what I'm seeing in these sites, I thought I'd outline what the criteria are for me for good UX." (Amy Blankenship - InsideRIA)
"All UX professionals, not just user assistance developers, face the problem of integrating their work into the product development lifecycle. At lower levels of organizational usability maturity, too often, the contributions of User Experience tend to be reactive. Usability professionals test the usability of a given product, then designers mitigate any shortcomings they find, and user assistance developers merely document what is already there. This column takes a look at the full scope of the product development lifecycle and how UX professionals can add value." (Mike Hughes - UXmatters)
"(...) many UX professionals feel a bit frustrated that it is necessary for them to convince their business partners that user experience is valuable—and that our core practices should be a central part of standard business practices." (Jim Nieters - UXmatters)
"This mantra has been one of my favourites for a good 7 years now. Working with a range of companies, charities and individuals, and having been in many board rooms, held live events, and developed digital strategy, I can certainly say it's true. I'm not trying to brag here, but point out through experience I've learned that Experience itself is a big a deal. The other people who know how big a deal experience is are restaurant owners. They know that it's not only the food they serve that people are paying for – it's everything else that goes with it – and the things that go before and after it." (Search Engine People Blog)
"This is the first rule of UX. Everything a designer does affects the user experience. From the purposeful addition of a design element to the negligent omission of crucial messaging, every decision is molding the future of the people we design for." (Joshua Porter and Joshua Brewer)
"The first UX University was held on the 2nd of December 2009. We invited 20 people who attended to meet with UX experts and learn about subliminal persuasion. Martijn Veltkamp, expert for subliminal research, held a succinct presentation explaining the idea of subliminal persuasion and introducing some interesting researches." (About UX University)
"We're all mostly accustomed to educating ourselves by reading articles. Rare are the opportunities to attend conferences or watch live shows on subjects that we’re interested in. That’s why we are presenting here phenomenal videos and related resources on the topic of user experience (UX) by different presenters at different events. We have focused on current content but have included some older videos that are still relevant. It will take you more than 16 hours to watch all of these videos. So, make some popcorn, turn off the lights and enjoy." (Janko Jovanovic - Smashing Magazine)
"Good UX doesn't happen by magic: you have to plan for it." (Craig Grannell - TechRadar UK) - courtesy of usabilitynews
"As UX professionals, we’re all familiar with the need to test user experience designs. Testing content, however, might be a different story. Most companies haven’t given testing content the attention it deserves—partly because it’s challenging. One challenge is that time and budget usually do not allow us to test every single piece of content. Another challenge is that gathering too much unfocused feedback can freeze our projects in analysis paralysis. To meet these challenges, try testing your content concepts—and start testing them early in your projects." (Colleen Jones - UXmatters)
"(...) it’s clear to me that business, design, and sustainability can no longer be approached or practiced separately and that one of the most powerful points at this intersection is meaning." (Vicky Teinaki - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Just like human anatomy, the anatomy of a web site is composed of different user experience parts that must all work together seamlessly. Optimizing the user experience of each part however is problematic: Where do you start? How much user experience testing and adjusting should you do on each of your page types? What’s critical, important or just a nice to have in terms of spending your limited user experience testing resources?" (Craig Tomlin - What Makes Them Click)
"We all like being seduced. Interaction on the web can take advantage of this idea. There is a notion of “seductive interfaces”. It’s about surprise and delight. We are all seducers. We are doing it out of instinct. This doesn’t have to do with deviation, mind control, and trickery. It’s not about the one-night stand; it’s about forming a long-term relationship with the user." (ZDNet) - courtesy of usabilitynews
"The results, while not surprising for any web designer, usability tester or marketing specialist, show the way the web is continually evolving. From Web 2.0 to 3.0, the web has the power to engage and connect users. However, as the report reminds us, it’s not always employed in a helpful and user-friendly way." (CMS Wire) - courtesy of usabilitynews
"Our language is limited and imperfect. Typically, people type search queries quickly and with little forethought, so queries are definitely less than perfect. When a customer constructs a query that may have more than one meaning, a good search user interface provides tools to help the customer define the query in less ambiguous terms, so the search results more closely match the person's intention. This process is known as disambiguation, and best practices for effectively supporting the disambiguation of search queries are the subject of this column." (Greg Nudelman - UXmatters)
"As UX designers, our vision is to optimize the overall human‑computer system, improve the ability of humanity to solve important problems, and help people to gain insights more effectively. In this column, I'll look at what optimization means, as well as some of the ways in which we can optimize user experience." (Peter Hornsby - UXmatters)
"The challenge is not to design an object, but to design an object that changes dynamically and adapts over time. This requires a new approach to design. (...) Call yourself an experience designer." (Ken Fry - Core77)
"We naturally assume that the way we experience our world must be unique. The idea that our experience has been shaped by someone else threatens our belief in individuality and personal freedom. Out of the fear to not be special many will even reject the idea that two people can share a similar physical experience." (iA)
"Qualitative studies allow receiving quick and valid feedback that is needed during the development process of an interface. Another reason is that qualitative tests are usually cheaper than tests with a larger sample size. But this larger sample size is needed when it comes to really measure user experience." (Tim Bosenick - Usability Marathon 2)
"IDEA2009 had the world's foremost thinkers and practitioners converge on Toronto's MaRS Convention Center to share the big ideas that inspire, along with practical solutions for the ways people's lives and systems are converging to affect society. Listen and learn from experts in a variety of fields as we all continue the exploration of Social Experience Design." (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"UX design defines how software looks and behaves. We're deeply interested in the interaction models that affect how software is perceived, learned and used. Our goal is to make compelling software that's usable, useful and desirable. We are not the only discipline at Microsoft that has an active hand in experience design. In fact, we are a partner." (Microsoft Office 2010 Engineering)
"This is a simple, HTML-based list of the design patterns in Quince. We suggest using the Quince UX Patterns Explorer for richer pattern discovery and community interaction." (Quince)
"Working together in a group to produce a creative outcome is difficult - don't let anyone tell you it's not. Let me share a memory with you - from my Performance Theatre and Community class." (Traci Lepore - UXmatters)
"In my column, On Good Behavior, I'll explore the essentials of good interaction design. This first column provides a brief introduction to interaction desigdefining the scope this column will cover - then explores some key design principles." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"(...) what I do find interesting is that I'm seeing several parallels between cooking and designing interfaces and websites." (Usability Post)
"As UX researchers, we're hired to be the glue between business stakeholders and users. In a sense, we're informed facilitators. And before a contract is signed, our role is to influence our clients with kindness, grace, and wit, on the true value of our engagement." (David Sherwin - A List Apart)
"This month, we're celebrating the fourth anniversary of UXmatters, which launched in November 2005. UXmatters is thriving. Since our launch we’ve published 290 articles on a great diversity of topics. Our community of readers is growing. Over the last year, almost 260,000 UX professionals have read UXmatters." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"An intranet has the potential to unify a corporate culture, emphasize core company values, and develop a sense of community among employees, in addition to its basic function of providing access to documents and procedural information. Unfortunately, some intranets have simply grown organically, as collections of disjointed Web sites for different departments or document repositories for particular workgroups." (Michael Hawley - UXmatters)
"The Web is becoming an increasingly important channel for companies, yet online experiences leave a lot to be desired. Our research shows that most sites have poor usability and they don't reinforce key brand attributes." (Bruce Temkin - Experience Matters)
"But as the world grows more complex, more interconnected, with the underlying infrastructure less and less visible, hidden inside electronic and optical mechanisms, conveyed as all-powerful yet invisible information and knowledge, design more than ever needs a body of reliable, verifiable procedures. Science is the systematic method of building a reliable, verifiable, repeatable, and generalizable body of knowledge. Science is not a body of facts: it is a process. Design is the deliberate shaping of the environment in ways that satisfy individual and societal needs. Scientific methods can inform design. Designers can create a science of design." (Donald A. Norman - IASDR09)
"Calling something 'authentic' may connote original, traditional, indigenous, old, rare, the real thing, or in some crucial way a better example of its category. We use the term today as a messy amalgam of its twin roots: the art historian’s validation of an object and the philosopher's valuing of the true self. While the concept of authenticity is employed in vague and subjective ways, we want to believe that an item’s authenticity is an absolutely determinable quality, an expectation that (as you’ll see) is not wholly realistic." (Steve Portigal - ACM SIGCHI Interactions Magazine XVI.6)
"(...) the kinds of products, websites, and applications that survive and continue to be effective are those that that focus on the user experience. The digital world evolves continually, but we need to manage this by making sure we don't leave the people who use our applications and websites in the dust. In this article we will explore creating a timeless user experience." (Francisco Inchauste - Six Revisions)
By Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone - "This book presents a family of social web design principles and interaction patterns that we have observed and codified, thus capturing user-experience best practices and emerging social web customs for web 2.0 practitioners." (About the authors)
"In this Ask UXmatters column—which is the first in a series of three columns focusing on usability—our experts discuss the use of usability testing versus expert reviews. In the upcoming columns, we'll discuss what usability techniques to use when money or time is tight and how to best conduct remote usability testing." (Janet Six - UXmatters)
"(...) User Experience Design is the practice of integrating user-centered design methods, collecting, interpreting and applying meticulous user research, process management for testing elements of a system independently in gradually increasing levels of fidelity, and integrating multiple symbolic systems (languages) to affect and influence users of an interactive system in a predictable and measured way, according to the user’s own criteria for success and happiness." (Michael Cummings - UXDesign) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"While this article tends toward copywriting for the user experience as it pertains to the online world, you can apply it to other aspects of your brand as well. The most important point being to take the user, aka the person, reading what you're writing into account from the get-go. Communicate for them first and foremost." (Karen Goldfarb)
"User experience is becoming a more and more specialized area of expertise, says Mayhew. IT departments need to invest in multidisciplinary teams and then provide a work environment that fosters mutual respect, collaboration, and highly effective teamwork among them. Training can be one very effective way to support this agenda." (Kurt Marko - Processor) - courtesy of usabilitynews
"The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression. For computer scientists, this fast-growing mountain of data is opening a tantalizing window onto the collective consciousness of Internet users. An emerging field known as sentiment analysis is taking shape around one of the computer world's unexplored frontiers: translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data." (Alex Wright - NYT)
"(...) I was asked to do a session that addressed the everyday reality that managers of user experience live in, to reflect on that reality, and to share some approaches and ideas for that reality. I decided to focus largely on some of the interactions and relationships that comprise that everyday reality, but particularly those by managers intent on enabling experience research and design to play a strategic role in their companies." (Richard Anderson - riander)
"As the field of user experience grows and evolves, UX practitioners find themselves having to master new techniques to take on new challenges. Adaptive Path's Jesse James Garrett takes a look at where user experience has been and where it's going." (Jesse James Garrett - UX Week 2009)
"There's an old adage among screenwriters that when a writer can sum up a story in a sentence or less, he has discovered what's important about the story. He'll know what the story is about and therefore have a strong sense of theme. And in knowing the theme, he’ll have a compass to use in the process of “designing” the damn thing (i.e. what to keep, what to lose, what actually happens at the end). The story will be all the better for it because it all hangs together with a central idea that will give it greater impact and meaning." (Cindy Chastain - Boxes and Arrows)
"Perhaps like all forms of design, in practice user experience design rarely resembles the execution of a method, so much as it resembles the practice of an art. There is a heavy reliance on intuition, and when a designer does choose to refer to some piece of shared knowledge, that knowledge usually takes the form of a pattern (in the architectural sense) rather than empirical studies or a unified theoretical framework." (Justin Tauber - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Traditional, heavyweight development methodologies can be very effective at solving well‑defined problems, where the person solving the problem has a clear understanding of the initial and goal states, the available options, and the constraints on the problem. At the opposite end of the spectrum are ill‑defined, so-called wicked problems. When it's necessary to balance numerous, often‑conflicting factors, traditional development methodologies are much less effective." (Peter Hornsby - UXmatters)
"Symbols and icons can be both friend and enemy to UX designers. They can convey a great deal of information in the span of just a few pixels or utterly confuse users, depending on the context. The careful application of icons, however, can greatly enhance software, enabling quick access to a feature or function, using a minimal amount of screen real estate." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"This past year social media, and social network sites in particular, have reached new heights of popularity and adoption. It is no longer unusual for clients to request that designers “add Facebook” to their respective sites, mainly for the purpose of increased engagement and community building for their brand as a part of a greater social marketing strategy." (Alla Zollers - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"Some think the best way to demonstrate the value of usability in a corporate setting is to emphasize the resulting cost savings. While that may be sage advice in some organizations and industries, following it in the information technology and government arenas would cost you respect and a meeting. For some years, I was guilty of following this tack—before I discovered what really matters to executives, learned how finances and budgets work, and realized the true value of user experience lies not in cost savings at all, but in intangibles." (Kate Walser - UXmatters)
Integrating the Agile and Experience Design Practices - "Our goal is to explore, evolve, and empower the emergent discipline that fuses Agile Software Development with User Experience Design." - courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst
"In this presentation we share a family of social web design principles and interaction patterns to help user experience designers and strategists grapple with the social dimensions of their products and services. The family of patterns, principles, and practices provides a framework and starting point for the conceptual modeling of any interactive digital social experience." (Erin Malone & Christian Crumlish)
"When I bought my first iPhone almost three months ago, I also acquired a new obsession with the role of playfulness in user experience design." (Fred Bleecher) - courtesy of hotstrudel
"As powerful networked device capabilities continue to enter mainstream use, several technology companies have released 'vision' videos portraying how capabilities like augmented reality, flexible OLED screens, and rich sensors can alter our lives in the future." (LukeW)
"The ubiquity of computing means it’s now present in all aspects of our lives, and – perhaps not unexpectedly – that increasingly means our emotional lives. Emotions drive a huge proportion of what we do and likewise, our interactions with technology impact on our emotions. Emotion as a 'property' to take into account during design and usability evaluation featured in many papers – hinting at a whole new field of emotional design to come." (Usability News)
"Professionals within our industry are completely awash with opportunities by which they can tweak and cajole better user experiences from their projects. The difficult part is maintaining quality across all of these channels. Because of how multifaceted User Experience is, a user experience designer begins to take on a more directorial position within a project/company, which I see as analogous to that of a creative director." (UX Booth)
"Businesses that historically have approached things in a purely scientific manner are now trying to engage their users at a more fundamental level. Through great experiences. And great experiences, the way in which these stories unfold, have this innate ability to change or enhance the way in which people view and interact with their world. We're not advocating that we throw our concerns about platforms and technology considerations out the window but rather how best to combine them with thoughtful, engaging design principles. The Art and Science behind great experiences balancing one another in harmony, embodied within the end product." (Christian Saylor - InsideRIA)
"In this paper, I will discuss several cases in order to explore how technological artifacts engage and are engaged in larger sociotechnical arrangements. I will show how they inscribe a certain relationship between users and designers and a certain level of engagement." (Cristiano Storni - Nordic Design Research Conference 2009 Engaging Artifacts)
"A product is actually a service. (...) In reality a product is all about the experience. It is about discovery, purchase, anticipation, opening the package, the very first usage. It is also about continued usage, learning, the need for assistance, updating, maintenance, supplies, and eventual renewal in the form of disposal or exchange." (Donald A. Norman - Interaction Magazine XVI.5 Sep/Oct 2009)
"What is UX design, service design & design thinking? How are they related?" (Sylvain 'Sly' Cottong - IntegratedPlace)
"Myth#2: People Read - Short: They don't." (Keith Lang - Carsonified)
"The worst offenders are those who see social media as simply another platform for marketing communications, blasting press releases and other promotions without regard." (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business)
"In this article, I'll discuss the cognitive elements at the intersection of advertising and human behavior. By taking an approach to advertising that looks at the impact psychological factors have on customer behavior, I’ve learned that customers respond directly to online advertisements, as we can see from their emotions, behavior, and interactions on the Web." (Afshan Kirmani - UXmatters)
"Many people enter the inside-out world of augmented reality (AR) by doing something as ordinary as visiting a major city like New York and trying to get to a local friend's favorite pizza shop, somewhere deep in Brooklyn, via public transportation. Standing in Times Square on a summer evening, they might hold up a new smart phone and pan it slowly around the Square to see a pointer to the nearest subway entrance overlaid on their phone’s video display of the buildings around them." (Joe Lamantia - UXmatters)
"Today's consumers have growing expectations for higher quality and ease of use in new products. They typically evaluate brand values and product specs before paying top dollar for products. Companies are scrambling to align their brand touchpoints and gain loyal customers for their current and future product lines. Without strong brands, consumers buy with their wallets, not their hearts. They may miss product innovations companies have designed to fill major gaps in their markets and increase their market shares—even products they've painstakingly tested with users." (Janet M. Six and Chris Anthony - UXmatters)
"I live and breathe user experience design, and yet it took me two years to get myself the device referenced by almost every single presentation about user experience since 2007... Apple's iPhone. My reasons were very specific and perhaps boring, but what is interesting is the perspective this wait has afforded me. Since it was released, the iPhone has grabbed an astonishing share of mobile Web traffic, been regarded as a 'game-changer' in both the design and business worlds, and has even been referred to as the 'Jesus Phone'. Now that I've owned one for two weeks I've developed a different perspective. The iPhone is surprisingly difficult to use, but it sure is fun! And that is why it's a game-changer." (Fred Beecher - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"The main goal of the workshop is to bring together researchers from industry and academia, designers, and creators of mobile research tools to discuss methods, tools and infrastructure for mobile UX and HCI research. To achieve this goal, we plan to provide a forum for participants to share past experiences, success stories, failures and associated learnings, as well as recurring problems; to jointly prioritize these; to map out the dimensions required of mobile research tools, and translate some of these into draft requirements and low-fidelity prototypes for novel research tools." (CHI '09 Workshop)
"There are no hard-and-fast rules for judging whether a consultant or an agency is a better fit for any given project. Aside from time, money, and required skills, there are a variety of other factors to consider—for example, the stage of the product development process at which you're asked to come in, whether an engagement is one of strategic guidance or tactical execution, and the maturity and capacity of the client's team." (Whitney Hess - UXmatters)
This article is the first part of a series. - "As we all perfectly know, designers are narcissists; programmers are nerds, and whoever wears a tie must be a clueless jerk. Designers, programmers and business people love to hate each other." (Information Architects Japan) - courtesy of uxbooth
"This article describes a funnel that starts with the product, progresses to the users, and finally, plumbs the depths of the user research itself. I'll attempt to show how each of these stages can inform the next stage and move us toward finding the gold." (Daniel Szuc - UXmatters)
"This column explores a few low-tech and high-tech methods of stimulating UX professionals' creativity and capturing creativity when it happens. Codifying the creative process for the digital industry is difficult enough. It helps to have techniques that make our most elusive asset—our insights and inspiration—easier to manage." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"In this paper, we explore a user experience evaluation possibility by combining the identification of person's personal values and evaluation of product emotions. By personal values we mean a type of user concern that is guiding his/her choices and evaluations of products or actions in order to reach the desired goal. By product emotions we mean emotions that a certain product evokes in the user. Theoretical reasoning for this user experience evaluation approach is given by reviewing the existing literature. In addition, possible applications of use are suggested." (Piia Nurkka - UXEM09)
"We've heard it before: we should focus on designing for an experience; experiences are fundamentally different design challenges to a product or services; experiences are designed from the outside in. We're also told that we can apply this experience-centric perspective to tackle problems beyond the design of a product or piece of software. But we don't often see examples of these ideas being put into practice." (Steve Baty - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"A Designer works on a conceptual design with the customer. Then he works out a detailed design into a prototype that can be tested. So far so good. But what goes wrong is that the Usability Engineer is often disconnected to either the design concept or the detailed design. The usability engineer ends up suggesting new designs that totally contradict the conceptual design. The designer is gone. The engineering team implements the changes and the result is a Frankenstein's monster that despite the best UX resources, fails in the marketplace." (Jonathan Arnowitz - User Experience in Arnoland)
"Crafting a set of experience principles has become standard for our projects, from web site redesigns to mapping multi-channel customer experiences. When done well, these statements have remarkable power in guiding teams to deliver coherent, cohesive, and appropriate experiences for their customers." (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business Review)
"It always bothered me a little that Jesse's 'planes' diagram could be interpreted to mean that only adjacent planes influenced each other. So here is my version, with some thoughts about the additional 'forces' acting from the strategy plane." (Richard Dalton - mauvyrussel) - thnx hansk
"The emergence and rise of social media  have been nothing less than phenomenal. In the perennial battle between patterns of intellect and patterns of society, the rapidly spreading influence of social media has initiated the most significant shift toward dominance of intellect  in recent times. A groundswell  has unmistakably occurred. Social media’s rise has induced a paradigm shift and changed the way the common man perceives the Internet immensely. Social networking is now the number one reason people get online.  Getting the world out of the socioeconomic rut it was in required something of this magnitude to come along." (Junaid Asad - UXmatters)
"Developers often report a sense of déjà vu when creating software—a sense they've already designed or coded a function. Of course, the feeling that he or she is doing unnecessary work is particularly frustrating when a developer is under pressure! The reuse of software components can help to address this problem. Components are proven, reusable units of design and code that meet a specific need. As such, they enable a developer to think about solving problems at a higher level of abstraction, making the development process more efficient. For example, rather than writing a function to print a file, a developer can find and reuse a pre-existing component that meets the requirement." (Peter Hornsby - UXmatters)
"As leaders of UX organizations, we want our teams of designers and researchers to design products that change the world—to engage in strategic design. Often, though, UX designers and researchers get stuck with incrementalism—designing minor new features for which another functional group has provided the requirements, expecting UX to design them—regardless of whether the UX team agrees with the product direction. Perhaps we find ourselves immersed in organizations or work routines that do not provide space to think differently. This column reveals some tools that can help your team to innovate." (Jim Nieters - UXmatters)
"Don Norman's In Favour of Complexity keynote at UX London 2009 made the case for complexity with order, lucidity and understandability." (notes from LukeW)
"In this article, I will offer an answer and then I will take a look at authority, power and weight of UXP on multimedia projects relating on the teams and how it could or should refer to for guidance in their work. I hope my answers to these questions will be helpful as well as provocative enough to drive some reactions and feedbacks from readers." (Holger Maassen - ux4dotcom)
"An experience strategy is that collection of activities that an organization chooses to undertake to deliver a series of (positive, exceptional) interactions which, when taken together, constitute an (product or service) offering that is superior in some meaningful, hard-to-replicate way; that is unique, distinct and distinguishable from that available from a competitor." (Steve Baty - Johnny Holland Magazine)
"I'm a user interface designer. I travel sometimes. Recently, I had the horrific displeasure of booking a flight on your website, aa.com. The experience was so bad that I vowed never to fly your airline again. But before we part ways, I have a couple questions and three suggestions for you." - (Dustin Curtis) courtesy of rmoens
"We are gradually learning that user experience is a critical factor in customer satisfaction and loyalty. A positive experience means a happy customer who returns again. Designers of software systems and web services have been digging deeply into how they might generate a positive user experience. They are moving beyond anecdotes about excellent examples of user experiences and are developing design principles. Phillip Tobias gives us a fascinating account of the emerging design principles that will generate satisfied and loyal users." - (ACM Ubiquity)
"(...) there are no hard lines; there are folks who strictly do IA or IxD, but the majority of us lie somewhere in between- why not simplify our message to the industry and take advantage of the full extent of our value proposition. The irony that we UX Designers pride ourselves in solving contextual problems for the user (the marketplace in this case) is not lost on me." - (The User Experience Tribe)
"On May 17 2009, I delivered my invited presentation at the IA Konferenz 2009 in Hamburg, Germany. A first (slightly modified) version is now available. Given that my session was scheduled right after the lunch break on the last day, I had told the organizers that I would try to make it a bit of a show. Of course the real content -- a brief overview of theories of UX plus a wider look at some of the deliverables outside of the standard research-design-evaluation triad (which I summarized using a quiz) -- was there too." - (Peter Boersma)
"(...) we would probably all benefit from a dashboard of reports that included the ones that we've come to expect from our analytics tools, but that also include other quantitative reports (such as from help desk logs) and, perhaps more importantly, qualitative reports from such sources as ongoing usability testing." - (Louis Rosenfeld - Bloug)
"What are your experience and wisdom on the use of verbs as nouns in naming software functionality? Do you have any other brilliant names for views? (...) We are looking to update our UX team to align with advanced needs, and I am having trouble finding an organizational view of UX roles. I am not sure where UX architects, art directors, information designers, visual designers, user researchers, usability testers, creative managers, interactive designers, and other UX roles fit into the big picture. Do you have any examples of organizational layouts?" - (UXmatters)
"The ability to take a broad view of the world and incorporate lessons learned from other disciplines distinguishes the best practitioners in any field. As UX professionals, there is much we can learn from good software engineering practice, which maps a team’s understanding of a problem at a human level onto the implementation of a technical solution. The essence of good software engineering practice is effective user experience—from developing the high-level design documentation that describes how the main elements of a system interact to its implementation in clearly written code. Though the relationship between software engineering and user experience is not always an easy one, software engineers and UX professionals share some common goals. Both have a vested interest in producing systems that are useful and usable." - (Peter Hornsby - UXmatters)
"The longer I do this job, the more I think that there are certain qualities, or attitudes that can make a real difference to ones ability to get better designs implemented, and generally enjoy the job more. Here's my hopefully controversial list of qualities that will help you really rock." - (Jason Furnell - The Architecture of Everything)
"Just as vision scientists study visual art and illusions to elucidate the workings of the visual system, so too can cognitive scientists study cognitive illusions to elucidate the underpinnings of cognition. Magic shows are a manifestation of accomplished magic performers' deep intuition for and understanding of human attention and awareness. By studying magicians and their techniques, neuroscientists can learn powerful methods to manipulate attention and awareness in the laboratory. Such methods could be exploited to directly study the behavioural and neural basis of consciousness itself, for instance through the use of brain imaging and other neural recording techniques." - (Nature Reviews Neuroscience)
"In the light of Cultural Computing, this study influences user affect and behaviour by touching upon core values of Western culture. We created an augmented reality environment in which users experience a predefined sequence of emotional states and events. This study concerns two typically Western drives: boredom and curiosity. We specifically address the arousal of boredom, a mental state characterized by a heightened drive for exploration, making it easier to guide people in their decision making. Based on psychology literature, we introduce general design guidelines for arousing boredom. We report on the design of the augmented reality environment, the experiment effectively arousing boredom and on the redesign of the environment based on the experimental results." - (Matthias Rautenberg et al.)
"These sessions were recorded on the third day of the conference." - (Boxes and Arrows)
"Strategic user experience planning yields a unified and consistent user experience. And strategic design leads to great user experiences, ones that are characterized by delight, loyalty and stickiness. So how do you attain these? By designing the user experience for now, for next year... and for the year after that. And by designing the entire experience, not just your web site’s user interface, or your email campaign's HTML." - (Paul Sherman - Apogee)
"We've all seen arguments in the design community that dismiss the role of beauty in visual interfaces, insisting that good designers base their choices strictly on matters of branding or basic design principles. Lost in these discussions is an understanding of the powerful role aesthetics play in shaping how we come to know, feel, and respond." - (Stephen P. Anderson - A List Apart)
"Despite the growing interest in user experience (UX), it has been hard to gain a common agreement on the nature and scope of UX. In this paper, we report a survey that gathered the views on UX of 275 researchers and practitioners from academia and industry. Most respondents agree that UX is dynamic, context-dependent, and subjective. With respect to the more controversial issues, the authors propose to delineate UX as something individual (instead of social) that emerges from interacting with a product, system, service or an object. The draft ISO definition on UX seems to be in line with the survey findings, although the issues of experiencing anticipated use and the object of UX will require further explication. The outcome of this survey lays ground for understanding, scoping, and defining the concept of user experience." - (Effie Lai-Chong Law, Virpi Roto, Marc Hassenzahl, Arnold P.O.S. Vermeeren, and Joke Kort - ACM CHI 2009 Proceedings)
"Jesse James Garrett is a noted figure in the IA community, not only for his ground breaking book Elements of User Experience, but for the essay that galvanized the community in 2002, IA Recon. In this IA Summit Closing Plenary, given without slides while wandering amidst the audience, Jesse examines what he has learned at the conference, he thoughts on the nature of the discipline and the practitioner, and gives bold, perhaps even shocking advice for the future direction of information architecture." - (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"Most of today's design products and services are so complex they require input across silos. This leads to scattered departments where efforts are stitched together by a product manager. What's worse, each department has different measures of success. Marketing works to increase leads and brand perception; product managers strive to be on time and on budget; engineers want to meet requirements; manufacturers focus on minimizing defects; designers aim for useful, usable, and desirable products." - (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business)
"(...) a companion site for the IA Summit Wall of Deliverables annual event and an ongoing repository of deliverables submitted from the community to share." Great initiative by Jacco et al. - (About WoD)
"When was the last time you called customer support because you were having problems checking out online? Probably never! Cart abandonment rate is at around 60%, and most of it happens before the user even begins the checkout process. Sometimes, convincing your customers to trust you is your biggest challenge. There is no "Consumer Trust for Dummies", but as eCommerce designers, we need to focus on some fundamentals. The following topics may seem as obvious as walking into a seven-foot Wookie, but rest assured you will find plenty of websites with a mouth full of fur." - (Smashing Magazine)
"In this column, I'll provide a technology selection framework that can help enterprises better assess the usability and appropriateness of enterprise applications they're considering purchasing, with the goal of ensuring their Information Technology investments deliver fully on their value propositions." - (Paul J. Sherman - UXmatters)
"I want to start this discussion by proposing a model for collaboration1 that links the various elements of collaboration, comment on the so-called “collaboration software” currently available, and make some tentative suggestions about IA and UX requirements for a real collaboration platform." - (Matthew C. Clarke - Boxes and Arrows)
An interview with Peter Merholz, President and Co-founder of Adaptive Path. - "User experience design is, at its core, a philosophy that products and services should be designed so that they are pleasurable and easy for people to use. While that might seem an obvious design approach, it's actually not the way many designers historically thought about making things. In fact, it wasn't until the 1990s that an industry came together around this particular approach to design." - (Tea with Teresa) courtesy of deluca
"It's in difficult economic times that customer experience matters most -- you don't want to make it even easier for your customers to walk away because they've been so frustrated working with you." - (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business)
"This edition of Ask UXmatters discusses how to communicate and sell the UX message across all levels of an organization. Our experts share what strategies and tactics for evangelizing UX have worked for them." - (Janet M. Six - UXmatters)
"A TED archive gem. At TED in 1998, Brenda Laurel asks: Why are all the top-selling videogames aimed at little boys? She spent two years researching the world of girls (and shares amazing interviews and photos) to create a game that girls would love." - (TED.com)
"Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Search Products & User Experience at Google recently delivered a fascinating Keynote at the Google I/O Developers Conference. She shares a heap of interesting nuggets, from the reason why they chose 10 search results as default, and why they chose a yellow background behind their ads as opposed to the industry favored blue." - (TheNextWeb)
"No department has a complete view of the customer, however, and so in place of true understanding are models and frameworks that attempt to describe the customer. Many companies don't go beyond demographics and market segmentation." - (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business)
"Whatever type of work we're doing, and whatever terms we use to describe it, when it comes to our hoped-for outcomes, aren't we all trying to get beyond experience, interaction, and design? Aren't we trying to create artifacts that ultimately engage? Isn't that the secret sauce?" - (Louis Rosenfeld - bloug)
"The brutal fact is—we're in a difficult economy. Every day, we hear about another company that's laying off employees. Just yesterday, an article on Yahoo! News reported “Mass layoffs involving 50 or more workers increased sharply last year, and large cuts appear to be accelerating in 2009 at a furious pace. In fact, there were layoffs at Yahoo! itself in December. Letting people go is traumatic for everyone involved. It's traumatic for the employees who are laid off, whose relationships to their livelihoods—not to mention their friends and colleagues—are abruptly severed. It's painful to the remaining employees, whose friends and colleagues were so abruptly removed. Sometimes companies must make deep budget cuts to succeed, but it's painful, and those of us who have been through layoffs before agree that it seems to get harder every time we do it." - (Jim Nieters - UXmatters)
"While there are indeed some UX professionals who—by either personal inclination or circumstance—resemble the specialists and generalists Jared describes, in my opinion, the ideal employee to hire for your UX team is neither a specialist nor a generalist." - (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"(...) customer experience is an organizational mindset. It's not something a business buys, it's something a business becomes. Customer experience refers to the totality of experience a customer has with a business, across all channels and touchpoints." - Thnx for being one of your favs. (Peter Merholz - Harvard Business)
Interview with Jesse James Garrett - "Some describe it as making things easy and enjoyable to use. Others describe it as all the elements that impact someone's perception of a product or system. Jesse James Garrett says it's a lot like going on a great first date. For those who haven't heard of it before: You'll be surprise by how much it impacts your life. For those who know it well: Believe it or not, the complexity made simple. You'll finally know what to say in the elevator when someone asks you what you do for a living." (Tea with Teresa) - courtesy of janjursa
"Touch interactions are fundamentally different from those performed with keys or even a stylus, and will often require a completely revised user interface. Nokia, which has been busily skinning Series 60 in preparation for the introduction of touchscreen products, would do well to take note." (MEX) - courtesy of kicker
"This issue marks a quiet milestone for us: the beginning of our second year as editors in chief. Year one was marked by six quality issues, a new look and feel, a new website, a new team of contributors and advisors, a presence at more than two dozen premier conferences, and greatly renewed and expanded respect for the magazine. Our second year begins with a bang, with a very strong January+February issue and several additions to the interactions team." (ACM Interactions Magazine)
"It's an exhilarating time for the user experience community. Rising awareness of our value plus emerging technologies and transmedia trends have created conditions for a step change in our practice." (Peter Morville)
"The next wave in Web site design is persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. While usability is still a fundamental requirement for effective Web site design, it is no longer enough to design sites that are simply easy to navigate and understand so users can complete transactions. As business mandates for Web site design have grown more strategic, complex, and demanding of accountability, good usability has become the price of competitive entry. So, while usability is important, it is no longer the key differentiator it once was." (Eric Schaffer - UXmatters)
"There is a trend among some in the UX community to take the U out of UX and refer to our discipline simply as experience design. One reason for this change in terminology is that it lets us talk about a specific target audience in terms that resonate with business stakeholders more than the generic term user—for example, customer experience, patient experience, or member experience. The other reason for using the term experience design rather than user experience design is that it recognizes the fact that most customer interactions are multifaceted and complex and include all aspects of a customer’s interaction with a company or other organizational entity, including its people, services, and products. Customer interactions encompass much more than the usability of a particular user interface. They include all of the social and emotional consequences of a customer’s interaction with an organization or brand, including trust, motivation, relationships, and value." (Michael Hawley - UXmatters)
"User experience and its associated fields of expertise—such as usability, information architecture, interaction design, and user interface design—have expanded rapidly over the past decade to accommodate what seems like insatiable demand, as the world moves toward an increasingly digital existence." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"Video games are often overlooked in the scope of usability testing simply because, in a broad sense, their raison d'etre is so different than that of a typical functional interface: fun, engagement, and immersion, rather than usability and efficiency. Players are supposed to get a feeling of satisfaction and control from the interface itself, and in that sense, interaction is both a means and an end. The novelty and whimsy of the design occasionally comes at the expense of usability, which isn't always a bad thing—that said, video games still have interfaces in their own right, and designing one that is easy to-use and intuitive is critical for players to enjoy the game." (Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte - Boxes and Arrows)
"How a person reacts to a Web site determines that user's experience with the product and can determine a return visit. The usability of a Web site, which usually refers to the elegance, flow-of-content & clarity with which the site is designed, can ensure a positive user experience. User Experience (UX) is part of Business Exchange, suggested by Michael Herman. This topic contains 790 news and 1,139 blog items. Read updated news, blogs, and resources about User Experience (UX). Find user-submitted articles and comments on User Experience (UX) from like-minded professionals." (Business Week Exchange) - courtesy of tvantongeren
Designing Technology Augmented Urban Playgrounds for Girls - "Recent technological developments have made it possible to apply experience design also in the field of highly interactive product design, an area where involvement of non-trivial technology traditionally made it impossible to implement quick design cycles. With the availability of modular sensor and actuator kits, designers are able to quickly build interactive prototypes and realize more design cycles. In this paper we present a design process that includes experience design for the design of interactive products. The design process was developed for a master level course in product design. In addition, we discuss several cases from this course, applying the process to designing engaging interactive urban playgrounds." (Aadjan van der Helm et al.)
Modelling the Relationship Between Designer Intent and Consumer Experience - "The design literature contains many diagrammatic models that represent the relationship between how designers intend artefacts to be experienced and how they are subsequently experienced by consumers, users and other stakeholders. Despite the prevalence of such models, they remain largely disconnected from each other, both within and across design disciplines, and also disconnected from the models of communication whose basic structure they share. The existing models are therefore difficult to locate and useful conceptual developments are often overlooked. The consequences of this are that unnecessary effort is expended in developing representations that duplicate those that already exist or new models are developed from inappropriate foundations. To address such issues, this article reviews many of the existing models that can be found in the different disciplines that comprise the fields of communication and design. The most pertinent features of these models are extracted and synthesised into a generic communication-based model of design. This acts as both a guide to what the existing models emphasise and an integrated foundation from which future models might be developed." (Nathan Crilly, Anja Maier, P John Clarkson - Int'l Journal of Design Dec.2008)
"User experience (UX) represents the perception left in someone's mind following a series of interactions between people, devices, and events – or any combination thereof. (...) A good user-experience designer needs to be able to see both the forest and the trees. That means user experience has implications that go far beyond usability, visual design, and physical affordances." (Eric Reiss - FatDUX)
"The term 'user experience' or UX has been getting a lot of play, but many businesses are confused about what it actually is and how crucial it is to their success. I asked some of the most influential and widely respected practitioners in UX what they consider to be the biggest misperceptions of what we do. The result is a top 10 list to debunk the myths. Read it, learn it, live it." (Whitney Hess - Mashable)
"FoodUX is a collection of inspirational web gems for user experience designers from the gastronomic and culinary arts." (Composing Cook)
"User experience is all the rage. First impressions, consistent quality, matching online with offline, all that good stuff. Every year the same design conferences are full of the same talks. The slides might get shinier each year, but it's the same guys making the same comparisons." (Des Traynor - Contrast) - courtesy of lucraak
"Author and Happy Cog founder Jeffrey Zeldman answers the question: what does a web designer need most? Skills and knowledge of software, of course, but empathy - the ability to think about and empathize with your user - is by far the most important. Good useful education is hard to find, and within companies there is often no departmental standardization. Good graphic design is not the same as good user experience design, he explains. In fact, 'good web design is invisible' - it feels simple and authentic because it's about the character of the content, not the character of the designer." (AIGA Gain 2008)
"The reason I think this is important is that I'm seeing too many people buy into User Experience methodologies that are half-baked, if baked at all. User Experience, for most people, boils down to making pretty interfaces. Good color palettes, Flash for everything, and anything that sort of looks like a Mac interface are often presented as the whole of good User Experience. I'm not saying these things aren't good and very, very important; they're just one small piece of the much larger User Experience field." (RJ Owen - InsideRIA) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"Over the past twenty years, the field of user experience has been fortunate. Software and hardware product organizations increasingly have adopted user-centered design methods such as contextual user research, usability testing, and iterative interaction design. In large part, this has occurred because the market has demanded it. More than ever, good interaction design and high usability are part of the price of entry to markets." (Paul J. Sherman - UXmatters)
"So, you've wrapped up your customer research, completed your personas, and have even written a few scenarios that show how users would want to interact with your brand new product. What's next? What happens to the personas and scenarios once you're ready to start requirements definition and design. Are you sure you've adequately communicated the type of system your users need to the Business Analyst and Interaction Designer on your team?" (Richard F. Cecil - UXmatters)
"Creating exceptional experiences online, and developing efficient interactive marketing, is much about storytelling. We develop stories that excite and motivate people, and platforms where people can come create and edit their own stories. Interactive storytelling is in many ways more complex than traditional movies or theatre, but IAs can still learn a lot from scriptwriting techniques." (Karri Ojanen - Threeminds)
"I'm sitting in a conference room with a coworker and two clients. It's chaotic, hot, and a challenge just to walk around without tripping on the mess surrounding us. We are in the midst of designing and are buried in paper and sharpies and flipcharts. The walls around us are covered with consolidated data from requirements gathering and flipchart pages we've filled with our thought processes. Every few minutes, we need to retape some piece of paper that's in danger of falling into a crumpled heap on the floor. Then, suddenly, I'm gripped with the feeling of déjà vu. It seems like I'm working on the same design I've worked on a thousand times before—and I'm getting bogged down in the details to boot! It's at once disheartening and terrifying. But I'm the lead on this project, so I need to drive the team forward—which presents a challenge at this particular moment." (Traci Lepore - UXmatters)
"(...) people are starting to make decisions based on other criteria than pure performance and that the overall user experience is becoming a bigger differentiator. - User experience is the primary battlefield and everything else is a distant second." (TG Daily) - courtesy of usabilitynews
"(...) the Europeans should have known that if they put up a website about The Europeans, that lots of people would want to go look at it. That's just Lisa's common sense website visitor analysis." (Lisa Welchman)
"If Web 2.0 was all about fostering social interconnectivity, then the loosely termed Web 3.0, appears to be about the intelligent web. It’s about, amongst other things, contextually aware user interfaces (UI's), hyperconnectivity, the semantic web and intelligent agents. These are all concepts which have existed for a very long time." (Chris Khalil's Musings)
"Welcome to the inaugural installment of 'Everyware: Designing the Ubiquitous Experience", a column exploring user experience and design in the era of ubiquitous computing. Through this column, interested readers can investigate the expanding wavefront of the ubiquitous experience as it impacts design, covering topics ranging from ubiquitous computing to near-field communication, pervasive computing, The Internet of Things, spimes, ubicomp, locative media, and ambient informatics." (Joe Lamantia - UXmatters)
"While prototyping with XHTML isn't tied to a specific design process, iterative development seems to effectively leverage its strengths. There are many reasons for this, but perhaps the most significant is that in both cases the prototype, and later the application itself, doubles as a specification. We'll explore what that means in a bit, but first let’s walk through a suggested process for prototyping with XHTML." (Anders Ramsay and Leah Buley - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) Greg's one-page list of theatrical tips are as good a guide to customer experience, service design or even presentation technique as you will find on any business bookshelf." (Work•Play•Experience)
"This article examines what works and what does not work well when selling UX within an organization, identifies barriers you might encounter to the adoption of UX methods in your organization, and discusses how to package and present UX to stakeholders. In this article, we'll try to avoid just being prescriptive. Rather, we'll pose questions along the way, regarding what has worked well for you. (...) As industry's adoption of UX broadens and more of us find ourselves in situations where we need to sell UX, we need to be prepared to do so effectively." (Daniel Szuc, Paul J. Sherman, and John S. Rhodes - UXmatters)
"Metaphor teaches. Metaphor influences. Are you drawing on its power? Perhaps not, because many major works on writing for interactive products make little mention of it. To help encourage better use of metaphor, this column describes both the usefulness of shallow metaphors and the potential of deep metaphors, while offering tips and examples." (Colleen Jones - UXmatters)
"I'm following the 'credit crisis' with my CXP hat on, and specifically look at how banks try to keep their customers calm, explain what is happening in simple language, and make it easy for worried customers to talk to someone at the bank. Because it is hard to find out what instructions employees are getting to comfort customers, or what mail is being sent to customers, I went to the homepages of the top 20 banks in the UK and checked the experience customers are receiving." (Tim van Tongeren - The Experience Design Scout)
"To make UX strategically relevant - so UX is not an afterthought, but can contribute to strategy - you need to produce stunning results that blow away your stakeholders. Then, you'll be able to hire more world-class researchers and designers. Once you have truly great people onboard, work to build trust. Achieving this, in part, depends on your organizational structure, so demonstrate your thought-leadership by recommending the right model for the organization, not just the model that's right for you at the moment." (Jim Nieters and Laurie Pattison - UXmatters)
"Given the evidence and potential for aesthetics' overarching effect on human-computer interaction, it would seem timely to explore the themes summarized above in more depth. While a lively debate is to be expected in this workshop, the overriding goal is to define and formulate a possible HCI research agenda on these topics. To achieve this, the seminar will bring together seasoned researchers who share a deep interest in aesthetics; prominent designers who are grappling with the concept theoretically and in practice; and graduate students who are likely to provide fresh perspectives." (Seminar site)
"While the report is 4 years old, our experience is that the findings are relevant still today, and we use the models in this report often in our client work. It’s satisfying that Forrester's report seems to validate Janice and Scott's research, and we're happy to share it with you free of charge." (Peter Merholz - Adaptive Path)
"In a world where a focus on designing innovative, compelling, valuable, and engaging user experiences is becoming increasingly important, designers of user experiences endeavor to enhance and improve the way they work and achieve the desired outcome. As designers, to be truly innovative, we must open ourselves up to new ideas, surround ourselves with diverse inputs, and be willing to embark on a new journey—regardless of whether we know the destination. Actors and others who create theater would tell you this kind of mindset is part their everyday work culture. So, what can we learn from the way actors and other theatrical artists work that will help us be more innovative, too?" (Traci Lepore - UXmatters)
"Following the release of Aurora, a panel discussion about the project was hosted at UX Week by Leah Buley. The panelists included members of the Aurora team, Alex Faaborg of Mozilla Labs, and Jamais Cascio a futurist who worked with us at the beginning of the project. If you were unable to attend UX Week, you can see video of the discussion below in which the panelists discuss how the concepts shown in the video were identified, and what methods we used to bring them to life. The panelists also field some questions from Leah and the audience. Enjoy!" (Adaptive Path blog)
"I believe the key here is empathy. It's not just about knowing what's wrong with the product, it's also about acknowledging that to users this is a serious issue, and about being motivated to fix that for them." (Jasper van Kuijk - uselog)
"An experience designer must love and care about people and the world in which we all live. It's his mission in the world to proudly spread love and happiness through his creations." (Andrë Braz) - courtesy of katerutter
"Some of our presenters have posted slides for their main stage talks and/or their workshops. Here’s links to the slides that are currently available. All are in PDF format." (UX Week - Adaptive Path)
"The showbiz approach to customer experience design: What theatre, film and stand-up comedy can teach us about impressing customers." (Adam Lawrence)
"The common wisdom is that we now live in the age of information; the freedom and access we have to data is unprecedented in history; and the efficiency and convenience of online commerce, research, and communication has already transformed our lives for the better." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"(...) aims to tap the collective expertise of the user experience community to develop a guide on how to manage UX teams. Margaret Gould Stewart and Graham Jenkin - two seasoned user experience team managers - will be sharing their insights and facilitating the discussion as we create this guide."
Proceedings and papers of the CHI 2008 workshop on April 5, 2008 in Florenze (Italy)
"The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (1990) has described focused attention as 'psychic energy'. Like energy in the traditional sense, no work can be done without it, and through work that energy is consumed. Most of us have experienced a mental/emotional state where all of our attention (or energy) is totally focused on an activity. Csikszentmihalyi (1990) named this state “flow,” based on how participants in his studies described the experience. In this state of consciousness, people often experience intense concentration and feelings of enjoyment, coupled with peak performance. Hours pass by in what seems like minutes. We tend to enter these states in environments with few interruptions, where our attention becomes focused by a challenge that we're confident we can handle with our existing skills. Feedback is instantaneous, so we can always judge how close we are to accomplishing our task and reaching our goal. The importance of the task influences our level of motivation and perceptions of how difficult the task will be." (Trevor van Gorp - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) Phillip Toledano, a photographer from New York who takes stunning portraits of real people playing video games. The immersive nature of videogames can engage users into user experiences which can almost be described as extreme. Toledano's portraits depict this rather clearly. He managed to capture the whole range of emotions: frustration, joy, fear, surprise, hatred..." (Pierre-Alexandre Lapointe - YuCentrik)
"Most of us who are working as part of a design team in a services company, a product company, or even a design boutique have to live with a generic intranet. In this article, I'll describe how to leverage your company’s intranet and how to build a community around an intranet for a UX team." (Anirban Basu Mallik - UXmatters)
UXEM workshop in CHI'08 (April 6th, 2008 in Florence, Italy) - "The aim of the workshop is to transfer knowledge from practitioners to academics about challenges with putting UX evaluation into practice, and from academics to practitioners to inform and inspire practical UX work with research findings of UX evaluation methods. Participants will gain an overview of the current state of practical approaches, tools, and methods for UX evaluation, as well as insights into the importance of UX evaluation in product development. The main outcomes of the workshop are a model of different UX evaluation methods across product development process and a list of UX evaluation challenges in product development. " (Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Virpi Roto, and Marc Hassenzahl)
Proceedings of the International Workshop (Reykjavik, Iceland June 18th 2008) - "The workshop VUUM brings together a group of experienced HCI researchers and practitioners to explore a long-standing research problem – the meaningfulness of measurable constructs and the measurability of nonmeasurable ones. One may argue that basically everything can be measured, but some things may be more 'measurable' than the others; how to estimate the threshold of measurability remains unclear. The sixteen interesting submissions in this volume touch upon the basic issue of the formal-empirical dichotomy. Many arguments can be boiled down to the fundamental problem that our understanding of how people think and feel is still rather limited, which is essentially inferred from people's behaviours. Psycho-physiological and neuro-psychological data seem promising, but the issue of calibration and integration is a big hurdle to overcome. Nonetheless, we are convinced about the value, meaningfulness and usefulness of this research endeavour." (Effie Law et al. - MAUSE COST Action 294)
"If the user experience practice in your company was weak before Agile, Agile development isn't going to help things. If your user experience practice was strong before Agile, it'll remain strong after Agile, and evolve to adapt." (Jeff Patton - Agile Product Design) - courtesy of thehotstrudel
"Here's my new quest: To dramatically increase the focus on customer experience within companies by getting everyone to understand that great customer experience is really good business." (Bruce D. Temkin - Customer Experience Matters)
"How do you redesign the website for a venerable news brand with a distinct identity and a loyal readership? What's more, how do you face challenges like the commoditization of online news, the rise of user-generated content, and other emerging technology trends, while still upholding journalistic standards? In this seminar, we will discuss the process we followed during the recent redesign of The New York Times, including research we conducted, forward-looking concepts we developed, and prototypes we created and refined." (Karen McGrane and Kevin Kearney - Businesstobuttons)
"As the business value of design becomes clearer, creative managers building the next generation of products and services are confronted with an increasingly demanding set of challenges. MX brings thought leaders from IDEO, Google, The Mayo Clinic, Cisco, and many others, to show you what it takes to get great experiences out into the world. MX goes beyond typical design management discussions that remain focused on traditional concerns of print and brand, toward a new frontier of innovative products and service-oriented experiences." (Adaptive Path)
"Over the past three decades of computer/human interaction, we’ve seen digital technology evolve from a curiosity to a convenience to an integral part of our everyday lives. For UX professionals, the demand for our skill sets and the opportunities to practice seem only to grow, whether we be designers or developers, usability specialists or information architects, working in fields as diverse as Web, mobile, desktop, and embedded software systems. The UX professions are at a stage that could very well be a tipping point—where the rapid rise of digital devices, services, and connectivity converge to create a massive need for UX professionals. The mobile space alone could generate demand that we can only begin to imagine." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"Designers rationalize their choices just as much as everyone else. But we also play a unique role in shaping the human world by creating the expressive and functional tools many people use in their daily lives. Our decisions about what is and is not ethical directly impact the lives of a tremendous number of people we will never know. Better understanding of the choices we make as designers can help us create more ethical user experiences for ourselves and for everyone." (Joe Lamantia - UXmatters)
"But when the User Experience Iceberg is used to add context to the Elements, it illuminates the dark, unknown depths for project stakeholders who are new to UX. Because in the end, the unseen elements of user experience are the parts of the iceberg that will sink your project, while your stakeholders are busy focusing on the 'tip'." (Trevor van Gorp - Affective Design)
"Use this model to guide your thinking, processes, and approaches when making things for people on behalf of your clients. Its an hierarchy. Each level of need is only meaningful if the previous levels have been met. If you solve for the top of the pyramid your clients will be successful and their customers will be happy." (Challis Hodge's UXBlog)
"Recently, I have discovered a new emerging type of user experience specialist: the 'persuasion architect'. This specialist has a marketing and sales background, and focuses on aspects of a Web site user experience design that contribute to 'conversions', that is, to the number or percentage of site visitors that ultimately contribute directly to the business goals of the site, such as buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, registering, using the site for support, etc. The design aspects that contribute to converting visitors into customers are quite different than aspects that contribute to making task completion easy and fast, making a site visually appealing, or architecting the site information or functionality in the most natural way." (Deborah J. Mayhew - Journal of Usability Studies 3.3) - courtesy of markvanderbeeken
"What are the stories behind the truly great ideas? What are the obstacles that got in the way of these ideas? And, what’s the real story behind visionary products that do manage to make it through otherwise hostile environments? From sticky notes to the RAZR phone, the stories of how these things came to be typically includes some form 'rebellion' against business as usual— which in large organizations has a tendency to be about power, position, predictability, and a score of other concerns fairly well-removed from the idea itself." (Stephen P. Anderson - poetpainter)
Interviews with Chris Fahey, Peter van Dijck, Anders Ramsay, and John Ferrera. (About UX Social)
"This is an excellent, well-written book packed with great advice from veterans in the field. It’s highly recommended and essential for anyone currently trying to innovate products and services in just about any field." (James Kalbach - Experiencing Information)
"Suppliers sell. Customers buy. Various people discuss UX, but don't really identify what it is. Agencies search for ways to offer this line of work to clients and seek best practises to develop UX. Holger Maassen posits his ideas about the process of planning and designing for User Experience Design-Planning (UXD-P) as Expectation Design." (Holger Maassen - Boxes and Arrows)
"The Roman philosopher Cicero stated, 'Never go to excess, but let moderation be your guide.' The trouble is, even though people have repeated this particular quotation over the past couple of millennia, our clients often push the limits excessively—beyond moderation—for both content and presentation. As a UX professional, how do you demonstrate to your clients the benefits of moderation in user experience? You show them." (Keith LaFerriere - UXmatters)
"Being a consultant with experience in both traditional marketing research and user experience and usability gives me a unique perspective on a broad range of issues relating to customer experience. Not only do I have a good idea of what the other discipline does, I am a practitioner of the other discipline. However, in attempting to play both roles at once, I often find that client companies keep these two disciplines locked up in separate silos—usability research within IT and marketing research within the Marketing Services department. This can have a serious impact on the sharing of information relating to customer experience." (David Kozatch - UXmatters)
"Well, not exactly ... but two of my co-authors, Brandon Schauer and David Verba, recently gave a presentation on Subject To Change at Google and it was recorded on video. It's a good overview of the main points of the book so we thought it would be good to share as a way to learn more about what the book has too say. Sit back, grab some popcorn, and enjoy." (Todd Wilkens - Adaptive Path Blog) - courtesy of marcfonteijn
"A great user experience on the web site doesn't mean squat if this back stage 'content choreography' goes wrong. So I've been saying that it is essential to consider the entire network of services that comprise the back and front stages as complementary parts of a 'service system'. We need new concepts and methods in service design that recognize how back stage information and processes can improve the front stage experience." (Robert J. Glushko - DocOrDie)
"Nokia has a long history in designing for experiences, as mobile phones are very personal and experiental devices. We have established processes to take user needs and wants into account when designing new concepts, and we do various types of evaluations with real users during the development process. Experience evaluations are, however, an area we want to improve. In this paper, we describe the user experience evaluation practices in the different phases of Nokia product development process." (Virpi Roto et al.)
"This is my first column on the management of UX. In my column, I'll articulate what I've learned from my experience as a manager, senior manager, and director and three years in intensive senior leadership development programs. Have you ever known a manager you felt shouldn't manage people? Maybe you've worked for one. Most of us have at one point or another. On the other hand, most of us have also had great managers. What sets great managers apart from bad ones? That's one of the questions I'll explore in this article." (Jim Nieters - UXmatters)
"Swimlanes are a great tool for helping clients understand users, business needs and technology all at once. They help bridge the differences between multiple stakeholders by showing all the 'moving parts' of an experience in one document." (Gene Smith - nForm)
"Today, the design industry is at the threshold of a new epoch—a point of theoretically limitlessness potential for expansion. We must decide just how, going forward, we will relate to the people who use our designs—as people who are “busy and eager to get on with it” yet “alert and caring” or, much less constructively, as people who are merely “simple-minded and stupid.” Therefore, I want to propose the concept of experience partners as a whole new way of thinking about our customers as partners in holistic product experiences. We need new terminology to describe this concept, because the term users limits us to old ways of thinking about the world we live in and the products we develop. The term experience partners reflects an emerging paradigm shift from a focus on product features to instead conceptualizing holistic product experiences and embodies our best understanding of how to design products that create delight and become integral, harmonious parts of people’s lives." (Greg Nudelman - UXmatters)
"The word experience has gained significant traction over the past 15 years. Beginning with the mainstreaming of the term user experience in the software industry and, later, extended to the work of marketing professionals who began thinking about marketing as being experiential, the idea of experience as a focused professional area of endeavor is alive, well, and growing rapidly. However, the more our space grows, the more confused and chaotic is our collective understanding of the meaning of these terms. To try to help clarify this murkiness, I want to share my definitional model for the fields of experience and provide guidelines for the use of various terms." (Dirk Knemeyer - UXmatters)
"Much has been said about how the Web 2.0 era has fundamentally altered the way consumers interact online. But to what degree is today’s digital consumer really changing her online behavior? Are the hallmarks of Web 2.0 site design (tag clouds, wikis, social media, etc.) on the way to becoming mainstream hits or just techno-hype? And what are the implications for us, as experience designers, as we strive to create more useful and usable digital products?" (Garrick Schmitt - AA | Razorfish Digital Design Blog)
"Why is the lack of a shared definition? There are several reasons: First, UX is associated with a broad range of fuzzy and dynamic concepts, including emotional, affective, experiential, hedonic, and aesthetic variables. Typical examples of so-called elemental attributes of UX like fun, pleasure, pride, joy, surprise, and intimacy are but a subset of a growing list of human values. Inclusion and exclusion of particular values or attributes seem arbitrary, depending on the author’s background and interest. Second, the unit of analysis for UX is too malleable, ranging from a single aspect of an individual end-user’s interaction with a standalone application to all aspects of multiple end-users’ interactions with the company and the merging of the services of multiple disciplines. Third, the landscape of UX research is fragmented and complicated by diverse theoretical models with different foci such as emotion, affect, experience, value, pleasure, beauty, etc." (MAUSE COST Action 294)
"Over the last several years we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of software applications offered over the internet. The ability to release user interface changes on a potentially daily basis has forced user experience professionals to rethink their traditional linear methodologies. With a new set of internet-based usability techniques as well as the remarkable ability to receive real-time, continuous feedback from end users, designers today have the potential to create the most usable and competitive software user interfaces to date." (Katrina Rhoads Lindholm - ISD Symposium Spring 2007)
Audio and slides - "An audio recording synchronized to the presentation of slides is now available for my CHI 2007 conference session entitled, 'Moving UX into a position of corporate influence: Whose advice really works?' For a sense of how the members of the panel repositioned themselves on stage during the session (which you'll hear but, of course, not see), read 'So, whose advice really works?'" (Richard Anderson - riander blog)
"User assistance writers are often the Rodney Dangerfields of the UX world, bemoaning the fact that we don't get any respect. I think the real problem is that user assistance folks are not particularly good at communicating the ways in which we add value to an enterprise. This column explores two models that show how user assistance adds value and how we can communicate that value to those who pay our salaries—something I would like to encourage other user assistance writers to do." (Mike Hughes - UXmatters)
"When our online service channels fail to meet the needs of our customers, if we’re lucky, customers will resort to an alternative channel to get the assistance they need. In doing so, our customers offer us the potential of gaining rich insights into their needs and mental models. Feedback forms, complaints, call center logs—all of these tell us valuable information about customers' failed interactions. It's in the nature of user experience work that we really begin to understand the success of our designs only after a project goes live. We minimize the risk of a complete failure by using iterative design methods and carrying out usability testing at various stages of the implementation. Whether we follow user-centered design or activity-centered design or even agile development methods, there is a certain element of uncertainty about the quality of the finished result until it hits the production servers." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"(...) user experience design pales in comparison to experience design. Most digital encounters aren't designed to be memorable events. Users are impatient and carry a healthy sense of entitlement. Give me what I want and then get the hell out of my way." (Jeff Howard - Design for Service)
"This article is the fifth in a series sharing a design framework for dashboards and portals. In this article, the author describes ways to enhance the long-term value and user experience quality of portals created with the building blocks by encouraging portability and natural patterns of dialog and interaction around aggregated content." (Joe Lamantia - Boxes and Arrows)
"More reliable and permanent than human memory, the technology of written language dominates as the primary method human beings use for conveying abstractions of complex ideas across space and time. The evolution of written language has complemented that of new distribution technologies—from handwritten papyrus scrolls to books and other print publications produced on offset printing presses to the pixels on our computer screens." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"Part One of this series, Applied Empathy, introduced a design framework for meeting human needs and desires and defined five States of Being that represent the different degrees to which products and experiences affect and motivate people in their lives. Part Two explained the three Dimensions of Human Behavior and outlined a variety of specific needs and desires for which we can intentionally design products. This third and final part of the series shows how this design framework maps to a variety of well-known products and experiences and illustrates how this framework can be put to practical use." (Dirk Knemeyer - UXmatters)
"The non-digital world often provides designers with metaphors and models of how things work; these metaphors and models provide the raw material and inspiration for our digital designs. However, in physical information spaces it's difficult to integrate different modes of finding, so they provide few if any good sources of inspiration for how to integrated finding in the digital environment." (Louis Rosenfeld - Adobe Design Center)
Knowledge Sharing & Competitive Research for User Experience Design - "The idea of researching how others have designed the look and feel of web sites and crafted their user interfaces is a practice many of us are engaged in continually. We may monitor innovative designers and the sites of influence that have paved the way for the practices we engage in as user experience and visual designers. In a way, it allows us to remain competitive to know what others are up to, but that awareness alone can be a double-edged sword. (...) My goal in all of this is to prove the point that design patterns are nice, but innovation for the sake of improving contextual experience is better. This site is also about demonstrating the idea that not only is it our job to give users what they expect and think they want, but more importantly it is to give them what they need and might not be able to express. I think some of the examples I showcase here do that exceptionally well." (About Konigi) - courtesy of petervandijck
"Questions of ethics and conflict can seem far removed from the daily work of user experience (UX) designers who are trying to develop insights into people’s needs, understand their outlooks, and design with empathy for their concerns. In fact, the converse is true: When conflicts between businesses and customers—or any groups of stakeholders—remain unresolved, UX practitioners frequently find themselves facing ethical dilemmas, searching for design compromises that satisfy competing camps. This dynamic is the essential pattern by which conflicts in goals and perspectives become ethical concerns for UX designers. Unchecked, it can lead to the creation of unethical experiences that are hostile to users—the very people most designers work hard to benefit—and damaging to the reputations and brand identities of the businesses responsible." (Joe Lamantia - UXmatters)
"The book addresses our philosophy in creating products and services, the importance of the right kinds of research, of making design an organizational competency, of thinking of your offerings as part of a larger system, and of approaching your technological solutions in an agile way." (Peter Merholz - Adaptive Path blog) - Available February 25, 2008
"To give information and the tools to construct knowledge, to make it actionable to use, to use it wisely or foolishly. That's what service design is about." (Design for Service)
"Think about how to appeal to consumers and businesses with a complete solution that goes beyond the product itself, and where possible, minimize the use of products by delivering great services." (Alexa Andrzejewski - AP blog)
"Each idea must refract upon the six constants namely user, design, technology and mind, body, environment. What results out of this refraction is the spectrum of user experience!" (Dinesh Katre - Journal of HCI Vistas)
"The usability and user experience communities of practice are experiencing great growth and have emerged in countries throughout the world. These developing practices have brought about a huge economic boom in the UX market as both customers and clients are beginning to understand the business benefits they bring. In India, we have undoubtedly seen the growth of these practices. Indian UX companies are delivering designs that satisfy users’ needs to their clients." (Afshan Kirmani - UXmatters)
"What I'm telling you is that marketing and UX are blood brothers. We share similar testing methods, if not common goals. We use metrics, they use metrics. That's the key. If we can blend UX and direct marketing everyone wins." (John S. Rhodes - Apogee)
"These days, the idea of customer engagement is almost as hot as Web 2.0—and almost as controversial. As busy UX professionals, should we invest our time and energy in caring about engagement, or is it just another buzzword? I think we do need to understand customer engagement, so that, at a minimum, we can respond intelligently to questions about it from marketers or executives. We might even glean some useful insights from thinking about engagement. This column aims to cut through the hype and reveal the potential value of engagement" (Colleen Jones - UXmatters)
"As a UX designer, understanding what contributes to a great user experience, how to define who users are, what their mental models consist of, and what kinds of interactions encourage them to succeed—all of these things make me happy. But the thing that makes me the happiest is spending time riding my Moto Guzzi Breva 1100—a rare, handmade Italian motorcycle. For me, it's the ultimate user experience." (Joe Sokohl - UXmatters)
"Yes, 'magic', meaning enchanted objects. I do not advocate that we pretend that technology is a kind of magic, but that we use our existing cultural understanding of magic objects as an abstraction to describe the behavior of ubiquitous computing devices, says Kuniavsky." (ITConversations)
"With so many choices as to how we can spend our time in the digital age, attention is becoming the most important currency. In today's splintered media environment, new digital products and services must compete with everything under the sun, making differentiation key to developing an audience that cares, invests, and ultimately drives value." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"Although the flow construct has been widely studied over the past decade in marketing and related fields, it has proven to be an elusive construct to measure and model. In this paper, we first examine two of the most important themes in flow research in the last decade: the conceptualization and measurement of flow in online environments and the marketing outcomes of flow. Second, while the unique characteristics of the Internet contributed to our belief that flow was an important construct for understanding consumer use of the Web in 1996, the environment of the Web itself has changed radically over the past decade. Thus, we consider the current context of the Internet for the role and application of the flow construct, as well as important related constructs that will be useful for understanding compelling experiences in the contemporary online environment." (Donna L. Hoffman and Thomas P. Novak - UCR eLab)
"Brand shops understand the language of emotion and making promises. Digital shops understand how experiences deliver upon these brand promises." (Experience Matters)
"COST294-MAUSE affiliated workshop. Effie Law, Arnold Vermeeren, Marc Hassenzahl, & Mark Blythe (eds.) 3rd September 2007, Lancaster, UK. - In this workshop, we invited researchers, educators and practitioners to contribute to the construction of a coherent Manifesto for the field of User Experience (UX). Such a UX manifesto should express statements about issues like: Fundamental assumptions underlying UX (principles), positioning of UX relative to other domains (policy) and action plans for improving the design and evaluation of UX (plans). The UX manifesto can become a reference model for future work on UX." (MAUSE COST Action 294)
"(...) the problem of the perpetual super-novice. What is this? Simply put, it's the tendency of people to stop learning about a digital product—whether it's an operating system, desktop application, Web site, or hardware device. After initially becoming somewhat familiar with a system, people often continue using the same inefficient, time-consuming styles of interaction they first learned. For example, they fail to discover shortcuts and accelerators in the applications they use. Other people learn only a small portion of a product's capabilities and, as a result, don't realize the full benefits the product offers. Why? What can operating systems, applications, Web sites, and devices do to better facilitate a person's progression from novice to expert usage?" (Paul J. Sherman - UXmatters)
"Chances are that, if you do user research, you conduct a fair number of user interviews. When conducting interviews, our training tells us to minimize bias by asking open-ended questions and choosing our words carefully. But consistently asking unbiased questions is always a challenge, especially when you’re following a participant down a line of questioning that is important, and you haven’t prepared your questions ahead of time. Also, if you do a lot of interviews, you might fall into a pattern of asking the same types of questions for different studies. This might not bias participants, but you can bias yourself if you always investigate the same types of issues. Finally, are you sure you are asking the right questions? Your interview questions might be relevant to you and your project team, but are they the questions that will get at important issues from a user's perspective?" (Michael Hawley - UXmatters)
"Finding the right person to compliment your User Experience team is part art and part luck. Though good interviewing can limit the risk of a bad hire, you need to carefully analyze your current organizational context, before you can know what you need. Herein lies the art. Since you can't truly know a candidate from an interview, you gamble that their personality and skills are what they seem. Aimed at managers and those involved in the hiring decision process, this article looks at the facets of UX staff and offers ways to identify the skills and influence that will tune your team to deliver winning results." (Anthony Colfelt - Boxes and Arrows)
"User Experience (UX) has become an increasingly important consideration in the design of technology. As part of a corporate wide strategic initiative focusing on creation of platforms, Intel has been steadily shifting toward a more holistic and user-centered approach to the design and development of technology. In essence, Intel's platform approach is about integration of technology, ingredients, infrastructure, and service or content to ensure the creation of new end-user value." (Beauregard, R. et al. - Intel Technology Journal)
"This paper describes ongoing work exploring aspects of personalized access to and presentation of virtual museum collections. The project demonstrator illustrates an interactive approach to collecting data about museum visitors in terms of their interests in and preferences about artefacts from the Rijksmuseum collection. This data is stored in user profiles used further to recommend routes through the museum and to guide the users towards artefacts related to their interests and preferences. The overall goal of the project is to explore different users' characteristics and personalize users' museum experiences within the Rijksmuseum virtual and physical collections." (Lora Aroyo - Museums and the Web 2007)
"Broad cultural, technological, and economic shifts are rapidly erasing the distinctions between those who create and those who use, consume, or participate. This is true in digital experiences and information environments of all types, as well as in the physical and conceptual realms. In all of these contexts, substantial expertise, costly tools, specialized materials, and large-scale channels for distribution are no longer required to execute design. (...)" (Joe Lamantia)
"If this column's title sounds familiar to you, the bad news is you're getting old, but the good news is your memory hasn't gone yet. It was the title of a presentation I gave at the STC conference in Anaheim ten years ago. However, many of the points I made in that talk are still relevant to user assistance today, so I would like to update some of them and offer some new thoughts as well." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"We have been working on a new site for UXnet and have a beta version available for you to check out. We have a new design, an automatic news feed from Putting People First, and a better calendar. We have more improvements to make, of course. We plan to switch over to the new site in a few weeks." (Keith Instone)
User Experience Professionals Can Make a Difference in Society - "We all find ourselves looking in the mirror at one time or another and asking ourselves if we're doing all we can for the good of society. What's it all for? Those of us in the user experience profession can actually do something about it. As information architects, interaction designers, usability consultants, and developers, we don't have to change our careers to do something good for society. All we have to do is connect with the right nonprofit: One that shares our goals and whose mission we support." (Olga Sanchez-Howard - Boxes and Arrows)
"After attending numerous design events this past year, I’ve realized that they’re all evolving to a similar place, free from the specifics of their particular domain, and towards a shared “big D design” understanding. The IDSA event, nominally for industrial designers, dealt with many of the same issues as the Information Architecture Summit, the AIGA annual, DUX07, and even Adaptive Path’s UX Week. And while all these design disciplines have distinctions in their details, what they all share is an emerging orientation to serving the user’s experience. And while DUX07 began to speak to that shared space, it’s interaction-design orientation left it falling short. There’s a huge opportunity to bridge practitioners from across all these design disciplines, to weave their various approaches and challenges into a larger experience design braid. The User Experience field is still crying out for leadership." - (Peter Merholz)
"Perhaps it's a function of the organizing process, but it appears to me that with only a few exceptions, most of the speakers and workshop leaders -- and I suppose, attendees -- appear to be shy of 40 years of age." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
"When attempting to answer the third question, I use a framework I discovered early in my career: The Five Competencies of User Experience Design. This framework comprises the competencies a UX professional or team requires. The following sections describe these five competencies, outline some questions each competency must answer, and show the groundwork and deliverables for which each competency is responsible." (Steve Psomas - UXmatters)
"When customers arrive at a Web site, they have goals and tasks they want to complete—for example, buying a movie ticket, transferring money, signing up for a service, applying for a loan, asking for help, and so on. An important requirement for a Web site is the ability for customers to serve themselves, so they can generally complete their tasks without needing to contact Customer Support or ask a friend for help. However, understandably, there are times when customers do need help from Customer Support—by either speaking over the phone or using live chat—so they can solve more complex problems or complete tasks they cannot complete on their own. In such cases, customers need email addresses and phone numbers that let them contact Customer Support directly." (Daniel Szuc - UXmatters)
Keynote at 3rd International Conference on Information Design (ICID), Curitiba, Brazil, October 8-10, 2007 - "It sums up well my current thinking about information design, user experience design, designing for experience, and the composition of memorable experiences." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
"Designing presence in environments in which technology plays a crucial role is critical in the current era when social systems like law, education, health and business all face major challenges about how to guarantee trustworthy, safe, reliable and efficient services in which people interact with, and via, technology. The speed and scale of the collection and distribution of information that is facilitated by technology today demands a new formulation of basic concepts for our modern societies in terms of property, copyright, privacy, liability, responsibility and so forth. The research question assumes that presence is a phenomenon that we have to understand much better than we currently do." (Caroline Nevejan)
"Think you're not into marketing? Think again. As UX professionals, we share much in common with our close cousins, the marketers. We all seek to understand customers—needs, preferences, behaviors, attitudes, and more. We all seek to create positive touchpoints with customers and, in turn, a positive affiliation with our product or company brand. We all know the importance of communicating effectively with customers and evaluating the performance of our work." (Colleen Jones - UXmatters)
"Clothes cover you. Cars move you from place to place. Yet while we care that products have some basic features, all things being equal we choose the one that delivers, or at least appears, to deliver the user experience we desire." (Kevin Mireles)
"This poster presents a case study in which Marketing and R&D departments of a large company collaborated in a context mapping project. Emphasis was placed on exploring who the results should be communicated to and in which way this communication should be conveyed. The presented case study shows that user experiences fit the domain of R&D, and that an intensive process involving various stakeholders throughout the organisation is necessary." (Froukje Sleeswijk Visser and Pieter Jan Stappers - Include 2007 Papers, posters and workshops)
"Everybody wants to design for good use experiences, but not many seem to know exactly what that means once we move beyond usability and usefulness. In this presentation, I introduce the notion of experiential qualities, which refers to attempts to characterize what 'good use' means for different genres of digital products and services. Two experiential qualities are introduced in more detail: (1) Pliability: the sense of captivating and malleable information in interactive visualizations, and (2) Fluency: a desirable characteristic in situations of multiple media streams fighting for the user's attention." (Jonas Löwgren - FromBusinessToButtons)
A collection of presentations on the topic of User Experience. (SlideShare)
Including slides and audio - "The cluster of practices and professions we've come to think of as supporting User Experience Design is still a new, strange territory for many of us. How does a person's discipline define that person's work? What skills, methods and tools should be the purview of a given role? It turns out that these are age-old issues among communities of learning and doing, i.e. communities of practice. The communities of practice model gives us a better language for discussing our roles, our work and the future of our respective practices and disciplines. It also gives us a useful way of thinking about how to design for particular kinds of collaboration, especially emergent, collective work in support of improving a practice." (Andrew Hinton - Adaptive Path UX Week 2007)
"There is a lot of talk lately about 'Experience Design'. Companies sell experience design, but don’t define what it is. Online discussion groups debate who the virtuosos of the experience domain should be. Design educators wonder if they should be teaching it. And they wonder how they should be teaching it. (...) There is no such thing as experience design. You can't design experience because experiencing is in people. You can design for experiencing, however. You can design the scaffolding or infrastructure that people can use to create their own experiences." (Liz Sanders - MakeTools)
"The most evocative experiences -- those that have lasting power, that alter one's perspectives, apprehension, appreciation, and actions -- aren't designed. They're composed. The distinction isn't subtle. Compositions are easy to identify and remember: everyone can cite his or her favorite composed experiences. Designs, for the most part, aren't so easy to identify or remember. In many cases, they're not even designed to be memorable; they're designed to be imperceptible." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
Proceedings of the 2nd COST294-MAUSE International Open Workshop (October 2006, Oslo Norway) - "The concept of usability has been evolving, along with the emerging IT landscape and the ever-blurring boundary of the field of HCI. Specifically, the so-called user experience (UX) movement is gaining ground." (COST Action 294)
"The scope of human-computer interaction design has widened to include concerns with fun, emotion, beauty, aesthetics and values. There is an increasing emphasis on holistic approaches to user experience and what is now called experience design. A number of frameworks and theoretical approaches to experience design have been developed and a range of methods and techniques have also been proposed. This website is part of the work carried out on the EPSRC grant Theory and Method for Experience Centred Design. This site links to our own work and that of others on theory and method for experience centred design or XcD as we seem to have started calling it." (Mark A. Blythe)
"After the eras of the Commodity Economy, the Manufacturing Economy, the Service Economy and the Information Economy, we have now entered the era of the Dream Economy.The key to success in the Dream Economy is an in-depth and holistic understanding of people. It's not only about meeting people’'s practical needs, but also about meeting their aspirations and providing a positive emotional experience." - (Pat Jordan - uiGarden.net)
"As creators of digital user experiences, we must transform complex workflows and tasks into useful applications. Experts have written much about the UX design process as it applies to broad audiences, industry-specific vertical markets, and large corporate user groups. However, as our evolving information economy continues to encourage greater and greater specialization of job roles, there is an increased need for customized applications—digital systems that only a select few people will ever use." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"As part of our ongoing research of the UX environment, we recently took a closer look at the six major analyst firms (Aberdeen, AMR, Forrester, Gartner, IDC, and Yankee). We were hoping to determine if the analysts were paying much attention to user experience, so we searched a variety of UX-related terms (21, to be precise) on their respective web sites. We then looked at which firms paid attention to which UX topics, how these firms stacked up against each other, and how they compared to the web's overall UX consciousness." (Louis Rosenfeld - Rosenfeld Media)
"For while our work certainly supports incremental progress towards better usability, findability, and credibility, user experience methods are equally well-suited to disruptive innovation. In the deep dives of design research, we gain insight into the latent needs of users, and with our sketches, mental models, and prototypes we bring greater richness and depth to the exploration of possible, probable, and preferable futures." (Peter Morville - Semantic Studios)
"Now, more than ten years later, we're finding ourselves talking about the framework once again. Time has let us simplify it: Stage I is now Technology, Stage II is now Features, Stage III is now Experience, and Stage IV is now Integration." (Jared Spool - UIE Brain Sparks)
"When leaders of UX organizations get together, we always seem to talk about how our UX groups are structured and why. Just as designers solve user interface design problems, their leaders solve organizational design problems. It's what we do." (Jim Nieters and Garett Dworman - UXmatters)
"Whether the emergence of a self-conscious experience design community reflects a canny land-grab on the part of a few visible and reasonably influential practitioners, an underlying recognition that our technosocial practices have transcended the rather limited model of the 'user' ultimately derived from old-school human-computer interaction studies, boredom with a thoroughly mapped landscape, or something else entirely, it’s undeniably been a successful way of framing things." (Adam Greenfield - Speedbird)
"For most people, sound is an essential part of everyday living. Sound can deliver entertainment—like our favorite music or the play-by-play call of our hometown baseball—and vital information—like the traffic and news reports on the radio as we drive to work." (Jonathan Follett - UXmatters)
"The LEMtool will help you to improve the user experience and build relationships based on form, function, usability and emotions!" (About LEMtool)
English language interview and video registration of Marc Hassenzahl's keynote address at the conference. (HCI methods: way to go? - Chi Nederland)
"Amid the hype of Web 2.0, 'rich' has become the prime buzzword for fresh, sexy digital products, marked by glossy buttons with AJAX actions. But what does rich really mean? Using the concepts of Classical rhetoric as a framework, Uday Gajendar looks to transcend the hype and dig into the value of richness for digital products." (Uday Gajendar - Boxes and Arrows)
"Everyone is talking about the experience economy, customer experience management, and experience design these days. The big idea is, in a world where all products are pretty good and all services are fairly decent, any one of them do the job well enough. So offerings become interchangeable - or commoditised - and can only compete on price." (Adam Lawrence - Experience Design .de)
"The three key members of a multidisciplinary product team—the product manager, UX architect, and system architect—work together collaboratively to define a product’s vision, functionality, and form. Each key member of the product team has primary responsibility and decision-making authority for a specific aspect of the product vision." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"Catalyze is a member-driven community for all professionals involved in Application Definition and Design. If you are a business analyst, UI designer, information architect, usability professional, interaction designer, product manager, project manager or anyone else involved in the definition process of software applications, this community is for you and will be worth your time." (About Catalyze) - courtesy of bertmulder
"In April 2007, I posted five questions about the nature of experience. I asked Total Experience's readers to offer their answers as comments." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
"Interestingly, in several cases, 'propelling forward' encompassed 'moving upstream', to use yet another metaphor which, at least on the surface, is moving in the opposite direction!" (Richard Anderson - UX Magazine)
"Lessons learned: A great product keeps customers coming back for more. A great experience makes them bring friends." (Robert Barlow-Busch - chopsticker)
Videos - "Joseph 'Jofish' Kaye, Ph.D. Candidate in Information Science at Cornell University, talks about 'Towards Experience-Focused HCI' at the March 2007 BostonCHI meeting." (BostonCHI)
"When you create an experience vision, you try to picture mentally what the experience of using your design will be like at some point in the future. As we conduct our research exploring best practices for experience design, we’ve discovered that nearly every successful team has actively created an experience vision that they frequently refer to. Often their visions are for experiences five or ten years in the future." (Jared Spool - User Interface 12)
"There were three evaluations required at the inception of a product idea: a marketing requirement document, an engineering requirement document, and a user experience document," Donald Norman recalls. Rolston elaborates: Marketing is what people want; engineering is what we can do; user experience is how people like to do things." (Daniel Turner - Technology Review)
"The UX Pioneers project aims to reveal the motivations and perspectives of key players in the User Experience industry through in-depth interviews and discussions with the site's publisher (...)" (Tamara Adlin)
"User experience professionals can also learn some lessons from and find potential recruits in technical communicators as they have skills that can be applied directly to the design process." (Theresa Putkey - Boxes and Arrows)
"In this paper, we introduce a general framework for product experience that applies to all affective responses that can be experienced in human-product interaction. Three distinct components or levels of product experiences are discussed: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. All three components are distinguished in having their own lawful underlying process. The aesthetic level involves a product’s capacity to delight one or more of our sensory modalities. The meaning level involves our ability to assign personality or other expressive characteristics and to assess the personal or symbolic significance of products. The emotional level involves those experiences that are typically considered in emotion psychology and in everyday language about emotions, such as love and anger, which are elicited by the appraised relational meaning of products. The framework indicates patterns for the processes that underlie the different types of affective product experiences, which are used to explain the personal and layered nature of product experience." (Pieter Desmet & Paul Hekkert - Int.'l Journal of Design 1.1) - courtesy of markvanderbeeken
"There's a lot we, as designers of the web experience, can learn from something as simple as a water glass." (Aaron Gustafson - A List Apart)
"The project is about developing a web based measurement tool to measure emotions during interactions with websites. This is a long sentence with many important words, but it’s basically about an appliance that helps web designers improve the user experience. A better experience will satisfy the user and will most likely improve his or her thoughts and certainly feelings about the owner of the website. All of this results in trust, loyalty, credibility, profitability and returning customers that are willing to purchase products." (Kevin Capota - Design & Emotion)
"Technology, from my father's point of view, was always be an extension and enrichment of experience not a substitute for experience. (...) One of his great gifts as a speaker was the fact that he made you experience his ideas and carried you along with the connection between your experience and his experience. 'Information is experience. Experience is information.'" (Allegra Fuller Snyder - The Buckminster Fuller Institute)
"Designers today have opportunities to design much more than simply static objects. We are designing integrated and dynamic interactions with objects, spaces and services and helping companies with more strategic decisions. Expanded opportunities have spawned developments in traditional design practice." (Jane Fulton Suri - IDEO)
"This is a project-based studio course in which students from a variety of disciplines work together in small teams on a quarter-long design project. It attempts to answer the question, 'How do you support the innovation design process in a complex world with tangible, real world solutions?'." (Hasso Plattner Institute of Design)
"UX Zeitgeist combines input from the UX community with data from a variety of web services to generate an unequaled collection of UX books and related topics. UX Zeitgeist also profiles the trends that describe the field's evolution." (Louis Rosenfeld - Rosenfeld Media) - congrats!
"(...) we'll cover how moving into product management will change your focus, responsibilities, and challenges; what you will gain and lose leaving user experience work; and some ways to prepare yourself for the move." (Jeff Lash and Chris Baum - Boxes and Arrows)
"User experience professionals are increasingly becoming interested in the business aspects of what they do. At their core, the user experience roles focus on understanding user needs and creating useful and easy-to-use products that address those needs." (Jeff Lash and Chris Baum - Boxes and Arrows)
"Experts in the field of so-called human-computer interaction say good design like the YouTube interface is the exception, not the rule. For every slick Apple iPod, there are a dozen washing machines with a baffling array of buttons. And for every simple TiVo interface, there are umpteen TV remote controls that look like something out of NASA's Mission Control." (Stefanie Olsen - C|net news.com)
"User Experience is critical for the success of products. Consumers/end users have come to expect an integrated, easy to use experience of web sites and applications. No single individual can perform all tasks necessary for user experience and a team needs to be created that takes corporate politics into consideration and properly balances the goals of the individual team members." (Mike Oren - Shiny Happy People)
"Readers of UXmatters probably know that user-centered design (UCD) and usability activities have the most positive impact when they're carried out early in the ideation, design, and development cycle. Probably, many of you have worked in organizations that weren’t very experienced in UCD or usability engineering. You may have experienced something like the following the interchange with a development manager (...)" (Paul J. Sherman - UXmatters)
"A collective gasp was heard around the world following the January, 2007, MacWorld Conference, when Steve Jobs pulled the wraps off the long-rumored iPhone. He proclaimed it a revolutionary product with a brand-new 'multi-touch' interface as breakthrough and breathtaking as the mouse interface of the 1960s. Is iPhone as revolutionary as claimed? Is the multi-touch interface truly breakthrough as claimed? Yes and no. Let's take a look." (Bruce 'Tog' Tognazzini) - courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst
"The problem is that 'brand' will always be about the impression companies want to make, and are by their nature an 'inside-out' proposition - a company figures out its brand and what it means, and does what it can to communicate or otherwise impart that message to people. Brand always starts with the company. Experience, though, needs to be about the people. What do they want to accomplish, achieve, do? For experience to succeed, it must start with the person, and from there, impress upon the company. 'Experience' is outside-in." (Peter Merholz - Adaptive Path blog)
"Fun is a pervasive feature of software development, not only for open source programmers but in the area of commercial software development too: Open source developers that are paid for their work are observed to be very motivated and prepared for future effort, especially if they enjoy their development time. Furthermore, the fun that programmers experience functions as a good proxy for their productivity. Therefore, employers that want to enhance the programmers’ productivity can safely invest in an environment of fun for developers in their company." (Benno Luthinger and Carola Jungwirth - First Monday 12.1)
"The word design means many things, but to people who design for a living, their profession normally breaks down into specific categories like graphic design, industrial design, and information design. Nathan Shedroff is one of the pioneers in experience design, an approach that encompasses multiple senses, usually in a physical environment. As author of the book Experience Design and president of the Board of Directors for the AIGA Center for Brand Experience, Nathan has important insights for those who design experiences with PowerPoint." (Cliff Atkinson - sociable media)
"(...) it's pretty difficult to state a theory of experience design. Theories are rare in every design discipline, but in those where theories exist -- like the theory of taxonomical structure in information design or wayfinding theory in environmental design -- they're reliable guides to practice." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
"Browsing the Web with a small mobile phone may sound absurd at first. The increasing importance of the Internet means, however, that a person should be able to access Web services even when not sitting in front of a computer. Since there are approximately three times more mobile phones than computers in the world, a mobile phone may provide the only way to access the Web for many people. Technically, it has been possible to access the Internet on a mobile phone for several years already, but the mobile browsing experience has often been cumbersome for ordinary people. Understanding the user needs in different use contexts is the key to improving the user experience and thereby popularizing device independent access to Internet. In her dissertation research, Virpi Roto has interviewed users of mobile browsers in several countries, and identified characteristics that help improve the mobile browsing user experience if taken into consideration. In addition to user and use context, all the system components should be taken into account: device, browser, network infrastructure, and web site." (Virpi Roto - Nokia Research Center) - courtesy of vuccosic
"Why bother with the speed boats and the anchors and the propellers? There are several reasons, but one of the most interesting, in my view, is how they appear to help tap what participants actually 'experience' in their workplace." (Richard Anderson - Riander)
"Typically, we design products for a specific end state. For example, someone has an idea that a large beanbag can function as a chair. Or someone imagines how improving a paperless payment system can work more effectively than a manual system that is currently in use. Or customer feedback leads to the optimization of a Web site workflow that helps people complete their tasks more quickly. But in each of these examples, the focus is on things other than the essence of the actual people who will use the products—whether that focus is on the application of a particular material, on using technology to make a process easier, or responding to customers’ feedback to keep them satisfied. As I previously described in Part One of this series, the intentional attempt to satisfy people’s internal needs and desires simply isn’t there." (Dirk Knemeyer - UXmatters)
Notes and presentation slides - "A special thanks to everyone who made it out to either of these events. As was probably evident, this is a topic I'm somewhat passionate about. And, as is true of any subject dealing with emotions, beauty or pleasure, this is a rich and somewhat subjective discussion. My User Experience Hierarchy of Needs model forms the skeleton of my presentation. Think of it as 'Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs' except for interfaces." (Stephen P. Anderson - poetpainter)
"The UX Fund is an investment experiment inspired by Jeneanne Rae and the Design Council. We believe that companies that deliver a great user experience will see it reflected in their stock price." (teehan+lax)
"Creating a 'killer user experience' owes a lot to understanding subtle aspects such as User Interface Friction, and that is why I believe it is a very important notion. In many ways, creating an excellent user interface has become the digital equivalent of first-class manufacturing: we need it as users, and we need to understand what contributes to it if we are developing technology." (Andreas Pfeiffer - ACM Ubiquity)
"The Netherlands’ tenth annual SIGCHI Conference took place on Thursday, June 8th, 2006, in Amsterdam. Titled 'The Web and Beyond', the conference focused primarily on interaction design for Web 2.0. The conference drew a capacity crowd to the fabulous art deco Theater Tuschinski." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"About the so-called Semantic Web Initiative, Jared stated that, as an historian, he wanted proof of its existence. Only when people can show him the Semantic Web will he have an opinion about it. According to Jared Spool, in general, 99.9% of everything is crap." (Peter J. Bogaards - UXmatters)
"An information architect's evaluation of user experience is often highly subjective and gains value with an evidence-based understanding produced by web analytics. User testing and web analytic data are currently the only ways to verify the heuristic assumptions upon which a website is redesigned." (Andrea Wiggins - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) I presented a short history of the desktop metaphor as a way of thinking about screen-based user interface design and laid out my thoughts for why magic should be a metaphor for the user experience design of ubiquitous computing." (Mike Kuniavsky - Orange Cone) - courtesy of adaptivepath
"Technically, most designers are attempting to design meaning, not experience. The experience of eating a cookie, for instance, can be described in very clear terms. But, capturing the unique meaning which that cookie had for one individual was what made Proust's madeleine the stuff of great literature. A simple cookie for one person is a trigger for emotion-laden memories for another. But, most often, designers must create experiences for people they don't know. So, how can designers create opportunities for meaningful experiences for people they don't know? By paying close attentions to patterns." (Tom Guarriello - UX Magazine)
"(...) the field of user experience design takes a broad approach to the enhancement of products, combining elements from various fields to create an optimal and well-rounded experience. This wholistic methodology is often more adept at helping to reach a set of goals that encompass passive and active user interactions–goals determined both by users and the business or organization." (Paradyme) - courtesy of usernomics
"Because evolutionary products are far more common than revolutionary products, UCD techniques have focused more on how to approach projects for which the problem space is fairly well understood - both by UX designers and by users. UCD techniques are best at helping us determine how to solve such problems - which is not to downplay the challenges of those sorts of projects. However, the situation is different for breakthrough products, where potential users often have difficulty imagining a solution to a problem." (George Olsen - UXmatters)
"The Design and Emotion Society and Chalmers University of Technology invite you to the fifth conference on Design and Emotion, to be held in Gothenburg, Sweden on September 27-29, 2006. Emotions arise towards people, towards places, towards food, and towards things. Emotions influence our well-being as well as our purchase decisions. From a design perspective, we need to know more about how artefacts elicit emotions. We also need to know more about the way we can identify the relevant emotional aspects and how we can evaluate the emotional impact of a particular design. The International Conference on Design and Emotion 2006 is the arena for these topics." (D&E 2006 - Design & Emotion Society)
"Cooperative selection of success measures early in the project's definition or discovery phase will align design and evaluation from the start, and both the information architect and web analyst can better prove the value of their services and assure that the project’s focus remains on business and user goals. To provide a useful context for design, Rubinoff's user experience audit is one of several tools information architects can use to evaluate a website." (Andrea Wiggins - Boxes and Arrows)
"Strategy06, the second annual IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology) Institute of Design Strategy Conference, took place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (MCA), Illinois, on May 17 and 18, 2006. The organizers characterized this conference as 'an international executive forum addressing how businesses can use design to explore emerging opportunities, solve complex problems, and achieve lasting strategic advantage'." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"These days, it's a bit of all three. But it's also starting to look a lot like a business fad: Declare you're a design-centric organization and - voila! - you're the next Apple. We know it isn't that simple. So here's our annual roundup of the creative businesspeople dialing in to the power of design. The final cut: the CEO who rescued Puma, the architect who imagined Google 's stunning new offices, the graphic artist behind some of America's best-known brands, and the product designer who predicts our appetites - and satisfies them. You'll also meet five talents on the fast track to bigger things, hear sage advice on what design can (and can't) do for your bottom line, and get an eyeful of some amazing examples of the craft. Tool. Obsession. You get the idea." (Fast Company) - courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst
"Experience design is based on the idea of giving people a role in the design of the products and services that matter to them. Both in the US and in Europe, it is believed that this approach will lead to better products and services and therefore to better economic returns. However, in Europe there is perhaps a more explicit social or ethical drive: by giving people this co-creative role we can establish to a more socially inclusive society. A lot of innovation in Europe comes from public institutions, from the European Commission on down. (...) Design and participatory co-creation for social renewal is a complex challenge, but one that fits very well with the European way of doing things." (Enric Gili Fort - engageID) - great interview Mark!
"On Saturday the 16th I gave a presentation, 'Introduction to User Experience Design' to the Society for Technical Communication at Ktech in Albuquerque." (Chris Rivard - Clearwired)
A four part series - "Business shares a lot in common with poker. The goal in both is to make as much money as possible—either over the long or short-term—to win. You are competing against other people with similar objectives, with a finite amount of potential returns available. In order to be successful, you must observe and understand people and situations, devise strategies based on those observations, and use skill to successfully execute the strategy and accomplish your objectives. In gambling, it's called play; in business it's called design." (Dirk Knemeyer - Core77)
"The purpose of the Institute would be to give us a place to really get into these issues, other than the workplace, where real sharing across disciplines and approaches could take place on a regular, continuous basis." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience) - courtesy of experientia
"Short for 'Good Experience Live', Gel is a conference, and community, exploring good experience in all its forms - in business, art, society, technology, and life." (Good Experience Live Conference)
"The remixability of content and applications, paired with the rapid speed of development, form the foundation of a collaborative architecture that promises to result in richer user experiences. However, a richer user experience isn’t necessarily a usable experience. In order for Web 2.0 to deliver on its promise, it must provide richer, usable experiences." (TechSmith)
"We can all take a lesson from filmmakers: endings matter. The way we end a conversation, blog post, user experience, presentation, tech support session, chapter, church service, song, whatever... is what they'll remember most. The end can matter more to users than everything we did before. And the feeling they leave with is the one they might have forever." (Kathy Sierra - Creating Passionate Users)
"(...) the practice of designing products, processes, services, events, and environments -- each of which is a human experience -- based on the holistic consideration of an individual's or group's needs, desires, beliefs, knowledge, skills, experiences, and perceptions." (according to Wikipedia)
A course taught at the IIID Summer Academy in Chicago (July 18-19, 2006) "What characterizes Experience Design as a distinct field of professional endeavour is the holistic focus on all of the myriad elements that encompass an experience which disruptively cross traditionally perceived barriers between artifacts and disciplines." (Dirk Knemeyer)
"Much has been written in the past decade about the importance of usability and the user experience to customers’ perception of an organization’s brand. Jared Spool's 1996 article 'Branding and Usability' correctly identifies the importance of Web site usability to brand experience and provides evidence that a positive user experience has a direct correlation to positive brand perception. More recently, authors such as Dirk Knemeyer have expanded on this theme." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"Never underestimate the power of fun, (...) you can still have 'fun' without 'funny'. It's about the user's experience (i.e. cognitive seduction). And even if you aren't in a position to introduce more fun into your actual product, you can still add it to documentation and support!" (Kathy Sierra - Creating Passionate Users)
"Every field of social science has been integrating culture and meaning into their theories and methods - some more than others - and we as designers should be doing the same. To do that, we need a framework that takes these things into account as well." (Todd Wilkens - Adaptive Path blog)
"Teams need to avoid the role of evangelist for user centered design." (Christine Perfetti - UI11: Enriching the Experience)
"Stories are a way of communicating that goes back to before recorded history–and are just as important in modern culture. They are how we put information into a memorable and compelling form. Every culture has its stories–some say that a culture is a group of people who share a common set of stories about who they are and how they live." (Whitney Quesenbery - uiGarden.net)
"The practice of user experience lacks the historical pedigree of many of its constituent elements, including human/computer interaction, library science, social-science research methods, product-development methodology, and, most of all, design. What it does enjoy, however, is a pragmatic, multidisciplinary approach that encompasses the intertwined social, economic, and technological forces it engages. It's a contingent amalgamation - an assembly of what works - and a set of perspectives and problem-solving techniques that define how we, as practitioners, think about creating products and services." (Joel Grossman - UXmatters)
"This paper draws inspiration from diverse media to understand what constitutes experience. In doing so, it seeks directions for building experience into design of elearning products." (L. Ravi Krishnan and Venkatesh Rajamanickam - uiGarden.net)
"(...) I like the tight coupling between user experience and the organization (the sender, the product). But then, it's not really a tangible, easy-to-use definition. I want something that everybody can understand. Users, web developers, designers, business analysts, clients must all be able to agree on the same definition and understand the definition in the same way. In my opinion this tends toward being too philosophical." (Jesper Rønn-Jensen - justaddwater.dk)
"(...) we are honored and motivated to be providing the leadership for UXnet in these formative years." (UXnet) - congrats to dirk et al.
"(...) awarded to Donald Norman for the development of the field of user-centered design, which utilizes our understanding of how people think to develop technologies designed to be easily usable." (The Franklin Institute)
"Magic as an alternative UI metaphor has appeared a number of times in HCI writing in the last 20 years, talked-about by many of the greats in the field. Now we can actually implement some of it, I figured it may be useful to go back and see what has been written about it in the past. Here is a list of publications that have talked about magic or enchantment in HCI contexts." (Mike Kuniavsky - Orange Cone) - courtesy of boingboing
Free registration required - "This area of our web site offers many articles, video's and presentations for downloading for personal, non-commercial use. We hope the material will be of inspiration to you!" (European Centre for the Experience Economy)
"User experience and usability are two different things. And usability does not always imply a system or interface that does not require any learning, or any enquiry, or any challenge on the part of the user." (Leisa Reichelt - disambiguity)
"Should User Experience stand alone? If standing alone, User Experience can still risk being treated as a resource. But, the above-referenced VP of Customer Experience Research & Design thinks his group should stand alone. And in some companies, it does stand alone." (Richard Anderson - riander)
"It is an interesting mix of 'information' (information architecture, information science, ...) and ' experience' (user experience, experience design, ...). A few years ago I proposed the term as a way to describe an industry, but the idea did not stick." (Keith Instone)
Position papers of the workshop - "On 6 September 2005 twenty participants from England, Scotland, Wales, Northen Ireland, the United States, Sweden, and Germany met to discuss about emotion and their role in HCI. We actually found that there are so many aspects of HCI related to emotion, and of emotion related to HCI, that we won't be able to discuss them all on one day (what surprise!)." (Emotion in HCI)
"Modern technology and commerce permit global distribution of products and services; User diversity: Ever increasing variety of group demographics and individual needs/wants; Traditional user interface design and usability disciplines (to improve performance and productivity); User experience design issues: Even more complex and challenging; Cultural analysis offers a way to understand, even measure, differences and similarities of UX." (Aaron Marcus)
"Part of the challenge of this project was the relative universality of search. For many users, search has become so familiar that it's a de facto means of navigation. Meanwhile algorithms have become more advanced, and the number of indexed pages has grown exponentially. There's potential to do so much more with search, but there are relatively few standards for how to present users with more options." (Ryan Freitas - Adaptive Path)
In: DIS04 Conference Proceedings, Cambridge, MA, August 2004 - "Understanding experience is complex. Designing the user experience for interactive systems is even more complex, particularly when conducted by a team of multidisciplinary experts. (...) In this paper, we argue that an interaction-centered view is the most valuable for understanding how a user experiences a designed product." (Jodi Forlizzi and Katja Battarbee)
"Over the last decade, 'user experience' (UX) became a buzzword in the field of human-computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. As technology matured, interactive products became not only more useful and usable, but also fashionable, fascinating things to desire. Driven by the impression that a narrow focus on interactive products as tools does not capture the variety and emerging aspects of technology use, practitioners and researchers alike, seem to readily embrace the notion of UX as a viable alternative to traditional HCI. And, indeed, the term promises change and a fresh look, without being too specific about its definite meaning. The present introduction to the special issue on 'Empiral studies of the user experience' attempts to give a provisional answer to the question of what is meant by 'the user experience'. It provides a cursory sketch of UX and how we think UX research will look like in the future. It is not so much meant as a forecast of the future, but as a proposal - a stimulus for further UX research." (Marc Hassenzahl and Noam Tractinsky)
"The purpose of this article is to provide you with a way to measure the level of effort required to successfully complete a project in respect to user experience. This is a powerful merging of project management, user experience, requirements and best practices. And, it is simple enough for a little monkey to use. More accurately, it is simple enough for me to use." (John Rhodes - Apogee)
"Different traditions have different ways of categorizing experience. For the spiritual and the formally religious, it's the peregrinations of the soul. Professionals of a more scientific bent situate experience in the same realm as perception and cognition, physical and psychic processes built into human beings and other living things that are, even to the scientistis, frankly still a mystery. Then there are the opportunists who take experience for granted and forge ahead with the project of altering minds by tripping people out with 'new' and 'better' experiences (at least in their own estimation)." (Bob Jakobson - Total Experience)
"We are moving from static pages with their clunky, slow repainting of the page to fluid, dynamic displays, where the movement is a major part of the charm. We are moving from behaviorally effective designs to ones that add emotional engagement." (Don Norman)
"Offshore, and the offshoring of, user experience work is a reality that will increasingly affect us all." (riander)
"For some UX professionals, selling consulting services is as difficult as opening a magic door without a secret password. There is no simple password that can magically open prospective customers’ minds so they can see what you can do for them. However, there are a few strategies you can use when opening a dialogue with new customers that will lead to your sales success." (Maura Schreier-Fleming and Janet M. Six - UXmatters)
"A master chef labors to make the food delicious, but also takes great care to make the visual beautifully appealing. Norman argues in his book that the emotional aspects of a design may often be more important to the design's ultimate success than the practical elements." (Garr Reynolds - Presentation Zen)
"(...) user experience is a core competency within today's software companies, and an expert in UX strategy and design is an indispensable part of a software product team—just as the product manager and software architect are—particularly if a team is working on a new product." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"IA's have always wondered how to define information architecture in relation to other fields. Starting with the early days of library science, through the 'discovery' of other fields and the times when experienced IA's called themselves Big IA's, to modern days of business design and experience design, the borders have been fuzzy. I hope to show that, despite the fact that most of us are proud to wear the label Information Architect, we are all User Experience practitioners who practice IA from time to time. Finally, I would like to show the next steps for IA’s, which includes a call for international networks, and national events (...)." (Peter Boersma - Italian IA Summit)
"Feature overload is becoming a real issue. The last thing a customer wants is confusion-and what's more confusing than comparing technical specifications, unless you are en expert? Only nerds get a kick out of reading feature lists." (Andreas Pfeiffer - ACM Ubiquity)
"This page offers slides from Marc Rettig and Aradhana Goel's presentation at Adaptive Path's User Experience Week 2005 in Washington, D.C. There are now two versions of the presentation available." (Marc Rettig)
"Since the skill of design is not well understood, everybody is an expert, and they all have an equal vote." (Richard Anderson - Riander)
"The main questions we will discuss in the sections of this paper are: (1) What is the nature of human experience? (2) What is the process of creating meaning? (3) What are the characteristics of meaningful experiences? (4) What are the starting points in bringing about meaningful experiences? (5) What are the design principles of meaningful experiences (6) What are the stages in designing and developing meaningful experiences?" (Albert Boswijk et al. - European Centre for the Experience Economy)
UX Magazine (beta)
"UX Magazine was created to deliver a central place to discuss the critical disciplines that all enhance user experience. Extraordinary user experiences should be the goal of every interaction you deliver to your users at any level. All too often, businesses (large and small) get it horribly wrong. It’s painful to watch and even worse when it happens to you." (About UXMag) - courtesy of nickfinck
"The definition I came up with is that, in a nutshell, the user experience of a product is everything that's not human-computer interaction. It's everything that affects how someone interacts with a tool--whether it's software, hardware, a service, or whatever. To me, this meant that I had to deal with all of the squishy, abstract things that good cognitive psychology and computer science-trained designers like me try not to deal with: business goals, emotions, relationships, branding, etc." (Mike Kuniavsky - Orange Cone) - courtesy of vuk
"The relatively recent adoption of user-focused design practices by the Web design and development community—including personas, participatory design, paper prototyping, and the like—highlights important distinctions between the user experiences of desktop applications and those of information spaces. With the growing desire for usable Web applications, these distinctions become more topical and important to understand. Though the process of designing and creating application and information space user experiences for the Web is virtually the same—even if the deliverable design documents may differ—their user experiences are fundamentally and profoundly different. For designers, business analysts, marketing consultants, and others who are sincerely interested in delivering the best user experiences online, understanding these distinctions can reduce the cost of design and improve the likelihood of user acceptance." (Leo Frishberg - UXmatters)
Presentation from the International Institute for Information Design Conference on 'Designing, Delivering, and Explaining Financial Information' - Boston, USA: April 27, 2005 (Ruurd Priester - IIID Blurred Boundaries)
"(...) there's a world of difference between a specialized lexicon of domain-specific terms and buzzwords. Domain-specific terms compress information, while buzzwords often masquerade as information. Buzzwords are often (not always) semantically empty while specialized domain lexicons are semantically dense." (Kathy Sierra - Creating Passionate Users)
"The industry has spent a lot of time defining Web 2.0 and mapping its DNA. But as we attempt to emulate the fast-growth success of the Web 2.0 darlings, we need to zero in on the parts of the DNA that actually create this noteworthy new value." (Brandon Schauer - Adaptive Path)
DUX2005 Impressions: One Person's Journey and Another Perspective
"People from the UX community came together at DUX2005. I had eagerly awaited this second Conference on Designing for User eXperience, which was held November 2–5 at Fort Mason, in San Francisco, especially since I’d had miss the first DUX Conference in 2003. The conference lived up to my high expectations, providing fun and insight in equal measure. The surprising blue skies and sparkling vistas of the Golden Gate bridge didn’t hurt the experience either." - "The DUX Conference attracts just the right mix of people, representing the diversity of UX professionals. With a format that encourages interaction and dialogue among attendees, DUX provides a great opportunity for meeting professional colleagues and online acquaintances face to face. Kudos to the organizers of DUX for the many things they’re doing well." (Elizabeth Bacon / Pabini Gabriel-Petit - UXmatters)
"User experience is a deliberately broader concept than GUI. It may take some time for it to fully penetrate the product design and development world. But it’s the right term to help create an approach to product design and development that incorporates the way people really perceive design, use products, and make decisions." (Bob Goodman - UXmatters)
"We are very pleased to welcome you to UXmatters - a Web magazine created by and for UX professionals. Together we can create the premiere source of information and inspiration for UX professionals. (...) If you're a business person who wants to learn what user experience professionals can do for your company or a consumer who wants to know how to choose products that are both useful and usable, we hope you'll both enjoy and benefit from reading UXmatters." - (Pabini Gabriel-Petit et al. - About UXmatters) - Congrats to all who made this possible.
A presentation from About, With & For (Oct. 29, 2005) - "Games provide memorable and transcendent experiences, are changing the way people think and behave, and represent the future of education." (Dirk Knemeyer)
"This dissertation introduces an approach to understanding user experience that departs from the more traditional user or product centric approaches. This approach, co-experience, builds on an understanding of experience as social interaction. It focuses on how in and through social interaction experiences and their products come to find their place in people's lives." (Katja Battarbee - University of Art and Design Helsinki Dissertations)
"(...) design is often inappropriately framed in terms of efficiency and ease-of-use rather than the total experience." (Richard I. Anderson - Riander)
"To accomplish our work, we must first understand the forces as best we can, then begin attempts to make something that fits the shape they suggest. A good process helps manage this difficult work: refine understanding, attempt to fit within their pressures." (Marc Rettig and Aradhana Goel) - courtesy of jasonkottke
"Welcome to the UX Week Wiki - Feel free to change any page, that's the point of a wiki." (SocialText) - courtesy of jeffveen and peterme
"An industry that Kathy believes that we can learn from is the gaming industry. Game designers use two key techniques to keep players engaged in a game. First, they produce a state of flow. (...) flow is defined as the feeling of complete and energized focus in an activity, with a high level of enjoyment and fulfillment. One situation that demonstrates flow is when we become so engrossed with something we are doing, we loose track of time. Secondly, game designers provide an experience spiral. Basically this involves using a compelling benefit to motivate players to complete the loop (the level)." (Kevin Shockey - ONLamp.com)
by Steve Diller, Nathan Shedroff, and Darrel Rhea - "A book about how people make meaning in their lives and how companies can use this understanding to create more meaningful and successful products and services. (...) The biggest driver for experience is innovation." (Making Meaning) - courtesy of cph127
"Innovation emerges from truly understanding the fit between product and person. The understanding of real experience with a product and its fit to a lifestyle, affords insight into product and interaction design, feature priorities, and adoption cycles." (Peter H. Jones - DMI) - courtesy of uxnet
"A design-focused approach to product strategy (...) employs direct customer observation, cross-disciplinary perspectives, and a willingness to rapidly build, iterate on and tear-down prototypes. One could argue it is the essence of trial and error problem solving." (LukeW - Functioning Form)
Presentation from Spring 2005 Info Tech Conference - "The difference between a good website and a great website happens before you begin coding." (Keith Instone)
"As a designer, I would love to be able to control more of the environment and experiences of my customers. Identically, as a business person, I would love to be able to control more of the environment and experiences of my customers. After all, the user experience is influenced by far more than the applications we are creating. And in order to best do our jobs, we must reach beyond our limited charge and traditional thinking to look at the problem in a more holistic way. It is what we get paid to do; it is part of what makes us designers." (Dirk Knemeyer)
"Whether you know it or not, we're shifting control away from our own interface to the interface of others.(...) For the most part, designers can't control experiences because experiences are subject to the user." (Joshua Porter - Bokardo)
"There has been much discussion among organizations and practitioners lately about the ownership of the user experience. So, who owns it? Or to put it another way, who is responsible for the user experience and who makes it work? (...)" - (David Hawdale)
Dirk's presentation slides from User Experience and Usability 2005 (March 3, 2005), SXSW Interactive 2005 (March 14, 2005), DevGroup NW (April 1, 2005), and Blurred Boundaries/Focused Solutions (May 10, 2005) - (Dirk Knemeyer)
"The May + June issue of <interactions> is a special issue on 'Whose profession is it anyway?' - in part a reaction to some of the collaboration and cooperation discussions UXnet has been encouraging. This issue should be arriving in your mailbox any day now - it is also available in the ACM digital library where subscribers can download articles and non-subscribers can purchase items." (UXnet) - my first pub in print.
"It is a source of perpetual amazement to me that so much focus, attention, and energy are given to the opinions of critics and analysts, who sit detached, off to the side, choosing to criticize the efforts of others for seemingly no reason other than to make a bold statement." (Dirk Knemeyer)
"We should never talk about 'user experience design' -- there is no customer or user-facing design that doesn't involve a user's experience. But we can talk about how our methods, processes, approaches, mindsets, and understandings can contribute to improving the user experiences of the products and services people deal with." (Peter Merholz)
"This two-day meeting brought together people from many different user experience organizations to talk about how practitioners and organizations can work together." (UXnet) - courtesy of digitalwebmag
"The brain is tuned to mirror the behavior of others, so if your passionate curiosity is stronger than the other person's passive disinterest, you have a chance to 'infect' the other person. It's not just that you know what's exciting, wonderful, fascinating about a topic -- it's that you genuinely feel it, and this is reflected in the way you talk about it, not just the actual content of your words. Passion breaks through." (Kathy Sierra - Creating Passionate Users)
"Kim Goodwin spoke about a subject that is of great importance to all digital product designers—getting buy-in for our designs and ensuring that they get built. First, she enumerated various reasons why a product might not get built as designed or even get built at all—some of which are beyond our control—like shifting corporate priorities. However, the substance of her talk was about the many things that we can do to help set the proper scope for our projects and get buy-in for our designs." (Pabini Gabriel-Petit - BayDUX)
A presentation for Usability and User Experience 2005 - "Companies are aggressively trying to seize the minds, hearts, and spirits of people by innovating their products through basic listening and responding." (Dirk Knemeyer - Involution Studios)
"In the spirit of convergence, the user experience diagram rationalization brings together the goals, processes, and disciplines that are responsible for great products." (Luke Wroblewski - Functioning Form)
"Imagine teaching User Experience? What would a UX curriculum feel like? What would you want them to know at the end of it? Good UX crosses, technical (information and technology), reflective (testing and pyschological) stuff, creative (design and emotion), sales (marketing and bu