Author Archives: Peter Bogaards

Usability testing for voice content

Where’s the human voice these days? In the machine?

“​It’s an important time to be in voice design. Many of us are turning to voice assistants in these times, whether for comfort, recreation, or staying informed. As the interest in interfaces driven by voice continues to reach new heights around the world, so too will users’ expectations and the best practices that guide their design.”

Preston So a.k.a. @prestonso ~ A List Apart

The author of ‘Don’t make me think’ discusses UX design’s 20-year evolution

Up to the next two decades of the field of ‘previously-known-as-UX’.

“​The book started serendipitously in the mid-’90s era of dial-up when acclaimed magazine designer and typography sage Roger Black, who is credited with the design or redesign of Rolling Stone, the New York Times Magazine and Esquire, along with websites like Barnes & Noble’s, approached Krug about a possible book deal with Macmillan Publishers. At the time, the two had been consulting for @Home Network, one of the country’s first high-speed cable internet service providers. They were close colleagues who admired each other’s work — Black the graphic design sage and Krug the usability pro.”

Jeff Link ~ built in

Educating the Designer of 2025

Some much needed insights on design education (in this special issue).

“​I am not inclined, for several reasons, to believe there are straightforward goals for educators seeking to shape the designer of 2025. The embedded assumption that there are broad similarities among designers is my first worry. I don’t just believe that differences are inevitable—I believe in the value of diversity in individual experience and individual points of view. I see thinking through making as vital in my little corner of design, and as valuable resource for educators in general. Thinking through making—once a common way of approaching the world—has largely disappeared, but art and design programs would do well to preserve this important approach. (…) To some extent, the popularity of design thinking has demonstrated the value of a variety of thinking through making. Much of the conversation around design thinking assumes that the future of design is in the tackling of larger, more complex, and often immaterial tasks. While I embrace that, I wonder whether moves toward larger, more complex, often immaterial projects as the center of undergraduate training undermines the learning of the sort of skills we hope designers have.”

Gunnar Swanson a.k.a. /gunnarswanson ~ She Ji 6.1

Changing Design Education for the 21st Century

Deep thinking on (design) education (not training!) in combination with a practical implementation.

“​Designers are entrusted with increasingly complex and impactful challenges. However, the current system of design education does not always prepare students for these challenges. Designers are moving into new areas, many of which require management, social, technological, and political skills never before thought of as the responsibility of design. Not only has technology increased and changed dramatically in recent decades, but society has become more and more concerned with weighty global issues, such as hunger, health, education. Design skills for developing creative solutions to complex problems are becoming more and more essential. Businesses are starting to recognize that designers bring something special to the work—a rational belief based upon numerous studies that link business success to a design-driven approach. These are all powerful opportunities, yet we are not always training our students appropriately.”

Donald A. Norman and Michael W. Meyer ~ jnd.org courtesy of marcovanhout

Practices and Challenges of Using Think-Aloud Protocols in Industry: An International Survey

Language as the gateway to the mind.

“​Think-aloud protocols are one of the classic methods often taught in universities for training UX designers and researchers. Although previous research reported how these protocols were used in industry, the findings were typically based on the practices of a small number of professionals in specific geographic regions or on studies conducted years ago. As UX practices continuously evolve to address new challenges emerging in industry, it is important to understand the challenges faced by current UX practitioners around the world when using think-aloud protocols. Such an understanding is beneficial for UX professionals to reflect on and learn from the UX community’s practices. It is also invaluable for academic researchers and educators to understand the challenges faced by professionals when carrying out the protocols in a wide range of practical contexts and to better explore methods to address these challenges. We conducted an international survey study with UX professionals in various sized companies around the world. We found that think-aloud protocols are widely and almost equally used in controlled lab studies and remote usability testing; concurrent protocols are more popular than retrospective protocols. Most UX practitioners probe participants during test sessions, explicitly request them to verbalize particular types of content, and do not administer practice sessions. The findings also offer insights on practices and challenges in analyzing think-aloud sessions. In sum, UX practitioners often deal with the tension between validity and efficiency in their analysis and demand better fast-paced and reliable analysis methods than merely reviewing observation notes or session recordings.”

Mingming Fan, Serina Shi, and Khai N. Truong ~ UXPA Journal 15.2

Inbodied interaction: Introduction

On invasive technologies.

“​HCI practitioners are increasingly interested in designing interactive technologies to support the body. At the CHI conference, research around health in particular has grown over the past decade. Once consisting of a session or two on health-related papers, it has since become one of the largest dedicated tracks in the conference. That said, few of us in HCI are experts in how the body works as a complex suite of physiological, interacting systems. Understandably so: Such expertise takes years of study in, for example, body-oriented fields like medicine or sports science. It is not a huge stretch, however, to expect that having more expertise about the body’s complex systems would enable us to design better tools. For example, a screwdriver can be effective for working on some parts of a car, but if we wish to ensure that the engine under the hood is running well, we need additional, specific tools like timing lights and spark-gap slides. Understanding how to use these tools, of course, is an essential requirement for ensuring the optimal performance of that machine.”

M.C. Schraefel ~ ACM Interactions Magazine 27.2

A guide to asking the right user research questions

It’s the answer that matters.

“​User feedback is a vital input for product development. But to maximize the effectiveness of your user research, it’s necessary to ask the right questions. Before talking to your users, think about the overall objective of the research: What do you want to know? Do you want to find out if a certain feature is useful? Or are you trying to learn what problems the user is facing? At this point, focus on the overarching theme of your research, and not specific questions.”

Jeremiah Lam ~ Maze

A usability evaluation of Web user interface scrolling types

Paper against pixels, hence scrolling.

“​This paper details a usability evaluation of scrolling techniques on Web sites. The scrolling methods evaluated were normal scrolling (with default pagination), infinite scrolling, infinite scrolling with a load more button and infinite scrolling with pagination. The four scrolling types were evaluated in the context of tasks that involved either serendipitous type tasks or goal-oriented type tasks. The evaluation was principally about the raw’ performance and participant perceptions. This is because it was felt that the greatest gap in knowledge concerned these aspects. The evaluation was done by means of an experiment and the data collected was statistically analysed. The results were mixed in nature, where no single scrolling method stood out as being the most usable.”

Sushil Sharma and Dr. Pietro Murano ~ First Monday 25.3

Digital experience systems: Expanding design systems to serve the full customer experience

The scope of design systems is getting larger and larger.

“​In this era of ever-evolving technology and innovation, organizations can no longer rely solely on a static dot-com to connect with customers. Increasingly, customer expectations are driving the need for an unprecedented mix of dynamic touch points, such as websites, customer portals, native mobile, wearables, chatbots, and voice interactions. Modern marketers need to manage these experiences intentionally and consistently to provide valuable brand interactions across the full customer experience. Further complicating the trend of multichannel experiences is a need within organizations to continually assess the impact and return on each customer touch point.”

Kristen Cromer ~ Adobe XD ideas

Digital crafts-machine-ship: Creative collaborations with machines

Hearing Lickliders man-computer symbiosis in the distance.

“​What we call machines may be as concrete as those in industrial production or as immaterial as ideas of form, structure, and pattern that have no location at all. Both kinds, through deeply entangled and woven collaborations with us, work to construct the computer in front of you, your desk, and the cup next to your hand, as you read this. If we consider machines as our own contraptions that embody us in extended and collaborative ways, rather than as tools of automation and semi-automation, what does it mean to make with, collaborate with, or become a machine? In which ways can we share autonomy rather than delegate automation? That is, in which ways can we make together rather than delegate the making to the machine?”

Kristina Andersen, Ron Wakkary, Laura Devendorf, Alex McLean ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXVII.1

Histories and futures of research through design: From prototypes to connected things

Or how information (not data) drives design and research.

“​This article discusses how the artifact of Research through Design (RtD) is changing due to data technology. The article firstly reviews the character and role of the prototype in RtD traditions informed by practices of skillful crafting and industrial design manufacturing. It then describes the move of RtD to data-enabled practices to offer a conceptualization of artifacts as connected things, that is, decentralized objects that actively collapse the division between design participation, user interaction and the creation and distribution of products and services. By considering connected things as capable of ‘making’ things too, the article positions the changing character and role of the RtD artifact in relation to three key shifts in design practice: (1) the agential shift towards the inclusion of things as partners in design, (2) the temporal shift towards always available opportunities for co-creation, and (3) the infrastructural shift towards unstable forms of value. The article concludes with a discussion on the implications of these changes for how knowledge might be generated, critiqued and shared in future data-enabled RtD practice.”

Elisa Giaccardi a.k.a. /elisagiaccardi | @elisagiaccardi ~ International Journal of Design 13.3 courtesy of @g_ferri

Information and design: Book symposium on Luciano Floridi’s The Logic of Information

The link, connection and relation is more important than the node, place or idea.

“​The purpose of this paper is to review and discuss Luciano Floridi’s 2019 book The Logic of Information: A Theory of Philosophy as Conceptual Design, the latest instalment in his philosophy of information (PI) tetralogy, particularly with respect to its implications for library and information studies (LIS). Nine scholars with research interests in philosophy and LIS read and responded to the book, raising critical and heuristic questions in the spirit of scholarly dialogue. Floridi responded to these questions. Floridi’s PI, including this latest publication, is of interest to LIS scholars, and much insight can be gained by exploring this connection. It seems also that LIS has the potential to contribute to PI’s further development in some respects.”

Gorichanaz, T., Furner, J., Ma, L., Bawden, D., Robinson, L., Dixon, D., Herold, K., Søe, S., Van der Veer Martens, B. and Floridi, L. (2020) ~ Journal of Documentation 76.1

Confronting the tensions where UX meets AI

Without tensions no glory.

“​AI research has now been around for about 65 years, and the consequences of design decisions on AI outcomes have been a lively debate for 20-plus years, if not longer. Governments, companies, and investors are now pouring in copious resources to advance AI techniques and create ‘AI-powered’ products. Amid the hype, however, people question whether breakthroughs are reproducible and transferable to practice, and who benefits from them. Keeping up with the latest trends has become increasingly challenging, even for the experienced. And the definition of accepted terminology itself is ever changing. As we – HCI researchers and UX practitioners – struggle to keep up with where the field is going, it is easy to lose sight of its past, repeat mistakes, and stumble on unintended consequences.”

Henriette Cramer and Juho ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.6

Facilitating structures: Toward a new way of working and learning together

All together now…

“​What does it mean to be a designer at this time in history? Think about that for a second. Or several days. At the risk of speaking for all designers, I’ll say we’ve moved beyond just surface and tactical concerns, at least in our discourse. I still see religious debates over design tools, and excitement over the latest visual design trends. But, if five years ago we were debating round corners on buttons, we’re now debating whether these things should even exist, and the effect on our society and the world at large. We’re designing from a more thoughtful perspective. (…) In recent years, I’ve come to recognize that the biggest influence I can have, as a designer and design leader, is to become more of a facilitator.”

Stephen Anderson a.k.a. /stephenpa | @stephenanderson

There is no design system

Tagged as ‘There is no such thing as’ a.k.a. #tinsta.

“​So in the design systems work we do, you often think of a style guide. Or a component library. Or a Sketch UI Kit. And there are arguments on whether either of those things can be called a design system if it doesn’t include this other thing or that other thing. We even talk about whether design systems are products or are more of a service. My take? The word “design” and “system” used in combination together literally just means to systemize your design (and in my world view that is more about the overall experience). And so if for you that means a Sketch UI Library, then you do you! My point is I think there is too much focus on the deliverables in the first place.”

Jina Anne ~ /sushiandrobots | @jina ~ 24 ways

The State of UX Research

UX Research is definitely different from UX Design.

“​I have been a UX researcher for 25 years. I did not come up through the usual degree programs available at the time, such as cognitive psychology and human factors. Rather, I came to the field from technical communication, seeing that there was a role for technical communicators to play in advocating for the user and promoting usability testing to understand the user experience, even if it meant conducting stealth testing on the documentation at the end of the product development cycle.”

Carol Barnum ~ Journal of Usability Studies 15.1

Designing for Social Technologies: Responsible Privacy Design

Designing more and more for human values, like autonomy, security and privacy.

“​We argue that, as UX designers, we have the opportunity and the ethical responsibility to design for overcoming social privacy barriers. In this article, we draw on our research and experience to illustrate how social privacy concerns affect users or even push them away from using online platforms. We conclude by suggesting ways forward to more responsible UX design.”

Xinru Page, Pamela Wisniewski, Bart Knijnenburg, and Julie Schiller ~ UXPA Magazine

The future of patient experience: Five thoughts on where we must go from here

This one will be evenly distributed.

“​In looking to the future, we must never forget it is grounded in today and the steps that brought us to this point. Those efforts and actions that led to where we stand now set the foundation for all we can do and what we will accomplish as we look to the future. This idea of not looking too far ahead without knowing where you stand is fundamental in human nature. Far too often we have let our gaze to the future miss the people right in front of us or overlook the significance of the moment in which we stand. As we look to the future of experience in healthcare, we must start identifying and acknowledging the bigger issues facing healthcare overall. When we look at experience as the strategic heart of healthcare where quality, safety, service, cost and access come together to ensure the best outcomes overall, we can then build a path forward that serves all in healthcare. To do so we must consider where we go from here and how we take the critical next steps. This article offers five thoughts on how experience will change in moving towards its future. Yet with all we know is possible in healthcare, if we remain committed to one another, to what is possible and to what we believe our fellow human beings want and deserve, then we will also know the right thing to do and the next steps to take. That is where the future of experience awaits.”

Jason A. Wolf PhD ~ The Beryl Institute | Patient Experience Journal