Using DataSci (quant) to get meaning out of UsrRes (qual).
“Simultaneous triangulation is an incredibly powerful tool to generate comprehensive and verified findings. If you only use one method, you could end up with blindspots. If you employ methods sequentially rather than simultaneously, you could run into unexplainable contradictions, like we did at first. The solution is simultaneous triangulation. Next time you have a complex research question, consider using the three-step process to mitigate blindspots and turn discrepancies in learning opportunities.”
Colette Kolenda and Kristie Savage ~ Spotify Design ★
Application onboarding versus organisation onboarding. Just a matter of principles.
“As a UX designer and marketer in the tech industry, I have been onboarded for a number of software and design projects. During these onboarding processes, I have noticed that software, apps, and user flows are not always conveyed in a simple, readily-comprehensible manner. As software and apps become more complex, the ability to define and explain technical concepts in simple terms has become an increasingly valuable skill for project leaders. In noticing this, an adherence to universal design principles would improve accessibility for all who take part in the onboarding process.”
Nicholas Farmen a.k.a. @FarmenNicholas ~ UXbooth
Global and local vars, lots of them.
“UX research pulls many terms, methods, and conventions from other fields. Selecting a method is an important first choice in measuring the user experience. But an important next step is understanding the variables you’ll have to deal with when designing a study or drawing conclusions. Variables are things that change. Variables can be controlled and measured.”
Jeff Sauro a.k.a. /jeffsauro | @MeasuringU ~ MeasuringU ★
Life is full of connections, to be made and to be found.
“At the Ulm School of Design (1953-1968), there was a promising approach to teaching visual as well as verbal communication. Although it took place in separate departments, this pioneering approach attempted to integrate form and content, theory and practice. From the school’s inception, the Information Department was established alongside the Departments of Visual Communication, Product Design and Building: writing was considered a discipline on a par with two- and three-dimensional design. While the Department of Visual Communication flourished, however, the Information Department languished, not least as a result of the school’s policy and staff conflicts. A closer look at the HfG’s history nevertheless reveals the Information Department’s overall importance to the school’s self-conception and attitude. Beyond its relevance for design history, this might also contribute to the discussion of a greater emphasis on verbal and writing competence in present day design education.”
David Oswald and Christiane Wachsmann ~ A/I/S/Design ★
Abstraction going meta.
“Meta-designing in this sense could be the next grand frontier of design practice, imbued with a strategic sense for humanism and intellectualism, which are necessary elements if we are to make design thinking + customer experience + user experience into more than a checklist of ingredients for a successful business. What will you do to advance this approach? It’s admittedly aspirational and fuzzy to tackle, but that doesn’t mean it’s not feasible or valuable.”
Uday Gajendar ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.4 ★ courtesy of @riander
Just a matter of abstraction and focus.
“In this article, we explore how UX writing compares to content strategy. Since many are confused a bit about how UX writing fits in with content strategy, we compare the two fields and see how your business can use both of them to build an online presence and improve customer experience with digital products.”
Bridgette Hernandez ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Always keep your principles.
“Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already having a major impact on society. As a result, many organizations have launched a wide range of initiatives to establish ethical principles for the adoption of socially beneficial AI. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of proposed principles threatens to overwhelm and confuse. How might this problem of ‘principle proliferation’ be solved? In this paper, we report the results of a fine-grained analysis of several of the highest-profile sets of ethical principles for AI. We assess whether these principles converge upon a set of agreed-upon principles, or diverge, with significant disagreement over what constitutes ‘ethical AI.’ Our analysis finds a high degree of overlap among the sets of principles we analyze. We then identify an overarching framework consisting of five core principles for ethical AI. Four of them are core principles commonly used in bioethics: beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. On the basis of our comparative analysis, we argue that a new principle is needed in addition: explicability, understood as incorporating both the epistemological sense of intelligibility (as an answer to the question ‘how does it work?’) and in the ethical sense of accountability (as an answer to the question: ‘who is responsible for the way it works?’). In the ensuing discussion, we note the limitations and assess the implications of this ethical framework for future efforts to create laws, rules, technical standards, and best practices for ethical AI in a wide range of contexts.”
Luciano Floridi and Josh Cowls ~ Harvard Data Science Review Issue 1 ★
From system design, to systematic design and systemic design.
“In this theme issue of She Ji, we present work from the Sixth Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium (RSD6) in Oslo. The emerging field of systemic design has expanded to engage with increasingly important societal issues ranging from housing and quality of life in cities, to foreign policy, immigration, and cultural development, as well as our environments and ecologies. (…) The guest-editors have co-edited a number of works in the past. We normally agree enough to co-create a shared vision for the overall thrust of the publication. But this time, we found ourselves in fruitful argument about the issues of interest or concern posed by nearly every article, which demonstrates the compelling discursive value of the ideas. The viewpoint articles in particular raised a number of micro-arguments between us. Our discussion follows, revealing the distinctions arising from each of these thoughtful essays.”
Birger Sevaldson and Peter Jones ~ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation Volume 5, Issue 2 ★
Like we believed for years and years: UX is the success factor of products, services, and organisations.
“Incorporating UX allows startups to spot failures fast, scrap bad ideas, and stay lean. In the startup world, time is of the essence and correctly implementing UX practices allows startups to save a lot of time. User experience is a cyclical process; it always needs refinement and feedback to get better and better. Startups that are incorporating UX from the beginning have a clear understanding of where the field sits in relation to their build process, thus making them more efficient. They iterate faster, have higher adoption rates, and have happy, diverse customers.”
Ayesha Saleem a.k.a. @ayeshabydesign~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
Focus on talent versus development of design competencies.
“What makes UXers tick? How are they different from other people? What do they have in common among themselves? We surveyed a group of UXers to see. First, we surveyed them using the Five Factor Model, a standard typology widely recognized in personality research.”
Cliff Anderson and Joe Grant ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
But what’s the speed of learning and how to speed it up?
“Over the last decade, as a rejection to a tired model of higher education, new educational programs and structures have emerged. Many of these are in the fields of design, digital product development, and programming. The new models of education take many forms. Some are short day-long or week-long workshops. Some are meetups and brownbags. Some are online, some offline, and some hybrid. What connects many of these models is their immediate vocational emphasis. The majority intend to train practitioners, not academics. The focus is on preparing people to do design and get jobs. (…) We need educational innovation, but not at the expense of quality. Students need the space to develop problem solving strategies. Speed is not in our favor here. Let’s all slow down.”
Jon Kolko a.k.a /jkolko | @jkolko ~ modernist studio ★
Data to steer and predict human behaviour.
“UX designers have a variety of problem-solving techniques at their disposal, but the use of these resources must be lead by research-driven insights about users. Without user-centered data, UX designers are forced to rely on intuition and experience for guidance. Why is that a problem?”
Micah Bowers a.k.a. /designmicah ~ Medium ★
On the ethics, morals and norms of digital designers.
“This is the second of a two-part article. The first part of this article was devoted to exploring existential values and ethical issues where ill or misdirected intent occur. In this article, we will identify and examine ethical issues (with special reference to the healthcare industry) where the intent, though benevolent, results in latent ethical problems.”
Chris Kiess a.k.a. /chriskiess | @chris_kiess ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Become more strategic, ‘creative’ and human, as we always should have been.
“The word automation conjures an image of a factory full of robots, a modern marvel symbolizing both technological progress and the regression of working-class opportunities and lifestyles. But our notion of automation generally remains ossified in this physical, machine-replaces-labor frame. We don’t think of automation in the realm of knowledge work beyond the most mundane and mindlessly repeatable tasks. But automation, powered by machine-learning advances in artificial intelligence (AI), is coming. It’s actually already been here for decades, going back to relatively primitive software innovations that eluded our ability to connect the dots back to industrial robotics before it. Perhaps surprisingly, modern AI automation has been making original art for years and has collaborated with a human team on an original painting that sold at Christie’s for $432,500. Beyond art making, AI automation can also write procedural content such as stock blurbs and minor league sports stories.”
Dirk Knemeyer a.k.a. /knemeyer | @dknemeyer and Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ ACM Interactions (XXVI.3) ★
Never could have preducted that ethics was so closely connected to technology. I’m not a futurist.
“Compartmentalizing our distinct personal identities is increasingly difficult in big data reality. Pictures of the person we were on past vacations resurface in employers’ Google searches; LinkedIn which exhibits our income level is increasingly used as a dating web site. Whether on vacation, at work, or seeking romance, our digital selves stream together. One result is that a perennial ethical question about personal identity has spilled out of philosophy departments and into the real world. Ought we possess one, unified identity that coherently integrates the various aspects of our lives, or, incarnate deeply distinct selves suited to different occasions and contexts? At bottom, are we one, or many? The question is not only palpable today, but also urgent because if a decision is not made by us, the forces of big data and surveillance capitalism will make it for us by compelling unity. Speaking in favor of the big data tendency, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg promotes the ethics of an integrated identity, a single version of selfhood maintained across diverse contexts and human relationships. This essay goes in the other direction by sketching two ethical frameworks arranged to defend our compartmentalized identities, which amounts to promoting the dis-integration of our selves. One framework connects with natural law, the other with language, and both aim to create a sense of selfhood that breaks away from its own past, and from the unifying powers of big data technology.”
James Brusseau ~ First Monday (Volume 24 Issue 5) ★
The analogy of map and territory has its limits.
“If you ask a user experience person—academic or practitioner—whether empathy is important to design, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a resounding ‘Yes!’ Indeed, statements like the one above seem to imply that empathy is a silver bullet that will transform design and lead to innovation. Before empathy was a buzzword, many of us would still have said that helping product teams develop empathy for their users was a core function of user experience research. After all, what else could it mean to study another’s experience and share those insights with others? As often happens in business, though, once a concept like empathy catches on, it’s treated like a fresh discovery. The groundswell is then translated into a small number of new techniques that instantiate the concept concretely. As these techniques become codified, too often reification takes over and their artifacts, or deliverables, seem to substitute for the more abstract virtue they supposedly represent. We act as though the map is the territory.”
David Siegel and Susan Dray ~ ACM Interactions (XXVI.2) ★
Reflection on naming is framing.
“In experience, every voice matters, and each of those individual voices are contributing to an ocean of ripples that are positively impacting countless lives. In experience, no one organization owns, nor should claim to own all the answers, but many contribute to the possibilities found in elevating the human experience in healthcare. In experience, when we ensure this is a true strategic focus at the heart of healthcare we will find our way to achieving all the outcomes we aspire to achieve and know are possible in healthcare. This issue helps frame that reality though contributions from around the world touching on a broad range of topics, but yet in their distinction, find a powerful commonality, a commitment to the humanity of healthcare. If we reframe the conversation on patient experience to one that is about all we aspire to achieve, about how every role matters, every voice contributes, every perspective brings value and seasoning to an ever expanding mix of possibility, than what we can do in healthcare is boundless. A conversation on experience is not tangential to this opportunity we face, rather it rest squarely at its core and it is incumbent on each and every one of us to contribute. That may be our greatest opportunity in a global healthcare system where access and equity, quality and safety, empathy and compassion and health and well-being are not just what we do as work, but the fundamental reality of all do as human beings caring for human beings.”
Jason Wolf ~ Patient Experience Journal (Volume 6 Issue 1) ★
Like with second order cybernetics, the role of the researcher in the researched system is essential.
“We challenge the unquestioning pursuit of the appearance of objectivity and ingrained designer-user dualism in human-centred design research and propose a resurrection of introspection as a valid approach to investigating subjective experiences. Through comparing epistemic perspectives and reviewing the histories of introspection in several disciplines, we liberate the research field of experience-driven design from a long-lasting doubt about and the disguised and unsystematic use of this method. To establish a foundation for the further development of introspective methods, we focus on its most controversial type (i.e. researcher introspection) and discuss its strengths and weaknesses, preconditions of use, diverse ways to practise for different suitable experience-driven design research purposes, and useful techniques and tools.”
Haian Xue and Pieter M.A.Desmet ~ Design Studies Volume 63 ★
Fortunately, life is not as binary as you think.
“A/B testing is a powerful technique for evaluating the success of a specific design element, but it is not yet widely adopted among library user experience professionals. Many libraries cannot or choose not to do A/B testing on a live website for a variety of practical reasons. Appalachian State University Libraries recently piloted a variety of A/B testing that has the potential to address some of these shortcomings: a Qualtrics survey of tasks carried out on static prototype websites embedded into the survey as inline frames. The technique allowed us to capture qualitative data in the form of survey questions and link it to quantitative server data typical in live A/B tests. Prototype A/B testing allowed us to reap the benefits of A/B testing without needing to modify a production server environment. Based on our findings from a large sample of undergraduate and graduate students, we were able to justify a post-migration design choice.”
Scott Goldstein ~ Journal of Library User Experience 2.1 ★
How the semantics of UX change all the time.
“If anything, the T in T-shape isn’t a deep dive into a specific UX sub discipline, and its not to stay within the confines of either research or design. The skill you most want to T shape is the ability transfer the principles of good design across these factors. This is why the broad UX lens is perfectly positioned to engage the ambiguity that comes with design. After all, why put a cap on your abilities? We all have a ceiling but don’t put one there yourself.”
Max Taylor ~ Medium ★ courtesy of @thebrainlady