The space metaphore is still alive. How about space as in on sea, where you have to steer (a.k.a. cybernetics)?
“Good navigation, like good design, is invisible. Applications with good navigation just feel simple and make it easy to accomplish any task, from browsing through pictures to applying for a car loan.”
Theresa Neil a.k.a. /theresaneil | @theresaneil ~ O’Reilly Radar ★
These towers seem to appear in every fast growing community, like UX, AI and content makreting.
“Despite the wave of CX initiatives launched by companies in recent years, my investigation indicates that the CX roles supporting these initiatives do not seem well matched to the activities required to design successful customer experiences. There are several ways to address this. First, companies building out a CX function must put more rigor into understanding the implications of designing CXs. A VOC program without qualitative research is incomplete. Analysis and synthesis are not learned on the job. Design is not simply generating a new idea as a response to a research insight. Second, companies must recruit candidates that fulfill those requirements or implement significant training programs to improve their CX profiles. Third, CX needs more formal education programs modeled after UX curriculums and emphasizing the basics of research, analysis, and design.”
Michael Thompson a.k.a. /michaelemmett3 ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXV.3 ★ courtesy of @riander
Pace layers in sync: research and sprints. I hope it will actually work.
“The key idea is to ensure that every action taken during the Agile process is aligned with the sprint objective and with solving a specific problem for the user. UX research is also there to continually evaluate and assess whether the outcome that the team has produced is successful. By implementing this strategy, you’ll have UX research embedded from the beginning to the end of the Agile process and empower your team to solve user problems with more alignment and feedback on their work’s impact.”
LaiYee Ho a.k.a. @laiyeelori ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Voice interactions, a terra incognita for designers with a focus on perception. Dialogues, conversations and narratives as the new black.
“Many of the best practices for designing VUIs are the same as those for creating visual designs or interactive experiences: respect your users, solve their problems in efficient ways, and make their choices clear. But there are some unique design principles for VUIs as well. Remember, we don’t always know for sure what a user’s intent was. Plus, it’s necessary to spend more time on error cases. If you keep the principles I’ve described in this article in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting great VUIs.”
Cathy Pearl a.k.a. /alana-schroeder | @cpearl42 ~ UXmatters ★
Design for the upcoming generations. Quite a challenge for UCD.
“The evidence is clear: Children under the age of 10 need different interaction support than other age groups. Referring to these seven guidelines will help you design children’s touchscreen apps that are more successful for this age group by supporting their natural development and growth. Moreover, including children as part of the design process—whether they as testers, informants, or co-designers—will ensure a better experience for all. By considering these tips, we hope you will be able to focus on the fun factor of designing for kids!”
Julie A. Kientz, Lisa Anthony a.k.a. @lanthonyuf and Alexis Hiniker ~ User Experience Magazine ★
We never thought that, didn’t we?
“As Agile has become the standard working model for development teams, UXers are, oftentimes grudgingly, learning to integrate into existing Agile development teams. But few are exploring how a UX team can use Agile techniques, and perhaps more importantly an Agile mindset, to improve team performance and morale. It turns out that when done right, Agile can help UXers achieve personal and strategic goals, giving value and purpose to the problems UX teams face daily. Sound too good to be true? If so, read on to learn how this cross-functional UX and architecture team used an Agile approach to improve our product, team performance, team member engagement, job satisfaction, and influence.”
Becky Bristol a.k.a. @paintingblue and Nicole Derr a.k.a. @Nicole_Derr ~ User Experience Magazine ★
Sometimes you just have to change the label to make a ‘new’ start.
“UX writing recognizes language as an intrinsic part of a user’s experience with a product. UX writers think intentionally about how words alone can facilitate – or get in the way of – users’ goals. As a discipline, UX writing lets you manipulate language. It helps you prod your users one step closer toward desired actions. Indeed, validating the effectiveness of language – on websites, apps, and other digital products – is just as important as other areas of UX research.”
Alana Schroeder a.k.a. /alana-schroeder | @ealanaschroeder ~ Boxes and Arrows ★
From movable type to computational type.
“Can typography encourage long-form reading – not just scanning? What are the most exciting areas of cutting-edge experimentation in typographic technology and digital layout, and what new skills will we need to design tomorrow’s web content? Three experts – Mozilla’s Jen Simmons, publication design legend Roger Black, and ALA’s Jeffrey Zeldman – discuss typography and layout on today’s web: where we are now, and where we’re going.”
A List Apart ★
All phases of the design cycle transform into lean. Oh dear.
“The Agile approach to product development focuses on continually and quickly releasing, learning about, and improving a product to enable sustained movement forward. By focusing on incremental improvements rather than a finished product, product teams can learn and pivot as needed to maintain their competitive edge. Most product teams use, or are moving toward, some form of an Agile methodology to rapidly and incrementally evolve their product or service. The good news is that user experience research and design can fit into the Agile process quite effectively.”
Michelle R. Peterson, Anna Rowe, Valle Hansen, and Carmen Broomes ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
When places and spaces become too popular, the professionals redraw the map.
“In this article, I want to explore the split between the value of design thinking and the backlash, and see if there’s room to reclaim the value of this powerful way of working. Bear with the history lesson – it’s useful in seeing how design thinking has warped into something superficial.”
Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXV.3 ★
We interact with the world through our senses, with all of them.
“Our senses are always on, sending a continuous stream of information through our nervous system to our brains. But a good deal of the time, we aren’t aware of our senses at all.”
John Alderman and Christine Park ~ O’Reilly Radar Design ★
Cognition revisited, in hardware, software and wetware.
“Human working memory holds information relevant to the current task; when tasks are too hard, users should be able to offload some of the working-memory burden to user interface features that can serve as an external memory.”
Raluca Budiu a.k.a. /ralucabudiu | @rbudiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Statistics for designers. Phew!
“Do you need numerical data about your product’s user experience, but you aren’t sure where to start? The first step is choosing the right tool. Check out this list of the most popular types of quantitative methods.”
Kate Meyer a.k.a. /kate-meyer | @kate__meyer ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Known design principles applied in new territories.
“Artificial intelligence often looks like magic: sometimes even engineers have difficulty explaining how the machine-learning algorithm comes up with something. We see our job as a UX team as helping people understand how machines work so they can use them better. This doesn’t mean we should explain how a convolutional neural network functions in a simple photo search up. But we should give users hints about what the algorithm does or what data it uses. A good old example comes from e-commerce, where we explain why we recommend certain products. These recommendation engines were the first AI UX many people encountered, many years ago.”
Dávid Pásztor a.k.a. /davidpasztor ~ UX Studio Team ★
Adding to our acrosoup: HX.
“The human experience trumps everything, and a product or service that’s designed with a contextual view of someone’s life will dominate the marketplace. For makers this means creating desired experiences through their products and services that users crave. But user experience always fits somewhere within the great context of one’s life. This is key. The human-centered design ethos is gaining momentum as context plays a greater role in the design of everyday things. So perhaps it’s time to expand the idea of what a product is to reflect that shift.”
Paul Campillo a.k.a. /paulcampillo | @paulcampillo ~ Typeform ★
Contrary to formal, institutional and state sanctioned design education, like colleges and universities (bachelor, master, and PhD).
“I believe in the power of design education to change people’s lives, to improve products, and to alter the strategic course of a corporation, for the better. I hope to see a resurgence of design craftsmanship training riding alongside design thinking training. I don’t think it’s impossible to teach craft, in a broad way, in an organization. But it will take more time and a different approach to training to realize the power of design as an applied discipline, and to recognize how important true competency of doing is for institutionalizing design and creativity.”
Jon Kolko a.k.a. /jkolko | @jkolko ~ The Modernist Studio ★
Page turning versus scrolling. Except for snippets.
“While modern webpages tend to be long and include negative space, and users may be more inclined to scroll than in the past, people still spend most of their viewing time in the top part of a page. Content prioritization is a key step in your content-planning process. Strong visual signifiers can sometimes entice users to scroll and discover content below the fold. To determine the ideal page length, test with real users, and keep in mind that very long pages increase the risk of losing the attention of your customers.”
Therese Fessenden a.k.a. /tbfessenden | @TBFessenden ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
The persona of service design, nicely laid out.
“To identify the opportunities for growth along the customer lifecycle, it is first important to understand the customer’s experience engaging with the company and its product or service. A customer journey map is an illustration of exactly these experiences. The map can tell the full story covering the entire customer lifecycle from initial contact to activation, engagement, and beyond or focus on only a part of the story that lays out interactions or touchpoints critical to a subset of the customer’s experience.”
Kimmy Paluch a.k.a. /kimmy | @kimmypaluch ~ Branding Strategy Innsider ★
British Standard for Beyond Senses.
“What’s missing in design as a practice and as a group of professionals? The one thing I feel is missing is a kind of sense of skepticism from designers.”
Natasha Jen ~ Co.Design ★
Tada! design or not.
“Radical redesigns are best tested using an A/B experiment, while multivariate tests indicate how various UI elements interact with each other and support incremental improvements to a design.”
Aurora Harley a.k.a. @aurorararara ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★