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HCI

The study, planning, design and uses of the interfaces between people (users) and computers. (source: Wikipedia)

The Post-Mac Interface

HCI giants on whose shoulders we stand.

“In 1996 Don Gentner and Jakob Nielsen published a thought experiment, The Anti-Mac Interface. It’s worth a read. By violating the design principles of the entrenched Mac desktop interface, G and N propose that more powerful interfaces could exceed the aging model and define the Internet desktop. It’s been almost 20 years since the Anti-Mac design principles were proposed, and almost 30 since the original Apple Human Interface Guidelines were published. Did the Anti-Mac principles supersede those of the Mac? Here I reflect on the Mac design principles of 1986, the Anti-Mac design principles of 1996, and what I observe as apparent (and cheekily named) Post-Mac design principles of 2016… er, 2015.”

Adam Baker a.k.a. @twomonthsoff

How to balance design guidelines for children

Guidelines for specific groups must be very specific.

“Creating design guidelines for products whose users include kids requires an evolution in our thinking beyond the guidelines we typically follow. The users, content, and context dictate the appropriate design guidelines. For kids, you might start with the type of product.”

Jonathan Evans a.k.a. /jonathanhevans | @jhewiz ~ UXmatters

How Apple is giving Design a bad name

It’s lonely at the top. In the end, you only can look inward.

“Once upon a time, Apple was known for designing easy-to-use, easy-to-understand products. It was a champion of the graphical user interface, where it is always possible to discover what actions are possible, clearly see how to select that action, receive unambiguous feedback as to the results of that action, and to have the power to reverse that action—to undo it—if the result is not what was intended. No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.”

Donald A Norman a.k.a. /donnorman | @jnd1er and Bruce Tognazinni a.k.a. /bruce-tognazzini | @asktog ~ FastCo Design

How to implement gestures into your mobile design

Gestures are based on sign language with a touch dimension. With AR is becoming real sign language with the Digital.

“Gestures are the new clicks. Every app, game or tool you open on your phone must includes a swipe, tap or pinch to function. These gestures are the secret to making great mobile apps work. And there’s a lot that goes into it. With clicks, designers and developers really only had to think about where they wanted the action to appear on the screen. With gestures, you have to consider the type of physical action, its location on the screen, and whether users can intuitively find and touch it.”

Carrie Cousins a.k.a. /carriecousins1 | @carriecousins ~ TNW

Very large touchscreens: UX design differs from mobile screens

At an abstract level, all design deals with users, context, domain (structure of content), and constraints.

“Only a few mobile-design skills and design recommendations translate well to designing for very large touchscreens, as found in kiosks and other nonmobile use cases. Users’ field of vision, arm motion, affordance, and privacy are a few of the different considerations for such screens with up to 380 times the area of a smartphone.”

(Kara Pernice ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Sketch in Enterprise UX

As a matter of exception, a tool item in an interesting context.

“There is an old adage that says ‘Use the right tool for the job’. However, with technology and User Experience Design, knowing which tools to use can be a bit nuanced. Often there are many tools for the job, all of which have their strengths and weakness. I’ve been thinking about a recently popular tool, Sketch, and where it fits into our practice of Enterprise UX Design.”

(Jaron Frasier a.k.a. @frason ~ Designmap) courtesy of @BaardAard

Design with analytics

In God we trust, all others must bring data.

“When we think of analytics, we think of marketing campaigns and funnel optimization. Analytics can seem a little overwhelming, with so many charts and lots of new features. How can we use analytics for design insights? The best thing about analytics is that they can show us what people do on their own. The worst thing is that analytics don’t tell us much about context, motivations, and intent. Like any kind of data, there are limitations. But that doesn’t mean analytics aren’t useful. Working with analytics is about knowing where to look and learning which questions you can reasonably ask.”

(Pamela Pavliscak a.k.a. @paminthelab ~ UXmatters)

Practical techniques on designing animation

Animated UIs can improve the UX. I said ‘can’.

“Animation, like any other facet of the web, must be designed. As web developers, we think about the effects of typography, layout, interaction, and shifting viewports, but when incorporating animation we have another factor to consider: time. It’s not just an extra aspect to consider, either: it increases the complexity of each of the aforementioned parameters exponentially. Rather than viewing this as a heavy mass of ideas, we can bake animation into the core of our user experience process to create dazzling, exciting, and engaging work that pushes boundaries and collectively elevates the medium of the web.”

(Sarah Drasner a.k.a. @sarah_edo ~ Smashing Magazine)

The psychology of UX

Old and still relevant. Human characteristics are of all times.

“When it comes to designing the UX, we need to take into consideration the necessity for a social outlet within our website or application. Allow for greater social interconnectedness in your designs so that people can go to each other for guidance and advice within your application, such as with ratings, reviews, news and forums. Allow users to forge helpful relationships, be it with similar users or with customer support. Give people an awareness of the size of the community they operate in to give them a sense of belonging as well as the choice of where they want to fit in within the community by establishing their profile.”

(Vanessa Carey ~ Methods & Tools) HT janjursa

Why the Card UI is the next big interaction paradigm

There was a time when CUI meant ‘Character-based User Interface’. That time has gone.

“I think it’s safe to say that, going forward, the majority of mobile UI designs will be based on the card UI paradigm. The next logical step is marketing professionals and ad agencies starting to embrace cards. The larger platforms are already embracing it. The card UI is set to be the next creative canvas for online content and will consequently also be the next big ad unit.”

(Juntoo)

UI does not equal UX

When even the popular press gets into a DTDT conversation, we haven’t done a great job.

“The key can be found in ensuring that the UX is designed end-to-end from a core understanding of the user through to design and delivery, whereas the UI is the presentation designed to expose the power of that design process underpinning the UX for the user. Combined, UI and UX are the two different aspects that literally define the success of your product.”

(Sarah Deane a.k.a. @4HourUX ~ Huffington Post)

Showing passwords on log-in screens

The UX of security and privacy is a serious design challenge.

“Why show passwords? Passwords have long been riddled with usability issues. Because of overly complex security requirements (a minimum number of characters, some punctuation, the birthdate of at least one French king) and difficult to use input fields, password entry often results in frustrated customers and lost business.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @LukeW)

Breeding products: How objects learn through sensing

The new era of design for smartness is on the horizon.

“The addition of sensing and connectivity to products is rapidly changing what we learn from them, how we perceive them, and how we use them. Those same technologies are also feeding backwards, changing how we design products. (…) Wireless sensors and fast processors are popping up everywhere, allowing us to generate volumes of real-time data about human behavior and our world. At frog we define sensing as the ability to harness these real-time data streams to identify patterns, generate insights, and design better experiences for people. As engineers crack the technical challenges, from ultra-cheap sensors to exabyte-scale data processing, designers must discover how we can adapt these technologies to human life.”

(Tue Haste Andersen & Simone Rebaudengo ~ frog DesignMind)

Designing the connected everyday

Another design challenge emerging from technology: Design for connected experiences.

“(…) we live in a world of increased complexity, in which digital data, everyday objects, and social practices are increasingly connected and interdependent. In a world of increasing complexity, designing digital technologies that facilitate meaningful interactions and integrate elegantly in our everyday lives requires an understanding of how to design for commensurability – that is, making our ability to connect across networks commensurate with our current practices in the physical world. Designing the connected everyday is fundamentally about making things commensurate as much as it is about making them smart.”

(Elisa Giaccardi a.k.a. @elisagiaccardi ~ ACM Interactions Magazine Jan/Feb 2015)

A critical, creative UX community: CLUF

Know your professional history. Moving from HCI to UX into a steep valley or ravine.

“In this editorial, I advocate a new form of interactive community publication (…) to respond to new creative emphases within human-focused interaction design practices and research. I have called this CLUF (creatively led user foci), pronounced like the Northern English word clough, meaning a steep valley or ravine. The realities of reflective creative practices are that we can always probe further and explore more as we work down through layers of design practice. CLUF would support a much needed online community of practice around systematic rigorous exploration of creative UX.”

(Gilbert Cockton ~ Journal of Usability Studies Volume 10, Issue 1, November 2014)

Breaking fresh ground in human–media interaction research

It’s that time of the year for trends of the future, so I thought…

“Human–media interaction research is devoted to methods and situations where humans individually or collectively interact with digital media, systems, devices, and environments. Novel forms of interaction paradigms have been enabled by new sensor and actuator technology in the last decades, combining with advances in our knowledge of human–human interaction and human behavior in general when designing user interfaces.”

(Anton Nijholt ~ Frontiers in ICT)

Progress indicators make a slow system less insufferable

Leading the attention of a person somewhere else than necessary.

“Wait animations, such as percent-done bars and spinners, inform users of the current working state and make the process more tolerable to the user by reducing uncertainty. Users experience higher satisfaction with a site and are willing to wait longer when the site uses a dynamic progress indicator.”

(Katie Sherwin ~ Nielsen Norman Group)