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) ★
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) ★
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)
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)
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)
Designing the UI with increasing cinematographic effects. Smooth operator.
“Moving elements are a powerful tool to attract users’ attention. When designing an animation consider its goal, its frequency of occurrence, and its mechanics.”
(Aurora Bedford a.k.a. @aurorararara
~ Nielsen Norman Group)
No knowledge required to really understand the delta?
“We’ve all overheard conversations, walking down hip streets of the world’s tech capitals, discussions about the great UX of a product, or the poor UI of a website. Is it a secret language you will never be privy to? Are these people just using slang to look cool?Well, ok probably yes to the latter, but a determinate NO to the rest. Read on to learn what these terms mean, which jobs are better paid, and how to become a UX or UI designer.”
(Emil Lamprecht a.k.a. @EmilLamprecht ~ Career Foundry)
Zeitgeist: IBM and Apple showed the way.
“Businesses are starting to realize the potential of good UX. With a substantial percentage of the workforce retiring in the next three to five years, organizations need software for a new wave of workers—business software that works like the apps they use at home. Our customers who have already adopted Infor’s new UX are seeing lower turnover rates, less training time, and more satisfaction among their workers. They tell us they’re hungry for more. And we’re getting ready to deliver.”
(Marc Scibelli ~ UX Magazine)
Challenging the UX way of thinking from a marketing and branding perspective.
“In his opening keynote Thomas Marzano challenges the HCI community to think about Brand Experience instead of User Experience. Tapping from his experience with the new Philips Brand, he will demonstrate us how a company should approach its brand in a holistic way and thus create a better and deeper felt brand differentiation. Thomas firmly believes that putting people at the centre of imagination is the only sustainable way of creating meaningful experiences.”
(Thomas Marzano a.k.a. @ThomasMarzano ~ Chi Sparks 2014 videos)
HCI evolved into UX, but is still in need of theory (a.k.a. ideas), research, and design.
“It is perhaps through effectively communicating the outcomes of academic HCI’s explorations of future interactive technologies that academia can offer the greatest value to UX professionals working in industry. Many UX professionals do not have the luxury of time that would enable them to look beyond immediate requirements. But doing research with a broader focus is common in academia.”
(Stuart Reeves ~ UX matters)
Icons, the field of Kare.
“A user’s understanding of an icon is based on previous experience. Due to the absence of a standard usage for most icons, text labels are necessary to communicate the meaning and reduce ambiguity.”
(Aurora Bedford ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
Established findings in psychology never die in HCI.
“Showing users things they can recognize improves usability over needing to recall items from scratch because the extra context helps users retrieve information from memory.”
(Raluca Budiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
Another step to use cinematography features into digital design for understanding.”
“Carefully choreographed motion design can effectively guide the user’s attention and focus through multiple steps of a process or procedure; avoid confusion when layouts change or elements are rearranged; and improve the overall beauty of the experience.”
(Paul Stamatiou a.k.a. @Stammy)
A really good start of any article: “This article has no pictures. I don’t want to disappoint readers who are expecting glossy images, straightforward examples, or prescriptive methods. I’m not going to give any.”
“The point of this article is to motivate ‘undesign thinking’ and rethink the familiar forms of interaction design. I want to recast with positive connotations the words we have for articulating what is objectively negative. Doing so will hopefully allow us to speak and write more openly and productively about designing to inhibit, displace, erase, or foreclose. But beyond speaking and writing about design, I want to suggest practical design action. Not just the type of practical action we typically think of as interaction design, but forms of design that may seem too different or else too trivial to fall within the scope of interaction design. Indeed, thinking in negative terms about design may require us to broaden our understanding of practical action. Is replacing a digital technology with a non-digital technology interaction design? Is replacing a high-tech digital display with a paper display interaction design? Is removing Wi-Fi interaction design? (…) At the very least, such intentions, actions, and outcomes suggest both opportunities and responsibilities for interaction design—regardless of whether we call them undesign, design, or something else altogether.”
(James Pierce ~ ACM Interactions Magazine July + August 2014)
Toggling between one out of four always means selecting within a closed selection space.
“Select a single radio button by default in most cases. Reasons to deviate or not: expedite tasks, the power of suggestion, user expectations, safety nets.”
(Kara Pernice ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
‘Click Me’ and magic will occur is mostly disappointing.
“Why are buttons so common in contemporary artifacts and yet so often a source of irritation and trouble? Could we, by reinstating the natural mode of operation with traditional mechanical systems, dispel our confusions and remedy our confirmation deficiencies? Probably not.”
(Lars-Erik Janlert ~ Communications of the ACM, June 2014)
And not everybody likes hamburgers.
“But here’s the thing: not nearly as many people as you might think understand the nav burger convention.”
(Page Laubheimer ~ Newfangled)
Playing is how you learn. Gaming is how you get entertained.
“For many of us non-digital-natives over 30, our first contact with interactive technology came about through playing video games. Long before personal computers and mobile phones became part of our daily lives, we were already hooked on these games. In places as diverse as Chile, Greece, and Finland, at the arcade or at home (for example, with the Atari 2600), there was something powerful about these games that had us captivated from the very first moment we played Donkey Kong, Centipede, or Pole Position. But what made them so interesting and intriguing? What made us go back regularly (even daily) to the arcade? Over the years, games scholars have been studying some of these issues. But could some of the power behind video games be channeled to motivate people and help them achieve their goals? Could playful designs inspired by what makes games fun and entertaining help create better user experiences?”
(Andrés Lucero et al. ~ ACM Interactions Magazine May-June 2014)
Hopefully, less than 20 years from now we can use full-body interaction with technology.
“The core idea behind TouchTools is to draw upon user familiarity and motor skill with tools from the real world, and bring them to interactive use on computers. Specifically, users replicate a tool’s corresponding real-world grasp and press it to the screen as though it was physically present. The system recognizes this pose and instantiates the virtual tool as if it was being grasped at that position. Users can then translate, rotate and otherwise manipulate the tool as they would its physical counterpart.”
Would the design of UI be any different than the design for the UX when you understand the delta between UI and UX?
“All of us have already understood that a UI and a UX are not the same concepts; however, they are to be combined for a greater purpose – to interest the users in your product or to convey certain information to them. The intrigue is that a UX can exist and work very effectively having a poor UI. For example, you can have an application with a stunning design that is hairy to use (good UI, bad UX). You can also have an application that has a poor look and feel, but is very intuitive to use (poor UI, good UX). We hope that now you understand the difference between these interrelated concepts and can clearly imagine a huge gap between their meanings. Nevertheless, for justice sake we would like to mention the following. Current UI design trends, tendencies and technologies are being developed with one and the same aim: to make online UX better, easier and more intuitive. In other words, UI developers finally began creating for people, so it’s safe to say that today’s user interfaces are aimed on excellent UX. So, if you want to create a stunning app, you should learn the principles of both (UI & UX) design types.”
(Helga Moreno a.k.a. @templatemonster ~ One Extra Pixel)