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Technology

Chatbots and the new world of HCI

HCI as an academic field is waking up, too.

“A potential revolution is happening in front of our eyes. For decades, researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction (HCI) have been improving their skills in designing for graphical user interfaces. Now things may take an unexpected turn—toward natural language user interfaces, in which interaction with digital systems happens not through scrolling, swiping, or button clicks, but rather through strings of text in natural language. This is particularly visible in recent developments in chatbots, that is, machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces to data and service providers [1], typically in the context of messaging applications.”

Asbjørn Følstad and Petter Bae Brandtzæg ~ Interactions XXIV.4

Designing the user experience of machine learning systems

Innovation always happens at the edges.

“Research papers from the AAAI User Experience of Machine Learning Symposium ~ Consumer-facing predictive systems paint a seductive picture: espresso machines that start brewing just as you think it’s a good time for coffee; office lights that dim when it’s sunny and office workers don’t need them; just in time diaper delivery. The value proposition is of a better user experience, but how will that experience actually be delivered when the systems involved regularly behave in unpredictable, often inscrutable, ways? Past machine learning systems in predictive maintenance and finance were designed by and for specialists, while recommender systems suggested, but rarely acted autonomously. Semi-autonomous machine learning-driven predictive systems are now in consumer-facing domains from smart homes to self-driving vehicles. Such systems aim to do everything from keeping plants healthy and homes safe to “nudging” people to change their behavior. However, despite all the promise of a better user experience there’s been little formal discussion about how design of such learning, adaptive, predictive systems will actually deliver. This symposium aims to bridge the worlds of user experience design, service design, HCI, HRI and AI to discuss common challenges, identify key constituencies, and compare approaches to designing such systems.”

Mike Kuniavsky a.k.a. @mikekuniavsky, Elizabeth Churchill a.k.a. @xeeliz, and Molly Wright Steenson a.k.a. @maximolly

Designing for disappearing interfaces

However you assemble them, you have to define them.

“The internet becomes something that’s omnipresent, instead of just something you click on. As everything around us becomes inherently more dynamic, user interfaces will become more and more amorphous in their boundaries. And just as the internet will in effect ‘disappear’, so will our interfaces. We’ll still use them, but we won’t perceive them as separate, limited, defined spaces. They’ll be something far more integral to our experience.”

David McGillivray a.k.a. /dmcgillivray | @David_McG

Why emerging technologies are the next great frontier for UX

UX seems technology-driven, but it’s not. Experiences are as old as humans are, in whatever circumstances.

“Robotics. Genomics. Synthetic biology. Such emerging technologies are today at the cusp of widespread commercial adoption and will have disruptive impact across industries—from agriculture to manufacturing and health to energy. These technologies are the next great frontier for User Experience. Science, engineering, and design are percolating on solutions to many technological challenges. UX designers are bringing the expertise they’ve gained in creating digital and physical products to bear on new robotic and even biological products. For instance, at the Wyss Institute, cross-disciplinary teams comprising scientists, engineers, designers, business people, and other innovators are creating and commercializing bio-inspired products. Last year, the Bio/Nano Programmable Matter group at Autodesk created a synthetic bacteriophage and 3D printed the virus. The company, which is best known for its design and engineering software, is now working on a next-gen software platform for synthetic-biology design.”

Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ UXmatters

Reasons why Agile transformations fail

Failures are better to learn from than successes. But they feel horrible.

“In this article, I’ll look at some of the most common reasons behind the failure of agile transformations. My hope is that this information will help your organization to avoid its agile initiatives’ falling foul of the same mistakes and ensure that you’re able to reap all of the rewards the approach has to offer.”

Allie Brock a.k.a. /alliebrock | @brocknroller ~ UXmatters

Can we design trust between humans and artificial intelligence?

Get used to it.

“For many years, interacting with artificial intelligence has been the stuff of science fiction and academic projects, but as smart systems take over more and more responsibilities, replace jobs, and become involved with complex emotionally charged decisions, figuring out how to collaborate with these systems has become a pragmatic problem that needs pragmatic solutions. Machine learning and cognitive systems are now a major part many products people interact with every day, but to fully exploit the potential of artificial intelligence, people need much richer ways of communicating with the systems they use. The role of designers is to figure out how to build collaborative relationships between people and machines that help smart systems enhance human creativity and agency rather than simply replacing them.”

(Patrick Mankins a.k.a. @patrickmankins ~ FastCo Design)

UX in the era of Internet of Things

Any technology push gets the UX drift.

“The Internet of Things is accelerating rapidly, and bringing with it a wealth of opportunity. Though many focus on the data and technology needs of the Internet of Things – the sensors, data, and the storage, security, and analysis of that data – we’re already forgetting to think about the humans interacting with those technologies.”

(Ted McCarthy a.k.a. @thisrunson ~ ThoughtWorks)

Designing on a system level

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, said Arthur C. Clarke.

“Data analytics can help predict behavior. Designers need to add data analytics to their skill sets in order to create the next generation of services. Goodman discusses the magical — and sometimes creepy — effect anticipatory design possesses.”

(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)

At the crossroads of chaos and calamity

See how IBM is revitalizing Design in its organization.

“In a 1966 memo to all IBM employees, then-Chairman and CEO Thomas J. Watson, Jr. declared, Good design is good business. At that point in history, IBM used design to demystify technology when computing was new. Almost half a century later, IBM is using great design to create enterprise-class products that people love to use to get their work done. Scaling modern design across a portfolio of thousands of products that serve clients in more than 170 countries is much more than a two-pizza team challenge—and we like it that way.”

(Phil Gilbert a.k.a. @philgilbertsr ~ AIGA Gain conference 2014)

Cascading Style Sheets: Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor Philosophiœ

Always go to the source to read the real intensions.

“The topic of this thesis is style sheet languages for structured documents on the web. Due to characteristics of the web – including a screen-centric publishing model, a multitude of output devices, uncertain delivery, strong user preferences, and the possibility for later binding between content and style – the hypothesis is that the web calls for different style sheet languages than does traditional electronic publishing. Style sheet languages that were developed and used prior to the web are analyzed and compared with style sheet proposals for the web between 1993-1996. The dissertation describes the design of a web-centric style sheet language known as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS has several notable features including: cascading, pseudo-classes and pseudo-elements, forward-compatible parsing rules, support for different media types, and a strong emphasis on selectors. Problems in CSS are analyzed, and recommended future research is described.”

(Håkon Wium Lie, 1994-2005)

UX in an Agile process

Examples are great, but in the end we need more abstraction from all of them.

“Originally, the field of usability and interaction design was slow, cumbersome and costly. These were some of the reasons that it was not adopted very fast among practitioners. However, recent years a lot of the methods and techniques have been adapted to better fit the fast moving development processes that are predominant in software companies today. But what do you do when you can’t include users because of NDAs? How do you handle the fierce security demands, that are part of your project? Does your customer really know their users, or do they only think they do? And when you have a deadline, how do you avoid UI slowing your progress? This talk is a case story of how UX was included in the agile development process that resulted in the first Danish mobile bank app: Danske Banks mobile banking app. “

(Janne Jul Jensen a.k.a. @jjjtrifork ~ GOTO Conference 2014)

The five golden rules of responsive web design

Can’t we just call it web design. Tableless web design from a few years ago did disappear just like that. Why not rwd?

“So gone are the days when all a designer used to worry about was the juxtaposition of content, the colours used and the typography styles of their web pages. We are no longer in a world where designers hired simply to ‘colour in’ detailed wireframes in a typical waterfall-style project. We’ve now got to consider so much more. We have to begin to understand how our sites are being built, and the process around prioritising our content to suit the user. And the the only way to truly understand this is to roll our sleeves up and get learning.”

(Daniel Scott ~ eConsultancy)

Establish user experience transformation as a continuous evolution

Sometimes it’s going really fast when a technology giant puts its weight behind it.

“Many enterprises have committed to and invested in large digital transformations; they now need to understand that these transformations are merely the first iteration of a continuous cycle. The most successful enterprises recognize that digital initiatives are never complete – they evolve. (…) Establishing a foundation for continuous UX improvement with an end-to-end governance process and structure across an entire enterprise is critical.”

(Richard Berkman a.k.a. @RichBerk & Marvin Klein a.k.a. @thouxghts ~ IBM Interactive Experience)

Forms: The complete guide

Capturing data online has been a field of design and implementation for many years. Also, designing the best paper forms has been around for more than half a century. A different medium doesn’t necessarily mean different design principles.

“Forms are one of the most important parts of any site or app – they are the most common way for our users to give us the information that we need to help them do what they want to do.”

(Martin Polley a.k.a. @martinpolley ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Expanding the 3Cs framework for the IoT ecosystem: Multi-device experiences can be approached in very diverse ways in a connected world

IoT shaking up the UX design world.

“The Holy Grail lies in making that data actionable for people, preferably in an intelligent and seamless way, so that it actively helps them achieve their goals. Nest is a good example of a product experience that goes that extra mile — from just informing users with its data, to using that data behind the scenes to fuel the product behavior in an adaptive, contextual manner.”

(Jenn Webb a.k.a. @JennWebb ~ Radar O’Reilly)

Wearable technology: Designing the fashion of the future

Fashion gets enriched by information technology, therefore information design must be incorporated.

“A lot of people in the mobile industry were surprised that mobile happened as fast as it did. Once the iPhone was released, within two years we saw companies like Motorola and Nokia go from top of the mobile phone world into basically junk stock. And I think a lot of people see wearables as sort of that next big tidal wave. People don’t want what happened in mobile to happen again, so they’re interested in wearables.”

(Laura Kudia a.k.a. @laurakudia ~ Why this way)