All posts about
UCD

Crossing the great UX-Agile divide

Without conflict, friction or pain nothing moves forward.

“Every year, the UX community musters more articles, interviews, conference workshops, and panel discussions in an effort to resolve the seemingly unresolvable challenge of integrating UX into an agile process. Now more than wver, it’s important to step back from the growing body of tips, strategies and best practices, and ask why this conflict exists in the first place.”

(Mike Bulajewsk a.k.a. @mrteacup ~ UX magazine)

Marrying UCD with the Agile software development process: Seven tips for success

This theme will be vivid as long as the connection between design and engineering isn’t clear for many.

“(…) the move to Agile has left many product owners, development teams, and user experience professionals scratching their heads over the best way to incorporate user-centered design into the process while balancing the demands of an aggressive development schedule.”

(Wendy Littman ~ UsabilityGeek)

When to prototype, when to wireframe: How much fidelity can you afford?

All kinds of design documents provide you with a view of the future.

“The distinction between wireframe and prototype is almost arbitrary—both are mockups of the proposed application that differ in their fidelity to the final application. The lowest fidelity mockup has hand-drawn sketches which are quick, easy to do, and cheap. A set of black and white static layouts linked via hot zones provides a medium level of fidelity.”

(Garett Dworman ~ Usability Geek)

Treating enterprise software like game design

“Recognizing different layers and viewpoints gives game designers a nomenclature for understanding games’ inner workings and highlighting shortcomings. For example, a game aimed at a social aesthetic needs some form of multiplayer or social network integration. A game aimed at competition needs a visible score or ranking and consistent, well communicated rules.”

(Anthony Langsworth a.k.a. @alangsworth ~ Random Acts of Architecture)

The beginning of a beautiful friendship: Data and design in innovative citizen experiences

This time, the C is Citizen and not Customer. Citizens are entitled to great CXs too.

“The past decade has brought enormous and growing benefits to ordinary citizens through applications built on public data. Any release of data offers advantages to experts, such as developers and journalists, but there is a crucial common factor in the most successful open data applications for non-experts: excellent design. In fact, open data and citizen-centered design are natural partners, especially as the government 2.0 movement turns to improving service delivery and government interaction in tandem with transparency. It’s nearly impossible to design innovative citizen experiences without data, but that data will not reach its full potential without careful choices about how to aggregate, present, and enable interaction with it.”

(Cyd Harrell a.k.a. @cydharrell ~ Beyond Transparency)

The Lean UX Manifesto: Principle-driven design

As there is always UX, there’s always lean or fat UX.

“This all boils down to something that I call principle-driven design. As stated, some lean UX is better than none, so applying these principles as best you can will get you to customer-validated, early-failure solutions more quickly. Rules are for practitioners who don’t really know the value of this process, while principles demand wisdom and maturity. By allowing principles to drive you, you’ll find that you’re more nimble, reasonable and collaborative. Really, you’ll be overall better at getting to solutions. This will please your stakeholders and team members from other disciplines (development, visual design, business, etc.).”

(Anthony Viviano a.k.a. @anthviv ~ Smashing Magazine)

Utilizing patients in the experience design process

Contextualized version of the UCD process: Health.

“(…) there is much to be learned from typical patients as well, and observational research might be particularly favored in such cases. Unfortunately, whether you are talking about ePatients or most patients, patients continue to be the most underutilized resource in the badly needed redesign of healthcare and the patient experience.”

(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @riander)

UX theory to practice: What’s the fuss about Agile & UX?

It must be the pressure from the IT department that everybody in UX now wants Agile and Scrum.

“This post illustrates how my UX role fits within the Agile methodology at ADstruc. This process won’t necessarily work for every organization or product, but I hope it will provide some guidance for marrying product with design decisions and using your UX deliverables as ways to feed the Agile machine.”

(Eliane Kabkab a.k.a. @elianek ~ ADstruc)

Nine rules for running productive design critiques

Feedback and critique for design professionals.

“Design critiques – when a team gets together and reviews a design or a product prototype – can be painful. When people aren’t on the same page about goals and context, critiques can take a long time, they can lead to inefficient or unclear outcomes, and, let’s be honest, they can hurt feelings. But they don’t have to be that way. Here are my favorite rules to make them efficient, focused, and worthwhile.”

(Jake Knapp a.k.a. @jakek ~ Design Staff)

Replacing the user story with the job story

These stories will go further than agile, scrum or service design.

“I’ve written about the problem with user stories before. At the time, I found it better to just have the team talk over proposed changes to the product. This worked great when the team had gelled and the product is very mature; however, now I’m working with a new team and building a product from scratch. In this case, because our canvas is blank, we are having trouble getting on the same page when it comes to customer motivations, events and expectations. But today, things have turned around. I’ve come across a great way to use the jobs to be done philosophy to help define features. I call them ‘Job Stories’.”

(Alan Klement a.k.a. @alanklement)

User-centred design research for international users

i18n for UX design.

“It is helpful to consider the principles of user-centred design when building any website, but it is of particular importance when creating a site that is intended to appeal to a global audience. At a high level the process is simple: understand your users’ needs, try to build those requirements into your digital solution, the test your design throughout to validate your assumptions or revise accordingly, and only release the product when you are certain you have met as many of these as possible. This should ensure that most potential usability issues have been removed, and that the user has a memorable, persuasive, and compelling experience of the brand and the useful services it offers.”

(Chris Rourke a.k.a. @crourke ~ .net magazine)

The future of human-centered design

Copernicus and his heliocentrism are getting a lot of traction these days with outside-in thinking.

“HCD has been a breakthrough for our industry – it’s repositioned design as a tool to help transform product development by ensuring customer’s needs are met and also by helping to uncover people’s latent needs (those not surfaced by traditional focus groups for instance). We are taught to think about the world in three lenses as designers: desirability – what people want, feasibility – the capabilities of a firm, and viability – its financial health.”

(Nathan Waterhouse a.k.a. @natwaterhouse ~ Firm follows form)

UCD Toolbox: Find, learn and apply methods for user-centered design

A great initiative. Now, keep it up-and-running. And fresh!

“We believe that creating objects that people love requires the right tools and methods. In fact, using the wrong method can lead to bad design decisions. But with over 200 methods and tools available, which ones could you use in your situation? That’s why we give you access to a large chunk of the worlds’ created methods, tools, techniques and resources for User Centered Design. We are making all of them searchable and executable. You can even publish your own method.”

(About UCD Toolbox)

What does a user-centered design process look like?

Reading the high-level phases, thought it was rather circular, iterative and incremental than linear.”

“What really differentiates user-centered design from a more traditional waterfall model of software design is the user feedback loop, which informs each phase of the project. This feedback loop is established through the use of a range of techniques that have become the staple for UX Designers. There are a ton of them, and knowing when to use which techniques during which phase of a project comes with experience. Personally, I find experimenting with new techniques and tweaking old favorites is part of the fun of being a UX Designer.”

(Matthew Magain a.k.a. @mattymcg ~ UX mastery)