Besides wireframes, prototypes and task maps, personas still remains one of the poster childs of UCD.
“How can designers create experiences that are custom tailored to people who are unlike themselves? As explained in part 1 of this series, an effective way to gain knowledge of, build empathy for and sharpen focus on users is to use a persona. This final part of the series will explain an effective method of creating a persona.”
(Shlomo Goltz a.k.a. @MoGoltz ~ Smashing Magazine)
UCD mantra: “Don’t listen to them, but watch them.”
“It’s common in our field to hear that we don’t get enough time to regularly practice all the types of research available to us, and that’s often true, given tight project deadlines and limited resources. But one form of user research – contextual inquiry – can be practiced regularly just by watching people use the things around them and asking a few questions.”
(Will Hacker a.k.a. @willhacker ~ Boxes & Arrows)
Digital design cooks and pastry chefs do their magic.
“In design, we have something similar to the two states of a cake: artifacts and deliverables. If deliverables represent the fully-baked ideas in our design, artifacts represent the half-baked ones still forming. The distinction between artifacts and deliverables is very important, yet something we never find ourselves discussing, just like the multiple states of cakes. If we create one when we think we’re creating the other, it will lead to confusion that wastes time and convolutes the team’s efforts. We need to understand how they work and what makes each one valuable.”
(Jared Spool a.k.a. @jmspool ~ User Interface Engineering)
Government must become the new hunting ground for UX designers, as well as Health and Education. Which is Government in the broadest sense.
“Governments around the world face a set of challenges that are highly complex and interconnected: education, health, social security, and transparency to name a few. Public institutions haven’t changed much in the last couple of centuries. Their architecture, practices, processes, platforms and communication streams have remained pretty much the same. We have 18th century institutions trying to deal with 21st century problems.”
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)
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)
UX has the argument of reason; software engineering of power.
“Agile teams are more proficient in executing the development process, but the compressed timescale forces some to abandon user research and degrade the resulting user experience.”
(Hoa Loranger ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
Picture and 1000 words topic at a conceptual level.
“The concept model is invaluable. But like so many useful things, it takes time to make.”
(Christina Wodtke a.k.a. @cwodtke ~ Boxes and Arrows)
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)
“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)
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)
Too bad they don’t know of John Carroll’s book.
“Before creating the scenarios there was not a clear idea of what the product had to do and how it fit the life of the customers. The scenarios made the product and the user interacting with it a lot more tangible. The team developed this shared understanding together.”
(Sara Emami a.k.a. @SaraEmamii ~ UNITiD)
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)
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)
Like opinions, lots of ideas floating around.
“This article lays out the principles and foundations in order to share them with other problem solving practitioners. We also add practical hints for how to conduct such sessions successfully.”
(Michael Ohler ~ Innovation Excellence)
Brian has always been a great myth buster.
“While the concept of user experience and the term UX have become seemingly ubiquitous in the workplace, most non-UX people still have the wrong idea about what it is. Here are four common UX myths and how we can bust them.”
(Brian Pagán a.k.a. @brianpagan ~ UX magazine)
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)
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)
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)
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)