Without tensions no glory.
“AI research has now been around for about 65 years, and the consequences of design decisions on AI outcomes have been a lively debate for 20-plus years, if not longer. Governments, companies, and investors are now pouring in copious resources to advance AI techniques and create ‘AI-powered’ products. Amid the hype, however, people question whether breakthroughs are reproducible and transferable to practice, and who benefits from them. Keeping up with the latest trends has become increasingly challenging, even for the experienced. And the definition of accepted terminology itself is ever changing. As we – HCI researchers and UX practitioners – struggle to keep up with where the field is going, it is easy to lose sight of its past, repeat mistakes, and stumble on unintended consequences.”
Henriette Cramer and Juho ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.6 ★
UX Research is definitely different from UX Design.
“I have been a UX researcher for 25 years. I did not come up through the usual degree programs available at the time, such as cognitive psychology and human factors. Rather, I came to the field from technical communication, seeing that there was a role for technical communicators to play in advocating for the user and promoting usability testing to understand the user experience, even if it meant conducting stealth testing on the documentation at the end of the product development cycle.”
Carol Barnum ~ Journal of Usability Studies 15.1 ★
Sounds like an old Beatles song.
“Informed by interviews with ten UX managers, this article presents a hypothetical day-in-the-life of a first-level, non-executive UX manager. This article is meant for senior ICs who wish to learn more about UX management. (…) The UX manager’s role is to enable their team and the people on it to be successful. This purpose drives many diverse activities, from the tactical to the strategic and from the empowering to the directed. Senior ICs who wish to try UX management can start by looking beyond their deliverables and begin to help their peers, team, and products grow.”
Jerrod Larson a.k.a. /jerrod-larson ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Designers are responsible, always and everywhere.
“For many years, telling someone in everyday settings that you worked on user interface design or human-computer interaction would produce puzzled looks and require a good deal more explanation. With the rise of design and interaction associated with the proliferation of interactive devices, these terms became much more familiar to people outside the discipline. Lately, though, there has been a second shift. Lately, if you tell someone that you work on interactive systems, or that you find new ways to make interaction effective and enjoyable, it is likely to evoke a skeptical or mistrustful response. In light of a series of scandals – over user data management, over online profiling, over online tracking, over targeted manipulation, over digital addiction, and more – user experience professionals and researchers have found themselves facing new questions about our work and its consequences.”
Paul Dourish a.k.a. /pauldourish ~ ACM Interactions XXVI.6 ★
Bounderies of labels can be fuzzy if you don’t know what you’re talking about.
“Design thinking is everywhere, but definitions and interpretations vary. Is it a paradigm allowing you to “think like a designer?” A platform for creating innovation? A mindset you must shift into to design products? A process focused on bringing sketched ideas to life? Many believe it is the process that customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) practitioners use to do their work, and by harnessing their approach, anybody can do CX or UX work. If nothing else, it’s a cottage industry offering endless training, workshops and certifications.”
Debbie Levitt a.k.a. /debbielevitt | @PtypeUX ★
Like Kahneman, Cialdini, you can use Maslow for anything.
“This paper proposes a model for categorizing library services and resources by their importance to users based on the service’s fundamentality to the other resources and services in the library’s offerings, the degree to which the service affects users, and the scope of users that access the service. Adapted from Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation, we substitute individual human motivations for a community’s motivations for using the library. Maslow’s five tiers – physiological needs, safety needs, love and belongingness needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization – are changed to library-specific tiers: Library as Minimum Viable Product, Library as Convenience, Library as Connector, Library as Incubator, and Community as Library. The Hierarchy of Library User Needs is a theoretical tool for service prioritization with the potential to facilitate discussions between users and libraries. Libraries may wish to (re)evaluate the alignment between the resources they devote to their services and the items that are most likely to be used and appreciated by their users.”
Judith Logan & Kyla Everall ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 2.2 ★
But are you measuring what you want to measure?
“We take a comprehensive journey into the world of UX metrics, exploring both behavioural and attitudinal measurements, before highlighting our own single score program for user experience.”
Christopher Ratcliff and Kuldeep Kelkar ~ userzoom ★
The big four going UCD and tech.
“Artificial intelligence technology can result in artificial stupidity if it’s poorly designed, implemented, or adapted. What’s crucial? Ensuring it’s designed to help humans think better.”
Jim Guszcza ~ Deloitte Insights ★
Global and local vars, lots of them.
“UX research pulls many terms, methods, and conventions from other fields. Selecting a method is an important first choice in measuring the user experience. But an important next step is understanding the variables you’ll have to deal with when designing a study or drawing conclusions. Variables are things that change. Variables can be controlled and measured.”
Jeff Sauro a.k.a. /jeffsauro | @MeasuringU ~ MeasuringU ★
Abstraction going meta.
“Meta-designing in this sense could be the next grand frontier of design practice, imbued with a strategic sense for humanism and intellectualism, which are necessary elements if we are to make design thinking + customer experience + user experience into more than a checklist of ingredients for a successful business. What will you do to advance this approach? It’s admittedly aspirational and fuzzy to tackle, but that doesn’t mean it’s not feasible or valuable.”
Uday Gajendar ~ ACM Interactions Volume XXVI.4 ★ courtesy of @riander
Just a matter of abstraction and focus.
“In this article, we explore how UX writing compares to content strategy. Since many are confused a bit about how UX writing fits in with content strategy, we compare the two fields and see how your business can use both of them to build an online presence and improve customer experience with digital products.”
Bridgette Hernandez ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Like we believed for years and years: UX is the success factor of products, services, and organisations.
“Incorporating UX allows startups to spot failures fast, scrap bad ideas, and stay lean. In the startup world, time is of the essence and correctly implementing UX practices allows startups to save a lot of time. User experience is a cyclical process; it always needs refinement and feedback to get better and better. Startups that are incorporating UX from the beginning have a clear understanding of where the field sits in relation to their build process, thus making them more efficient. They iterate faster, have higher adoption rates, and have happy, diverse customers.”
Ayesha Saleem a.k.a. @ayeshabydesign~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
Focus on talent versus development of design competencies.
“What makes UXers tick? How are they different from other people? What do they have in common among themselves? We surveyed a group of UXers to see. First, we surveyed them using the Five Factor Model, a standard typology widely recognized in personality research.”
Cliff Anderson and Joe Grant ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association ★
Data to steer and predict human behaviour.
“UX designers have a variety of problem-solving techniques at their disposal, but the use of these resources must be lead by research-driven insights about users. Without user-centered data, UX designers are forced to rely on intuition and experience for guidance. Why is that a problem?”
Micah Bowers a.k.a. /designmicah ~ Medium ★
On the ethics, morals and norms of digital designers.
“This is the second of a two-part article. The first part of this article was devoted to exploring existential values and ethical issues where ill or misdirected intent occur. In this article, we will identify and examine ethical issues (with special reference to the healthcare industry) where the intent, though benevolent, results in latent ethical problems.”
Chris Kiess a.k.a. /chriskiess | @chris_kiess ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Become more strategic, ‘creative’ and human, as we always should have been.
“The word automation conjures an image of a factory full of robots, a modern marvel symbolizing both technological progress and the regression of working-class opportunities and lifestyles. But our notion of automation generally remains ossified in this physical, machine-replaces-labor frame. We don’t think of automation in the realm of knowledge work beyond the most mundane and mindlessly repeatable tasks. But automation, powered by machine-learning advances in artificial intelligence (AI), is coming. It’s actually already been here for decades, going back to relatively primitive software innovations that eluded our ability to connect the dots back to industrial robotics before it. Perhaps surprisingly, modern AI automation has been making original art for years and has collaborated with a human team on an original painting that sold at Christie’s for $432,500. Beyond art making, AI automation can also write procedural content such as stock blurbs and minor league sports stories.”
Dirk Knemeyer a.k.a. /knemeyer | @dknemeyer and Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ ACM Interactions (XXVI.3) ★
Fortunately, life is not as binary as you think.
“A/B testing is a powerful technique for evaluating the success of a specific design element, but it is not yet widely adopted among library user experience professionals. Many libraries cannot or choose not to do A/B testing on a live website for a variety of practical reasons. Appalachian State University Libraries recently piloted a variety of A/B testing that has the potential to address some of these shortcomings: a Qualtrics survey of tasks carried out on static prototype websites embedded into the survey as inline frames. The technique allowed us to capture qualitative data in the form of survey questions and link it to quantitative server data typical in live A/B tests. Prototype A/B testing allowed us to reap the benefits of A/B testing without needing to modify a production server environment. Based on our findings from a large sample of undergraduate and graduate students, we were able to justify a post-migration design choice.”
Scott Goldstein ~ Journal of Library User Experience 2.1 ★
How the semantics of UX change all the time.
“If anything, the T in T-shape isn’t a deep dive into a specific UX sub discipline, and its not to stay within the confines of either research or design. The skill you most want to T shape is the ability transfer the principles of good design across these factors. This is why the broad UX lens is perfectly positioned to engage the ambiguity that comes with design. After all, why put a cap on your abilities? We all have a ceiling but don’t put one there yourself.”
Max Taylor ~ Medium ★ courtesy of @thebrainlady
From UI to UX to (…)
“The user experience of most web-based applications begins well below the interface, all the way down to fields in a database. Examining how systems and users experience time prove this point dramatically. Think about how messy time can be—time zones, leap years, recurring events. As the creators of educational technology, our team learned the hard way about failing to consider the UX implications of time—not just about how time works in technology, but also how our users experienced it in our UI. What follows are some of the technical issues that UX designers should consider about time, along with takeaways and specific methods that can be used to keep the user experience of time at the top-of-mind during product development.”
Michael McLeod a.k.a. @mcleodm3 ~ UXPA magazine ★
Putting a square in a circle?
“Agile and user experience have been partnered successfully since the Agile Manifesto was first authored in 2001 and have had a history of working well together in many situations. However, user experience research (UXR) has been largely unaccounted for in this work. The Agile Manifesto encourages us to revisit our processes and to iterate on ways to better describe how we work together with our teams. That is the goal of this article: to share our progress toward improving how we work by documenting an iteration of a model for you to try.”
Carol J. Smith a.k.a. @carologic, Thyra Rauch, and Hannah Moyers a.k.a. @h_moyers ~ UXPA magazine ★