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User experience

User experience is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. (source: Wikipedia)

Seven steps to creating a solid UX strategy

Seven, that’s all.

“Everyone knows that the first step in any business venture is research on the path to creating a strategy. This strategy determines how you’ll function and guide the decision-making process. A website project – whether it is for a business or not – should follow the same concept. Without a solid user experience strategy, the design is likely to lack the features, elements and overall usability that make the website popular among visitors. While the idea of creating a UX strategy might not sound like a lot of fun, it’s a valuable exercise. And when done well, and with purpose, can definitely be enjoyable!”

Carrie Cousins a.k.a. /carriecousins1 | @carriecousins ~ designshack

The internet of things: Interaction challenges to meaningful consent at scale

Giving consent respects humanity.

“Having strong, clear apparency to real semantic and pragmatic transparency as a backbone to meaningful consent will also help clarify risks within the data flows of large-scale, heterogeneous IoT infrastructures, from homes to cities to national infrastructure. Overall, by improving apparency to s/p transparency, we make meaningful consent possible. When meaningful consent becomes part of a system, entirely new kinds of services may be imagined that create value based on visible, shareable data. We can also make services more resilient. To get there, we need the design acumen of HCI researchers and UX practitioners to help design, deliver, and evaluate apparency interactions at IoT scale.”

M.C. Schraefer et al. ~ Interaction magazine Volume XXIV.6

Ideation in practice: How effective UX teams generate ideas

Many good ideas, far less good execution.

“Data from 257 UX professionals shows that quality UX ideas come from ideating early in the design cycle, drawing inspiration from user research, and working with a group. Many struggle with generating ideas because they lack time, managerial support, and a methodology for conducting effective ideation sessions.”

Aurora Harley a.k.a. /auroralharley | @aurorararara ~ Nielsen Norman Group

The role of storyboarding in UX design

Getting closer and closer to film making.

“To come up with a proper design, UX designers use a lot of different research techniques, such as contextual inquires, interviews and workshops. They summarize research findings into user stories and user flows and communicate their thinking and solutions to the teams with artifacts such as personas and wireframes. But somewhere in all of this, there are real people for whom the products are being designed for.”

Nick Babich a.k.a. /nbabich | @101babich ~ Smashing magazine

Building a UX Team: Change is the only constant

Design is team work.

“This journey is just beginning. There are many new areas of design to explore. As a father of a 2-year-old boy, I want to be responsible and contribute in a creative way, to ensure we gift a better world to our future. We can look beyond our immediate projects to explore the technical, social, material, and theoretical challenges of designing technology to support collaborative work and life activities.”

Moin Bhuiyan a.k.a. @bhuiyan_moin ~ UXPA magazine

A practical guide to improving web accessibility

It so obvious that for many it’s not.

“This article is intended to provide guidance on making library websites and other digital content accessible within the constraints of most organizations’ technological environments. Accessibility can mean different things depending on the context, but the focus in this article is on web accessibility, which the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines as “enabling people with disabilities to participate equally on the Web” (W3C, 2016). Many existing articles provide an overview of the big picture aspects of accessibility, including benefits to the organization (see Rowland, Mariger, Siegel & Whiting, 2010), legislation (see Fulton, 2011), statistics (see local census data), and general principles (see Quesenbery, 2014). The focus of this piece will be on specific best practices and guidelines, as well as their benefits for content creators, who frequently have limited access to edit digital content and cannot always apply recommended solutions that assume full control and access.”

Cynthia Ng a.k.a. /cynthiasng | @TheRealArty ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience (Volume 1 Issue 7)

On becoming a UX manager: New skills, requirements, and rewards

UX settles in the tactical (managerial) area.

“One of the most exciting career transitions one can go through, regardless of the discipline, is from individual contributor to manager. Becoming manager of a user experience team adds to that already-momentous transition its own unique set of issues, considerations, and requirements. While the learning curve can be steep, the rewards of UX management are many. Watching teammates grow professionally is immensely gratifying, as is seeing a high-functioning team address complex business challenges with ease. Furthermore, it is an exciting time to be a leader in the UX discipline as strategically minded managers have the opportunity to make design and research a vital part of their organization’s strategy.”

Jerrod Larson a.k.a. /jerrod-larson ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association 17.4

Improving UX with the concept of Artificial Intelligence

UX designers have to become computational thinkers as well.

“UX designers have years of experience in creating the best design elements, and most of the time the results of which carries a UX designer to be largely positive in terms of increased interaction and achieving the bottom line. However, there is a gap between the positive change brought by UX designers and what should be the utopian final script interaction. The results may be better, but the UX design in this world cannot guarantee that every user will like everything on the website or application. There will always be some people who adore in other parts of the conversion path with a focus on UX. The main reason for this is not enough customization in the UX design to optimize the interests of each user separately. Each user is different and needs a different treatment. UX design works on a global level but there is still a gap and potential that can be achieved and brands help to invest more in significant UX design.”

Melissa Crooks a.k.a. /msmelissacrooks ~ home toys

Human-centered machine learning: 7 steps to stay focused on the user when designing with ML

New technology waves are ahead of us.

“Machine learning is the science of helping computers discover patterns and relationships in data instead of being manually programmed. It’s a powerful tool for creating personalized and dynamic experiences, and it’s already driving everything from Netflix recommendations to autonomous cars. But as more and more experiences are built with ML, it’s clear that UXers still have a lot to learn about how to make users feel in control of the technology, and not the other way round.”

Jess Holbrook a.k.a. /jessholbrook courtesy of O’Reilly Design

The profession of UX won’t disappear, but adapt

Adaption is the strategy of survival.

“After 17 years in the profession of User Experience—the past 10 in consulting with enterprise customers over a wide range of industries—amidst all these swirling pontifications about the demise of User Experience, I can confidently add my resounding support for the continuation of the profession of User Experience. Organizations will always need people who focus on how other people interact with technology and products. Of course, there is no doubt that we will have to adapt, but to what do we need to adapt?”

Baruch Sachs a.k.a. /baruchsachsuserexperience | @basachs ~ UX matters

The revolution will not be handheld

Moving beyond pushing pixels and designing under sea level with our iceberg.

“For those working in UX through the past several years, the shift from desktop to mobile has seemed a major event. No longer are our devices clearly situated. Instead they travel with us. Technology is now an appendage—always available in every moment of time, anywhere. (according to Holtzblatt & Beyer, 2017). The shift has forced changes to the way we design. We must cater for shallower engagement, support tasks across multiple devices, pare down UIs for smaller screens, and support touch-based manipulation.”

Gerry Gaffney a.k.a. /gerrygaffney | @gerrygaffney ~ Journal of Usability Studies 12.3

Monitoring user experience through product usage metrics

Sailing towards the ultimate goal, the cybernetics of compelling experiences. Metrics as the foundation of its feedback loop.

“User experience teams have many types of data at their disposal to ascertain the quality of a digital product’s user experience. Traditionally, these sources have focused on direct customer feedback through methods such as interviews and usability studies, as well as surveys[1] and in-product feedback mechanisms. Beyond survey methodologies, however, it can be time-consuming to create a recurring channel of in-depth UX insights through these traditional UX research methods because they require time to conduct, analyze, and create reports of findings.”

Jerrod Larson a.k.a. /jerrod-larson ~ Boxes and Arrows

UX design for big data applications

Re-inventing UX design for new technology waves.

“Through machine learning and artificial intelligence, organizations can use big data to predict our next actions – sometimes even better than we can predict them ourselves. The implications of big data are enormous—enabling us to view suggested products while on a retailer’s Web site, receive recommendations to connect with people who we might know on social-media sites, and benefit from smart IoT devices that gather data from us and those who are similar to us, then act accordingly. Organizations in the healthcare and financial arenas use big-data systems to spot potential adverse events, while also pinpointing scenarios that can bring increased profits and positive outcomes.”

Janet M. Six a.k.a. /janetmsix ~ UXmatters

How to turn UX research into results

The application of research results is always up for debate.

“To move from your research findings to product changes, you should set yourself two main goals. First, to effectively communicate your findings to help your audience process them and focus on next steps. Secondly, to follow through by proactively working with stakeholders to decide which issues will be addressed and by whom, injecting yourself into the design process whenever possible. This follow-through is critical to your success. Let’s look at an end-to-end process for embracing these two main goals.”

Cindy McCracken a.k.a. /cindy-mccracken | @cmccracken ~ UX Mastery

A turn of phrase: The politics of UX language

Language matters, in all fields, practices and thoughts.

“In our personal lives, words can send our hearts leaping with joy. Words can clarify a serious misunderstanding. Lyrics to favorite songs are treasured; phrases from movies are quoted; political speeches are critiqued. Words have meaning and power and are remembered long after they are uttered. In our world of UX, words can have more than one meaning and often have been borrowed from other professions. This complexity makes the selection of words to describe our work challenging. In practicing UX work, I have often made word choices to save face and placate business partners.”

Carol Smith a.k.a. /caroljsmith | @carologic ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association

Lab testing beyond usability: Challenges and recommendations for assessing user experiences

Some real research provides sound results.

“In this paper, we report on a use case study involving 70 participants. They first took part in user/laboratory tests and then were asked to evaluate their experience with the two systems (perceived UX) by filling out an AttrakDiff scale and a UX needs fulfillment questionnaire. We conducted post-test interviews to better understand participants’ experiences. We analyzed how the participants’ perceived UX depends on quantitative (e.g., task completion time, task sequence, level of familiarity with the system) and qualitative aspects (think aloud, debriefing interviews) within the laboratory context.”

Carine Lallemand a.k.a. /carinelallemand | @Carilall and Vincent Koenig a.k.a. /vincent-koenig ~ Journal of Usability Studies 12.3

How to turn UX research into results

Getting results out of research. No results are also results.

“To move from your research findings to product changes, you should set yourself two main goals. First, to effectively communicate your findings to help your audience process them and focus on next steps. Secondly, to follow through by proactively working with stakeholders to decide which issues will be addressed and by whom, injecting yourself into the design process whenever possible. This follow-through is critical to your success.”

Cindy McCracken a.k.a. /cindy-mccracken | @cmccracken ~ UX mastery