All posts about
User experience

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

Why your design team should hire a writer

Text creation as experience design. Finally!

“Designing a flow is a lot like writing a story — an interactive story. And to tell a compelling story, it helps to have a writer in the room. In product design, a writer becomes the narrator of your story, guiding the main character (your user) from scene to scene, screen by screen. Whether you call yourself a writer or a designer, you’ll probably be able to spot a lot of similarities between our two disciplines.”

Jophn Saito a.k.a. /johnmsaito | @saitojohn

Why UX Design for machine learning matters

Digital designers moving slowly into computational design.

“Machine learning is going to radically change product design. But what is the future of machine learning? Is it the singularity, flying cars, voiceless commands, or an Alexa that can actually understand you? Before we can even get to that part–the grand futurism part – I want to offer a provocation: Machine learning won’t reach its potential–and may actually cause harm – if it doesn’t develop in tandem with user experience design.”

Caroline Sinders a.k.a. /caroline-sinders | @carolinesinders ~ FastCoDesign

The user experience of libraries: Serving the common good

The commons need a real lot of UX design.

“My introduction to the role of UX in libraries began during my graduate assistantship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I worked in the UX department of the university library. When I began, I had plenty of questions: What was special about libraries? How do I apply UX methods to them? What do librarians know about UX? At the core of librarianship is public service; as non-profit educational institutions, the primary goal of libraries is to improve people’s lives. As a UX designer, I find working in libraries unique, challenging, and rewarding in its dedication to user advocacy.”

Daniel Pshock a.k.a. /danpsho ~ UX Magazine

Creating usability with motion: The UX in motion manifesto

From creating static to dynamic meaning.

“Over the last 5 years, it has been my privilege to coach and mentor UX & UI designers in over 40 countries, and at hundreds of the top brands and design consultancies through my workshops and tutorials on UI Animation. After over fifteen years studying motion in user interfaces, I have come to the conclusion that there are 12 specific opportunities to support usability in your UX projects using motion. I call these opportunities ‘The 12 Principles of UX in Motion,’ and they can be stacked and combined synergistically in a myriad of innovative ways.”

Issara Willenskomer a.k.a. /issarawk ~ courtesy of @Nicooooooon

What’s happening in the world of ethics and design?

Set of articles, skills and tools to raise the bar.

“Design has a huge influence on how people behave and live their lives. In how we as designers aim to answer the question of how to live ‘a good life’ the act of design itself can be seen as ethical. That’s why it’s important to know about ethics and learn to incorporate it in your design work. And for that, you’re in the right place. (…) In March 2017 Jet Gispen graduated on the research for and development of this ethical toolkit for designers. Struck by the lack of ethical knowledge of most designers and design students, she set out to find a way to improve that. By means of various case studies performed at the Delft University of Technology, Jet researched ways for designers to incorporate ethics into their design process. The result of this research was this template-based toolkit.”

Jet Gispen a.k.a. /jet-gispen ~ Ethics for designers

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

UX maturity models: A collection

Models are great for analysis and explanation. Less for designing a future.

“For at least ten years now I have been collecting User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX) Maturity Models. I keep hoping to find the perfect one to help executives understand what we do, and what good looks like. Oftentimes my conversations are about how to maximize funding for UX services. Other times the goal may be to help an executive understand just how much further we have to go before we’re really getting the benefits of engaging a UX professional.”

Natalie Hanson a.k.a. /nataliehanson | @ndhanthro

What is Lean UX? Streamlining UX for an increasingly Agile world

Or how a software engineering approach dictates the design process.

“As the trend of software development bends inevitably toward continuous improvement, continuous learning, and agility, so too must design practice bend and change to be most effective for the digital world. The process models UX inherited from its precursors – graphic design, industrial design, and architecture – are front-loaded and heavy, meant for outputs that are physical products and objects. But these process models collapse when it is no longer possible to figure out everything in advance, as is the case with creating complex software applications. Lean UX is a call to work iteratively, to streamline design and eliminate waste, to collaborate on cross-functional teams and, most importantly, to maintain a customer-centric perspective in our decision-making.”

Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ O’Reilly Radar

The UX of voice: The invisible interface

A bright new future for design with natural language.

“Voice interaction represents the biggest UX challenge since the birth of the smartphone, so we break down the implications and opportunities for this paradigm shift in UX design. (…) In this post, we’re going to explain some of the profound implications of the rise of voice interaction for UX design. Just as the internet began as a playground of raw new technical capability that embraced the guiding principles of intuitive, user-friendly product design over time, so too I see today’s voice-enabled tools and devices in their infancy, with limitless potential ready to be unlocked through innovative, user-centered design.”

Jason Amunwa a.k.a. /jasonamunwa | @King_Jaffy ~ Digital Telepathy

Big data UX: Research opportunity and ethical challenge

Ethics, the new unique selling point of design.

“As the user experience professional, when the business wants to let videos wander (in other words, business leaders or other well-intentioned team members want to use the video in a way that the participant didn’t agree to), someone must serve as gatekeeper. Whenever these moments occur, our UX Cassandra role should compel us to represent not only our users’ need for great user experience, but for proper ethical handling of their participation in our experiments. Each of our new tools provide ethical challenges. We have an obligation to consider their challenges and address them as seriously as we do with our live participant studies or any of our methods.”

Josephine Scott a.k.a. @josies

The differences between enterprise and consumer UX design

It’s all about humans in the end.

“Enterprise applications typically have much greater scope and are much more complex than consumer applications, so enterprise solutions are often tailored for people working in specific roles. Plus, enterprise applications are designed for a specific business domain rather than a specific task, as many consumer applications are. Administrators usually configure enterprise applications, while consumers configure their own applications. Employees routinely use enterprise applications in their work, while the use of most consumer applications is less predictable. Enterprise applications often must connect with legacy systems.”

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

How to avoid UX burnout

Burn baby, burn!

“After the launch, I was all UX’ed out. Even the sight of a Post-It note felt exhausting. Attributing the fatigue to creative block, I planned to take a few days off to recharge. But because my version of “recharge” also means “process everything,” I also decided to write an article for creatives about how to deal with this kind of block. But when I sat down to write, something surprising happened. Despite my fatigue, the words flew off the page and my energy levels soared. I could hardly get my flood of ideas down fast enough! And that’s when I realized: This wasn’t a creative block at all. I had UX burnout.”

Benjamin Earl Evans a.k.a. /benjaminearlevans | @benjamineevans ~ Boxes and Arrows

Designing for the human side of banking: Inside the design culture at Capital One

Design from within the organization.

“Let’s face it: As designers, we have a reputation for being a little, well… fussy about the work we do. We’re known for seeking novelty, form over function, and creative boundary-pushing. So it’s not surprising that banking isn’t the first area to spring to mind when designers think of creative work. You know the stereotype most designers have in their heads: Suits and ties. Dry, serious and stuffy. Looking at everything strictly by the numbers — including the customers. It sounds drab and unsexy.”

Jesse James Garrett a.k.a. /jesse-james-garrett @jjg courtesy of @julienamoreus

Experience design in the machine learning era

ML eats XD for breakfast, lunch, and diner.

“Traditionally the experience of a digital service follows pre-defined user journeys with clear states and actions. Until recently, it has been the designer’s job to create these linear workflows and transform them into understandable and unobtrusive experiences. This is the story of how that practice is about to change. Over the last 6 months, I have been working in a rather unique position at BBVA Data and Analytics, a center of excellence in financial data analysis. My job is to make the design of user experiences reach a new frontier with the emergence of machine learning techniques. My responsibility — among other things — is to bring a holistic experience design to teams of data scientists and make it an essential part of the lifecycle of algorithmic solutions (e.g. predictive models, recommender systems). In parallel, I perform creative and strategic reviews of experiences that design teams produce (e.g. online banking, online shopping, smart decision making) to steer their evolution into a future of ‘artificial intelligence’. Practically, I boost the partnerships between teams of designers and data scientists to envision desirable and feasible experiences powered by data and algorithms.”

Fabien Girardin a.k.a. /fabiengirardin ~ D&A blog courtesy of puttingpeoplefirst

Applying UX design tactically to achieve strategic objectives

Strategic thinking for in-house UX teams.

“UX design encompasses user research, user interface design, visual design, and content. But what about process design? Why should seasoned companies – whose product-development process hasn’t previously relied on conducting design research – hire UX professionals to help them devise and realize a new business model?”

Mark Baldino a.k.a. /markbaldino | @fuzzymath ~ UXmatters

Effective and efficient: Conducting UX and design reviews

Shaping the feedback loop in a cybernetic way.

“We have all been there—the umpteenth design review on a feedback loop that just will not end. The team is exhausted and creativity has been squeezed like water out of a dishrag. The stakeholders keep giving new feedback, often derailing previous feedback. The team wonders if it will ever be done. There is no clear path forward and the team has lost sight of the original goals, instead spending time on copy for one link or a particular shade of blue. Endless rounds of feedback and wayward comments are crippling to team morale. Without a clear path forward, repeated reviews can ultimately make attempts at innovative UX suffer and leave stakeholders questioning the approach. There is hope; this does not have to happen. With the three-step process of reviews introduced in this article, creativity can be restored and your team can help clients and stakeholders achieve their goals. This process will ultimately lead to better UX and designs because it starts with defining a clear UX strategy and limits the design project to three rounds of review.”

Kristin Zibell a.k.a. /kristinzibell | @takeyourbigtrip The Magazine of the UXPA