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User experience

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

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

The future of UX: What’s coming next?

The future is changing all the time.

“First of all we have to say, that UX design is still a growing area, and in fact, it needs much more years that UX will be seen as a common social skill. UX Designer can work in there job for the next years. Easy use cases will be done by innovation manager or product manager on their own. For complex solutions, UX designer are a must have, also for the next 10 to 15 years. But there will be a focus on different areas which will increase! This are the six new focus areas for UX designers.”

World Usability Congress

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