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

WTF is UX writing?!

Writing is thinking. For humans and machines.

“In this post, the Flip Script Media team is excited to share some insight about this little-known field that is involved in much of the UX design process. You might say it’s like the body’s central nervous system: when it’s doing its job well, everything else runs smoothly, everything feels right, and everyone looks good; but if it’s neglected, it can weigh the entire team down. And, when things go awry, you become numb and blinded by the actual truth. While we’re on the subject, let me dish it out to you: language is an integral part of the UX design process. Nowadays, too many businesses consider language as an afterthought, and it’s high time we do something about it as it affects product design, communications, marketing strategies, branding and image, community management, even social media, chatbots, and conversational spaces! For such a little-known field, that’s a BIG list.”

Samantha Bilodeau a.k.a. /samanthabilodeau | @SamB418 ~ Flip Script Media

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

User research when you can’t talk to your users

Nielsens First Law of User Research: Never listen to users, observe them.

“It’s not breaking news to say that the core of UX, in a vacuum, is talking to your users to gather insights and then applying that information to your designs. But it’s equally true that UX does not happen in a vacuum. So what happens when you don’t have the budget or the timeline to run user tests, card sorts, or stakeholder interviews? What should you do when your company doesn’t want you bothering the paying customers who use their software? In short, how do you do UX research when you can’t get direct access to your users?”

Jon Peterson a.k.a. /jonpetersonuxdesign | @jp_pete ~ A List Apart

Ethics in the AI Age

Important topic addressed amongst digital designers.

“Over the next two decades, connected products will demand an unprecedented amount of user trust. Technologists and designers will ask the public for yet more of their attention, more of their data, more of their lives. AIs will know users’ deepest secrets. Co-operating devices will automate security and safety. Autonomous vehicles will even make life-or-death decisions for passengers. But ours is an industry still unwilling to grapple with the ethical, social, and political angles of this future. We mistakenly believe that technology is neutral; that mere objects cannot have moral relevance. And so we make embarrassing blunders – racist chatbots, manipulative research, privacy violations – that undermine trust and harm those we should help.”

Cennydd Bowles a.k.a. /cennydd | @cennydd ~ interaction17 videos

How using Design Thinking will fix Design Thinking

Nested concept, design thinking.

“Design Thinking continues to be a hot topic (this article is one of many talking about it). Design Thinking has been hyped and even fetishized but there are also voices questioning its value, impact, and relevance. Design Thinking faces criticism for its lacking integration with business and compatibility with market reality. There are organizations that see Design Thinking as unnecessary rather than essential to driving organizational change and innovation. Does Design Thinking have to be reinvented or even replaced?”

Bert Bräutigam a.k.a. /bertbraeutigam | @bertbrautigam ~ The Next Web

Patient Experience: A return to purpose

A growing experience design field, just like the design practices of Citizen Experience, Author Experience and Employee Experience.

“As an opening reflection to Volume 4 of Patient Experience Journal (PXJ), this editorial reviews the progress of the journal and the implications seen both in the evolving healthcare marketplace globally as well as reviews the data on the developing field of patient experience. It reinforces the need for an integrated view of experience as supported by data in the most recent State of Patient Experience research – one encompassing quality, safety, service, cost and population health implications and one driven on an engine of both patient and family engagement and employee/staff engagement. The article offers that healthcare is as dynamic as it has ever been and is now being pushed at speeds it has not been built to handle, suggesting the need for agility and vision, redesign and expanded thinking. The recognition of these intertwined realities reveals what the author suggests is a return to purpose in healthcare. This is framed by the reinforcement that engagement, communication, quality and safe outcomes are unquestionably central issues for healthcare and they are all now coming together as central to the overall experience dialogue. From these insights, the article offers an invitation for contributions to PXJ that will both underline and expand the exploration found on its pages, from types of submissions to topics including national and global perspectives, technology and culture. The author calls on readers to share their voice, stories, thoughts, research and experiences grounded in the essence of generosity that inspires each of us to sustain a commitment to positive experience efforts each day. The article leaves us in suggesting the powerful simplicity of a return to purpose may be one of the strongest foundations we could hope for in building the future of healthcare.”

Jason A. Wolf a.k.a. /jasonwolf | @jasonawolf ~ Patient Experience Journal 4.1

Applications of machine learning for designers

Moving ‘Lick’ forward into the design world.

“As a designer, you will be facing more demands and opportunities to work with digital systems that embody machine learning. To have your say about how best to use it, you need a good understanding about its applications and related design patterns. This article illustrates the power of machine learning through the applications of detection, prediction and generation. It gives six reasons why machine learning makes products and services better and introduces four design patterns relevant to such applications. To help you get started, I have included two non-technical questions that will help with assessing whether your task is ready to be learned by a machine.”

Lassi Liikkanen a.k.a. /lassial | @lassial ~ Smashing 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

A history of Human-Computer Interaction

Know thy history.

“However, there was steady progress. It took longer than many expected, but we collectively built the world imagined by Vannevar Bush, J. C. R. Licklider, Douglas Engelbart, Ivan Sutherland, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and others. In the 1960s, a few engineers and computer scientists used computers. Yet a common thread in their writing was of a time when people in diverse occupations would use computers routinely. We’re there.”

Jonathan Grudin a.k.a. /jonathan-grudin ~ ACM Interactions XXIV.2

2017 Information Architecture Summit closing plenary address

Making history at the summit while looking at the works of some giants.

“If as information architects we want to do human-centered design, and to be working in terms of health and wellbeing in the overall ecosystem as a consequence of our actions, even those actions that seem isolated in small sub-regions of the ecosystem, then our methods, and ways of talking with people who don’t do what we do, and the entry points into and interactions with our profession, need to go even wider than ordinary.”

Dan Klyn a.k.a. /danklyn | @danklyn

A visual vocabulary for concept models

Concept models reflect the target cognitive frames of a system or idea.

“Let’s start by agreeing that a concept model is a visual explanation. I want you to see things the way I do, so I draw a model made of words and pictures so you share the picture in my mind. What if I want you to understand that design tends to wander around exploring options, but don’t worry because eventually we’ll pick something.”

Christina Wodtke a.k.a. /christinawodtke | @cwodtke

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

Want to scale design thinking? Eight tips for embracing digital design collaboration

Scalability of design thoughts.

“Design is a top priority for companies that want to innovate and continue to improve the customer experiences. While many are investing in design thinking education, the distributed nature of teams makes it difficult for teams to practice, especially together. Ultimately, big initiatives to roll out design thinking as a core competence for all ‘knowledge and imagination workers’ have seen friction for both newly minted design thinkers and experts.”

Mariano Suarez-Battan a.k.a. /batmelon | @batmelon ~ O’Reilly Radar #Design