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

Chatbots and the new world of HCI

HCI as an academic field is waking up, too.

“A potential revolution is happening in front of our eyes. For decades, researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction (HCI) have been improving their skills in designing for graphical user interfaces. Now things may take an unexpected turn—toward natural language user interfaces, in which interaction with digital systems happens not through scrolling, swiping, or button clicks, but rather through strings of text in natural language. This is particularly visible in recent developments in chatbots, that is, machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces to data and service providers [1], typically in the context of messaging applications.”

Asbjørn Følstad and Petter Bae Brandtzæg ~ Interactions XXIV.4

Making things real: Content strategy for realistic content management

CMS, a software tool for content UX forgot. Hence, the authoring experience.

“Understanding how the CMS will handle our foundational pieces means we build a stronger site, one that’s easier to adapt. And being able to communicate how the CMS will handle things is foundational to getting past the big dream and into a more solid reality.”

Corey Vilhauer a.k.a. /mrvilhauer | @mrvilhauer ~ Eating elephant

Chatbox UX: Crafting a valuable conversation

Is a chatbot UX the prototypical application of UX writing?

“All chatbots are not created equal. What separates a good chatbot from a bad one? A good chatbot helps users accomplish something more efficiently. A great one makes it enjoyable. A bad bot wastes time, returns nonsense, and may annoy or frustrate users enough to drive them away.”

Jennifer Leigh Brown a.k.a. /jleighbrown | @jennleighbrown ~ UXbooth

DesignOps at Airbnb: How we manage effective design at scale

When things get a name.

“Working daily across so many disciplines, from Engineering to Product Management, Research, Content Strategy and an array of Design specialties, every little overhead in the transfer of information compounds. Inversely, every optimization and positive connection significantly lowers friction for everyone. This is why we’ve created DesignOps, to ease collaboration and amplify effectiveness, not only across product disciplines, but also between the increasingly complex world of Product Design.”

Adrian Cleave a.k.a. /adriancleave ~ Airbnb Design

Instruments of inquiry: Understanding the nature and role of tools in design

Tools make the design.

“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.”

Peter Dalsgaard a.k.a. /peter-dalsgaard | @peterdalsgaard ~ International Journal of Design 11.1

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

Design in the era of the algorithm

Perfect text for those involved in circle three of Maeda: Computational Design.

“The design and presentation of data is just as important as the underlying algorithm. Algorithmic interfaces are a huge part of our future, and getting their design right is critical—and very, very hard to do. My work has begun to turn to the responsible and humane presentation of data-driven interfaces. And I suspect that yours will, too, in very short order. While constructing these machine learning models is indeed heavy-duty data science, using them is not. Tons of these machine learning models are available to all of us here to build upon right now.”

Josh Clark a.k.a. /joshclark | @bigmediumjosh ~ big medium courtesy of @gnat

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

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