We’re getting some clear messages on this topic lately.
“As I began to explore how AI would affect design, I started wondering what advice I would give my daughter and a generation of future designers to help them not only be relevant, but thrive in the future AI world. Here is what I think they should expect and be prepared for in 2025.”
Rob Girling ~ O’Reilly Radar ★
Now UX has to deliver on tactics and strategy.
“As usability and user research have matured, the emphasis has shifted from championing the concept of user-centeredness to making it happen on a daily basis. For many UX researchers, this can mean functioning tactically, like QA technicians. Even researchers who do foundational user research, which we tend to consider strategic, can face routinization, functioning as gatherers and packagers of descriptive information about users and leaving it to others to identify any decision-making implications. This is not a style of practice that earns the seat at the strategic decision-making table that so many practitioners seek.”
David Siegel ~ ACM Interactions ★
Algos as the augmentation tools for designers.
“I’ve been following the idea of algorithm-driven design for several years now and have collected some practical examples. The tools of the approach can help us to construct a UI, prepare assets and content, and personalize the user experience. The information, though, has always been scarce and hasn’t been systematic. However, in 2016, the technological foundations of these tools became easily accessible, and the design community got interested in algorithms, neural networks and artificial intelligence. Now is the time to rethink the modern role of the designer.”
Yury Vetrov a.k.a. @jvetrau ~ Smashing Magazine ★
The magic of personalisation, adaption, and intimate integration.
“Everyone talks about it. No one knows how to do it. Still, everyone is convinced everyone else is doing it. So everyone wants to do it themselves. But in the end, no one is actually doing it.”
Deane Barker a.k.a. /deane | @gadgetopia ~ gadgetopia ★ courtesy of @everbass
Design thinking, the scientific method of the 21st century.
“What is it that we’re talking about, when we’re talking about design? We may first encounter design as aesthetic treatment and styling – certainly important, but not, of course, the entire story. Stylistic design is often seen in contrast with design as a process for tackling tough problems. Design thinking is an abductive approach to complex problem solving that leverages the designer’s empathetic mindset in order to understand people’s unarticulated needs and identify opportunities for solutions. This is a human-centered innovation process that can be applied to a wide range of challenges: design thinking can be used to create everything from products and services to business models and processes.”
Jonathan Follett a.k.a. /jonfollett | @jonfollett ~ O’Reilly Radar ★
Progression is just an idea, not a practice.
“The premise is refreshingly simple: bridge the gap between offline and online experiences and gain performance increases, lower bounce rates, and even better conversion rates while doing so. Progressive web applications (PWAs) are basically another layer to add on an existing website, one that interacts between the browser and http connection. This means that any and all requests first go through the service worker, which is an important part of any PWA. The service worker then determines whether there is even a need to connect to the internet for the request, or whether it should just serve a locally stored cache of the website the user is currently browsing.”
Mark Pedersen ~ Boxes and Arrows ★
Tips and tricks for UX strategists.
“Something is happening in the world of enterprise software development: design and user experience are becoming integral to business success.”
Cassandra Naji a.k.a. /cassandra-naji ~ UXmatters ★
Design from protos to algos.
“Clickable or static? Axure or paper? No matter which prototyping tools you use, the same tips apply to preparing a user interface prototype for the most effective user research.”
Kara Pernice a.k.a. /karapernice | @karaann ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
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
In the end, everything connects. The web and philosophers as well.
“Does the centralization of the Web change both the diffusion of knowledge and the philosophical definition of knowledge itself? By exploring the origins of the Semantic Web in the philosophy of Carnap and of Google’s machine learning approach in Heidegger, we demonstrate that competing philosophical schools are deeply embedded in artificial intelligence and its evolution in the Web. Finally, we conclude that a decentralized approach to knowledge is necessary in order to bring the Web to its full potential as a project for the spread of human autonomy.”
Harry Halpin and Alexandre Monnin ~ First Monday 21.12 ★
Language being used in processes for communication and specifics.
“Around a year ago, while working at a digital agency, I was given the objective of streamlining our UX design process. Twelve months later, this article shares my thoughts and experiences on how lean thinking helped to instill efficiencies within our UX design process.”
Kyle Cassidy a.k.a. /kycassidy | @kyecass ~ Smashing Magazine ★
All the rational arguments to convince C-level. Still no gut feeling.
“This is one reason why many in the field now downplay the D-word in favour of “User Experience,” or UX. Born out of software design, UX has become a useful lens for understanding everything from watches to wheelbarrows. The total experience of the customer is what counts. That includes the product’s fit and finish, its ergonomics and safety features, and how intuitive it is to use.”
Graham F. Scott ~ Canadian Business ★
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 ★
All thinking is important.
“Design thinking is just another way to talk about problem-solving. Every design project you take on aims to solve some sort of problem for the client, whether it is helping more people learn about their company through a website, getting people into a store with a coupon or enticing people to buy something with an amazing package design. But design thinking is more than just problem solving. It is a hands-on approach to developing solutions.”
Carrie Cousins a.k.a. @carriecousins ~ Design Shack ★
Taxo’s and eco’s, part of the new framing of the digital domain.
“As a strategist and information architect who employs the use of taxonomies, this metaphor is of particular interest. Yes, you can build something great with blue bricks, or yellow bricks, or red bricks, or green but when different fields and systems collide to create something more complex and colourful, we discover potential to create something more powerful and worthwhile through language.”
Matt Hollidge /matt-hollidge | @matthollidge ★ courtesy of @TUG
AR and VR, the new design ‘terra incognita’.
“Augmented reality has come a long way from a science-fiction concept to a science-based reality. Until recently the costs of augmented reality were so substantial that designers could only dream of working on design projects that involved it – today things have changed and augmented reality is even available on the mobile handset. That means design for augmented reality is now an option for all shapes and sizes of UX designers.”
The Interaction Design Foundation ★
System thinking in a design context.
“It seems like the current buzz word in the design industry and everyone wants one. But how exactly can a product benefit from having a living, breathing design language? I’m going to try break down the very basics so you can understand why it’s needed. Creating an underlying language will unite our design philosophies and methodologies across our platform.”
Ezequiel Bruni a.k.a. @ezequielbruni ~ Webdesigner depot ★ courtesy of @IAtv
The human voice as interface, not better than words.
“This is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Designing Voice User Interfaces by Cathy Pearl (…) A good rule of thumb is to let the user decide how long the conversation will be.”
Cathy Pearl ~ O’Reilly Design ★
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 ★
Research comes in many shapes for digital design.
“The problem I see with having a UX Designer without a UX Researcher is that as a company, you develop the illusion that you are doing enough to comprehensively assess and change the user experience in a way to get the optimal results out of your investment. And, truth be told, many UX designers do a little bit of everything highlighted in this article. But they don’t do enough. They can’t. There simply isn’t enough time in a day to both create the user experience and validate its effectiveness. Moreover, as we saw above, there’s a wide variety of techniques through which User Researchers monitor, analyze and report on user experience developments.”
Craig Tomlin a.k.a. /wcraigtomlin | @ctomlin ★