All posts from
September 2007

Ten Steps to Personas

“Any project that uses personas does not necessarily need to follow all 10 steps as long as the responsible party knows the consequences of skipping a step.” (Lene Nielsen – HCI Vistas)

Processes + Patterns

“After explaining the concepts of patterns and collections, I spoke about how I thought process patterns and design patterns could be combined and about what the benefits would be to designers and team managers (and of course users and clients) once they were combined.” (Peter Boersma)

Playful IAs

“I had some great reactions to this talk and I want to thank all the people who engaged with me in discussions afterwards. It’s given me a good picture of what areas I should develop further in future subsequent talks. I’m also pleasantly surprised to see that contrary to what some people think, the IA community (the European one at least) is very much open to new ideas. That’s really nice to experience firsthand.” (Kars AlfrinkLeapfrog)

Information Design of the New Web

“People are changing the way that they consume online information, as well as their expectations about its delivery. The social nature of the Web brings with it an expectation of interaction with information and modern Web design is reflecting that. There are now alternate forms of navigation including the ability to browse by user, tag clouds, tabbed navigation etc. Advances in technology along with these shifts in user expectations are affecting the way that information is laid out on a webpage. Today’s websites are aiming for intuitive and usable interfaces which are continuously evolving in response to user needs. Website designers are approaching information design differently and designing simple, interactive websites which incorporate advancements in Web interface design, current Web philosophies, and user needs. Information design for the New Web is simple, it is social, and it embraces alternate forms of navigation.” (Ellyssa Kroski – InfoTangle)

How Do Users Really Feel About Your Design?

“In this column, I’ll introduce you to a promising method that just might solve this problem. While this method has not yet been subjected to rigorous peer review or experimental testing, it offers an intriguing solution and is endlessly fascinating to me. And it just might prove to be the kind of powerful technique we’ve been looking for to illuminate users’ emotional reactions to our designs.” (Paul J. ShermanUXmatters)

Universal Information Architecture Modeling Language

“UiaML is a symbolic modeling language like UML that is meant to be a supporting tool for information architects. At it’s current state UiaML supports low fidelity modeling. With future development of UiaML we hope to support high fidelity models, too.” (Alex Jongman)

CORE (Cognitive Organization for Requirements Elicitation)

“Using a case study drawn from the Orbitz.com information architecture environment, our 2007 IA Summit poster uses visuals and text to describe a rules-based soft systems methodology for collaborative decision-making. In this case study, the Orbitz information architect was faced with a need to rapidly develop specifications for new web application features. Produced in the absence of use cases, functional requirements, or business requirements, these new specifications had to be both culturally and technically acceptable, and meet changing business and user needs.” (Joanna Wiebe and Scott Confer)

Simplicity Patterns

“The MIT Media Lab’s John Maeda lives at the intersection of technology and art — a place that can get very complicated. Here, he talks about paring down to basics, and how he creates clean, elegant art, websites and web tools. In his book Laws of Simplicity, he offers 10 rules and 3 keys for simple living and working — but in this talk, he boils it down to one simply delightful way to be.” (TED: Ideas worth spreading) – courtesy of digitalwebmagazine

UX Design as Communities of Practice

Including slides and audio – “The cluster of practices and professions we’ve come to think of as supporting User Experience Design is still a new, strange territory for many of us. How does a person’s discipline define that person’s work? What skills, methods and tools should be the purview of a given role? It turns out that these are age-old issues among communities of learning and doing, i.e. communities of practice. The communities of practice model gives us a better language for discussing our roles, our work and the future of our respective practices and disciplines. It also gives us a useful way of thinking about how to design for particular kinds of collaboration, especially emergent, collective work in support of improving a practice.” (Andrew HintonAdaptive Path UX Week 2007)

Organizing global websites

“At the European IA Summit in Barcelona, I’ll give a talk about information architecture for global websites. The slides without the talk aren’t that great, but here they are anyway, maybe it’ll help you decide wether to attend this talk or one of the other great ones.” (Peter Van Dijck)

Design Research in 2006 

“In the US, it is the practitioners who have been leading with regard to design research in practice. So in the U.S., there is exploration and innovation in design research going on, but it is not as well disseminated. It is discussed in general terms so as not to give too much away to ‘the competition’. It is not often published, though the interaction design community is doing a good job of sharing. Europe is way ahead of the US in design research of a participatory nature. Why? Because they (particularly northern Europe) have embraced a participatory attitude for a long time. The participatory way of thinking is antithetical to the US-centric mode of manufacturers pushing products at ‘consumers’ through marketing and advertising.” (Liz SandersMakeTools)

Virtuosos of the Experience Domain 

“There is a lot of talk lately about ‘Experience Design’. Companies sell experience design, but don’t define what it is. Online discussion groups debate who the virtuosos of the experience domain should be. Design educators wonder if they should be teaching it. And they wonder how they should be teaching it. (…) There is no such thing as experience design. You can’t design experience because experiencing is in people. You can design for experiencing, however. You can design the scaffolding or infrastructure that people can use to create their own experiences.” (Liz SandersMakeTools)

Usability – Not as we know it!

“YouTube has been the Internet success story of 2006. However, when subjected to conventional usability evaluation it appears to fail miserably. With this and other social Web services, the purpose of the user is fun, uncertainty, engagement and self-expression. Web2.0 has turned the passive ‘user’ into an active producer of content and shaper of the ultimate user experience. This more playful, more participative, often joyful use of technology appears to conflict with conventional usability, but we argue that a deeper ‘usability’ emerges that respects the user’s purposes whether acting as homo ludens.” (Paula Alexandra Silva & Alan Dix – People and Computers XXI)

Review of Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages

“Information architects – and anyone curious about the roots of information management – will find much of interest in Glut’s thought-provoking tale. Given the stimulating and contrarian nature of Glut’s ideas, one only wishes Wright would occasionally return from the corridors of the time tunnel and bring his well-informed perspective back to our present age.” (Bob GoodmanBoxes and Arrows)

The best experiences aren’t designed. They’re composed.

“The most evocative experiences — those that have lasting power, that alter one’s perspectives, apprehension, appreciation, and actions — aren’t designed. They’re composed. The distinction isn’t subtle. Compositions are easy to identify and remember: everyone can cite his or her favorite composed experiences. Designs, for the most part, aren’t so easy to identify or remember. In many cases, they’re not even designed to be memorable; they’re designed to be imperceptible.” (Bob Jakobson – Total Experience)

UX consciousness in business magazines

“It’s surprising that content management and web analytics, two highly concrete topics that can make a large dent on the bottom line, register relatively little attention from business publications. Also of interest: while business publications are half as likely to focus on user experience, they’re far more focused on experience design than the web as a whole. As these two terms are often considered synonyms, this is quite strange.” (Louis RosenfeldRosenfeld Media)

Avenue A | Razorfish wiki

“(…) we’re going to start talking about the redesign process here on the blog. We think it might be fun and educational to share the decision making and get some feedback too. Here’s a presentation that should tell you a lot about the current state of the wiki. It describes the wiki in detail and includes screenshots and usage numbers. Let us know what you think needs changing the most.” (The Workplace)