All posts from
May 2009

Lauralee Alben on Sea Change Moments

“Lauralee Alben talks with Marc Rettig of Fit Associates about Sea Change Moments – moments that spark a positive, profound, enduring transformation in people, brands, and the world. She also discusses the Sea Change Design Process, which aligns the creative output of an organization with its inner values and intentions. In this age of transformation, Lauralee’s ideas and examples are compelling. She offers a creative, generative method that embraces a whole-system, whole-business point of view while recognizing the necessity of drawing from our deep authentic selves. Enjoy the unusual blend of acumen, experience, heart and spirit in her words.” – (Sustainable Life Media)

Is Design the Preeminent Protagonist in User Experience?

“We are gradually learning that user experience is a critical factor in customer satisfaction and loyalty. A positive experience means a happy customer who returns again. Designers of software systems and web services have been digging deeply into how they might generate a positive user experience. They are moving beyond anecdotes about excellent examples of user experiences and are developing design principles. Phillip Tobias gives us a fascinating account of the emerging design principles that will generate satisfied and loyal users.” – (ACM Ubiquity)

Why define the UX Tribe?

“(…) there are no hard lines; there are folks who strictly do IA or IxD, but the majority of us lie somewhere in between- why not simplify our message to the industry and take advantage of the full extent of our value proposition. The irony that we UX Designers pride ourselves in solving contextual problems for the user (the marketplace in this case) is not lost on me.” – (The User Experience Tribe)

Follow the Recipe

“There are many good processes for software design. By process, I mean a prescribed way of performing software design. Every software company I’ve ever worked with has a design process they’ve adopted or created to meet their needs. However, after working on numerous software projects, I have come to realize how few projects actually follow their companies’ intended design processes. Why is it that so many companies don’t follow their existing processes for software design?” – (Ron GagnierUXmatters)

Architecting User Assistance Topics for Reuse: Case Examples in DITA

“Single sourcing and its pragmatic flip side, reuse, remind me a bit of the early days of the personal computer. Everybody wanted one, but many weren’t sure what they would do with a computer if they got one. Even among seasoned user assistance architects, single sourcing and reuse remain elusive concepts. I recently heard someone at an STC chapter meeting define single sourcing as producing the same document as both a Help file and as a PDF file. Basically true, but one would hope there is more to it than that.” – (Mike HughesUXmatters)

All About Card Sorting: An Interview with Donna Spencer

“Donna Spencer is one of Australia’s best-known information architects, organizer of the UX Australia conference, and a frequent presenter at UX conferences in Australia, the US, and Europe. I caught up with Donna between her appearances at the IA Summit and RedUX DC to talk about card sorting and her new book, Card Sorting: Designing Usable Categories, which Rosenfeld Media recently published.” – (Steve BatyUXmatters)

Investor Relations (IR) on Corporate Websites

“Individual investors are intimidated by overly complex IR sites and need simple summaries of financial data. Both individual and professional investors want the company’s own story and investment vision.” – (Jakob NielsenAlertbox)

Real or Imaginary: The effectiveness of using personas in product design

“The use of personas as a method for communicating user requirements in collaborative design environments is well established. However, very little research has been conducted to quantify the benefits of using this technique. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of using personas. An experiment was conducted over a period of 5 weeks using students from NCAD. The results showed that, through using personas, designs with superior usability characteristics were produced. They also indicate that using personas provides a significant advantage during the research and conceptualisation stages of the design process (supporting previously unfounded claims). The study also investigated the effects of using different presentation methods to present personas and concluded that photographs worked better than illustrations, and that visual storyboards were more effective in presenting task scenarios than text only versions.” – (Frank Long – frontend.com) courtesy of jjursa

Components, Patterns, and Frameworks! Oh My!

“Login functionality isn’t new. It’s not awesome. It’s not very challenging to develop. Teams are designing this functionality as if it’s never been built before. But it has been built before. Teams, all over the world, have built login functionality into their applications about a million times. And yet, here we are, doing it all over again. All this re-creation and re-invention isn’t just inefficient, it leaves the team open to problems. Because it’s not the sexy part of their project, it’s likely to get less attention, resulting in an unusable and frustrating experience. This is where the Re-use Trinity — Patterns, Components, and Interaction Design Frameworks — come in.” – (Jared Spool)

UX Deliverables in Practice

“On May 17 2009, I delivered my invited presentation at the IA Konferenz 2009 in Hamburg, Germany. A first (slightly modified) version is now available. Given that my session was scheduled right after the lunch break on the last day, I had told the organizers that I would try to make it a bit of a show. Of course the real content — a brief overview of theories of UX plus a wider look at some of the deliverables outside of the standard research-design-evaluation triad (which I summarized using a quiz) — was there too.” – (Peter Boersma)

Symposium Contextmapping: The Videos

“About five years ago, we started the contextmapping research at ID-StudioLab. In these past five years, four PhD students have explored various elements in the procedure. Several hundred students at TU Delft have learnt its principles, as did many design students and practitioners in workshops in the Netherlands, Europe, and Asia. Several dozens of students have explored, varied, modified, and reflected on the techniques, their possibilities and limitations. In May 2009, the first ‘contextmapping’ PhD thesis will be defended. On this occasion, we take the opportunity to reflect on the new techniques for involving users in the fuzzy front end of product design. What was learnt, what are the opportunities and barriers in industrial practice, and what do we think should the next developments be?” – (ID-StudioLabTU Delft) courtesy of paulvalk

Remote Research: Real Users, Real Time, Real Research (Chapter 1)

“Remote user research describes any research method that allows you to observe, interview, or get feedback from users while they’re at a distance, in their “native environment” (at their desk, in their home or office) doing their own tasks. Remote studies allow you to recruit quickly, cheaply, and immediately, and give you the opportunity to observe users as they behave naturally in their own environment, on their own time. Our book will teach you how to design and conduct remote research studies, top-to-bottom, with little more than a phone and a laptop.” – (Tony Tulathimutte – Rosenfeld Media)

Is Information Visualization the Next Frontier for Design?

“As design work shifts to infrastructure and problem solving, sexy infographics are part of the new skill set.” – (Michael Cannell – Fast Company) courtesy of bobjacobson

User experience and web analytics

“(…) we would probably all benefit from a dashboard of reports that included the ones that we’ve come to expect from our analytics tools, but that also include other quantitative reports (such as from help desk logs) and, perhaps more importantly, qualitative reports from such sources as ongoing usability testing.” – (Louis Rosenfeld – Bloug)

Web Strategy: A Definition

“An effective Web Strategy provides the required guidance and implementation authority required to create and maintain a high-quality Web presence. It also emplaces accountability mechanisms to ensure that Web teams take a mature approach to developing and managing the organization’s most powerful communications and transactional tool.” – (Lisa Welchman)

Future Practice Interview: Ginny Redish

“For a long time, content was typically left for last and given so little thought. I’m happy to say that the situation is changing. Content and content strategy are hot topics now (…) Content strategy means thinking strategically about your content. It means planning the content, coordinating content over the entire web site, and managing content over time.” – (Louis Rosenfeld – Rosenfeld Media)

25 Incredibly Useful Usability Cheat Sheets & Checklists

“Is your Web site primed for any viewer? How do you know? The nicest thing about a usable Web site is that it’s just a good thing to do for others so they can easily read your online information. The other side to usability is that it can increase your search engine standings so more people can find your Web site. The following list of cheat sheets and checklists are fairly recent; however, some older usability checklists are useful for older sites that haven’t been upgraded.” – (Best Web Design Schools) courtesy of jjursa

Jakob Nielsen Critiques Twitter

“The growth in social media can become a major drain on the economy unless people learn how to be in control of their time instead of allowing external updates to be in the driver’s seat.” – (Rebecca Reisner – BusinessWeek) courtesy of usabilitynews

Bringing the everyday life of people into design

“This thesis describes a research journey in which I developed various communication tools and a theoretical framework for making user experiences useful for designers in the very beginning of the design process.” – (Froukje Sleeswijk VisserContextQueen)