All posts from
October 2009

Co-creation through generative design thinking

“Co-creation is not just the next new thing in marketing. It is an alternative way of seeing and being in the world. Existing and thriving in the emerging co-creative landscapes will require the creation and application of new tools, methods and methodologies for connecting, innovating, making, telling and sharing. These generative tools must be useful and usable for all types of people. Generative design thinking provides a design language for all of us, designers as well as non-designers, to use in provoking the imagination, stimulating ideation, stirring the emotions, discovering unmet needs and facilitating embodiments of future possibilities. Examples of this generative design language in action, from projects ranging from consumer product and service development to the planning and architecture of new healthcare campuses, will be shared.” (Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders – IASDR09)

Science and Design

“But as the world grows more complex, more interconnected, with the underlying infrastructure less and less visible, hidden inside electronic and optical mechanisms, conveyed as all-powerful yet invisible information and knowledge, design more than ever needs a body of reliable, verifiable procedures. Science is the systematic method of building a reliable, verifiable, repeatable, and generalizable body of knowledge. Science is not a body of facts: it is a process. Design is the deliberate shaping of the environment in ways that satisfy individual and societal needs. Scientific methods can inform design. Designers can create a science of design.” (Donald A. Norman – IASDR09)

On Authenticity

“Calling something ‘authentic’ may connote original, traditional, indigenous, old, rare, the real thing, or in some crucial way a better example of its category. We use the term today as a messy amalgam of its twin roots: the art historian’s validation of an object and the philosopher’s valuing of the true self. While the concept of authenticity is employed in vague and subjective ways, we want to believe that an item’s authenticity is an absolutely determinable quality, an expectation that (as you’ll see) is not wholly realistic.” (Steve Portigal – ACM SIGCHI Interactions Magazine XVI.6)

When Security Gets in the Way

“Usability or security: Do we really have to choose? At times the two seem immutably bound. Make it more secure, goes the belief, and as night follows day, things become harder to use. It is a never-ending challenge, with security experts pitting themselves against usability experts, and both fighting with the engineers and marketing representatives—all convinced that their view is the most important, each convinced that attention to the others defeats their goal.” (Donald A. Norman – ACM SIGCHI Interactions Magazine XVI.6)

Technical Documentation Know-how

“Know-how, checklists, tools and links, which will help you to create user-friendly software documentation such as manuals, online help, software demos and other forms of software user assistance.” (Indoition Software User Assistance)

Creating a Timeless User Experience

“(…) the kinds of products, websites, and applications that survive and continue to be effective are those that that focus on the user experience. The digital world evolves continually, but we need to manage this by making sure we don’t leave the people who use our applications and websites in the dust. In this article we will explore creating a timeless user experience.” (Francisco Inchauste – Six Revisions)

Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience

By Christian Crumlish and Erin Malone – “This book presents a family of social web design principles and interaction patterns that we have observed and codified, thus capturing user-experience best practices and emerging social web customs for web 2.0 practitioners.” (About the authors)

The Myth of Usability Testing

“Usability evaluations are good for a lot of things, but determining what a team’s priorities should be is not one of them. Fortunately, there is an explanation for these counterintuitive outcomes that can help us choose a more appropriate evaluation course.” (Robert Hoekman Jr.A List Apart)

Would you like service design with that?

“Service design is a new discipline which focuses on understanding what customers want, then designing services which meet their needs. Sound familiar? Web designers have focused on user-centered design for years to create websites and applications that are user friendly. Service design is well established in Europe and North America and there’s already a handful of Australian businesses offering service design. What is it? Does experience in designing for screen interaction translate to designing services too? Will service design be the next big thing?” (Service Design Hub)

Eyetracking: Is It Worth It?

“It is easy to get excited about eyetracking. Seeing where people look while using your Web site, Web application, or software product sounds like an opportunity to get amazing insights into their user experience. But eyetracking is expensive and requires extra effort and specialized knowledge. The heat maps and other visualizations certainly look impressive, but what can you really learn from them? After using eyetracking for the first time, many find that it is not easy to know how to analyze the visualizations and make conclusions from them. Does eyetracking really provide any additional insights you would not have discovered anyway through traditional usability testing? Does the value of eyetracking outweigh its limitations? This article will discuss and answer these questions.” (Jim RossUXmatters)

The Scoop on Content Strategy: An Interview with Kristina Halvorson

“There are lots of different definitions floating around out there. It was important to me to talk about content strategy in a way that people can understand easily. I define content strategy as planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content. Planning is the key. Planning is about asking the right questions to collect data and information, with the goal of delivering a plan that gets you from where you are now to where you want to be.” (Colleen JonesUXmatters)

Usability Testing Versus Expert Reviews

“In this Ask UXmatters column—which is the first in a series of three columns focusing on usability—our experts discuss the use of usability testing versus expert reviews. In the upcoming columns, we’ll discuss what usability techniques to use when money or time is tight and how to best conduct remote usability testing.” (Janet SixUXmatters)

UX Design Defined

“(…) User Experience Design is the practice of integrating user-centered design methods, collecting, interpreting and applying meticulous user research, process management for testing elements of a system independently in gradually increasing levels of fidelity, and integrating multiple symbolic systems (languages) to affect and influence users of an interactive system in a predictable and measured way, according to the user’s own criteria for success and happiness.” (Michael Cummings – UXDesign) – courtesy of thehotstrudel

25 tips for writing the user experience

“While this article tends toward copywriting for the user experience as it pertains to the online world, you can apply it to other aspects of your brand as well. The most important point being to take the user, aka the person, reading what you’re writing into account from the get-go. Communicate for them first and foremost.” (Karen Goldfarb)

User Experience Engineering

“User experience is becoming a more and more specialized area of expertise, says Mayhew. IT departments need to invest in multidisciplinary teams and then provide a work environment that fosters mutual respect, collaboration, and highly effective teamwork among them. Training can be one very effective way to support this agenda.” (Kurt Marko – Processor) – courtesy of usabilitynews

Mining the Web for Feelings, Not Facts

“The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression. For computer scientists, this fast-growing mountain of data is opening a tantalizing window onto the collective consciousness of Internet users. An emerging field known as sentiment analysis is taking shape around one of the computer world’s unexplored frontiers: translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data.” (Alex WrightNYT)

Interactions and Relationships

“(…) I was asked to do a session that addressed the everyday reality that managers of user experience live in, to reflect on that reality, and to share some approaches and ideas for that reality. I decided to focus largely on some of the interactions and relationships that comprise that everyday reality, but particularly those by managers intent on enabling experience research and design to play a strategic role in their companies.” (Richard Andersonriander)

What is Design Thinking Anyway?

“Toward the end of the nineteenth century, American philosophers such as William James and John Dewey began to explore the limits of formal declarative logic — that is, inductive and deductive reasoning. They were less interested in how one declares a statement true or false than in the process by which we come to know and understand. To them, the acquisition of knowledge was not an abstract, purely conceptual exercise, but one involving interaction with and inquiry into the world around them. Understanding did not entail progress toward an absolute truth but rather an evolving interaction with a context or environment.” (Roger Martin – Design Observer)

How to Understand Your Users with Personas

“Personas are a powerful tool for helping you to better understand the needs of your users. In this comic, drawn exclusively for Think Vitamin, you’ll learn more about Personas and how they’ll revolutionize the way you design and build web sites.” (Brad Colbow – ThinkVitamin) – courtesy of jjursa

The Value of Visual Thinking

“Being able to think visually, break down complex ideas and synthesize them into something meaningful is my forte. It’s a skill that has landed me in the company of the smart and capable folks I currently work with. More importantly, I took whatever abilities I had and I gave them over to my ecosystem. In any social system, you always come to the table offering something of value rather than seeking it.” (David Armano)