All posts from
November 2010

Why Design Education Must Change

“Today, however, designers work on organizational structure and social problems, on interaction, service, and experience design. Many problems involve complex social and political issues. As a result, designers have become applied behavioral scientists, but they are woefully undereducated for the task. Designers often fail to understand the complexity of the issues and the depth of knowledge already known. (…) The uninformed are training the uninformed.” (Donald A. Norman ~ Core77)

Usability testing is broken: Rethinking user research for social interaction design

“Everything is social. Scale is the game changer. Tasks aren’t what you think they are. User satisfaction may be about control. Users are continuously designing your UI. I invite you to work with me on rethinking how we’re doing user research and usability testing for what’s really happening in the world: fluid, context-dependent, relationships mediated by technology. (…) The nature of online is social.” (Dana Chisnell ~ Usability Testing)

Access Ability: A practical handbook on accessible graphic design

“All design by definition promotes accessibility. Graphic designers try to make printed messages clearer, websites more navigable, physical environments easier to negotiate. As a profession, we’re committed to providing easier access – to information, to ideas, to public spaces – through smarter, more effective communications engaging the widest possible audience. Or at least everyone we’re hoping to reach. (…) Our goal is not to prescribe a set of rules for accessible design. Practical guides that try to be categorical end up being, at best, targets for rebuttal – or simply doorstops. So our aim is not to tell professional designers what to do, but rather to remind all of us how we could be doing better.” (Accessible Graphic Design)

Information overload, the early years

“Beneath all this concern lies the sense that humanity is experiencing an unprecedented change — that modern technology is creating a problem that our culture and even our brains are ill equipped to handle. We stand on the brink of a future that no one can ever have experienced before. But is it really so novel?” (Ann Blair) courtesy of corydoctorow

Content Strategy Will Make or Break Your Process

Karen McGrane and Jeff Eaton presentation ~ “User experience is key, and applying the basic principals we know about human-centric design can help give information and how it’s processed the place it deserves. By factoring this into pre-planning, task optimization, and above all communication, a beautiful site can have beautiful content without the last-minute chaos state.” (Duo Consulting)

The Art and Science of Influential Web Content: An Interview with Colleen Jones

“The goal is helping people make good decisions and then act on those decisions. The goal is matching a business, product, or idea with users who are interested in and can benefit from it, then act on it. The goal is being a trusted advisor to users, not controllers of users’ minds. (…) Content strategy is more than a set of skills. It’s a mindset and a process. I would advise anyone interested to focus on that first, then worry about the skills. Skills, tools, and tips constantly change and are hard to use properly without understanding the mindset and process first.” (Peachpit)

Internet Skills: Vital Assets in an Information Society

“This dissertation is about being able to keep up with the digitalization of contemporary society. It starts with a brief historical overview of changes in communication technologies and the increasing demands they have put on users. Special attention in this chapter is given to the communication technology that in a relatively short periode of time has vastly changed the way information is collected and used: the Internet.” (Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen)

Designing for Content Management Systems

“Designing and indeed front-end development for a website that will have content edited by non-technical users poses some problems over and above those you will encounter when developing a site where you have full control over the output mark-up. However, most clients these days want to be able to manage their own content, so most designers will find that some, if not all, of their designs end up as templates in some kind of CMS.” (Rachel Andrew ~ Smashing Magazine)

Micro Copy: Content Strategy and Writing the User Interface

“When we think about writing, planning or implementing copy for the web, most of us probably picture longer form text: blogs, about pages and information on products and services. As content strategists we audit websites and try to come up with holistic content solutions for our clients. But apart from Help content, we rarely talk about the expanding world of web applications and the implications of user interface copy for our practice.” (Contentini)

Applying Lessons from UML to UX

“Software Engineering is typically much more formal than User Experience in they way they model an application before development begins. After pseudo code, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) is probably the most widely used modeling language among software engineers. It has developed from other object‑based analysis and design languages over a period of many years and provides software engineers with a visual language that describes the design of a system at multiple levels.” (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)

Web Content That Persuades and Motivates

“In this article, I am going to explore the written Web site content whose purpose is to cause prospective customers to take action—or that results in their not taking action—from the perspective of its achieving a company’s sales and marketing goals. This discussion assumes the company has a service or product to sell. If you’’re not interested in the motivational aspects of sales psychology and what their proper use can do to help a company’s sales efforts, then stop right here, because you will not like this article.” (Chandler Turner ~ UXmatters)

Winning in the Marketplace: How Much User Experience Effort Does It Take?

“User experience encompasses all aspects of users’ interactions with a company, its services, and its products. Prioritizing user advocacy from the beginning of a product design process puts users at the center of the process and ensures their needs are foremost in all UX design decisions.” (Sean Van Tyne ~ UXmatters)

Wireframes are dead, long live rapid prototyping

“Wireframes, your time is up. You’ve served your purpose. You’ve brought order where there was once chaos and provided gainful employment for thousands of UX designers, but I’m afraid now it’s time for you to go to the big recycling bin in the sky. You’re just no longer cut out for the cut and thrust of UX design and have been replaced by that young upstart called rapid prototyping. In this article I argue why you too should ditch wireframes and embrace rapid prototyping.” (Neil Turner ~ UX for the masses)

On UX and advertising

“Peter Merholz’s rant The Pernicious Effects of Advertising and Marketing Agencies Trying To Deliver User Experience Design is bold, uncomfortable and dogmatic, as all rants should be.” (Cennydd Bowles)

Beyond Roleplay; Theatrical Tools in Service Design

“The links between service design and theater are clear, frequently cited, and often misunderstood. We explore the practical differences between simple role play and iterative rehearsal – a powerful tool which can be used to both analyse and develop service experiences.”

The MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium (1995)

“The MIT/Brown Vannevar Bush Symposium was held October 12-13, 1995, at MIT, marking the 50th anniversary of Vannevar Bush’s seminal article “As We May Think” (Atlantic Monthly, July 1945). The video archives from the lectures and panel discussions from that Symposium are now available online as part of the Doug Engelbart Archives collection at the Internet Archive as follows. Refer to Symposium program for title and abstract for each talk, as well as speaker bios, and panel notes; speakers’ slides were captured but can no longer be viewed.” (Douglas Engelbart Institute)

Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences

“As physical and digital interactions intertwine, new challenges for digital product designers and developers, as well as, industrial designers and architects are materializing. While well versed in designing navigation, organization, and labelling of websites and software, professionals are faced the crucial challenge of how to apply these techniques to information systems that cross communication channels that link the digital world to the physical world.” (Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati ~ Pervasive IA)