All posts from
February 2011

Co-Designing Interactive Spaces for and with Designers: Supporting Mood-board Making

“This thesis explores why and how designers use mood boards in the early stages of the design process, and how augmented reality can support mood boarding by following a user-centered design approach. The main research questions in this thesis are: (1) what are MBs and why do designers use them, and (2) how can AR tools provide support for professional users in their work. Mood boarding is explored in depth by means of interviews with Dutch and Finnish practicing designers. The knowledge gained in these interviews is fed into co-design sessions with Dutch and Finnish designers in which researchers and end-users (i.e. designers) create augmented reality tools that support mood boarding. The co-designed tools are later evaluated to address the two research questions. In terms of the complete research process, this work also leads to an improved understanding of using different user-centered design methods (i.e. cultural probes, workshops, contextual inquiries, interviews, co-design sessions, prototyping) when trying to unveil the needs of users.” (Andres Lucero Vera)

CS Forum podcast episode 1: Gerry McGovern

“There is nothing more important on the web than content. But don’t talk about it. Talk about the success of the customer or the lack of success of the customer. Because most organizations realize today that if they’re not customer centric, they don’t have much of a future.” (Randall Snare ~ CS Forum 2011)

STC: Content Strategy SIG

“The Content Strategy SIG is to be the STC home for members who are practitioners in this new space. The SIG is the forum in which to establish and develop the practice area of content strategy, particularly as it pertains to technical communication, to provide resources that prepare STC members wanting to transition to this as a career option, and to allow SIG members to support one another as practitioners as the field develops. Additionally, artifacts may be developed that allows practitioners to build a body of knowledge specifically pertaining to content strategy. The Content Strategy SIG was inaugurated in September 2009. As a new SIG, we are actively seeking members.” (Society for Technical Communication) ~ dead-on-arrival

Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale: User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications

“More and more products and services are being deployed on the web, and this presents new challenges and opportunities for measurement of user experience on a large scale. There is a strong need for user-centered metrics for web applications, which can be used to measure progress towards key goals, and drive product decisions. In this note, we describe the HEART framework for user-centered metrics, as well as a process for mapping product goals to metrics. We include practical examples of how HEART metrics have helped product teams make decisions that are both data-driven and user-centered. The framework and process have generalized to enough of our company’s own products that we are confident that teams in other organizations will be able to reuse or adapt them. We also hope to encourage more research into metrics based on large-scale behavioral data.” (Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu ~ Google Research)

Mobile Design Patterns: Interaction Models

“A model describing the method of user interaction with a device and its UI. Mobile devices typically use one of two models—direct or indirect manipulation. More recently, devices have been designed which also respond to gestural interactions.” (Forum Nokia)

Design Strategies for Brand Landing Pages on Mobile Devices

“On the desktop Web, ecommerce landing pages get a bum rap—sometimes well deserved. Laden with ads and gimmicks, pushing items with higher markups, and confusing customers with complicated information architectures, these marketing monstrosities typically strongly underperform the search results pages from a simple keyword search. However, passing a death sentence on all landing pages may be premature. On the small screens of mobile devices, well-designed landing pages can provide a much better experience than keyword search results. Currently, few mobile sites use landing pages, which makes them the next big mobile ecommerce opportunity.” (Greg Nudelman ~ UXmatters)

Content and Clout: A Chat with Colleen Jones

“There’s a big difference between persuasion, or influence, and manipulation. People have experienced much interactive marketing (…) as a collection of manipulative tricks—to the point that the connotations of marketing and advertising are now almost synonymous with lying. That really needs to change.” (Kristina Mausser ~ UXmatters)

Prospecting in the 21st century

“Service design is the natural progression from UX – taking interactions across platforms and concentrating on the invisible and tangible connections around customer or user interactions. Information architects should be at the heart of this design work and don’t be surprised to start to see IAs appear in companies that you didn’t even think of as ‘digital’. (…) It is not just interface design. It is not just about making the world more usable and ethically correct. It’s all this and more. It is a force for changing business in its approach and to make it economically stable by providing for needs but also satisfying wants beyond the present day. This is the business value of UX. How you interpret the data you collect, and create something truly unique, relies on the teams skill set and experience.” (James Kelway ~ user pathways) | courtesy of petermorville

Effective Design Documentation Without a Fuss

An Interview with Dan Brown – “Design documentation is shorthand for the collection of techniques to capture and communicate design ideas to other people on the design team. Those ideas may be half-baked or they may be well-cooked, and designers have various reasons for creating documentation.” (Brad Nunnally ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)

Non-Profit Organization Websites: Increasing Donations and Volunteering

“Giving money on charity websites is 7% harder than spending money on e-commerce sites. Donating physical items is even harder. For non-profit websites, social media is secondary; the top priority is to write clearer content.” (Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Content Strategy and UX: A Modern Love Story

“Why the gold rush? The answer is pretty simple: it’s inherently impossible to design a great user experience for bad content. If you’re passionate about creating better user experiences, you can’t help but care about delivering useful, usable, engaging content.” (Kristina Halvorson ~ UX magazine)

The Untold Story of How My Dad Helped Invent the First Mac

“Jef Raskin, my father, helped develop the Macintosh, and I was recently looking at some of his old documents and came across his February 16, 1981 memo detailing the genesis of the Macintosh. It was written in reaction to Steve Jobs taking over managing hardware development. Reading through it, I was struck by a number of the core principals Apple now holds that were set in play three years before the Macintosh was released. Much of this is particularly important in understanding Apple’s culture and why we have the walled-garden experience of the iPhone, iPad, and the App Store.” (Aza Raskin)

Interaction Design Association in Europe

“Throughout Europe, the dialogue on Interaction Design in academia and business is pursued from many different angles, nurtured by the region’s great diversity of national identities and socio-economic conditions. To allow IxDA to effectively utilize those kinds of regional premises, the global organization has assigned Coordinators for the worlds main geographical areas. In Europe, the Regional Coordination promotes to embrace the areas diversity and encourages cross-national collaboration amongst its chapters to facilitate a broad and manifold dialogue on Interaction Design.” (IxDA European Region)

Content Strategy Is Not User Experience

“(…) content people who come from or work in the UX world say content strategy and mean bits of all of the above, but with user-centered design at the core of the work. Product design becomes feature design; messaging and branding become content goals and style guides; data modeling becomes content templates and page tables.” (Erin Kissane ~ Brain Traffic)

User expectations are important

“A key principle within usability is that people carry around a ‘mental model’ of how we expect the world to behave. These models are based on past experiences and can be a very powerful factor in influencing how people behave in certain situations. In our experience of usability testing, usability suffers when a site does not match users’ expectations. Indeed, our usability testing sessions have repeatedly shown that breaking expectations makes users unhappy.” (Tim Fidgeon ~ Spotless Interactive) courtesy of usabilitynews

Persuasion in Design

“Persuasion in design is often regarded as a subset of UX, but it goes beyond UX and the mechanics of traditional usability. It’s about understanding the emotions that influence people’s behavior and decision-making, and then acting on that information to design compelling user interactions. Persuasive design applies psychological principles of influence, decision-making in a consumer context, engagement strategy, and social psychology to every stage of the design process, and it identifies potential barriers and emotional triggers to elicit the desired actions.” (Elisa Del Galdo ~ UX magazine)

Guide to Website Navigation Design Patterns

“In web design, there are certain common design patterns that are used for interaction. Site navigation has a wide variety of common and familiar design patterns that can be used as a foundation for building effective information architecture for a website. This guide covers popular site navigation design patterns. For each site navigation design pattern, we will discuss its common characteristics, its drawbacks, and when best to use it.” (Cameron Chapman ~ Six Revisions)