All posts from
July 2011

Requirements-Driven Software Development Must Die

Function follows feature follows user.

“The process by which most enterprise software is developed is fatally flawed. There are flaws in any software development process, but in the past 13 years I’ve seen one approach produce more bad software and blow more budgets than any other: requirements-driven software development. Thankfully, I’ve also had the opportunity to see the success of an alternative type of process, a process in which user experience design drives what gets developed. This type of process helps teams deliver good software on time and within their budgets.”

(Fred Beecher a.k.a. @fred_beecher ~ Evantage Consulting)

The UX of Learning

Remember the days of computer-based training, courseware and instructional systems design.

“Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process. So let’s learn a thing or two about learning itself. (…) Far from being monopolized by schools, learning is an essential human activity. Empathizing with and supporting users as they traverse the many stages of learning fosters happier users and a more profitable business.”

(Tyler Tate a.k.a. @tylertate ~ A List Apart)

A Service Design Approach Is Required To Deliver Great Customer Experiences

For commercial contexts, that’s true. But there is so much more…

“Internally focussed business tools, processes and systems are often thought about and designed in isolation from the design of the things customers interact with. Or to put this another way, projects that focus on improving the customer experience often don’t fully consider the tools, processes and systems staff use in the delivery of the experience.”

(Iain Barker ~ @Iain_barker ~ Meld Studios)

The Fold Exists but Does it Matter?

Paradigms from paper technology (like ‘The Page’) are deeply rooted in our minds.

“Content decisions should be driving the design of each page. As people scan the page, they are looking for content that seems relevant. Following this information scent should lead them below the fold if that is where their target content exists.”

(Emily Smith a.k.a. @emilysmith ~ Design Festival)
courtesy of ronderksen

What is Cross-channel?

Or what a lot of reading, days of conversations and writing a book can do to your use of terms.

“Cross-channel is not about technology, or marketing, nor it is limited to media-related experiences: it’s a systemic change in the way we experience reality. The more the physical and the digital become intertwined, the more designing successful cross-channel user experiences becomes crucial.”

(Andrea Resmini)

Why Mobile UX Is More Than Users On-The-Go

I love the phrase “Jakob Nielsen has long been at the forefront of information architecture innovation.”

“It’s a common misconception that UX for mobile is all about creating something for users on-the-go – users with little time, checking in on their mobile on the train or at the bus stop waiting for a bus. But today’s mobile user is so much more than that, with the rise in tablet usage further contributing to the growth and variety of their needs. No longer can UX practitioners expect to satisfy the mobile user with added pinch-and-zoom functionality or bigger call-to-action buttons; these things are expected, and don’t improve UX. So as mobile use continues to grow in popularity and capability, how can we better appeal to a mobile audience?”

(Laura Hampton ~ UX Magazine)

Web Content Strategy: Sites vs Apps

Labels, copy, and paragraphs are all text. Where’s the strategy for all the other content?

“Content strategists should work with interface and UX designers to minimize these changes, by considering what future features and updates are likely to appear in the app. With this knowledge, the interface and labels can be designed to minimize changes in position or text.”

(Dan Zambonini a.k.a. @zambonini ~ contentini)

The UX of User Stories: Part 2

A lot of things stories can do. Make sure they do.

“Within the everyday chaos of an average design project, part of what makes stories so valuable is their nimbleness and flexibility. They can easily be ordered, re-ordered, and grouped in any number of ways depending on your current need, such as by category, priority, complexity, sprint, or whatever, and you can do this in a highly ad-hoc manner. Team members can use the same card for everything from affinity diagrams to product road maps to scrum boards and on and on. But this level of flexibility also has drawbacks.”

(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)

Transforming User Experience

Raising the bar. I might consider to change the goal of ‘compelling user experiences’ into ‘transformative user experiences’.

“Although the initial discussion of transformation focused on the changes planned for the museum, she also discussed the desired transformation that visitors to the museum would experience. She noted that individual transformation was unique to each person and the result of not only the experience offered by the museum, but by each person’s frame of reference, personal interpretation of the information, and their culture and background.”

(Karen Bachmann a.k.a. @karenbachmann ~ Perficient)

What we can learn about service design from Google+

The impact of G+ is noticed on the social web and beyond.

“The tools that weave themselves deepest into the way humans communicate, do so with our help. The designer releases their invention into the world with a few bold statements, and then it’s up to us to tell them what the significance of the tool is, and how best to use it. Google+ is no exception: it’s a relatively compact first release of just a few core concepts. Like many, I look forward to watching millions of people build on these concepts with improvised hacks, shorthand and other homemade enhancements, to complete a product story started by what may have been just a few dozen in Mountain View. When taking a look at some of the decisions Google made, I found five ideas worth keeping in mind when designing any new service.”

(Chris Palmieri a.k.a. @cpalmieri ~ AQ)

The End of Client Services

G+ is a great example of the importance of UX in social.

“(…) a new economic paradigm in which the act of producing and consuming are one and the same, and he believes it’s upon us right now. I subscribe to this theory, and I believe its most fascinating expression takes the form of social software, in which there is no consumption unless its users produce, and there is no production unless its users consume. The secret sauce that starts this virtuous cycle is not just technology, but also user experience design.”

(Khoi Vinh ~ Subtraction)

What is Service Design?

Having an eagle eye reading through it might improve the post.

“Service Design is still a relatively new and emerging field within the design industry. Many people are unsure what exactly service design is and how it helps their business and their customers. Put simply, service design is planning, organizing and improvement of a service. Service design is not just about fixing the existing services of an organization, it is also used to provide new and innovative ways to fill unmet customers need.”

(Gary Davies ~ Article Base)

Designing for Content: Creating a Message Hierarchy

In the end, hierarchy will be replaced by network.

“When we integrate content creation early in our web development processes, we are more effective at orienting our conversations to the end goals for the user and the business. This is a huge win for our users, who are increasingly demanding meaningful content experiences before they engage with our web sites and apps. It’s also vital to businesses, whose success depends on communicating value in ways that convert bystanders to buyers.”

(Stephanie Hay a.k.a. @steph_hay ~ Web Standards Sherpa)

Visual Designers Are Just As Important As UX Designers

Always thought perception was an integral part of feeding the experience.

“Conceptually I believe you can break design into tangible and abstract activities. Tangible design typically draws on the artistic skills of the designer and results in some kind of visually pleasing artefact. This is what most people imagine when they think of design and it covers graphic design, typography and visual identity.”

(Andy Budd a.k.a. @andybudd ~ Blogography)

The UX of User Stories, Part 1

Reminds me of scenario-based design of John Carroll.

“If you are a UX designer who wants to quickly get up to speed with integrating Agile and UX, there are few better places to start than with User Stories. They are both a quintessential embodiment of Agile thinking (i.e. if you understand User Stories, you understand Agile thinking) and a potential power tool for a UX designer on an Agile team. But like any tool, they can be both highly useful and help your team be highly effective, or, if you have no idea how stories work, cause some serious damage, especially to the UX dimension of your product. So, if you’re using User Stories or thinking about adopting them as a tool, here are ten tips to help UX designers understand User Stories (we’ll just call them Stories from hereon) and wield them to both yours and the team’s benefit.”

(Anders Ramsey a.k.a. @andersramsay)

The CSS of Design Storytelling: Context, Spine, and Structure

And I thought CSS meant something else in Design.

“(…) to be a really good storyteller, you need to understand three basic concepts: Context, Spine, and Structure (CSS). Each is critical and necessary, and all three need to work together.”

(Tracy Lepore a.k.a. @TraciUXD ~ UXmatters)

Site Search Analytics: A Conversation with Lou Rosenfeld

Adding some more buzz to the launch.

“Lou Rosenfeld’s newest book, Search Analytics for Your Site: Conversations with Your Customers, has been the subject of more prelaunch buzz than most UX books have gotten this year. It seemed everyone was tweeting, talking, or speculating about it before the ink had even had a chance to dry. And, true to the hype, this book delivers in spades. If you read one book this year to hone your craft, add value to your UX practice, or enable you to help your clients, this is the one! Lou recently found some time in his very hectic schedule to sit down and talk with me about his book and the burgeoning practice of site search analytics (SSA).”

(Kristina Mausser a.k.a. @krismausser ~ UXmatters)

Intranet Portals: Personalization Hot, Mobile Weak, Governance Essential

The term ‘portal’ sounds a little old-fashioned; just like ‘intranet’.

“Nineteen new case studies of enterprise portals find slow growth in new features; the focus is on robust integration and formalizing governance.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Five Essential Principles of Interaction Design

Adobe now moves into interaction design. Can’t wait for their classes on UX, IA or CS.

“Understand what interaction design is and how the five essential principals of interaction design could help you make better interaction design decisions. This quick introduction will help you get started thinking about how to design your interfaces in the most effective way with the behavior of the user in mind.”

(Adobe TV)

User experience research and practice: Two different planets?

Keynote presentation by longtime reseacher of MUX (‘Mobile UX’). Afterwards, the two planets (research and practice) kept their distance.

“Good user experience is increasingly important for profitable business: once utility and usability are taken for granted, successful companies design for experiences. But how to manage the fuzzy thing called user experience in product development? Can UX research help UX work in practice? This talk discusses the impact of business goals on UX research and the transfer of UX research results into practice.”

(Virpi Roto ~ Chi Sparks 2011 videos)