All posts from
March 2012

Extending the Experience Beyond the Device

And beyond technology as well. All through design.

“Over the last few years, the popularity of UX has grown by leaps and bounds. Companies have come to realize the importance of offering engaging experiences to their users, lest they risk losing them to competitors that have invested time and money into improving their product and service experiences. An interesting side effect of this enhanced focus on UX is that it has helped make users more sophisticated. This, however, can be a double-edged sword; as users become more sophisticated their expectations also increase, and UX professionals must find new ways to meet these elevated expectations. One way to achieve this is to extend the experience beyond the device.”

(Tim R. Todish a.k.a. @t3b ~ UX Magazine)

Usability engineers versus Designer: The process problem

Still wondering what the usability engineer actually does. Nielsen term, usability engineering.

“Usability Engineers may be great designers or maybe crap designers but as long as they include objective design rationale for their proposed solutions they will always be helpful.”

(Jonathan Arnowitz ~ Stroomt Journal) ~ courtesy of luctiemessen

Mobile Is Not a Channel – It’s an Attitude

Channel, platform, or touchpoint? I’m getting all confused with the new cross-lingo.

“Mobile is not a channel because I don’t believe that consumers are making a distinction between their mobile and their fixed Internet experiences – from a consumer perspective, it’s the same Internet accessed through different devices. (…) Let’s stop talking about mobile as a separate channel and start designing digital experiences that incorporate mobile the way it obviously needs to be done.”

(Laurel Erickson a.k.a. @erxn ~ Enlighten)

The State of the Content Industry

Content (the stuff formerly known as information) has always been my reason to go to the WWW.

InfoDesign WebGem #6,400 – “At the forefront of this shift is the re-emergence of original, quality content and the surge in brands acting as publishers. Add to this changing landscape a redefining of journalism, shaped by social media, and the latest disruption in the broadcast industry, and media analysts see an industry that is both exciting and unsettling.”

(Patrick Burke ~ The Content Strategist a.k.a. @contently)

The De-Evolution of UX Design

Reads like blowing the last post on UX design. Or is it IA?

“It’s been seven years since I took that first step into IA, and, sadly, it seems that the practice of understanding and prioritizing information before designing the interface has been abandoned. And because of that, we are facing a huge problem in the world of UX, which is, simply put, that we are devolving.”

(Lis Hubert a.k.a. @lishubert ~ UX Magazine)

Is your organization design ready?

The idea remains: UX is an organizational challenge, not a design one.

“Let’s presume for the moment that interaction design can be perfected and delivered to your organization in a tidy, shiny bundle of brilliance. Have you now got a magic talisman that will protect you from competition and summon market share? Of course not. Design is just the beginning.”

(Chris Noessel a.k.a. @chrisnoessel ~ Cooper Journal) ~ courtesy of willemijnprins

A/B Testing, Usability Engineering, Radical Innovation: What Pays Best?

It looks scientific, but it’s not.

“Three approaches to better design: each has its uses, but the costs, benefits, and risks differ dramatically.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Visual aesthetics in human-computer interaction and interaction design

Everything that pleases the eye.

“To scholars and practitioners in the field of HCI at the early 1990’s, the idea that aesthetics matter in information technology sounded heretic. Two decades later, in the early 2010s, this thought has conquered a solid place in both academia and industry.”

(Noam Tractinsky a.k.a. ~ interaction-design.org)

The Elements Of Navigation

The spacial metaphor of information environments (a.k.a. architecture) is strong. Even within mobile apps.

“This article is about the tiniest of details that goes into creating the main centerpiece of your digital product – the construction of the elements of your navigation. This is the most important aid you can possibly give to your users as they are constantly seeking a reason to walk out on you.”

(Petter Silfver a.k.a. @psilfver ~ Smashing Magazine)

Design Factory: Creative Design with Industrial Approach

Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).

“Digital strategy touches every fiber of your operation. We firmly believe that it takes a systematic approach that’s woven into your organizational fabric to deliver compelling customer experiences – an approach comprising a recurring cycle of ideation, design, development and evaluation (…) The Design Factory is a methodical, structured design capability that comprises people, processes and tools. It infuses your organization with the creativity, agility and efficiency to successfully execute your digital strategy – from conceiving innovative solutions through to using robust and scalable approaches for design and specification.”

(About Informaat, experience design)

Forrester Report: Digital Customer Experience Improvement Requires A Systematic Approach

Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands).

Industrialize Processes In Support Of A Digital Customer Experience Strategy – “To consistently meet or exceed customers’ expectations, firms must take a systematic approach to digital customer experience management. In conducting in-depth interviews with 16 business professionals, Forrester found that several of these companies had adopted some best practices for digital design that delivered improvements in customer experience – leading to improved business results through increased revenues, improved loyalty, greater customer engagement, and reduced costs. However, no organization had a mature, systematic approach to consistently differentiate through superior digital customer experience. For firms to turn their digital customer experience into a sustainable source of competitive advantage, they must define a digital customer experience strategy and introduce robust tools and repeatable methodologies to support it.”

(About Informaat, experience design)

Talking Out Loud Is Not the Same as Thinking Aloud

Old wisdom: What people say is (often) not what they think.

“(…) get your participants to think aloud, but encourage comments that illuminate the problem space – because that’s what usability testing is all about.”

(Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)

User Experience Cannot Be Designed

Besides DTDT and “There is no such thing as…”, we also have “(…) can’t be designed” as a recurring theme.

“User experience has been getting a lot of attention these days, but many businesses are confused about the actual meaning of it. In my opinion, it can be defined as the summation of different considerations i.e. defining the information structure, enabling the users to manipulate the data/information, and communicate the different possibilities to the users.”

(Cygnis Media)

No more information architecture?

Comments more interesting than post.

“I wrote a piece a while back that there was a “war” of sorts going on between (among?) information achitects (who frequently came out of the library science, writing, or HCI fields), usability experts, and “designers,” and by that, I mean makers of pretty pictures and high concepts (frequently designers who came out of a classic design-for-print-ads field). Judging by the posts I’ve seen on this forum, the job listings (and requirements) in the general field, and, oddly enough, feedback I’ve gotten from users, “information architects” have lost the field and retired – IMHO to the detriment of the discipline. (And I’m talking here about websites and web apps, kiosks, smart phones, etc., not hand-held devices and products or things like menu structuring for DVD players or car audio systems.)”

(IxDA Forum)

What is Design Thinking and Why Do Entrepreneurs Need to Care?

Design thinking is thinking about conducting the business. For some…

“Design thinking seems to be all the rage in business and entrepreneurship circles, but the momentum has been building for over 13 years. (…) The beauty of design thinking is that it works best under conditions of uncertainty-when you really don’t know where to start. It’s a methodology that is very messy in practice but does allow for a systematic approach to creating new opportunities. In my opinion, every entrepreneur is a designer.”

(Heidi Neck ~ BostInno) – courtesy of jameskalbach

Adaptive Content for Multiple Devices

The more you chunk it, the better is gets. Up to a certain level of granularity.

“Adaptive content lets you automatically provide your content anytime, anywhere, and on any device. Adaptive content is limited only by your design decisions, the functionality of the device being used, and the intelligence of your content.”

(Ann Rockley a.k.a. @arockley)

Honoring and supporting Belgian Internet pioneers

Justice will be done to those with universal ideas and visions.

“Decades before the creation of the World Wide Web, Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine envisaged a paper archival system of the world’s information. They built a giant international documentation centre called Mundaneum, with the goal of preserving peace by assembling knowledge and making it accessible to the entire world. For us at Google, this mission sounds familiar.”

(Google | Official blog)

The Myth of Interaction Design

A professional identity is not something you get instantly. You have to work for it and grow.

“(…) we can make ourselves part of the solution. The first step in doing so is to take a minute, stop and think. We need to, at a minimum, take the time to understand human capabilities. That is really what user research is all about.”

(Elisabeth Hubert a.k.a. @lishubert)