All posts from
May 2012

Engelbart’s Violin

And boy, what a symphonies did it bring us.

“In the mind of today’s technological entrepreneur, the ideal user (and employee) is semi-skilled – or unskilled entirely. The ideal user interface for such a person never rewards learning or experience when doing so would come at the cost of immediate accessibility to the neophyte. This design philosophy is a mistake – a catastrophic, civilization-level mistake. There is a place in the world for the violin as well as the kazoo. Modern computer engineering is kazoo-only, and keyboards are only the most banal example of this fact. Far more serious – though less obvious – problems of this kind tie our hands and wastefully burn our ‘brain cycles’. Professional equipment, whose mastery requires dedication and mental flexibility, may not be appropriate for casual users. But surely it is appropriate – in fact, necessary – for professionals? Just why is this idea confined to crackpots shouting in the wilderness? I hope to learn a definitive answer to this conundrum some day.”

(Stanislav Datskovskiy ~ Loper OS)

Content Strategy: in 3D!

Just looking for my stereoscopic goggles.

“Content strategists have been leading the charge on how to deliver a consistent message across channels. The advent of smaller, cheaper technology is making it possible for every surface to be a new channel. Sensors such as the Microsoft Kinect depth-sensing camera are removing the need for complex input devices or even touchscreens. The more that physical environments gain digital and interactive dimensions, the more important it is to provide clear, focused storytelling that has been considered carefully. The strategies that have become codified over time for the web and are helping us with the transition to the mobile web also provide us with a powerful framework to design great experiences in physical environments.”

(Scott Smith ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Modelling Information Experiences

Next up, design models for content experiences.

“Information architecture relates to science as its models draw on insights and theories of cognition. And its models relate to art as they aim to create a meaningful experience. Both aspects are important. Only if IA models manage to blend science and art can they touch the head and the heart.”

(Kai Weber a.k.a. @techwriterkai ~ Kai’s Tech Writing Blog)

Bringing Drama to Service Design

A kind of method acting.

“We spoke with Adam StJohn Lawrence, who describes himself as a a customer experience and service design consultant, a professional comedian and an actor. Together with service innovator Markus Hormess working under the name of Work•Play•Experience, they use unique theatrical tools to help companies turn good services into memorable service experiences.”

(Design Transitions)

Content strategy in 600 words

That’s easy, just six hundred words.

“My master’s thesis, is an insightful look at content strategy effectiveness, including web writing, aesthetics, information architecture, social media, information design, and usability. The research focus was on college and university websites, but much of the information is applicable to nearly any industry.”

(Gary Teagarden a.k.a. @garyteagarden ~ Teagarden-tech)

The History Of Usability: From Simplicity To Complexity

Complexity increases when objects and their relations are added all the time and at multiple levels of abstraction.

“The story of usability is a perverse journey from simplicity to complexity. That’s right, from simplicity to complexity – not the other way around. (…) Usability is a messy, ill-defined, and downright confusing concept.”

(Mads Soegaard ~ Smashing Magazine) ~ courtesy of janjursa

A Social Web of Things

Interesting European initiative.

“Back in 2008 we started working with some projects involving interaction design for large networks of connected products and services. Not Internet of Things-ish stuff, but in that direction. The challenge was to come up with a graphical user interface which was both scalable and very easy to understand. Or that was what we thought the challenge was to begin with.”

(Ericsson User Experience Lab Blog) ~ courtesy of markvanderbeeken

Publication Standards: A Standard Future

Going back to The Document as the base concept.

“It’s never been a better time to be a writer. Anybody can publish their thoughts. Anybody can write a book and publish it on demand. Authors can reach out to readers, and enriching, fulfilling conversations can blossom around the connections we develop out of the things we make.”

(Nick Disabato a.k.a. @nickd ~ A List Apart)

(Re)consider the Source

Rule: verify the facts from three independent sources.

“People turn more often to digital content but don’t necessarily trust it. Why? One reason is that people judge the credibility of content by the credibility of its source. Let’s take a closer look at the role of source in perceived credibility.”

(Colleen Jones a.k.a. @leenjones ~ Contents Magazine)

Signs UX Research Is Making an Impact

Lights at the end of the tunnel.

“For a UX professional, one of the hardest things to measure is how much stakeholders and clients have bought into UX research. There is no clear, quantifiable answer to this question. Nevertheless, there are several signs that indicate stakeholder engagement, uptake, and buy-in. This article identifies some of these signs.”

(Tomer Sharon a.k.a. @tsharon ~ UXmatters)

There Is No Such Thing as UX Strategy

Now UX Strategy is the subject for this DTDT format.

“In the minds of many UX professionals – at the levels of both members of UX teams and UX executives – there is no such thing as UX strategy. But based on the scenarios that I’ve described in this column – all of which I’ve taken from real-life situations – the felt absence of UX strategy indicates that it urgently needs to become a reality.”

(Paul Bryan a.k.a. @paulbryan ~ UXmatters)

Repurposing versus Optimized Design

Repurposing design or content has never a successful strategy.

“It’s cheap but degrading to reuse content and design across diverging media forms like print vs. online or desktop vs. mobile. Superior UX requires tight platform integration.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

5 Valuable Skills For UX Professionals

I can think of another 25 valuable skills. It takes at least 10.000 hours of work to become a real pro.

“The background, education and skills of professionals in User Experience are diverse. Regardless of whether you’re more on the research side or more on the design side of the User Experience, here are five skills that will make you more valuable and effective in your job.”

(Jeff Sauro a.k.a. @MsrUsability ~ Measuring Usability)

How to transform vision into value

Service design connects here to customer experience.

Presentation – “This presentation shines the light on what’s missing in turning A customer experience vision into tangible business value. How do you use all that is good and useful from typical customer experience approaches? How do you add commercial rigour and the hard core analytics in a way that one competency doesn’t dominate the other? What is the secret in bringing together the skills and perspectives that result in a great customer experience and an equally great commercial outcome?”

(Damian Kernahan a.k.a. @protopartners ~ Proto Partners)

Principles of User Interface Design

Scope is clear: the design of user interfaces.

“It contains a list of 20 or so design principles that I refer to all the time. This was a good way to get them down into one spot.. so I can point people there in the future.”

(Joshua Porter a.k.a. @bokardo)

Expressing UX Concepts Visually

One image, a thousand words. One word, a piece of the jigsaw puzzle.

“It is all too easy to create UX deliverables that are not visually pleasing. But UX expertise encompasses Web design, graphic design, and branding, so why should we be satisfied with mediocre design in our deliverables? When we present our personas, sitemaps, user flows, wireframes, and other design deliverables to our clients and stakeholders, it is our duty and responsibility to create well-designed deliverables.”

(Barnabas Nagy ~ UXmatters)

Understanding Information Architecture Differently

Conventional might be a better adjective than classical.

“(…) the practice of information architecture has confronted the need to solve the effects of information overload from its very beginning. It did not begin as a struggle for better user experiences, site planning, usability, or budgets. Information architecture arrived as a practice specifically to address the challenges that information abundance brought on within the context of the Internet. This is the seemingly narrow scope of information architecture through which the classic IA perspective survives.”

(Nathaniel Davis a.k.a. @iatheory ~ UXmatters)