All posts from
August 2012

Designing Solutions to Wicked Problems: A Manifesto for Transdisciplinary Research and Design

Impressed by the deep thinking behind this manifesto from 2009.

“Proceedings from the Designing Solutions to Wicked Problems symposium held on the 9th and 10th November 2009 at the Melbourne Town Hall with a compendium of provocations and commentaries. (…) We can aspire to design that contributes to a more sustainable future that delights the eye and the soul, and that transforms the everyday as much as it does the uncommon. Design at its essence is focused on the creation of meaning and solutions. To focus on those problems for which no easy solutions have yet been found is the true challenge which great design should meet.”

(Terry Cutler editor ~ DRI Research Institute)

Achieve Product-Market Fit with our Brand-New Value Proposition Designer

Seeing how business modelling integrates with design for experiences.

“I’m a big fan of the Lean Startup movement and love the underlying principle of testing, learning, and pivoting by experimenting with the most basic product prototypes imaginable – so-called Minimal Viable Products (MVP) – during the search for product-market fit. It helps companies avoid building stuff that customers don’t want. Yet, there is no underlying conceptual tool that accompanies this process. There is no practical tool that helps business people map, think through, discuss, test, and pivot their company’s value proposition in relationship to their customers’ needs. So I came up with the Value Proposition Designer (…)”

(Alexander Osterwalder a.k.a. @AlexOsterwalder ~ Business Model Alchemist)

Beyond Wireframing: The Real-Life UX Design Process

Following the UCD process in any form is no guarantee for success. No process is.

“We all know basic tenets of user-centered design. We recognize different research methods, the prototyping stage, as well as the process of documenting techniques in our rich methodological environment. The question you probably often ask yourself, though, is how it all works in practice?”

(Marcin Treder ~ Smashing Magazine)

How to Bake Content Strategy into Your Web Design Process

How can ‘developing content’ be a part of ‘content development’? Self-referencing.

“Let’s face it, content development is still a massively frustrating process.”

(James Deer a.k.a. @jamesdeer ~ Six Revisions)

How Transmedia Storytelling will Transform the Role of the Content Strategist

But… what’s The Story to tell.

“This report provides clear foundations for the future of content strategy. It means Content Strategists can no longer afford to specialise in just Digital or even Social Media. You will need to expand your skill set to include a deep understanding of above the line, mobile, games and offline experiences. Transmedia Storytelling is not a fad; it’s the convergence of media channels to meet the need of the user.”

(Kohlben Vodden a.k.a. @kohlben ~ WhatWorksWhere)

The 6 Disciplines Behind Consistently Great Customer Experiences

Congrats with the Forrester book on CX.

“The practices in the design discipline help organizations envision and then implement customer interactions that meet or exceed customer needs. It spans the complex systems of people, products, interfaces, services, and spaces that your customers encounter in retail locations, over the phone, or through digital media like websites and mobile apps. Design weeds out bad ideas early and focuses your customer experience efforts on changes that really matter to customers. By leveraging expertise and ideas from customers, employees, and partners, it encourages creative solutions–and helps avoid missteps by grounding those solutions in reality. “

(Harley Manning and Kerry Bodine ~ Fast.Co)

What is Digital Service Design?

Think system, not discrete nodes a.k.a. site, app or shop.

“Digital service design incorporates many existing disciplines – like web design, information architecture, user experience and content strategy. It is, if you like, an organising umbrella principle, in which all these disciplines can work together to build something that meets – and surpasses – user expectation. Perhaps most fundamentally, it’s about letting go of the website as the core idea of digital development, and thinking about service as something that can be delivered through any number of channels – some of them digital. Instead of fretting over your mobile strategy, you figure out how to express your service principles through a mobile device.”

(Adam Tinworth a.k.a. @adders ~ Next Berlin)

UX amateurism and why I’m not a UX designer anymore

In the end, honesty always prevails.

“But somehow, it’s not enough. Nor will it ever be. And where I’m aiming to go, unicorns and one-size-fits-all don’t seem to make sense. Maybe someday, I’ll find something I can identify with. But for now, I don’t think I can quite call myself a UX designer, because it’s getting harder to identify what I do as wholly UX. For what it’s worth, I am doing bits within UX – but I can’t claim fame to all of it.”

(Boon Yew Chew a.k.a. @boonych ~ GlueThink) ~ courtesy if petermorville

The First Design Hardly Ever Wins: The Iterative Approach to UX Design

Keep making it better, all the time.

“Since the rise of the Agile movement iteration became one of the hot words in the whole New Technologies industry. We’re encouraged to iterate, we should close iterations of our work every week or two. Iterations are simply everywhere.”

(Marcin Treder a.k.a. @marcintreder ~ DesignModo)

What Can SEO Learn From UX?

Or what algorithms can learn from heuristics.

“User Experience plays an early, fundamental role in guiding basic decisions that shape websites and digital products, and is increasingly afforded a seat at the table, so to speak. The reason UX is such a juggernaut is because of the multiple disciplines it encompasses—design, information architecture, usability engineering, interface design, content strategy, and research. In spite of its relative youth, UX as a discipline has grown exponentially in stature over the last few years.”

(Jessica Greco a.k.a. @grecasaurus ~ iAcquire)

The Difference Between Information Architecture and UX Design

Sigh.

“Information Architects work to create usable content structures out of complex sets of information. They do this using plenty of user-centered design methods: usability tests, persona research and creation, and user flow diagrams (to name only a few). That said, it still seems that UX design is in vogue. (…) UX builds on the foundation that IA provides, aiming to take that experience to the next level, both creatively and emotionally. This is the outstanding difference that defines how the apps, sites, and products of today are designed as opposed to those of yesterday.”

(Darren Northcott a.k.a. @darrennorthcott ~ UX Booth)

Enterprise Content Strategy Comes Down To Governance and Workflow

Enterprises, the new hunting grounds for experience design.

“The problem today is that this bastion of the Industrial Revolution remains as businesses try to mobilize their human capital for the content demands of an always connected marketplace. Further complicating matters, workforce downsizing and the flattening of corporate hierarchies in the mid 1990’s continues to cripple many organizations in their ability to deliver the content needed to be successful in the Information Age.”

(Kris Mausser a.k.a. @krismausser ~ Follow the UX leader)

Designing Screens Using Cores and Paths: Designing from the inside out

Patterns are the designer’s best friend.

“Typically in web design, the opposite approach is the rule: designers begin with the homepage. They then work out a navigation scheme, which pages at the bottom of the site hierarchy automatically inherit whether it’s appropriate or not. The goal – or the primary content people are looking for or tasks they are trying to get done – turns out to be the last thing that gets attention in the design process.”

(James Kalbach a.k.a. @JamesKalbach ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Recent Research in User Experience

Research, the most important activity in user experience.

“In this column, let’s take a look at some recent technology developments that promise to change the landscape of user experience in the months and years to come (…)”

(Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)

The State of Design Practice

Follow the Money, but money isn’t following the Experience.

“An overriding theme mentioned by many concerned the lack of understanding regarding the need for, execution of, and requisite resources required for User Experience Design. This resulted in insufficient importance given to design and inadequate resources being applied to it.”

(Karel Vredenburg)

The gadfly of information architecture

Always a delight to have him speak.

Q&A with Richard Saul Wurman ~ “At a sprightly 77 years, Mr Wurman is the author of scores of books on technology and design, and is credited with having coined the term “information architect”. During the interview, he was true to his eccentric, irascible self, which has inspried many to his causes. “We can’t make use of success or failure from one place or another because we have no common language,” he says metaphorically. “We also have no common language in medicine. We have very few common languages,” he says. “You need common filters. In all this big data, you need filters, because often innovation comes from this filter, because you can see a pattern. And I’m interested in those patterns.””

(The Economist)

Touch Targets for Application Design

Principles for touch-based user interfaces.

“(…) deeper dive into designing touch-based interactions. That is, how large we need to make our application controls and where should we place them on screen in order to optimize for touch. In addition to general guidelines, I also showcase a before and after design that converts a keyboard and mouse application to a touch-optimized interface by rethinking navigation, input controls, and more.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @LukeW)