All posts from
September 2012

Designing for Mobile – Part 1: Information Architecture

I thought InfoArch was declared dead. Mobile resurrection.

“Mobile devices are clearly here to stay, and along with them come a whole host of new constraints (and opportunities) for our designs. Let’s take a look at how we might update our approach.”

(Elaine McVicar a.k.a. @ElaineMcVicar ~ UX Booth)

Why User-Centered Design is Not Enough

Not enough maybe, but still a lot better than profit-centered design.

“Many designers will, no doubt, object to this analysis. They will point out that UCD simply acknowledges the unique physical capabilities and needs of individual users, or types of user.”

(John Wood ~ Core77)

Homepage Design Changes

The more things change, the less things change.

“Web design is stabilizing; the average homepage is only about 40% different than it was a year before. (Corresponding to 2.5 years between complete redesigns.)”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

How to Create an Entirely Different(iated) Customer Experience

Oh wow! Another consultancy firm gets CX on its radar. Almost no ‘design’ mentioned.

“Creating a unique customer experience is one of the best ways to achieve sustainable growth, particularly in industries that are stagnating. If a telco, a utility, or an insurance company can create a highly differentiated customer experience that turns dissatisfaction or indifference into delight, it will recruit an army of vocal advocates online and offline, gain market share, and generate revenue growth.”

(A.T. Kearney)

Exploring the Problem Space Through Prototyping

‘Prototype’ and ‘Know your people’ as the two imperatives for all designers.

“In our research of what separates the great designers from good designers, we saw that the great designers spent a lot more time trying to understand the problem. They really dove in deep, focusing on all the aspects of how their design would be used and what the constraints and complications might be. Design is all about tradeoffs. Learning how each tradeoff affects the outcome is core to great design. One of the things we saw from the best designers is their use of prototypes to explore the problem. The prototype is the instrument they used to uncover previously hidden constraints and to see the shifts in the outcome of the design.”

(Jared Spool ~ UIE)

Designing a better experience for patients

Signs of growth: spin-offs of UX in tourism, banking, and health. Next-up: Edu.

“As the current system of delivering care for patients has proved not to be so effective and sustainable for the future, also because of the demographic change, the health sector is looking for different models of designing and delivering services, also learning at different disciplines to mutuate tools and approach.”

(Paola Pierri a.k.a. @paolapierri ~ MEDlove 2012)

3 Keys to Aligning UX with Business Strategy

Whatever strategy your business has, it must be a digital strategy.

“This column focuses on three key aspects of aligning User Experience with a company’s business functions and, thereby, breaking out of the mold of user interface design: understand the company, the competition and the customer.”

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

You Don’t Need a Title to Be a UX Professional

Job titles are the starting points of the silo problem.

“The reality is that you don’t need to have the title of a UX professional or consultant to make a contribution in the field of user experience. If you are passionate about making a difference for the users who will eventually use the product you are working on and have the skills you need to do the work, that’s really all you need to contribute to the product’s user experience. Simply decide for yourself that this is what you want to do, no matter what title you happen to have in your organization. In this article, I’ll give some advice to people who want to work as UX professionals. While most of these tips provide general guidance to anyone who wants to become a UX professional, some apply specifically to technical writers.”

(Delia Rusu ~ UXmatters)

Why Good Design Is Finally A Bottom Line Investment

Design making an impact on businesses and beyond.

“A mix of factors, ranging from commoditization to evaporating barriers to competition, are conspiring to push design to the fore of business thinking.”

(Cliff Kuang a.k.a. @cliffkuang ~ FastCo.Design) ~ courtesy of ronverwey

How The Left/ Right Brain Theory Improves The User Experience

Integrative thinking leads to better designs for user experiences.

“Let’s take a quick look at the left brain-right brain theory to recap which part of our brain is responsible for what. Then, we’ll shed some light on how you can consider different ways of thinking in your design in order to optimize the experience for your visitors.”

(Sabine Idler a.k.a. @SabinaIdler ~ Usabilia)

The Future of User Experience Design

Now that we have grown up, our future is to enter the big world of the marketplace for real.

“Companies all over the world clearly need user experience designers, but even more, they need an excellent User Experience.”

(Marcin Treder a.k.a. @marcintreder ~ Designmodo) ~ courtesy of uxfactory

Beyond Mobile: Making Sense of a Post-PC World

How to design for our multi-screen personal environment with computation and connectivity for ‘free’?

“Native applications are a remnant of the Jurassic period of computer history. We will look back on these past 10 years as the time we finally grew out of our desktop mindset and started down the path of writing apps for an infinite number of platforms. As the cost of computation and connectivity plummets, manufacturers are going to put ‘interactivity’ into every device. Some of this will be trivial: my power adaptor knows it’s charging history. Some of it will be control related: my television will be grand central for my smart home. But at it’s heart, we’ll be swimming in world where every device will have ‘an app’. What will it take for us to get here, what technologies will it take to make this happen? This talk will discuss how the principles of the open web must apply not only to prototocols but to hardware as well. How can we build a ‘DNS for hardware’ so the menagerie of devices has a chance for working together?”

(Scott Jenson a.k.a. @scottjenson ~ dConstruct 2012)

Bill Moggridge 1943-2012

Paying tribute to one of our founding fathers.

“A tribute to esteemed museum director Bill Moggridge, who passed away on September 8, 2012 following a battle with cancer. Hear about his pioneering work and influence in the field of design from Tim Brown and David Kelley of IDEO, Bernie Roth of Stanford University and Caroline Baumann and Cara McCarty of Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.”

(Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum)

Top 10 Ways To Improve Your Digital Customer Experience

It’s a start. That’s what it is.

“Digital touchpoints like websites, mobile phones, tablets can drive revenue, lower costs, build brands, and engender customer loyalty. This shouldn’t be new news to anyone reading this. But to achieve these potential benefits, you need to deliver digital interactions that meet your customers’ needs in easy and enjoyable ways. That isn’t as easy as it sounds. Companies struggle on a daily basis to identify what digital experience improvements they need to make – and, once that’s nailed down, how exactly to make them.”

(Kerry Bodine a.k.a. @kerrybodine ~ Forrester Research)

Service Disciplines: Who does What, When, Where and How?

More resolution around Services.

“To make sense of all these different voices, it would be interesting to have some sort of common language. Maybe not as complex as a “language”, just a proto-taxonomy would already do a great job at organizing the service research efforts. Giving to the referred disciplines a basic set of concepts where they all could recognize and differentiate themselves would most probably foster collaboration among them. But, the problem would be to get the communities that evolve around each one of these disciplines to develop it. And then accept it. And then adopt that unique framework.”

(Mauricio Manhaes a.k.a. @mcmanhaes ~ Service Design Network)

Time to Dump Wireframes

Photoshops and wireframes are pictures of apps in action. Polaroids of feature films scenes.

“Wireframes just aren’t up to the job of showing subtle interaction details—the things that make the difference between an application that is a delight to use and one that frustrates and annoys. And even if you’re using a more sophisticated prototyping tool, you’re still not doing yourself any favors, because these tools don’t allow your designs to adapt to the multitude of different screen sizes that are out there.”

(Martin Polley a.k.a. @martinpolley ~ capcloud)

UX Strategy: The Heart of User-Centered Design

Without a strategy, the HOW gets lost and the WHY remains static in the UX vision.

“Today, organizations interact with their customers through multiple digital channels such as call centers, mobile devices, applications, and Web sites. It is not enough to create a strategy for these channels from business, technology, and marketing perspectives. Rather, it is essential that an organization’s UX strategy be at the core of user-centered design. A UX strategy establishes goals for a cohesive user experience across all channels and touchpoints.”

(April McGee ~ UXmatters)

(Why) Is UXD the Blocker in Your Agile UCD Environment?

The leaner, the meaner.

“Many organizations are moving from waterfall to agile software development methods. They often combine this shift with a move to user-centered design (UCD). This makes sense because, in addition to bringing great intrinsic benefits, UCD has a lot in common with agile. Both encourage a multidisciplinary approach, are iterative, encourage feedback, discourage bloated and overly rigid documentation, and value people over processes. However, the combination of agile and UCD all too often leads to UX design becoming the main blocker in the development process. Why is this?”

(Ritch Macefield ~ UXmatters)