All posts from
July 2013

Manipulation and design

That’s what you get when business takes on design.

“Manipulation is deceptive. Design should be supportive. Theoretically, the two are separated by intention. But increasingly, in practice, the two forces are converging. This may be inevitable, as fields of sales, marketing, and design collide. I hope not. I’m troubled by the collision, and how it manifests in digital products.”

(Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ UX Magazine)

Douglas Engelbart’s unfinished revolution

History will show the meaning of some people, not today.

Computing pioneer Doug Engelbart’s inventions transformed computing, but he intended them to transform humans. ~ “(…) Engelbart never sought to own what he contributed to the world’s ability to know. But he was frustrated to the end by the way so many people had adopted, developed, and profited from the digital media he had helped create, while failing to pursue the important tasks he had created them to do.”

(Howard Rheingold a.k.a. @hrheingold ~ MIT Technology Review)

Book review: Intersection

In just one word, “gründlich”.

“(…) for me, the contrast between designers and more science-/engineering-oriented professionals has become a long-standing theme. But I find this debate refreshing and, again and again, it leads to interesting thoughts and viewpoints. One of the recent arguments that designers put forth when emphasizing their aptness for guiding and leading strategic design initiatives is that they maintain a holistic point of view and that, unlike people with a science or engineering background, they are not blinded or paralyzed by details. Located on the other side of the trench, I am somewhat skeptical with regard to such statements. To exaggerate my point somewhat, I view designers like butterflies who jump from flower to flower and become dizzy when thinking about all the connections and interrelations between flowers/design aspects. But, as the book shows when Guenther applies his framework to a general design process, designers, too, focus on specific aspects when this seems appropriate. So there is hope for finding common ground.”

(Gerd Waloszek ~ SAPdesignguild)

The human body as touchscreen replacement

Quantified self becomes a HCI topic of study.

“When you touch your own body, you feel exactly what you touch – better feedback than any external device. And you never forget to bring your body.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

Taking your seat at the strategy table: Three must-have leadership skills

Strategy for UX. But where’s the UX vision?

“When you take your place at the strategy table as a UX leader, lean in and ground yourself in your deep understanding of customer behavior. Make it central to how you express your product strategy. This customer-focused approach will allow you to provide unique value to the master plan when you practice and evolve the three conventional business skills that I shared from my journey.”

(Sara Ortloff Khoury ~ User Experience Magazine)

So you want to write a digital strategy?

Moving up the ladder means more strategic thinking, for clients a well.

“A digital strategy is not as intimidating as it sounds. It is just a document outlining how your company or client should handle the different aspects of digital from the website and mobile to email, social media and digital marketing. It doesn’t need to cover everything in huge depth (it would be unreadable if it did), but instead should establish some general approaches to these different areas. This post will provide you with a crash course on where to start and what kinds of things to include. I hope it proves useful.”

(Paul Boag ~ Boagworld)

Interaction design: What we know and what we need to know

Increasing the relevance of HCI in the world. After people, now it’s business, government and health.

“(…) three successes: transformative technology, the importance of experience, and the user-centric design process.”

(Steve Whittaker ~ ACM Interactions Magazine) courtesy of markvanderbeeken

Rethinking enterprise UX in the age of consumerization

A little bit of “CMS, the software UX forgot.

“In today’s digitally savvy world, end-users are making more and more decisions about what they want to get out of software solutions and how they want to experience those solutions. By keeping this in mind, UX teams can be the heroes of their own organizations – building tech experiences that both IT teams and end-users love to use.”

(Michael Ashley ~ UX Magazine)

The UX ownership war is over… and we have lost

Well, that sounds dramatic and calls for a major reboot of our community.

“I had a profound experience last week, which unfortunately pushed me over to the dark side regarding my perpetually optimistic perspective on how UX design professionals will eventually take a place of equal rank in the boardroom. (…) the future ownership of the UX agenda will become the provenance of people not trained as designers or HCI specialists but of people who have never actually practiced design. At least they will employ designers.”

(Daniel Rosenberg ~ ACM Interactions)

Designing the perfect hyperlink: It’s not as simple as you think

On one thing we all agree, Jakob Nielsen made the hyperlink blue.

“Hyperlinks are the glue that holds the Web together. Without links, the Web would be a very different place, that’s if it would exist at all.”

(John MacPherson a.k.a. @johneemac ~ Six Revisions)

The message gets the medium it deserves

I have always been fascinated about how the unique characteristics of a medium define its design space.

“I see this as a core principle of higher order UX; to use the medium in such a way that the medium facilitates the delivery of the message instead of polluting it. It’s that pollution that brings about unanticipated consequences in what the user experiences. This is just as much a holistic experience problem as well as a nitty-gritty design and interaction problem.”

(Erik Flowers a.k.a. @Erik_UX)

Touchscreens ‘a small step’ in innovation

Big foot takes smal step.

“One big suggestion gaining traction is the notion of the invisible interface. The idea is that the best design will make all technology move so far into the background that it’s not even noticed and just works without even being thought about. This concept has been around since the 1990s but what this is pushing, from examples so far, is the idea that everything is so intuitive to use that it isn’t even noticed.”

(BBC News)

Waiting stinks: How to redesign your product’s dead time

Disney knew how to design for waiting in line.

“(…) often times making a user wait is inevitable. Here are some ways to make it less painful and in the process show your customer you don’t take them for granted.”

(Henry Tsai ~ GigaOm)

Content is all that matters on the web

Couldn’t have said it better. Although,I wouldn’t label people as content consumers.

“The focus and widespread knowledge towards the importance of web design, web development, usability, and user experience is definitely positive, considering that only a few years ago most of the meetings I have had with clients had to start with an explanation of what the term usability meant. However, what is missing in these discussions – what is in desperate need of attention – is web content and the creation of a comprehensive and unified strategy for it.”

(Wojciech Chojnacki ~ Six Revisions)

The hut where the internet began

Same magazine as ‘As We May Think’. No coincidence.

“In a hut like this — and maybe even one of these huts specifically — Engelbart opened up that issue of LIFE and read Bush’s Atlantic article. The ideas in the story plowed new intellectual terrain for Engelbart, and the seeds that he planted and nurtured there over the next twenty years grew, with the help of millions of others, into the Internet you see today.”

(The Atlantic)

When the UI is too fast

Speed and attention, two challenges for UX.

“Users might overlook things that change too fast – and even when they do notice, changeable screen elements are harder to understand in a limited timeframe.”

(Jakob Nielsen ~ Alertbox)

UX and the museum: Converging perspectives on experience design

Art as experience and how information design can be an important part of exhibition design.

“What started with a conversation over coffee led to a realization that our lines of work had parallel purposes, processes, and goals. We found that we were both passionate about designing for people, regardless of what we were developing. This common vision led us to wonder if our industries are converging on a similar point: designing excellent experiences.”

(Mary Oakland and Shana West ~ UX magazine)

Emotional design with ACT: Designing emotion, personality and relationship (2/2)

A kind of anthropomorphism, products with personality.

“We judge products by the personalities we sense through their aesthetics and style of interaction. It takes the skill and sensitivity of designers, marketers and user experience professionals to properly identify the personality that appeals to their target audience, and then consistently design, market, advertise and package that product with the appropriate personality in mind. The A.C.T. Model can help practitioners to more fully and systematically address the requirements that lead to successful products.”

(Trevor van Gorp a.k.a. @trevvg ~ Boxes and Arrows)