All posts from
September 2013

The adaptive digital strategy framework

Adapting is the best thing to do with any strategy.

“Today we still see a large number of organizations that keep struggling to align social media and new emerging communication technologies with the overall firm strategy. Organizations should adapt, look in the mirror and recognize that they need to change because the world has changed. They should embrace new strategic frameworks to avoid getting caught up in the digital hype that hit them every day with new solutions and focus on what can actually help them achieve their business and communication objectives.”

(Andrea Vascellari a.k.a. @vascellari)

Users don’t hate change, they hate you

Change for change sake.

“Change is expensive, even when it’s free. Change is expensive in relearning. Change is expensive when you feel like you no longer have a choice in how you live your life. For change to be accepted, it needs to first have real value to the user.”

(Christina Wodtke ~ Elegant Hack)

Four dangerous navigation approaches that can increase cognitive strain

Don’t forget, humans are cognitive animals too.

“Some navigation implementations risk pushing users into a state of cognitive strain which lessens the likelihood of them taking desirable actions.”

(Jen Cardello ~ NNGroup)

Replacing the user story with the job story

These stories will go further than agile, scrum or service design.

“I’ve written about the problem with user stories before. At the time, I found it better to just have the team talk over proposed changes to the product. This worked great when the team had gelled and the product is very mature; however, now I’m working with a new team and building a product from scratch. In this case, because our canvas is blank, we are having trouble getting on the same page when it comes to customer motivations, events and expectations. But today, things have turned around. I’ve come across a great way to use the jobs to be done philosophy to help define features. I call them ‘Job Stories’.”

(Alan Klement a.k.a. @alanklement)

The great shift in search

Search is less important than find and use. Engines are just level one.

“Search is evolving to fit the needs of users who don’t just want a web site, but the actual answer to the question driving the search. To stay on top semantic search technologies are key.”

(Charles Silver ~ GigaOm)

An insider’s view of mobile-first design: Don’t make these mistakes

Do’s and dont’s is all what experimenting is about.

“Everyone from users to entrepreneurs to advertisers loves the mobile category because those products are always with us, always on, and instantly accessible. But these opportunities are also design constraints: Mobile screens are small, driven by touch, and often connected to spotty networks. Which is why companies like Facebook, Google, PayPal, and countless startups taking the plunge into mobile-first design quickly realize that designing for mobile is not the same as designing for the desktop PC. Our PC-driven instincts are often very wrong for mobile. Yet they’re so deeply ingrained, we apply them anyway. That’s why I want to share these common mistakes.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @lukew ~ Wired)

The Dribbblisation of design

How the logical, mental and virtual structures come together in an app.

“A product architecture is not an information architecture. It is not a set of pages that link to one another, or something that shows modals and describes what buttons do. A prototype will always serve this purpose better. It is a level deeper than that. It is the structure. The building blocks. It shows the objects in the system, and the relationships between them.”

(Paul Adams a.k.a. @Padday ~ Inside Intercom)

Introducing dialogues: A technique for delivering better government services

An three-part article we wrote for the Touchpoint 5.2 issue from the Service Design Network.

Disclosure: I work at Informaat (The Netherlands) ~ “This three-part article is about a new technique in design projects for citizen-centred government services: the ‘dialogue’. We will introduce dialogues to the service design community and share our lessons learned in using this technique. We also want to explore how dialogues create a shared understanding and commitment among designers and internal stakeholders.”

(Mark A. Fonds a.k.a. @markafonds & Peter J. Bogaards a.k.a. @bogiezero ~ Informaat βiRDS on a W!RE)

Intuitive equals familiar

How qualities of UIs become used in UX.

“One of the most common terms of praise for an interface is to say that it is “intuitive” (the word should have been “intuitable” but we will bow to convention). Yet the Human Computer Interaction (HCI) literature rarely mentions the word, and for good reason. This note attempts to clarify the meaning of “intuitive” for non-HCI specialists.”

(Jef Raskin 1994)

The tricky science of color perception

Color is still not well understood in digital design.

“Color is infinitely shifty. It’s unstable in the presence of nearby colors. It’s vulnerable to tricks of the light. It acts like it’s moving when it’s not. It can act like it’s there when it’s not. Put another way, color is subject to a thousand kinds of distortion as it travels from an object, through light, through your eye to your (acculturated) brain. Yet the tricky, interwined science and art of color perception still goes under-appreciated.”

(Jude Stewart a.k.a. @joodstew ~ Design Observer)

Five dangerous ideas for the future of design education

Is it old versus new, young, and upcoming?

“Design students lack cultural depth and awareness. Several representatives from leading design agencies expressed variations on this theme. Lack of curiosity and personal development were described as particular concerns. (…) I would take someone who is able to read over someone who is able to draw any day.”

(Tom Berno a.k.a. @tberno ~ dmi dialog)

Mindful Design: What the UX world can learn from yoga

Mens sana in corpore sano a.k.a. Νοῦς ὑγιὴς ἐν σώματι ὑγιεῖ.

“Similarly with design, be clear about what your intentions are with your offering, whether a product or service. Internalize your mission and values, and let design be the expression of your intent. When your intentions are clear, so too are the fruits of your labor.”

(Irene Au a.k.a. @ireneau ~ The Magazine of the User Experience Professionals Association)

Why now is the right time to become a UX designer

As long as you can explain it to your parents.

“In recent years, user experience design has become a popular topic in the web design community, with discussions focussing on successful examples of good UX design. With regard to websites, the term covers all aspects of a user’s experience within a particular site. In other words, the visual layout, information architecture, usability, graphics, user interaction: everything. User interface design and HCI, or Human Computer Interaction are both included in UX. UX design has its roots in the late 1940s as machines become both more complex and more prevalent in daily life, but it was in the 1990s that the concept of user experience design was named and popularized in relation to computer use. It is a multi-disciplinary field, covering aspects of sociology, psychology, graphic and industrial design, and cognitive science.”

(Christian Vasile a.k.a. @christianvasile ~ Web Designer Depot)

Brenda Laurel delivered keynote at UX Week 2013

Always delivers great thoughts in the theatre.

“Brenda Laurel has worked in interactive media since 1976. She currently serves as an adjunct professor in Computer Science Department at U. C. Santa Cruz. She served as professor and founding chair of the Graduate Program in Design at California College of Arts from 2006 to 2012. She designed and chaired the graduate Media Design Program at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena (2001-2006) and was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs (2005-2006). Based on her research in gender and technology at Interval Research (1992-1996), she co-founded Purple Moon in 1996 to create interactive media for girls. In 1990 she co-founded Telepresence Research, Inc., focusing on virtual reality and remote presence. Other employers include Atari, Activision, and Apple. Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design(1990), Computers as Theatre(1991), Utopian Entrepreneur (2001), and Design Research: Methods and Perspectives (2004). Her most recent writing, Gaian IXD, was the cover article in the Sep-Oct 2011 issue of the journal Interactions. She earned her BA (1972) from DePauw University and her MFA (1975) and PhD. in Theatre (1986) from the Ohio State University.”

(Brenda Laurel a.k.a. @blaurel ~ UX Week 2013)

The distant summit of enterprise design

INTERSECTION arrives in the US.

“This is a thoughtful tome, dense with deep, contemplative thinking on enterprise design. It has a rightful place on the bookshelves for designers that are intrigued by the challenge of cross-discipline collaboration. However, designers looking for a better understanding of technology will be disappointed, and technologists looking for an understanding of the design world will be baffled.”

(Marianne Sweeny a.k.a. @msweeny ~ Boxes and Arrows)

Fine-tuning user research to drive innovation

An important area of research, but still under-valued, under-developed, and under-practiced.

“User research that attempts to discover market-changing innovations faces many challenges. The more ambitious the innovation goal, the more difficult it can be to decide whom to study, what to look for, and how to make sense of the findings. Our reflections here are based on our experience collaborating on an ambitious project, in which we conducted in-depth contextual research with 54 people in eight enterprises. Its mission was to generate concepts for innovative solutions that would engage a large, new audience whose needs were not being addressed by existing products. In many respects, this was a dream project for researchers who wanted to introduce user-centered design into the product development process as early as possible.”

(David Siegel, Alex Sorin, Michael Thompson, and Susan Dray ~ Interactions Magazine sept/oct 2013)

Developing a customer experience strategy

CX strategy for business peeps, including a design notion.

“Digital technologies are disrupting many industries but for each there are also new revenue opportunities to be had. A customer experience strategy is a fast way of uncovering the untapped revenue in your business.”

(Mark Cameron a.k.a. @MarkRCameron ~ Marketing Magazine)

The UX professionals’ guide to working with Agile Scrum teams

The theory, discipline, and practice of software engineering never really understood HCI. Why would they do now?

“For Scrum and Agile to live up to its full potential, it must address the needs of all team contributors, not just software developers. Giving support and trust to UX contributors will help motivate them to do their best work and leverage more of their skills in the pursuit of excellence.”

(Aviva Rosenstein a.k.a. @uxresearch ~ Boxes and Arrows)