Relating Systems Thinking and Design 2013 Symposium Proceedings
Some deep thinking regarding design and systems thinking by academia.
“The second Oslo symposium engaged over 120 participants in the emerging renaissance of systems thinking in design. The emerging context is being revealed in transdisciplinary responses to increasing complexity in all challenges faced by designers, innovators, and decision makers everywhere. Our worlds have become too complex for linear and goal-driven management, as the modern world is experiencing in hopelessly complicated social, economic, and political institutions. The global demand for sustainability, democratic economies, and better education, employment, and development has resulted in new movements, but perhaps insufficient redesign. The emerging social arrangements have become too complex for conventional thinking.”
(Systemic Design: Emerging contexts for systems perspectives in design)
From features-first to user-first: An evolution in process at IBM Design
Big Blue gets the design virus for real.
“(…) in a world of software-driven user experiences, starting with good design and empathy for users can make a product connect to peoples’ lives in a way we’ve never been able to do before.”
(IBM Smarter Planet)
Design better faceted navigation for your websites
Categories, tags, and facets are the descriptors for topics, themes and areas of interests.
“Facets are categories into which the properties of an object or topic can be divided. These categories in turn contain ‘values’: the sub-objects by which the list of items can be filtered. A classic example is the classification of wine. There are many properties by which wines can be categorised: region, colour, type, vineyard and price, among others.”
(Jim Kalbach a.k.a. @JimKalbach ~ Creative Blog)
When to prototype, when to wireframe: How much fidelity can you afford?
All kinds of design documents provide you with a view of the future.
“The distinction between wireframe and prototype is almost arbitrary—both are mockups of the proposed application that differ in their fidelity to the final application. The lowest fidelity mockup has hand-drawn sketches which are quick, easy to do, and cheap. A set of black and white static layouts linked via hot zones provides a medium level of fidelity.”
(Garett Dworman ~ Usability Geek)
Why UX designers need to think like architects
Design and architecture or architecting. Designer and architect. More parallels than differences: bits and atoms.
“The connections between architectural and experience design are undeniable, the thought processes nearly indistinguishable from one another. When we explore other, older design disciplines, their evolution may begin to guide ours, and we may begin to truly innovate. We are truly the architects, the chief builders, of the web (…)”
(Rima Reda a.k.a. @rimareda ~ UX Magazine)
Cross-platform service user experience: A field study and an initial framework (.pdf)
Complexity goes exponential with the IoT design challenge.
(Authors: Minna Wäljas, Katarina Segerstah, Kaisa Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila, Harri Oinas-Kukkonen)
Systems & design thinking: A conceptual framework for their integration (.pdf)
Two mindsets integrated, one from the 20th century, the other from the 21st century.
“This paper explores the relationship between Systems and Design Thinking. It specifically looks into the role of Design in Systems Thinking and how looking at the world through a systems lens influences Design. Our intention is to show the critical concepts developed in the Systems and Design Thinking fields, their underlying assumptions, and the ways in which they can be integrated as a cohesive conceptual framework. While there are many important distinctions that must be considered to understand the similarities and differences of these concepts, gaining a complete understanding of these factors is more than can be covered in this paper. Nevertheless, the most critical classifying variable used to distinguish these concepts will be discussed in order to make their integration possible. This variable, the recognition of purposeful behavior, will be used to develop a conceptual vision for how a combined approach can be used to research, plan, design and manage social systems. Systems in which people play the principle role.”
(Authors: John Pourdehnad, Erica R. Wexler, and Dennis V. Wilson)
The UX axioms: Design better products for people
And now not only remember these, but also act upon them accordingly.
“The set of UX axioms has gone through an evolution over the last year as I iterated through the concepts, refined and combined ideas. I started with 150 concepts that were combined and synthesized into an initial set of 50 axioms presented to IxDA Grand Rapids in December 2012. Over the course of 2013, I presented the UX Axioms several times and further synthesized the set down to 21 Axioms. I recently added a few more axioms to the set I felt were missing. The current set stands at 26 UX axioms. Once the axioms are finalized, I will work to produce a card deck similar to the previous Design Axioms and Health Axioms decks produced by Invo. As you go through the axioms, you may notice that several of them equally apply to how we make sense of the world and how we craft our products that are birthed into the world.”
(Erik Dahl a.k.a. @eadahl)
Designing effective experiences for financial services
Financial management for people is a great UX design challenge.
“In this article I want to focus on what we can consider from a UX design perspective to address these challenges. I’ll draw from a set of powerful truths about how people evaluate options and make decisions. These have been gleaned from robust research findings within the fields of behavioral decision theory and cognitive psychology.”
(Colleen Roller a.k.a. @DecisionUX ~ UX magazine)
Get started in UX: The complete guide to launching a career in User Experience Design
Still waiting for the ‘Bluff your way into…’ edition.
“Many of the UX techniques we discuss are strictly operational. These are important, but different roles allow you to have differing levels of input on a business’s strategy. While the challenges of directing a business strategy of a one-person startup are wildly different from making strategic decisions within a large corporation, it’s still useful to visualize at what stages you’ve had the opportunity to apply strategic thinking.”
(Matthew Magain a.k.a. @mattymcg and Luke Chambers a.k.a. @lukcha ~ UXmatters)
Treating enterprise software like game design
“Recognizing different layers and viewpoints gives game designers a nomenclature for understanding games’ inner workings and highlighting shortcomings. For example, a game aimed at a social aesthetic needs some form of multiplayer or social network integration. A game aimed at competition needs a visible score or ranking and consistent, well communicated rules.”
(Anthony Langsworth a.k.a. @alangsworth ~ Random Acts of Architecture)
Passive versus imperative linking
As we know, links are the best part of non-linearity.
“Writers worry about whether links will distract users. To discuss this concern, we need to begin by distinguishing between imperative links that command the reader to click and passive links that merely make finding ancillary material easier.”
(Mark Baker ~ Every page is one)
Interaction design for the internet of things
And all the other UX disciplines for the IoT as well.
“While the technological development around this area is indeed fascinating, it is from my perspective even more interesting to see where this will take interaction design over the next few years. From an interaction design perspective, it is always interesting to explore what this digital material can do for us in terms of enabling new user experiences and the development of new digital services.”
(Mikael Wiberg ~ ACM Interactions Magazine)
Scaling user interfaces: An information-processing approach to multi-device design
It’s the omni-channel design again.
“Designing for all screen sizes must consider the capacity of the human–device communication channel, which depends on users’ memory, device portability, and screen size.”
(Raluca Budiu a.k.a. @rbudiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
The evolving purpose of design: Design is about communication and respect as much as function
How curation can make a big difference.
“I’ve had quite a bit of interaction with venture capitalists there, and I must say I was quite disappointed, she said. I was amazed that they consider design an embellishment, something superfluous. Yes, I know that Steve Jobs is always cited as a master of design, and that he’s a symbol for Silicon Valley. But Jobs was only one guy, and his vision was his vision. You can’t imitate Jobs. And frankly, at this point, his approach is a bit old-fashioned. He was obsessed with beauty and purity above all else. For the strongest designs, you have to be willing to get a little dirty. I have no problem with beautiful objects, but the purpose of design isn’t to be beautiful — it’s to communicate, to inform clearly and concisely. Again, it’s about respect, both for the object and the person who uses it.”
(Glen Martin a.k.a. @GlenWM5440 ~ O’Reilly Solid)
Bringing change to life
Design and designer as change agents, their best versions.
“Change in an organization is really hard. This is especially true when a company that was once on the forefront of innovation finds itself having lost that luster through its own growth and success. The last couple of years there has been a transformation happening at PayPal that is touching every part of the organization to make it innovative again. At the heart of this change is a new, close partnership between design and engineering. Can your organization be changed? From Bill’s experience at Yahoo!, Netflix, PayPal and consulting with numerous companies he believes there are some core principles you can employ to drive transformation that are all centered around the customer. The question Bill will explore is ‘How can design be the catalyst for that change?” While this talk will be inspirational, it will take an honest (and humorous) look at what has worked and what hasn’t worked so well in trying to scale change.”
(Bill Scott a.k.a. @billwscott ~ Adaptive Path‘s Managing Experience Conference 2014)
The customer experience obsession
Obsessed with customers, always good?
“Customer Experience is now accepted as a key driver for business growth, regardless of industry. This view is supported by research showing that customer experience leaders have significantly, consistently out-performed the S&P 500 in recent years — but understanding the value of customer experience and transcending engrained organizational processes that hinder it are different matters. Digital strategy has unleashed new, creative ways to engage customers throughout every step of their journey; it’s now time to consider the strategic role community plays in harnessing the value of digital interactions to inform long-term customer relationship and loyalty goals.”
(Wendy Lea a.k.a. @WendySLea ~ Adaptive Path‘s Managing Experience Conference 2014)
Does typography affect UX?
Typical case of a rhetorical question. ‘Look-and-feel’ as the layman’s definition of UX.
“Typography matters as much as geography. Businesses take a great deal of time to consider the implications and pitfalls of entering a new market, but they often leave major components of their UX to the arbitrary decisions of outside contractors. Everything matters in brand identity, especially the look-and-feel of the fonts that identify your company.”
When Service Design meets the divided company
A focus of service design on the service experience makes it the brother or sister of UX and CX in the Experience Design family.
“What happens when a service design project meets a hierarchical, divided company? You can design an amazing service, and yet at the end of the day, the organizations still has to deliver. A service design project that ignores organizational readiness is doomed to fail. How to move service projects forward in the face of such constraints? Service design usually means a change initiative. More than half of change initiatives fail to achieve their objectives. Most of these initiatives fail because they don’t adequately understand the organization’s culture and potential for resisting the change.”
(Dave Gray a.k.a. @davegray ~ Adaptive Path’s The Service Experience Conference 2013)
Organizing the world: How hypermedia looked in 1934
So pleased with this information graphics from Paula and her team.
“Sharing the dream of Paul Otlet about Mundaneum – a kind of
hypermedia system that allowed the management and sharing of all human knowledge in the 30’s. (…) Systems, principles and machines created by Otlet and La Fontaine to organize the huge documents and index cards in the RBU. The creation of a highly flexible language management system for databases: The Universal Decimal Classification (UCD), the first modern faceted classification system, in opposition of Melvil Dewey’s Decimal Classification.”
(Paula Azevedo Macedo a.k.a. @paulamacedo, Seth Pérez, and Larissa Braga)