UX researcher: A user’s manual
Always handy to have a step-by-step list. Research is more complicated though
“This article is a guide on what to expect, and how to get the most from your UX researcher – a user manual, if you will. You will invest a lot in your researcher and you deserve the greatest return. You should have high expectations for this critical component of your UX team, and following the recommendations presented in this article will help maximize your return.”
(Victor Yocco ~ Boxes and Arrows)
The architecture of human experience
Everything with a structure has an architecture, human experiences not excluded.
“The built environment is the ultimate platform for human experience. No matter which social network we frequent or which software we use, we are all logging on from real, physical space – our house, our office, our favorite café or pub, or local park. In a world where up to 70% of the global population will soon live in cities, one might say that architects operate on the front lines of experiential design. Learn how architects are using design tools and back-to-basics observation to better understand the mechanics of human behavior and the qualitative value people ascribe to the experience of daily life. Discover how quick access to information and interdisciplinary collaboration is affecting the shape of building design and the patterns of city planning. See how people use and occupy space – and hear why they come back. View the world from the perspective of one profession that is designing it.”
(David Cutler a.k.a. @davidcutler_sea ~ Adaptive Path UX Week 2014)
Image-focused design: Is bigger better?
The web as it was born is not a full-fledged magazine.
“Large images are visually appealing, but they can harm the overall user experience if they aren’t appropriately prioritized.”
(Kathryn Whitenton ~ Nielsen Norman Group)
10th annual EuroIA Summit closing plenary
A landmark event. For more than one reason.
“The following was delivered as the closing plenary address at the European Information Architecture Summit in Brussels, Belgium on September 27, 2014.”
(Abby Covert a.k.a. @Abby_the_IA ~ EuroIA.org)
CUBI: A user experience model for project success
Every designer their own model (a.k.a. perception) of what they’re doing.
“We all want to be a part of compelling creative projects—projects that solve business problems and engage users through meaningful and valuable experiences. However, given tight budgets and timelines it’s challenging to create genuinely innovative design, identify gaps in the process, and consider the variety of factors for effective user experience. To solve these common challenges, I researched existing user experience models or frameworks and found that most UX diagrams are confusing, unorganized, complex, or antiquated, making them useless for designers and clients. That’s why I decided to create my own model.”
(Corey Stern a.k.a. @CoreyAStern ~ UX Magazine)
The culinary model of Web design
So much to learn from established experience design fields, like music, cinematography and gastronomy.
“Just as Escoffier took Ritz customers on a kitchen tour, Guillaume recommends explaining to your clients how their site or app has been cooked. The more open and understood our design processes are, the more their value will be recognized. Have you ever been running late and prepared dinner in a rush? I have and it was, unsurprisingly, a disaster. So tell your clients their website is nothing but a good meal; it takes time to make it a memorable experience.”
(Antoine Lefeuvre a.k.a. @jiraisurfer ~ A List Apart)
Form usability: Validations versus warnings
Form design has a very long history, in print, online and digital.
“There’s a major difference between form validations and warnings. Form validations enforce a set of rules and won’t allow the user to proceed, while warnings alert the user about possible problems but will allow them to proceed.”
(Jamie Appleseed a.k.a. @jamieappleseed ~ Baymard Institute)
Redesign democracy: Dare to think big
Great to see Dirk taking on a very wicked problem.
“Why are you in UX? It probably isn’t to get rich. Yes, there is plenty of money in being a UX professional today. If you’re competent, you should be enjoying a very nice lifestyle. But we do this not for money–being on the business side would be far better at achieving that goal. We do it for creative reasons, expressive reasons, quality of life reasons, perhaps even altruistic reasons.”
(Dirk Knemeyer a.k.a. @dknemeyer ~ Boxes and Arrows)
Environmental communications: How understanding experiences in virtual space can influence the design of experiences in physical space
Digital and physical encounters, the ingredients of compelling human experiences.
“UX professionals are accustomed to thinking about how people interact with digital user interfaces. Whether we’re designing a mobile application or a marketing Web site, it’s in our DNA to consider what would be the optimal experience for people. But digital user interfaces are not the only elements of an experience with which people interact. In services, people may also interact with each other, with processes, with communications, and with physical spaces, and it’s the responsibility of the service designer to understand their needs and create an optimal experience that considers all of these diverse elements. Plus, while the goal of a service designer is to think holistically about how these elements work together in a service experience, each element has its own discreet set of design considerations.”
(Laura Keller ~ UXmatters)
Animation for attention and comprehension
Designing the UI with increasing cinematographic effects. Smooth operator.
“Moving elements are a powerful tool to attract users’ attention. When designing an animation consider its goal, its frequency of occurrence, and its mechanics.”
(Aurora Bedford a.k.a. @aurorararara
~ Nielsen Norman Group)
Identifying a UX design strategy
UX culture eats…
“The concept of strategy can be fuzzy at best. And the word strategy tends to hold a different meaning depending on who you’re talking to. Jim Kalbach says that strategy needs to show causality. He defines it as a hypothesis of a desired position, and a belief about how you’re going to succeed and overcome challenges.”
(Jim Kalbach a.k.a. @jimkalbach ~ Brainsparks)
A new era for search: The zero moment-of-truth is now defined by shared customer experiences
Search and brand, the marketeers heaven. Find and experience, the designers heaven.
“Search is a natural step in the discovery process. In a web world, search engines offer a lens into a qualified and structured view to help online consumers focus and make informed decisions. With Google dominating search, marketers concentrated on improving search ranking through tried and true techniques to ensure that what they were marketing earned a coveted position in the likely search results a customer might consider clicking.”
(Brian Solis a.k.a. @briansolis)
Top 10 skills that separate real UX designers from wannabes
Checklist for the UX designer litmus test?
“With the flood of ill-trained people claiming to be user experience designers, how do you know if you are hiring a UX snake oil salesman or a true UX expert? UX design was largely unappreciated for many years, but the rash of recent successes attributed to good UX design has helped UX become a desirable part of any website design effort. Unfortunately, opportunists quick to add UX to their repertoire of services are hoping that you won’t know how to differentiate their offerings from real UX expertise.”
(Larry Marine ~ Search Engine Watch)
Why investment in Design is the only way to ‘Win’ in education
It used to be called educational technology or instructional design, but design for learning experiences might now be a better label.
“Design describes the quality of an experience as it relates to aesthetics, emotions, pleasure, usability, and cognition. We typically think of design as a forgivable attribute, and we overlook products or services that are hard to use, confusing, demanding, degrading, and downright ugly as long as that payoff is still delivered. The payoff of rapid air travel is so great that we’ll forgive uncomfortable (and potentially physically dangerous) seats, loud noise, an unpredictable cabin climate, long lines, poor service, and so-on. These are design attributes. We can design better experiential qualities for air travel, fixing the seats, the line, and the service, but why would a company bother with the expense if consumers are singly motivated by the payoff?”
(Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ UX Magazine)
UX for healthcare: What you need to know before you start
Patient, customer, user, employee, student, citizen. All human actors in specific contexts with their (digital) experiences.
“Healthcare is a new hot topic in software development, which means that user experience designers are getting more requests for designing and conducting research for medical applications. Working on something that will help patients manage a chronic disease, administer the correct dose of medication, or communicate more effectively with their healthcare provider can be very rewarding. However, there are many unique issues to be aware of before starting the design and development of a medical application or device.”
(Amy Willis ~ User Experience Magazine 14.3)
UX maturity model: From usable to delightful
I don’t think most organizations have two decades to reach the highest level. As Jakob once suggested.
“The output of a UXMM assessment is a numeric score between 0 and 100. Higher scores indicate greater UX quality of the product. A minimum required benchmark score is also generated based on the context of the application. The actual score is compared with the benchmark score to determine if the application passes or fails that assessment level. The benchmark score is calculated through a benchmarking exercise based on a predefined questionnaire to be filled for the application that is being assessed.”
(Prachi Sakhardande a.k.a. @sugarprachi and Rajiv Thanawala ~ User Experience Magazine 14.3)
Five things they didn’t teach me in school about being a user researcher
Without research into people, no design quality.
“The truth is that there are limitations to every type of data, qualitative and quantitative. Even data lauded by some as completely objective – for example, data from website logs or surveys – oftentimes includes a layer of subjectiveness.”
(Chelsey Glasson a.k.a. @chelseyglasson ~ Boxes and Arrows)
The man who envisioned the internet before computers, without computers
Alex’ book really works as a catalyst for our giant Paul Otlet.
“But then there’s the story of Paul Otlet. Born long enough ago that he lived in an imperial Belgium, the problems Otlet, a visionary and entrepreneur, hacked away on are the same we deal with today: nationalism, war, and information overload. The solutions Otlet worked for also resonate today, perhaps nowhere more surprisingly than the means by which you’re reading this very article.”
(Ben Richmond a.k.a. a_ben_richmond ~ Motherboard)
Subjective and objective design choices
Haven’t we learned, there’s only intersubjectivity.
“I don’t believe in absolutes. Things are rarely, if ever, absolute. Most things in life are not explicitly either/or. Black and white are just different shades of gray. Still, I often talk about dualities. For example, a topic I come back to a lot is the tension between creativity and productivity.”
(Steven Bradley ~ Vanseo Design)
The aggregate nature of service design
You can’t design your way out of the bits holistically.
“Service design is singularly centered on the human experience. We call it the end-to-end journey, but the service itself is something that is a collection of all the journeys that can be taken through it. The service that you design on top of is a big picture. Holistic is the word we use, but what does that even mean, and how do you look at something holistically and then approach it holistically?”
(Erik Flowers a.k.a. @Erik_UX ~ Hello Erik)