All posts from
April 2015

Merging service design with user experience design

Designing the flow and the journey as a coherent experience.

“There are as many ways of doing Service Design and User Experience Design as there are design companies working in these fields. This makes it somewhat complex and perhaps pointless to define these design fields. I understand that this blogpost will be a subject of discussion, and I’ll therefore begin by saying that the description that follows is based on my own, professional experiences as to the differences and similarities between Service Design and User Experience Design. (…) I’ll describe the differences and similarities between service design and user experience design and how they can work in symbiosis to generate exceptional services, products, business models and customer experiences.”

(Erik Westerdahl a.k.a. @erikwesterdahl ~ Screen Interaction)

What is object-oriented experience design?

So there must be a Gang of Four as well.

“The way we think about experience design and visual design is evolving. The digital environment is becoming increasingly more diverse, and experience design professionals need to adapt accordingly. Object-oriented design provides the toolset for user experience designers to face these challenges head-on.”

(Sharon Carter ~ Macquarium)

IBM is banking on design’s ROI

What else do you need to be convinced that Design has made it into The Enterprise.

“Companies of all sizes are recognizing that by taking a design-first approach to product development, they can improve profit. I recently sat down with Phil Gilbert, GM of design at IBM, to discuss how he is helping to lead the transformation to a design-first company within IBM. Adopting design as a key corporate asset may seem like a no-brainer, but for a company of more than 350,000 employees, it’s a massive undertaking. IBM hasn’t been quiet about its plans to hire 1,000 designers over the course of five years and embed design in product teams throughout the organization.”

(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)

How to become a UX leader

Leadership is not only a personal talent but also a social one. Our field needs that as well.

“No matter your status or situation, whether director or loner, you are in a position to lead, to raise the bar in a place where it consistently sits lower than you think it should. As an in-house UX professional, I’ve formed and run UX teams for multiple companies. As a consultant, I’ve worked with dozens of clients on hundreds of projects. Here’s what I’ve learned about how to get what you want. Most of these things can be applied whether you’re inside of a company or consulting for one, whether you’re a fledgling designer or a veteran leader. Note: This article will be leaving out the stuff about how to be a good UX’er in the first place, such as how to do good research, define strategy, track and analyze data and so on.”

(Robert Hoekman Jr a.k.a. @rhjr ~ Smashing Magazine)

The User Experience Designer’s Charlatan Test

Self-awareness is a great virtue.

“The purpose of this exam is an introspection for the benefit of our profession. I hope people undertake this test honestly in their hearts and let it serve as a guide for where they may wish to work on their profession in order to become less and less a charlatan and more and more a professional. For those who wish to hire UX professionals, I hope this quiz can also serve as a guide to ask questions that will lead you to a competent candidate. Let me just repeat what this paper is not: this paper does not single out any single company or person. I mean to accuse us all and almost without exception. There is no one company, organization or designer more culpable than another. My observations cover the work of many colleagues in many companies for whom I have not worked. So everyone should feel equally distressed.”

(Jonathan Arnowitz a.k.a. @arnoland ~ Arnoland)

Advice from UX heroes: 9 golden nuggets

Always learn from the experienced experiences.

“A little over a year and a half ago, I was a UX intern with no idea what the heck was going on. I had a million questions about the field and desperately wanted answers and advice. I decided to start a podcast to pose these questions to some of my personal UX heroes. For the 18 months I’ve had the privilege of talking with some of the brightest minds in our field. I’ve bombarded them with questions from my perspective as a UX intern, and they’ve shared their wisdom with me. What follows are the pieces of advice that were most repeated on the show and that stood out most to me. I want to share them because they inspire me to become a better designer, and to be better rounded as a person.”

(Wesley Noble a.k.a. @wesley_noble ~ UXPA magazine)

Envisioning experience outcomes

Getting hold of the messy concept of experience.

“When your organization’s goal is to differentiate on the experience, you must start every product-development project by defining the experience that you want people to have with your product or service. Companies that differentiate on the experience do not begin by defining feature sets. They first define a vision for the experience outcome that they intend to deliver to their users and customers. Only once your team fully understands the experience outcomes that you want users to have can you make good decisions about what features and technologies would optimally support that vision.”

(Jim Nieters and Pabini Gabriel-Petit a.k.a. @pabini ~ UXmatters)

Mobile user experience: Limitations and strengths

Constraints are what defines your design space.

“Mobile smartphones come with inherent constraints: small screen, short sessions, single window visible at one time, and variable connectivity. But some of their features also present unique opportunities. Mobile-design principles reflect these limitations and strengths.”

(Raluca Budiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

The future of UX research: Uncovering the true emotions of our users

Without facts based upon research you’ll end up with a lot of opinions.

“Truly understanding the feelings of our users has always been the dream of user experience researchers. Are they enjoying themselves? Are they frustrated? Are they genuinely interested and engaged? Understanding how a user truly feels in reaction to an experience can help us to optimize specific aspects of the experience to exude certain expressive states. We are entering a new age of insight that probes at the core of our users’ experience: studying their emotions.”

(Andrew Schall a.k.a. @andrewschall ~ User Experience 15.2)

From the vault: Watching (and re-watching) The Mother of All Demos

On giants and shoulders.

“To give an idea of the scope of the demo, Engelbart demonstrated an early look at word processing, windowing, hypertext, and dynamic file linking, as well as using graphics in a computer program. It was also the first time many of the attendees had seen a mouse, although work on the mouse began in 1963.”

(Megan Geuss a.k.a. @MeganGeuss ~ Ars Technica)

UX in the era of Internet of Things

Any technology push gets the UX drift.

“The Internet of Things is accelerating rapidly, and bringing with it a wealth of opportunity. Though many focus on the data and technology needs of the Internet of Things – the sensors, data, and the storage, security, and analysis of that data – we’re already forgetting to think about the humans interacting with those technologies.”

(Ted McCarthy a.k.a. @thisrunson ~ ThoughtWorks)

What happens when search engines become intelligent?

Then they have to become smart.

“We’re talking on and on about making content more intelligent these days – format-agnostic, self-describing with semantic metadata, and modular – for reuse, for omnichannel, for delivering the right content to the right user, etc. But what about search engines themselves?”

(Noz Urbina a.k.a. @nozurbina ~ Urbina consulting)

When change is constant: A spiral UX design model

From left to right (process), top to bottom (organization). Now, it’s a circle for process and a network for organization.

“The representation of an actual UX design process with a design model probably presents an overly simplified view of the process. However, the design model serves a descriptive function. Additionally, having an abstract representation of the design process in the form of a design model highlights the essential forces driving the process of UX design: simultaneous changes in the problem and solution spaces. In this article, I’ve proposed a possible adaptation of the spiral model for a UX design process. By incorporating continuous changes to our understanding of the problem space into a systematic investigation of the solution space, we can synchronize these self-reinforcing forces and generate high-quality UX designs. However, several important aspects of the UX design process require further discussion of empirical evidence and feedback – for instance, adapting this model to agile software development.”

(Hang Guo ~ UXmatters)

Five misconceptions about UX in video games

In the end, all design fields will have to deal with human experiences.

“User Experience is becoming very trendy albeit fairly new in the video game industry, so there are still a lot of misconceptions regarding what it is (and what it’s not). I will try to tackle these misconceptions and convince you – if need be – that UX is indeed your friend.”

(Celia Hodent ~ Brains, UX and Games)

Content migration alone is not an effective content strategy

How strategic can a migration be?

“While fairly popular, ‘lift and shift’ is not a viable content strategy. It is a folly fueled by fear, limited resources, inexperience, and politics. There are better ways to ensure high-quality intranet content, and two award-winning designers offer their insights, proving that a bright attitude makes all the difference.”

(Kara Pernice ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Why constraints are a fundamental part of design

Design is making decisions in the design space, determined by constraints.

“The word constraint can sound like a bad word. Constraints are something you can’t do. They restrict what you’re allowed to do They take away freedom. They remove options. They’re rules you didn’t set. They’re an early bedtime or being forced to eat your vegetables when you want ice cream.”

(Steven Bradley ~ vanseodesign)