User Experience Librarians: User Advocates, User Researchers, Usability Evaluators, or All of the Above? (.pdf)
Libraries and UX, a perfect match for information architects.
“User Experience (UX) is gaining momentum as a critical
success factor across all industries and sectors, including libraries. While usability studies of library websites and related digital interfaces are commonplace, UX is becoming an increasingly popular topic of discussion in the
community and is emerging as a new specialization for library professionals. To better understand this phenomenon, this paper reports the results of a qualitative study involving interviews with 16 librarians who have ‘User Experience’ in their official job titles. The results show that UX Librarians share a user-centered mindset and many common responsibilities, including user research, usability testing, and space/service assessments, but each individual UX Librarian is also somewhat unique in how they approach and describe their work. As a whole, the research sheds light on an emerging library specialization and provides a valuable snapshot of the current state of UX Librarianship.”
Craig M. MacDonald a.k.a. @CraigMMacDonald ~ Proceedings of the 78th ASIS&T Annual Meeting, vol. 51
A forgotten prophet: Paul Otlet (1868-1944) and the quest for an Universal Book
Paul is gaining recognition from all over the world. Slowly, but still.
“Paul Otlet openly admitted in his Traité de documentation that his quest to create a Universal Book was a radical assumption. He was driven in his bibliographical interests by the ever-expanding volume of printed matter that began to accumulate globally from the mid-nineteenth century onwards. Its sheer size frustrated Otlet, as did the possibility of all this information, unnecessarily duplicating itself and thereby stalling the inevitable march of progress across wide areas of knowledge and research.”
Bun ós coinn ★
Replacing personas with characters: Resolving the destructive effects of personas
We used to call these kinds of personas Living Personas.
“Over the years, many people have recognized that Personas can cause more problems than they solve. To fix this, designers began making Personas bigger and more rich. Some Personas can be 1-2 typed pages which meticulously describe attributes of these imaginary customers. Yet, no amount of colorful attributes can fill the gaps our brains will automatically fill when reading Personas. These missing gaps are the causalities which drove the customer to consume a particular product.”
Alan Klement a.k.a. @alanklement | /aklement ★ (courtesy of vanderbeeken)
Top 6 predictions for Service Design in 2016
We also have to invent it, the future of service design.
“The service design movement is gaining a tremendous amount of inertia. New conferences are popping up each month, existing conferences are adding service design to their speaker and workshop schedules, new books books are being published, and whole global communities being spun up. For better or worse, it’s becoming the latest buzzword and practice that many companies want to talk about, but are still grasping at how to integrate. I’m going to share my top 6 predictions for what we can expect from service design over the next 18 months. This is a combination of what I’ve experienced, what I’ve seen, what others have shared with me, and aspirations that I want to put into people’s minds as a seed.”
Erik Flowers a.k.a. @erik_flowers ~ HelloErik ★
White space isn’t just a UX fad
White space, silence and other ‘moments-in-between’.
“All good visual artists understand the importance of negative space, the empty area that draws attention to, and accentuates, the actual subject. Negative space (the artistic equivalent of a designer’s white space) is like the supporting cast whose duty is to make the star of the show stand out more by not standing out so much themselves.”
Jerry Cao, Kamil Zieba, and Matt Ellis ~ AIGA ★
How to design killer micro-content
Micro, nano or pico content.
“Micro-content is small. In fact, it can be some of the tiniest bits of a framework and when it is done well, it’s often pretty invisible. The definition of micro-content has expanded in recent years and what was just a term used to describe labeling and calls to action is much more in today’s landscape.”
Carrie Cousins a.k.a./carriecousins1 | @carriecousins ~ design shack ★
Leading change through adaptive design
Design thinking, the scientific method of our century. Design doing?
“Change is fun. Change is hard. Between those truths, there yawns a large gap that poses a challenge for would-be change makers. Yet by integrating two widely influential practices – design thinking and adaptive leadership – social innovators can manage transformative projects in a way that’s both creatively confident and relentlessly realistic.”
Maya Bernstein and Marty Linsky ~ Stanford Social Innovation Review Winter 2016 (courtesy of @jimkalbach) ★
Temporal form in interaction design
Or how to integrate computation into interaction design.
“In this paper, we show the power of working explicitly with temporal form in designing computational things. We give a nuanced account of what temporal form is in interaction design, and we look at related work synthesizing what we already know of the temporal concerns in interaction design and HCI. In the second part we present a design experiment through which we explore the experiential qualities of a set of 11 simple temporal forms by letting a series of expert designers reflect upon them. We borrow a framework from Boorstin’s film theory in which he distinguishes between the voyeuristic, the vicarious, and the visceral experience. We show how to use rhythms, complexity, gentle or forceful behavior, etc., to create experiences of ‘being alive’, being entertained, or being something that we empathize with. We end the paper by arguing how the temporal form in computational things enables richer experiences than static objects do.”
Anna Vallgårda, Morten Winther, Nina Mørch, and Edit E. Vizer ~ International Journal of Design Vol. 9(3) Dec. 2015 ★
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The illusion of completeness: What it is and how to avoid it
Just lure them into new content territories.
“Users can think they see the entire web page, although additional content exists off-screen. Designers must help users discover all relevant information.”
Kim Flaherty a.k.a. /kimflahertyux ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Why desktop UX still has something to teach mobile
The more reflective the designer is, the more it doesn’t matter how big the screen is. Only context then drives design.
“Mobile isn’t killing desktop in the way most of us expected it to. It is clearly the future growth platform of computing (at least, until the next thing comes along) but we have over-hyped the New Market Effect, focusing on “the shiny” and not paying attention to critical microinteractions that make a difference. We are so in love with flashy UX features that we ignore the deep impact of the proven and the mundane. The directions listed here are too easily ignored. They are actually the core building blocks of powerful UX experiences and need to be improved. It’s just a bit surprising that so much mobile inspiration can come from its inferior predecessor, the desktop UX.”
Scott Jenson a.k.a. /scottjenson | @scottjenson ~ FastCo.Design ★
An afterword to ‘Indexing it all’: The subject in the age of documentation, information and data
The aboutness of content as a new type or category of metadata.
“For his book Indexing It All: The Subject in the Age of Documentation, Information, and Data, Ronald E. Day was honored with the 2015 ASIS&T Best Information Science Book award. In this afterword, Day explains that the book examines the concept of ‘aboutness’ in the modern documentary tradition covering information science and data science. In writing the book, Day wanted to sort out the relationship between subject and object, between user and document, the core of information science and prelude to information retrieval. He considers the transition of a text serving a group audience to a document serving individual user needs, facilitated by an array of digital technologies. Referencing historical precursors Paul Otlet and Suzanne Briet, he considers documentation as evidence that, depending on the viewpoint chosen, may be a construction or a representation of a concept. Day considers his book a dystopian work, asserting that information technology has been charged with answering both information and cultural needs and has given rise to users’ addiction to technology. He anticipates data and documents to both influence and be influenced by evolving technologies, cultural forms and social norms with the document form persisting, though transformed.”
ASIS&T Bulletin Dec/Jan 2016 ★
Jedi principles of UI animation
Moving towards cinematography in UI design.
“Why, when, and how to use animation in your UI, what UX Choreography is, and what all of this has to do with Star Wars.”
Kit Oliynyk a.k.a. /fiorine | @fiorine ~ Adaptive Path ★
Content display patterns
Display as in information and visual design.
“When thinking about patterns, content strategists are primarily thinking about content patterns, designers are primarily thinking about display patterns, and front-end developers are responsible for bringing the two together.”
Dan Mall a.k.a. /danielmall | @danielmall ~ Dan Mall ★
What is the technical writer’s role in content marketing?
Switching labels or is technical communication now finally addressing a general audience?
“Technical writers should repurpose their information-rich content into content marketing deliverables that can be used to build relationships with potential audiences in the market. This content can help establish thought leadership, visibility, and trust with your audience so that when you start releasing and mentioning your 1.0 product, your audience adopts it.”
Tom Johnson a.k.a. @tomjohnson ~ I’d rather be writing
How to determine the right number of participants for usability studies
Have we left N=5?
“UX researchers and other project stakeholders often fervently debate the number of participants that are necessary for usability studies. At the core of this debate is often the tension between the usability professional’s desire for the best possible study and the business team’s desire to reduce time and expense.”
Janet M. Six a.k.a. /janetmsix | @JanetMSix and Ritch Macefield a.k.a. /dr-ritch-macefield | @Ax_Stream ~ UXmatters ★
Complete beginner’s guide to Information Architecture
But how complete can it be?
“Information architecture is a task often shared by designers, developers, and content strategists. But regardless of who takes on the task, IA is a field of its own, with influences, tools, and resources that are worth investigation. In this article we’ll discuss what information architecture really is, and why it’s a valuable aspect of the user experience process.”
UX Booth ★
Tracing the Dynabook: A study of technocultural transformations
Know thy history!
“This work is a historical study of the Dynabook project and vision, which began as a blue-sky project to define personal and educational computing at Xerox PARC in the 1970s. It traces the idea through the three intervening decades, noting the transformations which occur as the vision and its artifacts meet varying contexts. The dissertation was for a PhD in education; the focus of this work is mostly educational, though I’ve tried to do justice to the technology throughout. I defended it successfully before a committee of profs from education and compsci on Halloween 2006.”
John W. Maxwell a.k.a. @jmaxsfu (courtesy of @worrydream) ★
On meta-design and algorithmic design systems
Abstraction, the next compentency for visual designers after empathy.
“This post is about something I see as a continuing trend in the design world: the rise of the meta-designer and algorithmic design systems.”
Rune Skjoldborg Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen ~ RuneMadsen ★
Efficient UX design within an organization
In-house, the place to be for upcoming UX professionals.
“As UX designers, we spend a lot of time helping other people to be more effective. This is the heart and soul of good design. Is the new approach making users more effective in what they do? If not, it’s failing. While there are countless articles about how to understand users and design and test applications, I want to take a look at how to make the design process itself more effective, particularly within the sometimes neglected context of designers working within—rather than contracting with an organization. While your circumstances may be different from those I’ve experienced and this column is likely to be more helpful to designers earlier in their careers, I hope it provides some value to more experienced designers as well.”
Peter Hornsby a.k.a. /peter-hornsby | @PeterHornsby ~ UXmatters ★