Crafting a design persona
Anything you can use to stimulate your empathy.
“Crafting a design persona is an intense exercise that requires the the time and involvement of team members throughout your company. While the work may seem daunting, it is well worth it. By investing in your product’s design persona, you are investing in future advocates of your product—and creating a source of design inspiration for your team.”
(Meg Dickey-Kurdziolek a.k.a. @megak ~ A List Apart) ★
Good design drives shareholder value: 2014 design value index results and commentary
2015 version coming soon, because ‘the results are in’.
“The 2014 Design Value Index shows us for a second year that corporations that put an emphasis on design as a strategic asset perform significantly better than those that do not. As corporate design capabilities mature, executives are able to direct this power towards their companies’ most challenging problems. This, in turn, allows design-driven companies to grow faster, and often with higher margins, due to the exceptional customer experiences they are uniquely positioned to create. Key trends identified through this work include the rise of user-experience (UX) design as a sub-discipline whose growth is expected to outpace all other design disciplines as the number of digital interfaces expand and the significant investment in internal design capabilities under way in many large U.S. companies today, as we see from DVI companies Intuit and IBM .”
(Jeneanne Rae a.k.a. @JeneanneMRae ~ Design Management Institute) ★
Design and the Corporation: A reply from Darrel Rhea
It’s just a new wave of what happened before. But now with less ‘crazy designers’.
“Design isn’t just working on aesthetics or functionality, they are making contributions to strategy, they are generating new value propositions. Having design be more prominent is allowing these organizations to leverage the insights they have been gathering on customers and consumers. They are becoming institutionally empathetic.”
(Grant McCracken a.k.a. @Grant27) ★
Designing on a system level
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”, said Arthur C. Clarke.
“Data analytics can help predict behavior. Designers need to add data analytics to their skill sets in order to create the next generation of services. Goodman discusses the magical — and sometimes creepy — effect anticipatory design possesses.”
(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar) ★
Designing the connected everyday
Another design challenge emerging from technology: Design for connected experiences.
“(…) we live in a world of increased complexity, in which digital data, everyday objects, and social practices are increasingly connected and interdependent. In a world of increasing complexity, designing digital technologies that facilitate meaningful interactions and integrate elegantly in our everyday lives requires an understanding of how to design for commensurability – that is, making our ability to connect across networks commensurate with our current practices in the physical world. Designing the connected everyday is fundamentally about making things commensurate as much as it is about making them smart.”
(Elisa Giaccardi a.k.a. @elisagiaccardi ~ ACM Interactions Magazine Jan/Feb 2015) ★
The changing nature of design is coming full circle
The time has come to deliver on the promise of Design.
“Design is entering its golden age. Now, like never before, the value of the discipline is recognized. This recognition is both a welcome change and a challenge for designers as they move to designing for networked systems.”
(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)
Why I teach theory
Without a good theory, all data can be equally usefull.
“As an educator, I’m painfully aware of the challenges of curricular design. Far and away the largest challenge in building a curriculum is fitting the quantity of material into a realistic course structure. It’s a zero-sum game; for each topic I add, I have to remove something. Design, like other professions, is going through a process of increased specialization, and that means there are more skills to learn in order to claim deep expertise. I end up agonizing over every detail, every class.”
(Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko)
Pace of change as a metaphor for full-stack design
Design as the new normal.
“Design is finally receiving the attention and respect of non-designers. Jeff Veen talks about a different dynamic, one in which design plays a leading role in the development of products and services.”
(Mary Treseler a.k.a. @marytreseler ~ O’Reilly Radar)
Why DesignX? Designers and complex systems
Progressing on the design maturity path for all designers: from wicked problems to complex systems.
“For many years, together with a number of design educators, I have been discussing how design can address the complex socio-technological systems that characterize our world. The issues are not new: many people and disciplines have grappled with them for some time. But how can design play a role? Do our educational methods, especially the emphasis upon craft, prepare designers for this? What can design add?”
(Donald A. Norman ~ Core77)
DesignX: A future path for Design
How Design can solve the wicked problems of the world.
“DesignX is a new, evidence-based approach for addressing many of the complex and serious problems facing the world today. It adds to and augments today’s design methods, reformulating the role that design can play. Modern design has grown from a focus on products and services to a robust set of methods that is applicable to a wide range of societal issues. When combined with the knowledge and expertise of specialized disciplines, these design methods provide powerful ways to develop practical approaches to large, complex issues. We seek a radical reformation of design practice, education, and research. It is time for a new era of design activism.”
(Donald A. Norman)
Is The Grid a better web designer than you?
We just have to wait for a Turing test of website designs. Was it a synapse or an algorithm?
“However, if you’re doing the job of a web designer properly, The Grid has no way to compete. No artificial intelligence will ever replace a human designer, because design is largely about emotional intelligence. Good design extends into every facet of a website, and it’s not about computers talking to each other, it’s about human beings communicating.”
(Benjie Moss a.k.a. @BenjieMoss ~ Web Designer Depot)
Designing to co-designing to collective dreaming: Three slices in time
Or how design can make the world a better place.
“Over the past 30 years, almost every aspect of doing design has changed. We still seem to be in the middle of a transition to greater entanglement and complexity, but with greater involvement of people and, hopefully, more value contributed by the design capabilities of many. We can anticipate these uncertainties with hope or fear. But if we can use design thinking, making, and enacting to visualize and explore the future together, then we will be able to harness our collective creativity to serve our collective dreams.”
(Liz Sanders and Pieter Jan Stappers ~ ACM Interactions nov/dec 2014)
An introduction to user research techniques: Ways to understand your users and their needs
Research is the foundation for design to make informed decisions.
“This guidance provides a broad overview of the methods and techniques available to conduct user research. More detailed guidance on each of these techniques can be found in the links below. User research can be categorised into 2 broad themes: product research and strategic research.”
The designer’s dilemma
After the dilemma of the innovator, we have the one of the designer.
“If you have ever worked on a design project or any other open-ended, ill-defined problem, you’re familiar with the designer’s dilemma. It works like this: at the beginning of a project you have a lot of freedom to take the design or project in many, possibly infinite, directions. But you also don’t know that much about the problem or the potential solutions, so making decisions during those early phases of the project of the project is challenging because your level of knowledge is low.”
(Durward Sobek ~ The Lean Post)
Digital tools for design research
Wondering how these instruments determine the research results.
“Design research is about understanding real people in the context of their everyday lives and then using what we learn to inspire our work.”
(Dan Perkel a.k.a. @dperkel ~ IDEO Labs)
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)
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 right way to do lean research
Never do research that’s redundant. But if it takes years (longitudinal), so be it.
“Too many people just do research or talk to customers without having a plan for what they want to learn. What they end up with is a mass of information with no way of parsing it.”
(Laura Klein a.k.a. @lauraklein ~ Boxes and Arrows)
Talk about design and innovation after the phase of ‘just do it’.
“Finding the sweet spot in terms of a timeframe or design skeleton is one thing, but the real challenge comes with translating consumer insights into something innovative that the designers can stand behind. (…) And just as we’ve made the transition from a much more “magic” way of introducing design to completely immersing ourselves into the thoughts, suggestions and feelings of consumers, we’re looking to a future where the the public will ultimately be playing a much smaller role in the actual function of their products. All we can do is wait to see what comes out of the woodwork – and offer our opinions as consumers whenever we have the chance.”
Honing your research skills through ad-hoc contextual inquiry
UCD mantra: “Don’t listen to them, but watch them.”
“It’s common in our field to hear that we don’t get enough time to regularly practice all the types of research available to us, and that’s often true, given tight project deadlines and limited resources. But one form of user research – contextual inquiry – can be practiced regularly just by watching people use the things around them and asking a few questions.”
(Will Hacker a.k.a. @willhacker ~ Boxes & Arrows)