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User experience

User experience is about how a person feels about using a product, system or service. (source: Wikipedia)

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

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

What UX roles you need and why

Roles and activities, responsibilities and points-of-view in UX are changing all the time.

“When thinking about what UX roles a given team requires, so much depends on the nature of the company and the type of project. But there are definitely some UX roles that most teams need when designing and developing applications. Let’s start with the most obvious, then work our way to those that are more obscure. Finally, I’ll describe the soft skills that all UX professionals need to succeed.”

Christian Rohrer a.k.a. /crohrer | @christianrohre ~ UXmatters

How to balance design guidelines for children

Guidelines for specific groups must be very specific.

“Creating design guidelines for products whose users include kids requires an evolution in our thinking beyond the guidelines we typically follow. The users, content, and context dictate the appropriate design guidelines. For kids, you might start with the type of product.”

Jonathan Evans a.k.a. /jonathanhevans | @jhewiz ~ UXmatters

How Apple is giving Design a bad name

It’s lonely at the top. In the end, you only can look inward.

“Once upon a time, Apple was known for designing easy-to-use, easy-to-understand products. It was a champion of the graphical user interface, where it is always possible to discover what actions are possible, clearly see how to select that action, receive unambiguous feedback as to the results of that action, and to have the power to reverse that action—to undo it—if the result is not what was intended. No more. Now, although the products are indeed even more beautiful than before, that beauty has come at a great price. Gone are the fundamental principles of good design: discoverability, feedback, recovery, and so on. Instead, Apple has, in striving for beauty, created fonts that are so small or thin, coupled with low contrast, that they are difficult or impossible for many people with normal vision to read. We have obscure gestures that are beyond even the developer’s ability to remember. We have great features that most people don’t realize exist.”

Donald A Norman a.k.a. /donnorman | @jnd1er and Bruce Tognazinni a.k.a. /bruce-tognazzini | @asktog ~ FastCo Design

Creating good user experiences by focusing on content

There comes a moment, UX professionals will start designing from-out the content.

“Content is everyone’s business. People in many different roles work toward shared project goals—whether they’re content strategists, UX designers, product managers, or Web developers. The outcome of both business-focused and user-centered goals is the user’s experience, and that user experience should have one thing at its heart: content. The more you can embed content strategy into every step of your design process, the better the user experience will be. It is essential both that content be useful and that its presentation be usable. After all, it’s the content that brings users to your Web site.”

Robert Mills a.k.a. /robertmills81 | @RobertMills ~ UXmatters

Object-oriented UX

Object think helps any designer tremendously.

“That’s OOUX: putting object design before procedural action design, and thinking about a system through the lens of the real-world objects in a user’s mental model (products, tutorials, locations), not digital-world actions (search, filter, compare, check out). We determine the actions after first defining the objects, as opposed to the traditional actions-first process that jumps straight into flows, interactions, and features.”

Sophia Voychehovski a.k.a. /sophiav | @sophiavux ~ A List Apart

Six indicators of an organizations UX maturity level

Is growth always a matter of maturity? Then you must define the end state: death.

“Organizations are seeing the value of hiring user experience (UX) professionals and incorporating user-centered design. Big name companies such as Google and Apple have incorporated UX design as a centerpiece of their successes. The overall maturity of UX design in creating software and technology has made huge leaps over the past few decades. However, like any function or practice, not all organizations have adopted or embraced UX design to the same degree or at comparable levels of maturity.”

Jennifer Fraser a.k.a. /jenniferfraser | @jlfraser & Scott Plewes a.k.a. /scott-plewes ~ Macadamian

A UX legend on the much-rumored death of the design firm

One also needs a healthy dosis of faith.

“The salient characteristic of design in the 21st century is that we need one whole hell of a lot of it. We need designers on the inside, designers on the outside, designers at inception, designers during development, and designers after release three-point-oh. But for a large, and growing, cohort of businesses, the independence of the external design consultancy is exactly what they need to see their future clearly and march purposely toward it.”

Alan Cooper a.k.a. /alan-cooper | @MrAlanCooper ~ FastCo design

Stepping up: UX in the enterprise

Enterprise UX or UX in the enterprise. Two perspectives to closely take on.

“The primary challenges with UX result directly from the enterprise’s need for flexibility and scale. While most enterprise projects are large and complex, the actual number of design professionals needed to be effective is small relative to the overall staff. Also, the projects themselves fluctuate in volume and type of activity throughout the project lifecycle.”

Anton Baturan a.k.a. @AntonijeBaturan ~ User Experience

UX strategy: Fad or new world order?

Whenever something gets real, people start to ask for ‘strategy’. Without any vision. Where are the UX (design) visionaries?

“A big part of this change is a growing awareness of design outside of our field, partially due to the design profession’s efforts to educate others. Only 10 years ago a business magazine called to interview me about these strange positions we were hiring for that required having a deep sense of empathy and an ability to collaborate with others to design innovative solutions. That same magazine now has a regular design feature. It’s my belief that coverage in popular media, including books, articles, and blog posts highlighting what designers really do and how that adds value, has significantly helped the profession grow.”

Jon Innes a.k.a. /innesjon | @innes_jon ~ UX Magazine

UX and CX: Maximize the value of your user experience team

It’s getting picked-up more and more. The fraternal twins of CX and UX.

“In this post, I’ll present an approach for unifying CX and UX processes and teams by mapping research insights to a consistent enterprise view of customers and users; and linking research findings to measurable results.”

John Ticer a.k.a. /john-ticer | @jtticer ~ Core77

Timeless advice for becoming a player in the field of UX

Read, read, read. Think, think, think. Practice, practice, practice. Start all over.

“My story: I didn’t study UX. User experience wasn’t even close to a common term when I went to school, or college. I’m forty. I studied communication science. Turns out that was actually a pretty good foundation for what I do. Not primarily in the sense of giving me better tools and making me a better UX:er, but in the sense of giving me the terminology to better describe the usefulness of what I do and how it fits into the big picture of organizations.”

Per Axbom a.k.a. /axbom | @axbom ~ axbom

UX generalists or specialists?

If information architects, interaction designers and user researchers are UX specialists, what’s a UX designer?

“I might be the ideal person to answer this question. Over the last 15 years, I’ve had the unusual experience of starting out as a UX design generalist, becoming a user research specialist, and again becoming a UX design generalist. In this column, I’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of generalization and specialization for UX professionals and the companies that hire them.”

(Jim Ross a.k.a. @anotheruxguy ~ UXmatters)

What is meant by UX? Analyzing usability and UX professionals’ dynamic representations of Self

Your self image is never the same as the worlds perception of you. Even if it’s your professional image.

“This research investigates the ways usability/user experience professionals describe themselves for different audiences and across multiple digital platforms, including LinkedIn, Twitter, portfolio websites, and business websites. By analyzing the digital identities of over 40 usability/user experience professionals, this article presents quantitative and qualitative pictures of how usability and user experience is being described in digital spaces. This article highlights broad patterns and specific tactics being implemented by four types of usability/user experience professionals and gives recommendations for how these tactics can be modified and applied for other usability/user experience professionals attempting to create professional identities in digital spaces.”

(Rebecca Zantjer and Laura Gonzales ~ Journal of Usability Studies August 2015)

Very large touchscreens: UX design differs from mobile screens

At an abstract level, all design deals with users, context, domain (structure of content), and constraints.

“Only a few mobile-design skills and design recommendations translate well to designing for very large touchscreens, as found in kiosks and other nonmobile use cases. Users’ field of vision, arm motion, affordance, and privacy are a few of the different considerations for such screens with up to 380 times the area of a smartphone.”

(Kara Pernice ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

Inspiration for UX design from the Arts and Sciences

As long as the human experience is the focus of design, anything goes.

“Our experts have taken inspiration from such diverse fields as music, dance, philosophy, theater, and gastronomy. Have you taken inspiration from another profession and applied it in your UX design practice? If so, please share the source of your inspiration in the comments. Read on to learn about some of our experts’ sources of UX inspiration.”

(Janet Six ~ UXmatters)