News Flashes - Hand-Picked Since 1997
Curator Peter Bogaards (a.k.a. @BogieZero)
May 24, 2013
Service design is it, sort of.
"Increased competitive pressure, technology convergence and changing user behaviors require a new approach to future-proof businesses and organizations. Service design has a track record of being a catalyst towards customer orientation, organizational alignment and improving the total customer experience."
May 23, 2013
Getting your hands dirty with markup for real.
"Content strategists should realize that XML isn't scary and it is really powerful for doing cool things with your content. In the 'olden days' when we first began creating Web-based content we used to have to use HTML codes to tag the content, now you create content in web forms or Word and rarely, if ever, have to think about the HTML codes. The same is true of XML, you don't have to use codes to create content, there are lots of tools that 'hide' the XML tags. However, XML is much smarter than HTML. HTML tags describe the formatting structure of the content, XML defines the semantic structure of the content. For example, we can define that some content is a teaser and then have the system handle it differently when published to the Web, mobile, or even print."
May 21, 2013
The more data the document contains, the stronger the need for proper information design.
"UX deliverables had a rocky year so far. I feel particularly bad for the humble wireframe, which took some serious knocks over the past few months. There's also a growing skepticism about the value of Personas. The Persona thing made me particularly uneasy because I've always been a huge fan, and we still start most of our projects with a workshop to define Personas and User Journeys."
Depicting the growth of a discipline as the growth of human is based upon biological and social laws. Mmmm... let me think.
"Imagine if you will information architecture as a pimply-faced, malcontent teenager. IA is eager to express and redefine itself. It wants to be an individual yet accepted by its peers. It is simultaneously aggravated and apathetic about its parents, mentors, and role-models. It is a bit of a mess, but a wonderful, beautiful mess with endless opportunity and potential."
May 16, 2013
So much to change in enterprises. How about metadata?
"The increasing need to dynamically deliver targeted content that is contextually relevant rests on three things – the technology to deliver it, the appropriate personalization and targeting strategies, and a robust enterprise taxonomy. Developing and managing your taxonomy is not a painless exercise, and it requires the help of an expert and the involvement and buy-in of key stakeholders, but based on our experiences, the benefits far outweigh the effort."
May 15, 2013
A list of so-called secrets, with a description phrase. We want narratives.
"I know many UX designers present themselves as unquestionable experts on human beings; as seers whose edicts should be followed to the letter. Come on."
Nice example of a rhetorical question.
"Listen to your users and always check whether the new features are desirable. As you first release an app, start with your core competency and consider the features that are essential to your primary user path. As you iterate and add more features from your business and product road map, take into account what users are saying. You may find yourself adding or sunsetting features based on how and where people are using your app. Mobile or not, the tablet market is here to stay and, directly or indirectly, users will tell us what features to build next."
May 14, 2013
The larger the organization, the more important this component becomes.
"While all three components (creation, publication, governance) of the content strategy lifecycle are intended to be ongoing, it's the Governance component that often requires the most dedication due to its never ending need for attention. Once content is created and published then it will forever need to be managed, maintained, optimised and compliant which leads to the age old question of 'where to begin?'"
May 13, 2013
Explaining it to UX designers is one thing, to your mother is another.
"If you are in an agency or consultancy environment, you might categorise service design as part of user experience and/or experience strategy. If you come from a product environment, service design might vibrate more to what you consider as product management and business design. In a nutshell, service design is delivering a designed experience onto different levels of actors with a more holistic approach in mind. Let me elaborate on that."
Great piece of content marketing.
"User experience is arguably the most important aspect of a connected digital device such as a tablet or a smartphone."
Text and typography is the ultimate user interface and experience.
"The good news is that most applications are already set up for integrating information. With planning and creativity, you can create a successful, positive information experience for your users."
Service design and change. Any design field is a changer.
"Framing a people-centred design challenge as a service design project, will always initially require lots of pursuasive communications. This is why my focus is now on the generative research, co-discovery and co-design fuzzy front end of the design process, where you begin by understanding the experiences of people who are the new design experts, but who are too often ignored in design process."
May 8, 2013
Interdisciplinary team work at its best.
"Soccer teams, just like teams in any other sport, share a lot of difficulties and joys with UX teams. Think about how each player needs to have his or her role in the tactic scheme. Isn’t that the same as each creative having his or her own place on the UX team based on specific skills and abilities? Egos, collaboration, controversy, fast decisions, and especially the unpredictable moves are the beauty of being part of the game or the design project. Success in both cases is also closely related to teamwork, individual talents, and leadership."
The theatre metaphor provides so much inspiration, insight and knowledge.
"Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting. These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It's these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked."
May 7, 2013
Design for the experiences of kids, the KX.
"As technology becomes more advanced, interactive devices find their path into our everyday lives. Education is one of the most recent fields where new and interactive devices such as the iPad are being introduced. When interactive systems are used to teach children, it is essential to make sure that these systems are easy to learn and easy to use. They must not create a barrier between the child and the information to be accessed. On touch screen interfaces, interaction happens through direct contact between the hand and the interface. Especially for kids this offers great perspectives, as children naturally tend to touch things they want to interact with. However, due to the young age of interactive learning systems, little research has been done on how children interact with mobile devices."
Love the title of 'User Experience Librarian'. Information architecture meet UX for real.
"UX in libraries needs to be a completely immersive experience. We make sure our shelves are full of items patrons want and need. The surroundings are designed to be home-like with fireplaces, couches, power outlets, lamps, and meeting rooms. Across the country, libraries are thus transforming themselves from book warehouses to places where people want to come and hang out."
Taxo's are great tools for hierarchical thinking.
"The only answer that makes any sense when managing large amounts of content is – perhaps counter-intuitively – to use a flat structure, without a taxonomy."
May 3, 2013
Service design as the vehicle for adding corporate value: E2 ('Experience Engineering').
"I believe that the strategic process of experience engineering is why it is imperative that the benefits of Service Design are communicated to and supported by people working at the highest organisational business level."
Although I like the label 'prototypathon', I still wonder why you should have them.
"In our work with design teams, we see a lot of teams using prototypes today. We're also seeing many of those same teams fall into traps that reduce the effectiveness of their prototyping efforts. Here's five of the most common ones we see."
It always gets more interesting when meaning is involved.
"We inhabit many different semantic environments as we go about our lives. For example, religion is one such semantic environment: we use a particular set of words, in particular ways, when we are in church. Semantic environments are also composed of many subenvironments."
May 2, 2013
Including the notion that form (a.k.a. presentation) has meaning too.
"Arguing for 'separation of content from presentation' implies a neat division between the two. The reality, of course, is that content and form, structure and style, can never be fully separated. Anyone who's ever written a document and played around to see the impact of different fonts, heading weights, and whitespace on the way the writing flows knows this is true. Anyone who's ever squinted at HTML code, trying to parse text from tags, knows it too."
Governments is some countries are stepping up regarding design and their added value for citizens.
"Design is a key source of innovation and therefore part of the solution to the growth challenge Europe is facing. Every day we see start-up businesses inspired by design and creative thinking, and leading global enterprises using it as a means to boost business development and gain competitive advantage. Worldwide there is also an increasing focus on how design and other creative skills can contribute to a green transition. A major part of a product's environmental footprint is defined through the early design phase, so many environmental issues can be solved by focusing on reducing environmental impact early in the development process. Rapid urbanisation is another example. The rise of mega-cities with millions of inhabitants is increasing the need for design solutions both technical and social that can meet the challenge of creating sustainable urban environments on a huge scale."
May 1, 2013
A great piece on being successful online, every designer, manager and marketeer should read.
"Strategy is about trying to take control and trying to win. Strategy is about trying to predict the future or at least enough of that future that will give you a competitive advantage. Strategy is about being specific. It is about helping you get from A to C by doing B. It's about putting your cards on the table, placing your bets."
April 30, 2013
A proposal which changed the world forever.
"The WWW project merges the techniques of information retrieval and hypertext to make an easy but powerful global information system. The project is based on the philosophy that much academic information should be freely available to anyone. It aims to allow information sharing within internationally dispersed teams, and the dissemination of information by support groups. Originally aimed at the High Energy Physics community, it has spread to other areas and attracted much interest in user support, resource discovery and collaborative work areas."
April 29, 2013
Pages as dividers are old school from the atom world.
"Long listings might need pagination by default, but if users customize the display to 'View All' list items, respect that preference."
April 26, 2013
Listen to the thoughts, insights and ideas on service design of this illustrious trio.
"We'll start with a brief introduction to Service Design and cover a case study from an insurance company to demonstrate its key service design ideas and methods. Gjensidige - Norway's biggest insurance company - is a large organization dealing with an abstract "product" of insurance and financial services, but with outcomes that deeply affect people at critical moments in their lives. Building on Gjensidige's strategy to be completely customer centered, we will show you how a service blueprint can bring together groups - like Marketing and IT - that are often misaligned and at times at war. We'll also show you how cross-channel experience prototyping with customers and staff made two organizations (insurance and banking) feel like one to the customer."
(Lavrans Løvlie, Andy Polaine, and Ben Reason ~ O'Reilly)
April 25, 2013
A kind of out-of-place and out-of-time way of designing.
"Contemporary Steampunk culture owes much to the Internet and the communities of practice that have arisen online to share techniques, post tutorials, debate principles, and generally create an ecosystem that supports and celebrates improvisation, exploration, experimentation, and bricolage."
Search, the most undervalued digital conversation.
"Search is a conversation: a dialogue between user and system that can be every bit as rich as human conversation. Like human dialogue, it is bidirectional: on one side is the user with their information need, which they articulate as some form of query."
April 23, 2013
Healthcare, the next field of digital disruption and experience design.
"(...) organizations that lag in customer experience can be found more commonly in the airline, Internet service provider and healthcare industries."
April 22, 2013
Designing for simplicity versus complexity is a zero-sum game.
"Put your user in the middle of your flow. Make them press an extra button, make them provide some inputs, let them be part of the service-providing, rather than a bystander to it. If they are part of the flow, they have a better vantage point to see what's going on. Automation is great, but it's a layer of cognitive complexity that should be used carefully."