Just a set of steps a.k.a. process in 'hinzeit'.
"Typically, when a product design falls flat, people want to insert a design process to fix the bad design. However (...), a one-size-fits-all design process does not exist. Don't force a process on a design team that everyone must follow. Every designer has their own unique way of solving design problems. Bad product design is fixed by hiring good designers not by adopting a better design process."
Discovering the large body of design management knowledge as helpful to move UX design into large orgs.
" I'm convinced, to build an important, new foundation for meta-innovation, that is, a more innovative way to create innovative organizational environments, especially in business settings."
User (experience) research, design research, usability research, market research: A changing, interconnected world
Whatever it takes to feed your understanding of people, as consumers, users or patients.
"When I was in a management role at Yahoo!, we discovered that market researchers were encountering some of the same obstacles as our UX researchers - obstacles to being appropriately involved upstream in the process to have a more strategic impact on the company. So UX research began to partner with market research in an effort to attain that involvement."
It's so easy. It just takes five.
"As customers' expectations change rapidly driven not just from you, or what happens in your industry but also by other companies they deal with who lead the way (e.g. Amazon, Apple, Starbucks etc.) you need to constantly innovate. There are fewer innovations when people are afraid to do errors. We have recently gathered former clients from different parts of the world who had a success with their customer experience programs and one thing was common that led to their success – the room for trial and error they had."
And does web design also need a Gang of Four?
"I thought it would be interesting to explore if a connection between object oriented programming and how we develop visual design patterns exists."
Design thinking says what it is, thinking.
"So three cheers for design thinking, for those practitioners and schools that are using these techniques, that encourage breakthrough thinking, and that encourage asking the stupid question. Not all schools teach design thinking in this way. Not all students learn it. Not all designers practice it. But for those who do teach, learn and practice all of the techniques of design thinking, it can be transformative."
Studies and research for our fields of practice are important parts of our fundaments.
"This study aims to understand the interactions of perception, effort, emotion, time and performance during the performance of multiple information tasks using Web information technologies. (...) The results of this study can be employed as a theoretical foundation for designing human-friendly, adaptive user interfaces, which function as intelligent and affective central mechanisms and help users prioritise, monitor and coordinate their needs/tasks/goals effectively and efficiently. This study introduces the emotional factor, which is a newly emerging dimension, in dynamic information seeking and retrieval contexts and enlightens the existing areas of human information interaction."
Balancing client and user requirements? Out of balance mostly in fav of client.
"Successful user research involves close collaboration between clients and researchers to ensure that the research focuses on the right issues and provides acceptable recommendations. So, in this edition of my column, I'll speak directly to the clients of researchers about the steps they should take to stay involved throughout a user research project and ensure its success."
The relevance of user experience design in business contexts is mounting rapidly.
"This presentation is divided into two parts. The first part is about setting the stage a bit, and in order to do so I will address the interrelations between some of the changes the telecom industry is facing, and how corporate research and innovation relate to these. In the second part I will illustrate how we at Ericsson Research recon that user experience plays a role in all of this."
Be careful not to fall in any of them. Other mistakes still ahead.
"More and more organizations view UX as a key contributor to successful products, connecting teams with end-users and guiding product innovation within the organization. Though it's fantastic to see this transition happen, there are growing pains associated with becoming a user-driven organization. These are the pitfalls that I see organizations grappling with most often."
Fitts' law is a principle for UI design; not an evaluation method for UX.
"The key statement of Fitts's Law is that the time required to move a pointing device to a target is a function of the distance to the target and its size. In layman's terms: the closer and larger a target, the faster it is to click on that target. This is easy to understand, not too difficult to implement and it doesn't seem to make much sense to contradict such a simple and obvious statement."
Computational predictability: the algorithmic perspective on human behavior. A kind of Ellerdale project.
"The advent of social media has established a symbiotic relationship between social media and online news. This relationship can be leveraged for tracking news content, and predicting behavior with tangible real-world applications, e.g., online reputation management, ad pricing, news ranking, and media analysis. In this thesis, we focus on tracking news content in social media, and predicting user behavior."
It's one or the other: magic or no magic.
"What is created when we apply a process? When process is used consciously you have evidence of work for each part of the design process."
Design is now so ubiquitous, it's exploding into all kinds of industries: health, education, business, tourism, and now even government as well.
"And so we find ourselves seeking a deeper transformation in the way we organise and build our society. We face a choice about the future we want to create and live within and who should be entrusted with envisioning, contributing and ultimately delivering that future. From the invention of the modern concept of the designer as an agent for change in the industrial era, to the demands of an ever-changing, interconnected global community, our needs for design and creativity have evolved. Designers are increasingly directing their talents to new problems, bringing professional creativity to the biggest and most important challenges of our times. As we acknowledge that the unprecedented demands facing public services cannot be met by increased funding alone, it seems right to look to those dissatisfied optimists for new approaches that will help deliver the innovative solutions we need."
You can also call it a critical cognitive walkthrough.
"Problem solving in a critique is also a frequent occurrence. It seems to be a common trait of people who are involved in the design, development and overall creation of things, whether they be websites, products, services, or whatever. We can't help but try to solve problems. It's just the way our brains work. But in the context of a critique, problem solving and jumping to solutions can be detrimental for a number of reasons."
A Dutch delight.
"The Design for Usability project published a book that provides the product development community with a comprehensive and coherent overview of the results of the project, in such a way that they can be applied in practice. The book outlines the studies conducted in the project, and indicates how the individual research projects are related and which of them can be applied in a coherent mode."
"(...) it makes sense now to call attention to the distinction between Dr. Fogg's Behavior Theory – the emerging discipline of behavior design – and the widening concept of design thinking. In my mind, both occupy some similar space but are not mutually exclusive or competing thought architectures. BJ and I briefly discussed how design thinking and behavior design relate to one another, and he admittedly has not arrived at a definitive relationship, though he believes they are complimentary. I'm hopeful Dr. Fogg is willing to have an ongoing conversation with me about their relationship, and work with the design community to develop a framework in which behavior design and design thinking can be successfully leveraged together. Held in comparison, behavior design fits quite nicely into the larger Design Thinking or Human Centered Design process, and can be employed with great effect as part of a design thinker's arsenal."
Do you know what you want? I don't.
"Users don't always know exactly what they want. Sometimes they know only that they want help figuring out what they want. This makes figuring out user intent particularly challenging for marketers and product manufacturers."
Language, the tool of communication.
"It's common in design to discuss the "language of things", the language expressed by physical objects and digital systems. We often consider the visual layout of a website – how it guides a user; what the hierarchy of fields in a form might suggest; or what the look and feel of a product says about a brand or company – but what about that company's words; how do they fit into all this?"
Network, the underlying concept of the 21st century.
"We often take decisions by using the wrong or outdated tools and theories. Network science and tools are readily available to inform decisions in different sectors and organizations. Their adoption for decision-making should be further promoted."
Or how epic is EPIC?
"The EPIC Conference promotes the use of ethnographic investigations and principles in the study of human behavior as they are applied in business settings. By understanding people, what they do, how they do it and how these change over time, we can create better business strategies, processes and products, as well as enhance and simplify people's lives. Beyond this, the conference aspires to promote the integration of rigorous methods and theory from multiple disciplines into business practices; to advocate business decisions based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of practicing ethnography as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field."
It's academic, so it must be (almost) European.
"This workshop aims to bring together researchers from academia and industry, as well as industry practitioners, who are conducting UX design and evaluation work and who either are applying theories, theoretical concepts and frameworks in their UX research or have concrete plans to do so."
Lights at the end of the tunnel.
"For a UX professional, one of the hardest things to measure is how much stakeholders and clients have bought into UX research. There is no clear, quantifiable answer to this question. Nevertheless, there are several signs that indicate stakeholder engagement, uptake, and buy-in. This article identifies some of these signs."
Anything you can capture from other people helps.
"It's interesting to think of what the future might bring in information-capture technology for user research. In my dreams, an ideal tool would be on a tablet, reducing the massive amount of paper that I currently waste when capturing handwritten notes. It would allow me to view a discussion guide and add handwritten notes using a stylus. My notes would be synced with either an audio recording or a wireless video recording, which would make it easy to jump to any point in a recording that corresponds to particular notes. The application would then take my handwritten notes and automatically convert them to text that I could manipulate in a word processor. Do you know of any tools that would let me achieve this? If not, I can dream. In the meantime, I'll be taking plenty of handwritten notes on paper and backing them up with audio or video recordings."
A little more reflective thinking on design.
"(...) integrative thinking and design thinking hold a lot of promise. But will these methods lead us to the effective solutions our corporate and community sponsors require, and the authentic connections with customers we hope to create? And will we realize a future of design that includes the increased impact we seek? I believe the answer is 'Yes, yes, and...' Yes, these methods can be effective. Yes, they can drive impact. And they could drive more impact if we apply the behaviors that they require to ourselves and not just to external problems and research subjects. It's not sufficient to think different, we must be different by demonstrating compassion, curiosity, openness, a comfort with ambiguity, and an unconditional positive regard for our experiences with one another."
The baby, toddler, teenager, and adolescent phases of UX research.
"An increasing number of organizations and individuals who develop software products, Web applications, Web sites, or other digital products are gaining a better understanding and appreciation for user experience and UX design and research. Subsequent to the introduction of some magnificent products and services that many executives now own or use-such as smartphones, tablets, Web applications, social media, and video games-they have gained a better understanding of what UX design and research can do to boost the success of a business offering."
But the thoughts coming out are not always usable.
"Simple usability tests where users think out loud are cheap, robust, flexible, and easy to learn. Thinking aloud should be the first tool in your UX toolbox, even though it entails some risks and doesn't solve all problems."
Every practice is made by people, not organizations. Focus on people, not brands.
"In this article, we give you some personal perspective on the changing role of human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers practicing in industry over the last 25 years and look to the future. We identify long-lasting themes and emerging trends and add some insight from our experiences working in IT research and development. These experiences include collaborating as team members on a series of HCI research projects during 15 of over 20 years at IBM Research. We also describe what it has been like having a two-person HCI household over the years."
In the DTDT or 'There is no such thing as...' category. And where does this debate lead us to? It depends.
"As experience design has evolved from early ideas about human-computer interaction to our present understanding, we can see how the industry has shaped the tools for studying, influencing, mediating, and sometimes even controlling the way people experience the artifacts they interact with. But that raises a question: can experience really be designed? And it certainly triggers lively debate."
Really hope her dissertation changes the discourse.
"The attention for experiences as economic offerings has increased enormously in the last decade. However, the lack of a clear definition of experience and the bias towards the organization's perspective in the discourse cause much confusion. In this study experience is taken back to its basis: the encounter between an individual and his or her environment. Different concepts, effects and values of experience are defined to construct a more integrative discourse for the experience economy from the individual's perspective. To reap the benefits that the experience economy offers, the role of organizations has to change from a directing and controlling one to a more supporting and facilitating one. A true recognition of the co-creation that takes place in experiences shows how much latent potential for creating value there is yet to discover."
Learning from the seniors.
"The first thing you should decide is what you want to focus on. There is a great variety of roles in user experience. Some UX professionals are generalists who do everything from user research to UX design - and sometimes even software development. Others specialize on a particular aspect of user experience such as interaction design, visual design, content strategy, or ethnography. And many fall somewhere in between - for example, a UX Architect who conducts user research and is responsible for every aspect of UX design except visual design."
How can you ever make something worthwhile if you haven't looked into it, a.k.a. research.
"(...) we'll discuss how research planning can reduce costs and decrease the time it takes to perform user research. One of the biggest challenges in performing user research is determining which research approaches to apply and when to apply them. The research methods you choose are dependent upon a variety of factors, including budget, schedule, development phase, business goals, and research questions."
We've banned the term 'user-friendliness' for more than a decade.
"User Research allows us to create hypothesis that are aimed at improving the website's user-friendliness, but more common, conversion. Usability testing allows us to test those hypotheses."
Know your computer design materials in and out: content, code, connectivity, and computation.
"(...) craftsmanship comes through intimate understanding of medium and material. The medium of painting is fairly obvious, as is the material of clay. But both the medium and materiality of service design, interaction design, and public policy are vague, abstract, and seemingly invisible. They are, however, not without definition. (...) one of the most fundamental failings of design thinking education is the lack of craftsmanship."
Where did I read that definition of Design before?
"Jay zeroes in on the design process at companies that do design well. The companies come in different shapes and sizes. The point is that design is something at which any company can succeed. Jay will talk about how companies that embrace the idea that design is about creating a great experience are the ones that will flourish in the 21st Century."
(Jay Greene ~ HIVE 2011)
Have we found the Margaret Mead of user experience in Technology?
"Genevieve Bell, director of interaction and experience research at Intel Corporation, says when she approaches technology she is "less interested in thinking about the piece of technology itself and more interested in the kind of work that technology is trying to do and the larger context in which it finds itself." In the following interview, Bell discusses her experience as a 'Thinker in Residence' and how anthropology concepts can be used to make tech more consumer centric."
The need for a scientific foundation of what we do expressed differently.
"Experience design, especially interface design, is perhaps one of the most fertile fields for the idea of scientific design. (...) In this article, we discuss three examples of solid scientific knowledge that are often applied to interface design. In our view, the translation of scientific findings into design practices is not always as straight-forward as we wish it would be. The concept of scientific knowledge refers to convictions about the world that have been reached through controlled processes of inquiry and investigation and that, in principle, are not influenced by arbitrary conventions, personal preferences, or individual interests. Scientific knowledge is derived from systematic observation that gradually leads to an understanding of reality that must be valid for everyone."
(Gabriela Trindade Perry and Suely Fragoso ~ UX Magazine)
We not only love people, but products as well. And they don't talk back, sort of.
"People often say they love a product. What do they really mean when they say this, and is this a phenomenon that is relevant to the field of design? Findings from a preliminary study in this thesis indicated that people describe their love as a rewarding, long-term, and dynamic experience that arises from a meaningful relationship built with products they own and use. Inspired by existing approaches to the experience of love from social psychology, research tools are developed for the closer study of person-product love. Using those tools the research in this thesis investigates how person-product interactions are linked to the experience of love and how these influence love over time. The findings reveal how the experience of love arises from person-product relationships, how love relationships develop over time, and which factors can provoke change in the love experience and love relationships over time. These findings present opportunities for design researchers and designers to foster rewarding experiences and long-lasting person-product relationships. Person-product love relationships can bring emotional rewards that benefit people's wellbeing and stimulate sustained efforts to keep loved products for longer."
(Beatriz Russo ~ Technical University Delft)
Some handy tips and tricks from the ghost hunter.
"It was never my childhood dream to become a usability professional. In kindergarten, I didn't observe the other kids playing with their toys and think of ways to improve them. I didn't yearn to perform heuristic evaluations, usability tests, and contextual inquiries. Don Norman wasn't my Mister Rogers and Jakob Nielsen wasn't my Captain Kangaroo."
Looking into understanding from an art perspective is always interesting.
"Much of design is informed by research of some sort; research, on the other hand, is almost never informed by design. Over the past several months, my students and I have built a curriculum centered around the idea that research and design are two sides of the same coin. We took it for granted that research can inform design; what took us by surprise was the great extent to which design can, in turn, enhance research."
(Kevin Walker ~ Design Observer)
I will stay much longer when there's something interesting to read, which is mostly not the case.
"Users often leave Web pages in 10-20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer because visit - durations follow a negative Weibull distribution."
Following review recipes (a.k.a. tips, do's and dont's) means you're following algorithms; if you follow anything, let it be heuristics.
"When properly carried out, usability reviews are a very efficient way of finding the usability bloopers in an interface. But there are four common mistakes made by novice reviewers: failing to take the user's perspective; using only a single reviewer, rather than collating the results from a team; using a generic set of usability principles rather than technology-specific guidelines; and lacking the experience to judge which problems are important."
(David Travis a.k.a. @userfocus)
"Usability testing is a form of user research, in so far as it allows you to make conclusions about a large population based on observations of a small sample of that population. Essentially, we try to assess our products' suitability for our marketplace - as well as its usability for the population of interest - by testing it with a group of typical users. Usability testing often involves both quantitative and qualitative data - either of which can be subject to misunderstandings. This column discusses principles of rigorous research as they apply to usability testing, with an emphasis on reliability and dependability."
"Measuring information behaviour performance to provide practical guidance for knowledge workers is an important issue for the success of a company. Drawing upon the literature from psychology, marketing, management and information systems, this paper develops a practical model of information behaviour that provides fundamental determinants of knowledge workers' performance."
"In this column, I'll summarize and compare the latest generative and evaluative methods for IA user research. The methods I'll examine include open card sorting, Modified-Delphi card sorting, closed card sorting, reverse card sorting, card-based classification evaluation, tree testing, and testing information architecture with low-fidelity prototypes. I'll cover the advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing between these methods, when it makes sense to use each method, and describe an ideal combination of these methods."
"(...) sometimes design teams don't have the patience to see the value in dragging out a study in an effort to make it scientifically or statistically significant. We're just not wired that way; we prefer to make and experiment and then analyze later. So what is research good for?"
(Jon Freach ~ The Atlantic)
"How many times have you wondered how you can collect meaningful and significant metrics to validate your research? Many researchers struggle with this same dilemma on a daily basis. For example, how can we know the magnitude of the issues we are detecting in a traditional usability lab study? Surprisingly, there are many ways to capture useful UX metrics if you have the knowledge of what solutions to use and how to use them."
"First, consider what is the most critical action you want your customers to accomplish on your site - what is your primary conversion? For an ecommerce site, the purchase that a thank - you confirmation represents is commonly the key conversion. From there, work backward to determine the key steps a user takes to get to that conversion point. In checkout, it might be - in reverse order - order confirmation, order review, shipping/billing/payment information, and adding a product to the shopping cart." (Kristi Olson ~ UXmatters)
"Design - central to successful technologies - is too isolated from science education, argues design guru Don Norman." (MIT Technology Review) courtesy of markvanderbeeken
"Here was a chance to remake a tool that plays a vital role in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people every year. But what happened that day turned out to be much more than streamlining a critical form in the home-buying process. Even much more than the redesign of a vital 'touch point' within the larger 'user experience'. What happened was that the symposium's attendees discovered just how radical a solution Design Thinking could offer; not only to the problem of a broken mortgage process, but to public policy at its highest levels." (Monica Bueno ~ Co.Design)
Interview with Hugh Dubberly "Design practice does not learn. As a profession, we don't even know how to learn. We're stuck. Trapped in the past. Unable to move forward. Unclear on what forward might mean. Lacking mechanisms to build and share knowledge. Lacking even a model of design knowledge. In fact, the problem is so structurally embedded, so pervasive, so deep, that we don't see it." (Dubberly Design Office)
"The best designs come from not one, but hundreds of well-made decisions. The worst designs arise out of hundreds of poorly-made decisions. All that stands between you and a great design is the quality of your decisions. Where do they come from? For the last five years, we've been studying how designers make their decisions. When do they use outside information, such as research about their users? When do they go with their gut instinct? When do the designers look to past decisions and the lessons they’ve learned? What we found will surprise you. In this presentation, Jared will take you on an entertaining deep dive into the gut instinct of the best designers (without looking at all the gooey parts). You’ll learn five styles of decision making, from Self Design to Experience-focused Design, and which style produces quality results. Prepare to learn how to be a better designer, as Jared shares the secrets of the best and worst." (Jared Spool ~ UIE)
"Ladies and gentlemen, let me break this to you gently. Design Thinking, the topic we're here to analyze and discuss and get to grips with so you can go back to Mars and instantly transform your businesses, is not the answer." (Helen Walters)
"As UX researchers, our goal is to identify customer pain points and obstacles in a given workflow or process, then tell a compelling story about their risks and provide general recommendations for alleviating those risks. But after eight years in UX research - even having mastered the arts of compelling storytelling and building stakeholder empathy - I still never quite saw the results I'd hoped for. Worse, my work required me to move quickly onto the next project, never to hear again about the outcomes of projects past." (Kristi Olson ~ UXmatters)
"Research into information overload has been extensive and cross–disciplinary, producing a multitude of suggested causes and posed solutions. I argue that many of the conclusions arrived at by existing research, while laudable in their inventiveness and/or practicality, miss the mark by viewing information overload as a problem that can be understood (or even solved) by purely rational means. Such a perspective lacks a critical understanding in human information usage: much in the same way that economic models dependent on rationality for their explanations or projections fail (often spectacularly, as recent history attests), models that rely too heavily upon the same rational behavior, and not heavily enough upon the interplay of actual social dynamics — power, reputation, norms, and others — in their attempts to explain, project, or address information overload prove bankrupt as well. Furthermore, even research that displays greater awareness of the social context in which overload exists often reveals a similar rationality in its conceptualization. That is, often the same 'social' approaches that offer potential advantages (in mitigating information overload) over their 'non–social' counterparts paradoxically raise new problems, requiring a reappraisal of overload that takes social issues into account holistically." (Anthony Lincoln ~ First Monday Volume 16, Number 3)
"Ultimately, the goal is to understand the entirety of the consumer experience, so we can make the most informed decisions about online strategy, content, and positioning. In this column, I'll first summarize the findings from Edelman's article, then discuss how we can apply traditional user research methodology to supporting changes in marketing strategies." (Michael Hawley ~ UXmatters)
"Children's exposure to computing devices depends on a great variety of factors—including cultural traditions, economic power, and family values. But there is no doubt that, in general, children's access to technological devices and interactive products has increased dramatically in recent years. We are now seeing even higher adoption of technology among children—thanks to the unpredictably intuitive interaction of youngsters with touchscreen technologies and mobile devices that they can carry everywhere and use at any time." (Catalina Naranjo-Bock ~ UXmatters)
"Interview with Tim Brown, CEO and president of IDEO, at the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2011. Topics include design thinking and India, design,innovation and entrepreneurship driving India's inclusive growth, transdisciplinary design education and design thinking and designers." (aabhira aditya)
"More and more products and services are being deployed on the web, and this presents new challenges and opportunities for measurement of user experience on a large scale. There is a strong need for user-centered metrics for web applications, which can be used to measure progress towards key goals, and drive product decisions. In this note, we describe the HEART framework for user-centered metrics, as well as a process for mapping product goals to metrics. We include practical examples of how HEART metrics have helped product teams make decisions that are both data-driven and user-centered. The framework and process have generalized to enough of our company's own products that we are confident that teams in other organizations will be able to reuse or adapt them. We also hope to encourage more research into metrics based on large-scale behavioral data." (Kerry Rodden, Hilary Hutchinson, and Xin Fu ~ Google Research)
"(...) I'll address how to manage an interview to ensure it starts on the right track and stays there. This article also touches on some ways to develop your interviewing skills throughout your career." (Mia Northrop ~ UXmatters)
"Critical discussion around design is as important as the design process itself. If you work in a design team, feedback from your colleagues can keep you challenged, and can push you to improve. Despite its value to the outcome of the design process, it's far too often avoided like a trip to the dentist because we subconsciously feel criticism of our work is not just a reflection on our design, but is a spotlight upon our personal shortcomings. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Proper design criticism focus on goals, outcomes, and the needs of the users." (Aarron Walter ~ Think Vitamin)
"Marko Ahtisaari speaks about existing and emerging design patterns for mobile devices. He says that the iOS design pattern is very well executed but very constrained (...); it's the almost perfect rendition of a superlinear, application-centric design model." (Gabriel White ~ Small Surfaces)
"This model predicted the reaction of users as the key elements of Flickr's personalized homepage propagated to other web sites. It predicted why users were initially delighted and why the delight faded over time. We find the Kano Model to be an indispensable tool for designers. Let's take the model apart, so we can understand why it's so useful." (Jared Spool ~ User Interface Engineering)
"This dissertation is about being able to keep up with the digitalization of contemporary society. It starts with a brief historical overview of changes in communication technologies and the increasing demands they have put on users. Special attention in this chapter is given to the communication technology that in a relatively short periode of time has vastly changed the way information is collected and used: the Internet." (Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen)
"A good strategy doesn't fall out of the air by itself. You'll want to have several strategies on the table later on so that you can choose the best one. So first we need to create some basis for creating strategies." (Martijn van Welie)
"Designers are great facilitators of conversations among people who have wildly different views about the world. That's a definition of a "wicked problem" by the way. A wicked problem is where there are essentially contested values. Not accidentally contested, not arbitrarily contested. But essentially contested, meaning that there are fundamental differences that cannot be resolved. That to resolve them would be to violate the truths that have been discovered by different people. Designers work with wicked problems. They work with them by the use of dialectic (...)" (Jeff Howard ~ Design for Service)
"One thing that has been useful for me is the overall model of the problem space that emerged for me." (Keith Instone) - courtesy of resmini
"This paper traces the specifics of information science as a social science. The paper examines the background of the social sciences in the history of academic disciplines. The paper discusses the ways in which positivism and interpretativism, the leading traditions of the social sciences, assert themselves in information science as a social science. It is argued that received ideas about the social sciences impact how information science as a social science is perceived. It is also argued that information science as a social science can and should provide valid scientific explanations. This paper distinguishes social interaction as the defining feature of information science as a social science. To this end, the paper proposes global complexity not as a theory or solution, but as a metaphor for information science as a social science to address the pressing issues of our increasingly interconnected world." (Sylvain K. Cibangu ~ Information Research 15.3)
Exploring the power of knowledge visualization in problem solving - "This paper presents knowledge visualization as a design activity in problem solving. In contemporary design practice the increasing complexity of problems and range of information that design practitioners engage with is driving the need for more robust processes and tools in order to design relevant, meaningful solutions for people. We situate visualization within a four phased model where the intent is to understand the dimensions of a problem. Visualization aids in sensemaking and cognitive processing of complex information. It accomplishes this through framing ambiguous states, bringing order to complexity, making sense out of seemingly unrelated things or finding insights that are buried in data. We propose that in a problem solving context its value goes beyond the functional level of simply representing information but rather operates as a powerful instrument for thinking in analysis, synthesis and insight generation. Visual models and frameworks serve as tools to illuminate relationships and meanings within data and define the areas to explore and construct solutions." (Joanne Mendel and Jan Yeager ~ Parsons Journal for Information Mapping Volume 2 Issue 3)
"Success in a diverse global marketplace increasingly demands that companies engage customers from diverse global backgrounds in both discussions and usability studies. However, funding for user research travel is becoming more limited, and the availability of local users who meet the need for diversity is often insufficient. Therefore, UX professionals have started using remote usability testing methods to gather adequate user feedback." (Corrie Kwan, Jin Li, and May Wong ~ UXmatters)
"Recruiting the right participants is the foundation of effective user research, because your research results are only as good as the participants involved. Representative, well-spoken, and thoughtful research participants can provide invaluable feedback. Yet finding and recruiting such ideal participants and getting them to show up for their sessions is sometimes difficult." (Jim Ross ~ UXmatters)
"On my current project, I'm designing and implementing a framework for business that provides workflow management and supports information gathering and reporting. While there may be a software component further down the track, for now the technology is taking the form of procedures, reporting templates, and guidance material. This technology is both intellectual and social. Its goal is to support teams within the organization, and it requires people to work together. The biggest challenge with designing and implementing such technology is not creating code or a user interface, but ensuring its compatibility with team dynamics. This is where ethnography comes in." (Nathanael Boehm ~ UXmatters)
"Do you like computers, but hate math? Would you love to work on creating cutting-edge technology, but don’t think you have the quantitative aptitude to be a programmer or electrical engineer? Then become a user experience professional! If you can count to 5 (the number of users in a usability test), then you already know all the math you'll need! Everything else is art! I bet you're good at art, aren't you?" (Stat 101) courtesy of usanews
"(...) the first book to focus on global user research. The book collects insight from UX professionals from twenty countries and, following a typical project timeline, presents practical insights into the preparation, fieldwork, analysis and reporting, and overall project management for global user research projects." (About the authors)
"One of the best things about user research is that anyone can do it. On the other hand, it takes real commitment and a lot of personal development to do user research well. People commonly assume that research is research—and doing any kind of research is better than doing none at all. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Not all user research is created equal. Flawed research can be a significant liability to the success of a product, as well as the company developing it, so it really is important to get it right." (Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain ~ UXmatters)
"Much of economics theory is based on the premise that people are rational decision-makers. In recent years, behavioral economics—also known as behavioral finance—has emerged as a discipline, bringing together economics and psychology to understand how social, cognitive, and emotional factors influence how people make decisions, both as individuals and at the market level. Many of the findings of behavioral economics have a direct influence on how users interact with a product. In a worst‑case scenario, a product’s design may encourage user behaviors that are detrimental to users’ best interests." (Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)
"After presenting on combining methods at the EuroIA in 2009, Adam Cox and Martijn Klompenhouwer again showed the benefits of combining two separate sources. They delivered their presentation at the yearly Usability Professional Association conference in Munich (UPA2010). This time they focused on how to use Web Analytics in the preparation and execution of usability testing. Drawing from their experience of combining Web Analytics and User Research over the years, they illustrated several practical examples of how this combined approach works when it comes to user testing. After a short introduction of the individual methods, they demonstrated this approach by showcasing specific usability testing projects with a presentational style that was both visual and conversational." (User Intelligence)
"Despite our seeing some initial signs of a recovery, for most people the economy still sucks. Companies have less money to spend and are more cautious about how they spend it. Companies that haven't already cut user research from their project plans altogether are asking researchers to achieve the same results for less money, in less time—or just to do less. Is it possible to scale back user research and still provide value? If so, how can we do things faster and cheaper?" (Jim Ross ~ UXmatters)
"As technology evolves and new gadgets and electronics emerge in the marketplace, our options for the use of technology in conducting our user research continue to expand. The processes through which we have long gathered data—such as surveys and interviews—are no longer the only ways in which we can understand people and how they respond to our clients’ products and services. As professional user researchers, we have the opportunity to devise new and innovative ways of more accurately understanding user experience through the use of technology." (Bryan McClain and Demetrius Madrigal ~ UXmatters)
"A mental model represents a person's thought process for how something works (i.e., a person's understanding of the surrounding world). Mental models are based on incomplete facts, past experiences, and even intuitive perceptions. (...) A conceptual model is the actual model that is given to the user through the interface of the product." (Susan Weinschenk - UX Magazine)
"(...) it has been apparent that design studios and corporate departments have been looking for a new kind of designer, one that has traditional skills and yet a much broader perspective on problem solving. Because one of AIGA’s central responsibilities is to keep abreast of developments in the industry, we recognized that we needed to better understand the emerging role of designers and to enter into a deeper discussion with educators and design leaders on how to prepare designers for future changes." (AIGA)
"Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our 'experiencing selves' and our 'remembering selves' perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness." (TED2010)
"And what does Mary Meeker see in her crystal ball this year? Two overwhelming trends that will affect consumers, the hardware/infrastructure industry and the commercial potential of the web: mobile and social networking." (Mathew Ingram - GigaCom)
"Designers primarily concern themselves with how to create a 'successful' communication, product, or experience. But with the past 10 years of globalization, digitalization, and ever increasing design complexity, designers have come to realize that to answer the question of design 'success' requires that they answer that question of how the processes and artifacts of design help define what it means to be human. This 'humanness' can range from how humans control the environment through tools (homo faber); how high-heeled shoes affect natural ways of walking; to moral issues of how participation in the design process empowers marginalized communities. In this space, the practice and theory of design anthropology has emerged." (Dori Tunstall)
"We have launched this site in connection with the release of the spring issue of Innovation Magazine, which is dedicated to design research. All of the articles from the magazine are available here. We encourage you to read these articles and share your thoughts and ideas through the site."
"Only forward-looking executives, designers, and, of course, policy makers may introduce sustainable innovation into the economic picture. They need to step back from current dominant needs and behaviors and envision new scenarios. They need to propose new unsolicited products and services that are both attractive, sustainable, and profitable." (Roberto Verganti - Harvard Business Review)
"Traditionally, user research involves directly observing and talking with people in the context of their work or play. Either researchers travel to observe participants in their natural environments or participants travel to a usability lab or focus-group facility. How better to understand how people use a product or technology than to observe them using it firsthand?" (Jim Ross - UXmatters)
"A five minute rant on the importance of letting data be your guide when making tactical design decisions. An introduction for managers of design teams who are driven from a heuristic, or 'genius' perspective." (Ryan Freitas)
"Only 11% have a very disciplined approach to customer experience." (Bruce Temkin - Customer Experience Matters)
"In actuality, the reason so many small software businesses fail so quickly is because they don’t understand that their knowledge of how to build a product is not sufficient to build success. The true vision of a multidisciplinary team of engineers, designers, product people, marketers, business people, and researchers is foreign to them. If some of the people creating software don’t understand our role, it’s not surprising consumers don't." (Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain - UXmatters)
"Customer journey mapping is the process of tracking and describing all the experiences that customers have as they encounter a service or set of services, taking into account not only what happens to them, but also their responses to their experiences. Used well, it can reveal opportunities for improvement and innovation in that experience, acting as a strategic tool to ensure every interaction with the customer is as positive as it can be." (Cabinet Office)
"Co-creation is not just the next new thing in marketing. It is an alternative way of seeing and being in the world. Existing and thriving in the emerging co-creative landscapes will require the creation and application of new tools, methods and methodologies for connecting, innovating, making, telling and sharing. These generative tools must be useful and usable for all types of people. Generative design thinking provides a design language for all of us, designers as well as non-designers, to use in provoking the imagination, stimulating ideation, stirring the emotions, discovering unmet needs and facilitating embodiments of future possibilities. Examples of this generative design language in action, from projects ranging from consumer product and service development to the planning and architecture of new healthcare campuses, will be shared." (Elizabeth B.-N. Sanders - IASDR09)
"But as the world grows more complex, more interconnected, with the underlying infrastructure less and less visible, hidden inside electronic and optical mechanisms, conveyed as all-powerful yet invisible information and knowledge, design more than ever needs a body of reliable, verifiable procedures. Science is the systematic method of building a reliable, verifiable, repeatable, and generalizable body of knowledge. Science is not a body of facts: it is a process. Design is the deliberate shaping of the environment in ways that satisfy individual and societal needs. Scientific methods can inform design. Designers can create a science of design." (Donald A. Norman - IASDR09)
"The rise of blogs and social networks has fueled a bull market in personal opinion: reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression. For computer scientists, this fast-growing mountain of data is opening a tantalizing window onto the collective consciousness of Internet users. An emerging field known as sentiment analysis is taking shape around one of the computer world's unexplored frontiers: translating the vagaries of human emotion into hard data." (Alex Wright - NYT)
"Toward the end of the nineteenth century, American philosophers such as William James and John Dewey began to explore the limits of formal declarative logic — that is, inductive and deductive reasoning. They were less interested in how one declares a statement true or false than in the process by which we come to know and understand. To them, the acquisition of knowledge was not an abstract, purely conceptual exercise, but one involving interaction with and inquiry into the world around them. Understanding did not entail progress toward an absolute truth but rather an evolving interaction with a context or environment." (Roger Martin - Design Observer)
"We work together to understand, publicize and solve the information overload problem. We do this by (1) defining and building awareness of information overload, (2) facilitating and funding collaboration and advanced research aimed at shaping solutions and establishing best practices, and (3) serving as a resource center where we share information and resources, offer guidance and connections, and help make the business case for fighting information overload." (About The IORG)
"Understanding the people who will ultimately engage with a product or service provides the foundation for user experience design. Modeling those people and segmenting our models into meaningful groups lets us explore different clusters of needs, then address our solutions to meeting the needs of people belonging to specific clusters." (Steve Baty - UXmatters)
"What does pervasive computing have to do with animism? Essentially, it can become a tool in manifesting what I call designed animism. The goal is fundamentally experiential, but the conequences are profound: designed animism forms the basis of a poetics for a new world." (Brenda Laurel)
"If only a small bit of the typical time, money, and resources used to make and market a product or service were put towards design research—observing, talking to, and maybe even making artifacts with customers and users—the products and services we use would be greatly improved. Dan Saffer explains." (Dan Saffer - Peachpit) - courtesy jhollandmag
"This study extends the conventional and superficial notion of measuring digital skills by proposing definitions for operational, formal, information and strategic skills. The main purpose was to identify individual skill related problems that users experience when navigating the Internet. In particular, lower levels of education and aging seem to contribute to the amount of experienced operational and formal skill related problems. With respect to information skills, higher levels of education seem to perform best. Age did not seem to contribute to information skill related problems. Results did reveal that age had a negative effect on selecting irrelevant search results. Individual strategic Internet skill related problems occurred often, with the exception of subjects with higher levels of education. Younger subjects experienced far less operational and formal skill related problems, but there was no difference regarding information and strategic skill related problems." (Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen and Jan A.G.M. van Dijk) - courtesy of shuggie
"This article describes a funnel that starts with the product, progresses to the users, and finally, plumbs the depths of the user research itself. I'll attempt to show how each of these stages can inform the next stage and move us toward finding the gold." (Daniel Szuc - UXmatters)
"About five years ago, we started the contextmapping research at ID-StudioLab. In these past five years, four PhD students have explored various elements in the procedure. Several hundred students at TU Delft have learnt its principles, as did many design students and practitioners in workshops in the Netherlands, Europe, and Asia. Several dozens of students have explored, varied, modified, and reflected on the techniques, their possibilities and limitations. In May 2009, the first 'contextmapping' PhD thesis will be defended. On this occasion, we take the opportunity to reflect on the new techniques for involving users in the fuzzy front end of product design. What was learnt, what are the opportunities and barriers in industrial practice, and what do we think should the next developments be?" - (ID-StudioLab - TU Delft) courtesy of paulvalk
"Remote user research describes any research method that allows you to observe, interview, or get feedback from users while they're at a distance, in their "native environment" (at their desk, in their home or office) doing their own tasks. Remote studies allow you to recruit quickly, cheaply, and immediately, and give you the opportunity to observe users as they behave naturally in their own environment, on their own time. Our book will teach you how to design and conduct remote research studies, top-to-bottom, with little more than a phone and a laptop." - (Tony Tulathimutte - Rosenfeld Media)
"(...) we would probably all benefit from a dashboard of reports that included the ones that we've come to expect from our analytics tools, but that also include other quantitative reports (such as from help desk logs) and, perhaps more importantly, qualitative reports from such sources as ongoing usability testing." - (Louis Rosenfeld - Bloug)
"This thesis describes a research journey in which I developed various communication tools and a theoretical framework for making user experiences useful for designers in the very beginning of the design process." - (Froukje Sleeswijk Visser - ContextQueen)
"Just as vision scientists study visual art and illusions to elucidate the workings of the visual system, so too can cognitive scientists study cognitive illusions to elucidate the underpinnings of cognition. Magic shows are a manifestation of accomplished magic performers' deep intuition for and understanding of human attention and awareness. By studying magicians and their techniques, neuroscientists can learn powerful methods to manipulate attention and awareness in the laboratory. Such methods could be exploited to directly study the behavioural and neural basis of consciousness itself, for instance through the use of brain imaging and other neural recording techniques." - (Nature Reviews Neuroscience)
"Science fiction is a form of popular entertainment. The emotional payoff of the science fiction genre is the sense of wonder it conveys. Science fiction 'design' therefore demands some whiz-bang, whereas industrial design requires safety, utility, serviceability, cost constraints, appearance, and shelf appeal. To these old-school ID virtues nowadays we might add sustainability and a decent interface." - (Bruce Sterling - ACM interactions XVI.3)
"It is with great pride that I welcome you to the inaugural issue of the Journal of Information Architecture. The Journal of Information Architecture is a peer-reviewed scholarly journal, and its aim is to facilitate the systematic development of the scientific body of knowledge in the field of information architecture. The journal will focus on information architecture research and development in all types of shared information environments, such as for example social networks, web sites, intranets, mobile and Rich Internet Applications, from various perspectives such as technical, cultural, social, and communicational." - (Dorte Madsen - Journal of Information Architecture 1.1)
"Conducting primary user research such as in-depth interviews or field studies can be fairly straightforward, when compared with what you face upon returning to the office with piles of notes, sketches, user journals, and audio and video recordings. You may ask, What should I do with all this data? and How do I turn it into something meaningful?" - (Lindsay Ellerby - UXmatters)
"Michael Wesch opened the IA Summit this year with an inspired keynote that provides a fresh and ambitious direction for all designers. He points out that our 'audiences' aren't audiences at all, but rather creators, and our job is not to lecture but to enable. With this new approach comes not only design challenges but the joy of reconnecting people to each other, which he illustrated with a series of extraordinary video clips." - (Jeff Parks - Boxes and Arrows)
"(...) a much more significant change was made at Yahoo! more recently: a merger of the user experience research group and the market research group, yielding an organization named, Customer Insights." - (Richard Anderson - Riander)
"One thing I was really listening for was how people actually use research to do design. In my practice as an interaction designer, I find user research to be extremely important. I'm a strong advocate of ethnographically-inspired fieldwork (...) because it helps me understand how people really work and think." (Lane Halley - Cooper Journal)
"Modern day user experience research methods can now answer a wide range of questions. Knowing when to use each method can be understood by mapping them in 3 key dimensions and across typical product development phases." (Christian Rohrer - Alertbox)
"In the past, user participation in editorial publications was limited to writing "letters to the editor." On the web, users take an active role in shaping the message through their comments and debates. Bond Art + Science looked at how traditional media and online publications invite, manage and benefit from user participation, and we identified some best practices and common pitfalls." (Bond Art + Science)
"(...) you rarely hear about eyetracking leading to crucial insights. Eyetracking is helpful when you need to know something extremely tactical at a very precise level of detail. But we should think very hard about the payoff. There's a great deal of overhead and it's difficult to make this a flexible, nimble process." (Adaptive Path)
"What is the biggest problem I face almost every time a client hires me to do something about a web project going awry? They don’t know a thing about their users. They don’t have a clue, whatsoever. Unbelievable but true!" (Daniel Lafreniere - Boxes and Arrows)
"Ethnographic research is fun. You get to go out into the world and watch, take pictures, satisfy your curiosity and inherent nosiness. Back at the office it is great fun to scribble notes, to post them on walls and rearrange them to form patterns. Then we can create personas, colorful little artificial people with cute, interesting lives, or maybe overstressed, over-busy lives. We delight at personas, at prototyping, at watching people go through their paces. New products galore. Innovation is the new hot topic. But does all of this activity lead to actual success in the marketplace? I fear not." (Donald A. Norman)
"In the US, it is the practitioners who have been leading with regard to design research in practice. So in the U.S., there is exploration and innovation in design research going on, but it is not as well disseminated. It is discussed in general terms so as not to give too much away to 'the competition'. It is not often published, though the interaction design community is doing a good job of sharing. Europe is way ahead of the US in design research of a participatory nature. Why? Because they (particularly northern Europe) have embraced a participatory attitude for a long time. The participatory way of thinking is antithetical to the US-centric mode of manufacturers pushing products at 'consumers' through marketing and advertising." (Liz Sanders - MakeTools)
Consumers moving between online and offline channels in the context of leisure travel preparations (PhD Thesis 2007) - "Consumers are increasingly using web-based systems for the search and purchase of products and services. They are, however, also still using traditional, offline channels such as telephone, high street and mail order, on a regular basis. The research presented in this thesis investigated consumer use of e-services in the context of a multi-channel environment, with a special focus on voluntary channel choice and voluntary movement between channels. Both multi-channel usage and voluntary movement between channels are currently under-researched topics." (Geke van Dijk - STBY)