All posts from
November 2007

Designing for Nonprofits

User Experience Professionals Can Make a Difference in Society – “We all find ourselves looking in the mirror at one time or another and asking ourselves if we’re doing all we can for the good of society. What’s it all for? Those of us in the user experience profession can actually do something about it. As information architects, interaction designers, usability consultants, and developers, we don’t have to change our careers to do something good for society. All we have to do is connect with the right nonprofit: One that shares our goals and whose mission we support.” (Olga Sanchez-HowardBoxes and Arrows)

Building a Data-Backed Persona

“Incorporating the voice of the user into user experience design by using personas in the design process is no longer the latest and greatest new practice. Everyone is doing it these days, and with good reason. Using personas in the design process helps focus the design team’s attention and efforts on the needs and challenges of realistic users, which in turn helps the team develop a more usable finished design. While completely imaginary personas will do, it seems only logical that personas based upon real user data will do better. Web analytics can provide a helpful starting point to generate data-backed personas; this article presents an informal 5-step process for building a ‘persona of the people’.” (Andrea WigginsBoxes and Arrows)

Quack! Some thoughts on DUX07 and the State of User Experience

“After attending numerous design events this past year, I’ve realized that they’re all evolving to a similar place, free from the specifics of their particular domain, and towards a shared “big D design” understanding. The IDSA event, nominally for industrial designers, dealt with many of the same issues as the Information Architecture Summit, the AIGA annual, DUX07, and even Adaptive Path’s UX Week. And while all these design disciplines have distinctions in their details, what they all share is an emerging orientation to serving the user’s experience. And while DUX07 began to speak to that shared space, it’s interaction-design orientation left it falling short. There’s a huge opportunity to bridge practitioners from across all these design disciplines, to weave their various approaches and challenges into a larger experience design braid. The User Experience field is still crying out for leadership.” – (Peter Merholz)

It Depends: ID – Principles and Guidelines  PDF Logo

“Information Design is a multi-disciplinary, multi-dimensional, and worldwide consideration. It is not possible to develop a number of firm message design rules telling the information designer exactly how to best design a message and develop information materials. However, based on research it is possible to formulate several ID-principles and then develop a number of guidelines for the design of effective and efficient messages and information materials.” (Rune Pettersson – International Institute for Information Design)

Don’t Click Here: The Art of Hyperlinking

“I suspect Wikipedia may be closer to Ted’s vision of Xanadu: a self-contained constellation of highly interlinked information, with provisions for identity, versioning, and rights management. But enough about the history of the hyperlink. How can we use them effectively in the here and now? I thoroughly enjoyed Philipp Lenssen’s recent link usability tips. I liked it so much, in fact, that I’m using it as a template for a visual compendium of link usability tips– the art of hyperlinking.” (Jeff AtwoodCoding Horror) – courtesy of lodewijkschutte

The Real Computer Revolution Hasn’t Happened Yet PDF Logo

“32 years ago in 1975 I was one of several lucky Americans who were invited to Pisa to help celebrate 20 years of computer science in Italy. I presented a paper on the first fruits of our attempts to invent personal computing at Xerox PARC. Over the years I somehow lost that paper, but Porfessor Attardi, who was more organized than I, was able to locate his copy and it has been republished as part of our cderemonies today. It is tempting in this talk to go through that paper and see how this past work influenced today.” (Alan KayVRI)

First Monday Podcasts

“First Monday Podcast, like its parent journal, features stories on all aspects of the Internet, including comments on trends and standards, technical issues, educational uses and political and social implications of the Internet. Its focus is simply on interesting and novel ideas related to the history, current use, and future of the Internet. Finally, First Monday Podcast takes you behind the scenes to meet the people behind the one of the first peer–reviewed journals on the Internet.” (About FM Podcasts)

Rethinking Collections

Libraries and librarians in an open age – “Open access, one of the most important of the potentials unleashed by the combination of the electronic medium and the World Wide Web, is already much more substantial in extent that most of us realize. More than 10 percent of the world’s scholarly peer–reviewed journals are fully open access; this does not take into account the many journals offering hybrid open choice, free back access, or allowing authors to self–archive their works. Scientific Commons includes more than 16 million publications, nearly twice as much content as Science Direct. Meanwhile, even as we continue to focus on the scholarly peer–reviewed journal article, other potentials of the new technology are beginning to appear, such as open data and scholarly blogging. This paper examines the library collection of the near and medium future, suggests that libraries and librarians are in a key position to lead in the transition to an open age, and provides specific suggestions to aid in the transition.” (Heather Morrison – First Monday 12.10)

The Five Competencies of User Experience Design

“When attempting to answer the third question, I use a framework I discovered early in my career: The Five Competencies of User Experience Design. This framework comprises the competencies a UX professional or team requires. The following sections describe these five competencies, outline some questions each competency must answer, and show the groundwork and deliverables for which each competency is responsible.” (Steve PsomasUXmatters)

Customer Support on the Web: Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You

“When customers arrive at a Web site, they have goals and tasks they want to complete—for example, buying a movie ticket, transferring money, signing up for a service, applying for a loan, asking for help, and so on. An important requirement for a Web site is the ability for customers to serve themselves, so they can generally complete their tasks without needing to contact Customer Support or ask a friend for help. However, understandably, there are times when customers do need help from Customer Support—by either speaking over the phone or using live chat—so they can solve more complex problems or complete tasks they cannot complete on their own. In such cases, customers need email addresses and phone numbers that let them contact Customer Support directly.” (Daniel SzucUXmatters)

Think from the Center – Design for the Edge PDF Logo

“How will applications like Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word exist five to ten years from now? Will internet appliances like the iPhone truly change the way everyones accesses the web? Will browser-based web applications truly look and behave more like their desktop counterparts in the near future? Will an eTicket kiosk ever completely replace the human being behind the counter? Are rich internet applications built using Adobe AIR simply a fad? What more will the cell phone be capable of in the near future?” (Andrei Michael Herasimchuk – Design by Fire Conference 2007)