All posts from
September 2008

Don Norman on Service Design

“Now that I’ve listened to the lecture a couple times I’ve got a better idea where Norman is going with this. He makes some good points about the importance of back stage operations but I don’t agree with his assertion that operations and design are the same topic. He seems disappointed with much of the existing service design literature and treats Pine and Gilmore with mild disdain. The lecture goes on a rambling tour of theme parks, fast food, hospitals, hotels and banking, with some great anecdotes and pointers toward interesting research.” (Jeff HowardDesign for Service)

Thoughts on the Euro Information Architecture Summit 2008

“At the moment I’m trying to pull back and see information architecture as a new but somewhat established field. Invention used to be necessary of everyone, but now it’s only needed from a few. Compare it to another field like electrical engineering. At the beginning there was a lot invention, but now we know enough to simple do it. Today, some engineers continue to push the envelope in the design of microprocessors while others specify the wiring in the next model of speaker phone. I would expect IA to settle into the same spread.” (Victor LombardiNoise Between Stations)

The Study of Visual Aesthetics in Human-Computer Interaction

“Given the evidence and potential for aesthetics’ overarching effect on human-computer interaction, it would seem timely to explore the themes summarized above in more depth. While a lively debate is to be expected in this workshop, the overriding goal is to define and formulate a possible HCI research agenda on these topics. To achieve this, the seminar will bring together seasoned researchers who share a deep interest in aesthetics; prominent designers who are grappling with the concept theoretically and in practice; and graduate students who are likely to provide fresh perspectives.” (Seminar site)

Beauty Matters: Usability and Aesthetics

“Usability is an approved quality when designing interactive products. Another factor becomes more and more important: the hedonic quality, which includes the aesthetic of a product. The long-time experiences in user-friendly design convinced the initiators of Beauty matters that the combination of usability and aesthetics ensures the success of a product. Usability alone ist not enough. Most people associate the aesthetics of a product with its beauty. The beauty is also decisive whether a product represents a special value for us.” (Michael Burmester, Marc Hassenzahl and Franz Koller)

Emotion and Voice User Interfaces

“When you hear the term voice user interface (VUI), what comes to mind? Most likely, memories of an interactive voice response system (IVR) for customer service arise. IVRs are certainly not going away. For many companies, they remain the foremost contact point with customers. But voice user interfaces are more than just IVRs. In fact, VUIs have tremendous potential for enhancing the experience of any mobile phone user. As the use of mobile devices and applications proliferates internationally, understanding how to integrate, or mash up, graphic user interfaces (GUI) and VUIs is becoming critically important.” (Darnell Clayton and Colleen JonesUXmatters)

What Place Does Theater Have in the Creative Process of Design?

“In a world where a focus on designing innovative, compelling, valuable, and engaging user experiences is becoming increasingly important, designers of user experiences endeavor to enhance and improve the way they work and achieve the desired outcome. As designers, to be truly innovative, we must open ourselves up to new ideas, surround ourselves with diverse inputs, and be willing to embark on a new journey—regardless of whether we know the destination. Actors and others who create theater would tell you this kind of mindset is part their everyday work culture. So, what can we learn from the way actors and other theatrical artists work that will help us be more innovative, too?” (Traci LeporeUXmatters)

Quick Turnaround Usability Testing

“It starts with any number of scenarios: Design and development have taken too long to produce a prototype, you need to release in three weeks, and you suspect there may be design flaws. You are trying to incorporate usability testing into an Agile development process. Or maybe you simply want to pare down your process to make it shorter and less expensive.” (Paul Nuschke – Boxes and Arrows)

Tap is the New Click (Presentation)

“I had awesome crowds yesterday at my two ‘Tap is the New Click’ presentations. Lots of great discussion and people laughed at my jokes to boot! Here is a pdf version of the presentation slides (8mb) for your downloading pleasure! The first chapter of the upcoming Designing Gestural Interfaces book can also be downloaded for your reading pleasure.” (Dan Saffer – Kicker Studio)

Cultural Aspects of Interaction Design

“When a group of people, no matter its scale, start sharing common ways of thinking, feeling and living, culture emerges. Culture therefore can emerge from any population segment. It is not limited to a geographic area or ethnicity. Different cultures can be distinguished by their individual and group characteristics, e.g. the mental models, behavioral patterns, emotional responses, aesthetics, rules, norms, and values that group members share. Different cultures therefore produce different artifacts and environments based on their cultural characteristics. On the other hand, artifacts, through people’s interactions with them, influence cultures and can even produce a new culture.” (Keiichi Sato and Kuohsiang Chen – Special Issue of Int.’l Journal of Design)

Aurora: Panel At UX Week

“Following the release of Aurora, a panel discussion about the project was hosted at UX Week by Leah Buley. The panelists included members of the Aurora team, Alex Faaborg of Mozilla Labs, and Jamais Cascio a futurist who worked with us at the beginning of the project. If you were unable to attend UX Week, you can see video of the discussion below in which the panelists discuss how the concepts shown in the video were identified, and what methods we used to bring them to life. The panelists also field some questions from Leah and the audience. Enjoy!” (Adaptive Path blog)