All posts from
June 2009

A Scientific Approach to Infographics

“If you’ve been reading this blog regularly for awhile, you know that I occasionally bemoan the sad state of most information graphics. Most of the folks who produce infographics lack guidelines based on solid research. In their attempt to inform, describe, or instruct, most of the infographics that I’ve seen fail-many miserably. I’m thrilled to announce, however, that a new book is now available that takes a great step toward providing the guidelines that are needed for the production of effective infographics.” (Stephen Few – Visual Business Intelligence)

Usability Engineers vs Designers: The Process Problem

“A Designer works on a conceptual design with the customer. Then he works out a detailed design into a prototype that can be tested. So far so good. But what goes wrong is that the Usability Engineer is often disconnected to either the design concept or the detailed design. The usability engineer ends up suggesting new designs that totally contradict the conceptual design. The designer is gone. The engineering team implements the changes and the result is a Frankenstein’s monster that despite the best UX resources, fails in the marketplace.” (Jonathan Arnowitz – User Experience in Arnoland)

CMU/Mayo Clinic Podcast on Service Design

“The Lab A6 series from College of Fine Arts at Carnegie Mellon University presents a podcast on service design featuring Shelley Evenson from the School of Design and CMU alum Maggie Breslin from the Mayo Clinic. The podcast covers some familiar ‘what is service design’ ground but also delves into the service design course at CMU and the Advanced Medical Home project that Mayo and Continuum sponsored last year at the university.” (Jeff Howard – Design for Service)

Building Better User Interfaces

“A great user experience starts with the user interface. In this talk, we will explore best practices in user interface design in a learn-by-example approach of the good, bad and the ugly in user interface design. From web sites to rich client, you will learn how areas such as navigation, layout, typography, controls and dialogs can make or break the usefulness of an application. At the end of this talk, you will have the tools and tips you need to bring great user experience through best practices in user interface design.” (Microsoft NL DevDays 2009) – courtesy of all2gether

Redefining content strategy

“When we talk about content strategy, then, my contention is that the type of content we include in the definition needs to broaden beyond Web content, as does the recognition that the content, even if just for the Web, includes not only persuasive content, but instructive/informative, user-generated, and even entertainment content.” (Intentional Design)

How to Generate Reader Interest in What You Write

“Who has not discovered to their dismay that no one wants to read their most carefully crafted, meritorious, compelling, and passionate writings? Think of all the proposals you have written that no one is interested in. Or the web pages, the blog posts, or the company brochures. Chances are, your failures are linked to an inability to connect with what your readers would be interested in reading.” (Phil Yaffe – ACM Ubiquity)

A conversation with Ed Niehaus, new CEO of Cooper

“Working with Steve can be brutal, but you get a chance to see firsthand his tremendous eye for detail and the clarity of his vision. Nobody can judge work like Steve can — design, advertising, engineering — you name it, Steve knows, and look out because he’ll tell you. He has got a hierarchy of judgment that’s really pretty simple: at the top is ‘Insanely great’, which is the best in category that you’ll see in your lifetime. Then there’s ‘really, really, really great’, – and he says it packed with emotion – that’s the best that you’ll see this year or maybe this decade. And, there’s ‘shit’, and that’s the entire hierarchy.” (Cooper Journal)

Maps as service design: The Incidental

“From the early brainstorms we came up with idea of a system for collecting the thoughts, recommendations, pirate maps and sketches of the attendees to republish and redistribute the next day in a printed, pocketable pamphlet, which, would build up over the four days of the event to be a unique palimpsest of the place and people’s interactions with it, in it.” (dark)

The Social Buzz: Designing User Experiences for Social Media

“The emergence and rise of social media [1] have been nothing less than phenomenal. In the perennial battle between patterns of intellect and patterns of society, the rapidly spreading influence of social media has initiated the most significant shift toward dominance of intellect [2] in recent times. A groundswell [3] has unmistakably occurred. Social media’s rise has induced a paradigm shift and changed the way the common man perceives the Internet immensely. Social networking is now the number one reason people get online. [4] Getting the world out of the socioeconomic rut it was in required something of this magnitude to come along.” (Junaid AsadUXmatters)

Reusing the User Experience

“Developers often report a sense of déjà vu when creating software—a sense they’ve already designed or coded a function. Of course, the feeling that he or she is doing unnecessary work is particularly frustrating when a developer is under pressure! The reuse of software components can help to address this problem. Components are proven, reusable units of design and code that meet a specific need. As such, they enable a developer to think about solving problems at a higher level of abstraction, making the development process more efficient. For example, rather than writing a function to print a file, a developer can find and reuse a pre-existing component that meets the requirement.” (Peter HornsbyUXmatters)

Innovation Workshops: Facilitating Product Innovation

“As leaders of UX organizations, we want our teams of designers and researchers to design products that change the world—to engage in strategic design. Often, though, UX designers and researchers get stuck with incrementalism—designing minor new features for which another functional group has provided the requirements, expecting UX to design them—regardless of whether the UX team agrees with the product direction. Perhaps we find ourselves immersed in organizations or work routines that do not provide space to think differently. This column reveals some tools that can help your team to innovate.” (Jim NietersUXmatters)