All posts from
June 2010

Inside The Mundaneum

“On the night of June 1, 1934, a Belgian information scientist named Paul Otlet sat in silent, peaceful protest outside the locked doors of a government building in Brussels from which he had just been evicted. Inside was his life’s work: a vast archive of more than twelve million bibliographic three-by-five-inch index cards, which attempted to catalog and cross-reference the relationships among all the world’s published information. For Otlet, the archive was at the center of a plan to universalize human knowledge. He called it the Mundaneum, and he believed it would usher in a new era of peace and progress. The Belgian government, however, had come to view Otlet and his fine mess of papers, dusty boxes, and customized filing cabinets as a financial and political nuisance.” (Molly Springfield ~ Triple Canopy)

Don’t listen to Le Corbusier – or Jakob Nielsen

“This is what psychology and neuroscience tell us: the beauty and the rot is all mixed up. You can’t have a human without both. (…) The voices of interaction design pretend to be scientists. They take eye tracking studies, and scrolling studies—and never mention how well-done the content in question might be, or whether it was exciting and relevant to the test subject.” (Cheerful)

Anatomy of a Noob: Why your Mom Suck at Computers

“The words metaphor and intuitive are often used in UX. They are the metrics that we use to judge the quality of a solution. But is this quality really as universal as we might like to believe? (…) Understanding something intuitively really means that you understand it holistically. If you understand it holistically you can fill in the gaps. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make your design intuitive or improve on it, not at all. Just understand that you are doing it for the natives not for the noobs.” (Thomas Petersen ~ Black&White)

Zombie Personas

“This is by far the nerdiest episode we ever did, so fasten your seat belts. In his session at UXcamp, Tom said: “Personas – love ’em or hate ’em – you can’t not use ’em. Either you have zombies, or you have living ones.” In this recording of his session he talks about different kinds of zombies like Mirror Personas, Undead Personas, Unicorn Personas or Stupid User Personas. He gives advice on how to avoid these fellas and how to make good use of living personas during a project. As a bonus, Tom explains why 37signals doesn’t need personas at all.” (UX Café)

International UPA 2010 Conference: Research Themes and Trends

“For the first time in its history, the International Usability Professionals’ Association (UPA) conference took place outside of North America. While this certainly shifted the percentage of attendees from different geographic regions, all reports are that the conference was well attended, with crowded presentations filled with attendees from Europe, North America, and Asia.” (Michael Hawley ~ UXmatters)

User Experience Balance Scorecard

“Customers have experiences with an organization’s products and services regardless of whether the organization is consciously managing them. A good user experience delights customers—increasing adoption, retention, loyalty, and, most important, revenue. And a poor user experience discourages customers from using a product or service and drives them to the competition—eventually, making a product offering unviable.” (Sean Van Tyne ~ UXmatters)

Ethnography in UX

“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)

Architecture and User Experience: An Ecology of Use

“Over the past several months I’ve proposed Architecture differs from design in its strategic and political positioning. In the last article, I suggested User Experience Architecture is at its best when it forces the business to question its assumptions about its market, its offerings, the technologies it depends on, and ultimately its vision. Do all businesses benefit equally from a User Experience Architecture? When is the time, effort and cost valuable, and when is it unnecessary? Hasn’t business done just fine for the past several thousands of years without a need for a User Experience Architecture? Why now?” (CHIFOO)

Engagement, Entertainment, or Get The Task Done: Cognitive, Visual, and Motor Loads in UX Design

“Before the days of websites and user experience, the interaction designer’s job was focused. The term wasn’t user experience, it was usability, and there was one goal: make it simpler and easier for users to get their tasks done. The design wasn’t of websites, but software applications. 99% of the software applications were being used by people to get something done: write a report, analyze financial data, or sell an apartment building. There were lots of constraints on what the technology could do, and most of the technology was largely unusable for the everyday user who was not a computer expert. It took a lot of negotiation to make any interface changes, since programming was cumbersome and every change meant someone had to rewrite programming code.” (Susan WeinschenkUX Magazine) courtesy of janjursa