All posts from
October 2010

What is Service Design?

“Our economy consists of both goods and services. Traditionally, design has focused on one, not the other. Laura Forlano talks to leading practitioners in this emerging field. (…) services require designers to empathize with users, to understand interactions as a series of ‘touchpoints’ and to develop a holistic understanding of the ways in which our relationships to services govern everyday life.” (Laura Forlano ~ Urban Omnibus)

Attention and Information

“People often argue that we have too much information and too little attention; that this is a condition of being ‘modern’. But the opposite may be true: that attention is a human constant and that it constantly seeks new forms. Where there’s ‘surplus attention’ we always come up with things to occupy it.” (The Aporetic) ~ courtesy of clayshirky

Journalism in the Age of Data

“Journalists are coping with the rising information flood by borrowing data visualization techniques from computer scientists, researchers and artists. Some newsrooms are already beginning to retool their staffs and systems to prepare for a future in which data becomes a medium. But how do we communicate with data, how can traditional narratives be fused with sophisticated, interactive information displays?” (Geoff McGee)

Service design at a crossroads

“There are a number of competing stories about service design. One is that it’s a new interdiscipline, a mix of concepts, methods and tools from several different fields, brought together to address the challenges that organisations face as they try to improve and innovate in services. As an interdiscipline it is presented as a happy fusion of the best bits of management or business, design and technology, and the social sciences. In this version of service design, the incompatibilities between the values and worldviews of these different disciplines are smoothed away to produce a better user experience and increased business value.” (Lucy Kimbell)

More on European UX Events

“In Adaptive Path’s newsletter of September 28, I shared my views on the European UX scene. In response, several people wrote to me with additions to the landscape. Below are the most interesting ones, followed by my impressions of 3 more European conferences: Euro IA, UX Russia and Design by Fire. And yes, I will count Russia as part of Europe in this respect.” (Peter Boersma ~ Adaptive Path)

Using Personas During Design and Documentation

“(…) although demographics and task analysis play an important part in persona creation, personas are more than just a collection of user profiles and groups. You should make them as real as you can. They should embody all the human attributes you’d expect to find in your users. For example, they could be moody, very task oriented, work in a specific type of environment, or even hate the idea of referring to documentation unless they are absolutely compelled to do so.” (Niranjan Jahagirdar and Arun Joseph Martin ~

Infusing Usability Testing with Reality

“The setup for this study was similar to that for any typical usability study. We invited people to participate in one-on-one sessions with a moderator and asked participants to complete a series of tasks while using the think-aloud protocol. Project team members, including designers and business sponsors, watched from another room. We wanted to gain the best possible understanding of the entirety of the proposed user experience, including branded words for labels, information architecture, and categorization. Therefore, during the course of the sessions, I asked participants to describe what they expected to see in a section or on a page behind a link before they clicked it. I thought this would help me to understand the users’ mindsets coming into the experience.” (Michael Hawley ~

Going Mobile

“In this edition of Ask UXmatters – which is the first in a two-part series focusing on user experience design for mobile devices – our experts discuss designing for a wide range of devices with different screen sizes and how to promote your mobile application.” (

Windows Phone 7 Series UI Design & Interaction Guide

“A clear, straightforward design not only makes an application legible, it encourages usage. This guide will provide design knowledge and fundamentals for this type of UI development. We highly recommend that developers adopt the Metro design style whenever possible. Although requirements may vary based on the application, paralleling this experience will create a more consistent, fluid UI experience from the custom and built-in application view.” (The Windows Phone Developers Blog)

Richard Buchanan Keynote: SCAD 2010

“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)

Fear, loathing and content strategy

“There is a prevailing and ongoing confusion around the relatively new title of content strategist, and the field called content strategy. I find these arguments simultaneously boring and frustrating, and while I hardly think one post from me is going to silence the issue, I wanted to see if I could tease out some of the arguments here.” (Mapped)

Information as a Material

“This talk will discuss what it means to treat information as a material, the properties of information as a design material, the possibilities created by information as a design material, and approaches for designing with information. Information as a material enables The Internet of Things, object-oriented hardware, smart materials, ubiquitous computing, and intelligent environments.” (Mike Kuniavsky ~ Kicker Studio D3)