All posts from
November 2011

A Brief Rant on The Future of Interaction Design

Couldn’t deny the proper framing of ‘Pictures Under Glass’.

“As it happens, designing Future Interfaces For The Future used to be my line of work. I had the opportunity to design with real working prototypes, not green screens and After Effects, so there certainly are some interactions in the video which I’m a little skeptical of, given that I’ve actually tried them and the animators presumably haven’t. But that’s not my problem with the video. My problem is the opposite, really — this vision, from an interaction perspective, is not visionary. It’s a timid increment from the status quo, and the status quo, from an interaction perspective, is actually rather terrible. This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world. If you’re a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact. This little rant isn’t going to lay out any grand vision or anything. I just hope to suggest some places to look.”

(Bret Victor a.k.a. @worrydream ~ WorryDream)


Know your computer design materials in and out: content, code, connectivity, and computation.

“(…) craftsmanship comes through intimate understanding of medium and material. The medium of painting is fairly obvious, as is the material of clay. But both the medium and materiality of service design, interaction design, and public policy are vague, abstract, and seemingly invisible. They are, however, not without definition. (…) one of the most fundamental failings of design thinking education is the lack of craftsmanship.”

(Jon Kolko)

Sneak Preview: Social Computing

A great piece of work on social computing.

“As humans we are fundamentally social creatures. For most people an ordinary day is filled with social interaction. We converse with our family and friends. We talk with our co-workers as we carry out our work. We engage in routine exchanges with familiar strangers at the bus stop and in the grocery store. This social interaction is not just talk: we make eye contact, nod our heads, wave our hands, and adjust our positions. Not only are we busy interacting, we are also remarkably sensitive to the behaviors of those around us. Our world is filled with social cues that provide grist for inferences, planning and action. We grow curious about a crowd that has gathered down the street. We decide not to stop at the store because the parking lot is jammed. We join in a standing ovation even though we didn’t enjoy the performance that much. Social interactions like these contribute to the meaning, interest and richness of our daily life.”

(Tom Erickson ~

The T-Model and Strategies for Hiring IA Practitioners: Part 2

Or what the form of the character T can initiate. And what about the A, K, or X?

“This second installment of my series on hiring IA practitioners, therefore, expounds on the Boersma T-model by presenting a grid that can help hiring managers make informed recruiting decisions by giving them a clear picture of the key verticals of UX practice, while taking into account three potential levels of an IA practitioner’s professional experience.”

(Nathaniel Davis a.k.a. @iatheory ~ UXmatters)

Using Storyboards and Sentiment Charts to Quantify Customer Experience

What would happen if we only talked about experience, human, user, or customer?

“In the fields of user experience and service design, we use storyboards to illustrate our solutions, so clients can walk in the shoes of their customers, staff, or community and see our solutions as we see them. Storyboards are appealing at an aesthetic level, but are trickier to use in persuading clients who are more used to cold, hard numbers, charts, and tables. Offering more tangible measures of customer sentiment helps clients make connections between the experiences we depict and the sorts of technology, financial, and resource decisions that are necessary to make those experiences happen.”

(Ben Crothers a.k.a. @bencrothers ~ UXmatters)

Kristina Halvorson on Content Strategy

Spreading the gospel with exposure of the person and the field in the MS universe.

“Content strategy identifies how content will help achieve your business objectives. It informs how organisations create, deliver and govern or take care of their content, online and beyond. It helps people move from thinking about content launch to content life cycle, allowing them to create a plan to manage that content over time.”

(Tom May a.k.a. @tom_may ~ .net Magazine)
courtesy of contentcafe

Online Graphic Design Degree

Great set of resources all things graphics.

“Graphic Design undertakes the task of translating messages intended for specific audiences through visual communication. Such communication uses various outlets including typography, visual arts, page layout, and Web displays to effectively represent the message of a company, product, or brand. (…) Consider the following resources as you make your way in graphic design. Whether you are a student or teacher, just starting out in your career or simply looking for new information in this exciting field, these articles and resources will assist as you climb the ladder to success.”

Design is How It Works

Where did I read that definition of Design before?

“Jay zeroes in on the design process at companies that do design well. The companies come in different shapes and sizes. The point is that design is something at which any company can succeed. Jay will talk about how companies that embrace the idea that design is about creating a great experience are the ones that will flourish in the 21st Century.”

(Jay Greene ~ HIVE 2011)

Dark Patterns: Deception vs. Honesty in UI Design

Another way of phrasing dark patterns would be e-Commerce Magic.

“We might not like to admit it but deception is deeply entwined with life on this planet. Insects evolved to use it, animals employ it in their behavior, and of course, we humans use it to manipulate, control, and profit from each other. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that deception appears in various guises in user interfaces on the web today. What is surprising, though, is that up until recently it was something web designers never talked about. There was no terminology, no design patterns, and no real recognition of it as a phenomenon at all. If it wasn’t a taboo it certainly felt like one.”

(Harry Brignull a.k.a. @harrybr ~ A List Apart)

How to Annoy a UX Designer

The problem with most UX projects is that there are clients involved, not customers.

“The relationship between client and designer does not always work out as smoothly as we would wish, despite the best efforts of all concerned. In this column, I’ll take a look at some of the questions that can arise on a project team – and how they should and should not be answered. I hope these raise a smile – and possibly help you tackle the next awkward client conversation you encounter.”

(Peter Hornsby ~ UXmatters)

Five Ways to Be Persuasive in Your UX Work

Convincing is as hard as persuasion.

“In your work as a UX professional, do you ever find that you need to convince people that the team should follow a user-centered design process? Do you need to convince stakeholders they should do user research? Do you try to get user experience thinking inserted earlier in the project lifecycle? Perhaps you need to sell yourself or your company? I certainly do. In fact, I find that there are many of these persuasive moments in the practice of user experience design. To be successful as a UX professional, you need to know how to be persuasive.”

(Michael Hawley ~ UXmatters)