All posts from
December 2011

Service Design Thinking and the Innovation of Financial Services (Part 2)

You would expect that financials are one of the usual suspects for service design.

“Though it is clear that many banking institutions around the world are experimenting with new models for delivering service and value, it is also clear that this is the tip of the iceberg. There is a notable lack of obvious investment by our larger institutions. In the face of current financial upheaval and recession I would suggest that now is a good time for banks to invest in an alternative customer-centered future. The principles and practices of service/experience design and design thinking and indeed other design thinking mash-ups such as strategy/planning design thinking, technology design thinking, organization design thinking, and you-name-it design thinking offer much to financial services in their search for innovation.”

(Brian Gillespie a.k.a. @designbusiness ~ Strategic Design redux)

A Consistent Experience is a Better Experience: Service Design

One of the many intro’s on Service Design, trying to answer the question of its value for commercial purposes.

“If there is one thing that has held the test of time, it’s that history is bound to repeat itself. What was once old will most certainly become new again in the cycle of time because good ideas never go out of style. Service design is a shining example of this fact. In spite of the fact that the conception of service design is nearly 30 years old, it is an idea that is more relevant than ever today. Service has become a serious topic of discussion in the design community these days and it’s being recognized more and more as a key to business success in competitive markets. Good service design breeds satisfied, loyal customers. This post will walk you through the basics and how you can begin using it to your advantage to turn travelers into your very own brand ambassadors.”

(Mark Eberman a.k.a. @bikeboy389 ~ Digital Compass)

Industrial HCI Research: A Personal and Professional Perspective

Every practice is made by people, not organizations. Focus on people, not brands.

“In this article, we give you some personal perspective on the changing role of human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers practicing in industry over the last 25 years and look to the future. We identify long-lasting themes and emerging trends and add some insight from our experiences working in IT research and development. These experiences include collaborating as team members on a series of HCI research projects during 15 of over 20 years at IBM Research. We also describe what it has been like having a two-person HCI household over the years.”

(Clare-Marie Karat and John Karat ~ Journal of Usability Studies Vol. 7, Issue 1, November 2011, pp. 1-8)

The Role of UX: Learning from Sustainability

UX designers express their identity crisis. Some deep mind work needed.

“In recent times, it has become increasingly difficult to describe who UX professionals are and what they do. As a new entrant into this profession, defining who I am and presenting the skills I possess as something that is valuable to any organization has been an uphill task.”

(Antonia Anni a.k.a. @tonianni ~ UXmatters)

UX Dimensions of Conflict

UX design remains a people business.

“Even though there is no single answer to the question of how innovative or conventional a team should be and no clear gauge for how free or controlled a development process should be, you can make thoughtful decisions about what the right settings for those knobs are within your own organization. In doing so, make sure you take a value-neutral approach and understand your own biases going in. Then, choose the appropriate balance for your team, and select whatever tools and processes make the most sense for where you’ve set those knobs.”

(Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)

Want to Improve Your Coordination? Attend to Patterns

Using patterns creates rhythm, confidence, and trust.

“Like many of you, I’m passionate about crafting communication products that help others understand and act. I appreciate the work by writing practitioners who ask how sentence structure can support humans. I’m intrigued by the work of those of us who explore taxonomic relationships and ensure our tools bring consistency to thought. And recently I’ve become engaged by the thinking of information architects who attend to patterns and components.”

(Thom Haller a.k.a. @thomhaller ~ ASIS&T Bulletin Dec. 2011 – Jan. 2012)

Yes, Experience Can Be Designed

In the DTDT or ‘There is no such thing as…’ category. And where does this debate lead us to? It depends.

“As experience design has evolved from early ideas about human-computer interaction to our present understanding, we can see how the industry has shaped the tools for studying, influencing, mediating, and sometimes even controlling the way people experience the artifacts they interact with. But that raises a question: can experience really be designed? And it certainly triggers lively debate.”

(Sorin Pintilie a.k.a. @flyandcolors ~ UX Magazine)

Embedding Design

Doing the guerilla work on service design in the organisation.

“This isn’t about throwing designers in an organisation. It is both bringing in design capacity and expertise inside the organisation and educating/building understanding and capabilities of it’s potential so this design team/designers/central role can flourish. (…) It is simply not enough to deliver toolkits to organisations on how to design, we have to consider it becoming the DNA of the organisation.”

(Sarah Drummond ~ Snook)

For the love of experience: Changing the experience economy discourse

Really hope her dissertation changes the discourse.

“The attention for experiences as economic offerings has increased enormously in the last decade. However, the lack of a clear definition of experience and the bias towards the organization’s perspective in the discourse cause much confusion. In this study experience is taken back to its basis: the encounter between an individual and his or her environment. Different concepts, effects and values of experience are defined to construct a more integrative discourse for the experience economy from the individual’s perspective. To reap the benefits that the experience economy offers, the role of organizations has to change from a directing and controlling one to a more supporting and facilitating one. A true recognition of the co-creation that takes place in experiences shows how much latent potential for creating value there is yet to discover.”

(Anna Snel a.k.a. @annasnel)

Designing Metro style apps that are touch-optimized

By exception, a proprietary tech video on HCI.

“Get the knowledge and guidance needed to build an app for an intuitive, powerful touch experience. Understand how touch design principles are firmly grounded in customer needs of comfort and utility. Discover how your app can use Windows 8 touch language and patterns, capabilities like smart targeting and semantic zoom, and new interactions like ‘slide to select’ and ‘hold to learn’ to engage your customers.”

(Jan-Kristian Markiewicz & Kay Hofmeester a.k.a. @kayhof ~ BUILD 2011)

Philosophy of Interaction and the Interactive User Experience

Finally, a piece on interaction design with more deep thoughts than normal.

“I will approach the question of interactivity from a number of angles, in the belief that a multi-paradigmatic analysis is necessary to give justice to the complexity of the phenomenon. I will start by defining the scope through some examples of interactive products and services. Next, I will analyse interactivity and the interactive user experience from a number of perspectives, including formal logic, cognitive science, phenomenology, and media and art studies. A number of other perspectives, e.g. ethnomethodology, semiotics, and activity theory, are highly relevant, but are not included here.”

(Dag Svanaes ~

Can’t get no satisfaction: Why service companies can’t keep their promises

For a lot of companies, it’s just annoying that they have customers.

“Service companies can’t show customers a tangible product. Since services are intangible, the only way to sell them is by making a promise to perform. But most service companies fail to keep their promises, leaving customers frustrated, confused and abused. Why do so many service companies fail to keep their promises to customers?”

(David Gray a.k.a. @davegray ~ Dachis Group)

Career Advice for User Researchers

Learning from the seniors.

“The first thing you should decide is what you want to focus on. There is a great variety of roles in user experience. Some UX professionals are generalists who do everything from user research to UX design – and sometimes even software development. Others specialize on a particular aspect of user experience such as interaction design, visual design, content strategy, or ethnography. And many fall somewhere in between – for example, a UX Architect who conducts user research and is responsible for every aspect of UX design except visual design.”

(Jim Ross a.k.a. @anotheruxguy ~ UXmatters)

Planning User Research Throughout the Development Cycle

How can you ever make something worthwhile if you haven’t looked into it, a.k.a. research.

“(…) we’ll discuss how research planning can reduce costs and decrease the time it takes to perform user research. One of the biggest challenges in performing user research is determining which research approaches to apply and when to apply them. The research methods you choose are dependent upon a variety of factors, including budget, schedule, development phase, business goals, and research questions.”

(Demetrius Madrigal and Bryan McClain ~ UXmatters)