All posts from
January 2012

Affective Computing, Affective Interaction and Technology as Experience

Technology moving into the fibers of our emotions.

“As Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and Interaction Design moved from designing and evaluating work-oriented applications towards dealing with leisure-oriented applications, such as games, social computing, art, and tools for creativity, we have had to consider e.g. what constitutes an experience, how to deal with users’ emotions, and understanding aesthetic practices and experiences. Here I will provide a short account of why in particular emotion became one such important strand of work in our field.”

(Kristina Höök a.k.a. @ProfessorHook ~

Using Content Modules to Improve Efficiency and User Experience

Re-usable patterns, templates, components, modules, elements, and ‘what-have-you’ for content is the future.

“Content modules are small chunks of content that can be placed on standard web pages, typically in the right side-bar area or at the bottom of the page. Each module contains content that can be automatically (or manually) updated or changed based on certain criteria. Some types of pages, such as a home or landing pages, can be built almost entirely by using content modules as building blocks.”

(@KathyHanbury ~ E3 Content Strategy)

Yet Another Technology Cusp: Confusion, Vendor Wars, and Opportunities

The Technium does its work.

“There is a technological revolution in the air, not because new principles and technologies have been discovered, but because so many past technologies have simultaneously reached a state of maturity that they can be incorporated into everyday technology. These cusps in technology produce new opportunities, but until the marketplace settles down, they also deliver considerable confusion and chaos. Each of the changes discussed here seems relatively minor and inconsequential, but taken as a whole, they pose considerable problems and potential risks which I summarize in the afterward.”

(Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1er)

Does Culture Matter for Product Design?

This is not a variant of Catholic math, Buddhist chemistry or Protestant engineering.

“Note that the arguments of this essay are specifically relevant to industrial and interaction designers. So even were one to accept that the impact of culture upon mass-produced products is minimal, other areas of design are apt to be far more sensitive to culture. Because social interaction is still the major source of cultural variation, I would expect service design to vary considerably from culture to culture. As social networks pervade the communication and internet space, they too will vary with culture. Other areas of design will have their own special sensitivities to culture.”

(Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1er ~ Core 77)

How to Start a Career in UX Design

Start somewhere, then practice 10.000 hours.

“Quite often, Web magazines, blogs, and other Web sites feature many interesting and informative articles about how to do UX design, graphic design, and Web design, but offer very little content about the fundamental steps that one must take to actually develop a career in one of these fields. So what should you do if you are just starting out as a UX designer, and what steps should you take to further your career?”

(Chloe Lloyd ~ UXmatters)

Serious Service Sag

As far as most companies are concerned, people are completely different species before and after the transaction.

“This is a big gap where businesses choose to invest in their services. They spend a lot of money to tell you how great the service is, and then, all too often, the service doesn’t live up to the hype. Brands become hypocrites thanks to their own investments.”

(Brandon Schauer a.k.a. @brandonschauer ~ Adaptive Path)

Customer Experience versus User Experience

Or in terms of scope, service design relates to customer experience; web and app design relates to user experience. And what about experience design a.k.a. cross-channel experience design?

“In reading what they write about, it is disturbing how little reference Customer Experience people make to User Experience people. I’ve come across several references to human factors and usability, but you’ll almost never find Customer Experience and User Experience in the same book, article, or room. This worries me. It worries me because I think that actually, this is possibly one of the best, strongest alliances that could exist in companies. It worries me because so much of what CX people do is what we need done so that the experiences we’re designing have a real chance of being good. And it worries be because I think we as UXers could really benefit from understanding, in greater detail, a lot of the structure and discipline and business focus that CXers bring to our combined cause.”

(Leisa Reichelt a.k.a. @leisa ~ disambiguity)

A prototype is worth a thousand words

And give me one word and I’ll make a thousand prototypes. Words are just like requirements.

“Building a good set of wireframes that become a working prototype helps your web project get off to a flying start, it becomes the hub of the design and development project which everyone involved can refer back to. You need to find the right tool to build your prototype. It must be capable of demonstrating how everything will work, whilst not being a complex or fickle beast you have to battle with. Ultimately you need a tool to help shape your thoughts and create a tangible model which is robust enough to be tested with real users and take you through to the next stages of the design process.”

(Leigh Howells a.k.a. @leigh ~ Boagworld)
courtesy of sofia svanteson

Design for Innovation

The brightness of Design as the silver bullet is increasing.

“The purpose of this design plan is to bring the design elements of the strategy together in one place and to communicate these as widely as possible across design, industry, government and education. The Design Council’s aim is to provide a useful strategic framework for organisations, institutions and individual businesses with an interest in making design-led innovation happen. Design can help organisations transform their performance, from business product innovation, to the commercialisation of science and the delivery of public services. That is why design forms an integral part of the Government’s plans for innovation and growth and features strongly in our Innovation and Research Strategy for Growth.”

(Fred Zimny)