All posts from
February 2012

Future-Ready Content

Future-proof might be a better qualification.

“The future is flexible, and we’re bending with it. From responsive web design to thinking, we’re moving quickly toward a web that’s more fluid, less fixed, and more easily accessed on a multitude of devices. As we embrace this shift, we need to relinquish control of our content as well, setting it free from the boundaries of a traditional web page to flow as needed through varied displays and contexts. Most conversations about structured content dive headfirst into the technical bits: XML, DITA, microdata, RDF. But structure isn’t just about metadata and markup; it’s what that metadata and markup mean. Sara Wachter-Boettcher shares a framework for making smart decisions about our content’s structure.”

(Sara Wachter-Boettcher a.k.a. @sara_ann_marie ~ ALA Issue 345)

Don Draper is the Antithesis of User Experience

Oh no! Not him again!

“User Experience is about gaining insight on customers and prospects, and guiding the design of products and services based on direct input from those people on a regular basis. UX is NOT about getting people to do what companies just want them to do. UX is OPPOSITE of advertising. UX is about making things that people actually need, not trying to convince people that they should want them.”

(Whitney Hess ~ Pleasure & Pain)

Make Content Strategy the Foundation of Social Service Design

Content, interaction, service, design, architecture, experience, … all elements of the UX soup.

“Content is a key element of customer experience. It may well be one-way to begin with-a white paper, a podcast, and so on-that people read or listen to. But in all its glory content should serve as a primary, integrated element of interactive experiences.”

(Rohn Jay Miller a.k.a. @rohnjaymiller ~ Social Media Today)

What is User Experience Strategy, Anyway?

Like all strategies, it’s still a strategy. A plan to walk the talk.

“User experience strategy builds upon an organization’s business and product strategies through a shared vision for a product or service from the end user’s perspective. UX strategy can also extend beyond a single product to create a vision for what a customer’s interaction with your company will be like across multiple products and touch points over time.”

(Catriona Cornett a.k.a. @inspireUX ~ The Archer Group)

Tools supporting the design process

Cross-channel becomes touchpoint orchestration.

Example: Touchpoint orchestration ~ “Consumers interact with companies in many different ways. They may receive corporate information through publicity in the media, they see brand advertisements on TV or in magazines, they interact with personnel during the buying process or at the customer service desk, they unwrap packaged goods, they sample products in stores, and so on. Ideally, the different design elements that consumers experience should work together like the instruments in an orchestra to create the overall experience. Just like the instruments in the orchestra each have a different character, the design elements do not need to be similar in order to work together in creating a great and engaging experience. Touchpoint orchestration makes sure that all different elements work together and in the right order, in order to create the desired user experience.”

(Experience Driven Innovation)

User Experience The Don Draper Way

Is Don Draper (a.k.a. Mad Man) becoming the reference for all things and beyond? Used to be Peyton Place.

“Like so many things related to technology and new media, champions tend to push a bottom-up strategy. But, my point for this series is to complement the current groundswell by convincing executives and decision makers to lead top-down strategies that covey a vision for what customer experiences should involve. Then, and only then, we can inspire incredible UX to in turn bring that experience to life. Everything starts with defining a vision that articulates the view of the customer journey not just as you see it, but what it is that customer would appreciate, relate to, and value.”

(Brian Solis a.k.a. @briansolis ~ Fast Company)

More Lessons in the Art of Empathetic Design and Spontaneity from Degas

Theatre and art as sources of UX inspiration. Just like “Art as Experience” (John Dewey, 1932)

“Degas may have said that he knew nothing of inspiration or spontaneity, but in reality, he knew their meaning better than most artists. More important, he understood the work that is necessary to make either happen. So, I continue to be fascinated by Degas, his process, and the beauty of his work. Therefore, I am choosing to get a little off topic to explore some important lessons from Degas and what I like to call his performance art.”

(Traci Lepore a.k.a. @TraciUXD ~ UXmatters)

The World of Services User Experience

We call this an ego-document in the positive sense of the word.

“Practicing user experience as part of a larger services organization is hardly ever just about designing the user experience of a particular product. Any UX professional in a services role taps deeply into the human-relationship side of the discipline of user experience. The world of services user experience is challenging, fast paced, and, in some ways, different from a lot of other UX roles. I will be sharing this world with you in future columns.”

(Baruch Sachs a.k.a. @basachs ~ UXmatters)

Experience Design is The Future of Mobile Payments

Is XD now becoming the next silver bullet?

“A holistic experience is key to the future of mobile payment services. No one player currently owns the mobile payment eco-system but those who emerge as the preeminent players will be the ones that embrace seamless integration of partnerships, interoperability, product, services, and user experience. There’s an opportunity for the major/minor players of mobile payment services to create a differentiated, distinguishable, and ownable service experience (…). Lastly, those who pay attention to and design for local market needs and use cases, will dramatically increase mobile payment’s chances for widespread adoption and success.”

(Perry Chan a.k.a. @perrychan ~ Sapient Idea Engineers)

Convenience: The third essential of a customer-centric business

Never seen ‘convenience’ as a quality attribute for user experience, like usable, useful or desirable.

“Technology and innovative design have made many products and services more predictable and efficient, the two lower levels of Different’s 7 Essentials of Customer Experience. Convenience, the next essential of customer experience, is a critical factor in determining how customers make decisions about what to buy, what services to use, where to go, and with whom to engage. Conventional wisdom says that convenience is a factor of time and effort. On the surface, that’s true, but if you dig a little deeper to fully understand service convenience, you need to consider another factor: perception.”

(Ari Weissman a.k.a. @TravelingRE ~ UX Magazine)

Why Personas are Critical for Content Strategy

Personas are great for any UX field, content strategy included.

“The most popular content strategy tools borrow from the discipline of information architecture, but there is one invaluable tool that is imperative to the process of strategy and implementation of tactics that we can thank our user experience cousins for: personas.”

(Kristina Mausser a.k.a. @krismausser ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)

The De-Evolution of UX Design

InfoArch gets rehabilitated.

“By bringing the IA phase back and by concentrating first on the information, several things will happen. First, your sketching and interface design becomes much, much better because you have prioritization and buy off on the content, context, and users you are designing for. This means that your wireframe/prototyping phase becomes a lot more about the interface and not what content should go in the interface and why. Second, you are showing your stakeholders that UX design truly isn’t just form, but really is also about function. We are moving away from the interface, which is how we started, and towards a real solution of which the interface is only a part. Third, we stop lying to ourselves, and we stop saying that the best UX solutions aren’t just the coolest or the best aesthetically, but they are those that take content, context and users into consideration while creating an aesthetically appropriate interface. Most importantly, we stop UX’s slide down the evolution scale back towards the time of print design and outputs, and instead continue our climb up the mountain towards being the user experience experts.”

(Elisabeth Hubert a.k.a. @likehow22)

My Interaction12 Recap: As long as it’s gotta be

IxDA 2012 as a thriven, inspiring and interesting event.

“The Interaction conference platform is the most visible and energetic of all the organization’s endeavors thus far, even though just a tiny percentage of IxDA members are able to attend in person. This year, even as IxD12 attendance grew to 750 people, that percentage diminishes because the organization now counts somewhere around 35,000 members in its digital forums, with over 100 local groups operating in cities around the globe. Only about 40% of the attendees came from North America this year, with over 32 countries represented.”

(Elisabeth Bacon a.k.a. @ebacon ~ Devise)