All posts from
February 2012

Why User Experience Is Critical To Customer Relationships

See, UX gets picked up by the ‘big guru guys’. Let’s see what they do with it.

“User experience is a priority that should, in some way, find a home within the design of any new-media strategy. (…) User experience is now becoming a critical point in customer engagement in order to compete for attention now and in the future. For without thoughtful UX, consumers meander without direction, reward, or utility. And their attention, and ultimately loyalty, follows.”

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

Disruptive Innovation

Or how UX and CX can be disruptive. Love the comments.

“A disruptive technology or disruptive innovation is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network. The term is used in business and technology literature to describe innovations that improve a product or service in ways that the market does not expect. Although the term disruptive technology is widely used, disruptive innovation seems a more appropriate term in many contexts since few technologies are intrinsically disruptive; rather, it is the business model that the technology enables that creates the disruptive impact.”

(Clayton M. Christensen a.k.a. @claychristensen ~

TapSense: Enhancing Finger Interaction on Touch Surfaces

A completely new HCI paradigm sets in.

“At present, finger input on touch screens is handled very simplistically – essentially boiled down to an X/Y coordinate. However, human fingers are remarkably sophisticated, both in their anatomy and motor capabilities. TapSense is an enhancement to touch interaction that allows conventional screens to identify how the finger is being used for input. This is achieved by segmenting and classifying sounds resulting from a finger’s impact. Our system can recognize different finger locations – including the tip, pad, nail and knuckle – without the user having to wear any electronics. This opens several new and powerful interaction opportunities for touch input, especially in mobile devices, where input bandwidth is limited due to small screens and fat fingers. For example, a knuckle tap could serve as a ‘right click’ for mobile device touch interaction, effectively doubling input bandwidth. Our system can also be used to identify different sets of passive tools. We conclude with a comprehensive investigation of classification accuracy and training implications. Results show our proof-of-concept system can support sets with four input types at around 95% accuracy. Small, but useful input sets of two (e.g., pen and finger discrimination) can operate in excess of 99% accuracy.”

(Chris Harrison) courtesy of dansaffer

What we talk about when we talk about sketching

Always draw when explaining something.

“The sketching is highly generative, best done in a focused session under the influence of caffeine and noise-canceling headphones. My brain has a tendency to free associate and sometimes these sessions spiral out of control, but they are useful activities to conduct at the beginning of a project, as I begin identifying (and blowing past) the tacit boundaries of a space.”

(Dane Petersen a.k.a. @thegreatsunra ~ Adaptive Path)

Structure First. Content Always.

First, second, third… sequential thinking. Think parallel, synergy, dialectic.

“There is an emerging fallacy in our industry recently. The idea that you cannot create good design without knowing your content. (…) You can create good experiences without knowing the content. What you can’t do is create good experiences without knowing your content structure. What is your content made from, not what your content is. An important distinction.”

(Mark Boulton a.k.a. @markboulton)

Dealing with Difficult People, Teams, and Organizations: A UX Research Maturity Model

The baby, toddler, teenager, and adolescent phases of UX research.

“An increasing number of organizations and individuals who develop software products, Web applications, Web sites, or other digital products are gaining a better understanding and appreciation for user experience and UX design and research. Subsequent to the introduction of some magnificent products and services that many executives now own or use-such as smartphones, tablets, Web applications, social media, and video games-they have gained a better understanding of what UX design and research can do to boost the success of a business offering.”

(Tomer Sharon a.k.a. @tsharon ~ UXmatters)

IA Strategy: Addressing the Signatures of Information Overload

Info overload gets to be a IA/UX issue as well.

“The one thing we know about information overload on the Web is that we don’t know enough. The rapid rate at which people and organizations create and propagate information complicates our getting a grip on information overload in the domain of information technology. Our information includes things like our Honey-Do lists, gigabytes of digital documents, and the deluge of email messages that pile up in our email inboxes. The amount of information we consume and manage is growing in both its volume and volatility. Probably worse than the self-inflicted burden of information glut that we’ve invented for ourselves is the fact that the less we know about information overload, the less we can know about the relevance of our collective stockpiles of information.”

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

The QofC Interview: Luke Wroblewski, Author of Mobile First

LukeW and Forbes: quite a combination.

“To me it seems more like inside-out versus outside-in. Inside-out thinking is, This is our process, this is our org chart, this is how we do things, and everything is sort of we, we, we. And they try to project that out to the world. Versus outside-in is like here’s some poor guy who’s going to wind up on our website, let’s look at it from his perspective. He doesn’t care that we have these fifteen departments. He doesn’t care about these fifteen processes that we have for making decisions, he wants to do blank. And just kind of flipping your mindset like that can go a very long way.”

(Anthony Kosner ~ Forbes)

Information Overload Is Not Unique To Digital Age

I’m always thrilled when new historical connections are found.

“It is a constant complaint: We’re choking on information. The flood of data on the Web has reached mind boggling proportions, and it shows no signs of stopping. But wait, says Harvard professor Ann Blair – this is not a new condition. It’s been part of the human experience for centuries.”

(Ann Blair ~ NPR)

The User Experience Integration Matrix: Integrating UX into the Product Backlog

As long as we see UX projects as software engineering projects and not the other way around, the plus and minus sides of the magnet will not connect.

“Teams moving to agile often struggle to integrate agile with best practices in user-centered design and user experience in general. Fortunately, using a UX Integration Matrix helps integrate UX and agile by including UX information and requirements right in the product backlog. While both agile and UX methods share some best practices-like iteration and defining requirements based on stories about users-agile and UX methods evolved for different purposes, supporting different values. Agile methods were developed without consideration for UX best practices. Early agile pioneers were working on in-house IT projects (custom software) or enterprise software.”

(Jon Innes ~ Boxes and Arrows) courtesy of janjursa

Why External Links Should Open in New Tabs

Unfortunately, many users don’t even notice a tab has been initiated. Back, back, back…

“When most designers design websites, they don’t pay much attention to links. As long as the link works and takes users to the right page, everything is fine. However, a great user experience goes further than that. There are certain links that should open in new browser tabs, and ones that should open in the same browser tab. It’s important for designers to know the difference.”

(UX Movement) courtesy of rolandnagtegaal