All posts from
November 2012

Whither “User Experience Design”?

Revitalized and DTDT (again). Just like love.

“It makes no sense to ask what “user experience design” really means; it means whatever we use it to mean. We can ask what we need it to mean and how we already use it. I submit that we need a term for designing systems that include interaction design. And we already use “user experience design” to mean that now. If we could agree on that, I might stop feeling so bad about calling myself a “user experience designer”.”

(Jonathan Korman ~ NEW Boxes and Arrows)

The Design for Usability book

A Dutch delight.

“The Design for Usability project published a book that provides the product development community with a comprehensive and coherent overview of the results of the project, in such a way that they can be applied in practice. The book outlines the studies conducted in the project, and indicates how the individual research projects are related and which of them can be applied in a coherent mode.”

(Edited by @jaspervankuijk ~ Design for Usability)

Content, the once and future king

Shaping compelling experiences with data, lots of them.

“This is a new sandbox for technologists, data scientists, marketers, and experience designers. What are the corpora we have access to? What is lurking within our data smog? What are the new experiences we can create? No doubt we will continue to see art and humor, but let’s use those to inspire us as we imagine what else is possible. The biggest potential (and as always the hardest problem) is in the development of game-changing experiences. I look forward to seeing where this goes.”

(Steve Portugal a.k.a. @steveportigal ~ ACM Interactions November + December 2012)

Service Design: On the Evolution of Design Expertise

Great set of publications.

“Service design is a relatively new field of expertise: it has mostly developed over the past 20 years. The deepest roots of both design and service design are in arts, crafts, and organised planning. Later the actual concept of design and many of its sub-areas, such as architecture and jewellery as well as textile, furniture, and graphic design, started to emerge. Then service business development, service marketing, industrial design, as well as ergonomics, interaction design, usability design, and information design grew out from the thick root of design.”

(Tuomo Kuosa & Leo Westerlund ~

Content Strategy Is A Process Not A Deliverable

Or to put it differently, it’s a verb, not a noun.

“Strategies involve objectives. They have to. Either a strategy supports the attainment of the objective or the longer term impact to outcomes after the objective has been reached. Either way, a strategy is something that uses tactics but is not exclusively about them. Strategies also have to support measurable objectives. That is, a strategy’s success can only be realized once an objective has been met and that objective has a set of metrics against which it is measured.”

(Kris Mausser a.k.a. @krismausser ~ The Discontented Company)

The business of design: A series of interviews

Business will open up for UX, only when UX shows respect.

“A lot of the problems with practitioners in our field arise because we are sometimes seen as almost anti-business. I’ve seen this attitude in the community, I’ve seen practitioners become zealots about the user, their feelings and their rights. They fight and resist decisions that are made for commercial benefit because they might impinge on the perfect user experience. This isn’t helped by an often evangelical, polemic and condescending attitude and language.”

(Meld Studios)

UX Strategy on the Job: An Interview with Three UX Strategists

From business, through digital to C/UX strategy. The plan to achieve the vision.

“The statement that they agreed to participate is significant. Some of the people I asked to participate in this interview said their companies wouldn’t allow it. A couple of the UX Strategists who did participate said that they would have to send their responses all the way up the command chain for editing and approval. Why the secrecy? Why can’t UX Strategists share their craft openly like other UX professionals do when they discuss things like Photoshop filters or research methods or JavaScript tips? It’s because a UX strategy is a valuable asset that companies want to protect: a battle plan for success in the digital realm.”

(Paul Bryan a.k.a. @paulbryan ~ UXmatters)

Service Design: Are we still talking about this?

Human values are much more important than roles.

“(…) Chris hates the word ‘consumer’. He doesn’t want to be called a consumer, because the word carried the implications of being passive and dumb. Instead, he wants to live in a world where he feels valued and useful. And this means we are not talking about point of view anymore, but about purpose. We are talking about values on a much deeper level than marketing and communications were ever able to.”

(Chris Downs ~ NEXT Berlin)

Dueling and Design : How fencing and UX are quite alike

Seeing parallels between UX and other fields of practice stimulates the creative flows.

“Since most people are not very familiar with modern competition fencing, let’s start by taking a look at the sport. Modern fencing has its roots in swordplay, but the training and tactics employed are meant to win competitions, not duels. Bouts are fenced to a set number of points. Points are most often scored by making a valid touch on your opponent although points can also be awarded if a fencer retreats off the end of the strip or for certain rule violations. There is a director who judges the bout and enforces the rules.”

(Ben Self ~ UX magazine)

Structured Content is Like Your Closet

Based upon the principle of structure: common properties connected.

“Imagine you have a house with a decent-sized closet. But the closet only has couple of hanging rods across the top and middle. Into this closet, you put all of your clothes, from shoes and socks, to suits and ties, sweatpants, your entire wardrobe. And you try to loosely organize the closet – given that all you have are hanging rods. You have a hanger for all of your ties (hanging haphazardly across the middle), you have a pile of socks in one corner, your shirts are on hangers, but placed randomly on the bars. You get the picture.”

(Content Rules)

Revealing unawareness in usability related decision-making

Usability, (still) a vibrant concept.

“Nowadays, many users experience usability issues with their electronic products. It does not work as they expect or otherwise irritates the user, so he becomes dissatisfied about the product and may even complain about it. These numbers of complaints to companies and usability issues are high and rising. Reasons for these increasing numbers are the highly complex electronic products that are being developed, the global economy in which they are created and produced, and the wide variety of users that uses the product.”

(Christelle Harkema and Ilse Luyk-de Visser ~ Design for Usability) ~ courtesy of annekevandelangkruis

Creating Socionas: Building creative understanding of people’s experiences in the early stages of new product development

Personas going social. Next up: Mobinas.

“Creating Socionas seeks to address two questions: What do design teams need to understand about the social to develop products and services that delight users? And how can they build this understanding under the constraints of new product development practice?”

(Carolien Postma ~ Delft University of Technology IDStudiolab)

All Experience is Organized

Organized through orchestration, choreography, or direction.

“Experience design claims to know better both a user experience as well as its design. The paradox therein being that no experience is designed. Experience is either in the Now, in which case it is event. Or it’s in the past, in which case it is reflected upon and then retold.”

(Adrian Chan a.k.a. @gravity7 ~ Johnny Holland Magazine)

Your Content, Now Mobile

Congrats Karen with this major achievement!

“It is your mission to get your content out, on whichever platform, in whichever format your audience wants to consume it. Your users get to decide how, when, and where they want to read your content. It is your challenge and your responsibility to deliver a good experience to them.”

(Karen McGrane a.k.a. @karenmcgrane ~ A List Apart)