All posts from
April 2013

Hire a UX manager: 10 reasons why you should do so

UX management, another emerging discipline, practice and community.

“It is difficult for those not in Research & Development, Quality Assurance, Marketing or other non-customer related departments to immediately see the reasoning behind the need to hire a UX Manager. This is understandable. Those in more financial or executive positions have their own sophisticated sciences and logistics with which to be concerned and are forced, often against their desires, to leave the ‘creative’ sciences to those who specialize in them. With that in mind, this article will list ten reasons why all enterprise level businesses need a UX manager. Before continuing to read, please note that some of these aspects come as a result of the user experience development phase, rather than being components directly thereof. All people in leadership naturally understand that one ripple in a pool affects all the others, making resultant factors just as vital as direct ones.”

(Danielle Arad a.k.a. @UXMotel ~ UsabilityGeek)

Why brand-centric UK firms now need to be UX-centric too

And of course, also outside the UK.

“So why are relatively few companies turning to UX professionals or implementing in-house practices? The answer, somewhat predictably, is often cost or lack of human resources. But Is it worth it? Here we take a look at the issues, trends and health of the UX industry. (…) A UX or interaction designer (PJB: sic!) must think about how to conceive and design complex sequences of loosely choreographed interactions and rise to the specific challenges imposed by multi-channel and multi-platform services, managing their constant evolution. It’s hard to deny that the rise of a UX design community has done wonders to improve the perceived quality of many recent products and services. In the future, business is likely to call on them even more.”

(Adriana Hamacher ~ Open Innovation)

New frontiers: The UX professional as business consultant

Business, the new hunting ground for UX professionals.

“We talk a lot about cross-channel experiences and how to address these new challenges as designers, but what about using our design skills, our hard won knowledge and empathy for customers to help companies decide what products and services will help grow their business? While companies are coming round to the value of customer experience, they’re struggling to acquire the skills needed for creating and managing touch points as well as understanding and prioritizing needs. And when we’re talking multi-channel ecosystems, who’s better equipped to address this complexity than those who have the skill set to not only understand it, but to design it and guide how it’s built. From optimizing the cross-channel customer experience, to creating new product and service extensions, we’re heading into a prime moment for bringing our toolkit into the business arena. This talk is meant to be both a thought starter as well as a lively group discussion around how UX can begin to play a substantive role in a company’s digital strategy. Using examples from my own experiences and input from a variety of seasoned practitioners, we’ll examine the challenges and map the opportunities across our own journey as UX professionals who are starting to think about what’s next.”

(Cindy Chastain a.k.a. @cchastain ~ Interaction 13)

Information architecture schools of thought (beta)

Great infographics for better understanding the history of IA.

“The research captured unique IA practice definitions and related concepts that have given shape to the industry. Works are cited because they have persisted and are actively endorsed, practiced or developed as an area of research and theoretical inquiry.”

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

“The music is not in the piano”

One of the giants on whom’s shoulders we stand.

Interview with computing pioneer Alan Kay ~ “One way to think of all of these organizations is to realize that if they require a charismatic leader who will shoot people in the knees when needed, then the corporate organization and process is a failure. It means no group can come up with a good decision and make it stick just because it is a good idea. All the companies I’ve worked for have this deep problem of devolving to something like the hunting and gathering cultures of 100,000 years ago. If businesses could find a way to invent “agriculture” we could put the world back together and all would prosper.”

(David Greelish ~ Techland)

The lady and the antelope: Suzanne Briet’s contribution to the French Documentation Movement

Remarkable woman in the Paul Otlet trajectory.

“During her thirty years at the Bibliothèque Nationale (BN), Suzanne Briet (1894-1989) made important theoretical, organizational, and institutional contributions to the documentation movement in France. This paper attempts to place her documentation work within the context of the far-reaching reform of French libraries, with special attention to the transformation of the BN. Like her colleagues in special libraries, Briet embraced modernity and science. However, because of her strong orientation toward humanistic scholarship, she viewed documentation service and bibliographic orientation as an enhancement rather than a rejection of the scholarly traditions of the national library. This paper will focus on her efforts to integrate the innovative ideas of the documentation movement into the practice of librarianship at the Bibliothèque Nationale.”

(Mary Niles Maack)

User (experience) research, design research, usability research, market research: A changing, interconnected world

Whatever it takes to feed your understanding of people, as consumers, users or patients.

“When I was in a management role at Yahoo!, we discovered that market researchers were encountering some of the same obstacles as our UX researchers – obstacles to being appropriately involved upstream in the process to have a more strategic impact on the company. So UX research began to partner with market research in an effort to attain that involvement.”

(Richard Anderson a.k.a. @riander ~ UX Magazine)

Information wayfinding: A not-so-new metaphor (part 1)

Time/space dimensions don’t apply to the online world. At most, they are just metaphors or analogies.

“Browsing the Web. Surfing the Net. Navigating a Web site. Traversing a hierarchy. Going back. Scrolling up and down. Returning home. We’ve seen such metaphors throughout our history of using computers to interact with information. Haphazard though they may seem be, these metaphors highlight a universal reality of human psychology: we perceive the world – both physical and digital- – in spatial terms.”

(Tyler Tate a.k.a. @tylertate ~ UXmatters)