All posts from
November 2013

User stories don’t help users: Introducing persona stories

Extending the reach of personas to scenarios.

“User stories are one of the most popular alternatives to traditional user requirement specifications. But despite their promising name, user stories are not about – and don’t necessarily help – users at all. In most cases, user stories are written about roles that users adopt and take no account of the needs and behaviors of real users. Were that not indictment enough, user stories suffer from demonstrable flaws in structure and are often written by the wrong people at the wrong time. Here, I examine the background of user stories in their current form, highlight their failings, and propose a more appropriate alternative for the development of interactive systems: persona stories.”

(William Hudson ~ ACM Interactions Magazine November/December 2013)

Mapping business value to UX

The economic transaction of design is not its core.

“(…) we’ll expand on our approach to mapping business value to User Experience and explain how we have put it to use. Our goal in sharing this information is to be as transparent as possible about our process and our intentions, so the greater UX community can pursue an important conversation that we’ve been eager to have. What is that conversation going to be about? It is a dialogue that centers around selling User Experience – which goes far beyond user-interface design – to all of our organizations. This is a dialogue in which we, as an industry, need to engage. Hopefully, hearing our story will inspire you to share your own story.”

(Lis Hubert a.k.a. @lishubert and Paul McAleer a.k.a. @paulmcaleer ~ UXmatters)

10 ways to pretend you know UX (when you don’t)

Charlatans, bozos and nitwits are everywhere, UX included.

“The most amazing thing, to me, is when people try to pretend that they have expertise when they actually know very little. This is an epidemic in UX. And like any good vaccine, I have to infect you with a small dose so you can kill it in real life. So here’s my guide to how it’s done.”

(Joel Marsh a.k.a. @JoelMarsh ~ The Hipper Element)

Why Moore’s Law doesn’t influence design these days: Less is “Moore”

The end of a long-lasting law. New law will be based upon another perspective of technology: paralellism.

“Technology cycles have been on a tear for decades, with each chip iteration bringing more capabilities at lower prices. But less can be more in tech products-and design is the way to balance that factor.”

(Kevin C. Tofel ~ GigaOm)

Cross-channel design: A primer

xChannel design needs systematic and analytic thinking integrated with a right brain approach.

“This article is a primer for people that want to gain an overview of cross-channel design. It will also address its impact on the ways we need to think and act in this new era where the digital-physical relationship is becoming increasingly blurred.”

(Simon Norris ~ Nomensa)

A day in the life of an information architect

It’s like the information architect persona project.

“The employment outlook for IA is healthy overall. Knowing this is encouraging – so now what? To help craft your personal career storyline, join this web conference to engage in some creative, divergent thinking about what’s possible. This presentation reviews the employment and career landscape for IA.”

(Stacy Surla a.k.a. @stacysurla ~ UXconnect)

Information architecture: Beyond web sites, apps, and screens

I couldn’t agree more with the urge to extend our scope and need for foundational theories.

“Can a craft-like profession of information architecture that lacks internal theory keep up with the growing complexities of ubiquitous ecosystems that comprise both digital and physical objects? I don’t think so. To position the practice of information architecture for future success, we must not wait for the future to arrive, but try to anticipate it – and, in some cases, even help to create it. To offer theories of information architecture that transcend Web sites, applications, and screens, we need to pursue original theories of information architecture that address Web sites, applications, and screens, period. If we fail to do this, Toon and the rest of the IA community will have to be satisfied with stolen insights from other fields.”

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

Customer Experience versus User Experience: What’s the difference and why does it matter?

Confusion is the result of constant change for professionals as well.

“Companies with disdain for their customers provide bad service and poor user experiences. If an organization is just starting to think about customer experience, it’s a sign they have also just started thinking about any kind of experience design – customer or user experience. You might be able to help them, but you’ll be launching a culture-change initiative as much as a product-design initiative. Be prepared. Culture change is hard stuff.”

(Jon Innes a.k.a. @innes_jon ~ UXmatters)