All posts from
March 2016

Making meaningful things together: Working towards a mature business

How team work is determined by its context.

“Sometimes people create conflicts during a project that only serve to get in the way of making meaningful things together. Or in other words, unnecessary and petty battles make work not fun and not productive. But why would people create such conflict? Perhaps a project was plagued by one, all, or some of the following factors: requirements were not collected or understood clearly, the core of the offering was not defined properly, there was too much distance between the customer and the project goals, too much money had been spent already for the project to fail, or it could be as simple as people just not knowing how to get along. All of these factors can make an environment of fear and uncertainty that prevents people from working together to create wonderful products and services. What elements of a project should we all be thinking about to help bring people together to make meaningful things together?”

Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong ~ Journal for usability studies

The cult of user personae: A pantheon for the modern code warrior

Online everybody is a persona, low- and high-fidelity.

“The more we invest in our personae, the more present they become in our work—and the more our ‘usability culture’ begins to resemble an honest-to-goodness culture. Ultimately, I can envision a style of work that bears some resemblance to many traditional societies’ casual relationships with their pantheons, in which our personae influence most of what we do and crop up in our conversations, jokes, and collective memories.”

Sasha Akhavi /sasha-akhavi ~ Boxes and Arrows

Improving UX with Pixar’s 22 rules of storytelling

Just follow the rules. And then break them.

“UX designers know the importance of telling a good story—we strive to give our users a comprehensive understanding of our creations with consistency, accuracy, and intuitiveness. Recognizing the relationship between these disciplines resulted in a relatively fluid translation of Emma Coats’ rules into lessons for good UX. Think of these as a set of guidelines to facilitate your creative process.”

Eric Celedonia a.k.a. /ericceledonia | @ericceledonia Invision blog

Design ideal: Performing a dialogue between theorizing and designing

Let’s re-frame the relation between theory and practice. It’s not at all anymore about mind and hands.

“Increasingly, researchers engage with design as a means of inquiry to understand and theorize about real-world situations in a nuanced and generative manner. Doing so involves negotiating a tension between two opposing objectives. On the one hand, design is inherently concerned with addressing the problem through shaping a unique and particular solution. On the other, theorizing is increasingly desired as an outcome of a design inquiry. Or, in other words, a design inquiry needs to formulate findings that are transferable across various situations and are generative of new designs. How do design researchers negotiate the dialectic between theorizing and designing in practice?”

Naveen Bagalkot and Tomas Sokoler ~ ACM Interactions Mar/Apr 2016

Meeting your mission: A user-centered approach to content strategy

Content, the UX material we work with. And code of course.

“The most common mistake by organizations designing a website, app, or other digital product is breaking the number one rule of human-centered design: put content where users are most likely to look for it. Instead, mission-driven organizations, in particular, such as government agencies and nonprofits, muddle the execution of their design as they struggle to promote their message and meet the needs of stakeholders.”

Nikki Kerber a.k.a. /nrkerber | @SocialWebNerd and Rachel Weatherly a.k.a. /rdweatherly ~ UXPA Magazine

Architect everywhere

Architecting information as an architect.

“The design process consists in defining hypotheses of what the balance between these forces ought to be, and articulating them to two main audiences: stakeholders — the people who are commissioning the product and/or those who will be using it — and its builders. This articulation happens by means of models, which the designer creates to communicate the intended balance to these audiences. These models can take many forms: sketches, comps, prototypes, etc. Feedback from stakeholders and developers helps designers refine these models as the project progresses, and the models evolve from being abstract and ambiguous (rough sketches) to concrete (screen comps, prototypes).”

Jorge Arango a.k.a. /jarango | @jarango

Three powerful lessons I have learnt as an information designer

When you start with three, more will follow.

“Designing information effectively is a wonderful and complex challenge. I feel grateful that in the past ten years I have had the opportunity of working with extraordinary teams of scientists to the end of communicating complex data. These three lessons are among the most precious lessons I have learnt along my journey.”

Angela Morelli a.k.a. /aamorelli | @angelamorelli

A new challenger appears: UX prototyping, user feedback, and the rise of anime

Making, the most human activity there is.

“In this article, I’ll describe the UX and digital marketing prototyping methodology and then what I understand of a particular TV show genre counterpart. I’ll explore fundamental differences in these processes and outline what television can learn from UX. From there, I’ll introduce a unique storytelling ecosystem that already naturally integrates some UX techniques and how that leads, in my humble opinion, to the best TV in the world.”

Montgomery Webster a.k.a. /mxmlln | @uxMonty ~ Boxes and Arrows