All posts from
October 2016

Grand challenges for HCI researchers

When the context changes, the challenges rise.

“The remarkable impact of human-computer interaction research and user experience design compels researchers, practitioners, and journalists to ask: What is the next big thing? Therefore, it may be useful for our community to lay out grand challenges that steer the direction of future research, design, and commercial development. As HCI researchers, we are profoundly aware of the immense problems of our age: Growing human populations consume natural resources, flourishing cities require housing and transportation, families demand education and safety, and rising expectations from patients put pressure on healthcare and social systems.”

Ben Shneiderman, Catherine Plaisant, Maxine Cohen, Steven Jacobs, Niklas Elmqvist, and Nicholoas Diakopoulos ~ ACM Interactions Magazine

Designing conversations for socially-conscious design

Design is inherently social. It’s about conversations. Conversations by the people.

“Design is inherently social. It almost always involves conversations. Designing conversations-for-design should be an explicit part of the design process, just as much as designing the-design-process should be. In brief, conversations are vital foundations for socially-conscious design. (…) A theory of conversations grows out of cybernetics, a major branch of systems, and its roots reach back to Gordon Pask, who was Ranulph Glanville’s mentor. At RSD3 in Oslo, Glanville said, Cybernetics is the theory; design is the action. We need both theory and action to tame the challenges that really matter. A theory of conversation contributes rigor and dependability to socially-conscious design.”

Paul Pangaro a.k.a. /pangaro | @paulpangaro ~ Opening keynote at RSD5 symposium

Changing routines: Designing projects for meaningful work

The more meaning, the better.

“We need a deliberate and constant investment in routines involving learning, improving, and maturing as part of integrated practices and a clear identification of the project roles necessary so that teammates can build trust with one another, help others on the team, and keep the team together over time. This effort may include defining a well-understood, comfortable, open, inviting project language. When a team defines a project’s purpose and artifacts together then iterates them over time and even across successive projects, the learning environment matures iteratively as part of the project experience.”

Daniel Szuc, Jo Wong, Michael Davis Burchat, and Jennifer Fabrizi ~ UXPA Magazine

Time to re-think Design Thinking

It’s no silver bullet but through critique the concept will only get stronger.

“Faced by growing competition and nimbler start-ups, many organizations are struggling. They suffer from a crisis of innovation. Unable to differentiate their brands, their products and their services in a digitally disruptive world, organizations’ future success depends on better managing and responding to change. Their very existence hinges on their ability to continuously and rapidly innovate. In order to do so successfully, they must place people at the heart of everything they do. They must harness the power of design. Business leaders once distinguished business strategy from customer experience but, today, that mindset is changing: business strategy has become experience strategy.”

Olof Schybergson and Shelley Evenson ~ Huffington Post courtesy of @marcovanhout

Jared Spool on UX Design

The need for designers starts to get intop formal education as well.

“The design industry is torn over the issue of certification. Today anyone can be a designer. Basically, you’re a designer if you put it in your Twitter bio. We probably have more people saying they’re designers than we have designers. On the other side we have folks like yourself who have now produced an entire curriculum that outputs a pretty well-defined industry-ready designer.”

Des Traynor a.k.a. /destraynor | @destraynor ~ Intercom

User experience in libraries: Applying ethnography and human-centered design (Book review)

UX in specific contexts, now libraries.

“It’s easy to acknowledge and broadly accept the general concepts of user experience and human-centered design in relation to libraries, but the real work illustrated in User Experience in Libraries is hard to do. It requires support, buy-in, and dedication of time and resources. As with so many things, the question becomes how to get this book, these powerful chapters, into the right hands. How do we move beyond the echo chamber of passionate advocates? There are no answers offered in this review, other than for practitioners to keep talking and sharing. If we’re lucky, with its honesty and rational approach, ‘User Experience in Libraries: Applying Ethnography and Human-Centered Design can break through’.”

Heidi Steiner Burkhardt a.k.a. /heidisteiner | @heidi_sb ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 1.5

Beyond the conversation: Context-fluid experiences and augmented cognition

How to frame fluidity into a design challenge.

“What we can do currently, however, is think about how to best make use of the available data acquisition methods to create context-sensitive applications for context-fluid experiences. As designers, it is our job to continue to facilitate and improve the two-way conversation between our technology and its users. Let’s work toward creating meaningful feedback loops between human and computer, thus optimizing the context-fluid experience.”

Cameron Miller a.k.a. /cameronalexandermiller | @ChancesAreCam ~ Boxes and Arrows

The interaction-attention continuum: Considering various levels of human attention in interaction design

Attention, the 21st century human currency.

“The article discusses the need to develop interaction designs that are usable at various levels of attention, providing a continuum to facilitate designer-researcher in applying this notion. This continuum and the design considerations we derive from case studies are relevant when designing interactive systems for everyday routines.”

Saskia Bakker and Karin Niemantsverdriet ~ International Journal of Design 10.2