Author Archives: Peter Bogaards

Voice Content and Usability

Old is new and new is old.

“We’ve been having conversations for thousands of years. Whether to convey information, conduct transactions, or simply to check in on one another, people have yammered away, chattering and gesticulating, through spoken conversation for countless generations. Only in the last few millennia have we begun to commit our conversations to writing, and only in the last few decades have we begun to outsource them to the computer, a machine that shows much more affinity for written correspondence than for the slangy vagaries of spoken language.”

Preston So a.k.a. /prestonso | @prestonso ~ A List Apart

Levelling up the Design Org

Growth of design maturity in orgs. Goes very slowly, from progression to regression (even).

“At Redgate we place a significant emphasis on the growth and development of our employees. This investment in folks’ progression is, I believe, one of the main reasons why we continue to attract and retain some amazing people. Alongside a compelling mission, strong culture and ethics, individual’s are highly motivated where there is a genuine sense that the company cares about and is committed to their growth.”

Matthew Godfrey a.k.a. /msgodfrey | @MatthewGodfrey ~ Redgate

How does AI challenge design practice?

The designer-machine symbiosis addressed (again).

“Machine learning-based systems have become the bread and butter of our digital lives. Today’s users interact with, or are influenced by, applications of natural language processing and computer vision, recommender systems, and many other forms of so-called narrow AI. In the ongoing commodification of AI, the role of design practice is increasingly important; however, it involves new methodological challenges that are not yet solved or established in design practice.”

Thomas Olsson and Kaisa Väänänentaş ~ ACM Interactions XXVIII.4

The Profession of Human-Computer Interaction: What HCI researchers do, and how to become one

Back to the scholarly roots of people and digital technologies.

“This is the first thing you need to understand, if you’re interested in HCI: it’s an academic research discipline. This means that it comes with all of the concerns and constraints that apply to scientific and academic research disciplines: You must be interested in the rigor and philosophy of science and academia. You have to read thousands of research papers, and write a lot of your own. You have to engage with the academic world: a whole ecosystem of universities, academic careers, research funding, peer-reviewed conferences and journals… You will be teaching courses, giving lectures… And crucially, all of this takes up most of your time – you have very little time left to spend on creating actual HCI designs.”

Mehmet Aydın Baytaş a.k.a. @doctorBaytas ~ Design Disciplin

Defining the Behavioural Design Space

Nudging galore.

“Behavioural Design is a critical means to address human behaviour challenges including health, safety, and sustainability. Practitioners and researchers face difficulties in synthesising relevant perspectives from across fields, as behavioural challenges are complex and multi-dimensional.”

Bay Brix Nielsen, Daalhuizen & Cash ~ International Journal of Design 15.1

Beware the Cut ‘n Paste Persona

What’s real and what’s not?

“Design needs simplification but not generalization. You have to look at the research elements that stand out: the sentences that captured your attention, the images that struck you, the sounds that linger. Portray those, use them to describe the person in their multiple contexts. Both insights and people come with a context; they cannot be cut from that context because it would remove meaning. It’s high time for design to move away from fiction, and embrace reality – in its messy, surprising, and unquantifiable beauty – as our guide and inspiration.”

Emanuela Cozzi and Lennart Overkamp ~ A List Apart

Characterizing interaction design by its ideals: A discipline in transition

Transforming a scholarly discipline and its field of professional design practice.

“As a way to capture a broadly acceptable high-level characterization of design, we focus on the guiding values or ideals of the discipline. We first reason from the notion of engineering interfaces for usability and utility up to the 1990s to the current ideal of designing interfaces for experience and meaning. Next, we identify three recent technical and societal developments that are challenging the existing ideals of interaction design, namely the move towards hybrid physical/digital materials, the emergence of an increasingly complex and fluid digital ecology, and the increasing proportion of autonomous or partially autonomous systems changing their behavior over time and with use. These challenges in turn motivate us to propose three directions in which new ideals for interaction design might be sought: the first is to go beyond the language-body divide that implicitly frames most of our current understandings of experience and meaning, the second is to extend the scope of interaction design from individual interfaces to the complex sociotechnical fabric of human and nonhuman actors, and the third is to go beyond predictability by learning to design with machine learning.”

Kristina Höök and Jonas Löwgren ~ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 7.1

Design Notes: On the Information Architecture of Music

In any structure, you must search for the power of silence, whitespace and emptiness.

“The article frames music through the lens of information architecture in order to infer a few considerations on information architecture through the lens of music, and is a thoroughly revised and expanded version of the author’s opening keynote at World Information Architecture Day in Verona, Italy, February 18 2017.”

Federico Badaloni a.k.a. /federico-badaloni | @fedebadaloni ~ Journal of Information Architecture 6.1

Taxonomies: Connecting users to content

Good old taxo’s.

“Taxonomies may be thought of as hierarchies of categories to group and organize information to be found when browsing, or as a structured set of terms used to tag content so that it can be retrieved efficiently and accurately. Sometimes the same taxonomy may serve both purposes, and sometimes two different taxonomies are used, one for each purpose, for the same content or site. Taxonomies are not new, in fact there has been a lot written about them, including an informative series of six articles here in Boxes and Arrows by Grace Lau in 2015. An area that still needs to be better understood is exactly how taxonomies should be designed and implemented to be most effective.”

Heather Hedden ~ Boxes and Arrows

UX of data: Making data available doesn’t make it usable

The use, action and value are in the design.

“Data plays an important part in our daily lives. It shapes how we view the world and, for better or worse, informs the decisions we make. Despite controversies around who collects and does what with data, data-centric work is seen as critical to solving the most complex problems of today, from climate change and security to health crises and inequality. It spans many types of tasks in various professions, undertaken by multiple stakeholders, who may or may not share a common understanding of the domain or the task. It also raises questions of data literacy, inclusion, and fairness in ensuring that the value the data creates is shared as widely as possible.”

Laura Koesten and Elena Simper ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXVIII.2

Using Conversational AI to Make Humans Better at Work, and Work Better for Humans

Going from communication to conversation: Claude Shannon goes Gordon Pask.

“Technology has matured to allow organizations to deploy sophisticated chatbots and digital assistants. These solutions use Conversational AI capabilities to create experiences for the workforce that go beyond what humans alone can deliver. These bots can fundamentally transform the way workplace interactions are enabled, with the ability to resolve inquiries, automate administrative tasks, prompt the right behaviors, and deliver data and insights to improve “in the moment” decision-making. Many organizations have struggled to harness the full power of Conversational AI, but now is the time to figure it out, because the need for organizations to provide this type of ‘always on’ and personalized support has never been more important.”

Greg Vert ~ UX Magazine

Impact-Centered Design: Introducing an Integrated Framework of the Psychological and Behavioral Effects of Design

A design dent in the universe.

“This paper introduces a framework for impact-centered design that maps the direct and indirect psychological, social, and behavioral effects resulting from human-product interactions, as well as the strategic pathways that designers utilize to achieve these effects. The framework was created through a series of expert workshops in which 186 design cases were analyzed. The framework includes three basic levels. At the base, user-product interaction evokes three types of direct product experience: aesthetic experience, experience of meaning, and emotional experience. The second level describes more indirect and long-term types of impact: on behaviors, attitudes, (general) experiences, and users’ and stakeholders’ knowledge. The third and final level represents the general quality of life and society. This paper details the characteristics of and theoretical models underlying the various impact areas, provides illustrative student design cases, and describes how the impact areas relate to each other and how design can influence them. Design research can help increase the designer’s influence by contributing theoretical models that explain the various relationships in the impact areas. We propose a three-part classification of these models to get an overview of the current state of knowledge of each impact area, and to discuss the different ways in which models can guide designers. In the discussion, we offer four action points to help set a concerted agenda for impact-centered design research.”

Fokkinga, S. F., Desmet, P. M. A., & Hekkert, P. (2020) ~ International Journal of Design, 14(3)

UX designers pushing AI in the enterprise: A case for adaptive UIs

UX design can’t be seperated from new technologies.

“AI and UX design have grown up as quite different disciplines. But we’re now starting to see that small bits of AI can enrich a UI in interesting, useful ways. Adaptive user interfaces (AUIs) employ elements of AI to improve user experience. AUIs recognize and automate frequent tasks, such as when an email recognizes a phone number and lets users initiate a call with a tap on the number. These bits of low-risk AI free up a little time for consumers and maybe make them a little happier.”

John Zimmerman et al. ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXVIII.1

Ethical considerations in UX research: The need for training and review

Ethics not only for research, but also for design.

“Research is an essential part of creating good UX. We are often in roles where we interact with our users in order to collect data to inform our UX. We need to ensure our UX research is compliant with ethical standards of research conducted with humans. To do this, we need to have an awareness of potential ethical issues in research, training on how to conduct ethical research, and a systematic review of our research protocols to avoid potential ethical pitfalls. In this article, Victor Yocco discusses some areas of ethical consideration for UX practitioners when conducting UX research, and explores potential solutions to preventing research from venturing into unethical territory.”

Victor Yocco a.k.a. /victor-yocco | @VictorYocco ~ Smashing Magazine

Usability Testing Guide: The process of conducting a usability test

We explain it again and again, over and over. Until (…)

“Usability testing is a core component of User Centered Design and can be used at any stage in the process. It provides valuable insight into the mind of the user, giving us a better understanding of users’ mental models, and it helps to highlight issues that might negatively impact the experience, while also pointing to solutions. If you are new to Usability Testing and want to learn more or just interested in how someone else approaches it, this article gives an overview of how to set-up and run a usability test, and provides a checklist of things to do to complete a usability testing project.”

Gerry Duffy ~ Boxes and Arrows

Christopher Alexander’s Battle for Beauty in a World Turning Ugly: The Inception of a Science of Architecture?

Patterns from the physical world finding its way into the virtual one. Still relevant and urgent, after all these decades.

“Christopher Alexander has been a leading pioneer of academic research on architectural and urban design since the early 1960s. He is also a practicing architect and builder with a passion for creating and restoring life and beauty to our physical environment. In this essay I review, evaluate, and reflect on some of his particularly fruitful, promising, or problematic ideas. I will put forth some ideas of my own for clarification, and to indicate avenues for future research. I argue that Alexander’s notion of patterns (a verbal medium for capturing and conveying design knowledge in a systematic, reusable form) is in need of conceptual development along lines I suggest, even though Alexander downplayed the significance of patterns as he moved on to other theoretical ideas (mainly about aesthetics) later in his career. While I go into some detail about selected parts of Alexander’s work, the intended readership of this essay is not restricted to specialists. I have made an effort to provide guidance and background information to readers not already familiar with Alexander’s comprehensive body of theory.”

Per Galle a.k.a. /per-galle ~ She Ji: The Journal of Design, Economics, and Innovation 6.3

Structuring and Supporting UX Work in Academic Libraries

Crossing of UX (design) and the organization of academic information.

“This article describes how academic libraries structure and support user experience work, how different structures and supports affect the UX work that is done, and the impact of that work on users and UX workers. With the aim of identifying structures and supports that work well, I asked thirty people who do UX work in academic libraries to complete interviews and a short questionnaire. In this article, I define structural facets that shape the institutional contexts of UX work, and I draw from the research to describe where these contexts created striking patterns in the data. After examining the contextual differences, the article concludes with structures and supports that make a positive difference to UX workers and to users.”

Shelley Gullikson a.k.a. @shelley_gee ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 3.2