Curiosity with a well-prepared mind: sagacity.
“Curiosity is powerful. Research tells us it has the power to enhance intelligence and increase perseverance. Being curious propels us to deeper engagement, superior performance, and more meaningful goals. This article explores how we can be more curious as individuals and suggests ways designers can invite others to be curious as well.”
Cassini Nazir and Jingwen Wang ~ The magazine of the UXPA ★
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 ★
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 ★
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 ★
Modelling human behavior with ‘point’and-click’.
“Listboxes and dropdowns are compact UI controls that allow users to select options. Listboxes expose options right away and support multi-selection while dropdowns require a click to see options and support only single-selection.”
Anna Kaley a.k.a. /annalahey ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
On invasive technologies.
“HCI practitioners are increasingly interested in designing interactive technologies to support the body. At the CHI conference, research around health in particular has grown over the past decade. Once consisting of a session or two on health-related papers, it has since become one of the largest dedicated tracks in the conference. That said, few of us in HCI are experts in how the body works as a complex suite of physiological, interacting systems. Understandably so: Such expertise takes years of study in, for example, body-oriented fields like medicine or sports science. It is not a huge stretch, however, to expect that having more expertise about the body’s complex systems would enable us to design better tools. For example, a screwdriver can be effective for working on some parts of a car, but if we wish to ensure that the engine under the hood is running well, we need additional, specific tools like timing lights and spark-gap slides. Understanding how to use these tools, of course, is an essential requirement for ensuring the optimal performance of that machine.”
M.C. Schraefel ~ ACM Interactions Magazine 27.2 ★
Hearing Lickliders man-computer symbiosis in the distance.
“What we call machines may be as concrete as those in industrial production or as immaterial as ideas of form, structure, and pattern that have no location at all. Both kinds, through deeply entangled and woven collaborations with us, work to construct the computer in front of you, your desk, and the cup next to your hand, as you read this. If we consider machines as our own contraptions that embody us in extended and collaborative ways, rather than as tools of automation and semi-automation, what does it mean to make with, collaborate with, or become a machine? In which ways can we share autonomy rather than delegate automation? That is, in which ways can we make together rather than delegate the making to the machine?”
Kristina Andersen, Ron Wakkary, Laura Devendorf, Alex McLean ~ ACM Interactions Magazine XXVII.1 ★
Talk to me and experience how much ambiguity there is in spoken language.
“Advancements in natural language processing, voice recognition technology, and speech synthesis allow voice-enabled devices to mimic human-to-human interactions fairly well. The levels of capabilities that devices and machines have to simulate human voices and generate natural(-like) language in a conversation vary across platforms, and since it is a relatively new technological innovation, users often do not have consistent expectations of their conversation with a conversational user interface (CUI). These inconsistent expectations are often exacerbated by the differences between verbal and written language when the CUI modality is voice; this is a subset of conversational UIs called voice user interfaces.”
Esther Horowitz a.k.a. /esther-horowitz | @estherhorowitz5 ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Designers are responsible, always and everywhere.
“For many years, telling someone in everyday settings that you worked on user interface design or human-computer interaction would produce puzzled looks and require a good deal more explanation. With the rise of design and interaction associated with the proliferation of interactive devices, these terms became much more familiar to people outside the discipline. Lately, though, there has been a second shift. Lately, if you tell someone that you work on interactive systems, or that you find new ways to make interaction effective and enjoyable, it is likely to evoke a skeptical or mistrustful response. In light of a series of scandals – over user data management, over online profiling, over online tracking, over targeted manipulation, over digital addiction, and more – user experience professionals and researchers have found themselves facing new questions about our work and its consequences.”
Paul Dourish a.k.a. /pauldourish ~ ACM Interactions XXVI.6 ★
The analogy of map and territory has its limits.
“If you ask a user experience person—academic or practitioner—whether empathy is important to design, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a resounding ‘Yes!’ Indeed, statements like the one above seem to imply that empathy is a silver bullet that will transform design and lead to innovation. Before empathy was a buzzword, many of us would still have said that helping product teams develop empathy for their users was a core function of user experience research. After all, what else could it mean to study another’s experience and share those insights with others? As often happens in business, though, once a concept like empathy catches on, it’s treated like a fresh discovery. The groundswell is then translated into a small number of new techniques that instantiate the concept concretely. As these techniques become codified, too often reification takes over and their artifacts, or deliverables, seem to substitute for the more abstract virtue they supposedly represent. We act as though the map is the territory.”
David Siegel and Susan Dray ~ ACM Interactions (XXVI.2) ★
From UI to UX to (…)
“The user experience of most web-based applications begins well below the interface, all the way down to fields in a database. Examining how systems and users experience time prove this point dramatically. Think about how messy time can be—time zones, leap years, recurring events. As the creators of educational technology, our team learned the hard way about failing to consider the UX implications of time—not just about how time works in technology, but also how our users experienced it in our UI. What follows are some of the technical issues that UX designers should consider about time, along with takeaways and specific methods that can be used to keep the user experience of time at the top-of-mind during product development.”
Michael McLeod a.k.a. @mcleodm3 ~ UXPA magazine ★
Mentals models for all objects, even smart onces.
“Users of Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant conceptualize them in one of 3 ways: an interface, a personal assistant, or a brain. Frequent users are less likely to push the interaction limits of these AI systems than new users.”
Raluca Budiu a.k.a. /ralucabudiu | @rbudiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Social design, I would suggest.
“We propose a radical change in design from experts designing for people to people designing for themselves. In the traditional approach, experts study, design, and implement solutions for the people of the world. Instead, we propose that we leverage the creativity within the communities of the world to solve their own problems: This is community-driven design, taking full advantage of the fact that it is the people in communities who best understand their problems and the impediments and affordances that impede and support change. Experts become facilitators, by mentoring and providing tools, toolkits, workshops, and support.”
Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1er ~ JND.org ★
Knowledge of perception, cognition and emotion is the foundation of design.
“This paper analyses major social shifts in reading by comparing publishing statistics with results of empirical research on reading. As media statistics suggest, the last five decades have seen two shifts: from textual to visual media, and with the advent of digital screens also from long-form to short-form texts. This was accompanied by new media-adequate reading modes: while long-form content invokes immersed and/or deep reading, we predominantly skim online social media. Empirical research on reading indicates that the reading substrate plays an important role in reading processes. For example, comprehension suffers when complex texts are read from screens. This paper argues that media and reading trends in recent decades indicate broader social and cultural changes in which long-form deep reading traditionally associated with the printed book will be marginalised by prevailing media trends and the reading modes they inspire. As these trends persist, it may be necessary to find new approaches to vocabulary and knowledge building.”
Jon Yablonski a.k.a. /jon-yablonski | @JonYablonski ~ A List Apart ★
Voice interactions, a terra incognita for designers with a focus on perception. Dialogues, conversations and narratives as the new black.
“Many of the best practices for designing VUIs are the same as those for creating visual designs or interactive experiences: respect your users, solve their problems in efficient ways, and make their choices clear. But there are some unique design principles for VUIs as well. Remember, we don’t always know for sure what a user’s intent was. Plus, it’s necessary to spend more time on error cases. If you keep the principles I’ve described in this article in mind, you’ll be well on your way to crafting great VUIs.”
Cathy Pearl a.k.a. /alana-schroeder | @cpearl42 ~ UXmatters ★
Design for the upcoming generations. Quite a challenge for UCD.
“The evidence is clear: Children under the age of 10 need different interaction support than other age groups. Referring to these seven guidelines will help you design children’s touchscreen apps that are more successful for this age group by supporting their natural development and growth. Moreover, including children as part of the design process—whether they as testers, informants, or co-designers—will ensure a better experience for all. By considering these tips, we hope you will be able to focus on the fun factor of designing for kids!”
Julie A. Kientz, Lisa Anthony a.k.a. @lanthonyuf and Alexis Hiniker ~ User Experience Magazine ★
We interact with the world through our senses, with all of them.
“Our senses are always on, sending a continuous stream of information through our nervous system to our brains. But a good deal of the time, we aren’t aware of our senses at all.”
John Alderman and Christine Park ~ O’Reilly Radar Design ★
Cognition revisited, in hardware, software and wetware.
“Human working memory holds information relevant to the current task; when tasks are too hard, users should be able to offload some of the working-memory burden to user interface features that can serve as an external memory.”
Raluca Budiu a.k.a. /ralucabudiu | @rbudiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Contrary to formal, institutional and state sanctioned design education, like colleges and universities (bachelor, master, and PhD).
“I believe in the power of design education to change people’s lives, to improve products, and to alter the strategic course of a corporation, for the better. I hope to see a resurgence of design craftsmanship training riding alongside design thinking training. I don’t think it’s impossible to teach craft, in a broad way, in an organization. But it will take more time and a different approach to training to realize the power of design as an applied discipline, and to recognize how important true competency of doing is for institutionalizing design and creativity.”
Jon Kolko a.k.a. /jkolko | @jkolko ~ The Modernist Studio ★
HCI and UX connected to the business world.
“The majority of business versus UX design choices are influenced by a combination of market megatrends and sales distribution channels. Within this context, the trade-offs vary by industry. The design constraints placed upon an FDA-regulated mobile health solution cannot be compared to those of a chat app for teenagers that blocks parental access. However, the requirement for high-quality UX has become universal to achieve success across all distribution channels and industries. Therefore, every digital product or service requires a UX strategy that considers the business dimensions described here and more. Doing so optimizes for a high-quality user experience in conjunction with the best commercial outcome possible. Finally, it needs to be loudly emphasized: Even the most exhaustive UX strategy must be frequently revisited because the underlying market megatrends and constraints evolve continuously to disrupt the most carefully crafted plans of mice and men.”
Daniel Rosenberg a.k.a. /danielrosenbergux ★