The ultimate consequences of bad design: Three Mile Island, Challenger, and now Hawaii.
“The author and eminent design researcher Don Norman examines how poorly designed software spread panic in Hawaii–and offers tips for avoiding such incidents in the future. (…) To me, the most frustrating aspect of these errors is that they result from poor design. Incompetent design. Worse, for decades we have known how proper, human-centered design can prevent them. “
Donald A. Norman a.k.a. /donnorman | @jnd1er ~ FastCo.design ★
Always learn from adjacent disciplines. Unexpected connections are the best.
“I don’t think drama teachers will replace us all. But as product designers, we need the capacity to change our skillsets whenever it is needed. With visual UI shifting to conversations and voice-enabled interfaces, we can make our devices more inclusive and communicate with them more like with other humans. For these goals, learning new skills certainly pays off.”
Augmentation of the mind, not of ‘reality’.
“The challenge with tech-oriented definitions is that they tend to keep the tech at the heart of the matter and neglect the people, or end users. As a result, applications are driven by what kind of technology is available for an AR-enhanced project, rather than being driven by the type of human experiences we want to create through augmentation. To resolve this, we need to bring user experience more prominently into the AR conversation.”
Kieran Evans a.k.a. @kieranevans1 and Jes A. Koepfler a.k.a. @jeskak ~ UXPA Magazine ★
Screens still relevant, even when they talk.
“Devices which include screens, but employ voice as the primary input method point the way towards a more integrated and useful holistic user experience.”
Kathryn Whitenton a.k.a. /kwhitenton | @kwhitenton ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
If you can scale, you can deliver at any level of abstraction.
“HCI has had a massive impact on the world through streamlining and enabling millions of interfaces on billions of devices. As we face the potential of a tenfold increase in the number of devices and their complexity, it is worth asking about the relationship between HCI and scale. Do the tools and research methods we currently deploy scale to the millions of future interfaces and systems, used by billions of people, across multiple contexts? In this article we outline how we see the challenge of scale. By scale we mean how technology is used in large networks of interconnected systems, with billions of users, across diverse contexts. How can we understand and design for this complex of interconnected uses? Put simply, does HCI scale?”
Barry Brown, Susanne Bødker, and Kristina Höök ~ Interactions XXIV.5 ★
Good old usability testing for brand new technologies.
“The philosophy behind usability testing for speech-enabled systems is shared with general usability practices, but many usability practitioners have little or no experience testing speech interfaces, and the specific techniques required for collecting valid and reliable data are not widely understood. Spoken language and conversation have a number of properties that should influence the methods used to test speech user interfaces.”
Susan L. Hura a.k.a. /susan-hura | @SpeechUsability ~ Journal of Usability Studies 12.4 ★
AI is eating the HCI world.
“There has been a revolution, but it snuck up on us so gradually that you’d be forgiven if you missed it. It’s called artificial intelligence, and it will have a profound impact on how we design digital products in the near future.”
Lars Holmquist ~ Interactions XXIV.4 ★
HCI as an academic field is waking up, too.
“A potential revolution is happening in front of our eyes. For decades, researchers and practitioners in human-computer interaction (HCI) have been improving their skills in designing for graphical user interfaces. Now things may take an unexpected turn—toward natural language user interfaces, in which interaction with digital systems happens not through scrolling, swiping, or button clicks, but rather through strings of text in natural language. This is particularly visible in recent developments in chatbots, that is, machine agents serving as natural language user interfaces to data and service providers , typically in the context of messaging applications.”
Asbjørn Følstad and Petter Bae Brandtzæg ~ Interactions XXIV.4 ★
Know thy history.
“However, there was steady progress. It took longer than many expected, but we collectively built the world imagined by Vannevar Bush, J. C. R. Licklider, Douglas Engelbart, Ivan Sutherland, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and others. In the 1960s, a few engineers and computer scientists used computers. Yet a common thread in their writing was of a time when people in diverse occupations would use computers routinely. We’re there.”
Jonathan Grudin a.k.a. /jonathan-grudin ~ ACM Interactions XXIV.2 ★
Concept models reflect the target cognitive frames of a system or idea.
“Let’s start by agreeing that a concept model is a visual explanation. I want you to see things the way I do, so I draw a model made of words and pictures so you share the picture in my mind. What if I want you to understand that design tends to wander around exploring options, but don’t worry because eventually we’ll pick something.”
Christina Wodtke a.k.a. /christinawodtke | @cwodtke ★
Architecture and interaction. And where is information?
“The fields of interaction design (IxD) and architecture are increasingly intertwined . Architecture is to a large extent produced through the use of digital tools, and digital technologies are increasingly integrated with our built environment. However, these integrations themselves certainly have transformative effects. For example, as the drawing of buildings is primarily done with CAD technologies, the practice of sketching and drawing is also changed. The same can be said about computer-enhanced buildings. Through the integration of digital technologies into our built environment, one physical space can be designed to allow for easy reconfigurations of that space so as to serve many different purposes and activities. As such, digital technologies challenge a core idea in architecture—that the physical environment is hard to reconfigure—and further, that since the physical space both allows for and restricts the social space, it is important that architecture consider the design of the physical environment in relation to the social activity it is intended to support.”
Mikael Wiberg a.k.a. /mikael-wiberg ~ ACM Interactions XXXIV.2 ★
Still design the user interface. Text as UI.
“Chatbots that use artificial intelligence, actually understand human language, and they continually become smarter as they learn from the people who interact with them.”
Amelia Wong a.k.a. /amelia-wong | @ameliacwong ~ UXmatters ★
Know your classics. Skeumorphism avant-la-lettre.
“Kai Krause was born 1957 in Dortmund. He came to California in 1976 with two friends. He worked as a musician for Disney Sound Effects. In fact Kai won a Clio Award for his sound effects in a Star Wars radio spot. Emerson, Lake & Powell bought sound systems from him and he is still working with Peter Gabriel today in order to fulfill his vision of visualized music as 3D sculptures.”
Matthias Müller-Prove a.k.a. /mprove | @mprove ★
‘Insert crappy content here’. Filling empty boxes and minds with content. The Nurnberg Funnel.
“Designers have largely shifted their skill sets toward interface design, prototyping, and code. Are writing and art direction getting left behind? (…) But with designers increasingly focused on the interface, a fundamental problem has emerged. The emphasis becomes the design of the frame, and the content takes a backseat — an easily exchangeable placeholder that can be replaced with more or less anything. Layouts become filled with gray boxes and fake headlines.”
Paul Woods a.k.a. /paulthedesigner | @paulillustrator ~ FastCoDesign ★
The human voice as interface, not better than words.
“This is an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Designing Voice User Interfaces by Cathy Pearl (…) A good rule of thumb is to let the user decide how long the conversation will be.”
Cathy Pearl ~ O’Reilly Design ★
However you assemble them, you have to define them.
“The internet becomes something that’s omnipresent, instead of just something you click on. As everything around us becomes inherently more dynamic, user interfaces will become more and more amorphous in their boundaries. And just as the internet will in effect ‘disappear’, so will our interfaces. We’ll still use them, but we won’t perceive them as separate, limited, defined spaces. They’ll be something far more integral to our experience.”
David McGillivray a.k.a. /dmcgillivray | @David_McG ★
However you assemble them, you have to define them.
“A ‘card’ is a UI design pattern that groups related information in a flexible-size container visually resembling a playing card.”
Page Laubheimer a.k.a. /page-laubheimer | @page_level ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
Designing for visual pixel to audio prose.
“Conversational UI is any UI that can mimic the communication with a human being. This means that a human being can communicate with a virtual human being.These UIs work on platforms such as iPhone, Android, Windows, etc. These applications work based on the strong and collective cognitive data, with the support of artificial intelligence.”
Sreeraj ~ Prototypr.io ★
Learning, a never ending process in the digital domain.
“Across many tasks, learning curves show an initial learning period, followed by a plateau of optimal efficiency. New interfaces compete with much practiced, old ones that have already reached this plateau.”
Raluca Budiu a.k.a. @rbudiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group ★
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 ★