Validating learning, much better than just using or experiencing.
“While much of the literature regarding usability testing in libraries focuses on library websites, this article describes an approach that evaluates the usability of learning artifacts, such as learning objects and print materials, as well as learning experiences. In three case studies, we describe our approach to testing these materials and experiences, the results and improvements we made, and the lessons we learned that have informed our approach. We argue that librarians should incorporate usability testing into instruction, from testing learning objects in development to testing complex learning activities and print materials. This approach to usability testing and evaluation will give educators an evidence-based way to develop more effective learning materials and experiences, making them better for our learners.”
Becksford, L. & Hammer, K. & McNabb, K. B. ~ Weave: Journal of Library User Experience 4.2 ★
How can you make practice better without any reading from research? Only partially.
“Let’s face it: UX is difficult for many of us who study it, teach it, and do it for a living to define. We owe it to the next generation of UX professionals to introduce them to UX as soon as possible in their professional development, to be the frontline of UX education, so-to-speak. That’s the only way to make certain that students who are dedicated to becoming UX professionals have the opportunities they need to make that possibility a reality.”
(Guiseppe Getto a.k.a. @guiseppegetto ~ Boxes and Arrows)
It used to be called educational technology or instructional design, but design for learning experiences might now be a better label.
“Design describes the quality of an experience as it relates to aesthetics, emotions, pleasure, usability, and cognition. We typically think of design as a forgivable attribute, and we overlook products or services that are hard to use, confusing, demanding, degrading, and downright ugly as long as that payoff is still delivered. The payoff of rapid air travel is so great that we’ll forgive uncomfortable (and potentially physically dangerous) seats, loud noise, an unpredictable cabin climate, long lines, poor service, and so-on. These are design attributes. We can design better experiential qualities for air travel, fixing the seats, the line, and the service, but why would a company bother with the expense if consumers are singly motivated by the payoff?”
(Jon Kolko a.k.a. @jkolko ~ UX Magazine)
UX design is steaming up upstream.
“UX design is a strategic discipline in which practitioners make recommendations that can have a big impact on an organization’s revenue. Frankly, a designer isn’t qualified to make these kinds of recommendations without putting in some time doing fundamental, in-the-trenches research and design work.”
(Fred Beecher a.k.a. @fred_beecher ~ Boxes and Arrows)
Everybody is a designer, so everybody can learn UX design. Sure.
“The following list isn’t everything you can learn in UX. It’s a quick overview, so you can go from zero-to-hero as quickly as possible. You will get a practical taste of all the big parts of UX, and a sense of where you need to learn more. The order of the lessons follows a real-life UX process (more or less) so you can apply these ideas as-you-go. Each lesson also stands alone, so feel free to bookmark them as a reference.”
(Joel Marsh a.k.a. @HipperElement ~ The Hipper Element)
HCI is alive and kicking.
“Human-computer interaction as a field of inquiry necessarily evolves in response to changes in the technological landscape. During the past 15 years, the speed of change has been particularly dramatic, with the emergence of personal mobile devices, agent-based technologies, and pervasive and ubiquitous computing. Social networking has also profoundly changed the way people use technology for work and leisure. Who would have predicted a decade ago that (smart)phones would offer constant access to the Web, to social networks and broadcast platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and to hundreds of specialized apps? Who could have anticipated the power of our everyday devices to capture our every moment and movement? Cameras, GPS tracking, sensors—a phone is no longer just a phone; it is a powerful personal computing device loaded with access to interactive services that you carry with you everywhere you go.”
(Elizabeth Churchill, Anne Bowser, and Jennifer Preece ~ Interactions March-April 2013)
Remember the days of computer-based training, courseware and instructional systems design.
“Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process. So let’s learn a thing or two about learning itself. (…) Far from being monopolized by schools, learning is an essential human activity. Empathizing with and supporting users as they traverse the many stages of learning fosters happier users and a more profitable business.”
(Tyler Tate a.k.a. @tylertate ~ A List Apart)