InfoDesign: Understanding by Design




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March 20, 2014

Ending the UX designer drought: A new apprenticeship architecture

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)

PJB @ 11:13 AM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

Gestural control: The good, the bad, and the ugly

A nice gesture to LinkedIn.

"Gestural control of our consumer electronics is now commonplace. We use gestures on phones and tablets, screens and laptops, games and special environments. They now appear on watches and more specialized items, such as navigation systems. They are starting to be deployed on commercial and industrial equipment."

(Donald A. Norman a.k.a. @jnd1era>)

PJB @ 10:00 AM | Classification: HCI - Tablet design | Permalink

March 18, 2014

How mature is your organization when it comes to UX?

The future of design lies in the organization.

"Every organization has its own goals, processes, techniques, and teams - each with special characteristics. They are all important to consider when incorporating user experience, but it's also crucial to gauge the maturity level of an organization."

(Juan Manuel Carraro a.k.a. @carrarojm ~ UX magazine)

PJB @ 1:40 PM | Classification: Customer experience - User experience | Permalink

March 17, 2014

Filters versus facets: Definitions

I think Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan will have to say a few things here.

"The terms 'filters' and 'faceted navigation' are often used interchangeably; while related, these concepts have important differences. Both are tools to help users narrow down large sets of content, but faceted navigation - while more flexible and powerful - is more difficult to create and maintain."

(Kathryn Whitenton ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

PJB @ 9:45 AM | Classification: Metadata - Navigation | Permalink

March 14, 2014

Wearable technology: Designing the fashion of the future

Fashion gets enriched by information technology, therefore information design must be incorporated.

"A lot of people in the mobile industry were surprised that mobile happened as fast as it did. Once the iPhone was released, within two years we saw companies like Motorola and Nokia go from top of the mobile phone world into basically junk stock. And I think a lot of people see wearables as sort of that next big tidal wave. People don't want what happened in mobile to happen again, so they’re interested in wearables."

(Laura Kudia a.k.a. @laurakudia ~ Why this way)

PJB @ 9:33 AM | Classification: Information design - Technology | Permalink

March 13, 2014

Thinking with things

Design for understanding keeps being the motto.

"(...) a compilation of works by industry experts in areas of user experience design related to genomics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and the Industrial Internet of Things."

(Stephen Anderson a.k.a. @stephenanderson)

PJB @ 1:05 PM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

March 12, 2014

Web at 25: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the invention of the Web

A moment to remember.

"Twenty-five years ago today, I filed the proposal for what was to become the World Wide Web. My boss dubbed it 'vague but exciting'. Luckily, he thought enough of the idea to allow me to quietly work on it on the side."

(Sir Tim Berners-Lee)

PJB @ 11:51 AM | Classification: Classics - Hypertext - Technology | Permalink

March 11, 2014

Gesture Markup Language

Codifying and normalizing gesture languages. Getting inspiration from sign languages.

"The Gesture Markup Language is the world's first markup language for multitouch gesture-based interactions. This extensible language not only shapes how applications are developed but it allows developers to explore new interaction paradigms and user experiences."


PJB @ 11:42 AM | Classification: Interaction design - Technology - User experience | Permalink

Managing website accounts in cross-platform contexts

Functionalities and features across touchpoints. Compare and contrast.

"So you want to extend your website's account management features to mobile devices. Well you're not alone; most major websites today have cross-platform accounts and profiles that make for a more engaging and cohesive user experience. And many sites enable account management features on mobile devices."

(Will Hacker a.k.a. @willhacker ~ Boxes and Arrows)

PJB @ 10:38 AM | Classification: Information design - Interaction design | Permalink

March 10, 2014

Does the Internet shape a disciplinary society? The information-knowledge paradox

Adding French philosophers to the equation mostly complexifies things.

"In the post-modern era, knowledge is being understood as information. In reality, knowledge is commoditized and objectified as decontextualized representations. More information may mean that the society is drawn into a critical phase where loss of knowledge occurs with the unlimited flow of information. Such ubiquitous information could lead to less understanding, less trust and less truth, which would erode rationality in the governance of the society. Using a framework based on Michel Foucault's archeological methodology, i.e., unearthing how information and communication technologies came to be viewed as a source of truth/knowledge, this paper explores the question: Do ICT contribute information that can be construed as knowledge? Does this knowledge contribute to truth or to power? Do ICTs push an information society towards Foucault's disciplinary society, where the so-called knowledge speaks truth to power?"

(Indhu Rajagopal ~ First Monday)

PJB @ 12:42 PM | Classification: Information design | Permalink

March 7, 2014

Medium design method

Designing interactions, designing media. The academic route.

"The article sketches the basic steps of a theoretically informed practical testing of opportunities inherent in the interfaces and procedures of communication. It is an experience-based technique for discovery and problem solving."

(Lars Nyre a.k.a. @LarsNyre ~ The Journal of Media Innovations)

PJB @ 10:18 AM | Classification: Design research - Information design | Permalink

March 6, 2014

Why so much 'science' used in design is 'bs': Android, Losada and Frankfurt

Using power words doesn't make any opinion any better.

"It looks like Google's Android UX team used a now-debunked research paper to guide much of their UX work. Does this mean the Android interface now needs to change? Probably not, and that might be worse. I'll look at what this means and how we can be more careful when using research to inform our work."

(MJ Parnell a.k.a. @Neovenator ~ Hopeful Monsters)

PJB @ 4:54 PM | Classification: Design research - HCI | Permalink

Defining and sculpting interactions between man and technology

Design in a rollercoaster (against) due to technology disruption.

"Technology extends our grasp, making it possible for us to achieve our goals rapidly and efficiently; but it also places its own set of demands upon us. The fields of industrial design, graphic design, and software user experience design have all evolved in response to these demands - a need for a human way to relate to and interact with our new tools."

(Jenn Webb a.k.a. @JennWebb ~ Radar O'Reilly)

PJB @ 1:57 PM | Classification: Information design - Interaction design | Permalink

Poor UX could kill your start-up

In general, poor UX kills all human-facing digital applications.

"Because of the word design, UX often gets conflated with styling. But they're not the same. UX is a problem solving discipline. Identifying problems, solving them and designing elegant solutions. Styling is often part of the solution, but doesn't have to be."

(Elaine Thompson ~ Huffington Post)

PJB @ 11:13 AM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

The user experience of enterprise technology

Enterprise software, the apps UX forgot. Use it or you're out!

"Most big businesses globally are locked into some kind of reliance on enterprise technology. Unfortunately such systems are not only fiendishly difficult to install and maintain, but often equally challenging for the workforce to use. When the stakes are so high, why is the user experience of enterprise systems so bad?"

(Rob Gillham ~ Foolproof)

PJB @ 10:51 AM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

First principles of interaction design (revised & expanded)

Update of a seminal post towards our new technological, social and economic reality.

"This is a huge revision. I expect I have made mistakes. Please leave corrections and suggestions in the Comments at the end. If you have better examples than I'm using, please include them as well, but give me enough information about them, including links or cites, that I can make use of them. This revision features new examples and discussion involving mobile, wearables, and Internet-connected smart devices. However, the naming and organization remains the same except for three changes: I have shortened the name of one principle to extend its reach: 'Color Blindness' is now simply Color and includes more than just color blindness. I've added one new principle, Aesthetics, and brought back two old principles, Discoverability and Simplicity. I dropped them from the list more than a decade ago when they had ceased to be a problem. Problems with Discoverability, in particular, have come roaring back. What has changed greatly is the level of detail: You will find many new sub-principles within each category, along with far more explanation, case studies, and examples."

(Bruce Tognazzini)

PJB @ 9:36 AM | Classification: Interaction design | Permalink

March 4, 2014

The great convergence

Galaxies and Copernicus, doesn't that ring a bell.

"So with three different starting points - UX from product development, service design from service delivery, and customer experience from marketing and customer support - we've all arrived at the same place: the realization that by consciously crafting the experiences people have with those products, services, or organizations, we can help those people be more successful and find more satisfaction. Oh yeah, and it's good for business too."

(Jesse James Garrett a.k.a. @jjg ~ Adaptive Path)

PJB @ 10:27 AM | Classification: Customer experience - Service design - User experience | Permalink

March 3, 2014

We need a revolution in software interaction design

Solutions always will create new problems, wicked ones this time.

"Apple and Google will not provide it. They are too big. They are not the solution. They are the problem. This revolution will probably come from some unsuspecting source, like the Maker Movement, or an independent group of people or company that is manufacturing physical goods. (...) we need to return to natural affordances that are as intuitive as putting a spoon in a bowl or carving the bark off a stick. The more natural the affordance, the less arbitrary the design. Designers will have to be less cocky, more reverent to human nature and physical nature. When real physical things start dictating how we interact with software, the playing field will be different. And software interaction designers will have to fully understand natural affordances, and design for them. That's a revolution I can get behind."

(Jeffrey Ventrella ~ JJ Ventrella Thing)

PJB @ 4:02 PM | Classification: Interaction design | Permalink

What UX is and what isn't

Always interesting to see the DTDT question answered again, again and again.

"The common misconception comes from the word design. Due to influence of fashion, design is often associated with aesthetics of the product. User Experience Design is much more complex than you think."

(Tomas Laurinavicius a.k.a. @tomaslau ~ Despreneur) ~ courtesy of iatv

PJB @ 9:45 AM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

February 26, 2014

The battle for the body field

Content chunck and design. XML revival?

"Richer, more flexible designs can coexist with the demands of multichannel publishing; future design changes can sidestep the laborious process of scrubbing old content blobs; and simpler, streamlined tools can help editors and authors produce better content faster. By combining the best of XML and structured web content, we can make the body field safe for future generations."

(Jeff Eaton ~ A List Apart)

PJB @ 3:47 PM | Classification: Information architecture - TechCom | Permalink

February 24, 2014

What role do aesthetics play in the design of a website?

Aesthetics, beauty, or attractiveness can't be defined by itself. But I recognize it when I see it.

"Design does not equal making things pretty, but a significant number of people seem to think it does. They think aesthetics are design and somehow think all the other things designers do just happen on their own."

(Steven Bradley ~ Vanseo design)

PJB @ 2:45 PM | Classification: Design research | Permalink

Accreditation for UX Professionals?

Formal power entering the field of UX. Who's to decided?

"Are educational institutions equipped to prepare UX designers for the workplace of the future as advances in technology outpace those in education? Should the UX community be pushing for levels of accreditation to verify that someone has the skills and education necessary to call himself or herself a UX designer? How can an employer ensure that a candidate meets their expectations for a role in user experience?"

(Chris R. Becker ~ UXmatters)

PJB @ 11:36 AM | Classification: Information architecture - User experience | Permalink

Intranet information architecture trends

Any information environment needs structure, therefore IA. Intranets not exclused.

"Intranets are improving findability and discoverability by organizing content by task rather than department, using megamenus to present deep content, offering clear cues to help orient users, and providing shortcuts to important pages and tools."

(Marieke McCloskey ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

PJB @ 11:29 AM | Classification: Information architecture | Permalink

February 21, 2014

Architecting the connected world

Integration, synergy and connections of bits and atoms. A new design ecosystem with many options.

"We're at a revolutionary information crossroads, one where our symbolic and physical worlds are coming together in an unprecedented way. Our temptation thus far has been to drive ahead with technology and to try to fit all the pieces together with the tried and true methods of literacy and engineering. Accepting that the shape of this new world is not the same as what we have known up until now does not mean we have to give up attempts to shape it to our common good."

(Andy Fitzgerald a.k.a. @andybywire ~ Radar O'Reilly)

PJB @ 5:22 PM | Classification: Information architecture - Information design - User experience | Permalink

February 20, 2014

A conversation on the architecture of information

This is a discours, not just conversation

"The big question: Is this still information architecture? (...) I can't answer that question for everyone, of course, but yes, it's definitely IA from my perspective and in my (scientific) narrative."

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)

PJB @ 5:22 PM | Classification: Information architecture | Permalink

February 18, 2014

The architecture of information

It's academic, so it must be European. Go Andreas, go!

"This paper maintains that in the epistemological shift from postmodernism to pseudo-modernism, technological, economic, social, and cultural elements of change have thoroughly transformed the scenario in which information architecture operated in the late 1990s and have eroded its channel-specific connotation as a website-only, inductive activity, opening the field up to contributions coming from the theory and practice of design and systems thinking, architecture, cognitive science, cultural studies and new media. The paper argues, through a thorough discussions of causes and effects and selected examples taken from the practice, that contemporary information architecture can be thus framed as a fundamentally multi-disciplinary sense-making cultural construct concerned with the structural integrity of meaning in complex, information-based cross-channel ecosystems."

(Andreas Resmini a.k.a. @resmini)

PJB @ 3:31 PM | Classification: Information architecture | Permalink

Content planning: How to use UX research to uncover hidden needs

CS and UX in concert.

"Understanding how people think and what makes them tick is the common building block behind both creating content and designing experiences that matter to people. But before you dive into content planning or begin designing an experience, you have to understand what your audience finds meaningful. This is where UX research can provide insight to help inform content marketing efforts."

(Caitlin Vlastakis Smith a.k.a. @caitvsmith ~ Content Marketing Institute)

PJB @ 2:18 PM | Classification: Content strategy - Design research - User experience | Permalink

The future of airline websites

A flying vision of the future.

"According to J.D. Power, eighty-seven percent of travelers used the Internet for the bulk of their travel planning in 2012, yet the online booking experience being offered by modern airlines is still stuck in the 90s. Inspired by the opportunity to bring progressive disruption to this huge marketplace, we reviewed all major airline websites, and graded them against design and usability criteria including: information architecture, interaction design and visual design. The results were disheartening. We believe that unless the airlines take drastic measures to improve their digital experiences, third-party sites like Kayak and Expedia will continue to eat into their profits. So we launched an experiment to explore, What if?"


PJB @ 12:48 PM | Classification: Information design - User experience | Permalink

February 17, 2014

There is no such thing as UX strategy

When people talk about it, there is such a thing by definition. Beauty, love, friendship, experts, you name it.

"2013 saw a lot of discussion around the topic of UX Strategy. In fact, there was at least one conference on the topic and a string of articles. However, all of this activity around a topic doesn't actually mean it exists."

(Jeff Gothelf a.k.a. @jboogie ~ Perception Is The Experience)

PJB @ 4:53 PM | Classification: User experience | Permalink

The reciprocity principle: Give before you take in web design

Sharing as a design principle.

"Humans tend to return good deeds: use this social psychology law in user interface design to gain users' trust and motivate engagement with your site or app."

(Raluca Budiu ~ Nielsen Norman Group)

PJB @ 10:30 AM | Classification: Usability | Permalink

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