Statistics for designers. Phew!
“Do you need numerical data about your product’s user experience, but you aren’t sure where to start? The first step is choosing the right tool. Check out this list of the most popular types of quantitative methods.”
Known design principles applied in new territories.
“Artificial intelligence often looks like magic: sometimes even engineers have difficulty explaining how the machine-learning algorithm comes up with something. We see our job as a UX team as helping people understand how machines work so they can use them better. This doesn’t mean we should explain how a convolutional neural network functions in a simple photo search up. But we should give users hints about what the algorithm does or what data it uses. A good old example comes from e-commerce, where we explain why we recommend certain products. These recommendation engines were the first AI UX many people encountered, many years ago.”
Adding to our acrosoup: HX.
“The human experience trumps everything, and a product or service that’s designed with a contextual view of someone’s life will dominate the marketplace. For makers this means creating desired experiences through their products and services that users crave. But user experience always fits somewhere within the great context of one’s life. This is key. The human-centered design ethos is gaining momentum as context plays a greater role in the design of everyday things. So perhaps it’s time to expand the idea of what a product is to reflect that shift.”
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.”
Page turning versus scrolling. Except for snippets.
“While modern webpages tend to be long and include negative space, and users may be more inclined to scroll than in the past, people still spend most of their viewing time in the top part of a page. Content prioritization is a key step in your content-planning process. Strong visual signifiers can sometimes entice users to scroll and discover content below the fold. To determine the ideal page length, test with real users, and keep in mind that very long pages increase the risk of losing the attention of your customers.”
The persona of service design, nicely laid out.
“To identify the opportunities for growth along the customer lifecycle, it is first important to understand the customer’s experience engaging with the company and its product or service. A customer journey map is an illustration of exactly these experiences. The map can tell the full story covering the entire customer lifecycle from initial contact to activation, engagement, and beyond or focus on only a part of the story that lays out interactions or touchpoints critical to a subset of the customer’s experience.”
Experience design at the big consultancies. It’s getting more crazy day by day.
“Experiences are intrinsic to each individual; they are subjective by nature. In fact, we cannot design how our clients will experience our products or services. What we can do, instead, is coming up with design that can positively influence that personal, unique experience.”
Acronyms never live long.
“User experience is a huge buzzword these days. Although seemingly self-explanatory, some companies aren’t getting the point—they’re still overlooking behavioral experience in lieu of look and feel. Many of the ads I saw reserved their most specific and vivid language for the visual design end of things. It left me scratching my head and wondering if only the most sophisticated—and largest—companies truly wanted UX and had the budget to support it. Are other companies just paying lip service to the current buzz by hiring visual designers and labelling them UX?”
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.”
Design systems, getting into the 2018 hype cycle.
“As digital ecosystems mature, a design system is rapidly moving from an innovation to a requirement for companies looking to execute quality design at scale. But framing the effort as a simple design and front-end development exercise minimizes the impact of the system on every aspect of the product design cycle. By recognizing and treating your design system effort as organizational change, enterprises are better equipped to set themselves up for success.”
Living design systems need to grow and flourish.
“A stronger system’s success places them in a powerful position to dictate terms. Acquired systems may bring weaker tools, processes, capacity and commitments from their leaders. Yet their core features may still be strong, as is their emotional tie to them. When talking mergers and acquisitions, “look into the books” of weaker system too. They may be looking for a way out, an existential lifeline, otherwise risking a fade into an abyss without a consolidation. These imbalances makes consolidation conversations difficult. Your goal? Realizing the promise of a thriving practice serving more teams at scale. So time to exercise some leadership and management to make consolidation best serve your community!”
Now that the hype on Google MD has faded, we’re waitng for the next killer DesSys.
“What is new is that today design systems can be more than printed design manuals. We have the ability to write design systems in code and use them directly in digital products. (…) All this critique of design systems is essentially an argument for UX designers to create design systems that grow from user-centric research. As UX designers, you are here to bridge the aesthetics with the functionality of digital products. Rather than starting with a fascination of design systems, you have to first of all focus on the user and let that inform your design system – and keep doing that over time. You have to argue for the process of understanding your users, talking to them, learning from them, and drawing up coherent systems that work on behalf of them. If you do this, systems are an incredibly powerful way of creating products that are beneficial to both companies and users.”
All technology gets a business application, one way or another.
“Although we are now relatively more familiar with augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), it is still quite a challenge to understand how to design effective brand experiences with them. You don’t want to invest in technology for it only to be a gimmick that does not significantly bolster your branding activities. And yet, there is the pressure to not get left behind while everyone else seems to be using cutting edge technology. Most major brands today—The New York Times and Mercedes, as two examples—have used augmented reality and virtual reality experiences to engage customers. How can your brand leverage AR/VR for best results?”
From buildings to complex systems. Nice addition to Donatella Meadows kind of thinking.
“Pace layers provide many-leveled corrective, stabilizing feedback throughout the system. It is in the contradictions between these layers that civilization finds its surest health. I propose six significant levels of pace and size in a robust and adaptable civilization.”
Broadening the design scope leads to increase of complexity.
“Traditionally, design practice and design education have focused on giving form to physical things—apparel, buildings, messages, tools, and vehicles—the artifacts that constitute material culture. These artifacts are also the material of the traditional design disciplines—apparel design, architecture, graphic design, product design, and transportation design.”
In principle, you can outsource anything. In practice, it’s not always the best option.
“You’ve got an idea or perhaps some rough sketches, or you have a fully formed product nearing launch. Or maybe you’ve launched it already. Regardless of where you are in the product lifecycle, you know you need to get input from users. You have a few sound options to get this input: use a full-time user researcher or contract out the work (or maybe a combination of both). Between the three of us, we’ve run a user research agency, hired external researchers, and worked as freelancers. Through our different perspectives, we hope to provide some helpful considerations.”