26. Dezember 2014

It's Time For Industrial Design To Grow Up (Gadi Amit)

I am an industrial designer by training, but it’s been a while since I called myself one. Industrial design has changed, and what I do has changed, too. The kinds of projects I work on require skills beyond those taught in any conventional industrial design curriculum, and the people I hire are typically proficient in areas that borrow from technical fields rather than classical design disciplines. (fastcodesign.com)

2014 Retrospective (Luke Wroblewski)

As the year comes to a close, it's time for my annual round-up of the most read articles I published this year. In order of popularity, the top five articles from 2014 are... (lukew.com)

A Designer’s Guide to Gift Giving (Steve Selzer)

The best gift I’ve ever given was a 1940s Parker 51 fountain pen. It was a birthday present to my best friend Taylor, a PhD student with a professorial look — round tortoise shell spectacles, elbow-patched blazer, a leather briefcase and loafers. The pen not only rounds out his look, but it's one of his favorite gifts of all time. (frogdesign.com)

40 Settings Page Interfaces for Mobile App UI Design (Jake Rocheleau)

This gallery includes a handful of brilliant settings page interfaces for mobile designers. Both Android and iOS applications are featured in the gallery including some older styles like iOS 6. You’ll find a hodgepodge of ideas from profile settings to notifications and account details. Most applications will require a settings page and this gallery is perfect for generating new ideas. (dzineblog.com)

UX Lessons Learned from Santa Claus (Mario Sakata)

This is a Christmas story recreated from the actual experiences I had spending most of my childhood living in the US. While mostly just a guess, thinking back on it now, I realize that Santa Claus himself may be one the best User Experience Designers there is. (medium.com)

25. Dezember 2014

Slow is Fast: Why Startups Should Make Time to Design for Customer Goals (Ryan Bloom)

If there is one word to describe a startup, it would be “busy.” At a growing company, there are always more things to do than people to do them, and often times those who are most successful are the ones who can be decisive and execute on a given objective efficiently. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, after all the old saying “time is money” has never been truer in the fast paced world of internet startups. However, this approach can lead to trouble when employees begin to jump to solutions before truly understanding their customer’s problems. Often, companies will line up a slew of customer interviews and soon after, product teams will have a list of features and screen-shots ready to go into production. Thoroughly defining your user’s goals can feel like a step backwards; why think about the problem when you’ve already got the solution? (cooper.com)

Has flat design gone too far? (Marc Schenker)

These days, it seems, you can’t turn anywhere on the web without hearing about or directly encountering flat design in some way, shape or form. What started out as a mere design trend just a couple of years ago is now clearly a mainstream design aesthetic that’s a force to be reckoned with. (webdesignerdepot.com)

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Treating Users Like Adults: Incorporating Six Principles of Andragogy into UX Design (Victor Yocco)

Most digital experiences require users to learn something new. Sometimes the purpose of an app is to learn, such as in an e-class. More often, the user needs to learn how to use the app itself, be it an updated word processing program or a redesigned online banking experience. We call it the onboarding process, and done poorly it can turn users away, which makes it critical that design teams incorporate sound learning principles into their designs. These principles, or “laws of learning” ensure that the experience will be smooth and intuitive. (uxbooth.com)

How Bad UX Makes Users Blame Themselves (Ivana McConnell)

We don’t do well with uncertainty. When things go wrong, we want to know why as quickly and easily (but maybe not truthfully) as possible. But when technology is thrown into the mix, the problems are more complex. Our perceptions change. When something goes wrong with a user interface, the questions don’t always have easy answers. It’s the designer’s job to connect and empathize with the user, to teach them the language of design, to put MVPs in their hand, test, talk, and arrive at a solution. (uxpin.com)

20. Dezember 2014

Designing a UI to Generate Real Business Value (Pavel Kostychev)

In the IT world, today’s organizations are looking to evolve their company’s IT department from a cost center to an employee-centric strategic partner capable of generating ROI. That’s a mouthful. Where do we designers come into play? One way we can help organizations accomplish this goal is by giving their IT help desk an easy-to-use IT service management solution (ITSM). (uxmag.com)

Becoming a More Thoughtful User Experience Designer (Jake Lee Haugen)

A simple experience that opened my eyes to new possibilities took the form of a 170px smiley face. After a stressful day, I attempted to clear my inbox as a last-ditch effort to ease my mind. I had just downloaded the Gmail app and decided to use it instead of the standard Apple Mail app I had been using for years. I sifted through my emails and when the last one was archived, a little smiley face sun appeared with the text, “You’re all done! Please enjoy your day.” It was so unexpected, I couldn’t help but smile. (medium.com)

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The Point Of Creativity In Business (Mitch Joel)

For some reason, the statement above is seen (by many) as some kind of defamation of creativity. A bastardization of the what art is. The proverbial selling of the soul. That's stupid. And, it's wrong. Let's set the table first: creativity for the sake of being creative is fine. It's a right. Anyone can do oil painting in their garage, or pluck away at their guitar in their basement for the pure love of the activity. The arts are marvellous at curing what ails you. On the other hand, great creativity does inspire on other levels. Great creativity makes human beings curious, it makes them yearn to hear more, and it makes them take action. Creativity isn't just something for the pre-Internet era, either. It's profoundly linked to what makes one business more successful than another. Creativity drives our economy like never before. (twistimage.com)

16. Dezember 2014

UX Leadership, Part 1: The Nature of Great Leaders (Jim Nieters, Pabini Gabriel-Petit)

This column is the second in our series that highlights our insights on what it would take for companies to go from producing dreary, overly complex user experiences to producing truly great user experiences that differentiate their products from those of competitors in their marketplace. In our first column, we stated that producing great, highly differentiated user experiences should be the goal of every UX leader. But in many companies, UX leaders face challenges that force them to approach leading User Experience in a less than optimal way. If, as a UX leader, you find yourself stuck in a situation where you and your team cannot do great work—that is, you are unable to produce user experiences that solve people’s problems, inspire, and delight—you’re working for the wrong organization and should find a better job. In that column, we also discussed how to position User Experience for optimal impact. (uxmatters.com)

Implementing Customer Experience as an Organizational Value (Pete Kinser)

Bringing customer-centered thinking into an organization is about more than just proclaiming that you’re focused on customer experience. It’s about changing your process, sure, but it goes even deeper: It’s about changing attitudes. It’s about making your customers a central organizational value that guides behaviors and decision making. Valuing customer experience is no longer a secret to success. A focus on CX is quickly becoming the way to do business. A common problem I hear from CX (and UX) practitioners is that they’re being asked to “do CX” within an organization that isn’t changing their processes or thinking. Many companies are maintaining the same processes and strategic approaches while trying to “staple on” this CX thing. (uxmag.com)

How To Measure Customer Loyalty (Jeff Sauro)

Customer loyalty is often a better predictor of future company growth than customer satisfaction alone. While customer satisfaction is an important measure of customers' expectation, customers can be satisfied but not loyal. To measure customer loyalty, you need to use a mix of behavioral and attitudinal metrics. Here's a synopsis of this mix of metrics as described in the chapter on measuring loyalty in my upcoming book, Customer Analytics for Dummies. (measuringu.com)

Don’t blame the designer (Justin Jackson)

“When is the design for the new site going to be done?” As managers, it’s easy for us to blame our design team for missing deadlines. But are your designers really slowing down the project? What’s really slowing down your team If it’s not your designers, why didn’t your project launch on time? Not giving enough time for exploration Design isn’t a simple A → B process. It looks more like this... (medium.com)

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6. Dezember 2014

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Google Can Now Tell You’re Not a Robot With Just One Click (Andy Greenberg)

When Alan Turing first conceived of the Turing Test in 1947, he suggested that a computer program’s resemblance to a human mind could be gauged by making it answer a series of questions written by an interrogator in another room. Jump forward about seven decades, and Google says it’s now developed a Turing Test that can spot a bot by requiring it to do something far simpler: Click on a checkbox. (wired.com)

The 5 Most Common Design Mistakes (Julie Zhuo)

There’s no learning without mistakes. And I’ve done the following (as well as seen the following done) too many times to count. Luckily, there’s this thing called the “Internet” and this medium called an “article” that lets us point at and talk about these mistakes behind their backs, in the hopes that by bullying them into the spotlight, it’ll be harder for them to slink around, wasting our time and steering us towards no-good solutions. (medium.com)

Fractal Coevolution (Scott Jenson)

In doing product design for nearly 30 years, I’ve witnessed several waves of innovation. Some were obviously successful like personal computers and the internet. But others were much less so, such as MultiMedia CDROMs, and open document formats. What people don’t appreciate is that great ideas, before they are great, tend to look remarkably similar to stupid ones. Few are willing to take a chance on a new, seemingly crazy product idea. This is why the technology industry tends to be so incremental. Most companies, truth be told, wait for others to make the mistakes. (jenson.org)

The 7 Deadly Sins of User Research (David Travis)

Most companies would claim to design products and services that are simple to use. But when you ask customers to actually use these products and services, they often find them far from simple. Why is there a disconnect between what organisations think of as "simple" and what users actually experience? (userfocus.co.uk)

UX vs. Marketing: Can These Opposites Attract? (Anthony Franco)

The first volume of The SoDA Report revealed a disturbing survey result earlier this year. When asked about talent gaps, and 77%of agency respondents identified user experience (UX) as the biggest shortfall on the client side. One possible explanation is that the UX discipline is still a “field in evolution." While the report suggests UX infancy might be the cause for this glaring talent gap, another could be that UX and marketing have fundamental core values that are in direct opposition to one another. (hubspot.com)

3. Dezember 2014

A 6-Hour Usability Test In An Agile Environment (Jeff Sauro)

In the fast-paced world of Agile development, where it's difficult to find time to get data from users, unmoderated remote testing gives us a way to quickly collect feedback on interface design. For example, I recently worked with a web-app product team to determine whether users find their new file manager easier to use than the previous one. (measuringu.com)

The Real World Guide to Responsive Design (Kenny Van Sittert)

Responsive design has been one of the cornerstones of 2014 digital strategies. Getting ‘it’ right across all devices is now critical to success with as much as 60% of traffic now coming from mobile. The question is how to do you ensure you create the right ‘experience’ for your customers and visitors? With an ever-evolving rule book it’s important you truly understand the basics and, critically, how to test? Let’s dive into that in a little more detail now. (zazzlemedia.co.uk)

The Only Constant is Change: A Q&A with Ethan Marcotte (Sara Wachter-Boettcher, Ethan Marcotte)

It’s here: a new edition of Responsive Web Design is now available from A Book Apart! Our editor-in-chief, Sara Wachter-Boettcher, sat down with Ethan Marcotte—who first introduced the world to RWD right here in A List Apart back in 2010—to talk about what’s new in the second edition, what he’s been working on lately, and where our industry is going next. The first edition of Responsive Web Design came out in the summer of 2011. What projects have you been working on for the past three years? (alistapart.com)

Wire wants to be Skype for the modern age, launches with the backing of Skype cofounder Janus Friis (Paul Sawers)

Wire is promising to bring “simple, beautiful conversations” to your mobile, tablet, and desktop. While it may sound like yet another messaging app, a deeper dig behind the scenes of the Swiss startup reveals some impressive hires among the 50-strong team, who hail from 23 countries between them. (venturebeat.com)