By Pabini Gabriel-Petit Published: March 10, 2014 “Over the last few years, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend in UX design: changes in the design of successful software user interfaces that actually degrade rather than enhance the user experience.” Over the last few years, I’ve been noticing a disturbing trend in UX design: changes in the design of successful software user interfaces that actually degrade rather than enhance the user experience. This seems to happen for a variety of reasons—for example, because of designers conforming slavishly to current design trends such as minimalism or flat design rather than focusing on meeting users’ needs companies’ leaders wanting their UX designers to create “cool” rather than usable user interfaces UX teams not doing usability testing or other user research that would validate a new design approach rather than being committed to doing user-centered design designers disregarding the power of users’ kinesthetic memory when rethinking application layouts rather than giving it the respect that it warrants designers succumbing to the egotistical desire to put their personal stamp on the design of software user interfaces rather than recognizing and preserving the value that products have long provided to users designers making changes for the sake of change alone rather than strategically driving change to deliver greater value to users companies engaging in feature wars with their competitors—causing their software user interfaces to become bloated with unnecessary features—rather than striving to differentiate their offerings in the marketplace companies crafting user experiences that selfishly further their business goals rather than deriving business value by meeting users’ needs better companies releasing software whose quality is not up to snuff because they’ve rushed it to market without adequate testing and debugging
By Tyler Tate Published: March 10, 2014 “How can we make ever-growing volumes of information accessible and useful to people without overwhelming them?” How can we make ever-growing volumes of information accessible and useful to people without overwhelming them? That is the question I want to consider in this third and final installment of my series on information wayfinding. In Part 1, I argued that we must move beyond thinking of information architecture as designing wayfinding for a book of pages and, instead, think in terms of a spatial environment. In Part 2, I compared interacting with information to the process of finding one’s way through a city, then defined three elements of the information environment, shown in Figure 1: districts, layers, and nodes.
By Jim Ross Published: March 10, 2014 “An internship is a great way to get into the field of user experience, but internships are often failures—for both the intern and the hiring company.” An internship is a great way to get into the field of user experience, but internships are often failures—for both the intern and the hiring company. Why? The hiring companies often don’t have a plan for how to use their interns, and interns often don’t know how they can contribute or where they fit in. Whose fault is this? Both the intern and the hiring company are responsible for ensuring that an internship is meaningful and rewarding. Yet many companies hire interns without any plan for how to use them. They may think, We have a lot to do around here. We could use an intern. They then hire an intern without planning how to use that person and realize that it’s difficult to find things for the intern to do. So the intern either sits around underused or does a lot of busywork. Thus, the internship becomes a bad experience for both parties, and the company may think twice about ever hiring an intern again.
By Steven Hoober Published: March 10, 2014 “We know far too little about most types of users, so we work off anecdotes, popular-media portrayals, and gut instinct all too often. … There’s one huge segment of the population that is a total cipher: the teenaged digital user.” These days, everyone nods and agrees when I talk about the need to design for every type of user. But, as UX professionals, we know far too little about most types of users, so we work off anecdotes, popular-media portrayals, and gut instinct all too often. Recently, I participated in some great discussions about designing for inclusiveness, and I’ve seen good examples of the actual issues that people living with vision or mobility challenges encounter. Nevertheless, there’s one huge segment of the population that is a total cipher: the teenaged digital user. Teens as digital users are the subject of much discussion, but almost everything that we think we know about their usage of devices and their preferences is completely anecdotal. The vast majority of articles that dig into teen motivations and usage trends rely on an interview with a single teenager—usually one who is related to the author, is moderately or even very affluent, and is surrounded by technology. I don’t much care how those kids work, in the same way that you wouldn’t care how my kids work. I care how all teenagers work.
By Cory Lebson Published: March 10, 2014 “Proper disaster preparedness, and disaster response and the subsequent recovery all depended on people having a good user experience with Web and mobile information resources.” When the life-threatening catastrophe Hurricane Sandy hit the Northeastern United States, proper disaster preparedness and disaster response and the subsequent recovery all depended on people having a good user experience with Web and mobile information resources. These resources provided information that helped people to prepare for the disaster and, subsequently, let them apply for recovery assistance during the aftermath of the disaster. In disastrous situations like this, the right information needs to be immediately available to people because there may not be time for a second chance to obtain it. Over a number of years, I have had the opportunity to do user experience research and evaluation work relating to natural disasters. In that time, the poignancy of what I have seen and heard regarding the impacts of negative and positive Web or mobile experiences on disaster recovery has made these experiences some of the most meaningful of my UX career. While user experience is important for any Web site or application, my seeing how user experience directly affected survivors’ ability to get through a disaster and get help when they needed it showed me the value of a quality user experience and the importance of user research.
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)
Fueled presents the 40-year history of the mobile phone, starting with the DynaTAC in 1974 and ending with a side-by-side comparison between the iPhone 5s and the Galaxy Note:
An amazing dataviz - created from real flight data taken from a day in July 2013 - from NATS:
In What We Mean When We Say “responsive” and Defining Responsiveness, Lyza Danger Gardner and Jason Grigsby cut to the heart of a disagreement I had three years ago with Ethan Marcotte, the creator of Responsive Web Design and author of Responsive Web Design, a book I published in 2011. Ethan told the world that […]