2013 User Experience Awards

Boxes and Arrows

The 2013 User Experience Awards were presented Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at Parson’s Tischman Auditorium in New York. Jurors of the 2013 UX Awards were: Anders Ramsay, agile UX designer & coach, UX author, leader of NYC IA Meetup and Agile Experience Design Group.

Agile 70

Brands in Memoriam 2013

CorporateIntel

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos made a spectacular impact recently when he went on 60 Minutes the day before Cyber Monday and gave us a glimpse at the future—a fleet of small delivery drones he branded Prime Air.

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16 New Things I’m Thankful For (2013 Edition)

CorporateIntel

We would all do well to remember that before we utter the words, “I want…” Happy Thanksgiving 2013, whether you share the holiday in the United States or somewhere else in the world in spirit.

Video 52

Lean Startup in the Enterprise Anti-Pattern: The Lean Waterfall

Grasshopper Herder

More enterprise scale companies are drinking the lean Kool Aid and starting to implement Lean Startup. In doing so, they are failing at the most basic level.

LEAN 114

Optimizing UI icons for faster recognition

Boxes and Arrows

What makes an icon a valuable addition to the interface, rather than a mere decorative element? Intuitiveness, aesthetic value, memorability, intercultural perception?

Let Them Pee: Avoiding the Sign-Up/Sign-In Mobile Antipattern

Boxes and Arrows

This is an excerpt from the upcoming Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers (Wiley, 2013) by Greg Nudelman. Anything that slows down customers or gets in their way after they download your app is a bad thing.

Context matters

Boxes and Arrows

Some of the effects repeated in our 2011 and 2013 studies; some of them were also confirmed in studies on the perception of the e-mails and newsletters carried out by other teams. 1997), How Users Read on the Web, Retrieved 15 June, 2013, from [link].

Emotional Design with A.C.T. – Part 2

Boxes and Arrows

Back in Part 1 , we looked at how the emotions expressed by people and products communicate personality traits over time.

A Truly Ambitious Product Idea: Making Stuff for People

Boxes and Arrows

When I was eleven, my parents bought a Mac Plus. It had a tiny monochrome screen, a floppy drive, and 1MB of memory. And it came with something called HyperCard. HyperCard let you make stuff. It had documents called stacks , each a series of cards – similar to PowerPoint today.

Living Lean

Grasshopper Herder

Lean Startup is not easy. It sounds easy when you hear Eric talk. "I''ll I''ll put up a launchrock page! Now I''m a Lean Startup." Sorry. it doesn''t work like that. Lean Startups Managing Entrepreneurship Minimum Viable Product MVP

LEAN 92

Soldiers & Hessians, Ronin & Ninja

Boxes and Arrows

When UX’ers talk, they tend to talk about process, but the ability to deliver an innovative user experience starts before kickoff and lasts after the launch. Repeatable success in UX depends on the right culture.

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 1

Boxes and Arrows

When a company or team experiences rapid growth, it’s exciting. But more often than not, that success comes with a price.

The UX Professionals’ Guide to Working with Agile Scrum Teams

Boxes and Arrows

The adoption of Agile software development approaches are on the rise across our industry, which means UX professionals are more likely than ever to support Agile projects. Many UX professionals seem stymied by the challenge of effectively integrating UX within an Agile development framework –but there are others in our field who have encountered the same problems yet are finding effective solutions.

Agile 87

Clicking Fast and Slow

Boxes and Arrows

Through social psychology and cognitive science, we now know a great deal about our own frailties in the way that we seek, use, and understand information and data. On the web, user interface design may work to either exacerbate or counteract these biases.

In Defense of Floppy Disks: The Vocabulary of the Interface

Boxes and Arrows

I work on interfaces used by college students to search for academic articles. Librarians buy these databases. Librarians happen to be wonderful clients to build products for because they always let you know what they don’t like. A few years ago, my department started hearing complaints about the “save” icon on our interface. The librarians were concerned that, since college students had never seen floppy disks, they wouldn’t know what the icon meant.

The Power of Collaboration

Boxes and Arrows

A quote that I stumbled on during grad school stuck with me. From the story of the elder’s box as told by Eber Hampton, it sums up my philosophy of working and teaching: “How many sides do you see?”. One,” I said. He pulled the box towards his chest and turned it so one corner faced me.

Are You Going Soft?

Boxes and Arrows

When was the last time you read your resume? Go ahead and give it a look. Read your last job description. It’s impressive, right? Chances are, you emphasize your accomplishments, your ability to create stunning deliverables, and your extensive knowledge of the user experience practice.

Innovation Resolutions 2013: Innovation Without Investment or Permission!

Bill Fischer

Getty Images It's a new year, early enough that resolutions can still be made, and hope for innovation still blooms eternal! At a time when R&D budgets are contracting, the challenge is to make innovation more instinctive, more inspirational, more energizing and more personal. In short, to make everyone an innovator,

An Open Letter to Project Managers

Boxes and Arrows

Dear Project Managers, It has been a very enjoyable experience working with everyone over the last couple of months and sharing our ideas on UX design. The various discussions about user interface, product usability, and user engagement have been an enlightening experience for me as well, and it is very positive to see that everyone involved in the product thinks so highly about improving the user experience.

The One Minute Retro

Grasshopper Herder

Lean startup is hard. When we adopt a new paradigm it''s hard to differentiate tactics like "use a business model canvas" and the principle of "plan to learn.". Lean Startups Managing Entrepreneurship Productivity

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 5

Boxes and Arrows

In this ongoing discussion about growing creative teams organically, I’ve shared how to prepare your organization for successful expansion, how to plant the right elements into the mix, how to “ water ” for sustainable growth, and then how adding fertilizer can take your group’s motivation to the next level.

Is the iPad mobile?

Boxes and Arrows

My Android phone died on the train when I was several stops away from my destination. I should have remembered where I was supposed to get off, but, like everyone else, I rely on technology to offload cognitive processes when I should be using my brain. Wait, I thought, I have both my iPad and my laptop in my backpack. I felt ridiculously conspicuous pulling out either just to check Google Maps. Between the two, I chose the iPad. It’s smaller and it has 3G.

A Stakeholder Interview Checklist

Boxes and Arrows

This is an excerpt from from Kim Goodwin’s excellent Designing for the Digital Age. It is quite long, so we’ve broken it into several sections. Many thanks to Ms. Goodwin and Wiley for allowing us to share this with our readers. Understanding the Business. The General Stakeholder Interview. The Marketing Stakeholder Interview. The Engineering Stakeholder Interview. The Sales Stakeholder Interview. Interviewing Executives and SME Stakeholders. A Stakeholder Interview Checklist.

The Shallow Dive

Boxes and Arrows

At a recent job, my department faced large budget cuts. When the dust had cleared, I found I had become a UX group of one.

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 2

Boxes and Arrows

In my last installment , I shared how Greg, Tim, and I prepared Intuitive Company for success by focusing on creating an open work environment in every sense of the term. Planting , or placing the right elements into the mix, was our next step.

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 4

Boxes and Arrows

An example of fertilizing would be how we publicized annual company goals for the first time ever in 2013.

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 3

Boxes and Arrows

In my last two installments, I shared how Greg, Tim, and I prepared Intuitive Company for success by creating an open work environment and then “ planting ” the right people into our culture. Watering is next—and it’s critical.

Your Boss Works for You

Boxes and Arrows

This past June, I stood on the brink of achieving a major professional goal. The UX apprenticeship program I’d been working so hard on was going to begin on Monday. It was Thursday. On my desk lay a curious stack of paper labeled “Manager’s Onboarding Kit.”. Of all the things I’d planned for and anticipated about the apprenticeship program, becoming a manager was something I hadn’t even considered. It’s something I’ve consciously avoided my entire career.

Information Architecture’s Teenage Dilemma

Boxes and Arrows

For me, the highlight of the 2013 IA Summit occurred before the opening keynote. These are discussed in my April 17, 2013, Aquilent (my employer) blog post 2013 IA Summit Themes but are summarized here: You cannot control device usage. Imagine if you will information architecture as a pimply-faced, malcontent teenager. IA is eager to express and redefine itself. It wants to be an individual yet accepted by its peers.

Conceptual Models in a Nutshell

Boxes and Arrows

This article explains what conceptual models are and describes the value of developing a conceptual model of a software application before designing its user interface. Conceptual Model: a Model for Users’ Mental Model. A conceptual model of an application is the model of the application that the designers want users to understand. By using the application, talking with other users, and reading the documentation, users build a model in their minds of how to use the application.

Remembering

Technology Created

“The greatest advances in human civilization have come when we recovered what we had lost: when we learned the lessons of history.” Winston Churchill. Remembering history. Should we? What good is it anyways? The past is the past.

Digital Factory

Technology Created

Being a technology consultant is a fabulous job. We’re brought in to amazing companies to understand their business models and, by applying technology solutions, we facilitate solving the challenges they face on a day to day basis. Many times the end result is almost like a “product.”

An Answer to the Pains of Integrating Agile and UX

Boxes and Arrows

I recently attended UXPA 2013 in D.C. Although I was attending as a sponsor/exhibitor for Indigo Studio, I did manage to break away to go to the “There’s more than one way to skin a cat: Integrating UX into an Agile environment” session. It tied in quite nicely with the book I’m reviewing here. As sometime director of Design at Infragistics, I personally have had first hand experience trying to integrate UX into an existing, established Agile engineering process with large-ish teams.

Agile 67

Building the In-house Design Agency

Boxes and Arrows

The first article discussed the pros and cons of different UX team structures. For companies that depend on user experience for business success, a strong internal team is essential. But how do you get there from here? Having built one UX group from scratch and managed another 230+ person internal UX groups, I’ve learned a few tips, often the hard way, that can help. Making the case. The hardest part of building an in-house design agency is answering the basic “Why?”.

Researching User Experience: A Knowledge Ecology Model

Boxes and Arrows

When we think of learning environments, we think of books, lectures, databases perhaps. But in my recent research, I discovered that the interactions we have with people in our networks play an even more important role in what we learn and how we turn information into actionable knowledge.

UX One-liners

Boxes and Arrows

A little background to start: I’ve had the honor of working as a designer-in-residence for General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive Pilot Program (UXDI) from June through July. Our team built, launched, and taught a UX course 5-days a week, 8-hours a day, for 8-weeks straight. It was quite the challenging, yet rewarding experience. However, learning from our approach, I found something about the way we bring people into the fold that we can stand to improve.

Drilling Into Lean UX

Boxes and Arrows

Overall I found Lean UX to be an incredibly insightful and helpful compilation of principles and suggestions for practice/improving process and collaboration as outlined in my review of the book. As I was reading, though, I had some questions come up that I felt weren’t answered–or maybe I missed the answer. Since others may have these same questions, we appreciate Jeff Gothelf agreeing to answer them for Boxes and Arrows.

LEAN 65

Going Beyond “Yes – and…”

Boxes and Arrows

My first experience in improvisational comedy was in 1989. I was a freshman at Texas A&M University. Some of the students in the theater department decided to get an improv troupe started and somehow talked me into joining them. In the beginning, I was petrified to perform without a script. Looking back now, I can see just how much improv has taught me and how it informs the decisions I make when working with a project team to create a cohesive user experience.

Earnings Look Good. But Where Are the Jobs?

BPI Thought Leadership Media Coverage

& This article talks about the state of the current job market in America

Innovating When Opportunity Knocks

Technology Created

“Too often, the opportunity knocks, but by the time you push back the chain, push back the bolt, unhook the two locks and shut off the burglar alarm, it’s too late.” – Rita Coolidge. Being a technologist is all about solutions. OK, it’s about a lot more than that.

The connected organization

Xplaner

A webcast I did on 27 June 2013 to explain connected organization concepts to the U.S. cooperative extension, an American government outreach organization. Blog posts Videos

Innovation Debt

Technology Created

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” – William Pollard. Do you ever get the sense that things are getting a little stale?

Tools 63

The Distant Summit of Enterprise Design

Boxes and Arrows

As @mikeatherton said at UX Cambridge 2013 “Content is the whole damned point” and so should exist beyond service to design or brand messaging. Morgan Kaufman 2013. Lately, I have been fascinated by mountain climbing. I am reading every book that I can find on the subject. As I sat down to write this review, I found the mountain climbing as a metaphor for enterprise design sticking with me.