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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

How to Breathe Life Into Personas

Boxes and Arrows

Personas are essential when you are working on a project and don’t know the target audience very well. For instance, not every designer has experience in fashion or banking. Creating a model of your target audience may help you and your stakeholders feel significantly more empathy for those people.

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.

Design 100

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

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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.

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 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

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.

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.

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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

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.

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.

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.

Site Speed and Usability

Boxes and Arrows

Did you know usability tests have shown that the maximum number of seconds a user is willing to wait, on average, before abandoning a web page, is 8.6? If that number surprises you, it should. The study took place in 1994.

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.

Evolving a Creative Workplace: Step 5

Boxes and Arrows

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

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.

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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.”