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. For more about the people involved and their winning products, including videos and descriptions, visit 2013 User Experience Awards.

Agile 54

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. It was a bold statement, and whether intended or not an incomparable public relations move that got much of the nation talking about his online retail company at precisely the most important time of year for consumer purchasing.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

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. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, it’s time again to take a step back from our daily grind and consider the rejuvenating goodness that dots the landscape all around us. Last year I kicked off my own blogging tradition with a post that featured 16 Things I’m Thankful For.

Video 40

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 Enterprise Lean Startups Management Managing Entrepreneurship agile agile marketing lean enterprise lean startup in the enterprise leanux waterfall

LEAN 87

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? While an effective icon would combine many of those characteristics, I’d like to focus on one measure–speed of recognition, or how fast a specific icon can be discovered and identified. In a simple leisure app, the difference in speed of recognition may be too subtle to have any noticeable affect on the overall experience.

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

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. he then sees the EULA ( Figure 2 ), which, as discussed in the previous article, End User License Agreement (EULA) Presentation (Boxes and Arrows January 2nd, 2013), is an antipattern all to itself. 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]. Retrieved 15 June, 2013,rom [link] Ros Hodgekiss, (2011), Email usability: The science of keeping it short and sweet, Retrieved 15 June, 2013, from [link] ]. What makes a marketing e-mail or newsletter efficient?

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.

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.

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. Personas can also help you get out of the mindset of thinking about users abstractly. User” sounds like it does not refer to real people who have desires, concerns, past experiences.

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. We also learned that customers are attracted to things that have an aesthetic personality that’s similar to their own, 1 but they prefer products that take on a complementary role during interaction. In Part 2, we’ll look at how relationships are formed when people interact with products over time, and we’ll explore how people experience the emotion of “love.”

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. In addition to graphics and text, you could create buttons and tell them what to do – flip to another card, show or hide an object, and so forth.

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.

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. This is particularly important in enterprise scale organizations, with long-lasting relationships. Having worked as a consultant, at an agency and in-house, I’ve observed that the organizational location and economics of the user experience team can make or break them.

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 69

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

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. Behind the scenes, leadership is faced with the challenge of frantically filling positions to meet the escalating client demand, teams are asked to gel quickly and work around the clock to hit client deadlines, and ultimately the quality of deliverables suffers. It can be difficult to keep a handle on exactly who is doing what—much less who everyone is. But there’s hope.

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.

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. This article will give a brief overview of the science then look at possible ways that design and implementation can be employed to support better judgements. Fast and slow cognitive systems: How we think.

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.

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. Now how many do you see?”. Now I see three sides.”. He stepped back and extended the box, one corner towards him and one towards me. You and I together can see six sides of this box,” he told me.

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

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. Now, think back to your last project. But, ignore the deliverables and design ideas. Forget the budgets and timelines. What are you left with?

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

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. Tilling and experimenting follow once everything’s been humming along smoothly for a while.

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

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. This didn’t come with a corresponding slowdown in work – in fact, following a major rewrite of our call center application, our department was already struggling to keep pace with a backload of business initiatives. Cuts slashed our BAs, our development group, and our QAs, yet everyone remaining was being asked to speed up.

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. We wanted every aspect of our environment to be a positive influence and encourage great work. You can’t achieve that without first having the right people. Our employees are the “seeds,” if you will.

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.

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. So far in this series I’ve discussed how to prepare your team or organization for successful expansion, how to plant the right elements into the mix, and then how to ensure sustainable growth by “ watering.”. Adding fertilizer comes next. Think of this step as finding ways to spark excitement, provide motivational guidance, or even remedy a malady.

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. After a team of senior professionals were in place and had formed a strong foundation for Intuitive Company, we had to set them up for success to ensure things kept running smoothly so that our culture and growth wouldn’t wither.

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. How relevant is a world where technology was so weak, so non-integrated? Think about merely seven years ago. The iPhone was five months old, Twitter was barely on the horizon, much of what we consider intrinsic in our daily lives today was not really present at all.

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.” We could be building a custom solution tying together legacy systems and applying new technologies and techniques but the end result is something we’ve built and delivered.

Piloting Into the Future: Solar Impulse

Bill Fischer

The future has often been built by those who are a bit out ahead of the rest of us; not afraid to dream, and perseverant enough to ensure that their dreams are realized. In the process, we all move forward as well.

The General Stakeholder Interview

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.

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. It’s also about timing, effectiveness, innovation and using the right blend of technology to address the specific problem space. Your customers and your clients approach you for solutions.