Apr 24 2011
Oct 3 2010
I’ve been reading through a couple of interesting user experience articles this weekend.
Winning a user experience debate (UX Booth)
This provides some good advice about handling critique when it comes to usability and user experience. It also provides some suggestions for formulating responses. I quite like their idea of the “validation stack”: user evidence; user research; design theory - in that order.
Can experience be designed? (Information Architects)
This is a great article! Just the right balance between scepticism and sincerity. There are some people who make me cringe when they latch on to the “user experience” buzz words. This article cuts through a lot of the hype with what is obviously a real understanding of the challenges involved in designing and building interfaces with an emphasis on usability.
Aug 6 2010
Jul 23 2010
I’ve just read through a couple of good articles about the importance of designing for the user experience. They’re nice and simple and to the point.
When you startup with UX - UX Magazine
This is a great article - giving an insight into how some of the successful startup companies use UX design and why it’s important to design for users.
Design the experience - Drawar
A nice overview of why user experience design is important on the web. A good one to keep an eye on because the ideas are going to be expanded on in the coming weeks.
Jul 9 2010
I was particularly taken by the idea of MAYA - finding the most advanced yet acceptable solution to a problem.
Sterling describes this attribute (call it arrogance if you must) as an almost necessary part of MAYA (every designer’s quest for the Most Advanced Yet Acceptable solution to any given problem). MAYA is what designers are “supposed to do with their skills, for their clients, and to the world”.
Designing for web applications is a lot about finding the right balance between the stakeholders (your client), the technical constraints (the available systems) and usability (the people who’ll actually use the product).
You start with big ideas and your pursue them with vigour because you want to help make something awesome! But you often need to make compromises in order to get to something that’s actually achievable and acceptable to the users, the stakeholders and the development team.
Managing that kind of tension can be a personal and tricky endeavour.
Ordinarily I’d say there are way too many acronyms in the world and that we don’t need any more. But somehow giving this experience a quirky name actually seems to help.
Jun 27 2010
May 21 2010
May 16 2010
I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never really used personas as a tool for user experience and interface design. I guess I’d always thought of them as being more in the realm of marketing…
Personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic, attitude and/or behaviour set that might use a site, brand or product in a similar way.
Recently I’ve been reading about how they’re used in UX. I can see that they’re a good way of making sure that design ideas stay on track - i.e. that decisions are made based on what users want rather than just what seems to be a good idea. They could be a particularly useful way to help prioritise tasks (they seem to be used this way in Agile projects).
I’m still not sure about them to be honest - I’d rather test ideas with real people, early and often - but I guess that’s not always practical and that personas can at least enourage people (both developers and stakeholders) to think more contextually and with more empathy. I admit that my biggest problem is that personas just seem so cheesy. Anyway, I’m open to new ideas and I’m beginning to see how using personas could be useful.
Here are a few of the readings I’ve been looking at: