There is no tribe of normal says Seth Godin

People don’t coalesce into active and committed tribes around the status quo.

The only vibrant tribes in our communities are the ones closer the edges, or those trying to make change. The center is large, but it’s not connected.

If you’re trying to build a tribe, a community or a movement, and you want it to be safe and beyond reproach at the same time, you will fail.

Heretical thoughts, delivered in a way that capture the attention of the minority–that’s the path that works.

Visit Seth’s blog

On the use of story in user-centered marketing

My first love in marketing is copywriting.

Not the creative stuff of big brand agencies, mind you..

Rather, the tradition of split-test direct response marketing.

A tradition which underpins the entire field of experience design.

[dc]H[/dc]ow so? Read More

Customer Journey Mapping – photo management example

See the slideshare of a photo management eco-system map with user scenarios and then a customer journey matrix that users will experience different journeys.

Users are always in the center: they are the protagonist which freely and actively connect the dots, selecting different parts of the system.

Thus design happens by facilitating connections across the whole network of possible actions.

User scenarios include different: Read More

Getting started in UX Design? You’ve come to the right place!

Wish I’d found this site much sooner.

A practical and insightful overview of User Experience Design linking to many excellent resources…

Information architecture, interaction design, and copywriting are just a few of the elements involved.

There’s a lot of art and science behind creating a lovable user interface.

This site is designed to teach you the basics with an easy process to follow, and pointers for where to learn more.

The process we illustrate has three layers: Discovery, Strategy and Design.

Check out User Experience Apprentice.

Wireframing is about prototyping

In UX mag Sergio Nouvel claims wireframing is about prototyping.

Have you ever thought about why are you wireframing? Is it because everyone else out there does it? Or are you just keeping the client entertained while you design the final comp? What are you trying to validate or illustrate when you design wireframes?

All these questions lead to the same place: wireframing is about prototyping.

Sergio continues:

The underlying value of doing wireframes first instead of getting to the construction of the real thing right away is building a prototype, which allows you to test, correct mistakes, and validate the key design decisions with users in the cheapest way possible. Nobody wants to spend thousands of bucks on a product only to realize that their assumptions were wrong. You can fail cheaper. That’s why you prototype.

But then again, what are you trying to validate through testing in a prototype? Think of it as a scientific experiment: you must test one thing at a time to get clear results. The best way of achieving this is by isolating or giving prominence to what you want to test, and then moving on the next variable.

Core design decisions need to be validated first, so the next, more specific decisions have some solid ground to stand on. It’s beyond the scope of this article to thoroughly detail the entire incremental process of validation, but here´s an outline:

  1. Test the general idea and value proposition.
  2. Test the overall content structure and ease of navigation.
  3. Test the content/user interface and ease of completion of the core tasks.
  4. Test look and feel, attractiveness, and branding.

Looking from this perspective, hi-fidelity wireframes don’t make for efficient prototypes, because their complexity makes testing difficult, defeating the very purpose of prototyping.

I agree. Go for low-fidelity prototyping via wireframes and sketches until much later in the design process.

Principles of Experience Design

To cultivate positive experiences for our users, Whitney Hess shows a set of guiding principles for experience design.

Including this list:

  • Stay of out people’s way
  • Create a hierarchy that matches peole’s needs
  • Limit distractions
  • Procide strong information scent
  • Provide signposts and cues
  • Provide context
  • Use constraints appropriately
  • Make actions reversible
  • Provide feedback
  • Make a good first impression

What is User Experience (UX) Strategy, anyway?

Catriona at Archer Group defines UX Strategy as by highlighting its 4 primary components:

  • Where are you now? Define the value you’re delivering to your users today, identify known issues, and explore ways your product can realize what the business hopes to achieve.

  • Where do you want to be? Specify the purpose of what you’re building and what needs it will address. Identify opportunities to enhance your product and the guiding principles that will inform product design decisions. Explore all phases of a user’s interaction with your product to identify how all product components will fit together.

  • How will you get there? Plan the development of your product to accommodate continual enhancements while maintaining cohesion across the experience. Translate your plan into tangible requirements.

  • How will you measure success? Define what success looks like for your product and what methods will be used to validate your product’s success.

This fits well with my preferred systems thinking method ‘theory of constraints‘ (TOC) which uses the following logical thinking process:

  • What to change? (where are we now that we don’t want?)
  • What to change to? (where do you want to be?)
  • How to cause the change (how will you get there?)

TOC makes use of ‘left brain’ logic diagrams to map out answers to these questions, while UX usually takes a more ‘right brain’ design approach.

Get to grips with both for a holistic approach to Experience Design.

UX focuses on outcomes not deliverables. Why?

Direct response marketing  150 years ago employed A/B split testing and MVPs (minimum viable products) to determine what the market would respond to.

This reduced waste, minimised risk, and maximised value creation for both seller and customer.

Now, the field of UX applies the same attitude explicitly and formally at every level of experience design, as nicely described in the book Lean UX:

  • Our goal is not to create a deliverable, it’s to change something in the world – to create an outcome.
  • The focus is on learning which features have the biggest impact on customers.
  • We begin our work with an assumption. Assumptions instead of requirements.
  • We use experiments to test our assumptions and then build on what we learn in those experiments.
  • We create and test hypotheses.
  • We measure to see whether we’ve achieved our desired outcomes.
  • We aim for speed first.

If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. — Dr. Richard Feynman

Effective Interaction Designers Change Organisations

Jonathan Kahn is a web developer, user experience designer, and content strategist. He’s an advocate of user-centered design, web governance, and content strategy. He founded Together London in 2008. He’s also organizing the Content Strategy Forum 2011 in London.

My take on Jonathan’s presentation

Jonathan shares the frustration and key constraint of Read More

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