Tag: design


Where 2.0 Panel Presentation "The Next Wave of AR: Social Augmented Experiences"

April 2nd, 2010 — 7:22am

I’ve posted my slides for the Where 2.0 panel “The Next Wave of AR: Social Aug­mented Expe­ri­ences” orga­nized by Tish Shute. After a review of the cur­rent state of aug­mented real­ity expe­ri­ences in terms of the social inter­ac­tions sup­ported (using the met­ric of ‘social matu­rity’), it shares 9 prin­ci­ples for cre­at­ing social AR expe­ri­ences that peo­ple will enjoy and value.

Spe­cial points to those who spot the embed­ded April Fool’s joke…

Design Prin­ci­ples for Social Aug­mented Expe­ri­ences: Next Wave of AR Panel | Where 2.0

Comment » | Augmented Reality, Everyware, User Experience (UX)

"Designing Post-humanity" Live at UXmatters (Blogged by Bruce Sterling)

May 25th, 2009 — 5:11am

What hap­pens when *every­thing* is des­ignable? When the bound­aries between human­ity, tech­nol­ogy, and the larger envi­ron­ment dis­ap­pear? Design­ing Post-humanity: Every­ware In the Far Future, the lat­est install­ment of my col­umn on user expe­ri­ence and ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing in UXmat­ters, takes a look at these ques­tions. Post-humans, ubi­comp, and sci­ence fic­tion may seem like strange ter­ri­tory for user expe­ri­ence pro­fes­sion­als, but by con­sid­er­ing these kinds of futures today, we make many impor­tant deci­sions about who we will [all!] be tomorrow.

**Update: Bruce Ster­ling just posted about it in his Beyond the Beyond blog at Wired. Thanks for notic­ing, Bruce!

Comment » | Everyware

Search Me: Designing Information Retrieval Experiences

May 15th, 2009 — 10:50am

I just posted slides from my talk at the recent Enter­prise Search Sum­mit in NY “Search Me: Design­ing Infor­ma­tion Retrieval Experience”

Here’s the abstract from the session:

This case study reviews the meth­ods and insights that emerged from an 18-month effort to coör­di­nate and enhance the scat­tered user expe­ri­ences of a suite of infor­ma­tion retrieval tools sold as ser­vices by a major invest­ment rat­ings agency. The ses­sion will share a method for under­stand­ing audi­ence needs in diverse infor­ma­tion access con­texts; review a col­lec­tion of infor­ma­tion retrieval pat­terns, look at con­cep­tual design meth­ods for user expe­ri­ences, and review a set of longer term pat­terns in cus­tomer behav­ior called life­cy­cles, and con­sider the impact of orga­ni­za­tional and cul­tural fac­tors on design decisions.

This ses­sion will presents reusable expe­ri­ence design tools and find­ings rel­e­vant for con­texts such as enter­prise search and infor­ma­tion access, ser­vice design, and prod­uct and plat­form management.

Thanks to every­one who came by!

Comment » | Enterprise, Information Architecture, User Experience (UX)

Designing Frameworks For Interaction and User Experience: IA Summit Workshop Presentation

April 5th, 2009 — 11:05am

I’ve posted my slides and mate­ri­als from the Beyond Find­abil­ity work­shop Andrew Hin­ton, Livia Labate, Matthew Milan and I put on at the IA Sum­mit in Mem­phis recently.

This set of mate­ri­als addresses some of the most impor­tant ques­tions for prac­ti­tion­ers con­sid­er­ing a framework-based approach to design: why frame­warks mat­ter for user expe­ri­ence and inter­ac­tion design, what frame­works are use­ful for, and how you can work with them effectively.

Why *do* frame­works mat­ter? As I’m argu­ing, look around and you’ll see pro­found shifts chang­ing the struc­tural makeup of the dig­i­tal envi­ron­ment, the con­texts and bound­aries of the expe­ri­ences, and the role of pro­fes­sional designers.

For design­ers, very com­pli­cated and inter­est­ing prob­lems are on the way: think of Mike Kuniavsky’s work defin­ing some of the fun­da­men­tal con­cepts behind the ‘smart things’ that will inhabit this new design envi­ron­ment, such as infor­ma­tion shad­ows and ser­vice avatars. It’s plain that this world will require new tools, and I believe frame­works are part of that toolkit. (See my col­umn Every­ware: Design for the Ubiq­ui­tous Expe­ri­ence for ongo­ing perspective.)

And check out the slides for the rest of the work­shop :)

Noth­ing bet­ter than blues, bar­be­cue, and Build­ing Blocks!

Comment » | Building Blocks, User Experience (UX)

On Modularity: "Always Look Both Ways When Componentizing the Street"

March 3rd, 2009 — 6:52am

That’s the title of my just-submited guest con­tri­bu­tion to Nathan Cur­tis’ forth­com­ing book “Mod­u­lar Web Design.” (I’m in good com­pany; Todd War­fel and Andrew Payne are two of the other con­trib­u­tors.) When Mod­u­lar Web Design comes out (fol­low on Twit­ter for details), you can turn directly to chap­ter four, ‘Vari­a­tions’, and read my cau­tion­ary tale.
What about the rest of the book? I’ve seen the com­plete out­line, and let me say that if you like mod­u­lar­ity as much as we do and you’re design­ing inter­faces, this is the book for you. Maybe you’re even work­ing with some vari­a­tion of the build­ing blocks, or a sim­i­lar design frame­work? And the cover fea­tures Legos!
Of course, if you *don’t* like mod­u­lar­ity, there’s no need to sweat about it: the future has a place for every­one [We’ll be busy play­ing with our Sifta­bles]. Just don’t be sur­prised if it turns out to be small­ish, dry, and bit — uhh — box-like

Comment » | Building Blocks, User Experience (UX)

8 Waves of Change Shaping Digital Experiences

December 11th, 2008 — 5:21am

I’ve been focused on under­stand­ing future direc­tions in the land­scape of dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences recently (which nicely par­al­lels some of the work I’ve been doing on design and futures in gen­eral), so I’m shar­ing a sum­mary of the analy­sis that’s come out of this research.
This pre­sen­ta­tion shares an overview of all the major waves of change affect­ing dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences, some of the espe­cially forward-looking insights around shifts in our iden­ti­ties, and the impli­ca­tions for those cre­at­ing dig­i­tal expe­ri­ences.
The 8 waves dis­cussed here (are there more? let me know!)

  • Dig­i­tal = Social
  • Co-Creation
  • Dig­i­tal Natives
  • Itʼs All a Game
  • Take Away
  • Every­ware
  • Con­ver­gence
  • See­ing Is Believing

Comment » | Ideas, The Media Environment, User Experience (UX)

Discount Code for Indi Young's 'Mental Models' Webinar

December 10th, 2008 — 6:04am

Design­ers, prod­uct man­agers, and any­one who aims to cre­ate rel­e­vant and beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ences would be wise to check out Indi Young’s upcom­ing webi­nar, Using Men­tal Mod­els for Tac­tics and Strat­egy, on Decem­ber 11th. Indi lit­er­ally wrote the book on men­tal mod­els for user expe­ri­ence — read it, if you haven’t yet — and this webi­nar is part of the Future Prac­tice series pro­duced by Smart Expe­ri­ence and Rosen­feld Media, so expect good things for your mod­est invest­ment.
Even bet­ter, our friends at Smart Expe­ri­ence and Rosen­feld Media are offer­ing a 25% dis­count on reg­is­tra­tions, which is good for these tough times.
Use this dis­count code when reg­is­ter­ing: LAMANTIAWBNR
Enjoy!

Comments Off | Information Architecture, User Experience (UX)

Frameworks Are the Future (Slides From EuroIA 2008)

October 8th, 2008 — 6:28am

In case you couldn’t make it to Ams­ter­dam for EuroIA 2008, or if you were in town but pre­ferred to stay out­side in the warmth of a sunny Sep­tem­ber Sat­ur­day than ven­ture into the mar­velous Tsuchin­ski the­ater, I’ve posted the slides from my talk Frame­works are the Future of Design.
Enjoy!

Comment » | Building Blocks, Information Architecture, User Experience (UX)

User Experience: About To Be Commoditized?

October 2nd, 2008 — 7:02pm

Read­ing about the recent release of Social­Text 3 I was struck by the strong par­al­lels between the defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tics of enter­prise envi­ron­ments in 2003/2004, and the emerg­ing pub­lic Web 2.0 land­scape. The essen­tial char­ac­ter­is­tics of many enter­prise envi­ron­ments are:

  • Syn­di­ca­tion: streams of mod­u­lar con­tent and func­tion­al­ity broad­cast widely to sub­scribers within the fire­wall, such as enter­prise data feeds, ERP, BI capa­bil­i­ties, CRM, cus­tom capa­bil­i­ties shared via SOA
  • Ser­vices (e.g. envi­ron­men­tal, like the bees we used to have for pol­li­na­tion): iden­tity, secu­rity, pub­li­ca­tion, data man­age­ment, cloud stor­age, imap email, etc.
  • Social Struc­tures: tan­gi­ble net­works & com­mu­ni­ties of like-minded peo­ple, ori­ented around a com­mon prac­tice, pur­pose, process, or pain; think of all the matrixed, hor­i­zon­tal org struc­tures and ad-hoc net­works encoded via inter­nal email lists, IM, sprawl­ing intranets, cor­po­rate direc­to­ries, etc.

These same attrib­utes are emerg­ing as the hall­marks of the pub­lic Web 2.0 land­scape. This is how the three S’s man­i­fest for Web 2.0:

  • Syn­di­ca­tion: A lit­eral and fig­u­ra­tive tor­rent of con­tent in the form of blogs, RSS, feeds, streams, APIs, for social objects of all types, as well as cat­a­logs of rentable content
  • Ser­vices: This layer is grow­ing rapidly for the pub­lic inter­net, with OpenID / OAuth, map­ping, visu­al­iza­tion, backup, cal­en­dar­ing — the list is nearly infi­nite, and still expanding
  • Social Struc­tures: The Web (and soon the mobile uni­verse) is pro­foundly social now, and will con­tinue to become ever more so.

I think you can eas­ily see the strong par­al­lels. It’s this sim­i­lar­ity between the older enter­prise envi­ron­ments and the emerg­ing Web 2.0 envi­ron­ment that user expe­ri­ence prac­ti­tion­ers, — and espe­cially any­one prac­tic­ing infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture — should note.
Why? As I’ve writ­ten before, mod­u­lar­ity is every­where in this new envi­ron­ment, it’s appar­ent at all lay­ers of the infor­ma­tion world, from util­i­ties like pro­cess­ing power, to ser­vices, to the ele­ments that make up the user expe­ri­ence. The effects of mod­u­lar­ity in syn­di­ca­tion, ser­vices, and social struc­tures on devel­op­ers and IT have been pro­found; prac­tices, processes, orga­ni­za­tional struc­tures, and busi­ness mod­els have all shifted in response.
This wave of change first affected the devel­op­ers who build and work directly with code and sys­tems. But inevitably, dis­ci­plines fur­ther up the stack are feel­ing the impact of this shift, though many of us (and I’m putting user expe­ri­ence in this class) may not know it yet.
How will we feel that impact? One obvi­ous way is in the pres­sure to adopt agile and other mod­u­lar prod­uct con­struc­tion prac­tices cre­ated by and for devel­op­ers as the pre­ferred way to struc­ture user expe­ri­ence and design efforts. This is a mis­take that con­fuses the dif­fer­ent stages of soft­ware / dig­i­tal prod­uct cre­ation (as Alan Cooper explained well at Agile2008). Design is not con­struc­tion, and shouldn’t be treated as if it is. And one size fits all does not work when choos­ing the process and toolkit used for cre­at­ing com­plex dig­i­tal prod­ucts, ser­vices, or expe­ri­ences.
One result of this mod­u­lar­ity rules all approach to user expe­ri­ence is the ero­sion of bounded or well-structured design processes that bal­ance risk effec­tively for the var­i­ous stages of design, and were meant to ensure the qual­ity and rel­e­vance of the result­ing prod­ucts and expe­ri­ences. Ero­sion is vis­i­ble the trends toward com­pres­sion or elim­i­na­tion of rec­og­niz­able design con­cept explo­ration and usabil­ity ver­i­fi­ca­tion activ­i­ties in many design meth­ods.
More imme­di­ately — in fact star­ing us right in the face, though I haven’t seen men­tion of it yet in m/any user expe­ri­ence forums — is the grow­ing num­ber of sit­u­a­tions wherein there’s “No designer required”.
Exam­ples of this abound, but just con­sider this fea­ture list for the Social Text 3 Dash­board:

  • You decide what matters
  • Cre­ate your dash­board in minutes
  • Include 3rd party infor­ma­tion and applications
  • Track & attend to what’s most impor­tant to you
  • Sta­tus updates flow auto­mat­i­cally, as you work

If that’s not spe­cific enough, here’s what comes out of the box, in the form of pre-built widgets:

  • My Con­ver­sa­tions — changes oth­ers have made to any Social­text work­space page you authored, edited, or com­mented on
  • My Col­leagues — recent updates made by peo­ple you are sub­scribed to
  • Work­spaces — work­spaces you have access to and their activ­ity metrics
  • Work­space Page — any page from any of your Social­text workspaces
  • RSS Viewer — results of an RSS feed you configure
  • Work­space Tags — a tag cloud of all tags in a par­tic­u­lar workspace
  • All Peo­ple Tags — a tag cloud of all tags on peo­ple in Social­text People

No archi­tect required for most peo­ple here… and this trend is every­where.
And then there’s the awe­some spec­tre ofcom­modi­ti­za­tion. Lis­ten­ing to a friend describe the con­fus­ing expe­ri­ence of try­ing to select a short list of design firms for inclu­sion in an RFP made the link­age clear to me. I’ll quote Weil’s def­i­n­i­tion of com­modi­ti­za­tion from the paper ref­er­enced above, to make the point explicit.
Please recall that com­modi­ti­za­tion denotes the devel­op­ment of a com­pet­i­tive envi­ron­ment where:

  • Prod­uct dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion is very difficult;
  • Cus­tomer loy­alty and brand val­ues are low;
  • Com­pe­ti­tion is based pri­mar­ily on price; and
  • Sus­tain­able advan­tage comes from cost (and some­times qual­ity) leadership.
  • Com­modi­ti­za­tion is dri­ven by excess capacity.

Please note that I’m not imply­ing user expe­ri­ence prac­ti­tion­ers face overnight obso­le­tion.
But I am say­ing that I doubt our cur­rent dis­ci­pli­nary world­view and toolkit ade­quately pre­pare us for the real­i­ties of the new envi­ron­ment emerg­ing so rapidly. Code, by con­trast, is and always will be mod­u­lar. (After all, that is the defin­ing attribute of our alpha­bets.)
But user expe­ri­ence is holis­tic, and has to learn to build in its own way from these smaller pieces like a writer com­bin­ing words and phrases. Even­tu­ally, you can cre­ate works of tremen­dous depth, rich­ness, and sophis­ti­ca­tion; think of Ulysses by James Joyce, or the Mahab­harata. These are richly nuanced expe­ri­ences that are the result of work­ing with mod­u­lar ele­ments.
My sug­ges­tion for one response to the oncom­ing wave of mod­u­lar­ity and com­modi­ti­za­tion is to focus our value propo­si­tion in the cre­ation of tools that other peo­ple use to define their indi­vid­ual expe­ri­ences. In other words, shift our pro­fes­sional focus to higher lay­ers of abstrac­tion, and get into the busi­ness of defin­ing and design­ing frame­works, net­works, and sys­tems of expe­ri­ence com­po­nents. Prac­ti­cally, this will mean things like observ­ing and defin­ing the most valu­able pat­terns aris­ing in the use of sys­tems of mod­u­lar ele­ments we design, and then advis­ing on their use to solve prob­lems. This is the direc­tion com­mon within enter­prise envi­ron­ments, and in light of the appear­ance of pub­lic pat­tern libraries (Yahoo’s UI), I think I see it hap­pen­ing within parts of the user expe­ri­ence com­mu­nity. I’m not sure it’s hap­pen­ing fast enough, though.
I hoped to com­mu­ni­cate some of these ideas in my talk on why frame­works are the future (at least for any­one prac­tic­ing Expe­ri­ence Archi­tec­ture) for the 2008 EuroIA Sum­mit that just took place here in lovely Ams­ter­dam. I’ll post the slides shortly. In the mean­time, what do you think? Is user expe­ri­ence ready for the mod­u­lar­ized, enterprise-like envi­ron­ment of Web 2.0? How are you respond­ing to these changes? Is com­modi­ti­za­tion even on your radar?

2 comments » | Enterprise, Information Architecture, Tools, User Experience (UX)

Improving Our Ethical Choices: Managing the Imp of the Perverse

September 30th, 2008 — 11:06am

Design­ers inter­ested in the new chal­lenges of ubiq­ui­tous com­put­ing / ubi­comp, ethics, and the future of inte­grated expe­ri­ences will enjoy Improv­ing Our Eth­i­cal Choices: Man­ag­ing the Imp of the Per­verse, pub­lished in UXMat­ters on Sep­tem­ber 8th.
Rang­ing from Baude­laire to the Big Chill, with Edgar Allen Poe as guid­ing spirit, this fourth and final install­ment of the Design­ing Eth­i­cal Expe­ri­ences series writ­ten for UXMat­ters pro­vides prac­ti­cal sug­ges­tions — drawn mostly from busi­ness, psy­chol­ogy, and ethics researchers — on how to bal­ance the ten­sions of dif­fi­cult design choices. We’re not all philoso­phers, so as always the focus is on insights into how we make all types of deci­sions, not sim­ply eth­i­cal dilem­mas.
Align­ing The Deci­sion Cycle
ethics_4_recommendations.jpg
Here’s an excerpt:
Eth­i­cal fad­ing, the ten­sion between our Want and Should Selves, and our nat­ural ten­dency to cre­ate juicy ratio­nal­iza­tions are pow­er­ful obsta­cles to the mak­ing of eth­i­cal design choices. As UX pro­fes­sion­als, how can we bet­ter align our Want and Should Selves, ensur­ing that we cre­ate eth­i­cal expe­ri­ences?
I learned a great deal about myself and my out­look while research­ing and writ­ing this series of arti­cles. I hope read­ers find the insights and tools valu­able; either directly as a resource for deal­ing with eth­i­cal chal­lenges of the new inte­grated expe­ri­ences, or more gen­er­ally dur­ing the day to day ebb and flow of design work.

Comment » | Ethics & Design, The Working Life, User Experience (UX)

Back to top