Archive for December 16, 2011
My wife and I went out to dinner recently, and I couldn’t help but notice the couple at the adjacent table both using iPads in-between forking food into their mouths. I’m not passing judgment – I think that smart phones, widespread broadband, and social media are all changing the way I behave too. As a society our attention is fracturing: at the dinner table, while we watch TV, as we shop.
So for our final newsletter of the year I thought I’d share with you some recent statistics that highlight how digital technology is changing our lives Read more »
Are all those mundane, admin tasks sucking your time and getting you down? User-centred design might be that elusive but effective answer.
Have you ever drifted into a kind of zen-like state when you were mowing the lawns? All of a sudden the lawns are freshly mown; what were you thinking about? Or when your Nonna is making that penne arrabbiata for the umpteenth time, it’s like she’s doing it without thinking.
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I recently relocated to the US of A so watched the All Blacks win the Rugby World Cup from afar. It was not only nerve-racking but a good reminder about the importance of not just having a game plan, but a plan for the entire tournament.
This is not just a necessity for rugby but also for conducting research and design. Reflecting on my experiences, I am often asked to come up with an approach to “win a game” but not to “win the tournament”. This can result in tactical approaches which may not always be the best for a product or service in the long term.
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Where’s Wally…? I used to spend ages looking for him, didn’t you too?
It would start as a fun game: Sure, I’ll find him in no time, it can’t be that hard! But after searching for a while, it could get pretty frustrating: You KNEW he was there, somewhere on that jam-packed beach. You even knew what he looked like, with his trademark red-striped shirt, hat and his nerdy glasses. Still, it would sometimes take ages and make your eyes burn to finally single him out. Read more »
In late August I attended the third annual UX Australia conference in Sydney. The conference was well organised, enjoyable, informative, and peppered with a great mix of both local and international speakers. Topics were varied and covered the full breadth of the UX discipline, from designing for mobile to UX design in surgical environments. There was definitely something of value in every session that I attended. Not one was a dud.
There were some common themes running throughout the conference: multi-channel design, designing for mobile, and the role that UX plays in transforming the culture within a business. Here’s a summary of some of the highlights. Read more »
People are creatures of habit and this can introduce challenges should you want them to adopt a new behaviour. We all start forming and evolving our behaviours from the time we are born, and each of us will respond to different stimuli in our own unique way. Some of us can’t start their day without our morning coffee whereas others will reach for a cigarette as a first port of call. Some can’t fall asleep without a book in their hands and others like to leave their T.V. switched on. These behavioural differences are a big part of what makes us human.
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Something that I have noticed while working in the UX industry is that sometimes it feels like interaction designers are from Mars and visual designers are from Venus. Often during user-centred design projects there is a lack of understanding between the two species, which can have a huge effect on the overall success of a project. Read more »
Here’s something that may surprise you - user testing doesn’t help you innovate. For example, it’s unlikely that in the middle of a user test a participant is going to leap out their seat and shout “I’ve got it! This iPhone app is answering the wrong question! What you need to design is this!” Nope, participants are more likely to tell you about what they don’t understand or what they don’t like. Read more »
The deeper we get into the service design world the more methods we are finding that improve our ability to empathise with (and then create for) our target audiences. Service design, in a nutshell, is intentionally designing a customer’s experience to be wonderful no matter how they interact with your organisation. It is as much about designing great customer facing interactions as it is about the internal processes that enable that experience to be replicable and adaptable. Read more »
In the mid-80s, a new radiation therapy machine called the Therac-25 was introduced to treat people with cancer. During treatment the machine would often show cryptic error messages like “malfunction 47″ and “vtilt”. These messages would occur up to 40 times a day, and they rarely involved patient safety.
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