What I’ve been reading lately (week 2)
First round of links of the new year.
- The value of visual design
To an uninformed or stubborn engineer and product manager, “visual design” (that is to say, the graphic design of an interface with pixel-level precision and accuracy) is merely icing on the cake, fluffy and fun, for adding a certain “sparkle”. It’s not the deep, heavy, rigorous functionality that justifies the product’s existence, thus summoning the investments, valuations, and customer fees.
- How Spotify builds products
Product development isn’t easy. In fact, most product development efforts fail, and the most common reason for failure is building the wrong product.
- User Experience, Incorporated
In business today, “user experience” (or UX) has come to represent all of the qualities of a product or service that make it relevant or meaningful to an end-user — everything from its look and feel design to how it responds when users interact with it, to the way it fits into people’s daily lives. You even people talking about UX as the way in which a consumer connects to a business — all the touch-points from marketing to product development to distribution channels.
- When Infinite Scroll Doesn’t Work
Dan Nguyen has an interesting writeup of Dan McKinley’s talk about why the implementation of infinite scroll at Etsy didn’t work. Essentially what happened was that Etsy had spent time implementing an infinite scroll interface (i.e. a list of results that automatically keeps loading more items as you scroll to the bottom of the list) before first testing their assumptions that more search results at a faster rate would boost user engagement. They found that the new interface just didn’t perform. Although the amount of purchases stayed roughly the same, user engagement has gone down — now people weren’t using the search so much.
- Ignore details early on
There’s a lot of talk about how important details are. But what’s often left out of the discussion is timing. Details and timing are intimately related.
- Lean UX and Rapid Innovation
“To get an innovative product to market quickly and efficiently, follow a lean UX process during each iterative development cycle. A lean UX process lets you validate business goals and identify market needs and affords opportunities for innovative change.”
- The Power of Faces in User Experience
“We can infer someone’s mood or emotions and even read thoughts from a face. However, all too often, we ignore or fail to fully understand this reality when designing Web sites.”
- 20 top web design and development trends for 2013
Predicting the future is tough, but with the fast-moving nature of the web, it’s good to know what lies ahead. Craig Grannell talks to top industry figures about the web design and development trends you should be mindful of over the coming 12 months
- 4 Secrets For Doing Gonzo User Research
Fast, cheap, and out-of-control insights can help you to outsmart the competition. Here’s how to gather them.
- Picasso, Kepler, and the Benefits of Being an Expert Generalist
One thing that separates the great innovators from everyone else is that they seem to know a lot about a wide variety of topics. They are expert generalists. Their wide knowledge base supports their creativity.
- Designer-Client Relationship: Getting Engaged
You probably hear about it every week, if not every day: a spiteful or ragged relationship has ended badly. There are bitter arguments, custody battles, legal entanglements, lives and homes broken in the wake of moral incompatibility, poor choices, and a lack of sober discrimination.
- Content Re-use and Narrative Flow
Just when I get to the point where I think I’ve published everything I have to say about content strategy, I read something like the post by Deane Barker (@gadgetopia on Twitter) entitled Content Reuse and The Problem of Narrative Flow and I’m keen to jump in and participate.
- Stop Explaining UX and Start Doing UX
Both design communities I’ve been involved in (graphic design and user experience design) spend an inordinate amount of energy bemoaning the lack of respect designers get and how misunderstood our value is.
- Who Do You Want Your Customers To Become?
In the Connected Age users have real power. They cannot be viewed as a gregarious heard of consumers waiting to be milked for what they have. Instead, value must be co-created and shared. Remember: customers are a company’s most valuable asset.
- 3 Challenges Implementing Lean UX in the Enterprise
Transitioning teams to be more “lean” in their product development is not easy. This is especially true in larger, more established organizations. Years of historical momentum coupled with siloed bureaucracy and overzealous legal departments have entrenched a serial, lengthy process in many banks, insurance companies and other enterprise level orgs. Add to this the relatively late addition of design and ux services and simply declaring, much less actually proving, product hypotheses becomes an organizational impossibility.
- Creating Social Experiences that Customers Care About
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about designing social media experiences, it’s that they have to illustrate to audiences that we “get” them in order to engage them. The reason so many marketers are struggling to show solid ROI for their social media programs is simply because they aren’t designing their strategies specifically for the medium.
- 3 Principles For The Future Of Gaming, From A Google Game Designer
John Hanke, the man at the helm of Google’s experimental game, Ingress, charts the course for the future of mobile gaming.
- Don’t break rules, reinvent them
People build websites for many reasons: to reach a wider audience; to sell, promote, or express; to appease peer pressure. Novelty stopped being a reason circa 2001. In its place, we have of course: of course I have a website; of course you have to have a Facebook wall, Twitter account, LinkedIn profile, or Pinterest board; of course we all have email.
- 2013 Trends in Customer Experience
At the edge of 2012 there is, luckily, still time to discuss the trends in Customer Experience for 2013
- 16 Of The Year’s Best Ideas In UI Design
From a concept that would allow you to drag files from your phone to computer to a to-do list that isn’t a drag, here are the most promising designs that connect the physical and digital worlds.
- Terms and Conditions: A Snapshot of Confusion
Like ghosts, magnets, and the Force, terms and conditions influence us in mysterious ways. They tell us what we can and cannot do with a product or service, just not in a way that’s easily understood.