“The preponderance of research and publications on user studies deal more with principals and practices of the discipline and less with understanding the users themselves, much less in a deep, multi-disciplinary scientific way.
The future of design will belong to those who are able to untangle what people do and why, even those who can predict and understand – using a scientific basis – what people are likely to respond to and why and how, as opposed to simply making gut decisions.”
Winning content persuades, not manipulates
by Colleen Jones
Elements of persuasion are important to creating winning content. To help safeguard content from becoming manipulation, we need to understand its distinction from persuasion.
Designing ethical experiences: some practical suggestions
by Joe Lamantia
Unresolved conflicts between stakeholders’ values or perspectives frequently manifest themselves as ethical challenges for designers. Therefore design must find effective ways of managing conflict, encourage the creation of ethical experiences, and avoid ethically unsatisfactory compromises.
Defining experience: clarity amidst the jargon
by Dirk Knemeyer
A definitional model for the fields of experience and guidelines for the use of various terms.
Experience partners: giving center stage to customer delight
by Greg Nudelman
Nudelman proposes the concept of experience partners [as opposed to users] as a whole new way of thinking about our customers as partners in holistic product experiences.
Applied empathy: a design framework for human needs and desires
by Dirk Knemeyer (of Involution Studios and president of UXnet)
Part One of this series, Applied Empathy, introduced a design framework for meeting human needs and desires and defined five States of Being that represent the different degrees to which products and experiences affect and motivate people in their lives. Part Two explained the three Dimensions of Human Behavior and outlined a variety of specific needs and desires for which we can intentionally design products. This third and final part of the series shows how this design framework maps to a variety of well-known products and experiences and illustrates how this framework can be put to practical use.
Show and tell: imagining the user experience beyond point, click and type
by Jonathan Follett (president of Hot Knife Design)
More reliable and permanent than human memory, the technology of written language dominates as the primary method human beings use for conveying abstractions of complex ideas across space and time. Now the ability of software to recognize increasingly complex patterns like the nuances of speech and visual representations of people—provides us with possibilities for human/computer interaction that could vastly reduce the need for textual communication.
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In his new function, which is on a volunteer basis and additional to his other commitments, Mark will be a key participant in architecting UXnet’s digital communication channels, while setting strategic communications objectives and overseeing the execution of tactical communications across media, and to both internal and external stakeholders.
“We are really excited to have Mark joining UXnet in this critical role,” said Dirk Knemeyer, president of the UXnet Board of Directors, in a statement on the UXnet website. “His experience and success in the user experience community will be a key contributor to moving UXnet forward, particularly in helping to accelerate our international agenda.”
UXnet, the global user experience network, exists to make connections among people, resources, and organizations involved in User eXperience (UX) anywhere in the world. A network of 95 local ambassadors represent 72 locales in 28 countries on six continents. The organisation also facilitates and promotes collaboration with all key UX-related professional organisations.
Multiple online tools (e.g., an evolving conference calendar) are currently being designed and implemented.
The UXnet Board of Directors consists of Dirk Knemeyer (Involution Studios), Louis Rosenfeld (Rosenfeld Media), Whitney Quesenbery (Whitney Interactive Design) and Keith Instone (IBM). Mark Vanderbeeken will join biweekly board meetings and eventually become a full voting member of the board.
“There is not a successful, established approach and framework for closely linking the real-world needs and desires of our potential customers into the DNA of product strategy and development. Sure, there are various examples of the integration of users’ needs and product strategy being successfully accomplished in some cases, but they are more the outcome of clear vision and talented design than an intentional, strategic product architecture that really accommodates people’s needs.”
“So, let’s step back for a minute and think about the problem of user-centered design from a different perspective. Typically, we boil users’ needs and desires down to only those that are most obvious and complementary to the company, product, brand, or communication we are designing. This is especially true for product design, where we often translate needs and desires into issues of usability: ‘They want it to be quick and simple!’ ‘They want it to look good!’ But these product goals have little to do with the real needs and desires of actual users.”
“[Instead] we can engage customers through very thoughtful and intentional design that deeply considers the needs and desires of people—independently of the business and strategic goals that usually define the products we design. By approaching our problem-solving from a user-centred perspective and dovetailing that viewpoint with the more traditional, task-focused design approaches we typically employ, we can achieve and enjoy a resonant advantage over our competitors in the marketplace.”
Knemeyer then goes on to introduce a framework he has created for considering and planning design around real human needs and desires.