Author Archive: Kelly Almon
UI, UX, IA, IxD, UCD, HCI . . .
There seems to be a lot of confusion around User Experience Design, what it does, why it is important and how it is different from User Interface Design. This last point is often combined with calls for rules or SOPs to guide developers in creating good user experiences. While there are certainly guidelines and design patterns for creating digital interfaces, these are by no means prescriptive. User Experience Design is about crafting the potential for a great interaction between a user and his/her tool. This interaction, however, is highly dependent on the situation; the environment, type of user, interaction modes, visual language, and especially the user themselves. The consequence of this web of interconnected dependencies is that there are no hard and fast rules. There are, however, some concepts which all User Experience and Interaction Designers strive to achieve through the use of the visual elements and principles of design.
This is an fantastic talk and interesting article on internet personalization filtering that happens automatically. By doing this ‘invisible’ filtering, search engines are usurping the control from the user. While the smart algorithm filtering is very helpful, it has to be made visible. Any time a system utilizes automation, that automation must be communicated to all parts of the system – especially the human user (see airplane crashes for the result of that lack of communication in extreme cases).
Users often interact with similar content in different ways. Online news content is a good area to see this clearly. And it is getting a lot of attention these days following the release of the Pew Report on “Navigating News Online.” Some people are casual browsers, visiting sites and stories suggested by their social network. Some people are occasional users, checking in with a news website once a week. There are mobile users who consume immense amounts of content through their mobile device. Others are power users – super consumers who visit several sites, get massive amounts of content, often on a computer, and share that content with others.
Then there are people like me. I consider myself a multi-channel regular user: I consume news content in several different ways (email digest, through websites, rss feeds, and apps on my phone) at least once a day. I never though about why I interacted with similar sites and content in different ways until reading some of the recent articles about the ways people consume news.
How can we know if interaction design is successful?
Being an interaction designer, I think about this often. Moreover, I think about how we discuss these questions. Many designers evaluate designs on an instinctive level and when they attempt to externalize their thoughts, it ends up sounding like “I just know users will hate that.”
How then do designers discuss interactions in a credible way? How does one evaluate interaction design? Why do I know users will hate that (whatever that is)?
How Mere Words Can Shape Enterprise Trajectory
Businesses at all levels are beginning to actively engage with the problems of user experience because they have seen the profound effects of excellent interactions with customers: more re-purchasers, more customer referrals, greater customer loyalty, etc. The list of benefits goes on and on. I’m not going to discuss the need for interaction design and customer experience management right now. Research shows that “90% of companies feel that customer experience is very important or critical in 2010, and 80% intend to use it as competitive differentiation.”1 Most companies understand that need and those that don’t will soon be left behind.
Hello world indeed! I’m just getting this blog set up, so it may be a few days before my first real post. The purpose of this blog is to discuss interaction design and it’s impact on user and customer experience, especially within enterprise environments. I’ll be blogging from my perspective as an Enterprise Interaction Designer with Adobe Systems, but remember, this is a personal blog, so my views do not necessarily reflect the views of Adobe.
One of my goals with this blog is to impact the discussion of users here at Adobe, but also participate in the greater conversation on interaction in the design world, so comments (that can add to our conversation) are welcome. I look forward to sharing with you.