Design the beginning

October 31, 2016

The “beginning” is how you introduce something new to a person, and how you will get them to understand its value such that they incorporate it into their lives. When you set about designing the beginning, you are forced to consider the following hard questions:

  1. Where and how will people first hear about your product or feature?
  2. What should people understand about your product at a glance, and is that compelling enough to convince them to go through the trouble of trying it out?
  3. What should people’s first-time experience through your product be, and how do you plan to demonstrate to them its value within the first minute?
  4. How will you build out the social graph, content inventory, marketplace, etc. if the success of your product is dependent on those things?
  5. What would compel somebody to come back and use your product a second or third time?

Julie Zhuo: Design the Beginning


Service vs Experience

October 26, 2016

The difference between a service and an experience is that while both are intangible, that is, you cannot touch that, service is only that – whereas an experience is also designed to be memorable.

From James Wallman – Stuffocation, Living with Less (p.248)


User research methods overview

October 20, 2016

user-research-methods.png

From: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/which-ux-research-methods/


Entrainment

September 29, 2016

[Form and aesthetics, sustainability, spatial energy, and intention] unite to create intelligent spaces that affect visitors on an emotional level, eventually triggering transformation. This is a result of an energetic transmission process that is commonly referred to in science as entrainment, whereby two oscillating systems assume the same frequency or rhythm when they interact. Picture a table full of metronomes. If at the start the metronomes are all ticking at different beats, they will soon synchronise and take the same rhythm. This is what happens in energetically with visitors in sacred spaces.

Marc Peridis


41 shades of blue

September 21, 2016

The great Douglas Bowman leaves Google:

Yes, it’s true that a team at Google couldn’t decide between two blues, so they’re testing 41 shades between each blue to see which one performs better. I had a recent debate over whether a border should be 3, 4 or 5 pixels wide, and was asked to prove my case. I can’t operate in an environment like that. I’ve grown tired of debating such miniscule design decisions. There are more exciting design problems in this world to tackle.

DouglasBowman from Zeldman.com


Data-informed design

September 21, 2016

Our philosophy and approach for every design sprint is to be data-informed, not data-driven. We try to surface every piece of information that will help paint a clear picture of the problem we’re trying to solve. We leverage all of the data we can to understand the core problem, but we don’t blindly build whatever the data may suggest.

Data is an extremely valuable tool and it’s critical to the design process. Designing without data is like flying blind, but purely data-driven design is dangerous and can lead to unintentional and uninspired design. Testing 41 different shades of blue may increase your conversion rate slightly, but if your design is flawed to begin with it will never be able to reach it’s full potential. Relentless A/B testing can only take you so far. Maybe your Google Analytics numbers aren’t quite giving you the whole picture.

Ryan Langlois Data-informed design

 


What Causes Behavior Change?

September 19, 2016

The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Behaviour change elements: motiviation, ability, trigger

Core Motivators: pleasure/pain; hope/fear; social acceptance/rejection

Simplicity factors: time; money; physical effort; brain cycles; social deviance; non-routine

Triggers: facilitator; spark; signal

BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Model


Ove Arup: Design as a continuum

September 4, 2016

[About Ove Arup] “Design was at the top of his agenda, and he defined it as an all-embracing concept – a continuum of analysis, synthesis, production, construction and evaluation; an iterative activity where process and product are indivisible. He understood and voiced the reality that the nineteenth century concept of the singular designer/builder had been – and was continuing to be – eroded by the explosion in knowledge and the consequent inevitability of ever-increasing specialisation. He spoke endlessly about the need to integrate all these skills into a unified whole which satisfied the Vitruvian trio of ‘Commodity’, ‘Firmness’, and ‘Delight’.”

Lack Zunz in ‘We like what you did’, V&A Magazine, Issue No 40, Summer 2016, p.48


There are important things we can’t easily or accurately measure.

July 6, 2016

If we could read user’s minds, then we could in theory design the perfect experience for them. Unfortunately, we’re not all Jean Greys, so we make due with what we can measure to try and take educated guesses as to what people care about. In this day and age, what we can measure has its limits, and it’s important to always remember that. Simply looking at what people are doing in your product can’t tell you:

  • the degree to which people love, hate, or are indifferent to your product or any of its specific features
  • whether a change increases or decreases people’s trust in your product over time
  • how simple and easy to use your product is perceived to be
  • how people see your product versus other similar products in the market
  • what things people most want changed, added, or fixed
  • how people will want to use your product as time passes

Julie Zhuo: Metrics Versus Experience


A Circumplex Model of Affect

July 4, 2016

By James A. Russell (PDF)

Evidence suggests that relationship between affective states can be represented by a spatial model in which affective concepts fall in a circle in the following order: pleasure (0°), excitement (45°), arousal (90°), distress (135°), displeasure (180°), depression (225°), sleepiness (270°), relaxation (315°)