Archive for Theory - page 3

What User-Centered Design is Good For

I was on a panel at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2010 meeting entitled Blasphemy or Pragmatics? When NOT to Follow User-Centered Design Techniques. I took the position that UCD is one of five approaches that designers can use to design products. Here are my slides.

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The Emotional Life of Objects

Mental models of how things work are partially shaped by failure. When something doesn’t work, we try to figure out why. But if we can’t find an answer, it just becomes frustrating…unless we can attribute it to a personality quirk, just like we do with people.

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The Design Process and the Scientific Method

Every once in a while, there are rumblings about how the design process should be more like the scientific method. Although I profoundly disagree with this (more in a moment), I can understand this impulse.

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Content: Not Always King

Content strategy is all well and good, of course, but it has brought with it the rallying cry of “Content First!” and a million articles about how “Content is King.” Content is king…except when it’s not.

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Who Owns the User Experience?

There’s a tendency (at least among designers) to think that it’s designers who own the user experience. After all, designers are the ones who define it, right? This button goes there and it’s blue. But the more I think about it, the more I come to realize that ownership rests in those who provide the resources to get the product built, and in those who actually build the products: the developers and manufacturers. They are the true owners of the user experience.

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Design, Art, and Advertising

There is a crucial difference between design and advertising, and it is the same difference as between art and design, and that is intent.

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Post-Industrial Design

Post-industrial design is both a way of working and a way of thinking about products. It’s a way of working in that it considers the interactive behavior a product should engender before considering its physical form. There may be no physical form at all, in fact. Or, more accurately, the “form” is an area whose parameters are unseen by the naked eye.

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A Universal Declaration of Users’ Rights

We’re coming up on the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10. I’m a big supporter of this, and of Amnesty International, which works to protect these rights. Which got me to thinking: why isn’t there a list of users’ rights anywhere? What is the baseline that all users of every product everywhere should expect? So using the UDHR as a starting point, I drew one up.

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Why We Don’t Have Videophones or Intelligent Fridges

I was supposed to go to Design Engaged last week, but unfortunately had to drop out, and thus missed Nicholas Nova‘s talk “inflated deflated futures”. But now, thanks to Slideshare, I’ve had a chance to view it. And it’s great.

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New blog post: Eyes on the Road! Or why my car should NOT be a giant smartphone on wheels: http://t.co/O4Z8OJ3N6S4 hours ago