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KPCB Internet Trends 2013

30 May

Super solid internet trends report. Must read for all people in the industry.

Getting the Experience Right the First Time

7 May

I was recently in a meeting about a mobile specific website design where the overarching strategy was being subjugated by our clients and account executives misunderstanding about our audience as well as the mobile medium. Fortunately, I was able to steer the ship back on course but there was a definite moment of resistance from the room to create the right experience that matched our audience’s needs.

It’s important that one is always willing to change direction and put in the extra effort to get the experience right from the get go. Honestly, what we’re doing is really expensive. Like hundreds of thousands of dollars expensive. Don’t be lazy when it comes to design strategy. Being lazy about a design decision, even once, will affect every aspect of the project. Project timelines will slip, engagement rates will fall, teams will become demoralized and everyone will have to work harder to make up for that one minute of lost vigilance. Real talk.

UX Research & Stakeholders

9 Jan

Great video about getting UX research buy in from stakeholders. This is always a tricky proposition for clients because research tends to be time consuming and expensive on the front end.

Paul Adams interview from Tomer Sharon on Vimeo.

This is an interview with Paul Adams about getting stakeholder buy-in for UX research. The interview was conducted by Tomer Sharon, a Google UX researcher, for his book, “It’s Our Research: Getting stakeholder buy-in for user experience research projects”.

Paul currently works as a Product Manager at Facebook and he is the author of the book Grouped. He is recognized as a leading thinker on designing social interactions, and spent four years at Google, leading user research for their social web projects. Before Google, Paul worked as a User Experience consultant at Flow, leading research and design projects for clients including the BBC, The Guardian, Vodafone, UK Government, and Betfair. Before that, he worked as an Industrial Designer, designing electronic appliances at Dyson and car interiors at Faurecia. Paul is a strong advocate of observing behavior in peoples’ own environment, and believes that this helps to create compelling experiences, and he writes a popular blog at ThinkOutsideIn.com.

Richard Dalton on Measuring User Experience

2 Jun

At MX2011 Richard Dalton explained why and how we should measure UX. The challenge IMO is getting clients to articulate clear business goals that can be translated into a system of concise and relevant user goals. In other words, without a solid project foundation the results for both the business and the end user will be shaky at best. Check out the whole preso below.

MX 2011 | Richard Dalton | A Practical Guide to Measuring User Experience from Adaptive Path on Vimeo.

Measuring the success (or failure) of an experience can be a daunting and confusing endeavor. Building on his talk from MX 2010 – Dealing with a UX mid-life crisis – Richard will describe the three major phases of measurement:

1. Defining appropriate goals
2. Gathering meaningful data
3. Drawing the right conclusions

Richard will provide techniques and tips for each phase and illustrate their use with real examples from his team’s work at Vanguard. To conclude, he will describe some of the cultural and change management challenges involved when an organization uses data to inform design decisions.

David Pogue on Simplicity

31 May

David Pogue talks about why simplicity and ease of use are the crux of good design.

UX and SEO Sitting in a Tree?

9 Apr

This article was originally posted on the Loomis Group blog

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the interaction of user experience (UX) designers and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists in both pure play web design and in marketing campaigns. I have always been suspiciously (and naively) in the camp that perceives SEO as a shortcut in the design process—one that subjugates quality content, and games search engines to draw visitors to websites they aren’t really looking for.

Tree

However, I’ve recently been pushed to take a step back and examine this distrust a bit further. To be fair, here’s a bit of my background that definitely shapes my conclusions. I’ve been an IA/UX person working at agencies for 5+ years, and the majority of my experiences have been with contractors who practiced the “seagull approach,” where they swooped in, dumped all over everything, and flew away. Continue reading

How to Get Paid as a Designer

7 Apr

Mike Monteiro and Gabe Levine make the best case I’ve seen for consistently having legal counsel review and enforce contracts. I’m pretty sure every designer, especially those who have freelanced, has been completely taken advantage of.

Early on in my career an employer took advantage of me for several thousand dollars. At the time, I was new to the industry, afraid of talking about money and I undervalued my worth as a designer. I also wanted to make sure that I maintained a positive relationship with my employer because they did give me my first real gig in the industry and I needed their recommendation. All in all, this was a learning experience that I’m glad I got out of the way early in my career. Now, when I work as a consultant, money and contracts are the first thing I talk about with my clients.


2011/03 Mike Monteiro | F*ck You. Pay Me. from SanFrancisco/CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

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