Archive for the 'In the News' Category

Jul 24 2012

UX Design as a Two-Way Conversation

“There was a Google Analytics video making the rounds back in the fall that resonated strongly with many UXers. In the video, a customer in a supermarket attempts to check out and is greeted with all of the standard components that constitute the online checkout process. He’s asked for his user name, asked to read a CAPTCHA code, and watches as the cashier ‘times out’ and then proceeds to ask him the same list of questions all over again. This video struck a chord with many in the UX community because it makes explicit something than many UXers have known implicitly for a long time: when users interact with a computer, they are engaging in a conversation. When the computer behaves in a way that no human would, it confuses the whole process. The end result: a bad user experience.”

Read the full article at UX Magazine.

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Jul 12 2012

Gamify Weight Loss with SlimKicker

“SlimKicker was formed to solve a huge problem when it comes to losing weight, or living healthier: sustaining motivation. Many people makes resolutions to stop eating junk, or start going to the gym every New Year. But once March or April hits, we forget about our goals, and return back to our old ways.  That’s why we created SlimKicker, a level-up game and point-based program. You start by tracking your diet, where whole foods are worth more points than processed foods.”

B.J. Fogg would be proud – check it out!

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Jun 21 2012

Effective User Research and Transforming Clients

“Clients that deal with large agencies tend to place their trust in the big brand names of these shops. Freelance designers and small agencies do not always inspire the confidence in clients that large shops do, which means that trust has to be built, nurtured and never taken for granted.

So, what tools do freelance designers and small agencies have at their disposal not only to get a client on board with their ideas, but to inspire them and encourage buy-in from other stakeholders in the client’s company?”

For the full article, check out Smashing Magazine.

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Jun 19 2012

What Does a UX Strategist Do?

“The role of UX Strategist has been popping up lately in job descriptions, discussion forums, and professional profiles on the Web. Clients have assigned this role to me on a number of consulting projects. Some of my colleagues have taken UX Strategist as their new title. But what does a UX Strategist do that’s different from, say, a UX Architect or a UX Designer or a Director of User Experience? Does this role open up a new career path for UX professionals, or is this title just a way of making our work sound more important? Recently, I did some research, and I’d like to use this edition of my column UX Strategy to take a stab at defining the role of UX Strategist as it stands today.”

Read the full article at UXmatters.

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Jun 14 2012

Obama Orders Sites be Optimized for Devices

President Obama has issued a directive to urge major government agencies to focus on mobile and tablet devices. A new strategy, Digtital Government: Building a 21st Century Platform to Better Serve the American People, was recently issued with a 12-month roadmap for agencies to implement mobile-friendly services. Agencies will need to publicly report on progress within 90 days at a digital strategy site. Obama believes the use of technology is ‘fundamentally transforming’ how Americans do business and the steps to focus on mobile and web-based technologies will serve as a strategy to deliver information in new ways to American citizens. Read the full directive.

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Jun 05 2012

How a Blind Person Uses an ATM for the First Time

“Tommy Edison has been blind since birth and is now producing videos online that reveal a glimpse into his life and the funny challenges that he faces daily. Tommy has shown us what it’s like for someone who is blind to use an ATM machine for the first time. ”

View this video and more at The Tommy Edison Experience.

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May 31 2012

Guiding Principles for UX Designers

Published by under In the News,Resources

“‘Guiding principles’ are the broad philosophy or fundamental beliefs that steer an organization, team or individual’s decision making, irrespective of the project goals, constraints, or resources.

I have collected a set of guiding principles for user experience designers, to encourage behaviors that I believe are necessary to being a successful practitioner, as well as a set of guiding principles for experience design—which I think anyone who touches a product used by humans should strive to follow.”

Read the full article on UX Magazine – it’s pretty interesting.

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May 17 2012

How the Blind Are Reinventing the iPhone

“Maria Rios, 66, woke up at 6 am. She got out of bed in her little second floor apartment on the north side of Central Park, and checked her iPhone for the weather. Then she felt around in her closet, where she had marked her navy blue garments with safety pins, to tell them apart from her black ones. In the adjacent room, her roommate Lynette Tatum, 49, picked out a white sweater and dark denim slacks. She used her VizWiz iPhone app to take a photograph and send it to a customer-service rep who lets her know what color the item is.”

Read the full article at The Atlantic.

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May 15 2012

Yesterday The Boston Globe ended “tomorrows”

“In an announcement on BostonGlobe.com’s Insiders blog, Charles Mansbach, the Globe’s Page 1 editor, says the paper is doing away with the convention of using those terms in stories. Instead they’ll start using the day on the week. So instead of seeing a Thursday story noting the Red Sox start a series with the Orioles ‘tomorrow,’ it’ll say the series starts ‘Friday.’ This shouldn’t be surprising, but it is a break — and an official one — with decades of practice at many newspapers.”

Read the full article at the Nieman Journalism Lab.

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May 10 2012

The 57-Day Blitzkrieg Redesign of Google+

“After a mere six months on the market, Google released their first major redesign of Google+. If you check your profile now, you should see the latest version. And if your taste is anything like ours, you’ll agree that it feels better in just about every way. So what did the designers at Google actually do not just to make their product so much more beautiful, but so much more beautiful than Facebook? Co.Design talked to Google+ lead designer Fred Gilbert to unpack the subtle brilliance behind their awesome redesign–a redesign that was completed in less than two months–and his notes are full of lessons that could hone the experience of almost any product.”

Read the full article on Fast Company Design.

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May 08 2012

Content Curators: The New Superheros of the Web

“Yesterday, the ever-churning machine that is the Internet pumped out more unfiltered digital data. Yesterday, 250 million photos were uploaded to Facebook, 864,000 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube, and 294 BILLION emails were sent. And that’s not counting all the check-ins, friend requests, Yelp reviews and Amazon posts, and pins on Pintrest.

The volume of information being created is growing faster than your software is able to sort it out. As a result, you’re often unable to determine the difference between a fake LinkedIn friend request, and a picture from your best friend in college of his new baby. Even with good metadata, it’s still all ‘data’–whether raw unfiltered, or tagged and sourced, it’s all treated like another input to your digital inbox.”

Read the full article at Fast Company.

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May 03 2012

Class Surveys a Campus Staple, Some Go Further

“Every other Monday, right before class ends, Muhammad Zaman, a Boston University biomedical engineering professor, hands out a one-page form asking students to anonymously rate him and the course on a scale of one to five.

It asks more, too: ‘How can the professor improve your learning of the material?’ ‘Has he improved his teaching since the last evaluation? In particular, has he incorporated your suggestions?’ ‘How can the material be altered to improve your understanding of the material?’ ‘Anything else you would like to convey to the professor?’”

A fascinating read as we wrap up the semester – read the full article at the NYT.

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Apr 19 2012

Resources from Stanford’s Persuasive Tech Lab

“The purpose of [Stanford's] Persuasive Technology Lab is to create insight into how computing products – from websites to mobile phone software – can be designed to change people’s beliefs and behaviors. [M]ajor projects include technology for creating health habits, mobile persuasion, and the psychology of Facebook. The Persuasive Tech Lab has a variety of resources compiled here to help you get started.” Read more.

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Apr 14 2012

Join the Boston Innovation Challenge this May!

It’s time to dust off that idea you’ve been thinking about for a mobile site, application, or feature for the past few years…and bring it to a great event in May — the Boston Innovation Challenge (BIC). BIC is a series of two week-long, designated-theme, advanced hacks. Teams of tech developers, designers, and business people address real problems in an open, inclusive environment. Bring your expertise to the effort and compete to be named a winner in the BIC Advanced Hack! This is a great opportunity to network, learn, have fun, and potentially add to your portfolio. For times and locations, visit the site.

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Apr 12 2012

Uncle Sam: If It Ends in .Com, It’s .Seizable

“When U.S. authorities shuttered sports-wagering site Bodog.com last week, it raised eyebrows across the net because the domain name was registered with a Canadian company, ostensibly putting it beyond the reach of the U.S. government. Working around that, the feds went directly to VeriSign, a U.S.-based internet backbone company that has the contract to manage the coveted .com and other ‘generic’ top-level domains.”

Read the full article on Wired.

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Apr 05 2012

Fostering Creativity in the Workplace

“It would be wonderful if the recipe for all kinds of creativity was to take showers and play ping-pong and go on vacation and go for walks on the beach, but when you really talk to people in the creative business, they want to tell their romantic stories about the epiphanies but then if you push them, they say even that epiphany had to go through lots of edits on it and iterations and lots of hard work after we have the big idea. And that’s a big part of the creative process too, and it is not as fun. In fact, there’s evidence that it makes us melancholy and a little bit depressed. But it’s a crucial part in creating something interesting and worthwhile. If creativity were always easy or about these blinding flashes, Picasso would not be so famous.”

Read the full story on NPR.

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Apr 03 2012

A List Apart 2010 [Web Worker] Survey Findings

“For the fourth year in a row, A List Apart and you have teamed up to shed light on precisely who creates websites. Where do we live? What kind of work do we do? What are our job titles? How well or how poorly are we paid? How satisfied are we, and where do we see ourselves going?

Analyses contained in this report should be considered primarily descriptive; no attempt was made to assess causality among survey variables. In plain English, be careful not to extrapolate the observations that follow into predictive or causal relationships.”

View survey results on – you guessed it – A List Apart.

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Mar 22 2012

Is Neuroscience the New ‘Freakonomics’?

“We are, as a society, experiencing a profound reappraisal of traditional economics and its shortcomings. The world is suddenly a lot more irrational than we ever thought, full of black swans. In Economics 101, we’re taught that economic models are able to predict the behavior of coldly rational decision-makers. Charts and graphs follow a simple mathematical beauty. When we lower interest rates, we expect a certain reaction. When we devise incentives for customers, we expect them to react in a certain way. When we provide customers with a menu of choices, we expect them to answer in a certain way.”

Read the full article at The Washington Post.

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Mar 01 2012

6 New Tech Gadgets Help People With Disabilities

The 27th Annual International Tech and Persons With Disabilities Conference is underway in San Diego. At the convention, tech companies unveil gadgets that help people living with disabilities in their daily lives. Learn more on Mashable.

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Feb 22 2012

Write Project Evaluations, Not Project Proposals

“A few years back, we decided to try something new. A potential client approached us and rather than preparing another project proposal, we offered the client what we now call a ‘Project Evaluation’. We charged them a fixed price for which we promised to evaluate the project, in all of our areas of expertise, and give them our recommendations.

That project became a game changer for us, starting an on-going relationship that opened doors into a new market. It was the process of the evaluation itself that brought the new market potential to our attention, and gave us the opportunity to develop this business model. It was a definite win, and one that a project proposal couldn’t have delivered.”

Read the full article on Smashing Magazine.

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