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Archive for February, 2012

Shorcuts to Personas – what works?

Personas are incredibly helpful at informing project teams because they are powerful mnemonics for large amounts of data. They combine our ability to perceive and recognize other human faces and our ability to remember stories in a light, accessible document. Personas are based on deep research of the users through interviews, observations, and other reliable sources of data.

The reality is that we don’t always have the luxury of being able to conduct the research to create a persona. What can we do?

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Posted in UX

#IdeaNotebook: Google Science Fair 2012

Google Science Fair 2012 logoGoogle is sponsoring its second annual global science fair for students aged 13-18. This competition calls for the “brightest young scientists from around the world to submit interesting, creative projects that are relevant to the world today.”

I have always found science fair and similar intellectual challenges to be incredibly inspiring. Falling into a rut of thinking is so easy, and we don’t even realize it’s happened. We have to solve many problems every day in our work and personal lives that we learn certain patterns for quickly analyzing the situation. We build up a mental file cabinet of solutions that we draw from regularly. That serves us well, so we continue to do this. Less often, though, do we challenge those previously successful patterns and innovate new solutions. One of the things that make science fairs and other student competitions wonderful to observe is that the young participants typically haven’t had so much time to develop ingrained patterns of thinking. Consequently, they think about problems in unique and inspiring ways. Read the rest of this post »

Wish your users Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is about celebrating people we care about. It seems like a good holiday to focus on increasing our empathy and compassion for our customers and our users. Here are a few perspectives on why empathy is good for innovation and success as well as thoughts on cultivating compassion. Read the rest of this post »

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Posted in Design, Innovations, UX

Empathy fail: Mistakes UX designers make

In “The top mistakes UX designers make: the writeup,” Scott Berkun shares common errors about culture and attitude that designers and user researchers make. Sadly, most of the mistakes seemed to result when we fail to have empathy for our colleagues. The following summarizes just a few of Berkun’s points that I found particularly interesting and distressingly familiar: Read the rest of this post »

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Posted in Musings, UX

Musings on 2012 design and tech predictions

This past month, I’ve been reading many of the prognostications for technology and design that proliferate in the technosphere at the beginning of each new year. As I have read various lists, I thought about how the success of these predictions is likely to involve integrating ideas from both areas. I consider a couple of themes and some underlying ideas that emerged from a number of predictions for technology and design in 2012. Read the rest of this post »

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Posted in Design, Musings, Trends, UX