Big Ideas

For years, UX professionals have vigorously lobbied for a “seat at the table” when it comes to formative decisions about products and product development. Looking back at 2012, trends indicate that this wish is becoming reality. Many leading UX consultants reported that their clients are more open to research and design methods with a UX…

“A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem” – Albert Einstein My work involves helping people to understand how to best plan circumstances in which users are engaged and satisfied with their experience. Yet, I do not call myself a user experience designer. I am an information architect. I…

Parental advisory for strong language, guru deflating and semantics.    A couple of years ago, I was asked to speak about “design thinking” at a web conference. The conference-speaking part was nothing new, but the topic certainly was. With the “design thinking” wave having just recently peaked, I had yet to even come up with…

I’m tired of discussing “user experience.” What it is, what it isn’t. I’m tired of talking about wireframes vs prototypes. I’m tired of the agile-lean-waterfall debates. I’m weary from discussing personas and sitemaps. I’m wary of design patterns, and I’m pretty sure the term “user” has held us back. Above all, I’m tired of defining…

November 13th, 2012

Mythic Design

When I agreed to teach a twelve-week course on user experience design, I did what anyone of us would do: I went to find something to copy. I trolled the articles and syllabi I could find online, and I was horrified. Sometime in the years between Jesse James Garrett’s lovely diagram and his incendiary demand…

There is no UX for us That’s right! I said it. For us (designers, information architects, interaction designers, usability professionals, HCI researchers, visual designers, architects, content strategists, writers, industrial designers, interactive designers, etc.) the term user experience design (UX) is useless. It is such an over generalized term that you can never tell if someone…

November 13th, 2012

Whither “User Experience Design”?

Like a lot of folks, I find the term “user experience design” awkward and unsatisfying, at once vague and grandiose, and not accurately descriptive of what I do. Too often it seems like a term untethered, in search of something — anything — we might use it to name. And yet I often call myself…

June 18th, 2012

The Past and Future of Experience Design

What a difference 10 years make

Once there was a big debate on: Is experience design about online and mobile interfaces or is it something more?

Ten years later, not only is it part of our professional language, designers are exploring its potential, learning from everything from science fiction to behavioral psychology.

September 7th, 2011

Alignment Diagrams

Focusing the business on shared value

Alignment diagrams bring actions, thoughts, and people together to address the causes of poor experience at their root. James Kalbach shows how designers can use this tool to solve business problems and have real business impact.

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