January 8th, 2013

Understanding the Business

How to Get Good, Usable Requirements, Part One

Boxes and Arrows is delighted to share this excerpt from Kim Goodwin’s excellent Designing for the Digital Age. When I recently taught a class on user experience design, I found few good resources on gathering business requirements. I was so happy when I cracked open Kim’s book and found exactly what my students needed. And…

January 2nd, 2013

End User License Agreement (EULA) Presentation

Mobile Welcome Experience Antipattern

This is an excerpt from the upcoming “Android Design Patterns: Interaction Design Solutions for Developers” (Wiley, 2013) by Greg Nudelman The first thing your customers see when they download and open your app is the welcome mat you roll out for them. Unfortunately, this welcome mat commonly contains unfriendly impediments to progress and engagement: End…

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

Not Dead Yet

When Boxes and Arrows was founded a little over ten years ago, there was nothing quite like it online. There were peer-reviewed journals, and basic how-to articles. A List Apart was much more concerned with the CSS behind the interface back then, and UX Matters, Johnny Holland and Smashing Magazine were not even a twinkle in…

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…

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