Sketchnotes by Craighton Berman from SXSW.
user experience and design research: quick and dirty methods, evangelism, and inspiration
In an age of information overload, information discovery — the service of bringing to the public’s attention that which is interesting, meaningful, important, and otherwise worthy of our time and thought — is a form of creative and intellectual labor, and one of increasing importance and urgency. A form of authorship, if you will.
One of the most magical things about the Internet is that it’s a whimsical rabbit hole of discovery — we start somewhere familiar and click our way to a wonderland of curiosity and fascination we never knew existed. What makes this contagion of semi-serendipity possible is an intricate ecosystem of “link love” — a via-chain of attribution that allows us to discover new wonderlands through those we already know and trust.
What is curation? Or, more properly phrased (according to Dan Brown, curator of contemporary art at the Carnegie Museum), what is curating?
Here are some digestible notes toward a definition from Noah Brier, co-founder at Percolate:
A way to create content in a very lightweight way… a hybrid publishing model: combining third party content with original thinking to create something bigger.
via Laughing Squid
“Designers should have self-awareness. They should intimately understand not only their strengths and weaknesses, but other aspects of their personalities and preferences that impact their projects.” Ask yourself:
What to prepare, and how to connect collocated team members.
By adapting a card-sorting exercise, a user research method often used to understand how people categorize and group options on a website, my team was able to prioritize user goals for a registration flow.
First, we generated a list of 15 known user goals based on feedback from customer-facing teams (account managers and business development folks). I stuck each goal on an index card and, during a recent participatory design session, gave each participant his or her own stack with several blank cards included. I then asked them to rank the goals, tossing out any irrelevant ones and adding goals that hadn’t been identified. Each person explained his or her choices and I then gave the observation team the chance to ask follow-up questions.
About half the participants not only ranked the goals, but also grouped them into buckets like “essential,” “nice to have,” and “low priority.” The rankings helped my team to identify patterns in user goals and prioritize them. The buckets made it clear to my team that some users think in terms of “deal-breakers.” Certain goals need to be addressed together in the presentation of the product in order for the value proposition to be communicated successfully.
An entertaining riff on Nielsen’s 10 usability heuristics.
Love the presentation of #6: “Wow… and WOAH!”
I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.
- pablo picasso
David Kelley encourages designers to apply their skills inside organizations and to think about other disciplines and POVs in an organization as constraints - just part of the design challenge to be tackled.
Interesting thoughts, too, on trends in social impact and how that’s made things easier for design in some ways.
Only 3 minutes!
Lest we think only the experts can design and innovate.
The students researched what their peers wanted in terms of school furniture, sketched out their ideas, created 3D computer models and physical mock-ups, and learned about appropriate materials and manufacturing techniques.
This video lets you hear about and see the sketches and prototypes - first on paper and then in 3D - that these 8th graders created to present and test their ideas.