Posts tagged with ‘ux’
Evan Sharp: My background industry is design—I code a lot, too—but there’s been this narrative of design in technology becoming more prominent. What the UI enables on Pinterest is this human activity that ends up creating a great database. And it’s that knitting of front-end and back-end abilities that will power our products. We’re not going to be exclusively the best engineering company—though we have some the best engineers—and we’re not going to be the world’s prettiest, best designed company. What’s interesting is how those things interact, over and over, and back and forth. That’s where the magic comes out. That’s where the best new products are coming out on the Internet.
Alexis Madrigal, What Is Pinterest? A Database of Intentions
I saw a preview for this movie called Non-Stop with Liam Neeson (he has been in action/revenge movie overdrive since his wife died) and it had this unusual way of presenting the character’s text messages to the audience that kind of stuck out to me. It’s always interesting to see how filmmakers incorporate digital communications because they take place on increasingly smaller devices and are often anticlimactic and therefore hard to capture and make dramatic. But I thought this visualization was a nice idea. So I pruned a gif from it.
Information spaces are changing more rapidly than we can design for them. As context-aware computing and artificial intelligence are advancing into consumer markets, the need to structure information and meaning around adaptive systems has never been more important. The past century has seen significant variation in the ways that information is ordered, disordered, constructed, and broken down. Information architecture is about creating order, but these new technological systems are calling for a form of order that borders on paradox: a flexible structure, an adaptive constant, an information cartilage. Context awareness and artificial intelligence are making us think about information in new ways; the big question, the one this paper will hopefully help answer or at least usefully frame, is how we design for such systems.
A large part of the modern era was spent amassing things. The Industrial Revolution gave us the means of producing consumer products in large quantities, and capitalism gave us the motivation and means of self-justification for such excess. But not only with consumer culture: art and literature also changed in the modernist era, especially high modernism, from relatively ordered realism to chaotic abstraction and purposeful transgression. What is unique about all these objects we collected is that they all existed within the bounds of physical space, at least until the mid 20th century. As information technology came into being, we saw a shift from physical objects to digital objects at the same time as we embraced disorder in art on a larger scale than ever before. It seems cliché to refer to an ‘information explosion,’ as it has become wrapped up in everyday life to the extent that we don’t notice it anymore, but we must note that the tendency toward production, coupled with the ability to transgress the bounds of physical space, has resulted in an abundance of information analogous to our abundance of physical objects. As “informational objects” became a reality, we were already conditioned to think in terms of disorder. So we collected them, cherished them, fetishized them, but we didn’t do a great job of organizing them.
The problem associated with too many physical objects compared to too much information is a question of organization and space. It seems unlikely that we will run out of space for our digital objects because we have the capacity to create more space. The challenge, however, is to organize these objects in such a way that we can maintain volume and create meaningful associations. Without organization, information becomes a burden.
Information architecture was born out of the need to organize web-based information into a network of meaningful interactions. Mobile computing allowed digital information to slip off the desktop and into the pockets of users worldwide, resulting in a staggering amount new sources, types, and potential categories of information. It created new information spaces that are not only digital but also transitory, fickle, and unpredictable. In the coming years, as artificial intelligence and contextual computing refine themselves, we are looking at yet another source of information that could prove even more transitory, fickle, and unpredictable. Information architects play a crucial role—if not the crucial role—in ensuring these informational objects will remain meaningful.
The success of this organizational project depends on our understanding of the interplay between physical and digital spaces, concentrating on two of the most interesting movements in computing, which have been gaining momentum for decades: artificial intelligence and context-aware computing. The new information spaces these movements create—i.e., adaptive spaces—call for a re-examination of how digital information relates to physical space. Using Jean Baudrillard and Martin Heidegger’s work as a basis, I argue that the ways we understand contextual and intelligent systems, and subsequently their ultimate success, depends on how their information is organized and its ability to adapt.
I’d like to read the rest of this paper, please.
Chris Dixon makes the observation that new user interface paradigms lead to new notions of ‘productivity app’, by which he seems to mean so-called ‘office apps’.
We are just scratching the surface on the kinds of apps for the iPad…I think there are lots of kinds of content that can be created on the iPad. When I am going to write that 35-page analyst report, I am going to want my Bluetooth keyboard. That’s 1 percent of the time. The software will get more powerful. I think your vision would have to be pretty short to think these can’t grow into machines that can do more things, like editing video, graphic arts, productivity. You can imagine all of these content creation possibilities on these kind of things. Time takes care of lots of these things.
If you go back and look at the history of productivity apps you’ll see that each major user interface shift led to new classes of productivity apps. Back in the 70s and 80s, when computers had text-based interfaces, word processor applications like Wordperfect and spreadsheet applications like Lotus 1-2-3 were invented. In the 80s and 90s, when graphical interfaces became popular, presentation apps like Powerpoint and photo editing apps like Photoshop were invented. If the historical pattern repeats, productivity apps that are “native” to the tablet will be invented.
Chris doesn’t make any predictions, but I will make one. Gestural displays are already having an aesthetic/kinesthetic impact, with tools like Clear showing the way.
But I think the biggest breakthrough will come from apps that allow groups to co-curate better than how we do it now. The activity stream is now the dominant social motif of social tools, but we are being streamed to death in a dozen siloed apps.
There is an opportunity to place social in the OS on our proximal devices. Imagine if iOS 8 (9?) arrived with a social stream baked in (they should have bought Twitter when it was cheap), and that applications could use to push and pull messages into. We could have a single context for all our streaming information, and we could share with people rather than with apps. Google could play along with Android, and we’d see the next generation of apps sharing a model of sociality, just like apps do today for the file system and the web.
I am often asked what UX means. I then give a slightly different answer depending on who I’m talking to (and what their assumed level of base knowledge is). I came across this great excerpt in a blog post from Teresa Neil on Hiring Top UX Talent (seems it’s not just HK [Hong Kong] that has difficulty finding “talent” then):
UX isn’t graphic design and it isn’t web design and it isn’t (just) making wireframes. An experienced UX practitioner will guide you from research to product launch. They should be part of your strategy team, not brought in at the tail end of the design phase to tidy up the wireframes.
If you are hiring a consultant, they should want to be part of your team through launch (and afterwards too). UX isn’t about a hand-off, it is a cornerstone of your project’s success.
Infographic: The Intricate Anatomy Of UX Design
THIS MEGA GRAPHIC ATTEMPTS TO TACKLE THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN UX AND ALL OTHER ASPECTS OF DESIGN.