Archive for May, 2011

The emperor has no Pepsi

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

There’s a great article over on the Guardian newspaper regarding the recent Pepsi re-branding. It’s been around a while, but I had not come across it, and a friend just pointed it out to me: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/mar/07/bad-science-pepsi-rebranding. It’s both depressing and hilarious all at once.

(more…)

Six strategies for Agile UX

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

User experience design in the context of Agile development seems, for some reason, to remain a hot topic. There is a perception that design and agility are somehow in conflict, which seems odd to me – I’ve always though of design as a naturally Agile process (if only due to it’s inherently iterative nature – all design solutions are always open to improvement).

I tend to think of design as something that begins before development in order to, first of all, validate the business hypothesis, then provide context and frame the problems being addressed during an Agile iteration cycle. Business and customer feedback from deployment of the cycle (sprint, whatever) subsequently helps inform future design efforts.

Even when the overall strategy is as banal as to simply throw shit at the wall and see what sticks, I have found that costs can always be mitigated to a signficant degree by having a little more customer insight and knowing, to extend the metaphor, which bits of wall are likely to be sticky.

Austin Govella has six useful points to bear in mind, touching the importance of on modeling, collaboration, and communicating effectively, amongst other things: http://www.thinkingandmaking.com/view/agile-ux-six

The importance of user experience

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Here’s a great concept map by Bryce Glass on the importance of user experience. It’s been around for a while, but I’ve only just come across it: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bryce/106972762/ It’s particularly cool because it frames ux in terms of a users expectations and the consequences of their experiences.

Interaction design for startups

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

The folks over at Startup2Startup have posted a very interesting video from a recent panel session with Kate Aronowitz (head of UX at Facebook), Jason Putori (ex-Mint) and Garry Tan dealing with the challenges of delivering effective user experiences in a startup context.

I was very pleased to see Kate Aronowitz making a strong statement emphasizing the importance of qualitative user research – even in the early stages of a startup (comment begins at 18:15).

Check it out here: http://startup2startup.com/2011/04/10/april-12th-interaction-design-for-startups/