Thursday, January 22, 2009

Words to inspire user experience designers

Inspire UX - Great quotes!
Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” - Jared Spool

“I’ve been amazed at how often those outside the discipline of design assume that what designers do is decoration—likely because so much bad design simply is decoration. Good design isn’t. Good design is problem solving.” - The Art & Science of Web Design by Jeffrey Veen

“For businesses to bottle the kind of experiences that rivet minds and run away with hearts, not just one time but over and over, they’ll need to do more than hire designers. They’ll need to be designers. They’ll need to think like designers, feel like designers, work like designers. The narrow-gauge mindset of the past is insufficient for today’s wicked problems. We can no longer play the music as written. Instead, we have to invent a whole new scale.” - Marty Neumeier

“When we blame the user, we teach them that technology is perfect and that the errors are their own. Because technology is hard to use, we are teaching a generation to be afraid of technology. We are teaching a generation to believe in their own stupidity… It’s not the user’s fault.” - Jono DiCarlo

“Most [clients] expect experience design to be a discrete activity, solving all their problems with a single functional specification or a single research study. It must be an ongoing effort, a process of continually learning about users, responding to their behaviors, and evolving the product or service.” - Dan Brown

“Don’t design for everyone. It’s impossible. All you end up doing is designing something that makes everyone unhappy.” - Leisa Reichelt

“If you want to reach the greatest number of users possible, it’s best to write clearly and simply and design your interfaces to be consistent from page to page. For some people, simple usability advice like this is an absolute accessibility need… And anyway, people of all abilities fail tasks that are confusing. Why should we all suffer an interface that proves itself to be unusable?” - Matt May

“Technological advances have always been driven more by a mind-set of ‘I can’ than ‘I should’… Technologists love to cram maximum functionality into their products. That’s ‘I can’ thinking, which is driven by peer competition and market forces… But this approach ignores the far more important question of how the consumer will actually use the device… focus on what we should be doing, not just what we can.” - John Maeda

“It’s always helpful to look outside of the web for your inspiration, to places where you might not at first expect to find a solution. The world is a collage of inspiration, from newspapers, magazine publishing, and advertising to product design, architecture and the fine arts.” - Andy

“Designing a website can be a bit like being a kid and inheriting a sweetshop. It’s easy to get carried away. There are so many choices. A website can be like an attic that never fills up. Space is not the problem. Attention is.” - Gerry McGovern

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Design Anthropology

Dori Tunstall (professor of design anthropology at University of Illinois, Chicago) has just written a great piece for the Adobe Design Center's Think Tank on the intersection of anthropology and design.

In her brief article she clearly describes how an understanding of culture and people informs good design. She presents case studies and a simple academic framework for an anthropological understanding of people that makes design successful and powerful. This is a great read.
It may seem like an obvious argument on the surface: designing for a "known" is much better than designing for an "unknown". But one of the things that Tunstall does so well is characterize what it means to be "known". She correctly reminds us that anthropology has moved beyond a primarily colonial focus on the exotic "other" and has brought huge value to design and innovation by focusing on notions of change, identity, and power - and that all these things help us know people and design well for them.

Design Anthropology is not about understanding behavior, but rather about understanding, in Dr. Tunstall's words, "what it means to be human."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Design Career guidance session at ICAT-Image College of Art, Animation and Technology

Ranjeet & Raj @ Career guidance session at ICAT-Hyderabad
I was been invited for a guest lecture and career guidance session at ICAT-Image College of Art, Animation and Technology, Hyderabad. (ICAT) is a unique college, set up to identify, introduce and prepare students exclusively for a career in the Digital Media industry. Image College of Arts, Animation & Technology (ICAT) offers a range of courses extending from Under Graduate to Post Graduate programs and offer programs in 3D Animation, Visual Effects, Game Design and Game Development. This is India’s Largest Digital Media CollegePioneering Full Time Education in design / animation and multimedia in India.
There were 150+ students in the conference room. Initially I thought of teaching new techniques in multimedia / graphics and VFX industry and when I had interaction with the audience, I felt there is some need to give a design / graphics industry overview.
I have covered these topics in detail:
  • Visual Design
  • Emotional design
  • Usability & User experience
  • Inspirations for gaming experiences
  • Multimedia (Industry Domains)
  • Design & Animation careers & challenges
  • Finally…..Question & Answers

This went for ~4-5 hours continues session and was more interactive. My friend Rajasekhar Reddy also has presented his topic on Careers in Web & Graphics. Finally this was really great experience to do some career awareness programs and helping / guiding upcoming professionals just with skill set and experience.

I would like to give back to the society with my skill set and domain experience without charging anything... I am ready to help / support any education institutions / engineering colleges to share my knowledge in these areas:

  • User experience design
  • Usability engineering
  • Multimedia
  • Animation & Graphics
  • Logography & Branding

Please get in touch me if you represent a Non-Profitable organization, NGO, Charity / Voluntary organization, Educational institutions, computer training centers working for a good cause.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Missing IxDA - Interaction 09 conference

The Interaction Design Association (IxDA) 2nd annual conference will be held February 5-9th in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. IxDA 09 is being held in conjunction with Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Arts and Technology. Several hundred Interaction Designers from around the world will come together to address the design of various types of interactive systems: web and desktop applications, mobile, consumer electronics, digitally enhanced environments, and more.Interaction 09 will feature three days of inspirational and tactical sessions geared at anyone who practices Interaction Design, as well as a day of pre-conference workshops.Pre-Conference workshops are starting to fill up, but there is still space left.

Some of the invigorating sessions available include:
Well, we did all this research . . . now what?
So you want to be a hardware / software Interaction Designer . . .
Web Form Design
Designing and Building with Patterns and Pattern LibrariesOut of the many sessions this year, the ones I am looking forward to the most include:
Rapid Design Labs
Sketching haptic and multimodal interaction

Designing Natural Interfaces: Notes from the Multi-Touch, Multi-User Frontlines
Mission Critical Interaction DesignThe six keynote speakers this year are:
John Thackara
Genevieve Bell
Dan Saffer
Fiona Raby
Marc Reddig

Kim GoodwinInteraction 09 will be a great experience for any Interaction Designer to network, fine tune their skills, and have a great time. Prior to and during the conference, there is a social networking site attendees use to discuss events, outside activities, and lots more!

I am truly missing this.. best of luck you focks who are attending!

my photostream

ranZeethT - View my flickr photo stream