Archive for the ‘Information Design’ Category

Six Circles – An experience design framework

Monday, January 30th, 2012

cover

This ebook has taken far too long to write but at last it is finally finished. The beauty of self-publishing is also the major problem with it – nobody pushes you, you aren’t paid and for all you know nobody will read it once it’s published. I wanted to see how the many different aspects of the book may develop conversations within the user experience community.

Elements of the book have already aged, but the principles continue, even though the examples may not! However, I hope you enjoy the read and I am really interested to know your thoughts, either here or on twitter. Currently it is only an ePub available for mobile devices but if the demand is there, other versions will be made available.

Download Six Circles for Epub readers
(See the comments section below for browser-based ePub readers)

Download Six Circles as a PDF

Some accompanying thoughts

In the last year I have seen how the different elements of the Six Circles transcend user experience, into the fields of brand strategy, service design and customer experience. It is my view that in ten years time we will be talking about what we do today in very different terms due to the contexts that we have to design for, using technology that is only beginning to become pervasive in our physical environment. I predict that UX and Service Design will cease to be differentiated, as they will be so entwined it would be too difficult, and potentially inefficient to separate into different disciplines.

I have seen enough of touch and tablet usage, mobile devices, ‘Everyware’ (and even Microsoft’s shift of it’s Windows 8 platform towards the touch paradigm) to feel that we are in for an exciting decade ahead.

Call it the legacy of Steve Jobs, but what he has left us with is a global population who are more instantly engaged with technology than we could have imagined ten years ago. To allow the very young and very old to interact with content through the same device is a stunning achievement, and for the interface and interaction designers to be able to support a richer experience is truly exciting.

Unfortunately companies are still catching up, fearful of failure and what they perceive as risk. Watching their competitors to see who makes the first move but the time for businesses to be brave and bold is now. There is not much time remaining for some businesses to make use of the power of meaningful, rich experiences delivered by brands that satisfy the culture and contextual uses of the users. Those companies that achieve this will simply dominate at a rate that is faster due to the networked society.

But all the talk of technology misses the point. It is the human needs, desires and emotions and their interactions with each other that create our insights that in turn drive innovation and success for companies. These experiences make the difference. It is the quality of experience that is the differentiator for any company in a crowded market.

Solving people problems will inevitably solve business problems. The challenge is to get businesses to believe in it, and trust those to deliver on the promise of user centred design. But with a process that is understood and a philosophy that appeals to many, there is alot we can do to ensure the business world adopts a path to greater product development, that builds on the needs and wants of people at its core.

Design principles for building user engagement

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

luke   Luke Wroblewski – Content Page Design Best Practices
One of the talks at the IA Summit was by Luke Wroblewski, author of two books and various resources published on his site. If you can see/hear the presentation at this location, I would urge you to do so. There will be something in there I have missed! The content he shared, was an insightful window into how we design pages and how the business requirements of a page may actually work against it. It really reminded me about the mechanics of persuasion, and he highlighted some insights explicitly. The following observations were made by Wroblewski. (more…)

Being that UX team of one

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

 

leah_buley   Leah Buley – How to be a UX team of one
If there was an award for the most enthusiastic and passionate speaker I think Leah Buley would take it.Her presentation, How to be a UX team of one was a real hit, at the recent IA Summit in Miami. Anything with cartoons immediately gets my vote.

It was engaging and inspirational with the hand drawn elements serving to convey the speaker’s personality and it was a refreshing change to the usual slides. (more…)

IA and its changing general dynamics

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

 

milan   Mathew Milan – The Information Architect and the Fighter Pilot

If you click the image to the left you will go to a response to the presentation by Mathew Milan, that contains the presentation slides with audio and numerous comments from readers beneath it.

From my point of view this was the most thought provoking of the presentations because it touches on elements of my design education, that of reflective practice. But it is really important because of the ramifications of Milan’s observations, and the ensuing discussions

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Designing Web Navigation

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

 

designing_web_navigation  

James Kalbach succeeds in bringing together the fundamental components that determine great, and not-so-great, user interfaces. The UI itself must always be respected and the author illustrates exactly why in the journey the book takes us on.

What the book does is show how this can be achieved, from the past, notably from the present and into the future. The illustrations are in colour (critically important for any design book) and give clarity to the text’s important insights. (more…)

Living Wireframes using Office Live

Monday, February 11th, 2008

 

wire_live   The challenge that faces any design project that uses wireframes is that they can easily be snapshots in time and become static. As soon as they are printed or circulated around a stakeholder group they become a moment in the site development’s life cycle. They often can be made redundant due to forces outside of the design project. This can be a potential point of weakness for this valuable deliverable.

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Visual Language 1.0 – BBC layout guidelines

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

 

bbc   Any web designer or IA will find this document really interesting and high value. It makes you thankful for institutions like the BBC who readily share their research with the public. This openness and transparency is really admirable and only possible through public funding. Find out the style and layout properties for the forthcoming BBC web pages here.


Digg!

Design Pattern Libraries – cataloguing success

Monday, January 28th, 2008

 

soa2  

These serve so many different elements to a website design. To not use them seems a bad mistake.

Initially they can help overcome issues about how an element may work on the site. More importantly they clarify the purpose of every element that appears on the page and states the user interaction.

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Wireframes – illustrating design strategy

Monday, January 7th, 2008

 

page_sketch  

The powerful thing about the wire frame is that it removes many emotive aspects of design that will cause division amongst clients. There are no uses of branding , colours or elements of graphic interest on a good wire frame. When they are stripped back to absolute functional essentials it is much easier to explain exactly why key elements are placed in certain areas on the page.

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ComputerWeekly.com- An IA case study

Wednesday, December 5th, 2007

cw_screen_old
The old computerweekly.com

This was not so much a redesign, or even a relaunch, but more of a resurrection of a site that had become tired, old and ineffective. Its many shortcomings were highlighted with the onslaught of the new generation of sites from competitors that used user-generated content and a more social networking approach to their presentation layer.

As this site represented the best of computer related business journalism, it was apt that it should be the company’s first site that underwent a complete overhaul from the ground up.

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