Connecting: A short film that explores trends in UI, Interaction, & Experience Design — from connectingthefilm.com with thanks to siobhan-o-flynn for scooping this!

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ConnectingShortFilmApril2013

 

Description:

The 18 minute “Connecting” documentary is an exploration of the future of Interaction Design and User Experience from some of the industry’s thought leaders. As the role of software is catapulting forward, Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming “Internet of things.” Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a “super organism” capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world. Available with Chinese, French, Spanish,German, Korean, Portuguese, and Japanese subtitles at on YouTube.

From DSC:
After briefly reviewing the Infographic: The intricate anatomy of UX design (from fastcodesign.com by Mark Wilson) which “attempts to tackle the relationship between UX and all other aspects of design,” two thoughts immediately came to my mind:

  1. To me, this is why intuition and a sense of keeping things simple (less is more) are so important.
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  2. It’s a miracle that things lined up so that someone like Steve Jobs not only had so many of these design-related skills, but also the business skills — and opportunities — to persuade others to bring those ideas to fruition. Had he not grown up where he did…and had he not been mentored by whom he was mentored…and had he not met those he met…I wonder…how many of his ideas would have ever come to fruition?
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Also see:

 

 

30 compelling examples of visual storytelling on the web — from dtelepathy.com by Jessica Moon

Excerpt:

Storytelling is a powerful approach that can, when done right, compel users to convert more effectively than what any amount of optimization, crazy visual callouts, or awesome interactive elements can do otherwise. Much like how we expect to see a moral at the end of a book, we expect to find a purpose at the end of a site with a storytelling experience. When the path to the “moral of the story” (or conversion point, to be more specific) is laid out clearly in front of our users’ eyes, the rest of the work lies simply in convincing them that the purpose is really worth grabbing on to… which is great since with storytelling, a user is normally in the mindset of learning more about what the story has to offer. So take a look at the examples below and experience how their visual storytelling compels you to continue scrolling down their pages!

From DSC:
I understand that Mr. George Lucas is going to express his generosity in donating the $4.05 billion from the sale of Lucasfilm to education.

Here’s a question/idea that I’d like to put forth to Mr. Lucas (or to the United States Department of Education, or to another interested/committed party):

Would you consider using the $4+ billion gift to build an “Online Learning Dream Team?”

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Daniel Christian -- The Online Learning Dream Team - as of November 2012

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 Original image credit (before purchased/edited by DSC)
yobro10 / 123RF Stock Photo

 

 

From DSC:
What do you think? What other “players” — technologies, vendors, skillsets, etc. — should be on this team?

  • Perhaps videography?
  • Online tutoring?
  • Student academic services?
  • Animation?
  • Digital photography?

 

Designing for context: The multiscreen ecosystem — from uxmag.com by Avi Itzkovitch

Excerpt:

To create applications and systems that are easy to use, it is crucial to understand the user and the context in which the app will be used. Understanding the context helps design systems that anticipate use cases at a relevant time of use. The more unobtrusive and transparent the experience is at the time of use, the better the design. This means the user does not have to think about the device he is using, changes in the environment, or changes in context, and can rely on great functionality and ease of use independent of his situation.

In traditional systems, the context of use did not change much. Whether the use was in the office or at a personal computer at home, the surroundings were similar and there was no need to adapt to different environments. In today’s world, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and smart TVs provide different services in different contexts. These services are consumed by a variety of users and require different interaction models, use cases, and planning. For this reason, UX professionals should first design for the context of use in order to provide better experiences and ultimately enhance the intended purpose of the product.

Talking to machines and being heard : Getting started with speech recognition — from uxmag.com by Dave Rich

Excerpt:

Speech recognition presents an exciting and dynamic set of challenges and opportunities for UX designers. With the mass-market reception of consumer technologies such as Apple’s Siri and the near-omnipresence of speech in telephone applications, speech recognition is a computer–human interface many people interact with daily. Speech applications range from self-service telephone systems such as banking applications, to mobile applications that allow users to speak commands and compose messages with their voice. In the future, we can expect to see many different applications integrate speech recognition in some form. The time is near when speech will be the most universal user interface.

Addendum on 7/12/12:

Beyond Siri - A report regarding the future of Virtual Assistants -- from VisionMobile -- June 2012

 

Contents

  • Virtual assistants: four generations in 20 years
  • The evolving VA technology landscape
  • The VA Competitive landscape
  • VA business models: Revenue share rather than paid app downloads
  • Leaders and challengers in the VA value chain
  • Beyond Siri: What’s in store in the VA market

Behind this report

  • Lead researcher: Marlène Sellebråten
  • Project lead: Michael Vakulenko
  • Marketing lead: Matos Kapetanakis
  • Editorial: Andreas Constantinou

 

Cognition & the intrinsic user experience — from UX Magazine by Jordan Julien

Excerpt:

Over the past few years there’s been a lot of discussion around whether an experience can be designed. But it seems like everyone’s just getting hung up on semantics; an experience can be designed, but the user will always have the opportunity to experience it in a unique way. The reason every experience has the potential to be unique to the user is, in part, because cognition is unique to each user.

Cognition is about knowledge and understanding, so there’s a ton of psychological principles that fall under the umbrella of cognition. I’ll focus on two principles that, once understood, will elevate a UX practitioner’s designs to a whole new level.

Excerpt

 

Cognitive Barriers vs Cognitive Load

In Silicon Valley, designers emerge as rock stars — from Reuters.com by Gerry Shih

Excerpt:

The new breed of “user experience” designers – part sketch artist, part programmer, with a dash of behavioral scientist thrown in – are some of the most sought-after employees in technology. Entry-level interactive designers at startups are commanding salaries easily topping $80,000, almost twice the median pay for primarily print designers of about $45,000, according to a recent survey by the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

From DSC:
From my experience with Internet-related work and careers, most people are either gifted in the front end of things (interface design, graphic design, web design, etc.) or in the back end of things (programming, databases, scripting, e-commerce, security, etc.). I have seen individuals who can do both…but it’s rare that someone is deeply versed in both sides of the coin.

What are we doing in higher ed to foster more cross-disciplinary skills/assignments/projects/teams like this?

 

Why Angry Birds is so successful and popular: A cognitive teardown of the user experience — from Pulse > UX by Charles L. Mauro

Excerpt:

Simple yet engaging interaction concept: This seems an obvious point, but few realize that a simple interaction model need not be, and rarely is, procedurally simple. Simplification means once users have a relatively brief period of experience with the software, their mental model of how the interface behaves is well formed and fully embedded. This is known technically as schema formation. In truly great user interfaces, this critical bit of skill acquisition takes place during a specific use cycle known as the First User Experience or FUE. When users are able to construct a robust schema quickly, they routinely rate the user interface as “simple”. However, simple does not equal engaging. It is possible to create a user interface solution that is initially perceived by users as simple. However, the challenge is to create a desire by users to continue interaction with a system over time, what we call user “engagement”.

What makes a user interface engaging is adding more detail to the user’s mental model at just the right time. Angry Birds’ simple interaction model is easy to learn because it allows the user to quickly develop a mental model of the game’s interaction methodology, core strategy and scoring processes. It is engaging, in fact addictive, due to the carefully scripted expansion of the user’s mental model of the strategy component and incremental increases in problem/solution methodology. These little birds are packed with clever behaviors that expand the user’s mental model at just the point when game-level complexity is increased. The process of creating simple, engaging interaction models turns out to be exceedingly complex. Most groups developing software today think expansion of the user’s mental model is for the birds. Not necessarily so.

Other key items discussed:

  • Simple yet engaging interaction concept
  • Cleverly managed response time
  • Short-term memory management
  • Mystery
  • How things sound
  • How things look
  • Measuring that which some say cannot be measured

 

From DSC:
What Apple is able to do with many of their hardware and software products, what Charles describes here with Angry Birds, what Steelcase did with their Media:Scape product’s puck — and other examples — point out that creating something that is “easy” is actually quite hard.

 

How will technologies like AirPlay affect education? I suggest 24x7x365 access on any device may be one way. By Daniel S. Christian at Learning Ecosystems blog-- 1-17-11.

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Addendum on 1-20-11:
The future of the TV is online
— from telegraph.co.uk
Your television’s going to get connected, says Matt Warman


What is user experience design? Overview, tools and resources — from SmashingMagazine.com

Websites and Web applications have become progressively more complex as our industry’s technologies and methodologies advance. What used to be a one-way static medium has evolved into a very rich and interactive experience.

But regardless of how much has changed in the production process, a website’s success still hinges on just one thing: how users perceive it. “Does this website give me value? Is it easy to use? Is it pleasant to use?” These are the questions that run through the minds of visitors as they interact with our products, and they form the basis of their decisions on whether to become regular users.

User experience design is all about striving to make them answer “Yes” to all of those questions. This guide aims to familiarize you with the professional discipline of UX design in the context of Web-based systems such as websites and applications.

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01 User Experience Graphic in What Is User Experience Design?  Overview, Tools And Resources

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04 Things To Worry About in What Is User Experience Design?  Overview, Tools And Resources

What websites could learn from mobile (UX) — from uxbooth.com

Mobile applications and websites are hugely popular right now. Limitations of the mobile hardware has meant that certain design conventions need to be used to make them a success. Could some of these mobile conventions be used to improve your website design?

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25 user experience videos that are worth your time — from SmashingMagazine.com

We’re all mostly accustomed to educating ourselves by reading articles. Rare are the opportunities to attend conferences or watch live shows on subjects that we’re interested in. That’s why we are presenting here phenomenal videos and related resources on the topic of user experience (UX) by different presenters at different events. We have focused on current content but have included some older videos that are still relevant. It will take you more than 16 hours to watch all of these videos. So, make some popcorn, turn off the lights and enjoy.

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