How to Make a Customer Journey Map for Experience Design

At some point in every project, we are asked, “How does this product/service create value for our customers?” or better yet, “How might we create value for our customers?” Customer Journey Maps are well suited to answer these questions. Read more on How to Make a Customer Journey Map for Experience Design…

A Tale of Two Approaches to Innovation – IxD vs. Proto/Test

“So you can’t go out and ask people, you know, ‘What’s the next big thing?’ There’s a great quote by Henry Ford, right? He said, ‘If I’d have asked my customers what they wanted, they would have told me ‘A faster horse.’” – Steve Jobs, 2008

This quote from Steve Jobs was very much on my mind this summer when Alan Cooper sent out a series of tweets about differences between interaction design (IxD) and the prototype/test/learn (proto/test) approach to product development.
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Design Thinking and Atomic Project Leadership

IDEO sees design thinking as three lenses through which we can view design: desirability (human), viability (business), and feasibility (technical). Atomic’s project leadership roles (Design, Delivery, Development) share a significant alignment with these dimensions. That alignment strengthens our long-held belief that everyone on the team has a place in the design conversation.
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Should UX/UI Designers Code? Finding a Balance Between Yes and No

“Should software designers code?” I have heard this question asked over and over again within the design community. There’s not a definitive answer, but if we extrapolate the question and ask it in a few different ways, I think we can better understand the role a designer plays in writing code for projects. Read more on Should UX/UI Designers Code? Finding a Balance Between Yes and No…

“Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design

Ever had a refreshing ice-cold Mexican Coca-Cola in that sweet glass bottle? The bottle just looks and feels right. Now close your eyes. Imagine the Shell Oil logo. It became so iconic that the company dropped its name from the displays at their filling stations. What about the fuselage of Air Force One? It pops instantly into mind, right? Anyone who has ever been to Johnson Space Center in Houston will also remember the interiors of Skylab and the Apollo moon mission capsules. All these objects are the work of one man: Raymond Loewy. Read more on “Most Advanced, Yet Acceptable” Software Design…

The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers

Practicing empathy is for more than designers. Having empathy makes you a better designer software consultant. The notion that being empathetic can make you a better consultant is not a new one. The word “empathy” is thrown around a lot in software, but usually in a buzzword-like fashion. So, what does being empathetic mean in our line of work? How should we practice it? And who deserves it? Read more on The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers…

Why and How to Discuss Design with Developers

In Art & Design School, design critique can be brutal. It’s often focused on judging whether or not work is “good” or “bad.” Reviews of work can be scathing, leaving art and design students running from the studio in tears.

Many professors say that critique is part of preparing students for work in a real world where creative directors possess brutal egos focused on crushing their underlings. I’m not sure that world is anything but a delusion. I’m also skeptical that this form of critique does anything but leave students scarred with bad memories, hesitant to throw themselves into collaborative environments.
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Five Things I Wish I’d Known As a Design Student

I was recently asked to serve on an internship/job panel for design students at a local university. Upon reflecting on my post-graduation life, I realized some things I wish I knew as a student about to enter the workforce. I compiled those realizations into a list of advice for soon-to-be graduating students.
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Radio Buttons, Checkboxes, and Toggles, Oh My!

Lately, I’ve been noticing radio buttons, checkboxes, and toggles being used almost interchangeably on a lot of apps and websites. Perhaps I’m just noticing the issue more since it’s one I’ve been extremely careful to avoid on my current project. It’s like when you buy a new car and suddenly everyone on your street is driving the same one. Regardless of the reason for my sudden realization, the bottom line is this: Radio buttons are not checkboxes. Checkboxes are not toggles. Toggles are not radio buttons. Each one of these elements serves a distinct purpose.
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