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Ux News & Analysis

How To: Getting Started in User Experience (UX)

I have seen the question on Quora. I have seen the question on LinkedIn. I have seen the question on so many different online properties that I have lost count. The summarized question is: "How do I get started in learning about UX (User Experience)?". I have yet to see an answer that makes me believe that someone could take it and really move forward into learning the field and ultimately get a job. The biggest problem is that I don't find the question to be phrased in a way that a highly experienced UX professional can meaningfully answer without completely reframing the question.

Asking "How do I get started in learning UX?" or conversely "How do I become an expert at UX?" assumes there is a simplistic answer and belies a overly simplistic view of the wide range of disciplines that make up the genre of User Experience.

Journal from an Intranet Voyage: Assembling the Crew

When we last left our band of intrepid explorers of employee experience, I had explained our "big tent" strategy of inclusion along with how the cupcake approach to product strategy would be used to counter inclusion's seemingly inseparable compatriot, longer timelines.  We had just successfully avoided the pitfalls of a consensus culture and were now looking forward to identifying and selecting a vendor for a strategy engagement.

Journal from an Intranet Voyage: Tents and Timing

In my last journal entry, I chronicled the beginning of my enterprise's efforts to re-envision the company intranet and detailed our team's strategy to change the conversation around the intranet program and its priority relative to projects with more compelling returns on investment. We had just received approval to develop a strategy engagement with an outside firm and we were just starting our efforts to share some of our thoughts on a vision with a wider audience.

Journal from an Intranet Voyage: Changing the Conversation

As I recently have been afforded the opportunity to help my enterprise improve our intranet, I've decided to chronicle this effort in a series of articles over the course of the journey. Before I begin, a little context.

My enterprise just completed a software upgrade of its SharePoint infrastructure to the latest version, but has not had a significant design upgrade in more than 7 years. There is a consensus that the intranet does not meet the needs of the employee population within a dynamically changing environment. There has been several years of frustration regarding getting the financial, Information Technology (IT) and design resources necessary for making any significant improvement to the experience.

Customer Experience: Reduce Customer Effort

Words such as "loyalty", "engagement", "community", and "experience" describe a largely false relationship between customers and organizations.

Think User Experience is About Creating Great Designs? Think Again!

Some people think User Experience (UX) is about creating great designs. It is not. Would you like to know who thinks that? People outside UX, Interaction Designers, Graphic Designers, UX novices and mediocre UX practitioners. 

Some people think UX is about creating empathy with your users. It is not. Would you like to know who thinks that? Above average UX practitioners.

Some people think UX is about creating sustainable business models. It is not. Would you like to know who thinks that? Nearly great UX practitioners.

Big Data Presents New Challenges for Online Publishers

shutterstock_70007632.jpg Big data is changing online publishing. As a result of this growing phenomenon, publishers are now facing four key challenges and exploring new ways to tackle them.

UX is Destroying the World! Will UX Come to the Rescue?

My article from last week was a labor of love and I was pleased with the quality of the Twitter response. The big shortcoming of the article, correctly pointed out by my editor, is a shortcoming of my articles in general. It is not even close to accessible to the audience on CMSWire. My use of terms like "reductionism," "monists" and "unary thinkers," while precise and evocative, are not the best choice in terms of audience accessibility. This lack of accessibility from a writing perspective is akin to making a functional site or interface intimidating and lacking in affordance (another fancy UX word).

Best Practices, Social Business Strategies Abound at J. Boye 2012 Philadelphia #jboye12

j.boye 2012small.pngIn a few weeks (May 8-10), many web and intranet professionals will gather in Philadelphia for the J.Boye conference at which they’ll learn how to turn digital challenges into successful projects. Whether it’s best practices for Intranets, tips to drive user adoption, or web strategy and governance, there’s something for everyone. Yours truly will also be presenting about how to manage engage across web, mobile and social media channels.

How to Pick the Right Design Agency: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Last week, I wrote about the different types of agencies and consultancies out there and gave a few hints about how to discern between them and what some of their high-level strengths and weaknesses are. I specifically chose to avoid writing about the RFI/RFP process itself as I'm sure it's been covered before by people more qualified than I. This week I promised to help people understand some of the nuances around the actual selection process and how to avoid some of the biggest pitfalls that plague enterprises of all sizes, including startups.

How to Pick the Right Design Agency: The Selection Process

It starts with inspiration. It starts with an idea of something new. Something that people -- users and executives alike -- will love.

Customer Experience: Why Are Ugly Websites So Successful?

"Techmeme has redesigned," Gabe Rivera founder of the popular technology news site wrote in January 2012. "Drudge Report is now indisputably the web's ugliest news site."

Web Content: Should Links be Underlined?

The most important thing is that a link is clearly understood to be a link. That way, when you scan the page you can immediately identify the links.

2012 Will Elevate the Experience in Customer Experience Management [SPONSORED]

Sponsored ArticleIn 2011, we saw the category of Customer Experience Management  (CXM) enter the scene. No longer was the web only about information sharing; we watched it explode to include an intricate set of social connections and mobile apps.

In 2012, we will likely see Customer Experience Management evolve into a deeper and more sophisticated engagement with any user engaging the riveting technology advancements in the online world of social, mobile or web apps.

Social media may have started out as a place for people to connect, converse and collaborate, but for the savvy marketer, it quickly evolved into an untapped treasure trove of potential customers.

For the enterprise, social media offers an even bigger opportunity in 2012 as it makes its way into productivity applications where users will desire the same friendly, accessible interface in their daily tasks. The experience for the savvy business user will look to social media as a common ground.

Why shouldn’t an employee’s training certifications be as easy to identify as their hobbies on Facebook? With advancements in gamification and leaderboards, healthy competition for stickers, badges and awards could find their way into the workplace.

2011 also saw the emergence of "B.Y.O.D" -- IT had to make a decision on which devices they would support. Just as social media is more than a marketing channel (it is becoming a way of life), mobile goes beyond the apps.

Marketers who dipped their toe into the mobile waters in 2011, will continue be able to take advantage of the "always on" customer in 2012. Mobile marketing has an opportunity to expand into value-add apps that prove both productive and engaging for all information seekers – on any screen, anytime, anywhere.

Companies like Emergency Medicine Physicians (EMP) have modified the user experience to provide one-click access to popular content across many different mobile devices. EMP measures the length of time each doctor spends on the site as an increase in productivity. Doctors can tailor their one pane of glass to include their favorite "apps" and the browser and mobile experience are transparent. EMP’s goal was to simplify for empowerment.

If this resonates with you, check out the EMP case study here.

2012 offers a multi-channel experience that engages each user to his or her fullest potential. Success in Customer Experience Management depends on the ability of the organization to place a sophisticated understanding of the customer at the heart of every business interaction.

Stay tuned here as the story evolves.

Customer Experience: The Optimism Bias, or Don't Believe Satisfaction Surveys

We need to move to an evidence-based model of understanding people's needs based on what they actually do, not what they say they do.

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