Unless you’ve been living under a rock the last few weeks, you’ve already heard about the verdict in the technology Trial of the Century, pitting Apple against Samsung in a battle over who violated whose intellectual property. The blogosphere is abuzz with what Apple’s decisive victory means to the consumer electronics industry, Apple’s rivalry with [...]
I’ve attended two conferences in the last three weeks—Jared Spool’s UX Immersions conference, and CHI 2012, the primary computer-human interaction conference. UX Immersions was the smaller conference, focusing this year on the Agile/UX interface and on design for mobile devices. It was a great group of very focused people and, as it was run by Jared’s [...]
What makes products cool? Sign up now for our webinar on Cool Innovation and find out!
I’m pleased to announce my article on “What Makes Things Cool?” has just been published in the November issue of Interactions. See the front cover of your copy of Interactions or buy a copy of the PDF here. Any time that a new platform emerges, it calls for new design principles and techniques to truly [...]
Products are produced by using a process – the way people organize themselves to get things done. Whether it is a formal process with a name or just the habits of working that get built up in a culture, nothing is produced without some kind of “way” of doing things. Companies are always looking for [...]
Hugh will be presenting at the Agile conference again this year, talking about basic techniques for getting users involved in your Agile sprints. From the conference program: One of the difficult problems faced by an Agile team is that of getting reliable user input. Since Agile projects depend on minimal up-front planning and specification, user [...]
Come see our new site at www.innovationincool.com! When Apple came out with the iPhone in 2007 it was a game-changing product. Everybody was talking about it, even those not flocking to AT&T. People at parties gathered around the phone to watch the pinch, the swivel, the pictures, and the games. The technology industry, including our [...]
CHI 2011 was a whirlwind of classes and papers and people—and of course, great views of the mountains! But for me, the most exciting thing was to debut our new concepts articulating the factors behind people’s experience of “cool.”
As interaction design professionals, we need to understand the history of our field and pay attention to how it has changed. The basic interaction design principles that we introduced in the CHI course—prominence, relationship, flow, clarity, simplicity and consistency—have remained the same, but the way we apply those principles changes as our technology changes. This is because each new technology creates new opportunities and new constraints for interaction design.
How finding an empathetically user-centered perspective on design builds innovation Many of us talk about being user-centered, and most of us want to be user-centered designers. But what does that really mean? And how do you take the understanding you gain from user research and do something meaningful with it for an innovative outcome? In [...]
“Complacence inertia.” I have seen it throughout my career. It’s natural to assume you understand your market and your customers because you talk to them in various forums, but it lulls us into complacence.
When you think of a technology or a product as a noun, you concentrate on what it is, its object-ness. But a verb is something different. When you think of a technology or product as a verb, you think about what it can do for people. And that’s an important difference for the success of the product.
Making compelling products and applications
The new GM gets intimate with customers. A case study.
This company’s confidence in their original business plan and product concept was so great that it had blinded them to customer realities. The train had already left the station before they really knew customer needs.
GM’s experience studying drivers shows that a close analysis of user behavior can indeed lead to innovation.
Designers are sometimes myopic. (Before you get defensive, you should know I’ve been designing for 20 years and I still include myself in that statement.) As designers, we tend to focus on our product but not the larger ecosystem in which it exists—even though almost everything we design is connected to other products or services. [...]
The sad news about product design is that it requires people to make and ship products. Products, systems, cars, medical devices, games, even apps—all require the work of many coordinating people. First, we have the development team; then add in marketing, product management, and testing; top with user-centered design roles: user interface, user research, user [...]
Here’s the story: I’m at a meeting hosted by another company. A bunch of us walk into their team room, talking, and I wander over to the table in the center of the room and touch the keyboard laying there. Then I start swearing. I swore because Apple did it again. The keyboard was one [...]
The Microsoft Kin was launched in mid-April—a social networking optimized phone aimed squarely and explicitly at teens and pre-teens. But by June it was dead. Did user research ironically help kill the Kin?
I walked out of Verizon yesterday having just ordered the Motorola Droid X. I was pretty excited to try it out, having waited for Verizon to get something I wanted. “You know what was conspicuously missing?” my husband said as we walked out of the store. “Nokia!” we said together. Where is Nokia in the [...]
A recent discussion by Bruce Nussbaum (BusinessWeek) suggests the need for identifying the creative capability of individuals and organizations. This concept got me thinking about creativity and how or even IF we could or should measure such a thing. I think the motivation behind the concept of creative intelligence is to foster the generation of [...]
How do you deal with the fact that your desire to measure innovation can kill it? Great innovation is more Buddha than Black-Scholes. Find your innovation Zen.
Innovation is not just, or even primarily, about technology leaps — or user experience leaps — or new category definitions. Innovation is about corporate identity and corporate skill. Go scan the business bookshelves. Innovation that produces major profit is the holy grail of business. Everyone wants to know the secret sauce. And now everyone wants [...]
It’s strange how the concept of execution gets linked almost solely with operations. What would happen if we applied “execution” to the “fuzziness” of development’s front end?
Every so often, I’m faced with the realization that something I really believe isn’t so. There’s that momentary sense of profound disorientation that forces me to stop and really think—and adjust myself to a new reality. Sure, that whole Easter Bunny realization was a downer, but over the years I’ve come to really like this [...]
People usually think that coming up with an innovative idea is the hard part. But as I see it, that’s the easy part. The hard part is actually acting on the innovation.
Reading after a show or movie is not just “being in the know” or “being part of a community”. It’s not just about having something to talk to others about. It’s also about our reluctance to let go of something that is part of our lives no longer—it is about re-experiencing as a human driver.
Technology creates miracles big and small over and over and over—but as soon as we have it we expect more and more and more. Users of technology don’t care what miracles we give them—they take it all for granted.
Science and design certainly seem at face value to be light years apart, practiced by people with very different training, values, and personalities. But the problems faced by designers and scientists are similar, and the parallels between the scientific method as practiced by scientists and good user-centered design techniques are remarkably similar.