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January 04, 2021 Edition

Regionalizing Your Mobile Designs, Part 2

Mobile Matters

Designing for every screen

A column by Steven Hoober
January 4, 2021

There is a lot more to offering your Web site, mobile app, or other digital product in other markets than automatically translating or hiring a service to translate your content into another language. In Part 1 of this two-part series, I provided an overview of how to regionalize your products—approaching regionalization from a procedural and technical point of view—and detailed the approach you should take, as follows:

  • Do more than just translate. Rewrite the content in the target language, considering the context of use. Avoid slang, jargon, colloquialisms, metaphors, and jokes.
  • Use people, not just tools or services. Hire a content manager or content designer to create content-management documents. Work with your translation service, and engage locals who are sufficiently familiar with your product to at least review it. Read More

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Understanding Gender and Racial Bias in AI, Part 3

January 4, 2021

In my four-part series about gender and racial biases in artificial intelligence (AI) and how to combat them, Part 1 focused on educating UX designers about bias in voice- and facial-recognition software and the AI algorithms and underlying data that power them. Part 2 discussed how our everyday tools and AI-based software such as Google Search influence what we see online, as well as in our design software—often perpetuating our biases and whitewashing our personas and other design deliverables. Now, in Part 3, I’ll provide a how-to guide for addressing your own implicit biases during user research, UX design, and usability testing.

If your 2020 went anything like mine, you may have put up your Black Lives Matter poster, read How to Be an Antiracist, and subscribed to the Code Switch podcast. Perhaps you even watched Coded Bias, this year’s eye-opening documentary on facial-recognition software. (If you haven’t watched it, you should.) Perhaps you then read Anthony Greenwald’s interview with Knowable Magazine and discovered: “Making people aware of their implicit biases doesn’t usually change minds.” (PBS News Hour republished it.) What should you do next? Read More

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Hibernation and Innovation

Selling UX

A unique perspective on service UX

A column by Baruch Sachs
January 4, 2021

“Hibernation is a covert preparation for a more overt action.”—Ralph Ellison.

In his 1953 book The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison explores a number of social and intellectual issues of the African-American community of that time period. The book is as relevant today as it was in 1953. The quotation at the beginning of this column has transfixed me for a long time now—especially given that we are coming up on almost a year of relative hibernation because of the global pandemic. How can you write something that is interesting and compelling in a time when people just want to hibernate until it is all over? Read More


Making Meaningful Business Propositions

January 4, 2021

Starting a business, running a business, and sustaining a business’s success implies that we have considered how to make a meaningful business proposition. Making meaningful business propositions requires continual effort, perpetual learning, and continuous improvement to clarify intentional practices and the drivers that underpin why you do what you do. The practices that are necessary to achieve this do not come easily. In fact, they include a number of factors that could provide, but do not always promise the chance of success in business.

In this article, we’ll describe the five stages of making meaningful business propositions. We’ve learned—and continue to learn—them from over 20 years of running a consulting business that explores products and platforms and considers their implications for professional development. Read More


Case Study: Learnings from the Design of an Online-Education Platform

Business of Design

Learnings from design projects

A column by Manik Arora
January 4, 2021

With every project, there are new learnings. Because educational technology, or ed-tech, is one of the fastest growing product domains, I thought sharing my learnings and insights from designing a marketing Web site for Leverage Edu would be of interest to many UX designers.

Leverage Edu is not your typical commercial Web site. Its target users are students who need help making their career choices and university-admissions decisions. The Leverage Edu Web site uses simplified technology that drives streamlined access to the mentors and the leading global universities that best match a student’s particular needs.

Thus, Leverage Edu is transforming access to higher education and democratizing mentorship to accelerate exponential career growth by going beyond traditional systems and helping students to realize their academic ambitions. Read More

December 21, 2020 Edition

Remote Collaboration for UX Design Teams

Ask UXmatters

Get expert answers

A column by Janet M. Six
December 21, 2020

This month in Ask UXmatters, our expert panel discusses how to create UX designs remotely, working with your product team and other stakeholders. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many teams have found themselves working remotely for the first time. So learning how to collaborate effectively while working remotely is essential to your success at this time.

Although the goals of your projects remain unchanged, you’ve lost your normal ways of working. Plus, many UX professionals are simultaneously supporting their children’s remote learning and taking care of pets during the work day. Fortunately, there are many tools and methods that can help us to adapt. Most of all, our indomitable human spirit makes us willing to do whatever is necessary to continue our work. Read More


Conducting Remote UX Research from Home

Practical Usability

Moving toward a more usable world

A column by Jim Ross
December 21, 2020

Since March 2020, most of us have had to adjust to working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, many of us worked from home at least occasionally, but working from home full time is a very different experience. For UX professionals, conducting all research remotely while working from home presents some unique challenges. During the pandemic, I’ve discovered—sometimes by learning the hard way—various useful tips for conducting remote UX research. In this column, I’ll share some useful advice for conducting remote research from home during the pandemic—and perhaps beyond.

Setting Up the Right Home Environment

It’s important to first set up the right working environment at home—considering your own comfort, health, professionalism, and technology. Read More


Inspirations from a LEGO Instructional Booklet

Enterprise UX

Designing experiences for people at work

A column by Jonathan Walter
December 21, 2020

As the title of my column Enterprise UX suggests, I typically share insights for UX professionals working within large enterprise environments, which provides material for diverse topics. However, with COVID-19 shaking up everyone’s lives in 2020, I thought I’d shake up my final column of the year a bit by injecting some fun into it. (We could all use a little more of that, right?)

This fall, as I sought opportunities to facilitate constructive play with my two sons and reduce their screen time and mine, I discovered inspiration in a box of LEGO® toys—specifically, the building instructions that came with it. As I read through the booklet, I found myself comparing its simple, effective workflow to the experiences that UX designers endeavor to create. So, in this column, I’ll share some inspirational lessons that I learned and provide some ideas for how you can apply them in your own work. Read More


Exemplifying Service-Design Principles: A School’s Reopening Strategy

Service Design

Orchestrating experiences in context

A column by Laura Keller
December 21, 2020

In the spring of 2020, more than a billion children were out of school worldwide because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families, who were already adjusting to working remotely, scrambled to adapt to having their children at home as well. Parents had to learn to become teachers and technology experts, while also coping with a new work situation and local restrictions that changed their daily lives dramatically from what they’d known in the past.

The impact on kids of not being in school was broad and varied. In some areas, virtual learning was simply not an option because of limited finances or access to technology and the Internet. For families in such circumstances, the educational setbacks were devastating. For other families, with parents who were accustomed to working from home, who have flexible schedules, and who have access to devices and the Internet, the situation was frustrating, but manageable. I’m lucky to be part of that group of families for whom the spring school shutdown didn’t have severe impacts. Read More


Book Review: A Field Guide to Lies

December 21, 2020

Cover: A Field Guide to LiesAs ever-increasing quantities of information confront us, critical thinking is a tool that we’ll need to apply with greater frequency. Information sometimes takes the form of memes, or information that appears out of context. We’re encountering a higher level of political disinformation than we’ve ever seen before, which has the potential to destabilize our societies. Disinformation relating to COVID-19 is costing people’s lives. Social media is responsible for the proliferation of much of this disinformation.

Daniel J. Levitin’s book A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking with Statistics and the Scientific Method, is the perfect book for this time. I hope this book encourages people to apply critical thinking—both as they consume other’s arguments and communicate their own. Read More