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Column: Innovating UX Practice

UXmatters has published 45 editions of the column Innovating UX Practice.

Top 3 Trending Innovating UX Practice Columns

  1. Hierarchical Task Analysis

    Innovating UX Practice

    Inspirations from software engineering

    A column by Peter Hornsby
    February 8, 2010

    As UX professionals, we have a great many analytical and descriptive tools available to us. In fact, there are so many that it can sometimes be difficult to decide which tool is most appropriate for a given task! Hierarchical task analysis (HTA) is an underused approach in user experience, but one you can easily apply when either modifying an existing design or creating a new design.

    This technique has applications across a range of different problem domains, including time-and-motion studies, personnel selection, or training, and provides a broad and deep understanding of task performance. While there are core principles that guide a hierarchical task analysis, it’s possible to adapt the basic approach in a huge number of ways to support the needs of any domain under consideration. In this column, I’ll examine one approach to hierarchical task analysis that enables UX designers to quickly understand both what a system does and how its capabilities translate into the system’s user experience. You can also use this approach to support the UX development process. Read More

  2. Applying Lessons from UML to UX

    Innovating UX Practice

    Inspirations from software engineering

    A column by Peter Hornsby
    November 22, 2010

    “Many people tend to look at programming styles and languages like religions: if you belong to one, you cannot belong to others. But this analogy is another fallacy.”—Niklaus Wirth

    Software Engineering is typically much more formal than User Experience in they way they model an application before development begins. After pseudo code, the Unified Modeling Language (UML) is probably the most widely used modeling language among software engineers. It has developed from other object?based analysis and design languages over a period of many years and provides software engineers with a visual language that describes the design of a system at multiple levels.

    Comparable UX design artifacts such as user journeys and personas can take a wide variety of forms. While this diversity can enable us to tailor our design artifacts to different circumstances, drawing features from modeling languages such as UML could promote better cross?functional work practices, increase a design’s reusability, and reduce the overall effort of developing software systems.

    This article looks at how User Experience can use UML modeling techniques to enhance user journeys and promote better cross?disciplinary collaboration. Read More

  3. Designing with Behavioral Economics

    Innovating UX Practice

    Inspirations from software engineering

    A column by Peter Hornsby
    June 7, 2010

    Much of economics theory is based on the premise that people are rational decision-makers. In recent years, behavioral economics—also known as behavioral finance—has emerged as a discipline, bringing together economics and psychology to understand how social, cognitive, and emotional factors influence how people make decisions, both as individuals and at the market level. Many of the findings of behavioral economics have a direct influence on how users interact with a product. In a worst?case scenario, a product’s design may encourage user behaviors that are detrimental to users’ best interests.

    To understand this, let’s take a look at the video of the Selective Attention Test shown in Figure 1 and follow the voice-over instructions. Read More

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