If you’re like me, you have a mini-library of those user experience books that are most meaningful to you. No, not the ones hidden away on your eReader, reminding you of their presence only when you see their titles on the screen. Rather, I’m referring to those tangible books, sitting on your office bookshelf or on a side table at home. Perhaps some remind you of the time when you first entered the field of user experience, wanting to absorb everything about the topic. Or maybe everyone raves about a book as being seminal to the user experience discipline, but you keep the fact that you’ve never read it a secret. Regardless of why you have them, where they live, or how much you recall of their content, these books are important to who you are as a UX professional.
I’ve recently finished reading what is now the latest addition to my own professional mini-library: This Is Service Design Thinking, by Marc Stickdorn, Jakob Schneider, and numerous collaborators and co-authors. This book is likely to become the quintessential service design textbook for students, educators, and professionals alike. In this column, I’ll share highlights from the book, along with some of my own interpretations, and tell you why you should add this book to your own personal collection. Read More
I recall vividly, when I was about twelve years old, going to Disney-MGM Studios and visiting a sound-based exhibit called Soundsations with my dad. I walked into a small booth and sat on a padded seat. I was instructed to put headphones on, close my eyes, and imagine I was R.J. McBean, a newly hired executive at a major motion-picture studio. The lights dimmed to complete darkness, then, suddenly, I heard the sound of a door opening and a male voice boomed in my ear. The sound was so clear and vivid and oriented so perfectly that I felt I was the person to whom he was speaking. He walked around, going farther away, then nearer—eventually opening a refrigerator door to get a drink. He opened a can of soda, seemingly 18 inches from me. It sounded so real that I recall reaching my hand out to take it. Then, I quickly reminded myself that this wasn’t real—just amazing 3D sound. Read More
I enjoy writing for UXmatters because it gives me the opportunity to explore topics that are of interest to me through the lens of experience design. I love researching a topic to learn more about it and connecting it to service design. It also gives me the opportunity to reflect on my own work and find themes, principles, or approaches that might be beneficial to others in the UX community.
When you work as a consultant, your clients look to you as the expert. They want you to guide them, show them what they should do, and help them to see how they should approach problems and decisions. As I quickly approach the milestone of two decades in my career providing experience-design consulting and client services, I find myself becoming nostalgic, reflecting on all those client head nods and even vehement client head shakes that I’ve experienced. Thus, I thought it would be valuable to the broader UX community for me to outline six of the top pieces of advice I’ve found myself repeating to clients over the years. Read More