My last column, “Specifying Behavior,” focused on the importance of interaction designers’ taking full responsibility for designing and clearly communicating the behavior of product user interfaces. At the conclusion of the Design Phase for a product release, interaction designers’ provide key design deliverables that play a crucial role in ensuring their solutions to design problems actually get built. These deliverables might take the form of high-fidelity, interactive prototypes; detailed storyboards that show every state of a user interface in sequence; detailed, comprehensive interaction design specifications; or some combination of these. Whatever form they take, producing these interaction design deliverables is a fundamental part of a successful product design process.
In this installment of On Good Behavior, I’ll provide an overview of a product design process, then discuss some indispensable activities that are part of an effective design process, with a particular focus on those activities that are essential for good interaction design. Although this column focuses primarily on activities that are typically the responsibility of interaction designers, this discussion of the product design process applies to all aspects of UX design. Read More
In differentiating an organization’s products from those of its competitors, design innovation is just as important as technology innovation. Both are vital to the continued success of an organization’s products in the marketplace. Successful innovation requires more than just generating a lot of creative ideas. It’s about execution—actually bringing products to market that embody innovative design solutions and deliver business impact.
What is the role of constraints in design innovation? In this article, I’ll discuss three types of constraints: technical constraints, business constraints, and design constraints. According to Charles Eames:
“Design depends largely on constraints. … Here is one of the few effective keys to the design problem—the ability of the designer to recognize as many of the constraints as possible—his willingness and enthusiasm for working within these constraints….” Read More
“Design the right things versus designing things right.”
About five years ago, I began hearing this expression more frequently. At that time, I was in the middle of an exciting, mind-changing experience: my company had given me the chance to relocate to Vienna, Austria. From one day to the next, I had landed in another city, in another country, with people speaking another language. I was completely out of my element. Most importantly, I started working as an insourced designer at an international bank that was a client of my design studio.
I wasn’t alone; a team of colleagues had already been there for about eight months. In those first days, I carefully observed how the design team laid the foundation for all their activities. How the Head of UX and the other senior designers were dealing with new requirements coming from stakeholders was very interesting to me. They often challenged those requirements—sometimes quite rigorously. Having arrived with a consulting-oriented mindset, that was a bit surprising to me—although my design studio, Digital Entity, has always supported challenging the requests and briefs coming from our clients, with the aim of designing the best possible experience for users. But my perception changed a little once I had started working as an insourced designer. I was now able to see how clients generated the requirements. Read More