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
I began my career over twelve years ago in marketing, defining the user experiences for healthcare Web sites at an interactive agency. At first, I loved the dynamic environment and start-up feel of an agency. It felt great that a large audience would interact with the sites that I helped design. Over time, however, I realized that I wasn’t doing good UX design. Rather, I was doing whatever the agency Account Manager or client Brand Manager wanted, which didn’t always jibe with what customers needed. The Account Manager or Brand Manager wanted site registrations and glossy, auto-play video tours, while customers needed educational content and information about financial assistance. I had lost the integrity that had driven me to choose user experience as a career in the first place. I wanted to design great user experiences for people based on their behaviors, needs, and preferences—not the whims of the agency or client. So, after five years, I decided to leave the agency to work on internal applications at an IT (Information Technology) consulting firm. Read More