Even though computers are controlling more and more of the world, they are not always getting smarter. Oh, they’re becoming more sophisticated, but humans must make computer code smart, and we don’t always get things right. It doesn’t help that we’re using old, ad hoc methods of planning, design, and analysis.
It’s scary that we sometimes don’t know why artificial intelligence (AI) systems work. But we should be even more worried that pretty much every system we use—every app, every device—is now so complex that we cannot possibly predict all system behaviors. Read More
Testing social media is difficult. We are not testing micro interactions, but macro, or global, behaviors. These can be extremely hard to observe—either by using qualitative methods to assess the commentary of individuals or groups or by tracking clicks. When testing social media, we are assessing social influence and motivation, which are much more elusive.
Understanding these types of behaviors won’t let you determine things like the perfect placement of your shopping basket icon. However, it can be invaluable when determining the right timing for providing choices such as content or action buttons. The monitoring of macro behaviors is quantitative in nature, and the data represents broad trends—what people do en masse, not individually. Nevertheless, it is the sum of many people’s behavior that is important rather than the behavior of individuals. Studying societal behaviors requires a different way of thinking—macro thinking—rather than the micro thinking that is characteristic of studying the behaviors of individuals. Read More
“You manifest your own reality.” You’ve probably heard some version of this message before. It’s almost become a cliché. But what does it really mean? Can you literally create your own reality? Well, no. You can’t simply change the physical world in which you live at the snap of your fingers. But what you can change is your mental state—and that just might impact the world around you over time. For example, people’s interactions with digital products influence their mental state. So, as more and more customer experiences become digital experiences, UX designers have the opportunity to design experiences that can be a catalyst for emotionally positive chain reactions among customers.
Finding ways to positively influence your mental state has always been a worthy pursuit. So I have put a lot of thought into my self-improvement philosophy—and to tell you the truth—it feels very secondary to me whether the world around me changes to reflect my internal changes. I want positivity, and I want it now! The most instantaneous way to feel actual positive change is to double or triple up your internal response to the positive moments that either have occurred or could occur. Read More