I have a very expansive view of the role of User Experience in developing products. While I’m deeply of the opinion that designers should not code, that’s mostly because there are very few people who can code on many platforms and at many levels. I used to be a Web developer, database administrator (DBA), and system administrator. But I was never great at fulfilling all of these roles—much less all of them at once—while also being a Web designer.
As new technologies arrived, I had to stop and learn them—or learn to collaborate with others who knew them. So, instead of learning more and more technologies, I decided to focus on design and usability.
As UX designers, we should avoid becoming too deeply engaged in any one technology, but we do need to know a little about most technologies. This lets us consider the entire scope of users’ needs and suggest solutions that leverage the whole range of technology options—choosing whatever platforms, technologies, and methods best meet both users’ needs and organizational capabilities. Read More
Many brands have explored voice user interfaces (VUIs) by creating some kind of skill for a smart speaker. While that’s a good start, it’s not the optimal way of leveraging voice capabilities for the future.
Instead, you should add voice to your existing apps to complement their current touch user interface. Early adopters such as Spotify have taken this approach and have received universal praise for their voice functionality. Spotify users can keep on using the app just as they’ve always used it, with its traditional touch user interface. Plus, they can use voice commands to control the media player. This is how you should use voice.
Rather than creating VUIs as replacements for your applications’ current user interfaces—as for Google Home or Alexa—create voice capabilities that provide a complementary user-interaction modality for your current user interface. Read More
While many people still talk about the constraints of mobile devices—how they have small screens and are hard to type on—I focus on the value they bring by not making users type and by doing things that no other devices can do.
Sensors are the real key to the magical appeal of mobile devices—and location is one of the first and best of these sensing technologies. Knowing where a mobile device is works very well as a proxy for knowing the location of the user—and very often, what someone needs or wants to do next.
Therefore, knowing users’ location is an excellent way to tie their reality to the digital experience you’re designing. Read More