Working as a UX design and user-centered design (UCD) consultant across the world, it continues to surprise me that many software development organizations are still using what I call second- or third-generation prototyping tools and their associated techniques. Despite the fact that fourth-generation prototyping tools are now well established and the organizations that are in the know have gained a significant competitive advantage by using such tools, many organizations have yet to adopt them.
To help you understand the various generations of prototyping tools, I’ll first define a set of criteria for evaluating all prototyping tools, then assess each generation of prototyping tools and their associated prototyping techniques against those criteria. I’ll also describe why each generation of tools arose and why designers continue to use them. Read More
Working in an agile studio for Deloitte Digital has its UX challenges. As a Senior UX Designer, I get paid to solve problems for clients. Along the way, I facilitate that process by doing user research, sketching, creating personas, and wireframing. We do both Web and extensive native mobile design work. So, in comparison to agencies that primarily do Web work, the problems that we run into at Deloitte Digital may be amplified—because we’re dealing with more platforms, devices, interactions, and potentially, the consequent slowing of our workflows.
Because of this, I’m always trying to make my wireframing workflow more efficient, so I can spend more time sketching, thinking about problem spaces, and getting my work out to the broader team for review, so I can iterate on my designs—especially when I’m working on multiple platforms at the same time! Boil down all these problems and needs, and you get this: Wireframe fast at the lowest fidelity possible to communicate and elicit usable feedback from stakeholders. This can be a difficult task. But as you read on, you’ll see that I’ve found some ways to create wireframes more efficiently, with some UX process and philosophy sprinkled in. Read More
I recently bought a Toyota Prius and was surprised to notice my driving behavior change to a more economical style of driving. Doing some research, I learned that I wasn’t alone in this. Much has been written about “the Prius Effect”—how the Prius and other hybrid vehicles change driving behavior by providing feedback that shows drivers how their actions affect their gas mileage. Some people view this as a positive effect, while others, who are annoyed by slow Prius drivers, view it negatively.
What causes Prius drivers to change their behavior? I believe that it’s the feedback that the Prius’s Multi-Information Display provides to drivers. This display consists of several screens, showing the current gas mileage, average gas mileage over various periods of time, and whether the gas or electric motor is currently powering the car. In this column, I’ll discuss the Prius’s information displays, in terms of the effects they have on drivers, the usefulness of the information that they provide, and the effectiveness of their design. Read More