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As I understand it the first use of the term engagement in the context of technology was by Jones et al (1994). From then the term lay dormant until 2003 (the first conference on Engagement and Design was held, Knight and Jefsioutine) and then work by User-Lab leading to the publication of trend based research by Knight, J and Jefsioutine, M. (2004) :Accessible, Usable and Engaging: qualities of the user experience. In: Halstead, A and Lister, P. (Eds.). Proceedings of International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education, 2004. Volume 3: Entrepreneurial and International Development. Wolverhampton, June 7th to 9th 2004. ISBN 0954211650, pp 125-128. Read the full paper on quality of UX.
I have been working in the area of Ethical Design since 2004 and have been struck by the lack of tools to help designers measure impact and factor in principles. Perhaps, taking a leaf out of Agile Development could help here – how about some Universal User Stories. This is a work in progress so expect them to be regularly updated.
How do designers account for the impact of the decisions they take? What are the consequences of designing for emotion and engaging users in compelling experience? This paper argues that traditional ethical approaches to design are inadequate to deal with the complexity and potential impact of ICT products and services – requiring new tools and methods to ensure ethical appropriation of technology. View full paper
Designers’ central role in conceiving innovations places them in an important position in the service domain: without them there would be nothing new or at least nothing new that is defined and communicable to others – the question is how do designers work collaboratively to deliver quality and innovation – Read about the new Design Thinking and Agile Development Synthesis
Close reading of Agile principles is instructive in explicating it as a distinctive design approach with implications for understanding how it frames the product of design activity. Read the provisional theory of Agile Design
One of the landmark publications in HCI and UX, Moggridge’s Designing Interactions spans the history of UI and blends it with the compelling stories of key practitioners, inventors and pioneers. I was fortunate to interview Bill on the eve of the book’s publication back in 2007. Read the interview.
Back in 2011 I revisited the design and research projects I worked on during my formative years in UCD (1996-2006). Reflecting on the range of clients I have worked with and the variety of deliverables I have produced, I was struck by the fact that often the most significant product of User-centred design (UCD) is not what you might expect; improving the usability of a product or service but rather a strategic change to the sponsoring organisation itself although some had done both. Read the full article.
One of my career highlights as an UCD practitioner was to interview NNG guru Donald Norman. The interview was published in full in Interfaces Magazine and also appeared in this version on Usability News. It’s fascinating to read Don’s views at this critical stage in the alignment of design research and HCI. Read the article.
Back in 2005 – I predicted the future direction of user research at HCI2005 presaging the emergence of User Experience.
Usability News (6) reported that ‘The UK market, worth £90m in 2004, will grow by a further 25% in 2005, to between £108m to £117m, driven by increased awareness of the benefits of improved website usability and accessibility’. As well as being a more sophisticated profession, clients are better educated in accessibility and usability and demand higher quality services and added value. This is a positive change from the struggles of advocating UCD in an economic downturn. Rather than the dogmatic gurus of the past the profession is now made up of a diverse mix of sophisticated and media-savvy experts. It is easy to be complacent about the future in this climate and to forget the lessons of the dotcom crash of a few years ago. Read in full on Usability News
I started this article with the aim of summarising a UCD project and illustrating some of the guerrilla HCI methods I have used and recommmend. I have not deviated from this goal, but the article has certainly grown, although this added depth has been useful to me and hopefully you too. It is not often that practitioners get the time and space to reflect on what they do but the exercise of reflection spurred by writing this article has shown how valuable an activity this is.
Postscript – interesting how many of the methods describe preempt Lean and Agile UX approach. Read the full article.