Process

I keep encountering the phrase “Lean UX” at work and in local design circles. The first time I came across this buzzword, I thought it was a fancy way of saying, “cut corners in your process to get more UX work done” – which is ridiculous and doesn’t make sense. I then thought it meant “we’re too poor to hire more UX designers so here’s a method to produce more work with fewer heads” – which sounds like a crappy job.

I’ve always believed that a good designer shouldn’t “work in a vacuum” – this design statement is often thought of as a pleasantry, but rarely becomes a mantra or philosophy of action for most designers. Reflecting upon this statement certainly yields insights that influence the way we design, and some designers may find that such reasoning challenges their predispositions of what “design” should be; if you shouldn’t design alone in isolation, then what should you do? If you’re a “design keeper”, such a question inevitably disputes your role as designer.

I like to think of a language, as a system for encoding and decoding information. Technical instructions, poems, words and sentences relate meaning, in an agreed-upon system of understanding. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how languages, as systems of understanding, have limits and challenges. In other words, the ability to understand a particular concept can be limited by a specific language or medium. As I’ve tried to introduce some new interactive ideas and concepts in the past couple months, I’ve recognized that some of the resistance I’ve encountered has been a result of the languages that are used to encode and decode the sketches, wire frames, and mock-ups I’ve been presenting. I’ve come to realize that new ideas need new words to set them free.

While attending the 2009 CHI conference in Boston, I encountered an interesting transportation ticketing system that used humans instead of computers. After four jam-packed days…

Find out why most design programs fail at creating real designers and why designing without constraints isn’t designing – it’s just dreaming.

DESIGNING THE GOOD IDEA: What constitutes a “good idea”? Who judges it so? When does any idea become a good idea?

Anyone interested in brainstorming help – here are some ideas that our mentor shared with us–thanks Feixing! Scenario: We just finished solidifying our core problem…

On the eve of producing more sketches for project 2… I am reminded of some good advice I had from a design teacher. He suggested…