Monthly Archives: February 2009

A good UX designer should ask “what does this have the potential to be?”

“What UX designers offer that’s special is help building a vision for what the product can and should be. This is not a reductive ‘getting things done’ approach. It’s a generative ‘what does this have the potential to be’ kind of approach. A good UX designer should encourage the team to ask that question, facilitate a process that brings the whole team along in answering it, and then make those answers tangible, doable, and, yes, a little bit pretty.” - Leah Buley

“What UX designers offer that’s special is help building a vision for what the product can and should be. This is not a reductive ‘getting things done’ approach. It’s a generative ‘what does this have the potential to be’ kind of approach. A good UX designer should encourage the team to ask that question, facilitate a process that brings the whole team along in answering it, and then make those answers tangible, doable, and, yes, a little bit pretty.” – Leah Buley

Read Leah’s article “Burndowns and Flareups in Agile Design” here.

Good design achieves integrity in balanced relation to its environment

“No design can exist in isolation. It is always related, sometimes in very complex ways, to an entire constellation of influencing situations and attitudes. What we call a good design is one which achieves integrity – that is, unity or wholeness – in balanced relation to its environment.” - George Nelson

“No design can exist in isolation. It is always related, sometimes in very complex ways, to an entire constellation of influencing situations and attitudes. What we call a good design is one which achieves integrity – that is, unity or wholeness – in balanced relation to its environment.” – George Nelson

Read more about industrial designer George Nelson here.

A successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission

“I think a successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission. Out of necessity, we divide ourselves up into discipline groups. But the goal when you are actually doing the work is to somehow forget what discipline group you are in and come together. So in that sense, nobody should own user experience; everybody should own it.” - Don Norman

“I think a successful company is one where everybody owns the same mission. Out of necessity, we divide ourselves up into discipline groups. But the goal when you are actually doing the work is to somehow forget what discipline group you are in and come together. So in that sense, nobody should own user experience; everybody should own it.” – Don Norman

Read more from an interview with Don Norman on where user experience should be positioned within a company in this article.

Begin any design project with the mindset of “I don’t know what I don’t know”

“I think if you’re starting out early in the process by talking about your ideas for solutions, you’re already not listening. I think you need to enter into any design project with that zen learner’s mind of ‘I don’t know what I don’t know.’” - Kim Goodwin

“I think if you’re starting out early in the process by talking about your ideas for solutions, you’re already not listening. I think you need to enter into any design project with that zen learner’s mind of ‘I don’t know what I don’t know.’” – Kim Goodwin

Hear more from Kim Goodwin on “Excelling at Interaction Design” in this podcast from Jared Spool.

Collaborating to provide insights can lead to positive customer experiences

“My definition of a ‘customer centric’ culture is where people are asking the right questions to the right people, who are able and willing to collaborate to provide their insights. In such a culture, over time, individuals ask the right questions more often and get the right answers more often. This is a reinforcing feedback loop. As this culture takes hold, more and more of the solutions coming out of the group would yield positive customer experiences.” - Secil Watson

“My definition of a ‘customer centric’ culture is where people are asking the right questions to the right people, who are able and willing to collaborate to provide their insights. In such a culture, over time, individuals ask the right questions more often and get the right answers more often. This is a reinforcing feedback loop. As this culture takes hold, more and more of the solutions coming out of the group would yield positive customer experiences.” – Secil Watson

Read more from Secil in Richard Anderson’s Riander Blog entry “Breaking Silos.” Secil describes why collaboration and integrated work practices are critical to the success of any team.

Focus on the experience that the products you design engender

“Ultimately, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the ‘things’ that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have. Design that ignores this is not worthy of the name.” - Bill Buxton's "personal mantra"

“Ultimately, we are deluding ourselves if we think that the products that we design are the ‘things’ that we sell, rather than the individual, social and cultural experience that they engender, and the value and impact that they have. Design that ignores this is not worthy of the name.” – Bill Buxton’s “personal mantra”

Bill Buxton’s personal mantra is cited on his website. Visit his site to learn more about his recent work or his upcoming talks and events. Read more from Bill in his book Sketching User Experiences.