Every detail contributes to associations and judgements users make about your company

“Designing interactions and guiding experience is more than interface design or usability tricks. Every piece of interaction will speak to the user. Every detail, every piece of marketing copy, image, icon, drop shadow, layout placement, or button contributes to the user’s associations and judgements about the company they are dealing with.” – Shawn Borsky

Read more in Shawn’s article “Defining User Experience as Brand Experience.”

Truly great design occurs when the designer’s, client’s, and user’s perspectives are considered

“To the designer, great design is beautiful design. A significant amount of effort must be placed into making the product attractive. To the client, great design is effective. It must bring in customers and meet the goals put forth to the designer in the original brief. To the user, great design is functional. It’s easy to read, easy to use and easy to get out of it what was promised… Truly great design, then, is when these three perspectives are considered and implemented equally to create a final product that is beautiful, effective and functional.” – Joshua Johnson

Read more in Joshua’s article “The Difference Between Good Design and Great Design”

Quality Assurance as Applied to User Experience Design

Quality Assurance as Applied to User Experience Design

Quality Assurance (QA) is a critical part of any web or application development project.  QA helps to verify that a project has met the project’s requirements and technical specifications without bugs or other defects.  The aim is to identify issues prior to product launch.  Most QA initiatives focus on following predefined test cases, which meticulously outline required functionality by stating an input and expected response.  In order for QA to be successful, requirements must be clearly articulated and changes must be communicated effectively.

As User Experience professionals, we often rely on our QA teams to help verify that a design works as intended during development.  However, it should not be assumed that traditional QA can validate that your product is facilitating the desired user experience.  QA is very effective at identifying technical implementation issues (e.g. system errors, incorrect calculations, etc.) and often issues with front-end design implementation (e.g. CSS misalignment, cross browser differences, etc.). However, most QA processes do not focus on the quality of the user experience in regards to usability, affordances, findability, content clarity, or appropriate placements of items within the experience.  Nor should they.  The quality of the User Experience needs to be evaluated separately from technical quality assurance.

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Start designing for the possibilities of human connection

“Think beyond UX design, and start designing for the possibilities of human connection.” – Michael Wesch

This quote is from Michael’s UX Week 2010 talk “Mediated Culture.”

Design is underpinned by the designer’s ability to not only look, but also to see

“Design is underpinned by the designer’s ability to not only look, but also to see… The act of observation is not unique to design or design thinking, and design research is not the sole domain of the designer. It is in the seeing, in the sense-making, and in the questioning of what is observed that design sets itself apart.” – Steve Baty

This quote is from Steve’s Interactions Magazine article “Solving complex problems through design.”

Design can be visionary by presenting solutions to problems yet undefined

“As designers and architects of the future, we have an opportunity to play a powerful role in constructing reality and improving humanity’s experience on this planet. If the focus is only on a short term profit margin or a fad or a shiny new object, it will be an opportunity lost. Design can be reactionary, responding only to current conditions, or it can be visionary, by presenting solutions to problems yet undefined.” – Venessa Miemis

Read more in Venessa’s article “How Can Futures Thinking Amplify Design Thinking?”