Just a year and a half ago, we noted the demise of skeuomorphism in Apple interface design. Today, Co.Design's John Brownlee points out that "the most-hated design trend" is back with Apple Watch's clock-like interface. But skeuomorphism never really went away. In fact, we should all hope it never does.
"One of the biggest complaints from UX professionals is the lack of support from their organizations for UX-related activities, such as user research. The problem is amplified with a quick-release product-development framework such as Agile. Even worse, Agile development methods such as Scrum typically do not include UX designers as a core role, leaving many organizations to assume that UX is nonessential. This is a tragic mistake.
My latest interviews with Agile team members reveal that most teams are not performing user research on their concepts or designs. Respondents cited time constraints and lack of UX resources among the top reasons for this trend. Lack of user research could also happen with any product development model, including waterfall. Regardless of the method, organizations are shipping products without knowing their true value to the customer. It doesn’t matter how many products we release. If they’re junk, we’re simply shipping a lot more of it."
Even as more sites mimic swiping gestures and incorporate horizontal scrolling in desktop designs, users remain reluctant to move sideways through content.
Elizabeth Bowden's insight:
"Anecdotally, the disdain for it is so widespread, that I like to use it to illustrate what user experience is to people unfamiliar with the field. I ask if they can think of a website scrolling horizontally. They usually groan and say they hate it, and then I explain how we look at things like that and find ways to make them better. Usually they respond along the lines of “Thank you, I wish there were more of you.”."
"However, we were surprised that LMS dissatisfaction actually seems to have increased over time. In 2010, 45% of survey participants graded their system C, D or F. However, this year, 60% of participants said they consider their LMS “somewhat” or “very” ineffective at addressing advanced needs. 60% actually plan to replace their systems."
Elizabeth Bowden's insight:
"The underlying data suggests that, while the terms may be the same, the intention may be shifting. Almost a decade ago, learning organizations struggled just to provide basic standardized reports, and LMS integration with HR and ERP systems."
"In both architecture and UX design, the context of the design can make or break the product. Some UX designers struggle to justify spending time on user research to product owners. Others see it as a luxury they can’t afford. As a result, designers and stakeholders make inaccurate assumptions about their potential users, and create features that no one uses."
Web usability is basically about making the website more comprehensible and easy-to-use. A whole discipline has evolved from this one core idea. Now it is more than a web design trend that you may or may not follow, but rather a must-have quality attribute for every website.
Here's a quick selection of some of the tweets focused on #UX at South By South West 2014. The more you actually think about UX the greater its importance. It's fundamental. If you're not designing a digital or physical thing around the customers and users how can you ever deliver any value to them?
"When we’re happy, using an interface feels like play. The world looks like a puzzle, not a battle. So when we get confused, we’re more likely to explore and find other paths to success. There’s a whole book on this topic: Emotional Design by Don Norman. But here’s the important bit: Getting design details right can create positive emotional states that actually make products easier to use."
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