“The most hard-boiled developers, arrogant designers, and tight-fisted executives usually soften up when they get direct exposure to how customers think about their work.” – Jakob Nielsen

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In car touch interfaces

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I must say that it scares me a bit to see the latest trends in car dashboards become dominated by big touch screens. Driving a car requires a great ammount of focus from the driver, one shouldn’t be able to perform other tasks … Continue reading

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Grassroots Innovation products = a rich set of requirements

Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with insomnia, and when that happens, the best you can do is to make that time productive (and spend the day after, drinking coffee), right?  … So, I wrote this post.

In UX there’s a fair amount of projects which goal is to redesign applications that were developed during years, (if not decades) by internal teams. The focus of these teams is on features and not on the User friendliness of the tool.

The end result after years of development is translated in to a set of unorganized interaction patterns. But the tool somehow works, because it was intended for a specific audience.

Grassroots Innovation

India is known for the jugaad kind of innovation, something developed in a very frugal way with cheap and easily accessible resources. I thank the Indians for giving us, their attitude of bending the rules with simple fixes and work-arounds, I simply love that.

The web is flooded with pictures of funny solutions (specially of transportations means) that “express a need to do what needs to be done, without regard to what is conventionally supposed to be possible”.

Make the tool accessible to bigger audiences

But what if one has to industrialize it for production, to be used by many people (besides the one who created it), to respect legislation and good practices? Some redesign has to be made, of course, the kind of redesign that I wrote above.

jugaad-innovation

When I’m invited to redesign a tool that is a result of this “Jugaad” attitude, there’s something really important to keep in mind: what you have in front of you is “only” a very good list of requirements, but is our goal as Designers to make that product accessible to a wider group of users:

  • by giving consistency through a set of known interaction patterns,
  • by making design decisions that are aligned with the development constrains and the business needs,
  • by respecting legislations.

So our job is, most of the times, “just” to bring order to users life’s.

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Yes, Sir

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I’m a big fan of the TV show Breaking Bad, the all Texan landscape and the plot got me hooked for months untill the last episode. I’m also a fan of cars. I always turn my head for cars with … Continue reading

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Desenrascanço II

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Just a follow-up tp my first post on the subject (Desenrascanço). I foun this image I think it’s very funny… It’s how americans see the “desenrascanço” concept, or to “disantangle”

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unload II

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People get creative with big machines 🙂 Checkout unload I

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Design Thinking in a nutshell

A few years ago I had the chance to have a training on Service Design with Arne from Design Thinkers, while I was still working for Novabase Consulting and based in Lisbon. Novabase was at that point starting to embrace these methodologies internaly to provide better advise to clients.

Just take 5 minutes of your time to hear some insights about how DT and Service Design methodologies can help create value for companies and customers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rq3GVNKrpjQ

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“What do you Want?”

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First rule about User Research: Never ask, “What do you Want?”; Second rule about User Research: Never ask, “What do you Want?; Third rule about User Research: … Well, you see where this goes, right? I found this interesting article that puts this idea in … Continue reading

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Doing the good, can hurt – Apple and UX good practices

Doing the good deed to users? or basic UX mistake from Apple?… “Don’t give me what I didn’t ask” some might say. And they are right.
Others where probably happy to have a small gift from Apple. It’s debatable.

Apple went too far on trying to please the clients, for me it’s fine, I’ll just delete the files if I don’t want them.
But in a time when digital surveillance is a hot topic, Apple should be carefull on how they enter on client’s personal cloud services.

If in doubt, always stick to proven good practices. And from a UX point of view, it would be a better decision not to do it in the first place, or do it in a different way like sending an email with a link to download the files. That way the user as the final choice.

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UX metaphor

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Because I always find it difficult to explain to someone what I do, I found this picture to be a very good starting point of a conversation about the topic. UX approach to solving design problems is one that goes … Continue reading

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Solving public transportation problems

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Good Design is a lot like clear thinking – Edward Tufte

Isn’t this right for a good interface?

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Alvin Toffler – “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

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unload

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Contextual Inquiry

“The core premise of Contextual Inquiry is very
simple: go where the customer works, observe
the customer as he or she works, and talk to
the customer about the work. Do that, and you
can’t help but gain a better understanding of
your customer. ”

Beyer and Holtzblatt, Contextual Design, 1998

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Clay Shirky shares some ideas on Collaboration

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“Vision” is the ability to talk about the future with such clarity it is as if we are talking about the past. – Simon Sinek

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The real problem is often not the one you’re asked to solve. – Jamin Hegeman ADAPTIVEPATH

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Design is the art of gradually applying constraints until only one solution remains

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Saved out of the desert by a Critroen 2CV

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Proving the reliability of the famous 2CV car mechanics, this guy managed to create a “motorcycle” out of the wrecks of his Citroen 2CV… He saved himself. Yes, Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication 🙂

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