It was during a recent espresso-fueled debate around User Interface Design and UX as a multi-disciplined field that I got myself into trouble. In order to prove the effectiveness of UX tools to a bunch of skeptics, I agreed to create a concept iPad application. I had one week.
This was first published on www.followtheuxleader.com great people, great content – check ‘em out.
So, here is what I did and how I did it. Continue reading
A discussion on the LinkedIn grabbed my attention recently. The author posed the following question, “What are the challenges to developing an integrated social media campaign?”
I decided against posting my answer on LinkedIn as I’m having a serious internal debate around what the exact role of agencies within social media are. The fact that many brands resort to 3rd party “social media experts” (a term I despise) just don’t sit well with me. It also feels like evangelists (with their own business related mandates) are toting ‘Social Media’ to be the new silver bullet without really thinking about the long term implications and relevance for the brand. Continue reading
I hate making text-notes, I never go back to read them and they just clutter my life. It’s just to damn structured, give me a sharpie and let me draw. One sketch per meeting is all I need.
I recently swapped my sharpie and A3 sketch-pad for an iPad and Penultimate. Developed by Cocoa Box (www.cocoa box.com), Penultimate is my favorite sketch application for the iPad and without a doubt the application I use most during the day.
I’ve not been able to add much to the User Experiencnce(UX)/Information Architecture(IA) communities the last two years. Mostly in part due to the nature of the industry I work in. Digital Marketing… Yes, where deadlines, crazy short-term acquisition targets and baffling consumers with bullshit** are the norm.
One thing I am grateful for is the fact that I stayed in touch with my Canadian friend and UX-guru Jeff Parks*.
Someone recently asked me to write an short article about digital strategy. It was meant to go out to SA students studying a variety of digital disciplines. I tried to keep it a light-hearted and thought I’d pop it here on the old blog.
I had no clue what to write, then I remembered what my old Boss at FNB, Luis Simoes once said to me
I’m a proud member of the Information Architects Institute (IAI) and follow their mailing list religiously. In fact, I get stressed out because I can’t read every message sent to the list due to my workload. Their spirit of participation and the ongoing innovation of its members motivated me to share the work I was doing with low-fidelity prototypes a few months ago.
That was the easy part – I found it much harder to put my reputation on the line and actually show how I implemented the concept on a real-life project. I realise that I open myself to criticism as I’m sure that not all the UX and IA “rules” (BTW I don’t believe in rules ) were met in totality.
That said, here goes…
I just got my first taste of real market research this past week. I attended a whole series of Focus Group sessions, peering from behind a two-way mirror, recording what our prospective clients where saying. I found myself trying to build a mental picture about what their motivations, needs and goals were with an aim to incorporate this into the new web portal I’m working on.
In business we tend to lose perspective on who’s ‘needs’ we’re actually building our business models on. It’s easy to talk about “user needs” and “clients” when you substitute your own needs into the equation.
As the strategists race ahead with the Quantitative and Qualitative research I realized that there was a huge opportunity for me explore yet another avenue of the great world of User Centered Design.
…that be me!
So much have changed since my last blog entry – I’m happy to report that usability tests on our 3D website went down well. Perfect? No, but we fixed some critical errors and concluded that our system was ready to go into production. I will post the live link up as soon as possible – the actual website went into production two weeks ago.
Now for the curve ball. I left the company (TBWATEQUILA) at the end of May. I gave up the wonderful world of advertising for telecoms/banking. I joined a start-up business unit within one of the top four banks of South Africa – FNB (First National Bank).
When I first started researching my adopted field of Information Architecture I found myself reading through project specifications and wireframe documents a colleague of mine brought back from Europe. She went on a little visit to the greater TBWA network and the guys were keen to share their processes and documentation with her.
I later found a little gem on the O’Reilly website – Information Architecture for the World Wide Web by Peter Morville and Louis Rosenfeld. It’s brilliant book and should definitely form the part of any aspiring IA’s arsenal.
I’ve had the book for just over a year now and I’m only half way – I keep on reworking chapters’ over-and-over, whenever I get a chance. I even dragged my copy to Malaysia last year when I played in the Asian Paintball World Cup. Needless to say, I brought back my copy stained with orange paint and was forced to cover the book due to the water damage it suffered.
It’s NOT the end-all, be-all of IA but a great foundation. It’s like a real Uni-book in my opinion. You struggle through it at times not knowing how you’d ever apply or even remember some of the chapters but after reading it you find yourself applying the techniques without thinking.
Here’s a follow-up on my previous, “Talking about Wireframes”, post. I presented the initial prototype to my boss as a pro-active project – unfortunately she never had the time to look at it and it’s now gathering dust somewhere, sigh. I just left it. I achieved what I wanted in my research on the subject though.
Later that week
A client-service manager at the agency had a problem conveying a new concept to one of our top clients and I thought that we could use something similar to help them out. Continue reading