Design is an Organizational Behavior Challenge

What do top universities, international airlines, and the California DMV have in common? Answer: Terrible websites, with so much hierarchy in their navigation scheme that accomplishing a basic task requires a black belt in enterprise bureaucracy.  Why do companies with so many resources at their disposal have such a hard time producing good design?

Simple, clean UX design is hard work. Sometimes you just have to lock yourself up for a week to figure out how to make the complex look simple. But getting design done in a huge enterprise – where stakeholders are spread across departments with decades of political history dividing their interests – is a total bitch.

Continue reading “Design is an Organizational Behavior Challenge”

Experience Design Builds Brand Relationships: The Apple Store Retail Experience

Apple Store Fifth Avenue
Apple Store Fifth Avenue, by highstrungloner on Flickr

Experience Design (aka XD or ED) is a field of design that focuses on the creating the broader experience of using a product/service/space/process, rather than narrowly focusing on its functional features.

To witness the power of Experience Design in retail, walk into an Apple Store. The shopping experience is impeccably consistent with the product experience (using a Mac): intuitive, beautiful, thoughtful, simple, and approachable. Continue reading “Experience Design Builds Brand Relationships: The Apple Store Retail Experience”

Designers: Think you have a good eye for color? Get proof…

How good is your color vision?  Arrange these tiles by hue to find your score – (based X-Rite’s official FM100 Hue Test).
Brag: I got a perfect score (a zero), which pretty much made my week.  Guess the Color Theory class I took in the UC Extension design certificate program a few years ago paid off….  or maybe it was my compulsive color-arranging of clothing, books, and iPhone app icons (practice makes perfect).
Friends who are designers and visual artists seemed to score between 0 and 10.  Aesthetically sensitive non-artist friends reported scores between 10 and 25.  Share your reactions to the test – and your score if you like – below.
Take the X-Rite Color Challenge

Dimensions of the User Experience

Info graphic – The Overlapping Disciplines of User Experience

The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars

What do academics do that designers don’t? And why should designers care?Hanging rulers, taken by Unhindered by Talent  (Flickr)

These were some of the challenging questions asked at the Design & the Creative Industries: Working Together with Universities conference last Friday in Brighton. As a scholar and teacher, I was feeling rather unappreciated (and frankly over-valued by society, relative to all of Those Who Can Do so Don’t Teach I was surrounded by in the audience).

I was forced to grapple with the value of my own line of work. This is what I came up with: Scholars are good at certain things that designers and artists need, and vice versa. Continue reading “The Measurement of Design (and Other Squishy Concepts), or, Why Designers Need Scholars”

My interview in BAD IDEA magazine: Marxist coffee mugs, trapped by an open mind, etc.

One cold night a few weeks ago I met Ben Beaumont-Thomas in a hip, low-key cafe down an alley and behind an indie theatre in London’s Dalston. (ICYDN, Dalston = the new Shoreditch, chic tragique.)  Continue reading “My interview in BAD IDEA magazine: Marxist coffee mugs, trapped by an open mind, etc.”