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3 posts from March 2011

Friday, 25 March 2011

IxD Resources - Psychology Edition

A core skill of interaction design is understanding how people think — specifically in relation to software systems but also on a general level. Most of this knowledge comes from observation & experience and the occasional psychology book in my IxD reading rotation. 

I've recently come across a couple great sites that are useful resources for understanding people:

What Makes Them Click
The author has a Ph.D. in Psychology and offers great tips on how people think and relating that to software design.

You Are Not So Smart
I love the tagline : "A celebration of self-delusion".  There are not many direct ties into software design, however the stories around each topics are fun and very useful in understanding how people tick.

UX Myths
This site starts from a UX focus and many of the myths center around how people really think. Each article contains lots of links to supplemental material.

Friday, 11 March 2011

Alphabetical is an Arbitrary Order



Despite being a color junkie, I had a difficult time matching color names to their location in the palette. Ugh!

Wednesday, 02 March 2011

Lessons from the Medical Field

In the past year and a half of working for a company in the healthcare field, I've been reading more medical related articles. The CTO recently shared a couple of articles that offer great lessons for interaction designers.

Patients Lie, by Davis Liu, MD demonstrates what people say rarely matches with the real problem. Clients, whether internal or external, tend to present what they think should be the solution. It is our duty to listen and ask questions to get at the root cause... the real problem they need to solve. 

18 Stethoscopes, 1 Heart Murmur and Many Missed Connections by Madeline Drexler is a lesson in empathy and communication. Interaction designers need to find ways to connect and empathize with the people using their solutions. If you're fortunate to have constanct access to the your end users, designers need to gain the trust of the users and minimize the "patients lie" syndrome.

Essentially, as is the case with many professional fields, interaction designers operate in a customer service role. While mad Photoshop and CSS skills are highly touted, not enough emphasis is placed on the listening, communication and service skills that are critical to being a better designer. The best prototype in the world won't matter if the solution is misguided. 

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