How I do UX, partial thoughts: the no bullshit edition

Don’t expect a masters treatise, much in the way of theory, or anything resembling proof that UX Is Right.

Rose_PricklesI’m not interested in changing minds right here, or finding out if you’re a design bigot.  (I already know.) 

I’m also not going to pretend I’m something I’m not.  I’m not going to use a lot of flowery language, cryptic metaphor or industry jargon.  It is what it is.  A rose is a rose.

The important thing for me right here and now is to spell out what I do when I’m applying user experience principles to the stuff I create.  If you look closely, you’ll notice the topics are ordered according to where I spent most of my energy and attention. 

Interaction Design: identify what tasks a user needs to accomplish, understand why they need to accomplish it one way and not the others, and figure out how to provide an obvious/efficient/effective path through the software to successfully complete the task. 

Usability Engineering: identify the trouble spots, understand why that causes problems for people, and figure out how to make it better.

User Research: listen, ask questions, observe, ask more questions, offer unfinished ideas for early feedback, and thank them for their time and input. 

Information Architecture: spell words properly, choose words that users are familiar with, don’t use more words than you need to. 

Visual Design: choose colours that aren’t too garish, use colours and fonts consistently throughout the application(s), make sure things are aligned, don’t make users hunt for the affordances and cues.

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