Live from Big Design: Personalization Strategies for Better User Experiences

Personalization Strategies for Better User Experiences, by Brent Bice

big-design-logo-300x126Personalization is about relevance. Finding content that you know about and they need. Personalization is about providing the right content at the right time (when they need it). It’s about optimizing a digital experience for that user, and cutting through the clutter and the noise.

Why Does it Matter?

It’s not new – it’s been around since back in MyYahoo. But now the internet is faster, content is easier to produce, we have Twitter, video, audio files all coming into play. All of these solutions are now starting to talk to each other, so it’s much easier to take all this data and organize it in a way that is more useful.  Continue Reading


Live from Big Design: Accessibility is Not Enough

Accessibility is Not Enough, by Bobby Brooks and Jessica Looney

big-design-logo-300x126The speakers both work with Knowbility, a web accessibility nonprofit. They’re going to do something more in-depth than a 101. Instead, going over a few common accessibility challenges, and then ways to validate and test.

What is an accessible website?

One that people can use regardless of abilities/disabilities. Some people feel it’s about checking in on guidelines at the end. But the spirit is more about incorporating accessibility from the beginning, not tacking on a ramp at the end.

For example, one common thing in brand guidelines is to say “these are our colors.” But if those aren’t accessible (not enough contrast) we need to take a step back and consider ways to accomplish accessibility. Continue Reading


Live from Big Design: Form Follows Me

Form Follows Me, by Mark Rolston

big-design-logo-300x126Mark runs a product design consultancy, Argo Design. They do both products and conceptual work. Used to work at Frog. He’s been in the industry since 1994, and he’s seen a lot of change. Computing is driving rapid and fundamental change in society. iPhone is about to turn 10yrs old! That was the first time a computer really became mobile – part of the rest of life. Since then it’s been getting more connected, and cheaper.

The design of a hammer is manifest. It’s clear from the shape/form what it does. Similarly, the design of a home screen shows what it can do. But a lot of what is becoming important to how design behaves is becoming more like an iceberg – most of it is underwater.

The line is blurring between it (object) and she (person). What is the Amazon Echo? Is it a thing, or is it Alexa? How do we know what the Echo does? The software isn’t even present in the thing you see. Continue Reading


Live from Big Design: Agile and the Elusive Big Picture

Agile and the Elusive Big Picture: How Storymapping Brings UX into the Agile Framework, by Elisa Miller

big-design-logo-300x126Where do user stories come from? Elisa read User Story Mapping, by Jeff Patton, and went to find everything else he read. She felt that it helps get developers out of the weeds. It’s not difficult, but it’s really useful to do story mapping to understand the big picture for agile.

A story map is a way of connecting user stories and organizing them. Continue Reading


Live from Big Design: Organizational Design for Design Organizations

Organizational Design for Design Organizations, by Peter Merholz

big-design-logo-300x126There’s a belief that if the design is right, then the UX will be right. If that fails, we must need to get the research and strategy right. If the UX still fails, then what’s going wrong?

Could be the organization. With the right organization, the team is set up for success.

Companies invest in design for 2 reasons:

  1. It improves/generates business value
  2. Software is eating the world.” – the world is digital.

In addition, everything is becoming a service, which means that all design is becoming service design. Design was initially a step in the process: management got an idea, marketing determined how to sell it, design designed it, engineers created it, manufacturing built a lot of them, sales then sells it, support provides customer support beyond that. Now, design impacts all the other areas.

Design informs the planning – figuring out what happens at each stage. It’s part of the “three legged stool” of business, technology, and design. Continue Reading