Two times since the launch of the new SIL.org website colleagues of mine have contacted me about the new requirement on SIL.org to log-in before downloading content from the SIL Language and Culture Archive. Both know that I relate to the website implementation team. I feel as if they expect me to be able to speak into this situation (as if I even have this sort of power) - I only work with the team in a loose affiliation (from a different sub-group within SIL), I don't make design decisions, social impact decisions, or negotiate the politics of content distribution.
However, I think there are some real concerns by web-users users about being required to log-in prior to downloading, and some real considerations which are not being realized by web-users.
Several months ago, I posted a question to Facebook about digital literacy.
What is the role or place of Digital Literacy in a company that values literacy as being vital to reaching its goals?
I have had several months to contemplate the question and I realize that I was a bit ambiguous in my question, or rather my question could not have been understood concisely. Digital Literacy can and is used to mean Continue reading →
For the past few weeks I have been working with a team on redoing a large corporate website (almost two large corporate websites).
Word Cloud for UX
During the course of the project I have had several people, who are unfamiliar (and familiar) with web technology talk with me about UX and UI, but in terms of Design. They might say: "We need a re-design. Our branding is not displayed well." or the might say " Oh, but it was designed to do that, it is doing exactly what it was designed to do!" So, most of the people (I am encountering) talking in terms of design, are talk about the business design or the function of a website at a very high level. Not the UX and UI level of design. I have tried to explain it in the following terms
The words Usability and Design each suffer from a very unfortunate ambiguity. Usability in a very raw sense means is a tool usable. Just because every tool can be a hammer, does not mean that every tool should be shaped like a hammer. Design in computing also suffers a similar fate. If some computer tool does something, it does so because it was designed to do so. This does not mean that the computer tool is esthetically pleasing or that it creates a good impression on its user. An impression of such a nature that the user might want to come back to the site and use it again. The following diagram contrast the words, functional, reliable, usable, convenient, pleasurable, and meaningful.
User Experience model
Because images show so much more than words I looked around for some images to describe the difference I have been trying to communicate. This has resulted in the following collection of images. In the process of linking to these pictures I hope to introduce my readers to some of the ongoing discussion of professional UX design and development.
Layering the Design
This image is from a PDF called: The Elements of User Experience by Jesse James Garret.  Jesse James Garret. 30 March 2000. The Elements of User Experience. [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://jjg.net/elements/pdf/elements.pdf [PDF]
Explaining the Layers
This Image comes from a write up about UX: UX Design DefinedMichael Commings. 16 August 2010. UX Design Defined. Uxdesign.com [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://uxdesign.com/ux-defined [Link] In it is perhaps the best definition of UX I have come across is:
User Experience Design is the art and science of integrating all the various elements that comprise an interactive system so that:
The user's needs, limitations, goals, desires, expectations, are served
The publishing organization's objectives are served as a result of serving the user's (#1)
The whole is greater than the sum of the parts
Peter Morville's Facets of the User Experience
This image was take from Peter Morville's article on User Experience Design.  Peter Morville. 21 June 2004. User Experience Design. [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://semanticstudios.com/publications/semantics/000029.php [Link]
This image comes from What Is User Experience Design by Kimmy Paluch.  Kimmy Paluch. 10 October 2006. What Is User Experience Design. [Accessed:8 November 2011] http://www.montparnas.com/articles/what-is-user-experience-design [Link]
Multiple Roles in Web Strategy
Finding the right fit of UX
This image is taken from User Experience Strategy.  Luke Wroblewski. 27 July 2005. User Experience Strategy. [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?203 [Link]
User Experience vs. User Interaction uxrevisions.com. 23 December 2010. User Experience vs. User Interaction [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://www.uxrevisions.com/user-experience-design/user-experience-vs-user-interaction [Link].
Strategy by Design, the second page - about Recruiting T-Shaped People, was interesting.  Tim Brown. 1 June 2005. Strategy by Design. [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/95/design-strategy.html [Link]
uxrevisions.com. 23 December 2010. The difference between Usability and User Experience. [Accessed: 8 November 2011] http://www.uxrevisions.com/user-experience-design/the-difference-between-usability-and-user-experience/ [Link].