Spotlight on Experience - August Edition

Here's what caught our attention in the month of August.

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Just What Is UX Design Thinking? by Larry Marine, Search Engine Watch

We believe strongly in focusing on users, so Marine’s article about the difference between user experience (UX) and user-centered design (UCD) piqued our interest. He notes that UX design thinking is “a pervasive perspective” that leads him to constantly critique the design flaws in the world, whereas UCD is a methodology for creating usable designs. UCD can be turned off, he writes; UX design thinking is always on. We see where he’s coming from, but we also see value in both being a constant presence.

What UX is and isn’t by Aaron Sanders, InfoQ

From UX vs UCD to UX vs. UI! Here’s another article attempting to define UX — a debate on which our own Aaron Rich has also weighed in and is hoping to discuss further at SXSW 2015. Here, Sanders dissects the difference between UX — the process and the guts of the product, service, etc. — and user interface (UI) — the aesthetics of the exterior that people interact with. They’ll always overlap, but Sanders suggests that “making a good product look great should come last,” after the UX work of research, strategy, and structure is done.

The 7 deadly sins of digital user experience by Thelton McMillian, AG Beat

McMillian, of design and strategy agency Comrade, defines how the 7 deadly sins show up in digital user experience and suggests ways to avoid them. His take on gluttony resonated with us: It’s not good practice to do a bunch of things “because you can.” As the saying goes, less is sometimes more.

An Ingenious Plane Design That Makes Room For Your Carry-Ons by Joseph Flaherty, Wired

We love a good transportation UX story, and this one qualifies: We’ve all been annoyed, frustrated, aggravated — and many other -eds! — while dragging a carry-on onto a plane, only to discover the bin space is full. Priestmangoode, a London-based design firm, worked with Embraer Air to eliminate the problem. They’ve designed an airplane that allows passengers more carry-on space while retaining seat space. By making the so-called “personal service units” (where the “fasten seatbelt” sign, reading light, and oxygen masks live) modular and more flexible, they’ve opened up an abundance of extra space. When can we fly it?

What made your list this month? Let us know in the comments below, or @EchoUser on Twitter, to keep the conversations going!
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