Listen to your Brain.
Check out this article on Extreme Tech. This reminds me a lot of one of Donald Norman’s key maxims: humans use artifacts specifically to aid or augment their own abilities and experience -that includes everything from pointy sticks to iThings! In this case, scientists have developed a mechanism for determining how hard your brain is working so that a device can jump in to assist you. This is an interesting development for so many reasons – how, when, and where is this assistance appropriate? How much control does the user have over the assistance they get, and will the user be accepting of it or recognize it? I think there could be a whole branch of UX development built around this technological concept! Very interesting!
This past week, I enjoyed reading this article titled “Stop Designing Pages, Start Designing Flows“ from Smashing Magazine. I especially like the following quote: “flow design will keep you out of the trap of designing individual pages and interactions and instead focus you on fulfilling users’ needs.” It really gets to the heart of why we here at User Insight recommend a research-based approach. If you just start designing the IA and function layouts for something without really understanding what it is that people need to accomplish with it, you’re putting the cart before the horse. Slow down and get some insight into your users. Really understand what they’re trying to accomplish in their everyday context and then build from there. Your product will be better off for it.