“Subjecting all designs to usability studies before shipping is prudent risk-management.From a good article by Jakob Nielsen on
Radical innovation is extremely risky. Yes, you might invent the next iPhone. But you’re more likely to invent the next Newton.”
A/B Testing, Usability Engineering, Radical Innovation: What Pays Best?
The contrasts between A/B testing, usability activities, and just turning a genius loose to invent the next Big Thing are clearly drawn. I would temper Nielsen’s position a bit by emphasizing his final point—that there’s no reason you have to pick just one. If you have a genius on staff, subjecting his ideas to A/B testing and usability testing will only polish his or her brilliance to an even greater sheen…
“We’ve found the most successful teams are those that spend as much time in each iteration measuring their designs as they do implementing it.”Jared Spool, in an interesting article on making agile iterations… agile! I have found the situation he describes over and over again—agile teams organizing a series of sprints, but never really iterating. They are basically doing waterfall planning, just on very short timescales. This article gives direction on how to get out of that rut. And no surprise, it relies on robust design and user research processes.
Here’s a great article by Christian Holst on an frequent need: designing country selectors. What I love most is that he’s gone beyond describing the challenges, to designing a working solution—which he then makes open source! You can try out his redesigned country selector and download the jQuery plugin.
“The problem with business today isn’t a lack of innovation; it’s a lack of empathy.”Great quote by Dev Patnaik, cited in a UX Booth article called
Invisible Armor: Protecting Your Empathy at Work.
I enjoyed this (sometimes corny) article and related to a lot of the points.
“Speed and agility are the most important attributes any design team can have, even beating out creativity and innovation.Jared Spool, in
This is because a fast–moving process that iterates frequently gets to take advantage of the natural evolution of the design, whereas a slow moving process needs to discover innovation out of the gate, which is much more difficult.”
Prototyping’s Resurgence: Communicating the Designer’s Intent