Links on UCD

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

On the trail of exploring our next career move, it’s likely we’ll need to show the path we’ve been on. As part of a design team, that usually means displaying our work.

However, if we didn’t make proper arrangements before we took the job, it’s very likely we can’t show much of our work to anyone. Consultants, contractors, and full-time employees are usually covered (in the US at least, but most other places as well) by a “work for hire” agreement, which means that the people we work for own all the work product we produce.

Wireframes, sketches, and other deliverables are not ours to show. If the final design isn’t publicly visible, such as internal application, there might not be any evidence of what we’ve done.

This puts us in an uncomfortable position when it comes time to show our work to a prospective employer. How do we show what we’re capable of when we don’t have access to our work? What can you put into your portfolio when your work is all locked up? The simple answer: Fill your portfolio with stories.

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

Download the Collective Action Toolkit by frog- Design Thinking in Simple Language

The Collective Action Toolkit (CAT) is a package of resources and activities that enable groups of people anywhere to organize, build trust, and collaboratively create solutions for problems impacting their community. The toolkit provides a dynamic framework that integrates knowledge and action to solve challenges. Designed to harness the benefits of group action and the power of open sharing, the activities draw on each participant’s strengths and perspectives as the group works to accomplish a common goal.

The toolkit emerged from frog’s collaboration with Nike Foundation/Girl Effect on a project where we explored the nature and value of connections for adolescent girls living in extreme poverty in the developing world. Pairing design research and skills development, frog worked with girls around the world to examine their communities and collectively devise solutions for the problems they faced. Inspired by the Girl Effect project, frog went on to create the Collective Action Toolkit to empower groups of change-makers everywhere.

The CAT isn’t a rigid template for problem solving. It’s designed to be flexible and accessible, with an action map and activities arranged into six categories, from building a group, to imagining new ideas, to planning change. The toolkit challenges groups to move beyond discussion to action, continually clarifying their shared goals based on what they learn through the problem-solving process. The result is a holistic approach to help groups tackle issues in their communities.

Collective Action Toolkit

The UX of Co-Design: Experience Principles for Successful Client Workshops

While creating the right methods and activities for planning a client workshop is important, what has been especially fascinating is explicitly crafting the workshop-participant experience and recognizing how the participant experience is connected to the overall project success. Some of the experience principles for co-design workshops with client teams followed at Adaptive Path are:

  • Honor the gathering
  • Establish shared reference
  • Evoke the mission
  • Personalize the purpose
  • Prepare for excellence
  • Plan for productive groups
  • Reveal the forest in the trees
  • Remember the Enterprise
  • Be grateful
  • Bring your piece of the puzzle

The UX of Co-Design: Experience Principles for Successful Client Workshops

What is the Deep-Dive Brainstorming technique?

Deep-Dive™ is the name of a technique used to rapidly immerse a group or team into a situation for problem solving or idea creation. This approach is often used for brainstorming product or process development.

Originally developed by the IDEO group (a learning design company) for rapid product development, the Deep-Dive technique is now widely and increasingly used for innovation not only in product development, but process improvement and customer service strategies. The method used by IDEO was documented by Andy Boynton and Bill Fischer (of International Institute of Management Development (IMD) business school), who latterly further enhanced the process and sold the rights to Deloitte Consulting in 2006.

What is the Deep-Dive Brainstorming technique?

High Paying Jobs in User Experience Design

Here are top paying jobs for Information Architecture, Usability, and UX practitioners plus reasons to explore each for your user experience design career – and bank your account. (Salary figures based on and data)

  • User experience strategist: $67,000 to $135,000
  • Usability analyst: $81,000 on an average
  • User interface designer: $84,000 to $155,000
  • Interaction designer: $91,000 on an average
  • Interaction designer: $91,000 on an average
  • Information architect: $104,000 on an average

High paying jobs in User Experience design

What is Design Thinking Anyway?

Design thinking, as a concept, has been slowly evolving and coalescing over the past decade. One popular definition is that design thinking means thinking as a designer would, which is about as circular as a definition can be. More concretely, Tim Brown of IDEO has written that design thinking is “a discipline that uses the designer’s sensibility and methods to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and what a viable business strategy can convert into customer value and market opportunity.”

A person or organization instilled with that discipline is constantly seeking a fruitful balance between reliability and validity, between art and science, between intuition and analytics, and between exploration and exploitation. The design-thinking organization applies the designer’s most crucial tool to the problems of business. That tool is abductive reasoning.

What is Design Thinking Anyway?

Manager’s guidebook on intranet redesign projects

The intranet manager is one of the most important people in an intranet design project. Many times the effort that goes into such a project is on the same level as that of a major organizational change initiative. It is therefore important that the manager is thoroughly prepared for the journey. If you are managing your first redesign project or are new to intranets or just love intranets then we have the resource to get you started: Manager’s guidebook to intranet design projects.

This 64-page guidebook takes you through eight stages of a typical intranet design project. Each stage has many activities that go under it. The activities described and insights included are those gathered over the years by PebbleRoad.

Manager’s guidebook on intranet redesign projects

Disclosure: I work for the company that released the ebook. Of course, it’s included here because it I think it deserves to be here.

User Centred Design- because we don’t work how we like to think we do

The pilot thought he had keyed in 7600 to warn air traffic control his radios had packed up. But he actually punched in 7500, the code for “I’ve been hijacked”.

The pilot’s problem is comic, but not unique. Why, asks Michaela Bushell, are so many products still designed to suit the way companies would ideally like us to behave?

User Centred Design- because we don’t work how we like to think we do

A UX process diagram

A UX process diagram that maps software development life cycle (SDLC) and user centered design (UCD) activities together.

A UX Process diagram

Download IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit

Their Human Centered Design Toolkit is a free innovation guide for NGOs and social enterprises.

Human-Centered Design is a process used for decades to create new solutions for companies and organizations. Human-Centered Design can help you enhance the lives of people. This process has been specially-adapted for organizations like yours that work with people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Human-Centered Design (HCD) will help you hear people’s needs in new ways, create innovative solutions to meet these needs, and deliver solutions with financial sustainability in mind.

The Toolkit is divided into four sections that can be downloaded individually or together:

  1. The Introduction will give an overview of HCD and help you understand how it might be used alongside other methods.
  2. The Hear guide will help your design team prepare for fieldwork and understand how to collect stories that will serve as insight and inspiration. Designing meaningful and innovative solutions that serve your customers begins with gaining deep empathy for their needs, hopes and aspirations for the future. The Hear booklet will equip the team with methodologies and tips for engaging people in their own contexts to delve beneath the surface.
  3. The Field Guide and Aspirations cards are a complement to the Hear guide; these are the tools your team will take with them in order to conduct research.
  4. The Create guide will help your team work together in a workshop format to translate what you heard from people into frameworks, opportunities, solutions, and prototypes. During this phase, you will move from concrete to more abstract thinking in identifying themes and opportunities and back to the concrete with solutions and prototypes.
  5. The Deliver guide will help catapult the top ideas you have created toward implementation. The realization of solution includes rapid revenue and cost modeling, capability assessment, and implementation panning. The activities offered in this phase are meant to complement your organization’s existing implementation processes and may prompt adaptations to the way solutions are typically rolled out.

IDEO’s Human Centered Design Toolkit
Download individual sections