My Blog

A Miracle at Christmas – UXMAS 2016

1 January, 2017    

In 2016 I contributed to UXMAS. Here is my submission. When it gets to this time of year I start thinking about what I’ve achieved in the last 12 months, and what next year might hold. I’m not a great believer in New Year’s resolutions. But I thought it might be fun for us all to take part in an experiment that should commit us to making a change to…

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Interact 2014 – Dan Ramsden

23 October, 2014    

Design like you’re right. Test like you’re wrong. And be careful what you throw away. Interact London is a UX design conference which brought together leading speakers with talks that explored the importance of design and the roles that User Experience and Information Architecture play in today’s digital society. I chose to talk about reflective practice and the importance of teaching in developing your own confidence, skills and experience. This…

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Using stories in user experience architecture

18 September, 2013    

There are lots of things to focus on when you’re designing something. I think there are three layers of abstraction to most digital design challenges. The simplest is the interface – deciding what things look like. Interaction design turns 2d designs into something with both form and function. But there is another layer – the layer of experience. This is where the serious work of design happens. User experience architecture…

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Why there’s no such thing as metadata

10 September, 2013     / /

I like Jean-Francois Lyotard – mainly because of his name, I think. And I tend to think of him every time I hear people talking about metadata. Lyotard had a problem with meta-narrative – grand narratives that pull us all together and make sense of the world. Lyotard said this class of thing, stories about stories didn’t really exist anymore. There shouldn’t be grand narratives that we treat as special…

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Jean-Francois_Lyotard

Heuristics isn’t a dirty word

23 May, 2013     / /

Jargon annoys me. Especially when someone tries to “namify” a process in a way that seeks to own and obscure the method rather than reveal it. I’d love to find it funny and be flippant that professional practise gets obscured by jargon. But too often giving a name to a process implies that the thing is an artefact, a finished product, rather than a living process. I remember being on…

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Invisible art, intrinsic motivation

8 May, 2013     / /

10,000 hours Imagine waking up at 8am practising something for 12 hours, going to bed, getting up in the morning and doing it all over again. Imagine eating soup, wearing the same pants everyday* and avoiding all distractions. Imagine that you take weekends off, but use them to visit your Aunty Doris, who you hate.  According to some ‘experts’ you can adopt this sort of lifestyle and master a skill…

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The invisible man

You don’t get anything for free

1 May, 2013     /

We’re doing more and more with content these days. There was a time when you wrote a page for the web and that was that. Hyperlinking created the webbyness of the net. But basically, a page was on the web, with a URL to locate it, and that was that. Since search engines came along and started breaking pages up and detecting meaning, the experience of the web has started…

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Teller – on how magic works

24 February, 2012    

In its most fundamental form, magic is about what happens when what you see differs from what you know. You seem to be seeing something that is really happening, you know it can’t be happening, and those two forces come into collision. That purely intellectual element of magic, where what you know about the world is being challenged by what you think you’re seeing, is, I think, a very pure…

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Magic, information and interaction design

20 February, 2012     /

All projects require a focus on the result you need to achieve and the audience that the product is being designed for. It’s only then that you can combine and negotiate the needs of both client and audience to ensure that they intersect and the solution is a success. That’s a bit of a jargon-laden way of saying that a good project should take what the client wants and design…

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Importance of scripting the user

12 November, 2011    

Stories have the felicitous capacity of capturing exactly those elements that formal decision methods leave out. Logic tries to generalise, to strip the decision making from the specific context, to remove it from subjective emotions. Stories capture the context, capture emotions… Stories are important cognitive events, for they encapsulate, into one compact package, information, knowledge, context and emotion.” Don Norman, Things that make us smart  

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