A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Follett, Jonathan

17 found.

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An Audience of One: Creating Products for Very Small Workgroups

As creators of digital user experiences, we must transform complex workflows and tasks into useful applications. Experts have written much about the UX design process as it applies to broad audiences, industry-specific vertical markets, and large corporate user groups. However, as our evolving information economy continues to encourage greater and greater specialization of job roles, there is an increased need for customized applications--digital systems that only a select few people will ever use.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Interface>Collaboration


Audio and the User Experience

Audio signals also help us interact with our environment. Some of these signals are designed: We wake to the buzz of the alarm clock, answer the ringing telephone, and race to the kitchen when the shrill beep of the smoke alarm warns us that dinner is burning on the stove. Other audio signals are not deliberately designed, but help us nonetheless. For instance, we may know the proper sound of the central air conditioning starting, the gentle hum of the PC fan, or the noise of the refrigerator. So, when these systems go awry, we notice it immediately--something doesn't sound right. Likewise, an excellent mechanic might be able to tell what is wrong with a car engine just by listening to it run.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Centered Design>User Experience>Audio


Creating a Digital World: Data As Design Material

The common wisdom is that we now live in the age of information; the freedom and access we have to data is unprecedented in history; and the efficiency and convenience of online commerce, research, and communication has already transformed our lives for the better. While this is true, of course, our excitement should be tempered by a few realizations.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2008). Articles>Information Design>User Interface>User Experience


Display 2.0: A Look Forward to the High-Definition Web and Its Effect on Our Digital Experience

The adoption of high-resolution displays--with 150 or more pixels per inch--will significantly alter our conception of what the Web and networked applications can potentially be. As the price of high-res displays comes down to earth and early adopters make way for mass consumers, beautiful visualizations of data will enrich the digital realm.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2006). Design>Graphic Design>Web Design>High Definition


Engaging User Creativity: The Playful Experience

With so many choices as to how we can spend our time in the digital age, attention is becoming the most important currency. In today's splintered media environment, new digital products and services must compete with everything under the sun, making differentiation key to developing an audience that cares, invests, and ultimately drives value.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Experience>User Centered Design


Envisioning the Whole Digital Person

As a human society, we're quite possibly looking at the largest surge of recorded information that has ever taken place, and at this point, we have only the most rudimentary tools for managing all this information--in part because we cannot predict what standards will be in place in 10, 50, or 100 years.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Articles>User Centered Design>Information Design>Databases


The Ever-Evolving Arrow: Universal Control Symbol

The arrow and its brethren are everywhere on our computer screens. For example, a quick examination of the Firefox 3.0 browser, shown in Figure 1 in its standard configuration, yields eight examples of arrows—Forward, Back, and Reload buttons, scroll bar controls, and drop-down menus that reveal search engine, history, and bookmark choices.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction>Graphic Design


Interfaces for People, Not Products

Without cooperation among designers of digital products, the proliferation of complex information systems can lead to unintended consequences--chiefly user fatigue, frustration, and the confusion that results from dealing with a host of variant user interfaces.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2006). Design>User Interface>User Centered Design


Interfaces That Flow: Transitions as Design Elements

Many UX designers--myself included--approach projects from a combination of information architecture, information design, interaction design, and visual design perspectives. These disciplines and their methods are fundamentally different from those people use to construct the continuous linear narratives we see and hear in film, video, and music. However, as the technologies for creating interactive user experiences become more robust--especially in the realm of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs)--we have an opportunity to draw upon a much wider visual vocabulary. This will also make narrative elements such as timing, pacing, and rhythm increasingly important. Using such design elements may enable us to move users from mere understanding to engagement and, ultimately, to immersion in our digital products and services.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Design>Web Design>User Interface


The Long Hallway

If a virtual design firm is to be successful, it must develop an adaptive culture that fosters and strengthens connections between far-flung collaborators.

Follett, Jonathan. List Apart, A (2007). Design>Web Design>Collaboration>Online


Recycle These Pixels: Sustainability and the User Experience

Whether we’re designing the user experience for a digital product or a physical one, as UX professionals, we are uniquely positioned to influence the behavior of other people, for good or ill. Our employers or clients charge us with responsibility for not only defining a design problem from multiple perspectives, but also finding solutions that are better than the ones that came before. Increased energy consumption, materials waste, and the resulting climate change are the chief difficulties our generation of designers and thinkers must address—or ignore at our own peril. But for most UX professionals, sustainability—unlike usability, technical feasibility, aesthetic appeal, and even business viability—is not yet a baseline factor that we take into account when designing a product or service.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Experience>Environmental


The Rules of Digital Engagement

For contract web workers, consultants, and freelancers who work with far-flung collaborators, multiple clients, and constantly shifting teams, the rules of digital engagement--the way we interact with each other and resolve conflict in virtual space--are constantly changing. As we adapt to new ways of collaborating, we must also learn how to communicate effectively, set expectations, and build team confidence in an evolving work environment.

Follett, Jonathan. List Apart, A (2008). Articles>Web Design>Collaboration>Workplace


Seeing the World in Symbols: Icons and the Evolving Language of Digital Wayfinding

Of all the objects that occupy our digital spaces, there are none that capture the imagination so much as icons. As symbols, icons can communicate powerfully, be delightful, add to the aesthetic value of software, engage people's curiosity and playfulness, and encourage experimentation. These symbols are key components of a graphic user interface--mediators between our thoughts and actions, our intentions and accomplishments.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2006). Articles>Usability>User Interface>Graphic Design


Toward a More Human Interface Device: Integrating the Virtual and Physical

As UX professionals, we often take for granted the fact that our users will be dealing with a keyboard, mouse or track pad, and monitor. We think about users’ physical relationship with their digital devices very selectively, if at all. But, as we explore new human interface devices and incorporate new interactions into our designs, we have the opportunity to create deep connections between users and their technology.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Interface>Human Computer Interaction


Using Web Software for Collaborative Work on Virtual UX Teams

Increasingly, virtual teamwork means UX professionals must get things done in an environment devoid of the physical presence of colleagues and lacking the relative ease of on-site collaboration. Effectively completing UX tasks while at a distance from our clients, stakeholders, and team members can be challenging, from both technical and process perspectives. How can we, as UX professionals, enable the close collaboration with others we need and manage the process of creating engaging digital experiences when we’re so far apart from each other physically?

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Collaboration>Software>User Experience


The UX Customer Experience: Communicating Effectively with Stakeholders and Clients

Effective communication with stakeholders and clients is critical to the design process itself, but this is not a topic we often address, because, at first glance, it doesn’t appear to contribute directly to our primary goals, which are to create, build, and ship digital products. Certainly, as an industry, we are attuned to client service in a general sense, but there’s no doubt that methods of UX customer communication, education, and collaboration are sometimes overlooked and underutilized aspects of the design process. We can and should treat the elements of stakeholder and client communication as a kind of user experience. And we should design this experience for our UX customers so far as it’s possible to do so.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2009). Articles>User Experience>Collaboration


Where Are You Now? Design for the Location Revolution

Experience designers need to transition from designing for a single, static space--the desktop--to imagining the broad possibilities of the geospatial Web. For digital products and services, the next dimension of user experience we should consider during design is location.

Follett, Jonathan. UXmatters (2007). Design>User Experience>Mobile

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