A List Apart
Brightly Colored Food
City of Sound
Croc o' Lyle
Digital Web Magazine
Dive Into Mark
Guide to ease
Joel on Software
Noise Between Stations
Off the top
Signal vs. Noise
The IDSA has collected articles about the value of design. I enjoy reading articles like this, and there are some now-classic articles, like the BusinessWeek cover from last May on the Power of Design. But sadly, many of the articles only deal with the aesthetic - Michael Graves redesigning toilet brushes, instead of redesigning process, experience, or organizations. Nussbaum's Empathy Economy piece gets there, but doesn't bring a lot new to the conversation...perhaps more an indication of how slow it is to change perceptions of design by business and practitioners than anything else. Favorite article of the ones I've had a chance to read now or previously: Humanizing by Design (nytimes, may break soon) about making healthcare experiences better.
Gary Feldman at Cheskin shares some insights into why innovation can lead to dead ends. This quote sums up the problem - becoming a "betamax first mover loser". His examples are Tivo (a great innovation) and satellite radio (a paid version of something you already have). The main difference between the two is that Tivo doesn’t integrate into the TV / Cable experience - buying a Tivo requires extra effort - while satellite radio is an option at the dealership.
The key insight for UX is that it’s the integrated experience that matters - not just the one specific product we might be working on.
btw, Cheskin’s company blog is consistently insightful and refreshing.
Forrester Research recently completed a ranking of 17 top interactive agencies - congratulations to Dave and the rest of the IA team at Critical Mass that came out with the best overall results. User centered practices were key to Forrester’s evaluation…
Along with the overall report, there’s a free report on persona best practices based on deliverables submitted by the above agencies, though actual samples aren’t included (registration required).