UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week


Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!


Building an Ethical User Research Practice. Great article from Smashing Magazine on the topic of building ethical user research practices. The article focuses in detailing what Ethics in the context of product design actually is, and how that also impacts research practices. It also focuses on how to effectively build a research practice with ethics in mind, namely contemplating crafting a Code of Ethics, with details including getting familiar with relevant laws, brainstorming core principles, implementing feedback, to name but a few. Very pertinent and relevant. Highlight of the article includes:

“Ethics are the moral standards by which a person (or in this context, a company or team) should govern the behavior or the conduct of an activity. Ethical user research should then be about protecting the dignity, rights, and welfare of the participants from whom we are asking so much information or data. If we aren’t proactive and prescriptive about our own standards as a research team, we could unconsciously be biased, demoralizing, exclusive, or even in breach of the law. Here are a few examples of unethical practices: Not recruiting a diverse and inclusive sample; Not informing participants of study requirements or potential harm; Misplacing or not tracking participant data or identifiable information ; Misgendering or reinforcing stereotypes in reports, personas, or prototypes.”


Learning more about Richard Sapper. Very interesting article on Designer Richard Sapper. The late German influential designer was at one point offered an opportunity to work at Apple, but instead went in a slightly different direction, ending up working with large organizations such as IBM. This article showcases books and the documentary crafted around the work of this ingenious and iconic Thinker and Designer, and his belief in how Design has the power to effectively do good and bring more comfort to people. Well worth reading. Highlight of the article includes:

“There is a parallel between Richard Sapper and Henry Moore. The latter’s success came not from his abilities as a sculptor but his understanding of architecture. At the time, there was few things more desirable than a Moore sculpture placed in front of the rectilinear facade of a modernist building. Moore was friends with many of the architectural successes at the time, who would call him up when they needed a sculpture in front of a project. Similarly, Richard’s success as a designer came from this understanding of the business side of things. He worked with entrepreneurs like Ernesto Gismondi and corporate behemoths like IBM. All the while, he cared about the business impact of his work.”


Service Design and Relational Services. Interesting article hailing from the Marvel Blog on the topic of Service Design, written by Sarah Drummond and Peter McColl, both from the Snook Organization. Much like the Nielsen Norman Group details in its definition of Service Design, this is a discipline that is fundamental in order to provide a User and Customer Experience that is truly effective. In this particular case study, the authors detail how they’ve been using this process to handle Homelessness in West Sussex. By working with a series of Associations, Bureaus and getting insights from a variety of individuals who have gone through such ordeals, they’re getting a more holistic knowledge of the different variables, and how they can build an effective strategy around dealing with this type of complex challenge. Very interesting read. Highlight of the article includes:

“Instead of seeing the individual as a problem to solve with a long list of needs focusing on mental health, addiction, and self-harm, we’re focusing on, as one provider said, ‘what they want’. We’re working with West Sussex to look at the mechanism for commissioning more relational services, a system that builds support around a human being. Think of a coach who helps them be what they want to be and works with them on this journey. Not 6 or 7 ‘experts’; not endless letters and forms to fill in; or repeating their story to multiple professionals. One person, one relationship, and one supportive journey that’s open to moving forward or pausing at any time.”



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