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Hello All

Several really insightful posts from Jared Spool, head of the User Interface Engineering group, He is a brilliant speaker, pragmatic thinker, and personable designer. Well worth some time to digest these posts. The Social Listening white paper is a long, but good primer or refresher on the importance of using social data to build solutions to customer needs.

Have a great weekend.


1. Why I can’t convince your execs to invest in UX. And neither can you.
“Every few weeks, a phone call or email comes out of the blue, asking me to perform magic. The inquirer always wants the same thing: to stand up in front of a room filled with their executives, delighting them with a presentation that will make them rise to their feet cheering. This audience will then burst out of the room, make demands of their subordinates and invest everything in a whole-scale, no-holds-barred user experience effort that will revolutionize the company, the products, and the world. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. But I am quite frequently asked to convince executives to invest in user experience.”

2. The Cost of Frustration
“It’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t believe it’s beneficial to make a more usable design. However, in today’s design environment, it’s often difficult to justify the expense of usability work against other business priorities. Poor design creates friction. Friction can manifest itself as a shopper abandoning a sale. Alternatively, employees may spend more time than necessary obtaining a critical piece of information. The less the design jives with what the user is trying to accomplish, the more friction increases. Whenever friction occurs, someone becomes frustrated. The user may feel the frustration because they can’t complete their task. Employers may become frustrated because their charges are taking too long for critical functions. A poor design results in high friction. High friction results in high frustration.”

3. How to Explain Complex Ideas (Like Tech) to Those Who Don’t Understand (from Kwan)
from Kwan: “Interesting first point on the article.”
“Whether you’re the household tech support or just an avid researcher who is always trying to teach friends what you learn, explaining complicated topics is tough. Here’s how to do it so people can actually understand you. No matter what your profession, you likely have to explain complicated topics to people who don’t understand. Maybe you’re a scientist trying to explain DNA to your grandmother, a literature professor explaining metafiction to drinking buddy, or an IT professional explaining networking to your significant other. Regardless of what you’re explaining, you can make it easier on yourself (and the person trying to learn). We’ll use a few tech-related examples below, but these tips apply regardless of what you’re explaining.”

4. Visual Design Essentials for Non-Designers
“We’ve all been thrown into situations where we have no idea how or where to begin. For anyone responsible for their site’s design, or even those who want to make a difference but don’t know how, the process can be daunting. Even the term “web design” implies knowledge and understanding of something visual, creative, even artistic ability.”

5. Effective Social Listening in 2017
“Let’s face it, human language is complex. Linguists are still unsure how children acquire syntax. Clearly, though, in an era of social connection, understanding human language – ideas, opinions, wants, needs, concerns, emotions and more — is arguably more important than ever. Never before have we had such powerful access to the unstructured, unvarnished voice of the customer. And, yet, never before have we been challenged with having to separate as many meaningful signals from as much noise to get to those voices in a reliable way. Words like “natural language processing,” “machine learning,” “deep learning,” “cognitive technology,” “semantic analysis,” and “artificial intelligence” are indeed rapidly becoming buzzwords of the day, but they should not obscure the powerful impact these technologies are having on social listening and intelligence, and other related voice-of-customer data. Understanding these language technologies is increasingly important to everyone involved in social intelligence, consumer insights, data-driven marketing, analytics, business intelligence, customer care and more. This White Paper demystifies the newest language technologies, provides a backdrop to the evolution of these techniques, and provides tactical guidance on how to best choose a solution that meets your organization’s needs.”