UX in the Age of Personalization

There is a watershed moment approaching for personalization design. Most strategy is still driven out of marketing and IT departments, a holdover from the legacy of the inbound, “creepy” targeted ad. According to Colin Eagan, fixing that model requires the same paradigm shift we’ve used to tackle other challenges in our field. In this piece, he takes a detailed look at the UX practitioner’s emerging role in personalization design: from influencing technology selection, to data modeling, to page-level implementation. It’s now 2019, and the timing couldn’t be better.

The User’s Journey

We’re hardwired to respond to stories—to parse them, to invent them, to translate our world into landscapes and characters. Applying a twist to “narrative architecture,” Donna Lichaw deconstructs how we weave stories into our products. The real trick, she says, is to do more than tell stories; it’s to design our products to be the story.

Design for Real Life

We say we’re crafting personas to fit the needs of “real” people—yet we easily revert to abstractions when raw emotions enter the picture. Common human experiences aren’t “edge” cases; we don’t get to dismiss what seems uncomfortable or different to us. In this excerpt from Design for Real Life, Eric Meyer and Sara Wachter-Boettcher take on the elephant in the room—the tendency to look the other way.

Selecting Effective Workshop Tasks

You’ve identified your goals, set an an agenda, and invited attendees, now the fun begins. Senongo Akpem shows how to pick the best workshop tasks to achieve your goals.

Planning and Organizing Workshops

Good workshops start long before you get everyone in the room. By setting goals, creating an agenda, and communicating early and often with your attendees, Senongo Akpem shows how you can set your workshop up for success.

Mentoring Junior Designers

Mentorship isn’t magic; training doesn’t just happen. You need a clear process in place to train junior team members and give them the skills they need to grow. Senongo Akpem shares his process for asking questions and tailoring projects to match a team member’s abilities.

Multimodal Perception: When Multitasking Works

Don’t believe everything you hear these days about multitasking—it’s not necessarily bad. In fact, humans have a knack for perception that engages multiple senses. Graham Herrli unpacks the theories around multimodal communication and suggests that we can sometimes make things easier to understand by making them more complex to perceive.

Building to Learn

Whether you’re just getting started on the web, or trying to pick up a new framework, Susan Robertson has a radical idea: build something that interests you. Sure, there are courses and tutorials out there to walk you through it, but a project you’re actually excited about will help you solidify those skills and make them easier to recall when you need them most.