Archive for the 'Competency' topic

Prototyping Pro Tip: Practice With A New Tool By Redoing An Old Design

In the desire to expand your prototyping toolkit, you need to regularly try out new tools and techniques. Your goal is to have, at your disposal, as many different prototyping tools as possible. Maybe you want to learn a new software tool? Maybe you’re interested in practicing your whiteboard sketching skills or play with paper […]

UIEtips: Why We Sketch

In this week’s UIEtips, I discuss how great designers use sketching for notetaking, to convey their ideas in meetings, to record their conversations with their co-workers, and to support their design research. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Words are powerful, but sometimes they don’t cut it. We can try to describe what we’re imagining, […]

UIEtips: Extraordinarily Radical Redesign Strategies

In this week’s UIEtips Jared M. Spool discusses three radical redesign approach strategies. Here’s an excerpt from the article It’s your most loyal customers who will hate your flip-the-switch redesign the most. Designers are quick to declare, “Users hate change.” But that’s not it at all. Your loyal users have invested a lot over the […]

UIEtips: Applying Comics

In this week’s UIEtips Kevin Cheng discusses how to communicate ideas using comics and sketches. Here’s an excerpt from the article Having everybody reading the requirements document before a project starts isn’t just bureaucratic nonsense; it also ensures there are no surprises at the end. The problem is that requirements documents use words like “community,” […]

Should You Be Hands or Brains?

[This is part 2 of a two-part post. For this article to make sense, you probably want to read part 1. This article was originally published on JohnnyHolland.org.] In the last installment, we talked about the distinction between Hands contractors and Brains consultants. Hands are brought in by the team as an extra resource to […]

The Models We Use

Bet you didn’t know this: Cars in rush-hour traffic exhibit the same basic behaviors as a spring. As the cars get closer to each other, they slow down. After coming to near stop, the cars start to get farther apart and speed up. The cycle repeats, just like a spring expanding and contracting. Physicists figured […]

The Hands vs. the Brains

[This article originally appeared at Johnny Holland.] What’s the difference between contracting and consulting? One major difference comes down to whether the job is handwork or brainwork. Whether you’re an “innie” or an “outie,” this is applicable. Innies are UX professionals who work inside an organization. Even though they are part of the company, they […]

Leaving The Bliss of Unconscious Incompetence

How did all those horrific designs in Myspace come about? Two words: Unconscious Incompetence. Unconscious incompetence is the first of the Four Stages of Competence. In this stage, someone doesn’t realize just how much they don’t know. It’s a blissful state and, frankly a place that is wonderful. Imagine not knowing what you don’t know. […]

Severe Change and the Sudden Loss of Competence

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Four Stages of Competence. These four stages are unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence. As someone learns and adapts to your design, they are working their way through the stages. The ultimate is the user who is unconsciously competent — they can seemingly move […]