What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources – Smashing Magazine

Great summary on UX

What Is User Experience Design? Overview, Tools And Resources – Smashing Magazine.

Tumblr Tuesday

I’ve been a Tumblr user for some time and one of your random-things-that-I-see-on-the-interwebs-not-want-to-show-off-on-twitter type of  folk, but I recently saw for the first time Tumblr Tuesday – a campaign to recommend users, which is the next step from following and getting followed on Tumblr. I thought it was a very deft way to get users to engage on some of Tumblr’s tools, which I never really bother using (which they were very smart to rid of the their Tumblrarity ranking – or will it come back after they aggregate the recommendations?). This also brought me towards Tumbr’s take on Directories.

Tumblr continues to do a very impressive job on a simple user interface throughout both the recommendation panel and the directories. And the best part is the Less is More mentality of only recommending one tumblr account. That’s pretty priceless when you think about it.

Foursquare as my Facebook to Gowalla as my Twitter…

My son and I just finished playing New Super Mario Bros. We’ve just reached World 7- we actually reached World 8 but had a painful save snafu (long story) and had to essentially start over. Anyway, playing Super Mario Bros reminded me of a conversation  with someone I had met on my return trip from SXSW about the location wars between Gowalla and Foursquare. My planemate happened to be a highly regarded head of design at a well-known startup, and made a very astute observation about how the gameplay in Gowalla’s stamp, pin and items pickup experience had a better longevity rate than Foursquare’s badges of honor. He made the comparison of Gowalla with Oregon Trail against Foursquare’s Super Mario, where you’d reached the end of the eventual round by beating one of the “bosses” to get to the next level, what happens when you achieve all your badges? You wait until the next set of badges come to play. Or you stop playing.

Reviewing my own use of Gowalla and Foursquare, I realized then that I really stopped being interested in the gameplay of both apps. Since foursquare came out first, the game play of earning badges got me hooked as an early adopter, and then I eventually lost my addiction of mayorships (although it’s nice to observe that you still happen to be the mayor of le web in Paris – which of course, won’t last for very long once a certain boss sees this post…).

I did an unfair experiment with Gowalla when I decided to let Gowalla be my exclusive friend app, meaning I only friend people I knew, whereas foursquare I friended almost anyone that invited or friended me. I thought I would try to be a little more intimate with Gowalla, but after reviewing the gameplay and the user flow, I realize that Gowalla would have been more effective as a more openly social gameplay (particularly with the ability to drop and pick up items) geo-location app, and foursquare as a more intimate geo-location app. One of the more social connections I like about Gowalla is there integration with FaceBook, where updates seem more FB fitting.

With the social aspect of both applications, it seems that with foursquare, I find I’m more attracted to see where my friends are at and review the tips and todo’s more than Gowalla, whereas I feel Gowalla’s interface allows me to build friends online. Ironically, foursquare should have been my Facebook (with more intimate close friends and acquaintances) while Gowalla should have been my Twitter (openly social). I don’t know how I will play this out, but I’ll still continue to play with both, and perhaps try to give it some equal time since they each have their own distinctive gameplays.  Maybe I should try to look for an Oregon Trail game to play, and see how I feel about that…

Social on Mobile is Growing

Luke Wroblewski from LukeW Designs and a leading design leader in the field for User Experience put up a post on the growth of social networking on the mobile platform. I’m surprised that there wasn’t an infographic on it, but the recent details was pretty impressive. A  couple of points highlighted were.

  • Access to Facebook via mobile browser grew 112% in the past year to 25.1 million users in January 2010.
  • Access to Twitter via mobile browser experienced a 347% jump to 4.7 million users in January 2010.

The complete blog is here: http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?1013
Check it out and some of his other posts.

With the Windows Mobile coming out and the growth of Geo Location technology and subsequent apps to follow, it’s clear that mobile’s moving fast. As for the numbers, I think I’ll play around with the data and put it on the template infographic – let’s see how this turns out.


The Secret Sauce of InfoGraphs

Let’s face it: Infographs are sexy, turning heads (or producing clicks and views), and creating retweets. I certain have the standard sites in my google reader: Information Aesthetics, Flowing Data, Cool Infographics, Infographic News, DataViz, Visual Complexity

Nathan Yau of Flowing Data put up this great post last month highlighting the obvious. I think I’ll try to whip up something following this formula.

Data Underload

Data Underload

Inspired User Experience Quotes from Inspire UX

One of my favorite blogs just came out with some updates and a redesign.

Inspire UX, a blog that highlights quotes on User Experience, Design, and Information Architecture is developed by Catriona Cornett, a UX strategist.  Also included in the redesign is an archive gallery and a feature to submit your own quote on the sidebar.

It’s a really nice blog to manage noted quotes of UX leaders like Jakob Nielsen, Kathy Sierra and Jeffery Zeldman. Kudos to Catriona.

50 Wonderful, Inspiring Photoblogs | Inspiration | Smashing Magazine

50 Wonderful, Inspiring Photoblogs | Inspiration | Smashing Magazine.