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A Manifesto for 2010 and Beyond

. wandereye

  • Time does not equal money. Without time, money would not exist. The most valuable resource in the world (to humans) is time. Therefore, abusing someone's time is a serious form of harm. A person who uses an interface is engaged and honoring the "provider" of that interface with her or his or their time. If someone buys something(s), it's value-addition. 
  • Repetition and redundancy suck in some situations no matter what. Never, ever, ask for input of information from someone more than once. For example, when I tell someone my name, they write it down or tap it into their "PDA", or acknowledge hearing it as well as spending time with my afterwards, I expect that person to remember my name. If this person continually asked me to repeat myself or asked about stuff I had already said or demonstrated, I would most-likely question the person's ability to retain information or their interest in listening to me. 
  • Form follows function used to be the norm. Now form is function. Experience in the context of eCommerce is the "brand". When we speak about "social" or "community" or "crowd-sourcing" we are most-often referring to the rising power of the customer in terms of choice, influence, awareness and, again, the allocation of time and attention. Therefore, function and form or not separate weightings to be applied to a service or tool or "UI". A functioning form is expected as a baseline. A relevant functioning form is a very serious design problem of the moment. More important, however, is the portioning and sequencing of function and form in context (this is a book in an of itself). 
  • Don't confuse value with the link that points to it. If something does not exist, like a product or information or a search query return, admit it. "Links" in "hypertext" are entry points into "paths" into more information. They indicate through form (graphic treatment like an underline and non-standard color) and promote through function (markup and javascript... a "nodal" progression or transgression through concepts presented through a communications channel. Impressions, perception of an experience matter and form a sense of "trust" between a "user" and a "system". The more a system comes up empty-handed, the less trust a "user" will have of the system and it's ability to satisfy a need or want.  
  • User experience is about inquiry above all else. It's about discovering the conversation in the parenthesis of intent and agenda and utilizing vast, deep and large bodies of insight to apply concepts, frameworks, and usable engagements that answer to design challenges. Requirements should be called "agreements" or something that conveys a shared epistemology (group understanding). 
  • Attention from and by a customer is sunshine or the harsh light of truth. Both illuminate. Every customer on or offline is an investor in my paycheck, career, and competence as a practicing designer and empathic/empathetic human being. Without customers, I would not exist in this world, would not be able to write a blog post. When a customer gives their time to an organization and the work of the colleagues I am honored to learn from and work with daily, value is on the table no matter how large or small.  
  • Bottom-up as well as top-down collaboration and innovation do lead to "flat" organizations. Organizations that can respond dynamically and tactically to radical shifts and "disruptions" along our crazy roller-coaster ride through the still-relatively-young universe of "electronic commerce". Seniority, title, and payscale are much less (if not at all) important as empathy, competency, openness, and passion for the "user's experience" when it comes to creating solutions that answer to design problems that are being solved to satisfy needs, wants, or necessity. 
  • Time is a design constraint. Deadlines are not just reality but necessary as all narratives happen within a span of time, have a beginning, middle and end. To meet this consideration, negotiate time needed by identifying what is flexible or necessary vs what brings the most value to the end product. 
  • Experience is conveyed through narratives or stories to other people or happens simultaneously with other people. Every story has context, artifacts, a timespan and a perspective (first person to third person), among other foundational understandings...
  • Interactions are active exchanges of sensory input via multiple sensory channels comprised of multiple feedback loops. An interface is a service and surface of inscription comprised of input and output at its most fundamental level. Surfaces no longer call for "point and click" but are starting to reflect an emergent awareness of human experience, ironically bringing us back to thinking about empathy and emotional understanding, inference... Showing understanding in most cultures is a way of showing empathy.
  • Inputs and outputs are not always literal; nor are indicators. Subtly and non-verbal ques area vital part of communications. Smell and touch will become the new fronteirs enabling taste someday.


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