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Accessible UX by design

That a design is accessible, suggests that the designer did her job. But like all common design terms, ‘accessible’ is misused. Despite efforts, most modern technology products are unusable by many. Jack Strachan sees this changing, with big companies like Microsoft, Uber, and Twitter using sophisticated technologies, like AI, to open up their products and services to all.

Restoring the meaning to the term, UX

The term UX is so bandied about these days, that it’s lost much of its meaning. A designer, eager to appear current, will likely tack the term onto their LinkedIn profile, even if their work does not include key UX processes like “research, synthesis, user testing and iterative prototyping.” So says Burton Rast, who suggests that, in order to further the practice, UX designers should recommit themselves to employing truly human centered processes in their work.

How to align UX with Product Management

With Product Management being such a cross-functional position, there are naturally many areas in which the Product Manager might conflict with others — perhaps none more than with the UX team. Both roles are invested in the entire user journey, from customer identification to user testing launched products, so toes will be stepped on. In the interest of solidarity, it’s interesting to hear how a UX designer might approach different types of Product Manager, as outlined by Interaction Design Foundation.

User trends for 2018

Design, by it’s nature, changes fast. So it’s worthwhile pausing to reflect on where trends are heading now and again. Anthony Miller has listed many UX trends he has noticed going into 2018, such as simpler navigation, decluttering of content, and conversational interfaces. Nick Babich lists more 2018 trends related to mobile, such as gestures, vibrant colors and full screen experiences.

Which UX skills should Product Owners and Product Managers have?

Roman Pichler reminds us of our core responsibility as a Product Manager; “to ensure that your product creates the desired value for its customers and users and for the business.” He states that “your job is not to design a great user experience”. That’s a controversial perspective but he defends it by insisting that the UX role should exist within the development team. The emphasis on UX will also vary from product to product depending on how big an impact it should make to the success of the business. This decision will usually be made by the Product Manager. But there are many areas of UX that Product Managers should be comfortable with, including user models (personas), interactions and research.

Changing the conversation about Product Management vs. UX

The road into Product Management is varied; you could be a business analyst, an engineer or in marketing before you get there. But its the UX designer that might find their new role to be most like their old one, albeit with some new functions and limitations. Melissa Perri experienced this confusion as she jumped from UX and Product Management jobs trying to find where she best fit. In asking how these two roles can work together in a team, she proposes that we think less about dividing functions between them and instead think about how they can share functions when necessary.

What’s the difference between user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) design?

These two practices are distinctly different but how so is debatable. You could simply state that UI design concerns how a screen and its elements on a screen look, whereas UX design concerns how the user goes about interacting with the screens. To understand the distinctions more deeply Spencer Lanoue looks at how those who first coined the terms described the practices. And talks to several modern thought leaders in the space.