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The 10 TED Talks Every UX Designer Needs To Watch

Design has always run through TED’s veins—in fact, the ‘D’ in ‘TED’ stands for design. Through the years, the nonprofit has become an outlet of inspiration for many creatives alike.

Primarily, design has one ultimate purpose—creating something that users can work with. TED focuses on UX design a great deal, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that its talks have shaped the industry tremendously.

1. Got a wicked problem? First, tell me how you make toast

Video via TED

Have a problem; make toast. Or, to put it more finely, think about the process you go through to make toast, and then apply that systematic approach to your original problem. That’s the advice of designer and problem-solver Tom Wujec.

In his TED talk, Wujec walks through a simple design exercise that "reveals unexpected truths about the way we think about things". By breaking down wicked problems into mental models UX-ers can use to get to the heart of the why users act like they do.

2. Simplicity sells

Video via TED

Ever thought of exposing UI blunders through some snappy musical numbers? Us neither, but former New York Times columnist and tech nerd David Pogue does just that. In Simplicity Sells, Pogue exposes the very worst UIs he’s seen, and coins the phrase 'software rage' – that feeling users get from crummy interfaces. From Microsoft to Dell, no interface is safe from Pogue’s song and dance takedown. The Steve Jobs song is a must-hear.

3. The first secret of design is… noticing

Video via TED

In this lighthearted talk, Tony Fadell—the man behind the iPod and Nest thermostat—shares his tips for driving positive change in design.

4. 404, the story of a page not found

Video via TED

No one likes error pages, but here, funny new media expert Renny Gleeson proves that the appearance of a 404 page doesn’t have to be an ‘oops’ moment—it could be an opportunity for better relationships.

5. The beauty of data visualization

Video via TED

Complex data sets don’t have to be a sight for sore eyes. In data journalist David McCandless’ talk, he transforms messy data like Facebook status updates and worldwide military spending into beautiful, simple, diagrams.

6. How Airbnb designs for trust

As the co-founder of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia knows a thing or two about designing delightful digital experiences. In this talk, Gebbia tells the story of how Airbnb got started, and how he and his UX team create UIs that build trust. Gebbia explains the ‘stranger bias’ that Airbnb users have to overcome by describing his own anxiety the first time he let a stranger sleep on an airbed in his apartment. In this talk, he also reveals how Airbnb uses of microcopy, user flows and microinteractions to build experiences that make strangers into friends.

7. How giant websites design for you (and a billion others, too)

Facebook’s Like and Share buttons are two of the most-viewed UI elements ever created. Get them right, and you can make life more delightful for billions of users, points out Margaret Gould Stewart; but get them wrong and you’ve got a riot on your hands.

As director of product design at the social media behemoth, Stewart has to be on top of the how and why of designing user experiences on a massive scale. Using real-world examples, she reveals three tips for how to design user interfaces for the entire world’s population.

8. Designers, think big!

What happens if you move from plain old ‘design’ to ‘design thinking’? That’s the question posed by CEO of IDEO Tim Brown in this talk. Brown argues that focusing on the small stuff in design isn’t working for us, and it’s time to make the shift to design thinking. 

Starting with the example of the original design thinker, 19th century engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Brown explains that design thinking can help us visualise the whole user experience and create new human-centric solutions through prototyping, collaboration and participatory design. Through inspiring examples of design thinking in the developing world, Brown breaks down of the benefits of thinking big in design.

9. Reinventing User Experience

Design. You’re thinking about it wrong. At least that’s what Kes Sampanthar thinks. We all want to create engaging products, but counting clicks isn’t the way to do it. Instead of thinking about aesthetics or even usability, we have to think about motivating users. We need Sampanthar’s design paradigm, ‘motivational design’. 

Through a murder mystery story set in the Louvre and other fun stories, Sampanthar explains the psychology behind motivational design and how tapping into human pleasure centres can help us make engaging products.

10. The best computer interface? Maybe… your hands

Mobile gestures. Click rates. Pixels. Just some of the things that UI and UX designers won’t have to worry about any more if designer James Patten is right. He thinks the future might well involve digital information made visceral through incorporating physicality into a UI. 

In this talk, Patten draws on his experience in robotics and kinetics to explore how we can use physical objects in interface design. Drafting in an army of mini robots, Patten experiments with taking the user interface off the screen and putting it into our own hands – literally.

 

This article was originally posted at:
http://www.designtaxi.com/news/392421/Here-Are-The-TED-Talks-Every-UX-Designer-Needs-To-Watch/

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Call to action (CTA)

A call to action is a marketing term that refers to a prompt that invokes a response leading to a sale. When referring to a call to action (CTA) in the digital design world we usually mean the interactive element that leads to the next step in the experience - something that needs to be clicked or tapped.

User testing

User testing refers to a technique used in the design process to evaluate a product, feature or prototype with real users. There are several reasons why you might want to undergo usability testing, the most common is that it allows the design team to identify friction in a user experience they are designing, so that it can be addressed before being built or deployed.

WYSIWYG

WYSIWYG (pronounced WIZ-ee-wig) is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". It helps identify an an interface that allows user input resulting in an output that is rendered in a similar way. For example; a word processor application interface might resemble a piece of paper,so when printed the user can see how the output will appear.

Content Management System

A content management system (CMS) is an tool that allows a website editor/administrator to manage the content that is displayed. Websites are made of HTML and CSS to create pages. Pages can be hard-coded but would require technical development skills to make changes. A CMS usually allows a person without coding knowledge to amend existing and add new content to a website using a WYSIWYG interface.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive web design refers to a web page that dynamically adapts its layout to fit the size and orientation of the device on which it is viewed. A responsive design allows for a more optimised user experience across desktop and laptop computers as well as smartphones and tablets of varying sizes.

User Stories

User stories allow the functionality of a product or service to be expressed as written descriptions of an experience as seen from the users perspective. The writing of user stories creates a list of design and development tasks to complete in order to create any required functionality.

User Interface

A user interface (UI) is a conduit between human and computer interaction - the space where a user will interact with a computer or machine to complete tasks. The purpose of a UI is to enable a user to effectively control a computer or machine they are interacting with, and for feedback to be received in order to communicate effective completion of tasks.

Personas

A persona in UX Design is the characterisation of a user who represents a segment of your target audience. On a project you might create any number of personas to be representative of a range of user needs and desires. The solutions you design must answer these needs in order to deliver value to your target audience.

Card sorting

A great, reliable, inexpensive method for discovering patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality. Card sorting is used to test the taxonomy of data with a group of subjects, usually to help inform the creation of the information architecture, user flow, or menu structure on a project.

Brainstorming

A technique used to generate ideas around a specific topic. Often done in groups, but can be done individuals. The process usually involves writing down all ideas around a topic onto paper, a whiteboard or stickies often implying some kind of association.

Minimum Viable Product

An MVP is a product that has the minimum set of features to prove the most essential hypothesis for a product. Businesses building a new product can create a Minimum Viable Product to prove that an idea is viable and warrants further investment. A further benefit being that the next stage of development can be informed by feedback obtained from testing that MVP.

Sitemap

A sitemap is a diagrammatic representation of a hierarchical system. It usually depicts the parent-sibling relationship between pages in a website, showing how sub pages might be arranged underneath their parent groupings. This arrangement forms a map of the site.

User journey

A user journey represents a sequence of events or experiences a user might encounter while using a product or service. A user journey can be mapped or designed to show the steps and choices presented as interactions, and the resulting actions.

Prototype

A prototype is draft representation built to test ideas for layout, behaviour and flow in a system. Prototypes are an indispensable tool for resolving a large number of potential issues in a concept or business before too many resources are deployed to put a design into production.

Wireframes

A Wireframe is a visual schematic that conveys a basic level of communication, structure and behaviour during the design of a system. Wireframes are low-fidelity designs that bypass including a detailed user interface or visual design, conveying just enough to get across the core idea.

Usability

To say something is usable is a qualitative statement about how easy that thing is to use. Usability is an assessment of how learnable a system is and how easy a user finds it to use. The usability of a system or product is a key factor in determining whether the user experience is a good one.

Information Architecture

Information architecture is the design and organisation of content, pages and data into a structure that aids users understanding of a system. A more organised system enables users to more easily find the information they require and complete the intended tasks.

UI Design

User Interface Design is the discipline of designing software interfaces for devices, ideally with a focus on maximising efficiency, responsiveness and aesthetics to foster a good user experience.

UX Design

The practice of User Experience (UX) Design is the coming together of many specific design related disciplines to improve the usability, responsiveness, uptake and aesthetics of a product or service.

User Experience

A general term that covers all aspects of a user's participation while engaging with something that has been designed. Usually when talking about User Experience in the digital design field it refers to the interactions, reactions, emotions and perceptions while using an app, service, website or product.