From ACM Interactions / July — Aug 2019

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Ashley Batz on Unsplash

It’s often said that one should not “go meta” because things just get too abstract and unwieldy, trying to make sense of it all in your mind. But perhaps it’s exactly the right time for designers to go meta, at least as a useful respite from the daily grind of that which is becoming automated and instrumented ad nauseam — and maybe more dramatically, for our professional survival, with a reframing of authentic, substantive design value.

Algorithms, automation, instrumentation: Designing is becoming increasingly routine, predictable, and systematic for the sake of efficiency and reliability, to safely ensure high-velocity outputs. The poetics of human-computer interaction have evolved into prescriptions for scaled, scheduled delivery. From distributed symbol libraries to computerized usability tests, what then becomes of the designer? What is now the reason for being? But perhaps the true realm for a designer’s value is starting to reveal itself. …

From ACM Interactions / March — April 2019

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Unsplash

While applying for a UX manager position recently, I was asked to send in my portfolio along with the usual résumé/CV. It’s a rather perfunctory request, but that’s exactly it. …

From ACM Interactions / Nov — Dec 2017

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Humberto Santos on Unsplash

For a designer guided by human-centered methods toward improving our finicky relationship with technology, what does it mean to have impact? …

from ACM Interactions / July — August 2016

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

Human-computer interaction, as implied in the phrasing, involves approaches for exploring, enabling, or optimizing the relationship between people & computational systems. …

From ACM Interactions / Nov — Dec 2019

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

We are living in an “age of automation”, where computational intelligence guided by algorithms is woven into our daily lives. …

From ACM Interactions / July — Aug 2018

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by UX Indonesia on Unsplash

How many of you have heard or lived this: The product manager of the app for which you’re serving as the UX lead types out a 10-page requirements doc. You read through it and realize there are some critical dependencies that correlate to the presumed user’s “day in the life” usage patterns. …

From ACM Interactions / Nov— Dec 2015

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by timJ on Unsplash

Thrown into the swirling currents of digital product development — either at an agile startup or a corporation “going lean” — designers must work with a variety of commercialized concepts that typify current design practice. Yet these concepts raise doubt, if not outright suspicion, about truly cultivating design depth and forethought in that practice. Validation, metrics, sprints and spikes, filing project tickets — all with an enthusiastic “bias to action” to “move fast and break things.” Woo!

For new practitioners emerging from a steady diet of HCI theories and behavioral frameworks debated amid college discussion groups, this all may be somewhat jarring. For veterans in the field, it’s a matter of quick adaptation to new, albeit buzz-wordy, models of thought and vocabularies that seem a bit newfangled … and roughshod. It all suggests a dependency that infects our daily discourse with project participants, weakening our sense of design’s intellectual value: the nuances of thought, analysis, and comprehension; a robust perspective informed by deliberation and plurality. Decide it now and move fast! But why? And what impact does this language have on a team’s approach in terms of enabling design, writ large, beyond pretty pixels and specs for a minor point release? …

From ACM Interactions / March — April 2015

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alfred Rowe on Unsplash

It has become rather routine to present a multi-device graphic on a company’s website, complete with laptop, tablet, and phone as a unified happy family, when selling a branded product or service. …

From ACM Interactions / Nov — Dec 2016

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash

How do you interrupt someone plugged into a virtual reality (VR) system?

I was faced with this peculiar issue when meeting with a colleague working on VR. Ambling over to his desk amid an open-air setup of cubes and pods, I noticed right away that he was fully plugged in. Giant dark goggles covered his face, his head bobbing and weaving while his hands gripped two controllers, making jerky movements as if he were playing air guitar. …

From ACM Interactions / May — June 2016

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by mwangi gatheca on Unsplash

Startups are a fascinating, unique animal amid the dynamic landscape of high-tech business. They arise from a bold, risky bet to deliver something “game changing,” making them seductive to UX professionals dedicated to delivering maximum design and research impact for potentially revolutionary (and wildly lucrative) projects. Why not, right? UX is sexy now — I mean, founders get it! And hey, it sure beats working for a lethargic corporate dinosaur lumbering toward a gradual mediocre demise … snooze! …

About

Uday Gajendar

Design catalyst / leader / speaker / teacher. Always striving to bring beauty & soul to digital experiences.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store