14 Responses

  1. What Does a UX Designer Actually Do? : New 2014

    […] many UX Designers make a point that they are more than just wireframe machines, it’s certainly true that many UX Designers start with wireframes: creating a basic site layout […]

  2. What Does a UX Designer Actually Do? - Cazus Dev

    […] many UX Designers make a point that they are more than just wireframe machines, it’s certainly true that many UX Designers start with wireframes: creating a basic site layout […]

  3. Wolf Becvar
    Wolf Becvar at |

    Hi Lis, wow this conversation is really in full swing 🙂 Browsed through your presentation once again. Your message sounds ovious: wireframing is only one tiny facet of UX. It’s a deliverable and by no means the holy grail a lot of people falsely believe it is. I was doing a similar presentation about touchpoints and how to interpret the touchpoint concept in order to improve the user experience of a service or product (Some things you can’t wireframe – http://slidesha.re/U4oC3V). 

    I also believe that experience can not be designed but we can design for it – with the help of all the insights we are able to gather through research, concept, testing and iterating plus we have a bunch of research methods and tools at hand that support us in the quest of crafting the best experience we can. 

    It is all about people interacting with products and services so i’d say that striving for a good experience is still something that everyone working on a team from product managers, over concept, copywriters, interface designers, developers should be naturally having in mind, but fact is – most don’t. Changing a companys culuture over night isn’t really working out so I guess for now the term UX has its rigth to exist.

    Also I hope we can all agree that this is by no means rocket science but I can tell from feedback I have received that it sometimes needs to state the obvious and remind people that they have to think out of the box, leave their comfort zone and talk to, examin the people who are using their services or products – in order to gain insights that can add to improving an experience.
     

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Hi Wolf… indeed it is! 🙂 Thanks for the presentation! I will be sure to take an in depth look at it. 

      Great response and comments. I wholeheartedly agree and appreciate your points. Thanks so much for sharing these!!

      Reply
    2. Bernhard Ferro
      Bernhard Ferro at |

      Hi Wolf and Lis,

      good discussion, indeed!° yes NO tool should be a kind of Holy Grail. Maybe we in Europe have a different impression about how “important” Wireframes are perceived and valued for and by UXers compared to US! Anyway when it comes to Designing Interactive Services, a lot of tools have their strengths and weaknesses and should be applied according to this. Thanks Lis also for providing this “thought-provoking” ideas.

      Reply
  4. Bernhard Ferro
    Bernhard Ferro at |

    For me the whole discussion is going in the wrong direction. The whole “UX” term as a new field for professionals is overrated and will disappear, like Don Norman stated. At the end it will stay what it is: designing dialogues between humans and machines. Since humans started painting on walls 30.000 years ago, they try to make something abstract more concrete and tangible. Thats exactly the role Sketches and Wireframes play  in a process when it is about to “design user experiences” – what is not possible. Sketches and Wireframes are nothing more or less than design artefacts and tools helping to make the initial idea more concrete ; and they do a good job in this for thousands of product managers and developers who have no idea how a “final” product could behave. Wireframes have nothing to do with “User Experience”, the “Experience” is always on the users side and can not be designed.

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      I don’t think that the presentation is in opposition to what you are saying, and I agree with it as well! Wireframes, sketches… all the things you say are tools and are USEFUL. Nowhere do I say to stop doing them. The wireframe machine is about creating interface artifacts in a closed system (without interacting with users, business, or tech) and then trying to sell those unresearched artifacts as “the experience”. 

      I also don’t think that “experience” can necessarily be designed, but it can be facilitated to an extent. It can also at least be designed for, and if the user has the experience great, if not, then out of our control. 

      I am interested in your point about going in the wrong direction. I agree that the term will probably disappear and is overrated, but what is the other direction you are talking about? I think there is something really interesting in that bit. 

      Thanks again for commenting… awesome stuff!!

      Reply
      1. Bernhard Ferro
        Bernhard Ferro at |

        Hi Lis,

        first, the wrong direction for me is to think about “Experiences” anyway, because this is and will for ever be  a black box, because it happens within the people. Whats a bliss for one is maybe a nightmare for another. 
        And whats even more important: “UXers” often claim to find out what users “want” – thats not possible, because most people do not know what they want. Most of their wishes, desires, wants and needs are unconscious.
        As the famous C.G.Jung said: “People cannot tell you why they think and behave as they do because they do not know”.

        Sketches and Wireframes are part of an internal process helping to create a business vision and – for sure – are NOT the product. At the end we need effective tools on the way to create this visions. We in our department/company understand Wireframes not as static abstract models of interaction, we start building what we call “Wireframe Prototpyes” to bring in a liveliness(its all about Interactions!) as soon as possible. We are beyond “Wireframing” that delivers crossed empty spaces as placeholders for images. 
        BUT: i hope we would not fall back into times where a Product Manager requests a Graphical Designer to produce “Mock Ups” – the “stone age” of designing digital products.
        It is a good idea to observe people as a source of inspiration, but not as a blueprint for designing a digital service in a excatly the way people “want it”. Believe me i did a lot of workshops with different users, but in the end its the designers job to come up with a way to communicate the business vision of a company that wants to increase its turnovers and market shares.
        For me Sketches and Wireframes/Prototypes are the most effective tools we had in business history to help businesses come to life.

        Reply
  5. Jakub Linowski
    Jakub Linowski at |

    Sans interface? Feels like sensationalist UI trash talking in order to bloat up the UX term even more than it already is. I do agree that understanding  someone’s context and how they interact with a product over time is important, but you have to keep in mind that a visual representation of an idea is still more powerful than words at times. Controlling scope and fidelity and being able to tell a story with: words, sketches, wireframes, mockups, prototypes is the answer. If people have turned their process into a machine like one, than that’s a different problem. Wireframes are still powerful tools. Getting stuck in the abstractions of ideal personas (in the name of perfect UX), can be as useless as spinning wheels with wireframes. Don’t run away from real tangible products & UI (which actually can be designed) into the warm and fuzzy land of abstraction and the illusion that you can fully control someone’s experience. At the end of the day, when you’re designing a product (which people interact with and experience), the way the code and the UI comes together is still more important than some abstract scribbles and pseudo big ideas.

    Stop making UX feel like da shit and designing concrete representations is lesser monkey work. “Find a real UX job?” FAIL. 🙂 You can probably tell by now that I’m a bit more pragmatic. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lis Hubert
      Lis Hubert at |

      Completely not saying that UX is “better” than UI… but it is different and it sounds like you agree to that. I do agree that the visual representation of the idea is powerful, but you also agree that it is part of a context, and not stand alone. Please don’t get me wrong I am not against UI in the least! I still do UI work actually as an output. But it is UI work when I wireframe. I am nowhere in this presentation saying not to do wireframes AT ALL. And agree that getting caught up in the useless spinning wheels of ideal things (personas are the example you provide) to do perfect UX is useless (see slide 82).

      My point is that I think you are projecting other UX thinkers’ thoughts on to this presentation. I actually agree with just about everything you say, and don’t believe that the presentation negates your points in any way. I have not said that UI design is not useful. I have not said that fuzzy land is the place to be. I have also not said that you can control someone’s experience… those must have been taken from elsewhere (i have seen other UX people say these things… and I hate them as well!). 

      I don’t think that UI is more important that UX or vice versa.  If you are only designing UI without thinking about the user’s entire interaction with a product (yes they interact with the product outside of the interface… like when they call customer support, etc), then you are not doing UX. And if you are forced to do UI without being able to think this way, and are sick of it… then find a real UX job :-). 

      I think that we are equally pragmatic actually. I don’t think that UX is this castle in the sky, but I do know that it is more than just the UI… not better, but more. (PS AWESOME response… I appreciate it and LOVE these discussions)

      Reply
      1. Billy
        Billy at |

        Two months later, came across your post. First, Linowski’s comments seem to be misdirected and a tangent from his post about No Interface (http://wireframes.linowski.ca/2012/12/calling-your-bull-the-best-interface-is-no-interface/). Perhaps Linowski was internalizing, projecting and continuing his “bullshit” post about Golden Krishna’s views  on NUI to your post about wireframes. In no way, did I take your post to be UX-high-falutin or against UI. What I do appreciate is the reality of this and other posts you’ve written about the realities of UX. Particularly it’s identity crisis. I came across your post today after reading Sasha’s clear-cut and powerful assessment of UX: http://uxmatters.com/mt/archives/2013/02/user-experience-in-startups-part-i-challenges-and-realities.php

        Both posts have helped me at least understand the challenges I’ve encountered in this field is not “just me.” Keep sharing. Thank you

        Reply
        1. Lis Hubert
          Lis Hubert at |

          Thanks so much Billy! I also read Sasha’s post today and agree that it is a great assessment. 

          Reply
  6. Konrad Neuwirth
    Konrad Neuwirth at |

    I’ve just had a thought that might help UX remain relevant; I’ve written up the stuff at http://wp.me/p2wlHP-6p (User Interfaces as an act of communication). 

    Reply
  7. Laurie alia
    Laurie alia at |

    lis, i who am not in the comuter field,understood what you were saying. i as a lay person could understand your pesentation!!! very good.

    Reply

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