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The world is increasingly more complex, and so are its challenges, writes Christian Schneider. But strategic design can be an immensely helpful tool to navigate these uncharted waters

Embracing complexity
  • Since designers started to play with new technologies to create web-based, mobile, and computing applications for our lives and work, the spectrum of design interventions has extremely increased.
  • Even though design for living systems requires gradual interventions and flexible models, most structures function like machines and lack the capacity to respond to complexity.
  • As design continues to evolve, there are several challenges to take into account:
    • Systemic interventions, living systems.
    • Ideas, talent, and technology.
    • Organizational challenges: industry, education, policy.
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Has UX research ever been the priority for your stakeholders? If not, here are some ways to convey its significance.

Influencing UX Stakeholder Values: 6 Ways to Convey the Significance of User Research
  • When stakeholders have insights around user needs, goals and behaviors, the team can make evidence-based decisions.
  • One of the most common pain points are having to communicate and prove the value of UX and user research to leadership.
  • One author shares some ideas to overcome this:
    1. Understand the “why” behind the push-back
    2. Speak your stakeholders’ language
    3. Don’t fight the battle alone
    4. Find and use tools made by the government, for the government
    5. Identify quick wins to show the value of UX faster
    6. Get better value for stakeholders out of the user research
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Wrestling with mental health on- and off-screen

A designer’s guide to anxiety
  • The global burden of anxiety disorders is constantly increasing, as does the need to discuss how technologies contribute to it and whether designers can alleviate the problem.
  • Although designers are not to blame for modern anxiety, they have the tools to incentivise healthier living.
  • Users, for their part, have to examine how they interact with technologies and how that affects their mental health.
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Why It’s Time to Leave UX Laws Behind

I Want to Break Free
  • In today’s frenetic technological age, there is less room for creativity and the one-size-fits-all approach often prevails when it comes to design.
  • Although automation has numerous benefits, it also over-relies on UX laws and decreases the eagerness to experiment. This, in turn, hinders innovation and promotes a restrictive UX approach that seeks to “trap” users.
  • UX/UI specialists have the power to reshift the focus in the current UX trends to foster creativity and give users more freedom.
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Frame 1 UX Laws Behind

Exploring chat options can be daunting but here are some UX considerations for when refreshing or building your chatbot design.

Considerations for your chatbot design

Chatbot design has specific UX considerations to create exceptional conversations. In this article, the author recommends making sure to:

  • Be conscious of the size and placement of sticky chat elements
  • Keep the chat feature accessible without relying on a sticky chat element
  • Avoid non-user initiation of chat dialogs
  • Encourage users to search for information with an FAQ or navigational assistant prior to using live support
  • Be clear about how the user should engage with the chatbot, and adjust messaging for offline hours
  • Particular attention has to be paid to sticky chat elements, feature accessibility, pop-ups, navigation and offline assistance.

Read the full article for a breakdown of how to pay attention to these details while getting started with conversational design.

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Everything but numbers — defining qualities to evaluate progress in project development, designing new ways to evaluate how it responds to the assigned values and the purpose — a response to business plan assessments from a Strategic Design perspective

The Development Matrix

The author presents his approach to planning and progress evaluation in project development from a strategic design perspective. Some key pieces of advice:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of observation during the research stage, even if it’s hard to convey its value to stakeholders.
  • Building a “development matrix” might help to define desired outcomes and the worst-case scenario. A “development matrix”:
    • helps to define a spectrum of possible outcomes to assess how key functions performed
    • makes it easier to improve the product at different stages and take into consideration both functional and emotional expectation
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