“Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy. The more choices you make throughout the day, the harder each one becomes for your brain, and eventually it looks for shortcuts, usually in either of two very different ways. One shortcut is to become reckless: to act impulsively instead of expending the energy to first think through the consequences. (Sure, tweet that photo! What could go wrong?) The other shortcut is the ultimate energy saver: do nothing. Instead of agonizing over decisions, avoid any choice. Ducking a decision often creates bigger problems in the long run, but for the moment, it eases the mental strain.”
I read this article on “The New York Times” back in May. Since reading it I’ve found myself continuously thinking about it and I’ve referred to it in several conversations since. It’s one of those things that I’ve always subconsciously known was happening, but when once I read about it, it brought a certain type of life to it that it has fascinated me. Enjoy™

Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue?” By John Tierney and Published: August 17, 2011

posted by shane on Friday, Jun 08, 2012

“The user doesn’t come out of nowhere. We don’t land on your page and then head happily to those social networks to promote you, just because you have a button on your site. We find content through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest etc., not the other way around.

If you provide excellent content, social media users will take the time to read and talk about it in their networks. That’s what you really want. You don’t want a cheap thumbs up, you want your readers to talk about your content with their own voice.”
Saw this article through an email newsletter sent to me from the Twitter. I am one of those people who LOVE those social buttons, but since reading this post it has really got me rethinking it all, and paying more attention to my own personal behaviors as well as other humans. Enjoy™

Sweep the Sleaze” by Oliver Reichenstein

posted by shane on Friday, Jun 08, 2012

“When you are designing, how much time do you spend in your own head, applying your own perspective, and how much time do you spend in someone else’s mindset? Next time you’re designing, try to spend more of the time outside of your own perspective. Make this into a practice.”
Jeff Moyes shared this post with the UX group at FamilySearch today and what Indie Young wrote at the end really helped refresh how we should approach user experience in our work. Enjoy™

Mental Models: How to Wield Empathy Posted by Indi Young on Rosenfeld.

posted by shane on Friday, Jun 08, 2012

At familysearch we’ve been working on a standard tool set for front-end developers to be amazingly productive/happy/awesome in. We settled on Node.js and have recently launched it in production. It is performing fantastically and we are falling in love.

If you’d like to work with Node.js and you’d like to do it at familysearch, give a holler to schlegel “at” familysearch dot org. Then we can tell you about all the other cool stuff we’re doing.

posted by scott on Saturday, May 19, 2012

An excellent article from Louis Rosenfeld: Stop Redesigning And Start Tuning Your Site Instead. You and your key stakeholders need to read this.

posted by ted on Friday, May 18, 2012

Dennis Wixon, my first “UX Boss” at Microsoft and co-chair of my masters thesis committee, will be speaking at UPA 2012. Looking forward to hearing him speak!

posted by ted on Friday, Apr 27, 2012

I liked this article on Breaking the UX Status Quo. Some good thoughts on enlivening various design deliverables by integrating personas and related information throughout.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012

I like the subtle design changes to the banner area on LDS.org that have gone out over the last few months. This week’s Easter messages have been a good example. (I also appreciate that they got the title and alt attributes fixed, so the thumbnails on the right are more accessible to blind readers—and others who want some text to describe what they’ll get.)

posted by ted on Friday, Apr 06, 2012

I’m always amazed at people who can take such beautiful notes… These are Benjamin Norris’s notes from the LDSTech Conference last week.

posted by ted on Thursday, Apr 05, 2012

“Subjecting all designs to usability studies before shipping is prudent risk-management.
Radical innovation is extremely risky. Yes, you might invent the next iPhone. But you’re more likely to invent the next Newton.”
From a good article by Jakob Nielsen on
A/B Testing, Usability Engineering, Radical Innovation: What Pays Best?
The contrasts between A/B testing, usability activities, and just turning a genius loose to invent the next Big Thing are clearly drawn. I would temper Nielsen’s position a bit by emphasizing his final point—that there’s no reason you have to pick just one. If you have a genius on staff, subjecting his ideas to A/B testing and usability testing will only polish his or her brilliance to an even greater sheen…

posted by ted on Monday, Mar 26, 2012

“We’ve found the most successful teams are those that spend as much time in each iteration measuring their designs as they do implementing it.”
Jared Spool, in an interesting article on making agile iterations… agile! I have found the situation he describes over and over again—agile teams organizing a series of sprints, but never really iterating. They are basically doing waterfall planning, just on very short timescales. This article gives direction on how to get out of that rut. And no surprise, it relies on robust design and user research processes.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Mar 21, 2012

Here’s a great article by Christian Holst on an frequent need: designing country selectors. What I love most is that he’s gone beyond describing the challenges, to designing a working solution—which he then makes open source! You can try out his redesigned country selector and download the jQuery plugin.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 20, 2012

The LDSTech Conference will be held in Riverton, Utah on March 28, 29, and 30. We have several design projects this year that need your help. You can also attend remotely.

If you’re interested in signing up to help with a project, you’ll need to complete a quick bio, skill match and community involvement agreement.

Learn More About the Conference Project list and community sign up Conference Info and Registration for March 28-30

posted by emmy on Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

“The problem with business today isn’t a lack of innovation; it’s a lack of empathy.”
Great quote by Dev Patnaik, cited in a UX Booth article called
Invisible Armor: Protecting Your Empathy at Work.
I enjoyed this (sometimes corny) article and related to a lot of the points.

posted by ted on Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012

Speed and agility are the most important attributes any design team can have, even beating out creativity and innovation.
This is because a fast–moving process that iterates frequently gets to take advantage of the natural evolution of the design, whereas a slow moving process needs to discover innovation out of the gate, which is much more difficult.”
Jared Spool, in
Prototyping’s Resurgence: Communicating the Designer’s Intent

posted by ted on Thursday, Mar 08, 2012

“The web is an ever-changing beast, full of flaws and imperfection and experimentation. And that’s why we love it.”
Dan Cederholm in What I learned about the Web in 2011

posted by kat on Friday, Feb 24, 2012

I’m excited to be registered for UPA 2012. Lots of great user research presentations, but also more on UX and Design in general than I’ve seen in the past. (It’s been a while…) Curious who else is going… Let me know: borenmt at ldschurch org !

posted by ted on Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

BBQ, plaid shirts, and midnight networking at The Belmont. Yep, it’s that time of year again and we’re hosting our annual meetup at SXSW on Sunday, March 11th from 6-8 PM. If you’ll be in Austin, we’d love to meet you. We’ll be offering a behind-the-scenes look at several applications supporting the LDS Church’s global operations and over 13 million members. The event is invite-only, so please contact us for more information or find one of us for an invitation.

posted by jaredlewandowski on Thursday, Feb 02, 2012

I love these new commercials for the 2012 Kia Optima with Blake Griffen. I can’t remember the last time I saw an NBA player do so well in a commercial. Somehow Blake Griffen is able to give a performance that fits the overall mood of the commercial perfectly. So if Fantasticnous is tied up in someone’s basement I’m pretty sure Kia came and kidnapped it from that basement and has unleashed it in this fantasticly brilliant campaign. Enjoy™

SOURCE: 2012 Kia Optima Blake Griffin Commercial “Easy to Fold” (by KiaMotorsAmerica)

posted by shane on Wednesday, Feb 01, 2012

“We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.”
Betsy Sparrow, quoted by Tim Minor in an interesting article on
memory and design on UX Booth.

posted by ted on Wednesday, Feb 01, 2012