Andy Fitzgerald

language + meaning + user experience architecture

Designing for the Human Scale

15 March, 2017

This last February I had the honor of giving the opening keynote at World IA Day in Zurich, Switzerland. Here are the slides and a complete transcript of my talk, “Designing for the Human Scale.”

Talk Description

The popular metaphor of how thinking works is computational: we recall information from memory, process it, and manipulate it in a predictable way. While this metaphor has its use, it often leads us to ignore key differences in the ways that machines and people access and use information.

To design effectively for the human scale, we need to bring to our work as User Experience Designers...

A Cognitive Sciences Reading List for Designers

28 July, 2016
bookshelf with books

If you’ve ever done any contextual inquiry or usability testing, you’ve probably observed first hand the difference between what people say they will do and what they actually end up doing. Overlooked calls to action, bizarre navigation paths, mind-bogglingly irrational decisions — even the most sensible seeming users occasionally (or often) do things that “rationally” make little sense.

Which is to say that we all, on occasion (or often) do things that seem to make little rational sense.

And yet, on a day-to-day basis, this is how we successfully negotiate the complexities of our world. We use heuristics (aka rules-of-thumb) and limited...

The Trouble with Systems

1 July, 2013

Much virtual ink has been spilled in the last year or two over the importance of thinking about information design in terms of systems as opposed to thinking of it as a set of carefully laid out maps.

In a 2012 blog post on Embodied Responsiveness, Andrew Hinton observed that “rather than trying to pre-program and map out every possible scenario, we need systems that respond intelligently by the very nature of their architectures.” Stephen Hay (Responsive Design Workflow, 2013) and Sara Wachter-Boettcher (Content Everywhere, 2012) have likewise called out the need to stop thinking about web design...

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