Whilst it’s always a good idea to audit your workflows and iterate them to be more effective, sometimes it can be useful to use a system that has already gone through this process. This is particularly the case when working with teams when imposing a workflow can be tied up with power struggles and egos. Enter Flow. It’s expensive but gets good reviews for distributed task management.
Hipmunk is a flight and hotel search engine. What sets it apart from the crowd is the thoughtful way it’s designed to maximise user outcomes. Search results for flights are presented visually according to time and sorted by ‘agony’ whilst hotels are mapped and sorted by ‘ecstasy’. A little US-centric, but superb.
Jane Friedman has produced an excellent checklist resource ensuring you’ve covered the bases regarding social media and web presence. It’s creative writing-focused but expect to see a Synechism version soon!
Skype’s chat functionality is a truly underrated feature. Not only is it persistent and encrypted but also wonderfully easy-to-use with the option to turn it into a voice/video call at any time. If you don’t (or can’t because of restrictions) use the official Skype client, imo.im is a web-based chat client that, amongst other networks, allows you to sign into Skype chat.
UnPlug’d is a an event happening this weekend in Canada. It’s a small gathering of ‘Canadian educational change agents’ meeting to “share peer-reviewed success stories; to deepen relationships among participants; to publish the collective vision of the group.” What’s innovative and user-focused is the ways they’re expected to engage: ‘Star-gazing’ is one of the activities.
In The UX of Learning, Tyler Tate at A List Apart (a website ‘for people who make websites’) deconstructs some of the best ways to design for online learning experiences:
Learning is a complex process with distinct stages, each with corresponding tasks and emotions. Understanding how users learn can help us design experiences that support the user throughout the entire process.
Mapping Bloom’s taxonomy to the learning process and, more specifically, to the search for information. Well worth a read.
4Chan is, ostensibly, an imageboard website but better known for anonymous online activism – some of it not very pleasant. That’s why it’s surprising that there’s (apparently) an emerging subculture of ‘Bronyism’ or male members who like ‘My Little Pony’. Apparently, the latter has been re-launched in recent years as a cartoon and features some great storytelling. Just goes to show what you can achieve through a commitment to quality.
It would seem that one of the best ways to gain traction online is to use empathy. Unsurprisingly, connecting with people on a human level leads to improved user outcomes.
In this great post at Lifehacker Alan Henry gives an overview of various systems of productivity, explaining how you ‘remix’ them to suit your own style and context.
Print media is on the decline and online newspapers aren’t doing so well. In this visual post, Brad Colbow shows why online newspapers have got it all wrong when it comes to promoting positive user outcomes.