Read this fascinating article on voice search and what the UK’s digital arm is doing about it. It’s interesting that one of the big challenges is to make content more easily understandable by search engines, with schema.org structured data as a potential solution. The need to design for voice is on the rise!
- Highlight: “In 2016 Google reported 20% of searches on Android devices were voice searches. Market analyst ComScore predicts that half of all search queries will be spoken by 2020.”
PERSONALIZATION: A TREND IN 2018 AND BEYOND
Sherif-Amin’s article highlights several efforts by companies like Spotify, NY Times and Walmart to increase personalization in the user experience of their products. This is certainly a trend that’ll grow, and one for designers to keep in mind when designing dynamic content.
- Highlight: “Walmart’s algorithms are meant to understand what categories the individual likes to shop, and then leverages merchants’ understanding of what items are new, trending or seasonal to reach the right segment of potentially interested customers.”
CASE STUDY: PREVENTING SUICIDE THE MODERN WAY
Lucas Chae’s case study is a compelling look at how machines (Google search results in this case) can be improved to respond to those searching for suicide-related queries. This is also an excellent example of a self-initiated design case study that chooses to deep dive into a complex interaction.
- Highlight: The case study focused on the power of words and framing, suggesting a universal response like “We are only a search engine, and cannot give you answers to your hardest questions. But we can help you get there.” With a Socratic mindset of accepting the shortcomings, we can finally carve a path to professional help for the users, instead of senselessly providing unqualified advice.
WHY USERS DON’T NOTICE THAT BIG OL’ BANNER ON THE FRONT PAGE
An interesting question was asked on StackExchange: “Why do people not notice our enormous, prominent, clear and contrasting purple banner?” I agree that the answer is most likely a phenomenon you and I both have experienced call banner blindness – the instinct for users to dismiss content that looks like ads.
- Highlight: “This phenomenon is called banner blindness. Your labeling looks like a banner advertisement and is therefore subconsciously skipped. Users have been conditioned to ignore complete sections of content if their previous experience taught them that it always contains irrelevant stuff. The more attention the banner tries to pull, the more it’s ignored.”
BOSTONIANS: THE AIR FORCE IS HIRING UX DESIGNERS
The Air Force’s software development unit is hiring up to 5 contract UX designers. It’s awesome to see UX bleed into all types of industries. Check out some of the projects and applications produced by Project Kessel Run. The catch? Candidates must have security clearance.
- Highlight: “The Air Force expresses interest in contracting for five UX designers who will be able to help “to transform legacy applications into cloud-native applications that will reside on a Platform as a Service.””
🏁UX CAREER COACHING CORNER
Are you thinking about leaving your current job to pursue UX? Here are 2 things to consider: 1) job searches take much longer than candidates anticipate (budget for 3-6 months) and 2) recruiters typically favor candidates who already have a job, even if it’s not specifically UX. Not a problem for those who have a healthy amount of savings for this career change, but I’ve met way too many good-intentioned students who got into stressful financial situations by lack of planning.