Posts about Trends


Speculative Tools for Learning about Politics

Cooper has just published the third in a series about Elections for UX Magazine. Below is an excerpt from the article "Speculative Tools for Learning about Politics" written by Joe Kappes. Read the full article on UX Magazine.

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With all the noise of an election cycle, it can be difficult to parse out what you really believe when it comes to key political issues and with whom you actually agree. 

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Winning the Primary Election with Data Visualization

Cooper has just published the second in a six article series about Elections for UX Magazine. Below is an excerpt from the article "Winning the Primary Election with Data Visualization" written by Jim Dibble. Read the full article on UX Magazine

In addition to following your favorite candidate’s progress during election season, as a UX designer, you can find new inspiration for ways in which to help your users explore data.

Election season offers UX designers lessons and inspiration for helping users understand and explore data. In addition to following your favorite candidate’s progress during election season, as a UX designer, you can find new inspiration for ways in which to help your users explore data. In this article, I’ll take a look at a couple of the different news and political sites, and see how they’ve used interactive data visualizations to help readers better understand the complex data behind election predictions and results.

There are myriad ways to present election data. As with all information and interaction design, your method of presentation depends on the type of reader you’re trying to reach and the types of questions you’re helping them answer — do you want to help them understand the likelihood of future results or to help them interpret how demographics and behavior influenced votes in the past?

I’ll take a look at several strategies for presenting data, depending on whether the user is looking forward to predict potential results or looking backward to understand how demographics and issues influenced results. During election season, readers want to examine data from several perspectives:

  • Looking forward to upcoming primary results
  • Understanding election results as they arrive
  • Looking back to understand the meaning of what has happened
  • Predicting the future
  • Playing “what if” scenarios with the data
  • We’ll look at good and bad examples of each in this election cycle, and then pull out some general principles for data visualization that can be applied for any examination of data.

Read all of Jim's article here on UX Magazine.

In addition to following your favorite candidate’s progress during election season, as a UX designer, you can find new inspiration for ways in which to help your users explore data.

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Is Online Voting the Next Big Thing?

Cooper has just posted the first in a series of articles on Elections for UX Magazine. Below is an excerpt from the article "Is Online Voting the Next Big Thing" written by Chris Calabrese. Check it out and read the full article on UX Magazine

Even though we live in a digital age, in Election 2016, you won’t be voting for Clinton or Trump via your phone or the web. 

You’re probably reading this article from your mobile phone. And with the US primary elections in full swing, there’s a good chance you’re learning about issues and candidates on the web, and sharing your political opinions through social media. Even though we live in a digital age, in Election 2016, you won’t be voting for Clinton or Trump via your phone or the web. Instead, if you go (43% of eligible voters didn’t vote in 2008), you’ll wait on a long line of US citizens to cast your ballot in a number of antiquated ways:

  • Paper Ballot - 1856
  • Mechanical Lever Machine - 1892
  • Optical Scan Ballot - 1962
  • Punch Card - 1964
  • Direct Recording Electronic (DRE) Voting Machine - 1974

It’s amazing that the predominant ways we are using today to cast votes in our government elections have remained virtually unchanged through the whole digital age.

Think about this: NASA sent two people to walk on the moon in 1969, when the entire agency possessed less computing power than your mobile phone. We can do better!

So what’s the problem?

In a nutshell, the biggest hurdle to online voting is insufficient security. You may wonder, in a world where billions of dollars of financial transactions occur on a daily basis, why can’t I vote for my government officials online? Unlike a financial transaction, which requires a transparent and auditable process for its security, online voting needs to not only be auditable but also anonymous. These conditions, according to a report published by the Atlantic Council in 2014, are “largely incompatible with current technologies”.

Read all of Chris' article here on UX Magazine.

Even though we live in a digital age, in Election 2016, you won’t be voting for Clinton or Trump via your phone or the web.

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Dear College Seniors: Designing Your Career Search

Millions of college seniors will graduate in 2016, and many of them are looking for jobs, hoping to line something up before they graduate. Many of them want to break into the software industry, or, more broadly and more succinctly, “tech.” Below are some words of general advice for students looking forward to their first job in just about any industry. It also includes some specific advice for looking for a first job in Design, Product Management, or Strategy.

Dear Graduating Senior,

I know that finding your first job can be frustrating, especially when you’ll hear a lot of people make it sound so easy! The reality is not very glamorous. It takes time and patience. The good news is that you're doing the right thing: asking people for advice, and staying open to new things.

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Millions of college seniors will graduate in 2016, and many of them are looking for jobs, hoping to line something up before they graduate. Many of them want to break into the software industry, or, more broadly and more succinctly, “tech.” Below are some words of general advice for students looking forward to their first job in just about any industry. It also includes some specific advice for looking for a first job in Design, Product Management, or Strategy.

Dear Graduating Senior,

I know that finding your first job can be frustrating, especially when you’ll hear a lot of people make it sound so easy! The reality is not very glamorous. It takes time and patience. The good news is that you're doing the right thing: asking people for advice, and staying open to new things.

I'll offer you some general advice, and then suggest some courses of action...

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Against Infinite Scroll

I was recently part of a Cooper Slack conversation about infinite scrolling navigation.

"I hate infinite scroll," I said. 

"👆," several people responded. 

"But why?" asked someone else.

In my worldview, infinite scroll has three major failings. I’ve listed them here from least to most important. 

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A user experience critique of infinite scrolling as a navigation pattern, based on a Slack conversation with colleagues at Cooper. 

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A Brief History of Web Publishing

For you, this image may or may not conjure up intense feelings of nostalgia. For me, this was The Beginning of the Internet. It was a land accessed through a ritual of weird sounds, a tether of harsh but magical noise that made it possible for me to climb through the phone line into a realm of shared imagination. I had conversations with strangers and pretended to be someone different. I flew spaceships and fought dragons and hung around taverns quaffing ale and discussing the finer points of dagger combat with dwarves. My Nintendo became suddenly very lonely.

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The original model of the web was that of publishing interlinked pages. We take a look at how this model has worked, how the technology has changed and muse a bit on the future.

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Visual Design for White Labelled Products

Designing a product with the intention of being “white labelled” means that you are creating a software for a client to incorporate into their existing (visual language) system. Every now and then design consultants are hired by another consultant to work on a third party’s existing system. This what you call a super white label. Here, you not only have to consider your client’s needs, but your client’s client’s needs, too. It can be easy to start designing with everyone’s goals in mind and eventually lose focus, leaving no one satisfied in the end. These are some basic tips I’ve found that to help start and manage a white labelled project. 


It can be easy to start designing with everyone’s goals in mind and eventually lose focus, leaving no one satisfied in the end.

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Interaction14 - Thoughts on Collaboration and Communication

The final day of Interaction14 was full of talks about collaboration and communication. Let’s kick off with a talk from our own Chris Noessel on a practice that is central to how Cooperistas design.

(side note: you can find sketchnotes from Thursday‘s and Friday‘s talks here)

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The final day of Interaction14 was full of talks about collaboration and communication. Let’s kick off with a talk from our own Chris Noessel on a practice that is central to how Cooperistas design.(side note: you can find sketchnotes from Thursday‘s and Friday‘s talks here)Pair Design and Why You Need ItChris Noessel (@ChrisNoessel)Sketchnote by @KShimmellPair Design and Why You Need [...]

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Interaction14 - Is it Science, Art or something else?

While Friday’s talks seem to be quite level-headed compared Thursday’s design extravaganza, they weren’t any less provocative. Take a look at some of Friday‘s highlights (or sneak ahead to Saturday)

The De-Intellectualization of Design

Dan Rosenberg

Sketchnote by @ChrisNoessel

The De-Intellectualization of Design Big Idea:

Daniel Rosenberg, one of the old guard of Human-Computer Interaction, bemoaned the loss of a computer-science heavy approach to interaction design. He then shared his three-part antidote: Industry certification, employing Chief Design Officers, and better design education (read: computer and cognitive-science based). Guess which one of these was the audience’s “favorite”?

Hint:

Full description of The De-Intellectualization of Design here.

An excellent counterpoint to Dan’s observation was Irene Au’s early-morning mindfulness talk.

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While Friday’s talks seem to be quite level-headed compared Thursday’s design extravaganza, they weren’t any less provocative. Take a look at some of Friday‘s highlights (or sneak ahead to Saturday)The De-Intellectualization of DesignDan RosenbergSketchnote by @ChrisNoesselThe De-Intellectualization of Design Big Idea:Daniel Rosenberg, one of the old guard of Human-Computer Interaction, bemoaned the loss of a computer-science heavy approach to interaction [...]

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Interaction14 - Food, Comics, and the UI of Nature

Interaction14 is off to a blazing start, and man if it doesn’t sound like a kaleidoscope of designers, thought-leaders, and crazy beautiful ideas. There’s everything from interactive skateboard ramps to talks about principles of user experience design learned from cats.

Exactly what kind of “conference” is this?

This year Cooper sent over a troop of people for inspiration, elucidation and to capture some of the creative spark that only happens when you put hundreds of brilliant people in a big room for 4 days. In between workshops, talks, and happy hours, they’ve been slapping together some pretty stunning sketchnotes for us local folks. Here are notes from 4 of the talks that went down on Thursday. See sketchnotes from Friday and Saturday too!

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Interaction14 is off to a blazing start, and man if it doesn’t sound like a kaleidoscope of designers, thought-leaders, and crazy beautiful ideas. There’s everything from interactive skateboard ramps to talks about principles of user experience design learned from cats.Exactly what kind of “conference” is this?This year Cooper sent over a troop of people for inspiration, elucidation and to capture [...]

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