UX Toolkit. Whaa?

Allison Bloodworth abloodworth at berkeley.edu
Thu Jan 29 18:42:18 UTC 2009


Hi all,

Quite a while before the Fluid Project began, Ian Crew and I at UC  
Berkeley started writing a series of articles on user-centered design.  
We talked about a "toolkit" which contained different UCD tools that  
you could pick from to use in different situations. This concept is  
very familiar to me, and I've always really liked the name. I think  
it's helpful because it also emphasizes the fact that UCD/UX isn't a  
big, heavy process containing multiple steps which *all* need to be  
followed, but a toolkit of different techniques that you can pick from  
depending on the needs and constraints of your project. Additionally,  
I don't really see the Toolkit as guidelines--I see it as how-to's on  
the different UCD tools/processes along with templates, artifacts and  
examples.

I am wondering if the problem may have been the change from the name  
"Designer's Toolkit" to "UX Toolkit"? Maybe UX is being conflated with  
UI, making people think it's some sort of code or javascript. Would  
going back to "Designer's Toolkit" make it clearer? If not, my second  
favorite suggestion so far is "Designer's Handbook."

As this is a pretty important deliverable for us that we'd like to  
make sure folks can find, we might want to ask some other designers  
and developers who are interested in UCD outside the Fluid project  
what name would give off the most "scent" for them. We all may be a  
little too close to the situation. :) I'll send a message out to the  
user-centered design list at Berkeley and cc: fluid-work.

Allison

On Jan 29, 2009, at 9:58 AM, Paul Zablosky wrote:

> I like the term "Handbook" -- a source of information and techniques  
> for a professional or a craftsperson.
>
> How about calling it "Designers Handbook" ?
>
> Paul
>
> Erin Yu wrote:
>> Hi Everyone,
>>
>> As I was reorganizing the Fluid website, I was reminded of the  
>> unintuitiveness(!) of the name "UX Toolkit". Some of the new  
>> members our team were confused by the name as I was when I first  
>> heard it.
>>
>> General reactions were:
>> "What is UX?"
>> "Toolkit sounds like it's something technical. Something developers  
>> would use."
>> "Toolkit for user experience. What could it be... Is it like  
>> diagrams?"
>>
>> If I was looking for information on say, "how to do user testing",  
>> I would never think to click on something called "UX Toolkit". We  
>> have great stuff in UX Toolkit, and I think it will be seen and  
>> used more if the name was more intuitive, perhaps something like  
>> "Design Guidelines".
>>
>> What do others think?
>>
>> Erin
>>
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>
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Allison Bloodworth
Senior User Interaction Designer
Educational Technology Services
University of California, Berkeley
(415) 377-8243
abloodworth at berkeley.edu







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