Is Microsoft Common User Interface ended?

Is Microsoft Common User Interface ended?

[Book] Mobile First

Brief, direct and simple. The idea: address your business strategy thinking first in your mobile experience. Why? to force simplicity, to reduce complexity, to get our users focus on content, to understand your product as pills of functionality handable by any user. Which user? that one who is in “one eyeball and one thumb” mode. Appealing, isn’t it? Well, it is challenging.

A book full of tips which helps you to understand capabilities and embrace constraints to take advantage until the minimum detail of the mobile experience.

Web App or Native App? Both. Do you want to know more? Would you like to agree or disagree with this argument? Read Mobile First, it won’t take you more than one day to start creating amazing web applications.

Enjoy it!


And one of the biggest misconceptions, or one of the questions I hear constantly, is “How do I write good stories?” One of the points to make about stories is they’re called stories because they were meant to be heard. They were meant to be discussed and talked about, and how they’re written isn’t as big an issue as what people talk about and what pictures they form in their heads.

Read/Listen the podcast of Jeff Patton – Story Mapping for UX Practitioners: Tying Agile and UX Together

MSCUI Clinical Documentation Solution

MSCUI Clinical Documentation Solution

[Book] Sketching User Experiences

This is a book about process and design. Divided into two parts, Bill Buxton engage you (designers, product managers, business executives, etc.) in a analysis about methods, processes and business careers from a historical point of view.

It brings other fields of the industry into the emerging User Experience with Sketching as the starting point of new ideas and as a way to lead the new product requirements for innovation.

It makes you think about your role and your company culture reminding us:

how important innovation is to the future of your company, the role of design in this, a recognition that innovation cannot be ghettoized in the research or design departments, since it is an overall cultural issue, and awareness of the inevitable and dire consequences of ignoring the previous three points.

Buxton stops when talking about Design when makes distinction between Interface Desgin and Experience Design (may we say design for experience?), when clarifies why Sketches are not Prototypes and disagrees with D. Norman who stated “We are all designers”.

Reducing things to such a level trivializes the hard-won and highly developed skills of the professional designer.

It is not a how-to book, although there’s a complete section about techniques to create sketches, with best practices where the main messages is: think, create, share and test. 

Personal opinion

When reading this book I have had always the feeling of mixing things and not going into the real root of any point. I would love to have the two parts of it into two different books with a more deeply detailed materials where to learn more about the author’s ideas. 

Nevertheless, for me, it has represented a creative way of learning tips to introduce simple, fast and cheap sketching techniques into my daily work at the same time that I have considered the need of innovation not only in products but also in the process itself.

In order to create successful products, it is as important (if not more) to invest in the design of the design process, as in the design of the product itself. 

By the way, digging into his web site you can take a look to this interesting and inspiring device collection (in HTML or Silverlight).

HTML5 & CSS3 for designers


Start now”, with this statement Dan Cederholm, the author of “CSS3 for Web Desginers” book, encourages us to work with the evolution of web markup style. And his not alone, with the same spirit, Jeremy Keith show us the history and the ‘whys’ of the new version of HTML.

But, is it now the right time? Even if we don’t believe in the consensus, and the first standard recommendation is planned to 2022, even if it’s really up to the vendors to support the new features and still you feel there are not enough of them to make the web styling really cool, even if you have worked with XAML and have in mind “why they don’t just copy it”, and even if you feel that it is a kind of “back to the future” the answer would be “yes”.

This is, as always, a business, the web browser war never counted with designers and developers’ desires, but they used our work to justify their steps ahead. It is like when one of those big companies – I won’t say the name – creates a copied technology to gain developers to gain terrain (to gain money) and it is supported just meanwhile there are someone who keeps on trying it: at the end, if there are not enough people using that “new” technology the company will says “bye” progressively in a gentle way – if you don’t believe me, tell Silverlight developers (oops).

This is only my personal view, I think that if the most of websites are built in HTML documents and are styled with CSS, the evolution of both are the right way to go. It will be slowly and plenty of complaints but always is like so. Is it risk? maybe, is it familiar? of course it is; is it RIA? hummm… we will see it, if we start trying it today.

[Book] Emotional Design: Why we love (or hate) everyday things

The Norman’s book Emotional Design: why we love (or hate) everyday things is certainly praised by designers and non-designers.

Truly, it has made me a better person (I would never say that I’m now a better designer since I’ve just read a book). But yes, that’s the positive feeling you can get after reading it. You will feel like an alive and creative animal which understand the emotions through design and technology.

The book is full of examples, (figurative) pictures, experiences, and situations to illustrate why without emotions, your decision-making ability would be impaired.

There’s a kind of anachronistic tone in his view of design. He splits it in three different levels:

  1. Visceral: visceral design is about the initial impact of a product, about appearance, touch, and feel.
  2. Behavioural: is about use, about experience with a product: function, performance, and usability.
  3. Reflecive: is about long-term relations, about feelings of satisfaction produced by owning, displaying, and using a product.

explaining why attractive things really work better: beauty and usefulness are inside everyone’s mind when we look at objects. Even if we would dislike something there’s always a strong emotion behind which affects to the interaction and the perception.

So interesting, so recommended… and ready for the next one.