About Michael Cummings
Michael Cummings has been planning, designing, and producing interactive systems since 1995.
Contact: Website

Strategy vs. Management?

05.11.08 0

Are the means and interests of design strategy and business management inherently at odds with each other? If so, then why do they need each other so much? As in most of life this far …read on »

Googleyness and Yahoo!

05.10.08 4

How “Googley” is Google? Could Yahoo! be even Googleyer? In this article I take Google’s UX design principles and measure its, and Yahoo!’s, top services—search and advertising—against them. Of course I can only provide one user’s view, and that is no sufficient sample. So your participation is required. See my UX score card, and add yours to it. Three months from publication, provided a fair sample of qualitative views, scores will be totaled. Could Yahoo! be more Googley than Google?

…read on »

Designing For Interaction

04.28.08 1

Designing for Interaction: Creating Smart Applications and Clever Devices, Dan Saffer’s first and so far only foray in to print publishing, is a tight little knit of a book. Some passages, which could have tackled the beefier topics, play tag instead. Yet the page count makes it a good weekend read. What it may lack in depth, Dan more than compensates for with a great variety of ideas, images, interviews, and examples of ways we can, and should, design for interaction in smart and clever ways.

More User Experience.UX Design Books …read on »

Elements of User Experience

04.27.08 2

The Elements of User Experience – User-Centered Design For The Web, is an important and nascent work, spawned (like his design agency, Adpative Path) by the popularity of Jessie James Garrett’s Elements of User Experience diagram, first published in March of 2000. Garrett’s only book, to date, elaborates on and expands the concepts exampled in Garrett’s diagrams without seeming the least bit pedantic, practicing reader-centeredness in every turn of phrase. Read about Garrett’s highly readable book and it’s great contribution to interaction design as a profession.

More User Experience.UX Design Books …read on »

Managers Who Love Design…

04.13.08 3

Managers managing designers without trade craft training and experience are usually at a disadvantage when trying to communicate design needs in terms that define professional design. Here I offer some ideas to help solve that, so that designers are happy and motivated, and managers, and their managers, get what they really need to succeed. And yes, there is a catch; playing de facto Art Director may be lost in the bargain. …read on »

UX Intensive Strategy

02.21.08 0

Brendon Schauer’s UX Strategy day at UX Intensive 2008 in San Francisco was excellent. See Brandon’s UX Strategy presentation slides.

Stumbling on Usability

11.04.07 1

Whether we know it or not, we all have psychological blind spots, and struggle with realism versus idealism. It is a natural part of the human condition. As UX professionals we must be aware of this and not let our assumptions limit us, or hinder the users we design for. Read how one psychology professor, and highly readable author, defines the problem, and how we can learn from him to better our work. …read on »

What is UX?

08.04.07 10

Some prefer broad and inclusive definitions of User Experience (UX) design. Others (a few) claim The One True Meaning of it, usually in support of self interest. Both extremes muddy the semantic waters. Language best serves us when terms are both alive (evolving), and generally agreed. Here are a few collected definitions, for consensus, one more point of view, and the important career management perspective. …read on »

WordCamp Day 2

07.22.07 0

WordCamp 2007 proved both extremely valuable to me, personally and professionally, and to my wallet. At $25., you will not get more for less any place. Lunch included! Amazing. Yes, there is hope for human kind. Such a ethos of digital “socialismo” and open source information cross-contribution reminds me of them good ol’ days when the web (then called “the net”) seemed to me a daily digital Christmas.

I fear only that we’d take such things for granted, which, like taking democracy itself for granted, puts us at risk of incalculable loss.

Thanks again to Donncha O Caoimh for helping a fool through the less than fool-proof registration process.

In any case I’m happy to say that the first post for this blog was written from WordCamp 2007.
…read on »

1 2 3 4