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Why it is necessary to adopt the user-centric design method for a design process

Steve Jobs once said, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” Customer experience and empathy form the core of a well-designed UX, Read more…

The post Why it is necessary to adopt the user-centric design method for a design process appeared first on ixBlog.

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Steve Jobs once said, “You‘ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology – not the other way around.” Customer experience and empathy form the core of a well-designed UX, and it goes without saying that figuring out a user-friendly application is more important than zeroing in on the technology. By starting to solve the problems of your users and addressing potential t challenges upfront is synonymous with the popular saying – A job well begun is half done. The importance of keeping users and their feelings on the pedestal is critical for the success of the design process. An early focus on developing a user-centric design will pave the way toward building what users need.

What is a user-centric design?

image source: Google

Being an iterative design approach, the user-centric design or UCD is a process where the UX designers concentrate on fulfilling the requirements of users at each step along the design process. This involves design teams including users throughout the design process with the help of a range of research and design strategies to develop highly usable products that are accessible to them.

UCD process: What does it consist of?

To develop a deep understanding of user requirements, UX designers must use a combination of two techniques – investigative methods along with generative ones. While the investigative methods comprise the conducting of surveys and interviews, the generative ones such as brainstorming allow acquiring a good understanding of user needs. Basically, each iteration of the UCD process consists of four different phases:

  • Understanding the context of the use
  • Defining the user requirements
  • Developing design solutions
  • Evaluating as per the requirements

Image source: Google

The first step involves the designers working as a team to understand the viewpoint and context of user requirements. This also includes sketching user flows, building a conceptual model, and getting users’ feedback. Once this process is complete, the designers identify and define the requirements of the users, followed by a design phase where the UX design team develops feasible design solutions such as building Lo-Fi prototypes. This step is followed by an evaluation phase when the outcomes of the evaluation are assessed by hybrid focus groups as per the users’ context and requirements. This will give a clear idea of how well a design will perform. In other words, it will also help the designers understand if they are able to satisfy the users’ needs. This process continues in the form of further iterations of these four phases until the final evaluation results are satisfactory.

That being said, it is also essential to note that user testing should be mandatory in the early stages of development. Testing methods such as hybrid focus groups or field testing can help in identifying problems and ensuring that they have been resolved. Testing procedures can be repeated as many times the designers wish to because nothing is more important than making sure your users are completely satisfied with the UX design of the application.

Hybrid focus groups

Image Source: Google

A hybrid focus group focuses on co-creating and asking a set of questions. It involves gathering almost 6-8 participants to organize a discussion and allow people to evaluate individually. The discussion concentrates on finding any issues as a group and learning each other’s deliverables to come to a unanimous conclusion. The final results are discussed with the client or stakeholders. To put in simple words, hybrid focus groups help in understanding the feelings and needs of users both before interface designing and post-implementation.

Field usability testing

Image Source: Google

On the other hand, the field usability testing method combines traditional testing techniques with field research to test an application in the actual context in which it’s used. Participants use a product in their own environments; so this type of testing focuses more on observing the contexts of other users. To identify almost 80% of the design problems, a target audience of 5 participants should be enough. All one has to do is observe and make note of the pain points of the users while using the application and see if they get stuck anywhere. This will help in recognizing the issues, resolving them, and finalizing the UX design.

How to involve users through a UCD?

Before jumping into the UCD process, it is crucial to understand what your users want to do with a product and how they wish to utilize it. Designers can accordingly decide on what they can do to help, and how they can work together to achieve the goals of their users. Involving users is an ongoing process in UCD and designers should keep that in mind throughout the design process. Some golden rules they must follow to keep users in the loop are listed below:

                                                                      Image Source: Google

  • Identify and understand your audience. A UCD relies on the participation of users throughout the design process. This will eventually lead to a solution that will be useful and enjoyable for users. However, it is imperative to understand the requirements of your target audience thoroughly.
  • Research if you want to know more. Make it a point to perform research regularly. Be it drawing sketches or making drafts of the concepts of your app’s design, be very clear about what you need to know from your users.
    Learn from experiences. Be scrupulous and learn from the experiences of your users without forcing them to suggest any out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Collaborate because it is key to successful UX design. After you observe the areas of concern that your users have to deal with, work with them, and co-create the best possible design solution. Ensure that you do this without confusing them.
  • Have a keen eye for detail. Being open-minded to seeing the whole picture and understanding from everyone’s perspective is essential.

Does a UCD pay off?

By working with users at close quarters, it is evident that the final product will more likely meet most of the expectations and requirements of the users. This means that you won’t have to spend a lot on customer services and a satisfied customer will help in increasing the sales through word of mouth. In a nutshell, UCD leads to more reliable products. Besides, having UX designers close to users builds a sense of connection that is vital to create the best designs focussed on improving the quality of experience. To answer the question, a UCD definitely pays off! Not to mention that it promotes faster user acceptance and steers your business in the right direction, promoting sustainability.

Source: http://blog.ionixxtech.com/why-it-is-necessary-to-adopt-the-user-centric-design-method-for-a-design-process/

Blockchain

Cardano Price Analysis: 17 May

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At a time when other altcoins were stumbling, Cardano [ADA] witnessed significant growth. Although the price of the digital asset mirrored the correction in the Bitcoin market, the overall market still seemed to hold on to a high value.

At the time of press, ADA had lost 12% of its value since the peak and was currently being traded at $2.14 with a market capitalization of $69.31 billion.

Cardano hourly chart

Source: ADAUSD on TradingView

The above chart of Cardano shows the drops seen by the markets recently. Although the price dropped from a peak of $2.47, it has now managed to hold on to $2.13. Though the overall market looked strong, short-term indicators predicted a correction.

As the price traded right above the support at $2.10, a fall could push it under the level and close to the next immediate support at $2.02.

Reasoning

ADA market unlike many other altcoins markets was showing reduced volatility. Convergence of Bollinger bands was indicative of this trend. The signal line was moving lower, tracing the movement of the candlesticks.

As the price remained above the current support for a long time, there were chances that the price would breach support. The relative strength index was noting that selling pressure which was maintained close to 50 was now heading towards the oversold zone. The rise in selling pressure could push the price lower; however, Chaikin money flow suggested that the money that was leaving the market was now coming back in.

Crucial levels

Entry-level: $2.09
Take profit: $2.01
Stop level: $2.16
Risk to Reward: 1.04

Conclusion

The current Cardano market was suggesting that the consolidating price might be looking to correct again. The indicators were suggesting a rise in selling pressure, which could result in another fall. However, the buying pressure could result in a trend reversal as the CMF highlighted money entering the ADA market.


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Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://ambcrypto.com/cardano-price-analysis-17-may

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Creating NFT artwork with my kids

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How we are exploring the technology with kids and having a lot of fun in the process

Eric Wong
Photo by Dose Media on Unsplash

One of the hottest trending topics which fascinated my kid is crypto. Quite honestly, he felt that Dogecoin is the coolest currency and he even asked me to help him purchase some of it with his savings.

We’ve all heard of the term “Digital Natives” and I’m sure some of us here are “Digital Natives”. This refers to the generation that grew up with technology. Technology is here to stay, and I don’t think it’s going to a standstill. As many of us are still grappling with how this whole crypto and blockchain technology works, fueled with the whole speculation in the cryptocurrency market, this is definitely an area of fascination and fear.

While this is not an article explaining the technology, I wanted to approach this from the angle of exposing kids to technology and the other applications of this technology. There’s been too much hype around the speculation of cryptocurrencies which is just one part of the story.

Blockchain technology is something that will be here to stay. The benefits that the technology brings, especially with the ability to create a unique identity for digital assets, opens up endless possibilities for creators such as artists to “mint” original pieces which cannot be replicated.

While I feel that this technology is in its early days and will evolve to something more efficient, there is already wide adoption of blockchain technology in our lives today.

It really started with my 11-year-old boy, Isaac taking an interest in Dogecoin. He’s been reading it on Reddit a lot and is fascinated with the whole Elon Musk sending Dogecoin to the moon. While I’m glad he’s fascinated with how these things work, there is a lot of fluff in this whole proposition which I don’t entirely agree with. The other worrying thing is that he is starting to develop his values around investments and the value of money. Having him exposed to just a single facet of the technology would set that foundation wrong.

Having an interest in any given topic is priceless, and I didn’t want to let this slip. I did let him invest a small part of his savings in Dogecoin. $15 of it to be exact. That story was a good one. He was making over a dollar at one time, before losing about 40% of it on paper. Throughout the whole episode, I checked in with him on how he felt, and he was able to make a decision to hold on to it believing that it was still a good decision to invest. It did recover, and he sold everything making a handsome profit of 40 cents. He later kicked himself when it sent up further and he could have made a lot more. He’s now staying on the sideline and refusing to put any money into it, but I know he’s researching the next thing he should be investing in.

The thing about Blockchain, and Cryptocurrencies, it can get very energy hungry. To put it in context, Bitcoin uses more energy than Argentina and that puts the technology in the top 30 energy users worldwide according to a report by BBC.

Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56012952

Using blockchain technology, unique identities for digital assets such as artwork can be created and stored on the blockchain. This is referred to as NFT. This allows content creators to create their masterpieces without the issue of them being replicated. A good recent example of such an artwork changing hands is that of Mr. Vignesh Sundaresan (Metakovanby) purchasing artwork by digital artist Beeple at a Christie’s auction on March 11. He paid US69 mil for it, which was unthinkable even today.

Riding on the interest of my younger 7-year-old daughter’s in art, I suggested to the kids that we should create our own NFT Artwork and sell it online. This is a perfect example for us in how we can explore the technology together, create an art piece, and put it up for sale.

I also wanted them to think about the good that we can do along with the power to create. So, I asked them if they would give some of the proceeds away to a charity, and they immediately said “YES!”.

Out came the iPad, and we started drawing. It’s a simple illustration of a cute little Mochi. Yes, it’s very elementary, but it was fun creating it!

Creating our artwork on the iPad

I did a quick search online, and realized that there aren’t any “NFT Mochi”, but I could be wrong. As far as research goes, this is actually the first NFT Mochi illustration that’s minted!

Together with the kids, we minted our first NFT and listed it for sale on Rarible (Click to view) and Opensea (Click to view).

Our artwork listed on Rarible

I also took the opportunity to show them the cost of minting which essentially is the “gas” money that goes to processing the transaction on the Ethereum blockchain network. This fluctuates a lot and depending on the load and if you’re going to pay more to expedite the processing, it can range from a couple of tens of dollars to over a hundred dollars just to mint this NFT artwork.

This allowed me to explain to the kids how the technology works in kids language, and also how the energy impact the technology has.

We had a lot of fun in this process of being an NFT Artist. It was super cool, and I think we might do this again.

Our artwork, “World’s First NFT Mochi” is on sale, do check it out and if you are feeling the “work” that we’ve put in, do put in a bid to buy it! (That would be another story for me and my kids!)

Hope you’ve found this sharing useful. Do share your thoughts and comments with me.

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://medium.com/the-joy-of-parenting/creating-nft-artwork-with-my-kids-e4a8ea8935ab?source=rss——-8—————–cryptocurrency

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Legacy Records, The First Record Label Paying Music Artists In Crypto

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From painters to digital artists to musicians, crypto continues to find integration across artistic mediums. Music continues to be a field that is ripe for revitalization, from a business standpoint. Accordingly, a number of different musicians have been releasing songs and albums as NFTs. Now, we have what’s being reported as the first official record label looking to get involved. The label looks to have artists join the ranks of other musicians getting involved in crypto.

Two-Pronged Approach

In a press release issued to start this week, Legacy Records CEO Keishia McLeod said it came down to “either get involved or get left behind”. McLeod cited unique income stream opportunities for artists and closed by saying that “this is the future, not a trend”. McLeod has stated previously her intent to drive the label to be at the forefront of leveraging emerging technology in music.

There are two major buckets contributing to Legacy’s approach. The first is the most notable, as the label will become the first to offer artists an opportunity to receive their advance and royalty payments in the form of crypto. The second is to engage artists with NFTs, allowing fans to participate in auctions for unique content. The label’s specific plans around NFTs, and number of artists seeking to get paid in crypto, have not yet been disclosed.

Related Reading | The “Hottest” NFT: Max Denison Pender Creates And Destroys A Self-Portrait In A Volcano 

As the crypto market grows, both artists and businesses are getting involved | Source: CRYPTOCAP-TOTAL on TradingView.com

Legacy Music’s Broader Business Growth 

Las Vegas-based Legacy Records, not to be confused with Sony’s Legacy Recordings, will look to take advantage of the potential press buzz from the announcement. However, in tandem with the release, the label also announced a to-be-name music distributor who has also agreed to pay Legacy Records artists in bitcoin. The label also merged with New Jersey entertainment lawyer Navarro Gray’s ‘The Gray Firm’, to provide legal guidance around digital execution.

McLeod has noted previously that the label has desired being a mainstay in revolutionizing the way music artists do business. In a January interview with the LA Tribune, McLeod cited Netflix’s impact on the film industry, adding that “we haven’t seen that yet in this industry, but it’s coming. We’re going to be a large part of making that happen”.

Related Reading | Reviewing Topps MLB’s First Swing At NFT Tech

Music Artists Emerging Into Crypto

Legacy’s roster has the potential to join a growing list of music artists that continue to engage with crypto and NFTs. Last month, we wrote about long-time hip-hop artist Eminem partnering with Nifty Gateway to release original instrumental beats. Saturday Night Live promptly had a sketch explaining the digital collectibles parodying Eminem’s “Without Me”.

Other musicians engaging with NFTs include DJ Premier, 3LAU, The Weeknd, Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda, and more.

Each week, our team recaps the week’s NFT action with ‘NFTs In A Nutshell‘ – covering everything NFT, from sport, music, and more.

Featured image from Pixabay, Charts from TradingView.com

Coinsmart. Beste Bitcoin-Börse in Europa
Source: https://bitcoinist.com/the-first-record-label-paying-music-artists-in-crypto/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=the-first-record-label-paying-music-artists-in-crypto

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