It is often thought that user experience is a fancy synonym for design. This is not the case. User experience doesn’t start with design, but with the knowledge that informs the design process. Before someone is a user of a product they are an individual, and it’s this prior active engagement of the user that is key to imagining and designing a product that will fit their needs and deliver an experience that meets or exceeds expectations.
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This is some pretty good stuff and worth a listen if you have time. Especially the part about:
why it’s dangerous to bring computer science principles and heavy development tools into web design.
This is excellent and something that’s hard to think about in yourself. If you’re over say… 37 years old and have been doing this over 11 years, it’s pretty much spot on and we all need to think about these points when speaking to the digital world now days
We may call ourselves user experience designers, but we are web designers at heart. It is time to take off our website blinkers.
Seamless Omnichannel and personal mobile experience eh? That’s the trick. I haven’t seen it pulled off yet, maybe 2015 is the year?
Excellent article that puts terms to some wireframing techniques that I’ve done for previous client work. Especially helpful with very content-heavy sites that are more focused on content curation than attraction through marketing.
Content wireframes block out general content categories and force you, as Stephen so beautifully put it, to design from the content outwards.
It really isn’t complicated. In fact, it involves two steps:
- Create a content inventory.
- Create a visual hierarchy of the survivors of that list.
Fascinating take on the role of agencies moving forward. I am afraid most agencies are not going to be prepared for this type of transition as they’ve been struggling to even be “digitally integrated”.
A rumor is going around marketing these days that says the agency is dead. Well, while that’s certainly not the whole story, there is some truth to it.
Great read. Interesting thought about how and if you should consider Material Design when designing something for iOS.
Use it, but don’t abuse it.
This is an important aspect of job growth and training that I don’t think is done enough. Hearing about developers getting PSDs that are 300dpi and filled with unnamed, ungrouped layers – shameful.
When working in teams made up of designers and front-end developers, there can be a lot of frustration and confusion when it comes to handing assets over from one team member to another. These might be design mockups or icons or high fidelity imagery for banners and the like. Regardless of the content of these handovers, there can always be improvements to this process.
Depending on the project, developers will often require certain materials in order to make development as smooth as possible. So, I’d like to review a couple of steps that designers might take in order to alleviate these pressure points.
Read up on some best practices @ The Asset Handover | CSS-Tricks
Be sure to check out the Placeholder Generator for plenty of fun options for your next group of FPO images!
Interesting take on a very hotly debated topic when it comes to navigation, both in and out of the mobile context.
It’s tempting to rely on menu controls in order to simplify mobile interface designs —especially on small screens. But hiding critical parts of an application behind these kinds of menus could negatively impact usage.
Read it at LukeW | Obvious Always Wins
I realize that this valuable piece of information is not web-related but I think its too important to not share as many places as possible. Sending back bad beer is NOT a bad thing. Hell, Bobby can attest to the fact that I recently sent back a Yuengling that was flat and warm as all hell. And I drink a LOT of Yuengling – hell, I’m drinking one right now.
Educate yourself on what to look for when you think your beer is not the best it could be…
Bad beer happens to all of us, but how do you recognize? Andy Sparhawk explains how to be a craft beer steward rather than a craft beer snob.
Read the whole thing @ When Craft Beer Goes Bad: A Guide to Refusing a Beer
Are most of your users skipping the optional fields on your form? You might not need that extra information, but having it could help you learn more about users and give them a better experience. If you want more users to fill out the optional fields on your form, avoid marking required fields and mark optional ones only.
Flexbox Layout(Flexible Box) module (currently a W3C Last Call Working Draft) aims at providing a more efficient way to lay out, align and distribute space among items in a container, even when their size is unknown and/or dynamic (thus the word “flex”).
The main idea behind the flex layout is to give the container the ability to alter its items’ width/height (and order) to best fill the available space (mostly to accommodate to all kind of display devices and screen sizes). A flex container expands items to fill available free space, or shrinks them to prevent overflow.
Most importantly, the flexbox layout is direction-agnostic as opposed to the regular layouts (block which is vertically-based and inline which is horizontally-based). While those work well for pages, they lack flexibility (no pun intended) to support large or complex applications (especially when it comes to orientation changing, resizing, stretching, shrinking, etc.).
Note: Flexbox layout is most appropriate to the components of an application, and small-scale layouts, while the Grid layout is intended for larger scale layouts.
Design personas focus on user goals, current behavior, and pain points as opposed to their buying or media preferences and behaviors. They are based on field research and real people. They tell a story and describe why people do what they do in attempt to help everyone involved in designing and building a product or service understand, relate to, and remember the end user throughout the entire product development process. Design personas are good for communicating research insights and user goals, understanding and focusing on certain types of users, defining a product or service, and avoiding the elastic user and self—referential design.
Another great read by Paul B. This resonates with my experiences in larger organizations, especially the part about Broadcast Marketing and Politics & Egos.
Have you ever wondered why you encounter so many bad user interfaces everyday? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.
I’ve been saying this for a while now and I get weird looks from people in the field that just think because someone says it works, that is does. I do believe Lean has a place in UX but I’m not sure it’s always the best solution for every project.
Empathetic design takes more time but delivers better results.
Given the rise of Agile and Lean UX methodologies in digital design, many are calling into question the value of wireframing. They say the days of detailed throwaway deliverables are over, and that teams must prioritize interactive prototypes for their value in usability testing and living documentation.
Well, they’re absolutely right.
What we want to clarify, though, is that wireframes are not what they used to be. Wireframing is not dead, it just changed. It’s not about formalizing early-stage designs to soothe the panicky imaginations of stakeholders at the cost of setting unrealistic design expectations. It’s about divergent exploration, creating a more structured sketch of concepts to bounce around with other product team members.
Google Analytics is a powerful ally in boosting your conversion rate. A lot of conversion rate optimization strategies begin with user testing and serving variations of the same web page to a relatively small subset of visitors. That’s like a doctor prescribing medicine before making a diagnosis.
You need to find the problems that are affecting your conversion rate first before you start trying to change things. The vast amount of analytics data at your fingertips can help you discover obvious conversion issues, many of which can be quickly resolved.
Before you bang your head against a wall trying to figure out the sources of your conversion woes, load up these five reports to get easy answers.
Each section contains a link to a Google Analytics custom report. Apply it to your view and follow along.
Take a look at these 5 Easy Google Analytics Reports to Help You Increase Conversions