Let’s talk about icons now. They’re an essential part of many user interfaces. The thing is: more often than not, they break clarity.
Designers tend to design for themselves, whether they intend to or not. User research, meanwhile, often has limits. It’ll tell you what’s wrong, but it only rarely leads directly to great products. A true user perspective is something more nuanced, specific, intuitive, and independent.
I think about this stuff daily, so it’s nice to read an article about how web design can effect and does effect CRO.
The part I found most interesting were the global download trends. Cool promotional idea from Shutterstock.
A tremendous and ever growing depository of statistically driven data points that could be very useful in convincing stakeholders of the validity of proposed design choices.
How do you measure the success of a design project? Relevant when companies often see design as an expense and not an investment.
The web has gone through many phases in its short life. Today, unfortunately, is the day of overly large RWD sites and resurgance of Flash-like interaction. Both of which seem highly contradictory to the industries recent focus on cross-device experiences and performance.
So there has been a lot of talk lately as to what is the best approach to digital design. Should it be user focused? Should it be data driven? How much does any of that matter? Can data driven design be the wrong approach?
Well last night my wife (@alexaseretti) and I got into a discussion about a 3rd type of designer or design team. The GENIUS DESIGNER. From a great article by Jared Spool:
Genius design is a sophisticated approach to making design decisions. Through deep study of similar projects, a team learns what works and what doesn’t. This makes the team more valuable over time, bringing it to a new level with every subsequent project. We’re seeing more teams take the plunge with the genius design approach. It’s a great way to move away from the commoditization of design work, while delivering real value to clients.
I personally consider myself a hybrid between a user focused designer and a genius designer (although I think that title is cheesy). My career has focused me on 4 particular “genius” subjects. Financial, eCommerce, Healthcare and more generically Branding. Any designer who has spent any amount of time with a client or working in-house has probably developed some of these “genius” skills.
I think this all leads me to the approach Google has taken in the past couple of years. It’s a cross between focusing on the user and the data but letting the designer, the “genius”, add their 2 cents. They can really help focus the design taking into consideration the other factors and adding a style to things that is just as important. This has proven to work for them and it shows.
Not sure how I missed this article when it was originally posted back in January, but man is this a good one. Especially this:
Great design is not something anybody has traditionally expected from Google. Infamously, the company used to focus on A/B testing tiny, incremental changes like 41 different shades of blue for links instead of trusting its designers to create and execute on an overall vision. The “design philosophy that lives or dies strictly by the sword of data” led its very first visual designer, Douglas Bowman, to leave in 2009.
I’ve recently proclaimed that my UX and Design philosophy is about the user. I don’t want that to be confused with it being about DATA. The user and data are 2 very different things.
When developers build websites, they often focus on the layout and technical features but neglect one very important aspect — how the user experiences the site. If users have a hard time figuring out how to accomplish their goals, they will look elsewhere and not come back. A pleasant user experience, on the other hand, can create a favorable and lasting impression that differentiates a site from its competition.