User Interface

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  • Using decision tables to support contextual targeting in your UI.

    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull
    Harry Brignull
    3 Jan 2015 | 6:28 am
    Historically, marketers have given targeting a bad name, with creepy email campaigns and annoying ads that follow you around – but the fact is, targeted messages can deliver a lovely experience if they’re done right. An ideal restaurant is where the concierge knows your name and sits you at your favourite table. That’s good targeting. There’s a big difference between this and having them say “You almost bought an expensive wine with your meal last time. How about it today?”. Let’s work through an example. Let’s say we’re designing a mobile app for runners (Imagine…
  • Our Top 10 Unforgettable UX Reads of 2014

    UserZoom zooming in on the customer experience
    8 Jan 2015 | 1:35 am
    2015 started with a bang! But…before we close the books and move on to new trends and hot, emerging topics, let’s take a quick look back at our most read, liked and shared, top 10 unforgettable articles from UserZoom published in 2014. Packed with tons of thought leadership, profundity, use cases and other valuable things–we think you’ll enjoy reading these, as much as we enjoyed writing them! So, without further ado…let’s get to it. #1 - 12 Best Practices for Successful Remote Unmoderated Usability Testing In this article we cover twelve key tips…
  • 100 Days in Tavern

    11 Dec 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Tavern began with this goal: challenge our fellow designers to define the broader, fuzzier concepts or product design. We'd do this by debating a single question a day, exchanging ideas on what it means to be a product designer. A question that had to be asked and answered in the ticking clock of 24 hours. More than a 100 days later and after some 5,000 contributions, our comrades in design ran with the challenge. Some articulate and outstanding designers, such as Ren Walker, Bryce Howiston, and Antonin Januska, are questioning and challenge ideas, which is the core of being a product…
  • Lead by Design

    20 Jan 2015 | 11:56 am
    Last week we wrote about the design leadership gap and the need support emerging designers with career paths. It's an assessment of where we are as an industry that highlights gaps we'll need to close to fill our design leadership roles. And while the blog post creates an impression that leading design requires a design management title in an organization, this couldn't be further from the truth. Designers don't need a defined role to lead. In fact, designers should look at this opportunity to lead through influence. Progressive design has taught us that design leadership doesn't require a…
  • Grow Your Career without Leaving Your Company

    Boxes and Arrows
    Lis Pardi
    6 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    When I wanted to make a career shift to information architecture, I was reluctant because I loved the team I worked with. So instead of leaving to find the right work, I tried to start doing it where I was. What follows are my recommendations on how to make similar moves. It’s not rocket science, but it’s always nice to get some reminders. The least rocket science-y part is the first: Set a goal. You can’t get to where you’re going unless you know where that is. But once you have that, you can move on to the real stuff. Pretend to be good at your job This is the part where you take…
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    Signal vs. Noise

  • Effort in the Application: sites that got our attention and got Basecampers their jobs

    Mig Reyes
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:23 am
    We’re really proud of the small-but-mighty team we’ve built here at Basecamp. Hiring is hard. Likewise, landing a great job is hard. In a sea of resumes, effort rises to the top. Here are a few of the websites and commissioned challenges that helped these Basecampers score their job here. Note: our company was called 37signals before we became Basecamp in 2014. Ryan Singer (Designer, Product Manager) was one of a few designer candidates that Jason picked in 2003 for a chance to join 37signals to work on client projects. The design challenge? Redesign the Verizon Wireless homepage. Ryan…
  • Sometimes there really is an easy button

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:38 am
    For a long time, I was frankly somewhat dogmatic about the tools I used to analyze data: Give me a SQL connection, R, and my trusty calculator and that’s all I need. If I need to make a report, I’ll just use Rails and HTML. Open source or bust. For most of my four years here at Basecamp, that was mostly how I worked, and it was fine. I think I was reasonably productive (or at least productive enough to stay gainfully employed). I built a lot of tooling and reporting for the rest of the company, and I did some analyses that I’m proud of. These tools were all I needed, but it…
  • One of Basecamp's Water Coolers is a chatroom dedicated to pets

    20 Jan 2015 | 11:40 am
    As you can see from Dan’s post, lots of us are animal lovers. Back when I lived in Chicago, a few of us would take turns hosting a workday that we would call “Bring Your Work to [Pet’s Name] Day.” When Ann, Sam, and Trevor came to my apartment for “Bring Your Work to Clementine Horsetooth Day,” we worked from my couch and enjoyed the occasional interruption by Clementine, my elderly Siamese cat. She strutted around flirting with the newcomers: stretching and yawning and shaking her tail. At “Bring Your Work to Hector Day,” a bunch of us holed up in Sam’s loft with his…
  • Strategies for getting feedback (and not hating it)

    Jonas Downey
    20 Jan 2015 | 7:17 am
    Recently my team has been working on core improvements for Basecamp. We planned to move quickly on a range of projects, and we wanted to make sure everyone at the company stayed in the loop. Plus, our company is full of smart folks who know the product inside and out, and we were hoping to use that hive mind to our advantage. That’s easy when you have 5 or 10 people, but it’s challenging with 45. We had to share a lot of info and avoid pestering everyone in the process, so we began experimenting with a few new ways of working. Some of ‘em worked, others…kind of worked.
  • Do you have to love what you do?

    Jason Fried
    19 Jan 2015 | 7:42 am
    Attend enough startup conferences or listen to enough motivational speakers and you’ll hear one piece of advice repeated over and over again: You’ve got to love what you do! If you don’t love what you do, you might as well stay home. No less a giant than Steve Jobs famously told Stanford’s 2005 graduating class, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” I don’t buy it. There’s nothing wrong with loving what you do, of course – I just don’t think…
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • Enhancing the Mind-Meld

    Mark Richman
    20 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    Which version of the ‘suspended account’ dashboard page do you prefer? Version A       Version B     Perhaps you don’t really care. Each one gets the job done in a clear and obvious way. However, as the UX architect of the ‘overview’ page for a huge telecom leader, it was my job to tell the team which treatment we’d be using. I was a freelancer with only four months tenure on this job, and in a company as large, diverse, and complex as this one, four months isn’t a very long time. There are a ton of things to learn—how their…
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 1

    Charles Shimooka
    13 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Web site optimization, commonly known as A/B testing, has become an expected competency among many web teams, yet there are few comprehensive and unbiased books, articles, or training opportunities aimed at individuals trying to create this capability within their organization. In this series, I’ll present a detailed, practical guide on how to build, fine-tune, and evolve an optimization program. Part 1 will cover some basics: definitions, goals and philosophies. In Part 2, I’ll dive into a detailed process discussion covering topics such as deciding what to test, writing…
  • Grow Your Career without Leaving Your Company

    Lis Pardi
    6 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    When I wanted to make a career shift to information architecture, I was reluctant because I loved the team I worked with. So instead of leaving to find the right work, I tried to start doing it where I was. What follows are my recommendations on how to make similar moves. It’s not rocket science, but it’s always nice to get some reminders. The least rocket science-y part is the first: Set a goal. You can’t get to where you’re going unless you know where that is. But once you have that, you can move on to the real stuff. Pretend to be good at your job This is the part where you take…
  • Designing for Harmony

    David Bloxsom
    23 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    In 1982, Scott Cook was watching his wife sit at the kitchen table struggling to balance the family checkbook. Personal computers were just becoming popular and he had seen them transform work at Procter and Gamble; yet here was his wife fighting to do something challenging for humans but trivial for computers. In a flash of insight, he realized that software could replace pencil-and-paper accounting for everyone. This aha moment set him on a path of user-focused innovation. Cook met programmer Tom Proulx at Stanford. With partial funding from Cook’s father, the pair not only founded…
  • Plateaus are Harder Than Mountains

    Stephen Turbek
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    Bold claims have been made about applying “big data” to solve the world’s problems, from health (Fitbit) to saving energy (Nest). Data is all around us, appearing in slick devices and colorful dashboards, yet focusing on the technology can cause us to miss the people who have to use it. Our job as designers is to communicate information. A clean design with big numbers and charts looks good, but how can we make sure people actually understand the data? The design promise: An iPhone Health app screen showing a chart of steps across a week’s time. The user reality.
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  • Lead by Design

    20 Jan 2015 | 11:56 am
    Last week we wrote about the design leadership gap and the need support emerging designers with career paths. It's an assessment of where we are as an industry that highlights gaps we'll need to close to fill our design leadership roles. And while the blog post creates an impression that leading design requires a design management title in an organization, this couldn't be further from the truth. Designers don't need a defined role to lead. In fact, designers should look at this opportunity to lead through influence. Progressive design has taught us that design leadership doesn't require a…
  • The Design Leadership Gap

    16 Jan 2015 | 10:05 am
    We've recently written about progressive design and the role successful designers play in helping companies build great products. Design leadership is an important part of this conversation. From designers using their thinking skills to the turbulence of the current design environment, it's clear that we view design as a significant business opportunity for companies to grow. It's been shown that companies that embrace design driven principles produce better financial returns. Design-driven companies need leaders that can drive this value. But we don't see enough business structure in place…
  • Ringing in the New Year with Three New ZURBians

    8 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    We're starting the new year with some new hires — actually three plus one who just moved in. The coming year will give these new ZURBians plenty of challenges, but we know they're smart, capable, and willing to take on 2015. So without further ado, let's meet Mandi, Shaina and Tim, our awesome new designers! Mandi Saeteun: Chasing Big Dreams, Craft Beer and Comic Books Mandi spent most of her early career growing a company with her mother literally from the ground up in Sacramento. In school she discovered that aesthetics weren't as fun as problem-solving —so she jumped from an…
  • A Growing Foundation Family: Foundation for Sites 5.5 is Here

    12 Dec 2014 | 3:02 pm
    There are so many amazing things happening with Foundation right now and we're excited to share it all. Hot on the heels of Foundation for Apps, we released an amazing update for Foundation for Sites. This release, v5.5, brings some great updates and lots key fixes. On top of that, the community stepped up with some well-written pull requests that allowed us to really strengthen this release. The Foundation Community Crushes It! Previously we talked about how the Foundation community is crushing it. The big challenge: dropdowns that weren't behaving like they were supposed to, breaking out of…
  • 100 Days in Tavern

    11 Dec 2014 | 3:00 pm
    Tavern began with this goal: challenge our fellow designers to define the broader, fuzzier concepts or product design. We'd do this by debating a single question a day, exchanging ideas on what it means to be a product designer. A question that had to be asked and answered in the ticking clock of 24 hours. More than a 100 days later and after some 5,000 contributions, our comrades in design ran with the challenge. Some articulate and outstanding designers, such as Ren Walker, Bryce Howiston, and Antonin Januska, are questioning and challenge ideas, which is the core of being a product…
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    UX Magazine

  • The (Sometimes) Giddy Experience of Learning Design:A look at what it takes to create a successful academic program from the DfE awards

    UX Magazine Staff
    23 Jan 2015 | 10:22 am
    January 23, 2015It’s no secret that experience design is an exploding field. The need for talented practitioners outstrips the number of trained professionals looking for work, and to reach critical mass, we need education initiatives that prepare students for a complex and rapidly changing landscape.As more online programs continue to pop up and often thrive, academic programs at accredited colleges and universities are also working hard to prepare the next generation of designers, engineers, and researchers for the immense challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.The BFA Interaction…
  • What’s Information?:An excerpt from "How to Make Sense of Any Mess" explores the true nature of information

    Abby Covert
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:54 am
    January 22, 2015Information is not a fad. It wasn’t even invented in the information age. As a concept, information is old as language and collaboration is. The most important thing I can teach you about information is that it isn’t a thing. It’s subjective, not objective. It’s whatever a user interprets from the arrangement or sequence of things they encounter.For example, imagine you’re looking into a bakery case. There’s one plate overflowing with oatmeal raisin cookies and another plate with a single double-chocolate chip cookie. Would you bet me a cookie that there used to be…
  • Designing for Different Online Personality Types

    Liraz Margalit
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:35 am
    January 21, 2015In my work as a web psychologist, I’m exposed to many different types of user behavior and online decision-making processes. Although each person is different and has an individual style, I have identified six recurring patterns of behavior that I identify as specific “online personality types.” In this piece, I’ll discuss the six pattern types, explain the psychological drivers of their behavior, and provide site optimization tips that online businesses can use to leverage each type’s unique desires.1. The Wish ListerFirst up is the “There are so many things I…
  • Let’s Bridge the Gap Between Enterprise And Consumer Apps

    Nathan Graves
    19 Jan 2015 | 11:47 am
    January 19, 2015As we continue doing business in the midst of the digital economy, mobile apps are becoming critical tools for companies seeking to mobilize and optimize key business processes. And although functionality of these apps is of utmost importance, the visual experience plays a larger role, too, which is why this is the year for bridging the design gap between enterprise and consumer apps.The consumerization of IT is rapidly changing the enterprise technology landscape. And to meet these changes, it falls partly on UI/UX designers (like yours truly) to forge a middle ground between…
  • Designers Should Give Themselves Better Experiences:Lessons in research tools that inspire and delight from the DfE awards

    UX Magazine Staff
    9 Jan 2015 | 2:24 pm
    January 9, 2015As experience design practitioners, we spend our waking lives concocting products and services that are rewarding and easy to use. We spend plenty of time thinking about “the user,” but what about us? We’re users, too.For UX practitioners, the roads leading through product design and development are often fraught with frustrating and/or ill conceived experiences. One place this is especially evident is in usability testing software. To remedy this situation, the forward-thinking design team at Lookback, winner of the Design for Experience award in the Innovative Technique…
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  • The Future of Large UX Design Firms

    19 Jan 2015 | 5:38 am
    By Janet M. Six Published: January 19, 2015 Send your questions to Ask UXmatters and get answers from some of the top professionals in UX. In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our panel of UX experts discusses the future of large design firms, as more and more organizations form their own in-house UX departments—or even acquire UX consultancies outright. The field of UX is growing and changing. More corporations than ever are now seeing the importance of user experience and bringing User Experience in house. Some companies are accelerating their adoption of User Experience by acquiring…
  • UX Trends Come and Go Every Year, but Good Consulting Is a Constant

    19 Jan 2015 | 5:33 am
    By Baruch Sachs Published: January 19, 2015 “While 2015 will be a great year for consulting in general, it is going to be a great year for UX consulting in particular.” Times of uncertainty—whether because of economic, political, or societal changes—are good times for consultants. The more problems there are, the more insecure people are about deciding how to address them, so there is good and plentiful work for consultants, including UX consultants. Last year, 2014, was a great year for User Experience as we saw many organizations develop a more robust understanding…
  • Helping Users to Absorb Change: Four Steps Designers Can Take

    19 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    By Joel Rosen Published: January 19, 2015 “People feel overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pace of change in technology.” Articles and surveys on the Web and in print tell us that people feel overwhelmed by the ever-increasing pace of change in technology. And, of course, these articles offer a lot of helpful advice on how to ease the stress that people may be feeling as a result of such changes. As an early-adopting, tech-savvy UX professional, I feel that I should thrive on technological change, be readily able to make sense of it, and incorporate the latest, greatest innovations…
  • Do Prettier, More Professional-looking Web Sites Increase Conversions?

    19 Jan 2015 | 5:23 am
    By David Mannheim Published: January 19, 2015 “Do … more beautiful Web sites result in an increase in conversions? Not necessarily.” Some Web sites look as though someone has cobbled together a few clip-art images and some text. Conversely, other Web sites look extremely professional and, in some sense of the word, beautiful. Design is art after all. Then, there’s everything in between. Some have taken the position that everyone craves more beautiful Web sites, [1] but do these more beautiful Web sites result in an increase in conversions? Not necessarily. Tread…
  • There’s Not an App for That: Mobile User Experience Design for Life

    19 Jan 2015 | 5:16 am
    By Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden, and Matt Jones Published: January 19, 2015 This is a sample chapter from the new book There’s Not an App for That: Mobile User Experience Design for Life, by Simon Robinson, Gary Marsden, and Matt Jones. 2015 Morgan Kaufmann. Chapter 7: Problem 2: From Heads Down to Face On “Most apps today require us to look down at the screen. This can lead to what’s been called a stop-start form of living: we are drawn away from the action around us to complete a task on our phones.” What’s the Problem? Most apps today require us to look down…
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • Variable Fonts for Responsive Design

    23 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Choosing typefaces for use on the web today is a practice of specifying static fonts with fixed designs. But what if the design of a typeface could be as flexible and responsive as the layout it exists within? The glass floor of responsive typography Except for low-level font hinting and proof-of-concept demos like the one Andrew Johnson published earlier this week, the glyph shapes in modern fonts are restricted to a single, static configuration. Any variation in weight, width, stroke contrast, etc.—no matter how subtle—requires separate font files. This concept may not seem so bad in…
  • This week's sponsor: HipChat

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:35 am
    Thanks to HipChat for sponsoring A List Apart this week. Learn how you can make work more productive with group chat, IM, file sharing, screen sharing, and more from HipChat.
  • : The People are the Work

    22 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    Not long ago at the Refresh Pittsburgh meetup, I saw my good friend Ben Callahan give his short talk called Creating Something Timeless. In his talk, he used examples ranging from the Miles Davis sextet to the giant sequoias to try to get at how we—as makers of things that seem innately ephemeral—might make things that stand the test of time. And that talk got me thinking. Very few of the web things I’ve made over the years are still in existence—at least not in their original state. The evolution and flux of these things is something I love about the web. It’s never finished;…
  • Thoughtful Modularity

    21 Jan 2015 | 5:30 am
    I spent most of the first week of December down at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the launch of Orion, NASA’s next-generation spacecraft. As part of NASA Social, I was lucky enough to get some behind-the-scenes tours, and to talk with scientists, engineers, astronauts, and even the Administrator himself. The day before launch, there was a two-hour event featuring the leaders of various NASA departments, with the discussion centered on Orion’s future missions—including the first (of hopefully many) crewed journeys to Mars. William Gerstenmaier, NASA’s Associate Administrator for…
  • A Vision for Our Sass

    20 Jan 2015 | 7:00 am
    At a recent CSS meetup, I asked, “Who uses Sass in their daily workflow?” The response was overwhelmingly positive; no longer reserved for pet projects and experiments, Sass is fast becoming the standard way for writing CSS. This is great news! Sass gives us a lot more power over complex, ever-growing stylesheets, including new features like variables, control directives, and mixins that the original CSS spec (intentionally) lacked. Sass is a stylesheet language that’s robust yet flexible enough to keep pace with us. Yet alongside the wide-scale adoption of Sass (which I applaud),…
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • Showing Passwords on Log-In Screens

    22 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    In 2012 I outlined why we should let people see their password when logging in to an application -especially on mobile devices. Now two years later with many large scale implementations released, here’s a compendium of why and how to show passwords and what’s coming next. Why Show Passwords? Passwords have long been riddled with usability issues. Because of overly complex security requirements (a minimum number of characters, some punctuation, the birthdate of at least one French king) and difficult to use input fields, password entry often results in frustrated customers and lost…
  • MTV's Responsive Design Boosts Metrics on Mobile & Beyond

    12 Jan 2015 | 12:00 am
    The Web team at MTV recently redesigned several of their properties using responsive Web design techniques. They were kind enough to share the impact their work had on mobile visits, time spent and more. MTV Shows Redesign The responsive redesign of MTV's show pages had a tremendous impact on mobile engagement. +92% mobile visits +55% mobile page views per visit +297% mobile time spent per visit -11% exit rates (across all devices) +246% social referrals Certain data points, when broken down to the device level, indicated that tablets and desktops were more alike in user behavior than mobile…
  • 2014 Retrospective

    22 Dec 2014 | 12:00 am
    As the year comes to a close, it's time for my annual round-up of the most read articles I published this year. In order of popularity, the top five articles from 2014 are... UX How-Tos with Luke Wroblewski 26 three to five minutes videos by me covering all aspects of mobile and multi-device design. Mobile & Multi-Device Design: Lessons Learned My new book compiles the articles I published over the past two years about Polar’s mobile and multi-device design decisions. It's filled with nuanced user interface design details and big-picture thinking on software design for PCs, tablets, TVs,…
  • Android Vs. iOS Start Experience

    23 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    How times change... Today's new iPad Air 2 experience consists of 23 or more steps and no less than three iCloud services (iCloud, iCloud Drive, & iCloud Keychain). In contrast, today's new Android Nexus experience consists of only 8 steps but with a mandatory 234MB update (some things don't change). Here's both start experiences in detail. Apple iPad Start Experience Google Nexus 9 Start Experience
  • Video: Mobile Navigation, Conversion, Input, & More

    17 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    Conversions@Google published a complete video recording of my two and a half hour seminar last month (September 2014 in Dublin) on optimizing mobile experiences for conversion using design. In part one I walk through the mobile opportunity and outline how to build for it using design considerations. To illustrate this process I detail the good and bad of several mobile navigation solutions including off-canvas layouts and the hamburger menu. Along the way I introduce and explain several important guiding principles in mobile design. In part two, I dive deep into mobile form design by…
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    Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995

  • Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is broken

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    16 Jan 2015 | 5:57 am
    MAC USERS, if you’ve experienced occasional (but not infrequent) network dropout problems since upgrading to Yosemite, this article in Ars Technica explains why, and tells how to fix it … if you dare. I most definitely do not dare—following the suggestion could introduce system failure and security bugs when future updates come along—but the piece makes interesting reading, both from an “I’m a nerd and want to know how things work” point of view, and also in light of recent criticism by Marco Arment and others concerning Apple’s quality control. Why DNS in OS X 10.10 is…
  • 29 Again

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    12 Jan 2015 | 5:49 am
    I’M CELEBRATING my birthday with a painful stomach virus that began Thursday night and shows no signs of leaving. It feels like a jackass kicking me from the inside. I can’t eat—I tried last night, with hideous results—and have little energy: walking my daughter to school this morning wiped me out. Aside from joining a couple of remote business meetings later, I plan to spend today horizontal and quietly moaning. The nice thing about the sickness, which began as a chest cold two weeks ago, is that it spares me from the whole social birthday thing. I’ve been too sick to…
  • Vegan Caviar Wishes

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    31 Dec 2014 | 1:49 pm
    MY FRIENDS have invited me to a New Year’s Eve party, but I’m too sick to leave the apartment. Hell, it took me all day to muster the je ne sais quoi to go downstairs to pick up my laundry. Achieving that much—it required me to press an elevator button and exchange a few pleasantries with my doorman—wiped me out. Having achieved it, and closed the door behind me, I am more than content to spend the rest of the night (at least as much of it as I can stay awake for) sitting in my apartment in the gathering dark, listening to Kind of Blue, and creating new photographs by recropping old…
  • Unexamined Privilege is the real source of cruelty in Facebook’s “Your Year in Review”

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    28 Dec 2014 | 6:55 am
    UNEXAMINED PRIVILEGE is the real source of cruelty in Facebook’s “Your Year in Review”—a feature conceived and designed by a group to whom nothing terrible has happened yet. A brilliant upper-middle-class student at an elite university conceived Facebook, and college students, as everyone knows, were its founding user group. The company hires recent graduates of expensive and exclusive design programs and pays them several times the going rate to brainstorm and execute exciting new features. I’m not saying that these brilliant young designers are heartless, or that individuals…
  • Designer Blindness

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    27 Dec 2014 | 10:29 am
    AFTER USING the web for twenty years, and software for an additional ten, I’ve come to believe that I suffer from an affliction which I will hereby call “designer blindness.” Put simply, if an interface is poorly designed, I will not see the data I looked for, even if it is right there on the page. On a poorly designed table, I don’t find the column containing the answer I sought. On a poorly designed interface, I don’t push the right buttons. On a poorly designed social sharing site, I delete my data when I mean to save it, because the Delete button is in the…
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    Max Design

  • Links for light reading (01/23/15)

    22 Jan 2015 | 5:12 pm
    W3C Specs Compositing and Blending Level 1 – W3C Candidate Recommendation, 13 January 2015 CSS Exclusions Module Level 1 – W3C Working Draft, 15 January 2015 CSS Pseudo-Elements Module Level 4 – W3C First Public Working Draft, 15 January 2015 CSS Style guide podcast Atomic CSS – slideshow Managing CSS Stacking Contexts in a “Hostile” Environment CSS Selector – Generate CSS selectors from HTML code SASS/LESS A Vision for Our Sass Extra Map Functions in Sass General W3C and WHATWG should die a quick and horrible death I wish things were that simple. Ok,…
  • Links for light reading (01/16/15)

    15 Jan 2015 | 4:15 pm
    W3C Specs CSS Box Alignment Module Level 3 – W3C Working Draft, 18 December 2014 CSS Inline Layout Module Level 3 – W3C First Public Working Draft, 18 December 2014 CSS Exposing Additional Form Fields via Checked Radio Buttons BEM and SMACSS: Advice From Developers Who’ve Been There What’s new in CSS Selectors 4 Designing For Print With CSS What’s new in CSS Selectors 4 Strategies for Keeping CSS Specificity Low CSS Vertical Center with Flexbox General A round-up of our favorite Codrops resources of 2014 HTML5 Video: Fragments, Captions, and Dynamic Thumbnails What…
  • Links for light reading (12/12/14)

    11 Dec 2014 | 10:47 am
    HTML5 Responsible Web Components HTML5 – Check it Before you Wreck it with Mike[tm] Smith Videos and Firefox OS Exposing Additional Form Fields via Checked Radio Buttons CSS General 5 SEO Trends You Need to Consider for 2015 Serious Confusion with Resource Timing How To Master Fireworks’ CSS Properties Panel And CSS Professionalzr 20 Great Examples of Subtle Motion in Web Design What BaaS to choose for HTML5 application 20 steps to the perfect website layout Responsive A dead simple, responsive boilerplate. UX 5 Common Web Design “Faux Pas” You Should Avoid A collection of dialog…
  • Links for light reading (05/12/14)

    4 Dec 2014 | 3:00 pm
    HTML5 Making A Complete Polyfill For The HTML5 Details Element CSS Understanding CSS Stats: How to Make the Most of the Numbers Clipping and Masking in CSS How to build better layouts with GSS polyfills 10 Expert Tips for Better CSS Coding Sass / Less Building a Linear-gradient Mixin in Sass General Design Engineering 20 Tools To Make A Web Developer’s Life Easier How To Create Your Own Front-End Website Testing Plan Integrated and Collaborative Code Reviewing with Beanstalk Video: Introduction to Grunt UX The More You Fail, The Greater Your Success: A User-Centered Design Case Study Motion…
  • Links for light reading (28/11/14)

    27 Nov 2014 | 1:00 pm
    HTML5 The Group That Rules the Web HTML5′s “Dirty Little Secret”: It’s Already Everywhere, Even In Mobile 10 Typical HTML Interview Exercises CSS CSS Stats 10 Hidden CSS3 Properties You Should Know Microsoft Loader With CSS3 CSS-only Weather App Concept Sass / Less When to use extend; when to use a mixin Simplify Your Media Queries with Sass “Breakpoint” General Planning for Performance How To Create Your Own Front-End Website Testing Plan What’s New in Chrome 39 Typographers typefaces 15 Tools That Will Change How Your Web Design/Development Team…
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    Putting people firstPutting people first

  • [Book] Beyond Design Ethnography

    24 Jan 2015 | 2:17 am
    Beyond Design Ethnography: How Designers Practice Ethnographic Research Edited by Prof. Nicolas Nova along with Lysianne Léchot-Hirt of HEAD–Genève (CH), and Fabienne Kilchör and Sebastien Fasel ( Head-Genève, January 2015 What do designers mean when they say they’re going to do “ethnography” and “field research”? What are the relationships between observing people and designing products or services? Is there such a thing as a “designer-ly” way of knowing people? This book is a report from a research project conducted at HEAD–Genève that addressed the role of…
  • Designing a user experience for wearable devices

    23 Jan 2015 | 7:50 am
    Gradinar Razvan discusses some of the questions that UX designers will need to consider when designing for wearables. In particular, he presents the key things that designers should keep in mind when they are designing for a wearable device: Make it usable First, you need to understand that wearables imply using a smaller display where the user interaction takes place. What would happen if Google Glass allows you to see their UI on both eyes simultaneously? It would block your vision and make it really hard for you to walk around, increasing the chance of an accident.  Same thing with…
  • Ethnographic research of Davos delegates leads to some striking results

    22 Jan 2015 | 3:58 am
    Every January, hundreds of politicians, CEOs, scientific experts, and celebrities gather for their annual meeting in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Davos to “improve the state of the world.” Yet, the World Economic Forum’s influence on society and consumption is surprisingly little understood. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research addresses this gap. “The World Economic Forum claims that it is solving some of the most vexing issues of our time such as poverty or youth unemployment. But what are the solutions and how do they affect our lives?” write…
  • Pfizer uses ethnography and medical anthropology in drug development process

    20 Jan 2015 | 3:08 am
    In 2013 Pfizer leadership realized that to better enable patient engagement throughout the entirety of the drug discovery, development, and delivery process, the company needed to be more systematic. Pfizer CMO Freda Lewis-Hall, M.D. explains what patient-centricity means for them and how they have used ethnography and medical anthropology in the drug development process. “The key to being patientcentric isn’t just finding and using patient-centric tools, but understanding when they are appropriate to deploy. Ruminate on the following example: “We had some special challenges in a…
  • Microsoft survey in 12 countries highlights people’s concerns about privacy

    20 Jan 2015 | 12:25 am
    Microsoft’s second annual survey (pdf) of Internet users around the world has many obvious insights on the benefits of technology for how people shop, work, learn, and generally get stuff done, but only one real news item: people’s huge concern about privacy: “If there is one persistent concern about personal technology that nearly everybody expresses, it is privacy. In eleven of the twelve countries surveyed, with India the only exception, respondents say that technology’s effect on privacy was mostly negative.” And while much is written about the Europeans supposedly…
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  • January #UX newsletter out soon!

    23 Jan 2015 | 3:05 am
    Coming soon to an inbox near you: the January edition of our UX newsletter. If you're not a subscriber yet, please sign-up now. ...and, while you're at it, why not subscribe to our blog's RSS feed too?
  • Bike Sense

    23 Jan 2015 | 2:49 am
    Bike Sense is "Jaguar's brand new technology that alerts the driver to unseen hazards using LED lights, bike bell sounds and even a tap on the shoulder":
  • Rabbit and Deer (Nyuszi és Őz)

    23 Jan 2015 | 2:31 am
    A beautiful animated tale from Péter Vácz:
  • Luxafor

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:41 am
    Luxafor is "a USB light indicator that shows your colleagues your availability":
  • Projections in the Forest

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:15 am
    Friedrich van Schoor and Tarek Mawad use projection mapping to "accentuate the natural beauty" of the forest:
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  • Tommy Johnagin’s Mom Uses iTunes

    23 Jan 2015 | 11:52 am
    I love my mom. She lives in California, so I love how technology brings us closer together, too. But sometimes helping her cope with her hardware and software can be challenging. Comedian Tommy Johnagin, on his album “Standup Comedy 3,” has a hilarious bit about providing tech support for his own mom. Warning: recently I…
  • How iOS Has Changed

    22 Jan 2015 | 1:57 pm
    I don’t link to a lot of infographics here but I like this one, and I’ve always been fascinated by the incremental, barely noticed way some interfaces can change, even when we look at them all day long. This extensive graphic from presents a pretty comprehensive overview of how iOS has evolved. The original…
  • We Used to Be Friends

    22 Jan 2015 | 1:48 pm
    This is a twenty-three minute video that overlays every episode of season one of the TV series “Friends” directly on top of one another, resulting in a frighteningly shrill nightmare of sitcom inanities. It also happens to be sublimely lovely in parts, not to mention transfixing. You’re welcome! + Share Facebook Twitter Google+
  • Movies I Saw in 2014

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:50 am
    When people ask if I’ve seen any good movies lately, I tend to answer that, with three kids and a surfeit of side projects, I hardly ever get to watch anything. But looking back at the past twelve months, I realize that somehow I did manage to see a decent number of the year’s more…
  • Designing Watch Faces for Android Wear

    20 Jan 2015 | 7:35 am
    “Global digital product studio” Ustwo (creator of the critically lauded “Monument Valley” game) got a plum assignment from Google: design a series of digital watch faces for Android Wear. They documented their experience in this video, which I watched a few times, as I’m eager to learn more about wearable technology and the challenges of…
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    Veerle's blog

  • Copenhagen - Naomi Wilkinson

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:25 am
    Adorable.via Naomi Wilkinson
  • Paris wall mural

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:08 am
    Gloomy days in Paris aren’t so bad.via Pavlov
  • Anwa

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Jan 2015 | 9:58 am
    Beautiful!via Mads Berg
  • Dentsu Aegis

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Jan 2015 | 9:52 am
    What a cool bunch of characters.via Dylan Jones

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Jan 2015 | 7:09 am
    Interesting poster.via Typophile
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • Whitney Quesenbery and Frances Harris – Researching Daily Life

    Sean Carmichael
    23 Jan 2015 | 9:18 am
    [ Transcript Available ] Accessibility is often focused on how to design and build digital products or physical spaces. But understanding the people with disabilities who will use those products is just as important. Enter ethnography and the importance of research that goes “face to face” with real people in the real world. Frances Harris is a medical anthropologist who works with people with disabilities to explore the social, economic, and political contexts of their lives. Her projects look at how to make people’s lives and working situations easier and more accessible. Frances…
  • Get your UXIM spot at the lowest rate of $1,475

    Lauren Cramer
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:28 am
    Why wait and have to spend an additional $300 registering for the UX Immersion Mobile Conference in Salt Lake City, UT April 13-15 Register by Thursday, January 29 and you’ll lock yourself in at the lowest rate of $1,475. You’ll choose two, daylong workshops from these UX rock stars Responsive Web Design Jason Grigsby Designing Native Apps Theresa Neil User Experience Chris Risdon Adaptive Designs Aaron Gustafson & Jenn Lukas Responsive Interfaces Brad Frost Optimizing Responsive Workflow Stephen Hay These UX luminaries will provide you with intensive, game-changing…
  • UIEtips: Components Versus Patterns

    Jared Spool
    21 Jan 2015 | 12:29 pm
    In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article from Nathan Curtis. He shows us how patterns and components are different and what you should be building for your library. Here’s an excerpt from the article: For example, consider countless video players proliferating needlessly throughout the sections and contexts of a website: embedded in a product spotlight, a different player in a different spotlight, unique players in lightboxes & popups, new players for content from the training group, etc. Built by different teams at different times, the designs all play video amid UI controls…
  • Chris Risdon – Orchestrating Experiences for Complex Ecosystems

    Sean Carmichael
    21 Jan 2015 | 8:59 am
    [ Transcript Available ] User experience, as it has come to be known and understood, is generally associated with the digital space. Designers and developers working in concert to make a site, app, or digital product more usable and well designed. However, a user’s interaction with you as an organization isn’t necessarily confined to just your digital identity. This user experience design can be applied across all channels, such as a call center or physical location. In Chris Risdon’s virtual seminar, Orchestrating Experience: Strategy And Design For Complex Product Ecosystems, he…
  • Design Systems for Enterprise, a January 29 Virtual Seminar

    Adam Churchill
    19 Jan 2015 | 10:44 am
    In our next virtual seminar, Cohesive Design Systems for Enterprise, Nathan Curtis demonstrates how to approach design systems and standards across products, teams, and organizations to produce cohesive user experiences at scale. You’ll gain an appreciation for the core of the design system and understand how to promote its value throughout your organization. You’ll learn to: Inspire designers to unite and share their work Unify your design community within your organization Illustrate how products relate & work together If you want to learn how to navigate the system and bond…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - HFI Connect

  • CUA of the Month - January 2015: Chris DeFields

    Human Factors International
    23 Jan 2015 | 12:05 pm
    UX Meets Digital Metrics Analytics Chris DeFields, a senior research analyst, is HFI's CUA of the Month for January. Linking UX to digital analytics metrics, Chris says: “Analytics data may suggest a problem, lead to additional needs analysis and usability studies, and eventually result in projects to enhance or build new web applications.” Read the entire article:
  • CUA Essay Contest Winners

    Human Factors International
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Congratulations to the winners of HFI's CUA Essay Contest: 1st prize: Vijay Venkatesan of Chennai, India 2nd prize: Jim Green of Charlotte, NC, USA Thank you to all who submitted entries.
  • The Current State and Future of Human-Computer Interaction: A New Handbook of HCI

    Kent Norman
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:05 am
    The study and discipline of human-computer interaction has developed over the past three decades growing changing with evermore powerful and innovative technology and maturing with more sophisticated theories and methodologies. We have witnessed the birth of the personal computer and just recently transitioned into the post-PC era.  We have enjoyed the development of the GUI (Graphical User Interface) and WIMPs (windows, icons, mice, pointing) are now searching to go beyond these ideas. The time is ripe for fresh new handbook of human-computer interaction that builds on past, chronicles the…
  • CUA of the Month: Andrew Schall

    Human Factors International
    5 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    The Eyes Have It by Jim Garrett Eye tracking is still a relatively new technique for many UX professionals.  Our Certified Usability Analyst of the Month, Andrew Schall, happens to be an expert in this field. He is co-author of “Eye Tracking in User Experience Design.” His eye-tracking projects have ranged from understanding how children interact with online multimedia to evaluating advanced library search and retrieval systems. He has pioneered new ways to collect, analyze, and present eye-tracking data. He is currently working on methods to synthesize eye-tracking data with web…
  • Team CUA Power!

    Human Factors International
    19 May 2014 | 11:00 am
    CUA of the month – May, 2014 Trevor Stephans Interview Senior User Experience Designer Enterprise Holdings by Jim Garrett Team CUA Power We always enjoy highlighting the successes of our Certified Analysts of the Month and their impact in various industries. But we wondered what would be the impact of several CUA’s on a UX team? With our CUA of the Month, Trevor Stephans, we find out. Trevor works as Senior User Experience Designer on a UX team of eleven with three other CUA’s. The team has their hands full at Enterprise Holdings which is the umbrella company for Enterprise Rent-A-Car,…
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    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

  • Using decision tables to support contextual targeting in your UI.

    Harry Brignull
    3 Jan 2015 | 6:28 am
    Historically, marketers have given targeting a bad name, with creepy email campaigns and annoying ads that follow you around – but the fact is, targeted messages can deliver a lovely experience if they’re done right. An ideal restaurant is where the concierge knows your name and sits you at your favourite table. That’s good targeting. There’s a big difference between this and having them say “You almost bought an expensive wine with your meal last time. How about it today?”. Let’s work through an example. Let’s say we’re designing a mobile app for runners (Imagine…
  • UX Brighton 2014: 10% off!

    Harry Brignull
    30 Sep 2014 | 2:49 am
    Good news everyone – I’ve secured a 10% off discount code for UX Brighton 2014. Enter “90percent” at the checkout. This code works for all ticket types – if you use it now you’ll get an early bird ticket for £116.10+vat (Standard price is £149+vat). Maybe I’ll see you there? Buy your ticket now ›
  • Some Dark Patterns now illegal in UK – interview with Heather Burns

    Harry Brignull
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:51 am
    In this article I interview Heather Burns, author of The Web Designer’s Guide to the Consumer Rights Directive. So, which dark patterns are now illegal in the UK? The EU’s new consumer rights law bans certain dark patterns related to e-commerce across Europe. The “sneak into basket” pattern is now illegal. Full stop, end of story. You cannot create a situation where additional items and services are added by default. No more having to manually remove insurance from your basket when purchasing plane tickets. Hidden costs are now illegal, whether that’s an undeclared…
  • So you want to be a UX freelancer?

    Harry Brignull
    25 Jul 2014 | 3:15 am
    People sometimes ask me for advice about getting into User Experience freelancing. Is it enjoyable? Is it worth it? Is it good money? The fact is, the answer to all these things entirely depends on you and the way you choose to run your business. Let me explain… Are you experienced? To be a UX practitioner as an employee, you only need to be good at UX. To do it as a freelancer, you need more skills. Most importantly, you also need to be able to cope with difficult business situations without panicking. What do you do when a client tries to get you do work you don’t agree with? How do you…
  • User Experience and Jobs To be Done

    Harry Brignull
    25 May 2014 | 4:42 am
    In the field of UX, we’re all pretty familiar with the concept of behavioural personas, but not everyone is aware of the parallels between this and Clayton Christensen’s “Jobs To Be Done” theory which became famous in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. He explains it quite nicely in this Press Publish interview: Here I am. I have characteristics that slot me into demographic segments. I just turned 60. I’m 6 feet 8. We just sent our youngest daughter off to Columbia. I have all kinds of characteristics. But none of these characteristics or attributes have yet caused me…
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  • Pinterest Mobile Radial Menus

    14 Jan 2015 | 10:14 am
    Pinterest's mobile app displays a radial menu if you tap on an image. The menu items are for functions that are also available using the icons and buttons in the top of the UI for allowing you to pin, like, or send the image. Number of screens:  0 URL: Video Embed Code:  <iframe src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • Pinterest Tag Search and Suggestions

    14 Jan 2015 | 9:33 am
    Pinterest's search feature shows tag and board suggestions in the auto-completion list. Select terms/tags to display, and a horizontal list (accordion) of correlating tags to refine or narrow your your search are displayed below the search box. Number of screens:  0 URL: Video Embed Code:  <iframe src="//" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  • UX Check

    13 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    UX Check is a Google Chrome extension for reviewing web sites and apps against Jakob Neilsen's Usability Heuristics. The tool opens the heuristics in a side panel next to the website you enter. You select a problem area on the screen, related to one of the usability heuristics and a callout appears for you to add notes and recommendations. When you're done a report is available with screenshots and your notes for each issue. You can download the report as HTML or in Word .docx format. Looks like a nice tool for evaluating web sites in Chrome, as long as the pages you're reviewing have…
  • The Accessibility Project

    8 Jan 2015 | 1:17 pm
    The A11Y project is a community-driven effort to make web accessibility easier. They provide articles on best practices for doing front end development with accessibility in mind. The site includes an accessibility checklist, a pattern library for accessible widgets, and a list of resources for diving deeper into web accessibility.
  • Mention Call To Action

    7 Jan 2015 | 2:59 pm
    Screen 1 Caption:  Intro text, subdued company logos for the proof (so as not to compete with the CTA), and bold red call to action button to create your first alert and start a free trial.'s Success Stories section uses this great phrase to introduce the Proof in the drip pan at the bottom of the page. "They also started with a free trial." Short and persuasive copy that makes an otherwise common CTA more compelling. Screen Name:  mention-cta Number of screens:  1 URL:
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    The UX Booth

  • Designing for Dyslexia (Part 2)

    Andrew Zusman
    20 Jan 2015 | 6:30 am
    Swimming pool ladders are physically difficult to use. They require strong arms and steady feet, and as a result, elderly swimmers and children need alternate exits. The design is therefore not universal, or not usable to all. A ramp gradually leading into the pool, on the other hand, would be considered a universal design for entry and exit. Ramps allow easier entry and exit for those swimmers as well as others who could use a ladder or stairs with no difficult. Additionally, a new, hesitant swimmer may feel more at ease wading slowly into the water rather than stepping down into the water.
  • Our Sponsor: Bigstock

    UX Booth
    15 Jan 2015 | 9:22 am
    Many UX designers struggle when it comes to creating comps: should we use lorem ipsum? Should we wait to have the actual content? Do we need original photos for every image? This week, our sponsor is Bigstock, and they offer stock photography, videos, and vector images for the comps we work with every day. As always, we seek out sponsors who can offer something special for our readers. Bigstock is a leading provider of affordable royalty-free stock photos and videos with over 21 million images, videos, vectors and illustrations. Bigstock’s simple and affordable pricing plans are perfect…
  • Putting the “VP” into MVP

    Jerry Cao
    13 Jan 2015 | 6:30 am
    When I first started working at the wireframing & prototyping app UXPin, we were big fans of the “grand unveiling” approach to product development—hunker down with the team, spend a few months creating an awesome bundle of features, and then unleash it on the public. What we soon learned was that this was a hit or miss strategy. When it worked, the conversion from trial users to paying customers surged. When it flopped, we flatlined at the cost of untold hours of labor, money, and sanity. Soon enough, we learned that we needed to release smarter, not larger. Enter the…
  • Editor Application

    Matthew Kammerer
    11 Jan 2015 | 2:30 pm
    Name (Required) [text* your-name] Email Address (Required) [email* email] Message (Required) [textarea* comment] [submit id:submit class:button “Send”] Editor Application: [your-name] [your-name] < [email]> From: [your-name] < [email]> Subject: The UX Booth Contact Form Message Body: [comment] — This e-mail was sent from the contribute form on UX Booth (, [your-subject] [your-name] < [your-email]> Message Body: [your-message] — This e-mail was sent from a contact form on UX Booth (http:) [your-email] Your…
  • Join UX Booth as an Editor

    Matthew Kammerer
    11 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Thanks so much for your interest in joining the UX Booth team! We’ve filled the position, but we would love to work with you as an author. Send us an email with a pitch, and we’ll be in touch. Are you a UX professional with strong writing skills? Do you enjoy reading the latest news and finding the newest trends? Are you a self-starter with 5 hours a week to devote to a new endeavor? You might be the UX Booth contributing editor we’re looking for. Position: UX Booth Contributing Editor Weekly Responsibilities: UX Booth editors work one-on-one with authors to bring articles from pitch to…
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    User Vision » Articles

  • Selfridges – User Experience Review

    Ed Chandler
    16 Jan 2015 | 3:23 am
    This article is published in January 2015 Internet Retailing Selfridges is aiming to stay ahead of the competition in the luxury shopping space by investing heavily in its multichannel business and focusing on responsive, touch first experiences. First impressions The homepage “touch first” ethos pays dividends when moving through content on a tablet or phone. Whilst the imagery dominates the page, it is to the site’s advantage as vertical movement lends itself perfectly to touchscreen experiences moving through the different images with ease. Such a layout focuses the customer to…
  • Services to watch out for in 2015

    Ed Chandler
    16 Jan 2015 | 2:17 am
    Happy New Year In the spirt of all things new, we wanted to highlight some of the exciting services to watch out for this year: Apple Pay (in the UK) Apples new contactless payment system and digital wallet allows you to pay in stores and apps via your iPhone 6 or Apple Watch. It’s already in the US and is scheduled for release in the UK early 2015. Apple Pay uses Near field communication (NFC)  to make the payment (works just like contactless cards) and has been proposed as the driver to mass adoption of mobile payments. Barclaycard have been building momentum for some time using their…
  • New Look – User Experience review

    Nicola Dunlop
    11 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    This article was published in December 2014 issue of Internet retailing Homepage The New Look homepage effectively communicates a young, on-trend and affordable brand image. The use of stylised images successfully pushes desirable fashion trends for the autumn/winter 2014 season. The product price is highlighted next to each garment bringing back an element of affordability within these photo-shoots, (Image 1). Image 1 When viewed on a 1920 x 1080 desktop, the Homepage images dominate the full screen meaning the additional content is pushed down out of sight, (Image 2). This is not an issue…
  • One To Watch in 2015 – Google Ara Phone

    Nicola Dunlop
    8 Dec 2014 | 5:31 am
    The project is built on the premise that people should be able to create their own smartphone which is tailored to their functional and aesthetic preferences using a modular smartphone approach. Currently Ara is in development with initiatives and conferences to work towards the end product. This modular phone concept challenges our culture of disposable devices by developing a phone that continually evolves with technology. No longer will we own obsolete models or upgrade to a completely new phone just to experience a better camera, screen resolution or connectivity. With the Ara, a range of…
  • Google play store – User Experience Review

    Alan Blackwood
    3 Dec 2014 | 9:40 am
    This article was published in September 2014 edition of Internet Retailing Although not the only App Store option available to Android users, the Google Play store is the main digital distribution channel for the platform and the main rival in terms of revenue to Apple’s iTunes store. According to recent analysis Google Play’s mobile app revenue will outstrip iTunes’ by 2018.  Average revenue per user on the Android platform is around 25% of that on Apple’s iOS but Android’s 80%+ handset market share means that sheer volume of users will push its total app revenue above…
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    UX Movement

  • Digit: A Tool to Automate Your Savings

    20 Jan 2015 | 6:32 am
    Making money is necessary to survive. But if you overspend what you make, you won’t have anything left for emergencies or vacations. Digit is a tool that automates your savings, so you don’t have to think about it.Using Digit feels like getting a bonus check of hundreds of dollars every month. The little bit of money you would end up spending is automatically set aside weekly without you even noticing.Digit checks your spending patterns and moves a few dollars from your checking account to your Digit savings. When you need your savings, send Digit a text message. Digit will transfer the…
  • Wireframe Papers: Sketch Your App to Life

    19 Jan 2015 | 6:26 am
    What is the first thing you do when you get an idea for an app? If it’s not sketching, you’re designing apps the wrong way. There are many benefits to sketching out your app before you wireframe it on software.But it’s hard to sketch out an app that has specific dimensions on a blank sheet of paper. You need to sketch your app on the right device size to get a more accurate visual. You also need gridlines to guide your hand when you sketch.Wireframe Papers are printable gridline sketch sheets that have device-sized imprints on them. They include imprints for iPhone 6, iPad,…
  • 6 Tips for a Smooth Hand-off from Designer to Developer

    Tom Brinton
    13 Jan 2015 | 6:09 am
    On any project, the team is looking for a slam dunk. But this won’t happen if each team member isn’t aware of their role. The designer’s job is to design a user interface and communicate it to developers. But this transition can be painful when developers don’t understand our expectations. Here are six tips to make your next hand-off as smooth as possible.1. Share User Stories with DevelopersUser stories are basic user goals distilled into distinct, terse sentences. They are often written like this: “As a user I want to … [user goal]”. Each user goal should correspond to…
  • Harvest Forecast: Plan Your Team’s Time the Visual Way

    6 Jan 2015 | 6:28 am
    Managing teams is hard. Imagine it’s Monday morning and your team doesn’t know what they’re working on for the week. Plans change and schedules change with them. Spreadsheets weren’t built for this.Harvest Forecast is a tool designed to plan your team’s time. Visualize schedules in Forecast and easily adjust them as needed. Forecast keeps your team’s expectations on the same page and helps you move projects forward.As new projects come in, you’ll know who’s available, and when to hire. Leave behind bloated spreadsheets and begin scheduling in…
  • Top 3 UX Articles of 2014

    30 Dec 2014 | 11:52 am
    2015 is around the corner, so here’s a look back at the top 3 articles on UX Movement for 2014. These articles garnered the most page views out of all the articles published this year.1) Why Users Aren’t Clicking Your Home Page CarouselMany users ignore home page carousels. Does yours incentivize them to click?2) Why Users Fill Out Less If You Mark Required FieldsIf you want your optional fields to get more user attention, mark them instead of required fields.3) Do’s and Don’ts of Using Light TypefacesLight typefaces are a popular choice among designers, but don’t…
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  • Stories that Sell: Content Strategy for Adventure Brands

    Stephen Landau
    15 Jan 2015 | 12:57 pm
    We’re excited to be heading to Outdoor Retailer from January 21st – 24th. Not only is it a great time to catch up with our friends and clients in the outdoor/adventure-brand industry, but we also have the opportunity to present at one of the Outdoor University education sessions. Our session is titled “Stories that Sell: Content Strategy for Adventure Brands.” During this session, we’ll be discussing what content strategy is, how it relates to branding and marketing, and why the combination of “inspiration+information” is so important in online…
  • National Geographic Society launches Unique Lodges of the World, with help from Substance

    Stephen Landau
    7 Jan 2015 | 7:53 pm
    For most of 2014, Substance worked closely with National Geographic Travel on a unique project: helping to launch a new global business initiative for National Geographic Society. We completed an intensive interactive discovery phase, competitive analysis, user experience and information architecture, and the site concept and design. Working with National Geographic’s internal team and global development partners, we were able to bring the vision of the Unique Lodges of the World site to life. You can read more about the initiative from National Geographic’s press release below, and view…
  • The Future of Adventure Brands Online – Outdoor Retailer panel recap

    Stephen Landau
    11 Aug 2014 | 2:37 pm
    On Friday, August 8th, we had the opportunity while at Outdoor Retailer to sit down for an hour with SmartWool and Nau to talk about brand, e-commerce, content, and how these things relate to the future of adventure brands online. We’re expecting to upload video in the next few weeks, but in the meantime here is the presentation deck and some notes from the panel. Premium brands are built by consumers establishing a premium value for products, services and experiences. How can adventure brands live up to their potential by having brand, ecommerce, marketing and social media work…
  • “Brand, E-Commerce, and Content: The Future of Adventure Brands Online” / Outdoor Retailer Summer 2014

    Stephen Landau
    18 Jul 2014 | 4:57 pm
    UPDATE: If you’re looking for a recap of this panel discussion, you can find it at The recap post will be updated as more content is available. Back in January I had the opportunity to attend Outdoor Retailer (OR), one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive trade shows for outdoor and adventure brands. It was a great experience, and I had two key takeaways from it: 1. Awareness of the Separation of E-Commerce from Online Marketing from Brand 2. Opportunities for Retailer Education and Consumer Education (Read the full post: Thoughts from…
  • 8 Ways Running a Half Marathon is Like Running an Interactive Agency

    Stephen Landau
    30 Jun 2014 | 10:02 am
    As an interactive agency owner, there are many events and observations that happen in my life outside work that remind me of my life at the office. Such an event happened on May 31st when I ran the Timberline half marathon. I’d never run a half marathon before. In fact, I only started running about two years ago… in high school I was a swimmer, and as an adult I’ve ridden bikes and slid down mountains on a snowboard, but nothing like repeatedly putting one foot in front of the other in rapid succession. Well, sometimes rapid succession. For my first half marathon I couldn’t do a…
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    Baymard Institute

  • 8 UX Requirements for Designing a User-Friendly Homepage Carousel

    Jamie Appleseed
    12 Jan 2015 | 11:16 pm
    Carousels are hugely popular on e-commerce sites. Especially on the homepage. In fact, 52% of the top US e-commerce sites have a carousel on the homepage (of their “desktop” site). While we have yet to finish our benchmark of mobile e-commerce sites, initial benchmarking shows that carousels are popular on mobile sites too. But are homepage carousels actually helpful to users, or do they merely represent an easy way to deal with internal inter-departmental bickering about who gets to put their banner front and center on the homepage? The short answer: homepage carousels can work…
  • Baymard: 2014 and 2015

    Baymard Institute
    22 Dec 2014 | 12:46 am
    During 2014 we’ve looked at how to improve the e-commerce on-site search experience, and seen how it represents one of the biggest opportunities for creating a competitive advantage in the e-commerce landscape. Especially the underlying search engine logic can be difficult for competitors to replicate, while the search interface is ripe with quick and easy wins. Our 2014 articles weren’t just about e-commerce search, however, we also looked at category navigation and checkout usability. Below you’ll find the 15 most important and popular articles we released on these three…
  • E-Commerce Checkouts Need to Mark Both Required and Optional Fields Explicitly (Only 9% Do So)

    Christian Holst
    15 Dec 2014 | 12:22 am
    Both our checkout usability study of 15 major e-commerce sites, our mobile e-commerce usability study of 18 leading mobile sites, and our most recent large-scale eye-tracking study of checkouts, have all confirmed the same thing: checkout processes and long sign-up forms need to mark both the required and optional fields explicitly. On the sites that didn’t explicitly denote both field types (i.e. optional and required) the test subjects spent longer time filling out the fields and more frequently ran into entirely preventable “Field is required” validation errors. In fact,…
  • Product Page Usability: Recommend Both Alternative & Supplementary Products (Only 42% Get it Right)

    Jamie Appleseed
    24 Nov 2014 | 10:04 pm
    While there’s generally a correlation between good usability and “good for business”, there are some instances where the two align exceptionally well. Suggesting both alternative and supplementary products is one of those instances: it’s good for business and great for usability. Yet, when benchmarking 50 top e-commerce sites we discovered that only 42% tap into this “match made in heaven”. Users land on product pages for many different reasons and from widely different paths. Often times these users don’t yet know the exact product which they need,…
  • Form Usability: Getting 'Address Line 2' Right

    Christian Holst
    3 Nov 2014 | 10:37 pm
    While ‘Address Line 2’ may seem like an insignificant aspect of an e-commerce design or overall form design, we have observed this form field to be the cause of bewilderment and uncertainty for users during both our checkout usability and mobile e-commerce research studies. Now, it should be noted that ‘Address line 2’ was never observed to be the direct cause of checkout abandonments during any test sessions. Poor ‘Address line 2’ designs did however contribute to a sub-par form filling experience during both studies, as the test subjects spent excessive…
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    UserZoom zooming in on the customer experience

  • Lands’ End Offers a Top-Notch Tablet Shopping Experience Against Industry-Leading Retailers

    21 Jan 2015 | 9:54 am
    In a recent study, a group of Researchers at UserZoom conducted a competitive benchmark study that aimed at exploring visitors’ tablet shopping experience, while on one of four recognized retail sites: Macy’s, Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, and Lands’ End. On a hunt to find which site offered the best tablet shopping experience, we set up a series of tasks to collect information on the strengths and weakness of the tablet shopping experience for each site and aggregated the results. The Value of Competitive Benchmarking To fully understand your competition, you should aim to understand…
  • Our Top 10 Unforgettable UX Reads of 2014

    8 Jan 2015 | 1:35 am
    2015 started with a bang! But…before we close the books and move on to new trends and hot, emerging topics, let’s take a quick look back at our most read, liked and shared, top 10 unforgettable articles from UserZoom published in 2014. Packed with tons of thought leadership, profundity, use cases and other valuable things–we think you’ll enjoy reading these, as much as we enjoyed writing them! So, without further ado…let’s get to it. #1 - 12 Best Practices for Successful Remote Unmoderated Usability Testing In this article we cover twelve key tips…
  • Infographic: Which Auto Insurance Company Offers the Best Online Quote Experience

    6 Jan 2015 | 2:00 pm
    Did you know that about 83% of consumers gather information about auto insurance online? To gain insight into consumer behavior while researching auto insurance online, UserZoom’s researchers recently ran a competitive benchmark study, which evaluated the websites of four well-known auto insurance brands: Allstate, GEICO, Progressive & AAA. From this competitive benchmark study, we gathered interesting and valuable data to support claims on which auto insurance company offers the best online quote experience and how the online quote process impacts brand perception, Net Promoter…
  • How to Nail Down a Winning Site Navigation by Combining Research Methods

    29 Dec 2014 | 10:39 am
    Let’s say that you are commissioned to redesign an online office supplies website. You have the client’s product list with which you have to design the site’s information architecture. How would you come up with a navigation scheme that is effective in helping site visitors find products or topics on the website? Designing delightful web experiences requires a combination of visually appealing interfaces and an information architecture (IA) that is easy to navigate. Testing navigation structures early in the interface design process ensures a sound IA. If the menu is not designed yet,…
  • I can’t get no—Validation?: Determining Task Success in Usability Studies

    2 Dec 2014 | 3:32 pm
    We are nearing a tipping point in the world of UX/Usability – most conscious organizations are starting to recognize that having a website necessitates testing. But how to test? At UserZoom, we champion unmoderated remote testing for a slew of benefits that include being able to conduct more cost-effective studies, in a more agile manner, and also collect quantitative, qualitative, and behavioral data all in one study. While we can talk about the nitty gritty of analytics, competitive benchmarking, and conversion optimization—today let’s dive into setting up usability tasks that will…
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    user experience design, ux and usability blog - keepitusable

  • Why you shouldn’t use one way mirrors for ux research

    23 Jan 2015 | 3:48 am
    Do you use one way mirror labs? Do you value research that gets you the best results? Then you might want to re-consider using one way mirrors. Here’s why… Talking to users is fascinating! It’s something we absolutely love doing despite having conducted thousands of them! When it comes to location, you can test almost anywhere but there’s one place that we advise against, and that’s one way mirror labs. What is a one way mirror lab? A one way mirror lab (also known as two way) consists of two adjoining rooms with a mirror between them. One room is used to interview people and…
  • World Usability Day 2014

    13 Nov 2014 | 6:53 am
    Happy World Usability Day! Yes today is that time of year when all usability practitioners reflect on another year of helping businesses to improve their user experience and making the lives of everyday people better. It’s a day when we can reflect on the improvements we’ve brought to the world. We’re a little like silent heroes, busily working away to make the average persons day a little easier and less frustrating, without them ever realising who we are, just how much we fight for good design on their behalf or the end difference we make to their lives. Great design…
  • Infographic: 2015 E-commerce Opportunities

    23 Oct 2014 | 2:53 am
    Source: Statistics from the e-commerce expo October 2014 day 1 and day 2.
  • More fascinating e-commerce insights for 2015! Expo day 2

    8 Oct 2014 | 11:46 pm
    Following our hugely popular write-up of the e-commerce expo day 1, here’s what happened on day 2. It’s even better, with fantastic insights on how to be successful in e-commerce in 2015, with advice from Paypal, Maplin and leading successful entrepreneurs! The future of payments now Rob Harper, Paypal Mobile payments are growing rapidly. More and more consumers are using their mobile to purchase. It means they’re buying on their terms and on their device. However, £1.5bn was lost to uk commerce in the last year! Why? Payment friction is one of the leading reasons why…
  • Fascinating insights: E-commerce expo day 1

    4 Oct 2014 | 5:46 am
    This week we attended the London e-commerce expo to discover the latest statistics, technology and importantly, what’s predicted to be big in 2015. Here’s our write-up of the sessions we attended on day 1 (day 2 to come soon). What’s very clear is that mobile will be massive in 2015! New technology enabling more advanced tracking of customers offline and online will also pave the way for advanced data, customer engagement and retargeting across channels (more of this in our next blog post: day 2). Driving Sales in a connected world Tracy Yaverbaun, Facebook Mobile was a…
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • What is a Plant Information Management System?

    21 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    What is a Plant Information Management System? The best way to describe a Plant Information Management System is through a comprehensive system called INFOplant that is already available from SST Systems, Inc. INFOplant, schematically shown below, integrates information (data, drawings and documents) related to design, engineering, procurement, construction, and other downstream activities of any industrial plant. This “customizable” system consists of a Central Database and various functional software modules that are inter-connected through their “middleware” interfaces (represented…
  • Control Overhead with Temporary Drafting Services

    19 Jan 2015 | 12:25 pm
    When your company is facing a major project, one thing to consider is temporary drafting services. Temporary drafting services allow you to put more resources into a project, without increasing your overhead over the long term, or forcing you to make a large investment in computers, software, and training right away. By working with CAD/CAM Services, Inc, you can temporarily increase your drafting resources to the level you need for a specific project or time period. We can tailor the drawings to fit your company standards and needs. CAD/CAM Services, Inc will work with you to ensure the…
  • How an Intelligent 3D Plant Model helps save Time & Money

    14 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    How an Intelligent 3D Plant Model helps save Time & Money Whether you are currently operating a plant or designing a new one, an Intelligent 3D Plant Model consisting of objects belonging to all disciplines inclusive of civil & structures, process, HVAC, electrical, instrumentation & control would be the most efficient way to have a central, constantly up-to-date location for all plant information related to design, engineering, procurement, construction and other downstream activities.  An example of such an intelligent 3D Plant Model integrated with a comprehensive Plant…
  • AutoCAD drawings into BIM models

    12 Jan 2015 | 1:40 pm
    By converting AutoCAD (Computer Aided Drafting) drawings into BIM (Building Information Modelling) you bring the structures you design into a level of three-dimensional relief on the computer screen that CAD systems cannot match. In many cases, designers and engineers find it beneficial to convert preliminary CAD drawings into BIM models once plans advance. Although modern CAD software can produce 3-D models of designs, CAD software originated as a generator of 2-D plans. The capacity of the CAD system to hold comprehensive information about structure, material conflicts and details…
  • Should You Outsource CAD Projects Off-Shore?

    Diane Mitol
    8 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Should You Send CAD Work Off-Shore? CAD outsourcing is big business today, with many off-shore firms offering low hourly rates.  For many engineering firms, it’s tempting to see only the perceived cost savings associated with off-shore outsourcing without considering potential problems that CAD off-shore outsourcing can bring.  In fact, inflated expectations about cost savings constitute much of the “buyer’s remorse” that engineering firms have once they engage in an outsourcing campaign.  Often management assumes that outsourced labor will yield savings comparable to a…
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