User Interface

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Digital tools for design research

    Putting people firstPutting people first
    19 Sep 2014 | 3:29 am
    Dan Perkel of IDEO Labs shares how he and his colleagues use digital methods and tools to enhance the research process in five distinct activities: – Exploring the terrain and seeking quick inspiration – Recruiting research participants – Obtaining deep insights into people’s lives and everyday contexts – Eliciting feedback on concepts, insights, or value propositions – Analyzing and synthesizing research Perkel describes 16 tools in total.
  • Faceted Sorting - A New Method for Sorting Search Results

    Baymard Institute
    Jamie Appleseed
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:26 pm
    This is the sixth in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. Trying to sort site-wide search results on most e-commerce sites typically end up a mess, with irrelevant search results being propelled to the top of the list as users sort by price, customer ratings, etc – something that left the test subjects bewildered during our latest usability study on e-commerce search. This is because sorting search results by attributes based on anything other than relevance very often cause low-quality results moving to the…
  • Exploring the Google Glass UX

    The UX Booth
    Markiyan Matsekh
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    As wearable devices enter the mainstream, UX designers must develop ways to maximize those devices’ potential while acknowledging the new limitations they impose. That’s what the software team at ELEKS concluded after evaluating Google Glass – an experience that allowed them to abandon their expectations about head-mounted wearables, adapt user experiences to tiny screens, and forget about keyboards altogether. For many UX designers, Google Glass evokes visions of an Iron Man-like interface with numerous controls and augmented reality features. Our team at ELEKS, too, fell…
  • Breaking the Constraints

    The UX Booth
    Marli Mesibov
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    On August 7, 2014, UX designers and developers around the world cheered to the news that Microsoft would officially drop support for older versions of Internet Explorer, effective January 2016. Yet by and large, the outcry was less “hooray for Microsoft!” and more “why didn’t they do this sooner?” The answer is “because people still use IE,” and yet people still use IE because it’s supported, and it’s supported because people use it. It’s a vicious cycle. Two years ago, Nicholas Zakas wrote an article for Smashing Magazine entitled…
  • UIEtips: Selecting Typefaces for Body Text

    UIE Brain Sparks
    Jared Spool
    17 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Choosing the body content font type for your web site is no easy task. With so many choices, how do you know if what you have is the most eye catching, aesthetically pleasing, and meets accessibility standards? Tim Brown to the rescue with today’s UIEtips article, Selecting Typefaces for Body Text. If you’ve ever wished you could confidently stand behind your typeface choices, critique designs, and fix existing typography problems, Tim’s workshop, Designing with Type is calling for you at the User Interface Conference in Boston October 27-29. Here’s an excerpt from the article:…
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • Five Things They Didn’t Teach Me in School About Being a User Researcher

    Chelsey Glasson
    16 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Graduate school taught me the basics of conducting user research, but it taught me little about what it’s like working as a user researcher in the wild. I don’t blame my school for this. There’s little publicly-available career information for user researchers, in large part because companies are still experimenting with how to best make use of our talents. That said, in the midst of companies experimenting with how to maximize user researchers, there are a few things I’ve learned specific to the role of user researcher that have held true across the diverse companies I’ve worked…
  • The Right Way to Do Lean Research

    Laura Klein
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:00 am
    StartX, a nonprofit startup accelerator, recently devoted an entire day to the role of design in early-stage companies. One panel included Laura Klein, Todd Zaki-Warfel, Christina Wodtke, and Mike Long. Each panelist had made their mark on how design is done in start-ups: Laura wrote the influential O’Reilly book on UX for Lean Startups, and Todd penned the bestselling Rosenfeld Media Prototyping book. Christina has been cross-teaching design to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship to designers at institutions such as California College for the Arts, General Assembly, Copenhagen Institute of…
  • User Experience Research at Scale

    Nick Cawthon
    29 Jul 2014 | 1:00 am
    An important part of any user experience department should be a consistent outreach effort to users both familiar and unfamiliar. Yet, it is hard to both establish and sustain a continued voice amongst the business of our schedules. Recruiting, screening, and scheduling daily or weekly one-on-one walkthroughs can be daunting for someone in a small department having more than just user research responsibilities, and the investment of time eventually outweighs the returns as both the number of participants and size of the company grow. This article is targeted at user experience practitioners…
  • Honing Your Research Skills Through Ad-hoc Contextual Inquiry

    Will Hacker
    15 Jul 2014 | 1:00 pm
    It’s common in our field to hear that we don’t get enough time to regularly practice all the types of research available to us, and that’s often true, given tight project deadlines and limited resources. But one form of user research–contextual inquiry–can be practiced regularly just by watching people use the things around them and asking a few questions. I started thinking about this after a recent experience returning a rental car to a national brand at the Phoenix, Arizona, airport. My experience was something like this: I pulled into the appropriate lane and an…
  • Creating Your Personal Mission Statement

    Louis Rosenfeld
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:00 am
    You’re weird. In a good way, but weird nonetheless. Weird in the sense that people outside of work likely have absolutely no clue what it is you do. Maybe many at work as well. For me, this weirdness manifests itself at parties. Inevitably, a new acquaintance asks me what I do. Beads of sweat form on my forehead. My eyes dart around, desperately seeking my far more articulate wife, Mary Jean. I find her, ask her to explain me, and flee. If you’re in UX or a related field, congrats: You probably have more work than you can manage in a time when many people are underemployed. But…
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  • ZURB Wired 2014 Kicks Off!

    18 Sep 2014 | 8:16 am
    We've officially kicked off ZURBwired 2014 with Sacred Heart! Over the course of the next 24 hours, we'll publish our progress through blog posts, photos and videos. If you haven't seen our previous wireds, you can check out the previous years to see what an amazing group of people can accomplish under a 24 hour ticking clock. Follow along over the next 24 hours as we race to help this nonprofit create an amazing marketing campaign for both their 50th anniversary and holiday drive: ZURB Wired Project Site
  • ZURB Wired 2014 is Near! Announcing Sacred Heart as This Year's Nonprofit

    17 Sep 2014 | 11:49 am
    We're counting down the hours to tomorrow's ZURBwired event, our yearly design sprint to help a nonprofit through a marketing campaign. And we couldn't be more excited to work with Sacred Heart, this year's nonprofit! We want to thank all the nonprofits who sent in so many excellent proposals! The timing couldn't be more right for Sacred Heart. This year, they're celebrating 50 years of their mission — to help struggling families get food and gifts for their children they need during the holidays. Not only did the folks at Sacred Heart have a strong mission, but their team had the magic…
  • Slay the Feature Creep Before It Eats Your Product Aliiiive!

    10 Sep 2014 | 10:00 am
    Product teams competing on features are racing to the bottom. The design process and the design feedback loop are crucial to a successful product, and this feedback isn't just important on fleshed out prototypes, but for initial rough ideas as well. We talked about PRDs and the unnecessary constraints that an archaic document will place on the team and how that hinders innovation. Here, we will look at the situation from the opposite point of view — what kind of product will result from an uninhibited flow of ideas? The Engine of Design Thinking You'll hear us talk about this a lot.
  • Foundation for Apps: Motion UI is the New Flat

    3 Sep 2014 | 8:34 am
    Wow! We're both humbled and awed by the excitement behind Foundation for Apps — hundreds of thousands of people reading, sharing and reaching out to us about it! The response has amped us up, and we're continuing to push forward. As we've mentioned before, Foundation for Apps has three main parts: the Grid, AngularJS integration and Motion UI. We've discussed the Grid, we've shown how we made Foundation for Sites accessible, and now we want to chat a little about the web and motion. An Open Web Always Wins Source: xkcd 2014 is the year of "Native Apps vs. Web Apps." Dozens of Medium…
  • Calling All Nonprofits: We're Taking Applications for This Year's ZURB Wired

    27 Aug 2014 | 8:30 am
    ZURB Wired — our yearly design sprint to help one nonprofit though a marketing campaign — is around the corner. This year's event is on September 18th. And we're ready to take applications from interested nonprofits. Just as we gear up for this year's event, we want to give a special shoutout to our friends at Rebekah Children's Services, who just redid their site on Foundation for Sites. They were 2011's Wired nonprofit and they took what they learned from working with us, and used that knowledge when it came to their website refresh. In every Wired event we work alongside the…
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    UX Magazine

  • Win This Book (Again)! Drawing Ideas

    UX Magazine Staff
    18 Sep 2014 | 9:52 am
    September 18, 2014Earlier this year, we gave away a couple of copies of Drawing Ideas in a contest that challenged our readers to come up with a design problem that authors Mark Baskinger and William Bardel could explore with a sketch. We've got two more copies to give away, and this time Mark and William would like to see what you can draw. Their challenge: "Show us where wearable technology is headed and what kind of ecosystem it will exist in." Submissions must be drawn by hand and tell a good story. Winners will be selected by the authors and will receive a print edition of Drawing…
  • Why Banks Need to Revamp their User Experience

    Rich Berkman
    17 Sep 2014 | 9:10 am
    September 17, 2014The most interesting things happening in financial services are not happening in financial services. Thanks to a slew of new and older digital apps and websites, such as Apple Pay, Venmo, Square, Mint, and PayPal, kids can borrow money from their parents via text message or sign for a pizza delivery (including tip) on their phones. Families can use analytic tools to drill down through their own financial data to see where their money goes and how to cut spending. These tools have made every aspect of financial management—including transfers, payments—incredibly intuitive…
  • Why Investment in Design is the Only Way to “Win” in Education

    Jon Kolko
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:13 am
    September 16, 2014As consumers, we use technology because it helps us accomplish our goals. "Accomplish our goals" is pretty broad: Sometimes, our goal is utilitarian (I want to accomplish a specific task). Increasingly, our goal may be emotional (I want to feel a certain way). It may also be enduring (I want more transparency into a policy), informative (I want to know something), and even passive (I want to witness a certain type of experience). Alan Cooper, founder of Cooper Design, explains that goals are lasting over time: “Tasks change as technology changes, but goals have the…
  • What Should Experience Designers Understand About Developers?

    UX Magazine Staff
    15 Sep 2014 | 11:26 am
    September 15, 2014Last month we announced a contest with Wiley to give away five copies of JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development, by Jon Duckett. To enter, we asked readers to give us their answer to the question: "What's something every UX designer should try to understand about the work done by developers?" Though the work designers and developers do in digital product design is directly related, there is often a disconnect between the two roles. While the occasional purple unicorn can bridge the divide and work effectively in both realms, there remains some…
  • No Bottom Line? No Experience:Finding the balance between user needs and business needs

    UX Magazine Staff
    12 Sep 2014 | 8:40 am
    September 12, 2014There's a lot of of romance and poetry that goes into experience design: doing contextual research to identify pain points and problems; getting eye-to-eye with users to uncover their needs and stumbling blocks; brainstorming solutions with pals at the old whiteboard; working with developers to design sleek and sumptuous interfaces; crafting easily navigable solutions that are primed to disrupt the status quo; passionately pitching these darlings to wary stakeholders … it’s a tour de force. UX practitioners certainly have a lot to be proud of, but when we get caught…
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    information aesthetics

  • Visualizing Publicly Available US Government Data Online

    19 Sep 2014 | 1:11 am
    Brightpoint Consulting recently released a small collection of interactive visualizations based on open, publicly available data from the US government. Characterized by a rather organic graphic design style and color palette, each visualization makes a socially and politically relevant dataset easily accessible. The custom chore diagram titled Political Influence [] highlights the monetary contributions made by the top Political Action Committees (PAC) for the 2012 congressional election cycle, for the House of Representatives and the Senate. The hierarchical browser 2013…
  • The Disappearing Planet: Comparing the Extinction Rates of Animals

    18 Sep 2014 | 1:05 pm
    The subtly designed A Disappearing Planet [] by freelance data journalist Anna Flagg reveals the extinction rates of animals, caused by a variety of human-caused effects, including climate change, habitat destruction and species displacement. Divided into mammals, reptiles, amphibians and birds, the interactive bar graph allows users to browse horizontally through the vast amount of species by order and family, and vertically by genus. Species in risk are highlighted in red, so that dense clusters denote related families (e.g. bears, parrots, turtles) that are specially…
  • GitHut: the Universe of Programming Languages across GitHub

    12 Sep 2014 | 8:37 am
    GitHut [], developed by Microsoft data visualization designer Carlo Zapponi, is an interactive small multiples visualization revealing the complexity of the wide range of programming languages used across the repositories hosted on GitHub. GitHub is a web-based repository service which offers the distributed revision control and source code management (SCM) functionality of Git, enjoying more than 3 million users. Accordingly, by representing the distribution and frequency of programming languages, one can observe the continuous quest for better ways to solve problems, to…
  • Pi Visualized as a Public Urban Art Mural

    10 Sep 2014 | 1:23 pm
    Visualize Pi [] is a mural project that aimed to use popular mathematics to connect Brooklyn students to the community with a visualization of Pi. It was funded by a successful KickStarter project as proposed by visual artist artist Ellie Balk, The Green School Students, staff and Assistant Principal Nathan Affield. The mural seems to consist of different parts. A reflective line graph, reminiscent of a sound wave, represents the number Pi (3.14159...) by way of colors that are coded by the sequence of the prime numbers found in Pi (2,3,5,7), as well as height. Additionally, a…
  • The Key Players in the Middle East and their Relationships

    10 Sep 2014 | 12:48 pm
    Whom Likes Whom in the Middle-East? [] by David McCandless and UniversLab is a forced-network visualisation of key players & notable relationships in the Middle East. Next to its expressive aesthetic, the interactive features allow users to highlight individual nodes and its direct connections to others, as well as filter between the kind of possible relationships, such as "hate", "strained", "good" or "love". Reminds me a bit of Mapping the Relationships between the Artists who Invented Abstraction.
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  • Insights on Switching, Centering, and Gestures for Touchscreens
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:22 pm
    By Steven Hoober Published: September 2, 2014 “Touch devices are still fairly new. We’re still developing patterns for interactions and are just now beginning to understand how users understand and employ their touchscreen devices.” While I’ve discovered many things in the last few years about how users work with touchscreen devices, the one thing I’m really sure about is how much we do not understand. Touch devices are still fairly new. We’re still developing patterns for interactions and are just now beginning to understand how users understand and employ their touchscreen…
  • 13 Human Qualities You Must Have to Succeed in Work and Life
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:12 pm
    By Pabini Gabriel-Petit Published: September 2, 2014 “So much of success derives from mindset rather than skillsets…. … Mindset is who you really are at your core. It’s your habitual way of thinking.” This article was inspired by a discussion at last week’s Silicon Valley IxDA meeting, where Daniel Szuc and Josephine Wong spoke on the topic “Sleepwalking + Designing for a Healthy Future,” which got me thinking about what qualities one must have to be an effective UX professional. So much of success derives from mindset rather than skillsets, and mindset takes a lifetime to…
  • Breaking up with the User in User Experience Strategy?
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:07 pm
    By Ronnie Battista Published: September 2, 2014 “I was still struggling to get leadership to see my UX team as being responsible for more than user interface (UI) research and design.” Last April, the UX leadership at my company, Slalom Consulting, gathered at an off-site meeting to get aligned on how best to brand and market our UX capabilities to our colleagues and clients. Slalom has a strong, seasoned UX team with people distributed across its local offices in the USA, as well as a national team that supports all of us. We excel at holistic, outside-in, omnichannel experience strategy…
  • Conducting Large-Scale User Research
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:02 pm
    By Jim Ross Published: September 2, 2014 “When you’re suddenly faced with a large-scale research project, it can seem so intimidating or even overwhelming.” What would you do if you were asked to do an extremely large-scale user research project? What do I mean by large? How about performing more than 150 contextual inquiries? How would you handle such a large amount of information from many different user groups, whose subject matter covers such a large scope? Doing unmoderated research such as online card sorting and unmoderated usability testing is an easy way to get a large number…
  • Getting Inside Your Users’ Heads: 9 Interviewing Tips
    2 Sep 2014 | 10:42 am
    By Kay Corry Aubrey Published: September 2, 2014 “Crafting a single statement that encapsulates your interview objectives will help you and your teammates to stay focused and make good decisions about which questions to cover.” The simplest approach to learning about users’ needs and challenges is to talk with them. In this article, I’d like to share with you some of the approaches that I use that lead to successful interviews with users. Planning and Preparing for Interviews Some of the things that set you up for success happen before your interviews even begin. 1. Pinpoint the…
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • This week's sponsor: Asana

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:28 am
    Asana’s new iOS 8 app now available! Use Asana to organize team tasks and conversations on web and mobile. Sign up free.
  • Getting Started With CSS Audits

    18 Sep 2014 | 5:30 am
    This week I wrote about conducting CSS audits to organize your code, keeping it clean and performant—resulting in faster sites that are easier to maintain. Now that you understand the hows and whys of auditing, let’s take a look at some more resources that will help you maintain your CSS architecture. Here are some I’ve recently discovered and find helpful. Organizing CSS Harry Roberts has put together a fantastic resource for thinking about how to write large CSS systems, CSS Guidelines. Interested in making the style guide part of the audit easier? This Github repo includes a whole…
  • Client Education and Post-Launch Success

    16 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    What our clients do with their websites is just as important as the websites themselves. We may pride ourselves on building a great product, but it’s ultimately up to the client to see it succeed or fail. Even the best website can become neglected, underused, or messy without a little education and training. Too often, my company used to create amazing tools for clients and then send them out into the world without enough guidance. We’d watch our sites slowly become stale, and we’d see our strategic content overwritten with fluffy filler. It was no one’s fault but our own. As…
  • CSS Audits: Taking Stock of Your Code

    16 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    Most people aren’t excited at the prospect of auditing code, but it’s become one of my favorite types of projects. A CSS audit is really detective work. You start with a site’s code and dig deeper: you look at how many stylesheets are being called, how that affects site performance, and how the CSS itself is written. Your goal is to look for ways to improve on what’s there—to sleuth out fixes to make your codebase better and your site faster. I’ll share tips on how to approach your own audit, along with the advantages of taking a full inventory of your CSS and various tools.
  • This week's sponsor: Stack

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    12 Sep 2014 | 11:48 am
    Stack is a simple task management system for devs and designers. Fully customizable and flexible to suit your workflow.
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • Mobile & Multi-Device Design: Lessons Learned

    15 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    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, and beyond. And it's free. Over the past two years, I served as co-founder and CEO of Polar. During that time, we built mobile apps, responsive Web apps, second screen experiences, and... we learned a lot. When Polar joined Google last week, we took some time to package up the articles I wrote over the past two years about our thinking, our…
  • On to The Next Journey…

    11 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    Creating products is a journey. And like any journey, it’s filled with new experiences, missteps, and perhaps most importantly, lots of opportunities to learn. My most recent journey started nearly two years ago when we began working on Polar. Today I’m delighted to announce we’re joining Google. But before embarking on this new journey, I wanted to thank everyone that was part of Polar. We started with the simple idea that everyone has an opinion worth hearing. But the tools that existed online to meet this need weren’t up to the task: think Web forms, radio buttons, and worse. Ugh.
  • Video: How to Design Components for Mobile First

    2 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    As more online time shifts to mobile devices and networks. Designing experiences for large screen monitors and high-speed networks limits the amount of people your service can reach. Designing mobile first lets you reach that audience without compromising your product. In this short 4 minute video, I look at how by focusing in on a few common components. This video is part of my User Experience How-To series sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone.
  • Video: How to Design for Cross Device Use

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    Today, people's online lives aren't limited to one device with one screen. Instead they use multiple devices both in sequence and at the same time. To account for this new reality, we need to think about cross device interactions and how our products work in a multi-device world. In this quick 4 minute video, I discuss how. This video is part of my User Experience How-To series sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone.
  • Video: How to Jump Right Into Input

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    Mobile devices give people the opportunity to create, collaborate, and contribute content just about anywhere and everywhere. That's a tremendous opportunity for input and we should design accordingly. In this short 3 minute video, I outline a few ways how. This video is part of my User Experience How-To series sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone.
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    Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995

  • One Hug

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:15 am
    JUST WEEKS ago, my daughter’s mother moved out of state. The kid’s been having a tough time with it, and with school, and with her upcoming tenth birthday, which won’t work out the way she hoped. And then, over the weekend, her laptop and mine both broke—hers by cat-and-ginger-ale misfortune, mine by gravity abetted by my stupidity. To lighten the mood, this morning broke grey, pounding rain. We pulled on our hoodies, scooped up our bodega umbrellas, and shrugged on our backpacks—hers heavy with school books, mine with gym clothes, a camera, and two busted laptops. We were standing…
  • Online Training to Make Sites and Apps Accessible

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:58 am
    ACCESSIBILITY IS LIKE the weather: everyone talks about it, but not enough of us do anything about it. Austin-based Knowbility is one of the few groups in the world with the commitment and expertise to change this. If enough of us fund their new IndieGogo project, they’ll gain the resources they need to create online modules that teach the world how to make our sites work for people with disabilities. This is a cause any web designer or developer should be able to get behind. I love the web because it is democratic, agnostic, and empowering. Progressive enhancement, responsive design, and…
  • Original Hip Hop Art

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    2 Jul 2014 | 12:18 pm
    WHY THE INTERNET was invented: this single-page, no-frills website presents a trove of original, old-school hip hop party posters mainly designed by Buddy Esquire and Phase 2, and featuring legendary rappers before they got famous. Word to your mother. Hat tip: Fred Gates Design.
  • Netdiver returns

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    2 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am
    PIONEERING design ‘zine Netdiver is back, baby! Founded by my friend and colleague Carole Guevin in 1998, Netdiver was one of the first web ‘zines to seriously explore and promote design and design culture on the web. In its pages, you would discover pretty much everything exciting that was happening in web and digital design, photography, industrial design, and digital filmmaking. Sites as fine (and as different) as Swissmiss and The Great Discontent can trace more than a strand of their DNA back to Netdiver and its creator. Like many of the great zines and blogs from the first…
  • The Color Purple

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    10 Jun 2014 | 9:41 am
    WHEN my daughter was little, she used to ask me my favorite color. I was a grownup, and could only supply a grownup’s answer: “I love the way light looks in late afternoon,” I might say. Or, “Red and black can make powerful statements in graphic design.” Grownups don’t have favorite colors. But children do. Rebecca Meyer had a favorite color. It was purple. A color that might be expressed in the hexadecimal language of web design as #663399. As many of you know, Eric and Kat Meyer lost their daughter Rebecca to cancer on Saturday. Rebecca Alison Meyer was a ray of light. She was…
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    Max Design

  • Links for light reading (17/9/14)

    16 Sep 2014 | 9:14 pm
    W3C CSS Display Module Level 3 – W3C Working Draft, 11 September 2014 CSS Backgrounds and Borders Module Level 3 – W3C Candidate Recommendation 9 September 2014 CSS CSS Audits: Taking Stock of Your Code CSS Custom Cursors GitHub’s CSS Custom CSS preprocessing Full-width pinned layouts with flexbox Internet Explorer Developer Channel Glitch Effect on Text / Images / SVG Responsive 25 Useful HTML CSS Frameworks 2014 Native Responsive Images 15 Responsive Design Tips HTML HTML and Specifying Language A Guide to the HTML5 ‘time’ Element SASS SASS for web designers Getting…
  • Some links for light reading (10/9/14)

    9 Sep 2014 | 4:21 am
    CSS Attribute Modules for CSS Normalize-OpenType.css A single div CSS3 Layout Modules 2nd Edition How To Create Flat Style Breadcrumb Links with CSS A Peek Inside the CSS Text Decoration Specification Responsive Native Responsive Images 5 Really Useful Responsive Web Design Patterns Accessibility Survey of Web Accessibility Practitioners Results What ARIA does not do Automatic infinite scrolling and accessibility Managing :focus styles without breaking accessibility Performance Improving Smashing Magazine’s Performance: A Case Study Speed Index: Measuring Page Load Time a Different Way HTML…
  • Ideal line length in ems

    25 May 2013 | 3:40 am
    Let’s assume that you have a chunk of body copy and you place it inside a container. Question 1: is there an optimal line length for copy? The optimal line length for your body text is considered to be 50-70 characters per line. Question 2: What type of unit should you use to control the container width? The best unit for setting the width of the container is “em” units as they scale with the font-size. Question 3: How do we convert 50-75 characters into ems? This is the hardest question as the content itself can affect how many characters appear per line. I decided to do an…
  • A simple (and very rough) responsive table solution

    21 Mar 2013 | 7:58 am
    There are a lot of very clever responsive table solutions available now. There are solutions that flip the table on it’s side, convert it to a pie chart, gradually reduce the columns, allow users to determine columns, and even allow partial scrolling across the table. All of them are very clever. However, there are concerns about many of them some of them would be hard to implement in the real world – especially those that rely on the ::before pseudo-element selectors to generate table headers) some of them may not work for all types of table data – like the pie chart…
  • Some links for light reading (5/3/13)

    4 Mar 2013 | 3:32 pm
    Responsive Mixing Responsive Design and Mobile Templates Responsive audio out Logical Breakpoints For Your Responsive Design There is no breakpoint Build responsive emails Prototyping Responsive Typography CSS Getting Started with Sass How to Build a Better Button in CSS3 How to shrinkwrap and center elements horizontally Reintroducing Preboot HTML5 HTML5 forms input types Browsers WebKit for Developers Browser Trends March 2013: IE Drops Below 30% Design 10 Brilliant Color Apps for Designers Speed Improve page load times UX Usability testing myths How to Conduct A Content Audit Acessibility…
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    Putting people firstPutting people first

  • An ethnographic introduction

    20 Sep 2014 | 3:21 am
    A Simple Introduction to the Practice of Ethnography and Guide to Ethnographic Fieldnotes By Brian A. Hoey, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Anthropology, Marshall University Marshall University Digital Scholar (June 2014): 1-10 Abstract In this article, I will provide a simple introduction to the practice of ethnographic fieldwork and practical advice for writing fieldnotes. Ethnographic approaches, while born of the work conducted by anthropologists over one hundred years ago, are increasingly employed by researchers and others from a variety of backgrounds and for a multitude of purposes from…
  • Human-centered design toolkit by

    20 Sep 2014 | 3:09 am
    The team at launched Design Kit — a “refresh” of its HCD Connect platform launched in 2011. It is a step-by-step guide to the elements of human-centered design, specifically adapted for NGOs and social enterprises working with low-income communities around the globe. The kit aims to empower individuals and organizations to become designers themselves and enable change in their own communities. Design Kit offers 50 methods and case-studies to explain the various aspects of human-centered design. There is also a toolkit for those interested in learning more and applying it to…
  • Digital tools for design research

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:29 am
    Dan Perkel of IDEO Labs shares how he and his colleagues use digital methods and tools to enhance the research process in five distinct activities: – Exploring the terrain and seeking quick inspiration – Recruiting research participants – Obtaining deep insights into people’s lives and everyday contexts – Eliciting feedback on concepts, insights, or value propositions – Analyzing and synthesizing research Perkel describes 16 tools in total.
  • Why banks need to revamp their user experience

    17 Sep 2014 | 10:37 pm
    The most interesting things happening in financial services are not happening in financial services, writes Rich Berkman, Associate Partner of IBM Interactive Experience, in UX Magazine. The most useful and powerful cross-channel, digital tools rolled out in recent years were not introduced by banks, he says, but by tech companies that understood how to use the Internet, data analytics, and mobile technologies to solve consumers’ day-to-day problems. “Optimizing customer experience requires a holistic understanding of the user and a willingness to change. In some ways, this is where…
  • [Video] Digital Amnesia (VPRO, 2014)

    11 Sep 2014 | 10:51 pm
    Our memory is dissipating. Hard drives only last five years, a webpage is forever changing and there’s no machine left that can read 15-year old floppy disks. Digital data is vulnerable. Yet entire libraries are shredded and lost to budget cuts, because we assume everything can be found online. But is that really true? For the first time in history, we have the technological means to save our entire past, yet it seems to be going up in smoke. Will we suffer from collective amnesia? This VPRO Backlight documentary tracks down the amnesiac zeitgeist starting at the Royal Tropical Institute,…
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  • WirePrint

    19 Sep 2014 | 4:51 am
    Wireframing 2.0 >>> Created by the Hasso Plattner Institute and Cornell University, WirePrint is "a low-fi fabrication technique that prints 3D models as wireframe previews":
  • DWI Modular

    19 Sep 2014 | 4:44 am
    Created by Felix Luque, DWI Modular is a sculpture system comprised of 10 rhombic dodecahedrons (or "space-filling polyhedra"): [via]

    19 Sep 2014 | 4:29 am
    Created by the Tangible Media Group at MIT, TRANSFORM is a dynamic tangible tabletop:
  • The Abovemarine

    18 Sep 2014 | 4:26 am
    The Abovemarine is "a vehicle that enables José, or any other fish, to roam on the land freely":
  • The Dancing Traffic Light

    18 Sep 2014 | 3:31 am
    A smart idea from smart >>> A dancing traffic light that makes people wait and watch, rather than attempt to cross, during a red light:
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  • Origins of the Yankees’ Interlocking NY Logo

    19 Sep 2014 | 12:11 pm
    A 30 Sep item from The New York Times’ City Room blog reveals the origins of the Yankees’ world famous logo: It was designed by Tiffany & Co. as part of a silver shield-shaped Medal of Valor depicting a woman placing a laurel wreath on a policeman’s head. It also contained the by-now-familiar interlocking letters… Advertise on
  • MagCozy

    18 Sep 2014 | 12:28 pm
    If you have one or more of Apple’s handy but easily lost MagSafe 2 adapters that allow older Apple laptop power supplies to work with modern MacBooks, then you’ll appreciate the MagCozy—a clever little silicone tether that prevents the adapter from getting lost. When I first came across this product online I filed it away… Advertise on
  • What to Do with an Old iPhone

    18 Sep 2014 | 6:55 am
    I have an old, white iMac Core 2 Duo model that I bought eight years ago that’s still getting good, routine use in my household. It’s a media server, a DVD and Blu-Ray ripper (thanks to an inexpensive external drive), and a station where we check the weather and news in the morning. Every year… Advertise on
  • Icon by DKNG

    17 Sep 2014 | 2:48 pm
    These fifty illustrations focus on singular objects—mostly modes of transportation, and primarily cars—that typify famous films or TV shows. A few of them are straightforward, like the Death Star and three versions of the Batmobile, for instance. But the majority of them are cleverly oblique, and manage to capture their subject matter in unexpected, witty… Advertise on
  • Women in Comics

    16 Sep 2014 | 5:49 pm
    It’s unlikely that the art form of comics, at least insofar as it has been practiced to date, will be remembered for its sterling treatment of female characters or women creators. The track record is pretty awful, to put it kindly. But two articles this week highlight hidden strains of women trying valiantly to carve… Advertise on
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    Veerle's blog

  • Hess Park

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Sep 2014 | 8:01 am
    Delicate and strong!via Mads Berg
  • Narrative - Davide Bonazzi

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:40 am
    Great color combo.via designspiration
  • Skater girl

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:56 am
    Great usage of forms.via Dylan Jones
  • Thorne Island

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Sep 2014 | 6:42 am
    Wonderful!via Andy Lee
  • Tour de France Stage 3

    Veerle Pieters
    19 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    Poster celebrating the Tour de France visiting the UK.via Neil Stevens
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • Jim Kalbach – Identifying a UX Design Strategy

    Sean Carmichael
    19 Sep 2014 | 7:04 am
    [ Transcript Available ] The concept of strategy can be fuzzy at best. And the word strategy tends to hold a different meaning depending on who you’re talking to. Jim Kalbach says that strategy needs to show causality. He defines it as a hypothesis of a desired position, and a belief about how you’re going to succeed and overcome challenges. In his virtual seminar, Defining a UX Design Strategy, Jim details the elements of strategy. He shares this in the form of his UX Strategy Blueprint a tool he uses to explore and generate strategies in his own work. Jim fielded a lot of questions from…
  • UIEtips: Selecting Typefaces for Body Text

    Jared Spool
    17 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Choosing the body content font type for your web site is no easy task. With so many choices, how do you know if what you have is the most eye catching, aesthetically pleasing, and meets accessibility standards? Tim Brown to the rescue with today’s UIEtips article, Selecting Typefaces for Body Text. If you’ve ever wished you could confidently stand behind your typeface choices, critique designs, and fix existing typography problems, Tim’s workshop, Designing with Type is calling for you at the User Interface Conference in Boston October 27-29. Here’s an excerpt from the article:…
  • Resources around Typography

    Lauren Cramer
    17 Sep 2014 | 7:14 am
    Typography resources to help in your designs You know that feeling when you look at a web site and think everything looks just right? It flows well, there’s a nice balance of white space, and it’s easy on to the eyes. Perhaps you may not realize it but it’s likely that the type plays a dominant role. Resources from UI19 speakers Tim Brown Podcast: Helvetica is the Neue Black When you break down written language, it’s really just a carefully crafted set of tiny symbols. The shape, readability, and size of these symbols are all factors in effectively communicating ideas. In essence,…
  • UIEtips: How Agile UX Can Be a Cost Effective Approach

    Jared Spool
    9 Sep 2014 | 10:27 am
    In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article from Jared Spool. In it, he shares ideas on getting low-cost iterations into your Agile development process. Jared also makes the case that UX-focused design is a team sport. If you’re looking for more on tying UX design and your Agile process together, then you’re going to want to join us on September 18, when Aviva Rosenstein presents our next virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams. Here’s an excerpt from the article: It’s tempting to let those UX-focused design team members do this early work while the…
  • Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams – Our September 18 Virtual Seminar

    Adam Churchill
    5 Sep 2014 | 6:13 am
    Where does UX design fit into sprints? How do companies let go of Waterfall methodology? If you’re struggling to confidently and clearly answer either of these questions, then it’s time to register for Aviva Rosenstein’s seminar. You’ll learn how to clarify roles and responsibilities, and more effectively track and estimate UX work. You’ll also hear case studies of companies that brought teams together to work more collaboratively, iteratively, and harmoniously in an Ag⁠ile process. Learn from teams who’ve “been there, done that” Increase the value of UX in your organization…
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  • Cosas en que pensar al comprar una máquina de Imprentas

    24 Aug 2014 | 8:17 pm
    Lа tесnolоgíа hа revоluсіonadо cаѕі todо. Dеsde lа еѕcrіturа, еl aрrendizајe у tоdо, lа tеcnоlоgía еѕtá іnvоlucrado. Haу аquеlloѕ que trаbаjan dеѕde ѕus hоgаreѕ у еѕtán lоѕ que trаbајаn desdе ofiсіnas у oficіnaѕ…
  • Consideraciones antes de promover el proveedor de internet

    15 Aug 2014 | 10:06 am
    Warrеn La tесnolоgía se ha арoderаdо dеl mundо у el uѕо de Intеrnet sе hа hесho саrgо de tоdоѕ lоѕ sеctоrеѕ dе lа eсonоmíа. Lаѕ emprеѕaѕ, lаѕ esсuеlаs, lоѕ medios de рago han аdaptаdo parа el uѕo dе Intеrnet dеbіdо a la mejorа dе la…
  • Lo que absolutamente todo el mundo debería saber acerca de Aire Acondicionado

    9 Aug 2014 | 7:29 am
    Dеѕdе еl соmiеnzо de lа historіа de la cіvіlіzасіón, еl hоmbrе hа buѕсаdо fоrmas cаdа vеz máѕ ѕofistісаdas de controlаr la сlіmatіzасіón -cоmo eѕ еl саso dеl usо dеl аіrе acоndicionаdo- en ѕu еntornо. Dеѕpuéѕ dе…
  • ¿Por qué ir usando una agencias de viajes para tener un viaje magnífico?

    6 Aug 2014 | 7:23 pm
    Hоу еn díа graсіаѕ а laѕ agencіaѕ de vіaјеs lаs реrѕоnаs рuеdеn ѕer аsеsоradаѕ еn cuantо а loѕ vіајeѕ, en сómo sе traslаdan más fáсіlmеntе quе transpоrtе elеgіr, and ѕо оn. lо que facіlіta lа роѕіbіlidаd de…
  • Obtenga el máximo beneficio de Hoteles en el DF México

    4 Jul 2014 | 8:37 am
    Todоѕ lоѕ hоtеlеs en el df Méxiсо al iguаl quе tоdоs los оtroѕ hоtelеѕ еn tоdо еl mundо еxpеrіmеntan dоѕ tеmроradаs turístісаs аltа у baја. En сualquіеr momеnto, рrоpіеtаrіоs del hotеl tіenеn quе trаbајar duro pаra…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - HFI Connect

  • 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,…
  • CXA and the Changing Direction of Usability

    Human Factors International
    2 Apr 2014 | 10:30 am
    CXA and the Changing Direction of Usability by Jim Garrett What drives any top-level professional is the desire to know more and more about their chosen field. Our CUA of the Month, Stanley Brown, is a prime example of this drive for excellence. Stanley started out as a systems engineer for ten years and then wanted to understand more about the end users. So he got a Bachelor’s degree in graphic design to understand the look and feel for the frontend and the backend design. Then he got his Master’s degree in computer integration as he wanted to talk to the users and pick their brains to…
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    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

  • 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…
  • Create your own Mac-based usability testing lab with viewing room

    Harry Brignull
    17 Jan 2014 | 5:07 am
    I’m currently consulting at The Telegraph where I’ve set up a new usability testing lab for the UX team here (by the way, they’re hiring at the moment). It’s a nice, simple lab set-up and I thought I’d share the details with you. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to usability testing labs. The UX team at The Telegraph is Mac-based, which puts Techsmith’s Morae out of the question. Telestream’s Wirecast would be a decent Mac alternative, but it was really unreliable on the MacBooks I tested it on, putting it out of the picture. After some…
  • Top posts of 2013

    Harry Brignull
    27 Dec 2013 | 1:12 am
    2013 has been an intense year for me, having left Clearleft in April to start my own business as an independent UX consultant. I’ve got to say, I’ve been loving every minute of it. When you’re running your own business the risk makes everything so much more interesting and exciting. Pitches are more exhilarating, debriefs are more satifying – even the admin work like running your CRM and doing your book-keeping has a certain edge to it. The downside is that I haven’t had much time to blog, something I plan to set right next year. Here’s a round up of the most…
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  • AniJS: Declarative handling library for CSS animations

    5 Sep 2014 | 8:38 am
    AniJS is a library for CSS animations that allows you to write simple statements for handling animation as key/value pairs in html data attributes. It feels very close to writing natural language statements, in a format that is a bit more familiar in code than writing sentences. A simple example contains IF, ON, DO, and TO pairs and would look like this: <input id="name" type="text" data-anijs="if: focus, do: wobble, to: p"> Really nice and an easy technique for prototyping. Check it out.
  • uilang

    4 Sep 2014 | 9:27 am
    uilang is a minimal, ui-focused programming language for web designers that handles click events, primarily for toggling classes and css display properties. I love the natural language approach to scripting in uilang. You just insert a statement in a code block like this and it works magically: <code>clicking on ".try-it" toggles class "hidden" on ".info-box"</code> You still have to write your CSS to handle things like effects, but that's a plus if you don't want or need someone else's implementation of those things. Check it out. /ht Leon
  • Balsamiq UX Template

    30 Jul 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Made for UX designers This template is made for UI designers using Balsamiq Mockups that want to create polished, client-ready presentation decks. It includes a few example pages for basic UX document needs (journey maps, personas, wireframe pages), a Symbol Library for controls crafted in Konigi-style, and grid Symbols to keep your layout tight. Download for free 1. Download the template. 2. Duplicate it whenever you start a new project. 3. Set to Wireframe Skin and System Fonts. Watch a tutorial on how to use this template. Symbol Library for Controls Example Pages and Grid Symbols <img…
  • What If DJ Controllers Had Built In Screens?

    21 Jul 2014 | 4:29 pm
    This is a cool design challenge that showed up on DJ Tech Tools' blog to mock up DJ controllers. DJ gear vendor Numark is reported to be releasing a controller with a screen. That's kind of interesting, because it could potentially let digital DJs that use them close their computer screen and focus on performing. While there are CDJs that already have color LCDs to preview deck track information, midi controllers are largely comprised of faders, buttons, knobs, toggle switches, jog wheels, and touch sensitive strips. At most they provide color LED feedback behind translucent silicon buttons,…
  • Experimenting with the IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard

    21 Jul 2014 | 3:56 pm
    I got an IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard System ($149 retail price) to demo and did a first little experiment. The product consists of a video sensor and interactive pen. You have to have a projector as well. Here's a super rough demo I made for my team at Balsamiq to show how it would work using Balsamiq Mockups. IPEVO Interactive Whiteboard from konigi on Vimeo. While the demo is pretty rough given the 15 minutes I gave myself to set up and record with my phone, it's pretty interesting to consider the possibilities for whiteboarding with wireframing software, if you're so inclined. I used a…
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    The UX Booth

  • Exploring the Google Glass UX

    Markiyan Matsekh
    16 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    As wearable devices enter the mainstream, UX designers must develop ways to maximize those devices’ potential while acknowledging the new limitations they impose. That’s what the software team at ELEKS concluded after evaluating Google Glass – an experience that allowed them to abandon their expectations about head-mounted wearables, adapt user experiences to tiny screens, and forget about keyboards altogether. For many UX designers, Google Glass evokes visions of an Iron Man-like interface with numerous controls and augmented reality features. Our team at ELEKS, too, fell…
  • Breaking the Constraints

    Marli Mesibov
    10 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    On August 7, 2014, UX designers and developers around the world cheered to the news that Microsoft would officially drop support for older versions of Internet Explorer, effective January 2016. Yet by and large, the outcry was less “hooray for Microsoft!” and more “why didn’t they do this sooner?” The answer is “because people still use IE,” and yet people still use IE because it’s supported, and it’s supported because people use it. It’s a vicious cycle. Two years ago, Nicholas Zakas wrote an article for Smashing Magazine entitled…
  • What a Difference a Lab Day Makes

    T.J. Cook
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    Four years ago CauseLabs started setting aside one day every two months for our team to build projects of their own choosing. Little did we know the impact these lab days would have on our company’s internal motivation, our employees’ skillsets, and our ability to work collaboratively in innovative ways. Now, four years in, we’ve broken down our insights into best practices for other companies to follow, to help them achieve similar success. Innovation days go by many names, but the key elements are consistent: Bring together a few people, set up a basic process, and tackle…
  • The Ethics of UX Research

    Nicholas Bowman
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    As a UX researcher for a social media operation, Ute considers different interface designs that might allow users to make more social contacts. Ute gets a radical idea to test her hunches: What if we manipulated some of our current users’ profile pictures and measured the impact of those changes on their friends list? If successful, her research would provide valuable insight into the social media design elements most likely to result in sociability online. Of course, a successful study would also diminish the experiences of thousands already using her company’s service. In…
  • Creating Content in an International World

    UX Booth
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    A mere four years ago, Confab held their first content strategy conference in May of 2011. Today, the field of content strategy has expanded across the United States and around the world, and Confab has expanded with it, now hosting three conferences a year including one this September in Barcelona. What makes Confab Barcelona particularly eventful is the collaboration between Confab and two Catalan content strategists, who have each played a major role in bringing together Spain’s community of web professionals. Fabrizio Ferri-Benedetti and Clara Guasch are content strategists with a…
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  • Value

    Louie Mantia
    10 Sep 2014 | 4:44 pm
    When I was a kid (well, when I was younger), and I heard the name “Rolex,” I knew it was an expensive watch. I knew that rich people bought them. But what I didn’t know was why. Why buy something expensive for just telling the time? I can tell time on my microwave or my VCR. Why bother getting a clock for your wrist? And more, why shell out and get an expensive one? My father bought me a watch when I was a teenager. It was a fine watch, some metal thing that looked complicated with extra hands that did something I didn’t care about. In fact, I didn’t care about…
  • Introducing Louieland

    Louie Mantia
    17 Aug 2014 | 12:16 am is no longer the home for my wallpapers, icons, etc. All fun stuff can now be found on Louieland. Past blog posts will remain here for the time being.
  • Making Opinionated Software

    Louie Mantia
    15 Aug 2014 | 8:13 am
    Yesterday, Caleb and I released a little app called Albums. We received incredibly polarized feedback. Some people loved it, others hated it. There’s a few things I wanted to share about making stuff and taking criticism, being opinionated, solving problems, releasing a product, pricing, and what Albums set out to do. “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that…
  • Tinkering

    Louie Mantia
    9 Aug 2014 | 6:53 pm
    I remember when I became interested in design, but it was not obvious at the time that software design was what I was after. I was fourteen, and I had my own computer. It was a stupid Windows PC but the time was right for all sorts of wonderful things. There was the ability to theme the UI to different colors and styles. I downloaded every theme from Javier Ocasio (KoL). You could change icons easily with tools made just for that. I’d install an app that made a fake OS X dock on your PC to launch apps from. Y’z Dock. I downloaded icons (like those from Everaldo Coelho and Jairo Boudewyn)…
  • App Icons

    Louie Mantia
    23 Jan 2013 | 9:51 pm
    I like to make apps look good. It’s what I enjoy most, and I think it’s a very important part of the app-creation process. In fact, so do users. “Probably the biggest impediment to this app’s success is how ugly it looks.” –Top review from a popular travel app While there is much to be said about designing apps, it can vary wildly between different products, companies, and people. If there is any constant in the process of designing an app, it’s the app icon. Everyone must have one. What’s their purpose? People seem divided on this. On one hand, it…
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    UX Passion - UX design agency

  • What Entrepreneurship (Re)Taught Me

    Antun Debak
    26 Aug 2014 | 2:08 am
    My life has changed dramatically since I started this company with Vibor and, later on, Darko. This was actually my first job outside of my five-year freelance design career while I was a student and high school kid. I encountered a lot of new experiences, especially at the beginning of the company in 2009, when times were challenging for all of us. I left school and used my savings to open UX Passion, and I never will regret that. It was probably one of the smartest moves I made in my life, since I feel like I discovered so much more through real-life experience while running this company…
  • WIAD video talk: No one wants to use your product!

    Mladen Panić
    17 Jul 2014 | 2:27 am
    Sometimes the solution to the problem is a smart tool, sometimes it’s a dumb tool which just helps us get the job done. But what’s next? The good A great example of such design is a knife. It is a great tool and we can use it to chop up our vegetables. But we don’t want to be chopping veggies, we just want them chopped up and ready for further processing. Another example would be a kettle, we use it to boil water for our tea or coffee. But we don’t want to be boiling water, we just want to get our hot drink! Goran Peuc @ WIAD 2014, Zagreb (Croatia) Both these tools are…
  • WIAD video talk: The Container Model

    Darko Čengija
    4 Jul 2014 | 4:53 am
    Where does the inspiration come from? The industrialization of our economy has created a need to transport goods. Each day tons of stuff need to be shipped from one place to another. Everything is shipped in containers, and it is generally agreed that these containers all follow certain standards, so that they can be easily stacked on top of one another, then arranged and moved when necessary. The guys from iA drew an analogy between putting together a webpage and putting containers on a train car. They came up with a model they now use for most of the projects they work on. What is the…
  • WIAD video talk: Navigating the Mobile World

    Antun Debak
    18 Jun 2014 | 2:06 am
    Increased amount of information and smaller screen sizes Earlier this year, Gartner published detailed statistics in which they stated that in 2013 people around the world bought six times as many mobile devices as they did personal computers (PCs and notebooks combined). Four years ago, Eric Schmidt said that every two days we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation ‘til 2003. Today, we probably generate the same amount of information within just a few hours. In today’s world, the paradox we are facing is that the amount of information is increasing…
  • WIAD video talk: Foraging for creativity

    Jan Pleho
    3 Jun 2014 | 1:33 am
    Creativity comes directly from the self Throughout history, the definition of creativity has been changing. For ancient Greeks and Romans art was the making things according to rules. It contained no creativity. As for them “Genius”, mystical being had lived in walls of studio and gave them inspiration. In medieval times everything was focused on religion and for them “Creatio is God’s act of creatio ex nihilo” – creation from nothing. But in renaissance, for the first time it is said that we don’t have genius, instead we are the genius. Creativity is something within self. Tin…
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    UX Movement

  • Ptengine: Real-Time Heatmaps and Visual Analytics

    2 Sep 2014 | 8:27 am
    [This sponsored post helps support UX Movement. Thank you for reading.]The more you know about your users, the better you can design for them. That’s why it’s important to use a quality heatmap and analytics tool to track user behavior and activity on your website.Ptengine isn’t your typical heatmap and analytics platform. Other analytics tools, such as Google analytics make you wait for the latest data. Ptengine gives you data in real-time as users use your website so that you can make adjustments on the fly.Ptengine vs. Google AnalyticsOne thing that separates Ptengine from Google…
  • How Margins and Line Lengths Affect User Reading

    26 Aug 2014 | 10:37 am
    Have you ever spent a long time reading a web page? It might have seem long to you because of the large amount of text. But research shows that margins and line lengths affect reading speed and comprehension.The ideal reading experience is one where users can read at a fast pace and understand the information afterwards. If you want users to experience this, you should optimize your margins and line lengths.Reading SpeedA research study found that line lengths had a significant effect on reading speed. They tested online articles with line lengths of 35, 55, 75 and 95 characters per line…
  • HotJar: All-in-One Platform for User Research

    18 Aug 2014 | 7:11 am
    [This sponsored post helps support UX Movement. Thank you for reading.]Do you know how users are using your website? If not, you’re missing valuable opportunities to convert them into paying customers. With so many elements on a web page, it’s hard to know what’s keeping users away from signing up. That’s why you need a user research tool that can tell you where and why users abandon your website.HotJar is an all-in-one platform for user research. It’s all-in-one because it offers heatmaps, feedback polls, online surveys, form analysis, visitor recordings, live chat and user…
  • 10 Tips to Get You Started with Responsive Design

    Jacqueline Thomas
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
    According to a recent study, a quarter of all Americans use mobile devices only to access the web. One out of every five people in the world own a smartphone, and over half of those people use it to surf the internet.If your website doesn’t read well on those devices, you’re losing a huge chunk of mobile users. It’s time to embrace responsive design. Getting started can get complicated, but here are some tips to help.1. Go Mobile FirstBefore you plan your design for desktop or laptop screens, think about the user experience on a mobile device. A lot of designers are embracing the mobile…
  • T-Shirt: I Heart UX

    29 Jul 2014 | 6:33 am
    Do you love user experience? Nothing shows how much you love it more than this “I <3 UX” T-shirt. The shirt graphic features a light version of the American Typewriter typeface used in the original design. It also features a sexy shaped, ruby-red heart.  All elements are aligned with pixel precision. Available for men and women as a T-shirt, tank top or hoodie. Get your shirt and wear it with love.
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    Baymard Institute

  • Faceted Sorting - A New Method for Sorting Search Results

    Jamie Appleseed
    1 Sep 2014 | 11:26 pm
    This is the sixth in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. Trying to sort site-wide search results on most e-commerce sites typically end up a mess, with irrelevant search results being propelled to the top of the list as users sort by price, customer ratings, etc – something that left the test subjects bewildered during our latest usability study on e-commerce search. This is because sorting search results by attributes based on anything other than relevance very often cause low-quality results moving to the…
  • External Article: The Current State of E-Commerce Search

    Baymard Institute
    18 Aug 2014 | 5:14 am
    On-site search pages of top grossing US e-commerce sites – you can find all 50 usability evaluations in our e-commerce search benchmark database. In today’s article, we’ll go over 7 guidelines from the E-Commerce Search Usability report. The article is published as a guest post at Smashing Magazine and explores 7 key aspects of the user’s on-site search experience in an e-commerce context. The article also includes an analysis of the current state of e-commerce search based in-depth usability reviews of 50 top e-commerce sites: The Current State of E-Commerce Search…
  • E-Commerce Sites Need Multiple of These 5 'Search Scope' Features

    Christian Holst
    12 Aug 2014 | 11:08 pm
    This is the fifth in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. Search scopes are one of the key differences between e-commerce on-site search and general web search. E-commerce sites have their products organized in categories which in turn can be used as “search scopes”. This allows users to limit the boundaries of their search to a specific category. During our large-scale usability study on e-commerce search, allowing users to “search within a category” (i.e. selecting a “search…
  • E-Commerce Search Field Design and Its Implications

    Jamie Appleseed
    29 Jul 2014 | 11:14 pm
    This is the fourth in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. In previous articles we’ve examined the e-commerce search engine logic (12 query types), autocomplete suggestions (8 design patterns), and the actual search results (contextual snippets) – but what about the search field? In this article we’ll go over our research findings on the design of the search field, and showcase how it can directly influence the user’s entire shopping and search behavior at your site. The search field…
  • E-Commerce Sites Should Include Contextual Search Snippets (96% Get it Wrong)

    Christian Holst
    14 Jul 2014 | 11:07 pm
    This is the third in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. When testing the search experience of 19 large e-commerce sites, 57% of the test subjects were at some point during our study in doubt of why or how the search results were related to their search query. The subjects simply could not figure out why one or more of the search results had been deemed relevant by the search engine, because none of the data listed for those products appeared even remotely related to their search. It’s therefore important…
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    The UX Bookmark

  • An Optimized The UX Bookmark Experience across Desktop, Mobile & Tablet

    Abhay Rautela
    2 Sep 2014 | 6:06 am
    The UX Bookmark has always looked great on the desktop. And now, it’s going to look equally great on the mobile and tablet. For getting this done, I had to learn how to create responsive sites and did it, just as I enthusiastically took the task of making WordPress act as a custom CMS for The UX Bookmark many years ago. Know that I am not a developer so I am pretty happy with all of it. With that said, go ahead and enjoy accessing The UX Bookmark from any device. Feedback is welcome. The next step is for me to optimize The UX Bookmark for wide screens. By the way, I notice that the site…
  • DSIA Portal of Information Architecture

    Abhay Rautela
    31 Aug 2014 | 9:58 pm
    The DSIA Portal of Information Architecture provides a public body of knowledge that offers educational and technical content to the general public, business stakeholders, information architects, as well as user experience design practitioners whose responsibilities include or must consider the organizational function of information architecture. DSIA portal of Information Architecture
  • Google Maps Design Secrets Revealed

    Abhay Rautela
    12 Aug 2014 | 4:39 am
    Google Maps launched in 2005 and it was a revolution: you could go to your desktop browser, click and drag a map with a mouse and watch it render smoothly and quickly. Before then, you usually had to click arrows at the edge of a map in order to pan it, and wait for it to load. Google Maps’ ‘fishbone’ zoom controls predominated the map; after all, screen resolutions were small, and double-clicking the map would re-centre it rather than zoom into it. Beside the map, a column of suggested searches and instructions took over one third of the screen’s width. Oh, and it…
  • No More No Shows — How to Make Sure Your Research Participants Actually Show Up

    Abhay Rautela
    21 Jul 2014 | 12:06 am
    “No shows” stink. A few startups recently complained to the author that after diligently planning UX studies and recruiting a great batch of customers, some of their participants just didn’t show up. That’s incredibly frustrating, can be embarrassing in front of the team, and wastes everyone’s time. Here are a few habits that have dramatically reduced “no shows” at the author’s studies: Avoid scheduling interviews on Mondays or immediately before or after holidays Offer an incentive that’s big enough to motivate people to show up Don’t start recruiting too far in…
  • A Huge List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools

    Abhay Rautela
    28 May 2014 | 9:53 pm
    Here is a list of over a hundred accessibility evaluations tools, available on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility (WAI) site. You can have a look at the complete list or use the search to look for a tool you are interested in. Complete List of Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • CAD CAM Design Using 3D Models

    Diane Mitol
    18 Sep 2014 | 3:04 pm
    CAD CAM Design Using 3D Models CAD CAM technology is used to design and to manufacture products.  While the CAD software is confined to design only, CAD CAM software not only designs, but also programs CNC manufacturing processes.   Today, the CAD design portion is often done using 3D models and assemblies.  3D models let designers try the design out virtually in order to ensure that it works before the CNC machine is programmed to create the initial prototype.  Being able to test designs in a virtual environment prior to building the first prototype saves both the…
  • Do You Need Raster to Vector Conversion?

    Diane Mitol
    10 Sep 2014 | 12:56 pm
    Do You Need Raster to Vector Conversion? Eight Questions to Ask Those of us who are in the business of CAD conversion regularly use terms like raster to vector conversion, or the shortened form, R2V.  But it was brought to my attention last week, that if you’re not in the CAD conversion business, you might not even know what raster to vector conversion is, or why you might need it.  So, we’ve compiled a list of eight questions that you can ask to determine if you need raster to vector conversion.  But, before we get to the eight questions, let’s define just what raster to…
  • Robotics Design Using CAD

    Srikanth Burma
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:37 am
    Robotics Design Using CAD From where we sit, it looks like Robotics have become an essential part in all industrial activities. The introduction of Robotics has made life easier. Robots are reprogrammable devices which are used to perform various day to day tasks. Robots can deliver outputs which are accurate, consistent, and less time consuming. They perform in any type of environment without any deviation from delivering desired outputs. Robots can even perform tasks which are very dangerous to humans with ease. Designing of Robots has become a daunting task for designers. Customization of…
  • Solving the Raster to Vector Conversion Dilemma

    Diane Mitol
    25 Aug 2014 | 6:45 pm
    Solving the Raster to Vector Conversion Dilemma Sooner or later, everyone who scans an engineering drawing or construction drawing will need to convert the scanned file to a CAD file – maybe AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks, VectorWorks, or some other CAD program. Regardless of how experienced you may be in operating your CAD software, converting the scanned file to a CAD file can present a dilemma. The reason for this dilemma is two-fold. First of all, many people don’t realize when they’re scanning the original drawing that they need to scan in a particular way if they plan to convert it to…
  • 3D Models and Animation: An Effective AEC Marketing Tool

    Diane Mitol
    21 Aug 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Content Provided by Srikanth Burma 3D Animated Models: An Effective AEC Marketing Tool Every company in the AEC Industry is facing huge challenges from their competitors. Each company is expected to be responsive and agile in this tough competition. Being proactive is the requirment of the hour for every organization facing these market challenges. Even customers needs have become very selective. They are opting for products which are customized and available quickly.  The corrent market situation has become very competitive and every organization is coming up with new strategies to…
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