User Interface

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Graphic Designers in Film and Television + Feed
    26 Feb 2015 | 12:00 pm
    “Hello, can I redesign your logo? Yes that will be £100,000 for a squiggle.” + Share Facebook Twitter Google+
  • T-Shirt: UX is Not UI

    UX Movement
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Many confuse UX with UI, but they are not the same. They are part of the same circle, but not the same side. This shirt represents the differences through iconography.IconsGridShirt
  • Ethnographic research increasingly informing business strategy

    Putting people firstPutting people first
    2 Mar 2015 | 3:53 am
    Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself, writes Ken Anderson, anthropologist at Intel Research, in the Harvard Business Review. The ethnographic work at his company and other firms now informs functions such as strategy and long-range planning. “By understanding how people live, researchers discover otherwise elusive trends that inform the company’s future strategies. With smartphones, for example, we can contrast the technology perspectives of teenagers, who have used cell…
  • Shoppers Don't Want Your M-Dot Site

    25 Feb 2015 | 11:18 am
    Imagine for a sec that you're an ecommerce retailer. It's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and the cornerstone sales day of brick-and-mortar stores. But you get a huge spike of traffic and someone snags a $25,000 clutch from a mobile device. Which is exactly what happened one Black Friday for One King's Lane. That one incident pushed One King's Lane to focus on perfecting their mobile shopping experience. As Doug Mack, then-CEO of One King's Lane, said: Your business model either leans on mobile or it doesn't. At the time, 30% of One King's Lane traffic came from…
  • How to Sell Content Strategy to Management

    The UX Booth
    Hilary Marsh
    24 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    Do content strategy problems keep CEOs up at night? Web teams may not think so. The CEO may not either. But in reality, they do. That’s because many serious business problems, at their core, are actually content problems. A sound content strategy helps address those problems; it also helps organizations meet users’ needs, operate more effectively, and make better use of products, programs, and people, all by creating information that is used and usable. The process of selling content strategy to management begins when the content strategist has a conversation with a key decision…
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    Signal vs. Noise

  • Welcome Jay Ohms, programmer

    Jason Z.
    2 Mar 2015 | 8:54 am
    Today we’re excited to announce the latest addition to the Basecamp team: Jay Ohms joins us as our lucky 13th programmer. He’ll be working with our mobile team on Basecamp for Android. Android enthusiasts will know Jay as the one part of the duo behind Press, the popular Android RSS reader. Press arrived at a time when great design was hard to find on the platform. Jay’s focus on quality and eye for detail made Press a favorite and caught our attention, too. After spending a week working with our Chicago-based Android team on a trial project we knew Jay, who also happens to live in…
  • VIDEO: Did y’all know you can share stuff…

    27 Feb 2015 | 2:55 pm
    Did y’all know you can share stuff directly to Basecamp from apps like Paper? Resident illustrator, Nate Otto shows it off.
  • Behind the scenes: From Herding Cats to Finishing a Project Together

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:53 am
    Nate Otto and I made a new Basecamp homepage illustration based on a vector drawing I made in Adobe Illustrator. Initially I didn’t intend it to be hand drawn. I thought I’d refine the vector drawing. Somewhere in the middle it turned into “herding cats”. In the end the spirit of the concept was intact, but the result very different from what I’d envisioned. Here’s how we got to the final idea: Basecamp helps you wrangle people with different roles, responsibilities, and objectives toward a common goal: Finishing a project together. First pass: Basecamp is…
  • Solo

    Nate Otto
    20 Feb 2015 | 1:31 pm
    About five years ago I consciously willed an art career into existence. At that point I had been working a social services job for about five years. I initially took the job because it wasn’t specifically art related. It was a job I could feel good about — helping people with disabilities — but it wouldn’t tap my creative juices. I had learned many years before when I got a job doing graphic design that being creative at work drained my creative life bars during my down time. This social services job would leave me with enough creative energy to work on my art when I got home, but in…
  • When Disaster Strikes

    19 Feb 2015 | 11:16 am
    Nearly 3 years ago we asked “What would happen if a truck crashed into the datacenter?” The resulting discussion could be summarized as “Well we would probably be offline for days, if not weeks or months. We wouldn’t have many happy customers by the time Basecamp was back online.” No one was satisfied with that answer and, in fact, we were embarrassed. So we worked really hard to be prepared with an answer that made us proud. This past Sunday, February 15th 2015, we demonstrated that answer in public. With one command we moved Basecamp’s live traffic out of…
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 2

    Charles Shimooka
    3 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    In the previous article we talked about why site optimization is important and presented a few important goals and philosophies to impart on your team. I’d like to switch gears now and talk about more tactical stuff, namely, process. Optimization process Establishing a well-formed, formal optimization process is beneficial for the following reasons. It organizes the workflow and sets clear expectations for completion. Establishes quality control standards to reduce bugs/errors. Adds legitimacy to the whole operation so that if questioned by stakeholders, you can explain the logic…
  • 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…
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  • Shoppers Don't Want Your M-Dot Site

    25 Feb 2015 | 11:18 am
    Imagine for a sec that you're an ecommerce retailer. It's Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving in the United States and the cornerstone sales day of brick-and-mortar stores. But you get a huge spike of traffic and someone snags a $25,000 clutch from a mobile device. Which is exactly what happened one Black Friday for One King's Lane. That one incident pushed One King's Lane to focus on perfecting their mobile shopping experience. As Doug Mack, then-CEO of One King's Lane, said: Your business model either leans on mobile or it doesn't. At the time, 30% of One King's Lane traffic came from…
  • Stuff Isn't Culture

    20 Feb 2015 | 8:58 am
    Perks don't create loyalty and those things don't get people invested. When we talk about perks, we're talking about stuff. You know: the pool tables, the cell phone, the fridge full of beer. But those are "benefits," not culture. And that's exactly what dozens of articles focus on when it comes to culture — the stuff, the nice-to-haves, such as an inspired workspace and healthy food options. But focusing on perks might not keep your workers from fleeing for greener pastures. Take a look at Google. The search engine giant has one of the best perks in the Valley hands-down but one of the…
  • Mesmerize Users With Something Unexpected

    19 Feb 2015 | 10:54 am
    You're out on the town with friends and you decide to find a place to eat. Whipping out your cell phone, you launch the Yelp app and scroll through nearby restaurants. Suddenly, you see it peeking at you from behind the menu — a hamster. You begin pulling the menu down to set it free only to watch the hamster jump into a rocket and blast off! Did this funny easter egg help you accomplish your task? No. But did it bring a little joy or excitement to the experience? Definitely. This kind of unexpected detail is an example of "Surprise and Delight," a design trigger that can make any…
  • Hit the Weights and Take the Bloat Out of Frameworks

    16 Feb 2015 | 11:30 am
    Frameworks come under fire for being bloated. Some say they're too time consuming to style, and you can spend too much time overwriting styles. Or wrestling with important statements. Or removing unwanted code. Some say they come with too much stuff and at the same time complain that what is offered in a framework is not used. It's great to have many components with built-in styles when prototyping, but having these styles will inevitably require CSS overrides — unless you want all your sites to look the same. But frameworks give us a common language for designing websites. Not just…
  • The Pit of Despair and Dealing With Your Product Design Feelings

    13 Feb 2015 | 12:30 pm
    A product designer's journey is filled with wonder. It can also be rife with peril and despair. So how do you enjoy the awesome parts of product design without letting the negative parts discourage you and get you down? A Product Design Odyssey We design products at ZURB. We design products with clients, with internal teams, and we train people to do the same in their companies. Since 1998 we've been helping people design products and we've learned that amazing sparks can happen when teams work together seamlessly. We also learned that if good flow is interrupted it's hard to get up and be…
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    UX Magazine

  • Let Users Drive Cross-Platform Design

    Emma Lindahl
    2 Mar 2015 | 10:01 am
    March 2, 2015The word of the day driving cross-platform design seems to be consistency. Responsive design has enabled designers and builders all around the world to create digital experiences that adapt to your screen of choice. Whether it’s mobile-first or a desktop experience adapted to a smaller screen, the result becomes very much the same.There is actually a part of this “same” that is important, and another part that isn’t—at least if you’re opting for the user perspective. When it comes to responsive design, availability is a key driving factor. Or, as Dr. Susan Weinschenk…
  • Building Experiences that Transcend Platforms:Insight into cross-platform experiences from the DfE awards

    Josh Tyson | UX Magazine
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:02 am
    February 26, 2015It shouldn’t be much longer now. Any day we’ll be able to flit from tablet to television to smartphone to the touchscreen in our electric cars, with our content and data leaping neatly along with us.While inconversant operating systems and other technical hurdles make it difficult for digital experiences to move seamlessly from screen to screen, there are are products and services that have managed to brings disparate systems into concert for users.Take, for example, Vantage, winner of the Cross-Platform Experience category in the Design for Experience awards. Their…
  • A Common Design Taxonomy

    James Wondrack
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:30 am
    February 25, 2015As central as design is to user experience, its definition has largely been subjective. Ask 100 well-read professionals what the meaning of design is and you'll get 100 different answers.That's not surprising, given the broad uses and meanings of the word. As a noun, design is used to describe everything from the pattern on bed sheets, to the new camera features on smartphones. Design can also be used as a verb, as in, “Artists are designing the 9/11 Memorial.” All too often, it simply serves as a vague notion of how an app "just works."The Problem with Design…
  • The Real Problem with “The Expert”

    Toni Ferro
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:03 am
    February 24, 2015Last year, the short video “The Expert” went viral in tech circles. Depicting a comically frustrating meeting between a tech consultant and a client, the video is available with subtitles in 39 languages, has well over 10 million views, and has thousands of comments, many of them written by people saying they have been in similarly frustrating meetings.We see a hapless technical expert asked by clients to build “seven red lines, all of them strictly perpendicular, some with green ink and some with transparent.” The technical expert tries to explain that the request is…
  • Bottling Lightning:How to channel and sustain creativity

    Linda Matthews
    23 Feb 2015 | 9:24 am
    February 23, 2015As professional designers we face new design challenges every day, taking great pride when we find solutions that truly stand out for their creativity. Sometimes these solutions arise in a straightforward way, and sometimes getting to them is a slog. Other times inspiration strikes like a bolt out of the blue, waking us from sleep or jolting us in the shower.The whole creative process can seem mysterious, even (or especially) for those who employ it for a living. We are apt to wonder how we can possibly make sense of it, let alone harness it. How can we channel our creativity…
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  • Calculated Misery: The Dark Side of UX Strategy

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:54 am
    By Ronnie BattistaPublished: February 16, 2015 “Small things can have significant impacts on customer acquisition and loyalty—and companies often overlook or under-prioritize them.” When I talk to companies, customers, and colleagues about UX strategy and the importance of understanding the end-to-end customer experience, I often tell stories about seemingly trivial parts of an experience with a brand that can have huge impacts. Small things can have significant impacts on customer acquisition and loyalty—and companies often overlook or under-prioritize them. For…
  • Thinking About Designing with Data

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:50 am
    By Pamela Pavliscak Published: February 16, 2015 “As a researcher, I want to understand how technology changes people’s lives, not wade through a bunch of data. Like a lot of people, I think in stories rather than numbers….” As a researcher, I want to understand how technology changes people’s lives, not wade through a bunch of data. Like a lot of people, I think in stories rather than numbers; in the tangible rather than the abstract. So, when I made it a goal to understand all of the data about the experiences people have with technology—not just the…
  • Responsive Web Design for eCommerce Web Sites

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:47 am
    By Janet M. Six Published: February 16, 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 whether responsive Web design is really necessary for ecommerce sites and some of the key elements of responsive designs. Imagine that your company has chosen you to be part of a team that is going to design and build or update an ecommerce Web site. The budget and deadline are tight, and the boss wants to know what is the minimum that you can do to create a strong, profit-building…
  • Review of SessionCam: User Observation 2.0

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:42 am
    By Peter Hornsby Published: February 16, 2015 “Observing users interacting with software is a powerful and often under-used technique in user experience. Its power derives primarily from the frequent disjoint between what users say and what they do.” Observing users interacting with software is a powerful and often under-used technique in user experience. Its power derives primarily from the frequent disjoint between what users say and what they do. UX research techniques such as surveys and interviews produce a lot of useful data, but self-reporting about behavior typically lacks…
  • Review: Online UX Courses

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:38 am
    By Arun Joseph Martin Published: February 16, 2015 “Learning from online video lectures [on] … All You can Learn, Udemy, Lynda, and SkillShare.” As a UX professional, I continually learn about new UX topics through online courses, in the form of video lectures. In this review, I want to share my experiences learning from online video lectures that are available from the following learning resources: All You can Learn, Udemy, Lynda, and SkillShare. While all of these sites offer online video lectures, they tailor their lectures for different learning outcomes. Table 1…
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • On Our Radar: Communication Builds Community

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    This week, we at ALA have been thinking about processes of inclusion—that is, how we communicate with our communities. Who (and what) gets to be included? How do we use vocabularies, fonts, even emojis, to make those choices? And how do those choices create our culture? Here’s what’s on our radar: Anna Debenham, technical editor: The UX team at Salesforce have written about the difficulties they’ve had coming up with color schemes that look good and meet the WCAG2 guidelines on color contrast—so they’ve built a wonderful site called Color Safe that generates color palettes…
  • Antoine Lefeuvre on The Web, Worldwide: Designing for Post-Connected Users — Part 1, the Diagnostic

    26 Feb 2015 | 5:29 am
    I toured the world twice—first in 2009–10, then in 2013–14. Only four years between the two trips, but it felt like a century internet-wise. Where I had to go wifi-hunting in 2009, in 2014 the web was absolutely everywhere—even in places with no mobile coverage, such as remote El Chaltén in Argentine Patagonia. Yet, I had the feeling this advent of a truly connected world wasn’t much cause for celebration. Indeed, I met many who struggled with an increasing need to disconnect.   I’m so glad I’m taking a year off. Off from work, off from stress, off from modern life. …Do…
  • This week's sponsor: Proposify

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:11 am
    Thanks to Proposify for sponsoring A List Apart this week! They know you don’t love writing proposals, so they built some tools to help your agency win more projects.
  • 10 Years Ago in ALA: Attribute Anarchy

    24 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    WARNING: there are experimental elements and deeply controversial syntaxes ahead! Proceed at your own peril! You have been warned, and the website you save…could be your own. Ten years ago, right here in ALA, a wild-eyed hell-raiser going by “PPK” made a radical proposal: custom attributes in markup. In my opinion, using custom attributes to trigger the behavior layer … will help to separate behavior and structure and to write simple, efficient scripts. Besides, triggers can grow to be more complicated than just a “deploy behavior here” command. Sometimes you’ll want to add a…
  • Rian van der Merwe on A View from a Different Valley: Managing and Making: It Doesn’t Have to Be One or the Other

    19 Feb 2015 | 5:30 am
    We work in interesting times. We recognize and accept that if you want to move “up” at a company, you have to become a manager. So, to rise up in the ranks means doing less of the thing you’ll be more responsible for. For a design manager, this means more time in email and Evernote, less time in Sketch and Photoshop. That doesn’t make a lot of sense, but it’s the way it is. I’m not saying we don’t need managers—we desperately need good ones. But I started thinking about our blind acceptance of this cornerstone of modern business, and I wonder if there might be a way to create…
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • Design is Valued. Now What?

    22 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    From an outsourced last step to the forefront of strategy, the value of design has undergone a transformation in the software industry. Today's UI designers have a new set of challenges born of increased pressure and expectations. Companies want design to act as a source of product leadership but can't make the organizational changes/sacrifices required to enable it.— Luke Wroblewski (@lukew) February 17, 2015 Given the perceived value of design in today's software industry, many companies are putting it at the top of their agenda. They want designers to deliver the impact they see in…
  • 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
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    Andy Budd::Blogography Articles

  • My Concerns about Value Pricing

    5 Feb 2015 | 8:55 am
    While I think the argument for value pricing has a logical constancy, and sounds great in theory, I worry how it will end up being applied in practice. My main concern is the effect this approach will have on the practice of design and our relationship with clients, although I have a number of practical concerns as well. The ultimate goal of value pricing is to tie the amount you charge to the value you deliver, rather than the time you’ve spent. After all, the argument goes, the client only really cares about achieving their goals, and not the time you spent getting there. Clients…
  • Introduction to Value Pricing

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:25 pm
    I think most designers would agree that design has a huge amount to offer businesses in terms of differentiating products, solving complex problems and delivering increased value to consumers. I think most designers would also agree that this ability is often ignored or seriously undervalued by those same businesses. Value pricing is an attempt to redress the balance by pricing work based on the value it delivers to clients rather than the time it takes to create. The argument goes that the value of a logo, like the Coca-cola logo, is often worth more than the hours that went into its…
  • Craggy Island: The climbing gym that hates boulderers?

    25 Sep 2014 | 9:45 am
    Over that last year I’ve got really into bouldering. I’m not especially good, but I enjoy the mental and physical challenge of solving bouldering problems over the tedium of a regular gym. I tried rope climbing once, but wasn’t keen on all the equipment or the need to climb in pairs. So I much prefer the freedom and flexibility that comes with bouldering. When a work trip took me to Guildford, I decided to head down the evening before and check out Craggy Island. I’ve met a few people who climb there and highly recommend it, so I was looking forward to my bouldering…
  • Could the movies of your childhood be made today?

    19 Jul 2014 | 5:24 pm
    I’ve been thinking a lot about the effect digital technology is having on society of late. I’m especially curious how it’s changing our most formative years, when the stories we tell about ourselves are generated and our identity formed. Looking back, my adolescence seems like a halcyon time, devoid of mobile phones and status updates. Heading into the big city was an adventure into the unknown, and even something as mundane as meeting up with friends was fraught with uncertainty and excitement. A lot of the movie tropes of my childhood, relied on these vagaries. For…
  • My Advice to Young Designers and Developers

    15 Mar 2014 | 5:37 pm
    I meet them on a regular basis, tech-savvy teens who’ve been coding websites from an early age. They’ll often seek my advice about breaking into the industry. Should they continue their studies or jump straight into the labour market? I usually tell them that ability trumps education and I don’t put much faith on the current raft of tech degrees. So I’d prefer to see three years of experience than three years of study. That being said, I’ll also point out that University is about much more than just acquiring a skill. It’s a formative experience that will…
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    Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995

  • The Arc of a Design Career: Khoi Vinh on The Big Web Show № 128

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    19 Feb 2015 | 8:24 am
    KHOI VINH IS my guest in Episode № 128 of The Big Web Show (“Everything Web That Matters”). Khoi is a web and graphic designer, blogger, and former design director for The New York Times, where he worked from January 2006 until July 2010. Prior to that, Khoi co-founded and was design director for Behavior, a New York digital design studio. He is the author of  How They Got There: Interviews With Digital Designers About Their Careers (coming in 2015) and Ordering Disorder: Grid Principles for Web Design (New Riders, 2010), and was a leading proponent of bringing grid-based…
  • Big Web Show № 127: Those Who Can Teach with Jared Spool

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    12 Feb 2015 | 5:20 pm
    IN EPISODE № 127 of The Big Web Show, Jared Spool of User Interface Engineering and I discuss the goals and workings of Center Centre, a new school Jared cofounded with Dr Leslie Jensen Inman to create the next generation of industry-ready UX designers. Topics include “teaching students to learn,” what schools can and can’t do, working with partner companies, “Project Insanity,” and designing a program to make students industry-ready. WEBSITES & URLS MENTIONED Center Centre User Interface Engineering @jmspool @UIE @CenterCentre UX Mobile Immersion Unicorn Institute Brain…
  • Big Web Show № 126: Dribble ‘n Flow with Dan Cederholm (@simplebits)

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    5 Feb 2015 | 9:12 pm
    IN EPISODE № 126 of The Big Web Show, author (“Sass For Web Designers”), designer, and Dribbble co-founder Dan Cederholm (@simplebits) sits down with Jeffrey Zeldman to discuss using tools and templates versus rolling your own design and code, whether web design was really simpler in the good old days, his favorite Dribbble features, community-building, empire-building, freelancing in the early days of Happy Cog, and the joys of the fretless banjo. Enjoy: Big Web Show № 126 with Dan Cederholm. URLS MENTIONED…
  • Next Generation CSS Layout With Rachel Andrew

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    5 Feb 2015 | 11:17 am
    SINCE the early days of the web, designers have been trying to lay out web pages using grid systems. Likewise, almost every CSS framework attempts to implement some kind of grid system, using floats and often leaning on preprocessors. The CSS Grid Layout module brings us a native CSS Grid system for the first time—a grid system that does not rely on document source order, and can create complex layouts which are easily redefined with media queries. In Rachel Andrews’s “CSS Grid Layout” session at An Event Apart Boston 2015, by following along with practical examples, you’ll learn…
  • Pick Up Hicks

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    3 Feb 2015 | 6:19 am
    JON HICKS. One of twelve great reasons to attend An Event Apart Boston 2015. fans, save $100 at registration using discount code AEAZELD. Jon Hicks is a Graphic Designer based in Oxfordshire, UK. He runs Hicksdesign with his wife Leigh and is most widely known for his work on the Firefox, Mailchimp, and Shopify logos, as well as recent projects such as the Skype emoticon redesign. He also quite literally wrote the book on Icons: The Icon Handbook for Five Simple Steps Publishing.
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    Max Design

  • Links for light reading (27/02/15)

    Russ Weakley
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:18 am
    CSS CSS3 for Web Designers – second edition Font smoothing explained HTML and CSS Examples of Material Design in Action General Dropdown Menus with More Forgiving Mouse Movement Paths The Specialist-Generalist Balance Help Make MODX Accessible Bower and Grunt: match made in heaven Bootstrap 3 Succinctly: Changed Components Features 10 Great Tools for Testing Your Website on Mobile Devices Web Design Trend Showcase: Super Gradients Working with Web Notifications using PubNub’s Realtime Data Stream Modular Approach: Website Design Based on Grid-Style Layout Using with…
  • Links for light reading (13/02/15)

    Russ Weakley
    12 Feb 2015 | 12:03 pm
    CSS my sliders – Stuff that can be achieved using just 1 range input Gradient List Bullets Exploring object-fit Recreating the Google Images Search Layout with CSS Bouncy Navigation General Browser Trends February 2015: The US IE8 Rebound Soft skills advice from design leaders Designing Experience Layers Printing Medium stories How WebRTC is going to transform web design What BAAS to choose for HTML5 applications HTML HTML5 Attribute Change Reference for Web Developers SASS/LESS Why I Don’t Use Compass Anymore Making Use of Sass’ Zip() Function UX Designing Case Studies: Showcasing…
  • Links for light reading (06/02/15)

    Russ Weakley
    5 Feb 2015 | 2:06 pm
    W3C announcements Predefined Counter Styles – W3C Working Draft 03 February 2015 CSS Counter Styles Level 3 – W3C Candidate Recommendation, 3 February 2015 CSS Positioned Layout Module Level 3 – W3C Working Draft 03 February 2015 CSS Create a 2 Column Layout with Flexbox Windows substitutes Helvetica for Arial Styling Effective Carousels mdoml Compositing And Blending In CSS (ab)using Css3’s :nth-child selector to invent new ones Easy Textures with CSS Masks General Web Design and Principles Visual Design might be a thing Lessons learned from the early days of Google…
  • Specialise or cross-skill

    Russ Weakley
    3 Feb 2015 | 2:01 am
    Slides from my presentation at IxDA Sydney Meetup, 2015 tech edition Skills within the web industry are constantly changing. The roles of UX, design and front end development are shifting and diversifying. Is there a clear line between UX, design and front-end development? Should UX professionals have front-end skills? Specialise or cross-skill from Russ Weakley
  • Links for light reading (01/30/15)

    Russ Weakley
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:32 am
    General Using GitHub Pages To Host Your Website Microsoft Spartan and the Future for Internet Explorer Design Principles The problem with Angular AngularJS’ Internals In Depth DOM: custom elements Live Font Interpolation on the Web CSS Fun with line-height! CSS Level 4 Selectors to Watch Out For HTML HTML5 Form novalidate Longdesc alternatives in HTML5 On Use of the Lang Attribute SASS/LESS Sass Basics: The Function Directive Responsive MTV’s Responsive Design Boosts Metrics on Mobile and Beyond Introducing responsive takeover Variable Fonts for Responsive Design A…
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    Muffin Research Labs

  • Taming SlimerJS

    Stuart Colville
    18 Feb 2015 | 5:04 am
    We've been using CasperJS for E2E testing on Marketplace projects for quite some time. Run alongside unittests, E2E testing allows us to provide coverage for specific UI details and to make sure that users flows operate as expected. It also can be used for writing regression tests for complex interactions. By default CasperJS uses PhantomJS (headless webkit) as the browser engine that loads the site under test. Given the audience for the Firefox Marketplace is (by a huge majority) mainly Gecko browsers, we've wanted to add SlimerJS as an engine to our CasperJS test runs for a while. In theory…
  • Tips for getting the most out of irc

    Stuart Colville
    11 Feb 2015 | 2:33 am
    Having been remoting for the best part of 5 years I've come to use irc alot as a primary means of communication for work. Along the way I've learnt a few things that made a difference to how I use irc and allowed me to get the most out of it. Be on irc if it's a part of the culture If your role is non-technical it can be easy to not take part in irc e.g. I've heard in the past people dismiss as "just for geeks" :). However, if irc is a big part of how the company communicates, it's important for everyone to get involved. Especially if remoties form any part of the work force they'll…
  • Firefox sees Charles Proxy CA certificate as expired

    Stuart Colville
    6 Feb 2015 | 3:23 am
    Using current versions of Firefox with Charles Proxy you might run into a problem where Firefox see Charles' own CA certificate as expired when you try to install it. After talking to some colleagues at Mozilla the cause is due to the way that Firefox validates certs. The more recent versions of Firefox only allow certs with start dates after the unix epoch (1st January 1970). As the Charles CA cert has a start year of 1899 it's seen as expired when you try to import it. The easiest way to workaround it is to generate your own CA certificate and use that instead. I've already filed a bug…
  • Proxying SSL connections using Firefox Android

    Stuart Colville
    5 Feb 2015 | 11:58 am
    Having dealt with enabling Proxying on FFOS devices I recently needed to proxy code for Firefox for Android too. I'd recommend reading that post for all the background info. Fortunately the process for adding the CA cert your proxy uses to the certs db on Firefox Android is identical to how you do it for FFOS. Note: As always take care and carry out these steps at your own risk Why? Proxying SSL connections is really useful for debugging and development. I often use proxying to rewrite JS with my own built JS files so I can test a bugfix with real data. This can be especially helpful on…
  • Docker and dependencies

    Stuart Colville
    2 Feb 2015 | 2:42 am
    Last week I posed this question on Twitter: Docker experts. How do you deal with non-os deps e.g. pip/npm/bower and avoiding cache-busting the dep install layer on dep changes? #docker— Stuart Colville (@muffinresearch) January 30, 2015 Unfortunately Twitter isn't the best medium to provide the necessary context so here's a bit more info on what I meant. One of the problems we've seen using docker to build out a development environment is that it's required a lot of working around limitations of the environment. Dependencies aren't the only problem but they're proven to be something of…
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    Putting people firstPutting people first

  • Human-centered design should be a CMO’s best friend

    2 Mar 2015 | 8:12 am
    The average tenure of a CMO is just 45 months, according to a recent study released by executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart. Fortunately, for CMOs in need of help, there’s an elegant and simplistic process called “human-centered design,” which takes all the guesswork out of developing winning results. Whether the CMO is creating a product-specific campaign, building a new website, or completely rebranding the company, the human-centered design approach can be transformative.
  • Ethnographic research increasingly informing business strategy

    2 Mar 2015 | 3:53 am
    Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself, writes Ken Anderson, anthropologist at Intel Research, in the Harvard Business Review. The ethnographic work at his company and other firms now informs functions such as strategy and long-range planning. “By understanding how people live, researchers discover otherwise elusive trends that inform the company’s future strategies. With smartphones, for example, we can contrast the technology perspectives of teenagers, who have used cell…
  • Ethnographic film and book on people living off the grid

    2 Mar 2015 | 3:23 am
    Life Off Grid is a two-year journey exploring the lives of Canadians in every province and territory who have made the choice to disconnect. Life Off Grid is a film and book about people who have chosen to build their lives around renewable energy, with beautiful, inspiring, and often challenging results. It is about different lands and islands. It features stories about people that came from all over to find, quite literally, a piece of earth. Book abstract: Off-grid isn’t a state of mind. It isn’t about someone being out of touch, about a place that is hard to get to, or about a weekend…
  • Towards multi-species ethnography

    1 Mar 2015 | 2:19 am
    The well known anthropologist and sociologist Anne Galloway just announced the launch of the More-Than-Human Lab at Victoria University (New Zealand), which extends and augments human-centered design practices to our multi-species ecosystems. “What if we refuse to uncouple nature and culture? What if we deny that human beings are exceptional? What if we stop speaking and listening only to ourselves? The More-Than-Human Lab combines creative research methods, science and technology studies, multispecies ethnography, and more-than-human geography to explore different ways of being in,…
  • Italian bank offers user-friendly home security kit

    1 Mar 2015 | 1:55 am
    The Smart Care unit of the insurance arm of the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has just launched an innovative home security offering. Branded “ACasaConMe” [AtHomeWithMe], the service combines a personalized insurance package and a security kit that people can easily install themselves [as demonstrated in this Italian language video]. The insurance package covers typical home coverage (fire, weather, water and electrical damage, gas leaks, theft) and can be combined with the device that comes with a set of sensors for water and gas leaks, fire, electrical surges, and home intrusions…
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  • Wildcard

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:21 am
    The Wildcard iOS SDK replaces "the slow, fragile blue links inside your app with beautiful, performant cards":
  • Google's Proposal for North Bayshore

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:21 am
    ICYMI: Google unveils plans for a shape-shifting new campus in Mountain View, California:
  • A Chandelier For One of Many Possible Ends

    2 Mar 2015 | 10:21 am
    Phillip Stearns' A Chandelier For One of Many Possible Ends is an eerie light sculpture that flashes in response to its Geiger counters detecting nearby radioactivity: [via Laughing Squid]
  • Alto's Adventure

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:35 am
    Alto's Adventure is "an endless snowboarding odyssey [for IOS], set against a beautiful and ever changing alpine landscape": [via]
  • Chronemics

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:31 am
    Yet another great animation from Animade:
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  • Danger 5

    2 Mar 2015 | 9:18 am
    Thanks to my Australian friends for inventing “Danger 5,” the absurdist action comedy TV series that, in its first season, blended together 60s spy movie conceits, historically inaccurate Nazi villains and generous doses of “Thunderbirds” into a bizarre and generally inappropriate pop pastiche. That first season is now available in the U.S. on Netflix—I know…
  • A Message from Mister Rogers to His Viewers Who Have Grown Up

    28 Feb 2015 | 10:32 am
    This brief, heartbreaking video was just released yesterday. Its privacy settings apparently don’t allow it to be embedded, unfortunately. PBS writes: A few months before his death in 2003, Fred Rogers recorded this video message for those who grew up watching ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.’ This message was one of the last things he recorded in…
  • Graphic Designers in Film and Television

    26 Feb 2015 | 12:00 pm
    “Hello, can I redesign your logo? Yes that will be £100,000 for a squiggle.” + Share Facebook Twitter Google+
  • The Virtues of Old-fashioned Play

    26 Feb 2015 | 11:48 am
    Maybe it’s just because I’m a father of young children, but when I read this story earlier this week I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It’s not new; it actually keys off of a book written in 2008 by Howard Chudacoff called “Children at Play: An American History .” Chudacoff, a cultural historian…
  • “How They Got There” Is Getting There

    25 Feb 2015 | 1:19 pm
    Folks, I’m nearing the finish line in preparing my book “How They Got There: Interviews With Digital Designers About Their Careers” for sale. Last week I applied the final round of changes from my eagle-eyed editor, Sue Apfelbaum, put the finishing touches on a marketing page for the book (which will replace the teaser page…
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    Veerle's blog

  • Free WiFi

    Veerle Pieters
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:43 am
    Free WiFi by Sarah Vanbelle, 2015Free WiFi everywhere, even in smart trashcans.Sarah Vanbelle
  • Het Zilte Westen II

    Veerle Pieters
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:37 am
    Het Zilte Westen II by houtkaai zeven, 2014An inside look. Searching for the West Flanders DNA.houtkaai zeven
  • Het Zilte Westen

    Veerle Pieters
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:26 am
    Het Zilte Westen by houtkaai zeven, 2014Not your average book. Beautiful work. Searching for the West Flanders DNA.houtkaai zeven
  • Six Lee

    Veerle Pieters
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:19 am
    Six Lee by Uber and Kosher, 2015“We‘re all perfectly imperfect” Six Lee Spring Summer 2015 campaign.Uber and Kosher
  • Meet my Barcelona

    Veerle Pieters
    2 Mar 2015 | 9:13 am
    Meet my Barcelona by Khuan Cavemen Co., 2014Personal guided tours of Barcelona.Khuan Cavemen Co.
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • Five Reasons to Attend the UX Immersion Mobile Conference This April

    Lauren Cramer
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:38 pm
    Conquer your mobile design challenges Attending the UX Immersion Mobile Conference in Salt Lake City, UT April 13–15 will be one of the best mobile UX training events you have ever attended. Here are 5 reasons why. The six workshop topics Responsive web design, native apps, experiencing mapping, adaptive design, atomic design, and responsive workflows all provide a deep dive on topics necessary to create delightful mobile user experiences. If you’re tackling any mobile design issues, these workshops are sure to address them. Each workshop leader has more than 10,000 hours…
  • UIETips: Atomic Design

    Jared Spool
    25 Feb 2015 | 11:38 am
    In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article from Brad Frost. He explains a methodology for creating design systems called Atomic Design. Here’s an excerpt from the article: In searching for inspiration and parallels, I kept coming back to chemistry. The thought is that all matter (whether solid, liquid, gas, simple, complex, etc) is comprised of atoms. Those atomic units bond together to form molecules, which in turn combine into more complex organisms to ultimately create all matter in our universe. Read the article: Atomic Design How do you use atomic design in your projects? Tell us…
  • See Accessibility as an Opportunity to Push Your Designs from Good Enough to Great

    Adam Churchill
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:52 am
      Join us on March 12, when Whitney Quesenbery returns to the virtual seminar program for her seminar, Better Accessibility through Your User Research. Making a web for everyone means applying all of our design research tools to include people with a broader range of capabilities. Whitney Quesenbery pushes designers to challenge the old belief that accessibility equals bad design.  Whether your interest in accessibility is driven by compassion or compliance, Whitney will demonstrate how designing for users from the outer edges of the bell curve results in amazing ideas and insights.
  • UX Advantage – A new conference exploring UX as the competitive edge

    Lauren Cramer
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:35 am
    How do you make user experience a competitive edge in your organization? This very question led User Interface Engineering to create this new conference with esteemed UX thought leaders Karen McGrane and Jared Spool. Find out how top design executives of established organizations bring UX front and center within their organization. All in an intimate, conversational setting. Businesses are realizing that user experience must be embraced throughout the entire organization. Don’t be left out. Explore the conference
  • 3, 2, 1 – How Many Days Do You Want To Come?

    Lauren Cramer
    22 Feb 2015 | 8:49 am
    Single day registration open for UX Immersion Mobile Conference With more users accessing your sites and products via mobile, it’s critical that you provide a strongly integrated experience. At the UX Immersion Mobile Conference April 13-15 in Salt Lake City, you get intensive, game-changing material that will challenge how you think about and design for mobile. Regardless of how many days you come, your registration gets you: Your choice of two daylong workshops and/or a day of featured talks One year of complimentary access to UIE’s All You Can Learn that starts right when you register…
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    Everyone's Blog Posts - HFI Connect

  • User Experience Design Newsletter - February 2015

    Human Factors International
    2 Mar 2015 | 12:30 pm
    Five, ten, or twenty-five – How many test participants? During design, UX teams do formative testing – focusing on qualitative data and learning enough to move the design forward. But how many participants are needed to have confidence in the test results? That debate’s been going for a quarter-century. Read the full article:
  • CUA of the Month - February 2015: James Green

    Human Factors International
    12 Feb 2015 | 2:00 pm
    The UX Heart of Accessibility James Green, Senior Director of Usability and Accessibility at Visa, is HFI's CUA of the Month for February 2015. James says: “Removing obstacles is what draws me to improving UX, and also to accessibility where the stakes are higher: the problems we’re solving often go beyond making it easier to do something to making it possible.” Read the entire article
  • User Experience Design Newsletter - January, 2015

    Human Factors International
    29 Jan 2015 | 11:30 am
    Design Science: Our 7 Favorite Papers of 2014 User experience practitioners understand how important it is to keep up to date on the latest research in our field. We are always on the lookout for ways to put research into practice. Read the complete newsletter:
  • 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.
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  • Astropad: Use iPad as Mac Graphics Tablet

    20 Feb 2015 | 11:58 am
    AstroPad turns your iPad into a Mac graphics tablet, mirroring a section of your Mac's screen when connected via WiFi or USB. Once connected you can sketch/draw on the tablet with an iPad stylus or finger. It will operate pretty much like a Wacom graphics tablet when you're using a Desktop graphics app with a drawing tool like Pixelmator, Photoshop, or Sketchbook Pro.

    27 Jan 2015 | 4:11 pm
    PAPERPROTO is a 3D printable model to use for paper prototyping mobile applications, in the style of a story scroll. You can download the file or buy the model for printing on demand directly from Shapeways. Via Zeke Franco
  • 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…
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    The UX Booth

  • How to Sell Content Strategy to Management

    Hilary Marsh
    24 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    Do content strategy problems keep CEOs up at night? Web teams may not think so. The CEO may not either. But in reality, they do. That’s because many serious business problems, at their core, are actually content problems. A sound content strategy helps address those problems; it also helps organizations meet users’ needs, operate more effectively, and make better use of products, programs, and people, all by creating information that is used and usable. The process of selling content strategy to management begins when the content strategist has a conversation with a key decision…
  • Back Pocket Apps: Let’s Reconsider the Wireframe

    Golden Krishna
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    Charles feels like he has mobile apps for everything in his life. He’s tired of having to launch apps to do mundane things. He’d like to talk to people face-to-face instead of looking at his smartphone’s screen. He’d like to take advantage of the latest technology without needing to hunch over his mobile device. He wonders: can this powerful computer in my pocket make my life easier, instead of giving me more to do? Familiar and fantastic starting points — like qualitative and quantitative research, historical references, and subject matter interviews —…
  • Fat Footer Roundup

    UX Booth
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    Mary skimmed the plumbing page of The Home Depot’s site, looking in vain for the faucet she would need to finish redoing her bathroom. The page offered a variety of pipes, valves, and water heaters, as well as a variety of how-to videos and related products, but nothing close to what she needed. At the bottom of the page, frustrated with her lack of success, Mary hit the footer, complete with a list of The Home Depot departments, and second on the list was “Bath.” Fat Footer to the rescue! The Home Depot isn’t the only site to be using the fat footer these days. Large…
  • Putting Big Data in Context

    Bartosz Mozyrko
    3 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    At the UX Poland Conference, presenter Jeff Parks, said: “Without research, businesses cannot make informed decisions.” By analyzing data, entrepreneurs and UX professionals get information that will help them develop more efficient and profitable products and services. Contextual analytics is a great way to get the most out of big chunks of data. Facebook and Twitter, for example, are excellent sources of data, but detecting patterns in order to make sense of all that available information is incredibly time-consuming and complicated. Going a step further, once we make sense of…
  • Designing Digital Strategies, Part 2: Connected User Experiences

    Sofia Hussain
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:30 am
    “A digital strategy is the who, what, when, and where of listening and responding to consumers, bridging brand experiences, iterating offerings, and collecting and activating consumer relationships in order to accomplish an actionable and measurable objective.”—Digital strategist Bud Caddell Simply stated, a digital strategy is a plan for how to support business goals through the benefits of digital tools. Strategies guide us in major decisions by providing a sense of direction and cohesiveness to our work. Having a well defined and clear digital strategy ensures that…
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    User Vision » Articles

  • Topshop – User Experience Review 2015

    Gayle Whittaker
    16 Feb 2015 | 3:35 am
    This article was published in January 2015 Internet Retailing Magazine The Top Shop homepage is all about the festive season from what to wear to the Christmas party to what to buy as gifts. The free delivery offer on orders over £50 is clearly shown in the top banner and an animated lorry cleverly draws attention to a link where user can find the final order dates for Christmas. This proves that the retailer can be trusted to get your purchase to you in time for Christmas. In addition to the Christmas feature the homepage contains carousels for the latest season’s trends. These are nicely…
  • Take our World IA Day competition!

    Chris Rourke
    12 Feb 2015 | 8:02 am
    Here at User Vision we love information Architecture (IA).  In other words we hate getting lost in websites and software menus. We help clients prevent that problem through appropriate research such as card sorting, tree testing and other ways to understand the users’ mental model of the content, so that we can design the most intuitive navigation possible. February 21st is World Information Architecture Day, a day for celebrating all aspects of this key area of user experience.  It is organised by the Information Architecture Institute and features IA related events throughout the…
  • Designing Happiness

    Nicola Dunlop
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:42 am
    The most important thing is to enjoy your life – to be happy – it’s all that matters Audrey Hepburn. Happiness is a mental state that is characterised by positive emotions. However, as designers, how can we experience happiness working within a technical landscape that is constantly evolving? What we identify as ‘happiness’ is set against our personal outlook, which changes over the course of time. And once we achieve happiness in one area of life we strive for it elsewhere, turning it into a new personal pursuit. To achieve happiness it is said your mind-set should be; ‘if you…
  • 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
    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 pay tags, which you can stick onto your phone to simulate mobile payments, but this is the real deal as it is fully embedded into…
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    UX Movement

  • T-Shirt: UX is Not UI

    24 Feb 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Many confuse UX with UI, but they are not the same. They are part of the same circle, but not the same side. This shirt represents the differences through iconography.IconsGridShirt
  • The Art of Questioning as a UX Skill

    Jason Grant
    17 Feb 2015 | 5:56 am
    When starting any design project, you’re going to need to ask a lot of questions. The perceived problem and the actual problem may not be the same. So how can you get better at asking the right questions?I decided to brush up on my questioning skills by reading A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Berger illustrates how questioning is an inherent skill we’re quite adept at during childhood. He notes that children haven’t developed a “mental model” of the world, so they question everything. But as we go through standardized education, we begin to suppress our curiosity.As…
  • 5 Design Tips to Prevent Shopping Cart Abandonment

    Monique Rivers
    3 Feb 2015 | 6:56 am
    Every eCommerce website experiences users who add products to their cart without making a purchase. UX designers need to work with web developers to prevent shopping cart abandonment. Here are a few design tips that’ll help lead users all the way through the checkout process.1. Keep Browsing Features to a MinimumThe checkout process is about making a purchase. That’s why all browsing features, from left-hand menus, product category filters to search bars and latest products feeds are redundant. Content-rich checkout pages distract customers from their purchasing task.Once users…
  • T-Shirt: Keep Calm and Wireframe On

    30 Jan 2015 | 11:30 am
    There are times when you’ll have a debate with your colleagues about a design decision. This shirt will remind you to keep calm and wireframe on when frustration sets in. Wireframing out your solution is the best way to convince others to follow your way.DesignShirt
  • Why You Should Avoid Using Modal Windows on Mobile

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:14 pm
    One of the most frustrating things users experience on mobile sites is a modal window. On desktop, modal windows display without issue because of the large screen size. But on mobile, modal windows get cut off because of the small screen size. Users only see part of the modal window and can’t exit nor view it with ease.Viewing is even more difficult if users have to use an onscreen keyboard. The keyboard will pop up and cover a chunk of the screen, forcing users to have to scroll awkwardly to see the what they’re typing. If you want users to view your modal window content with…
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  • Establishing Brand Loyalty in an Increasingly Brand Disloyal World

    Stephen Landau
    23 Feb 2015 | 4:16 pm
    Only twenty-five percent of American respondents in a recent Ernst & Young study said that brand loyalty affected how they shopped. For established brands, this is a nightmare. You can never coast on past performance … and the price premium that a recognized brand can charge has shrunk. James Surowiecki, from “Twilight of the Brands” in the New Yorker (Feb. 17, 2014) If brand loyalty is created by what a brand stands for, here’s your opportunity to share your point of view with likeminded people who want to purchase a product, visit a destination, or have an…
  • Stories that Sell: Content Strategy for Adventure Brands – The Presentation

    Stephen Landau
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:42 pm
    This presentation was originally given on January 23, 2015, in front of an audience of about 140 attendees at Outdoor Retailer, as part of the Outdoor Retailer Education Sessions. The presentation format and flow have been modified slightly to better fit our site vs. the presentation slide + speaking format at Outdoor Retailer. Once video is online from the presentation, we will link to it from this post. What makes adventure brands different? The travel and tourism industry sells experiences (not products). In the travel and tourism industry, adventure brands are the destinations, hotels,…
  • 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…
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    Baymard Institute

  • Improve Validation Errors with Adaptive Messages

    Jamie Appleseed
    9 Feb 2015 | 11:23 pm
    This is pretty much as bad as it gets. The user is just told their input is invalid with no hints as to why that is or how they can fix it. Form validation errors are inevitable. Yes, they can (and should) be minimized, but validation errors won’t ever be eliminated – they are a natural part of complex forms and user’s data input. The key question then is how to make it easy for the user to recover from form errors. In this article we’ll go over findings from our usability studies on how the wording of validation error messages largely determines the user’s error…
  • When to Override Native UI Components

    Jamie Appleseed
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:31 am
    Drop-downs are an example of a native UI component that may in certain circumstances benefit from a custom implementation (when it provides the user with significant presentational or interactive enhancements). In a few rare instances, we find that it is acceptable to override the standard UI components provided natively by browsers and instead implement custom UI components. During our usability tests, we generally find the default native UI components to be very user-friendly. Meanwhile, custom designed UI components tend to be a lot more hit and miss. In fact, our testing often finds…
  • 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,…
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    Users Know

  • Stop Accosting People in Coffee Shops - Use Guerrilla Research Wisely

    Laura Klein
    11 Feb 2015 | 3:10 pm
    Entrepreneurs, please stop accosting people in coffee shops.I know that idiots like me have been telling you about the wonders of guerrilla user research. Some of us may even have included it in our books. Apparently, we were not clear enough about when testing something in a coffee shop is a reasonable option, since many of you have decided to do this to the exclusion of absolutely everything else.Stop accosting people in coffee shops. Guerrilla research can hurt your product. — Tweet ThisWhat Is Guerrilla Usability Testing?Let’s do a very quick recap. Guerrilla Research is what we…
  • Your Job Is Not to Write Code

    Laura Klein
    11 Feb 2015 | 2:54 pm
    Dear Engineers,Your job is not to write code.I know. You think you were hired to write code. In fact, your entire interview process centered around how well you could write code. And I’m sure you do it really well.But it’s not your job.Your job is to improve our product for our users. If you want to get technical about it, your job is to improve our product for our users in a way that improves the key metrics of the company. But honestly, you don’t always have a lot of control over that second bit. You do, however, have an enormous amount of control over the first bit!Of course, if you…
  • What Happens Next?

    Laura Klein
    4 Aug 2014 | 3:25 pm
    Today I’d like to talk about why that feature you’re building has taken twice as long to build as you thought it would and why it will be hard to use once you’ve shipped it. The problem is that you didn’t really think it through before you started coding.Before I jump in, I want to point out that this is not, in fact, an argument in favor of big, up front design, or an argument against Agile or Lean. Please believe that the technique I’m sharing here can very easily be used in any sort of environment.When you create an interaction for a product, you have to design more than what it…
  • Want Better UX? Change the Conversation.

    Laura Klein
    9 Apr 2014 | 1:25 pm
    If you’ve ever been a user experience designer, you’ve probably heard people say something like this when starting a new project:We want to make it delightful and easy to use.We need to do some user research.We want to improve our onboarding process.We think it needs a walkthrough for new users.We want a persona/photoshop mockup/wireframe/landing page/insert deliverable here.All of these statements are absolutely useless. Why? Because none of them help you decide what to work on or how to improve a product.So, the next time somebody introduces a UX project by asking for a specific…
  • The Most Important User You're Not Talking To

    Laura Klein
    18 Mar 2014 | 1:46 pm
    Do you have a product? With users? If you answered “yes” to both of those questions, you have an amazing untapped source for product research. And I’m not talking about your users. I mean, sure, you should be listening to users and observing them. A lot. But there’s another group of people who can provide you with incredible insights into your product. You should be talking to people who used your product once and then abandoned it. Tweet This!Specifically, you need to ask these people the following questions:What were you expecting when you tried this product?How did…
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    UserZoom zooming in on the customer experience

  • 5 Value-Packed Podcasts Every User Experience Enthusiast Should Subscribe to

    25 Feb 2015 | 11:04 am
    In the head-exploding blur of today’s information superhighway, it’s challenging to keep up with all the new ideas whirling by–especially in the field of User Experience. Although innovative content is consistently produced by brilliant and passionate UX thought leaders and is delivered to your inbox on a silver platter daily, it always seems that you just never have enough time to digest it all. In the field of UX, and really any field that’s high-tech related, it’s extremely important to stay up to speed on all the latest concepts, so you can stay ahead of the curve and unfold…
  • Adapting to Agile Processes within UX & Usability Testing: Avoid the Risk of Being Left Behind

    18 Feb 2015 | 12:00 am
    For many organizations, transforming existing User Experience (or UX) practices into alternate, and possibly untraditional, methods can oftentimes be a challenging and complex operation, requiring tremendous effort and minimal support from executives and stakeholders. However, granted the amount of research, and availability of information conducted around new approaches in the field of UX—and how quickly practitioners are adopting, (or more so boasting about) these new approaches, it’s really no wonder that alternative methods, such as the Agile approach to UX, are responsible for being…
  • Longitudinal Benchmark Studies: 9 Steps to Improving Your Site Over Time

    11 Feb 2015 | 8:43 am
    Longitudinal benchmark studies enable you to understand how your site is doing over time. You can answer questions such as: How did site changes impact users? Did comprehension of the content improve? Are users able to find information more quickly and easily? How did the redesign impact conversion? These studies can be conducted episodically at regular intervals or continuously. Longitudinal studies conducted episodically can occur on a monthly, quarterly, yearly basis or on an as needed basis, after changes have been made to the site. A longitudinal study run continuously will always be…
  • One of The Best Weeks for User Experience History

    1 Feb 2015 | 8:52 pm
    The single best week in recent User Experience (UX) history, in my humble opinion, was January 9th, 2007 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone. From that moment on, UX mattered like never before. Much like the value of UX itself, it took a while for the market to actually get the iPhone and there were lots of skeptics (including myself, a die-hard Blackberry user). Just this past week, about 6 years later, Apple announced that the iPhone represents a whopping 70% of Apple’s revenue. Oh, and by the way, Apple is the biggest company in the world, in case anyone didn’t know that. With a…
  • Choosing the Right Remote User Experience Testing Software for Your Company

    1 Feb 2015 | 11:55 am
    Industry leaders know that remote user experience (UX) testing is one of the most cost-effective and powerful methods for collecting actionable results and gaining valuable insights in just a matter of hours. However, knowing is only half the battle. Where the challenging aspect of the situation lies, is in the next step of the process: Finding the right remote UX testing software vendor (or better yet, partner) who can truly understand your objectives and, of equal importance, has the technology, tools, and support to help you achieve your research goals. However, before even deciding on a…
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    user experience design, ux and usability blog - keepitusable

  • 8 Technology trends you need to know for 2015

    19 Feb 2015 | 12:25 am
    2015 is looking to be a really exciting year for innovation.  We get excited by new technology and the challenges that brings, especially with regards to designing for challenging smaller screens – how you can engage users and showcase information without sacrificing the experience? Here are some technologies and trends we’d recommend keeping your eye on in 2015. 1. Wearables Wearables are becoming big business and the growing trend will continue to thrive in 2015, particularly in fitness, fashion and health.  More affordable wearables are likely to hit the market and will…
  • The Biggest list of 35 FREE UX Books

    19 Feb 2015 | 12:25 am
    We’ve pulled together the biggest list of free ux ebooks on the internet that will help you to design a better user experience / ux, conduct better user research and improve your usability. You won’t find a list this extensive anywhere else. Please share with your colleagues using the social links above and let us know on Twitter which books you liked the best. 1 UX Design for startups 2 Define app requirements within 20 minutes 3 Designing Interfaces by Jenifer Tidwell (patterns only) 4 Designing Mobile Interfaces by Steven Hoober and Eric Berkman 5 Designing for the…
  • 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.
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • CAD and PLM

    Diane Mitol
    26 Feb 2015 | 1:12 pm
    CAD and PLM PLM software is as much a part of manufacturing as CAD software.  In fact, in some ways the two go hand-in-hand, PLM being the data management tool of design and engineering.  PLM helps to drive the product lifecycle in an organization.  PLM systems aid in the planning and development of products on an enterprise level, from conception through design, manufacture, service and disposal.  PLM can be considered a major cornerstone of a manufacturing corporation's information technology structure, and is a logical extension of CAD that combines with the…
  • Drafting Help from CAD/CAM Services

    24 Feb 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Is your company in need of drafting help? If you have a concept of which you would like drawings made or your company needs assistance producing mechanical or manufacturing drawings from 3D to 2D formats then you and could possibly benefit from outsourcing your drafting needs to CAD/CAM Services Inc. We will use the flexibility of our parametric modeling to effectively manage the design or configuration changes which your products and customers need. Our drawing and drafting services are performed by a team with an excellent understanding of design and manufacturing. Our mechanical…
  • Why You Must Use 3D CAD

    Diane Mitol
    19 Feb 2015 | 11:37 am
    Why You Must Use 3D CAD We know 3D CAD has been out there for quite a while, but there are still some companies who still rely heavily on 2D CAD.  This, despite the fact that 3D CAD offers two big advantages over 2D CAD: 3D enhances not the design process 3D facilitates better communication with customers and design teams We live in a 3D world and that’s the way people are used to “seeing.”  Most people have a great deal of difficulty visualizing the way a finished project or product will look when they view a 2D schematic, drawing or rendering.  That’s why most people…
  • CAD outsourcing: Why Use a CAD Outsource Agency?

    13 Feb 2015 | 2:44 pm
    CAD outsourcing is something that is being talked about more often these days as more companies are choosing to go outside of their company for expert help. Many different types of business need quality CAD design work. There was a time when outsourced workers were of less quality. But nowadays, the specialists in several areas work at home or in a small office, doing freelance jobs for companies. If you are in need of CAD services, here are some good reasons to consider outsourcing your work: It cuts expenses to outsource your CAD work, because you do not have to hire a full-time CAD…
  • Outsource Your Large Format Scanning for ECM

    Diane Mitol
    9 Feb 2015 | 10:58 am
    Outsource Your Large Format Scanning for ECM Electronic Content Management (ECM) now applies to nearly every document in your company – from spread sheets to word documents, to CAD files.  Yes, that’s right CAD files should also be a part of any ECM initiative your company undertakes. While ECM for CAD files is obvious in engineering companies, construction companies, manufacturing companies and other organizations whose businesses involve large format documents, even companies that deal in office-size documents may have large format documents such as office layouts, building…
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