User Interface

  • Most Topular Stories

  • 10 Tips to Get You Started with Responsive Design

    UX Movement
    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…
  • UIEtips: UX Strategy Blueprint

    UIE Brain Sparks
    Jared Spool
    20 Aug 2014 | 12:07 pm
    In this week’s UIEtips, Jim Kalbach defines and discusses how to consistently create a UX strategy. Here he shares a tool with you for doing so at your organization—the UX Strategy Blueprint. If your strategy discussions feel more like political battles than progressive team-building, pay attention to Jim Kalbach. His virtual seminar on Thursday, August 28 is all about Defining a UX Design Strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Analysis and planning, while necessary inputs and outputs in the strategy creation process, are not the core of strategy. You can’t analyze your way to…

    Wireframes Magazine
    21 Aug 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Do you find you’re sometimes designing or building out pages and wish you could start off with a template that has a proven conversion track record? Here is something for you. GoodUI Fastforward is a set of our best performing UI page templates with a sharp focus on conversion. Now keep in mind that we’re continuously striving towards making the templates better as we learn from running a/b tests on an ongoing basis. When it comes to conversion, we continuously tweak and improve and therefore the pages within contain a change history on the second page of the PDF. Of course we…
  • User Experience Research at Scale

    Boxes and Arrows
    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…
  • Video: How to Design for Cross Device Use

    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy
    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.
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    Signal vs. Noise

  • Hamburger Helper

    Wailin Wong
    6 Aug 2014 | 7:33 am
    Businessmen like Ray Kroc and Dave Thomas have secured their places in the annals of the fast food industry. But what about Harry Holly? He invented the hamburger patty molding machine in the kitchen of the burger restaurant he opened after losing his job in the Depression. Holly’s patty press helped bring the modern fast food industry into existence by equipping McDonald’s and Burger King with machines that could efficiently produce standard-sized burgers. But 77 years after Holly founded his patty machine company, Hollymatic, neither inventor nor business has name recognition…
  • QUOTE: Clutter is taking a toll on both morale and…

    5 Aug 2014 | 7:59 am
    Clutter is taking a toll on both morale and productivity. Teresa Amabile of Harvard Business School studied the daily routines of more than 230 people who work on projects that require creativity. As might have been expected, she found that their ability to think creatively fell markedly if their working days were punctuated with meetings. They did far better if left to focus on their projects without interruption for a large chunk of the day, and had to collaborate with no more than one colleague. —Decluttering the company [The Economist]
  • PHOTO: Just took an Uber Black Car to the office…

    Jason Fried
    31 Jul 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Just took an Uber Black Car to the office today and noticed that they round down the price and make it clear on the receipt. $21.00 is definitely more luxurious than $21.71. Nice touch.
  • Hybrid : How we took Basecamp multi-platform with a tiny team

    Jason Z.
    31 Jul 2014 | 8:02 am
    Yesterday we announced the official Basecamp app for iPad. Just like our other apps for iPhone, Android, and Kindle it’s a hybrid—a native wrapper around a mobile web core. We’ve written about this setup before but today I wanted to really get into the details to show how it all works and how we’ve been able to launch four distinct apps with a handful of developers, just 5 people in all. How it works Basecamp has variants for desktop, phone and tablet. Desktop is the default browser experience we launched in 2012. When it detects a mobile device or a native app declares…
  • Our favorite recent reads on the web

    Emily Wilder
    28 Jul 2014 | 10:11 am
    Each week, Know Your Company asks everyone at Basecamp a few questions, including one that helps us learn more about each other. Last week’s prompt was “What’s one great read on the web you’ve come across in the past month?” We enjoyed reading one another’s recommendations so much we wanted to share the results here! Javan Makhmali, Programmer: Love People, Not Pleasure – Dan Kim, All-purpose: This Paul Graham article from way back in 2007, titled “Stuff”.
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • 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…
  • Forms: The Complete Guide—Part 4

    Martin Polley
    27 May 2014 | 1:00 am
    In which we take a look at selection-dependent inputs, and see that they’re a lot more simple to put together than they look. Forms. They’re often the bane of users’ online lives. But it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon. So its up to us, UX designers, to make them as smooth and easy to use as possible for our users while still reaching the best business outcomes. If we prototype our forms, we can get them in front of users earlier and get feedback sooner, which we can use to iterate our designs. Previous posts in this series covered form layout and alignment, input…
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  • 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…
  • Whiteboard Photo Trick

    23 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Tell us if this has happened to you. You've had a brilliant idea while collaborating with a teammate and sketched it out on the whiteboard. You don't want to lose your idea, so you snap a photo of it. Then you get back to your desk 15 minutes later. Voila! It looks awful. There's a glare from the lighting and you can't make out what you've sketched. It's happened to us. You'd think that recording a collaborative whiteboard sketch would be easy — grab a smartphone, tap a button, and you've got a pic. In reality, we've had to squint our eyes and say, "Here's a layout. If you squint at…
  • Foundation Now Helps You Build Accessible Sites

    21 Aug 2014 | 7:02 am
    Last time on the blog, we told you about the new grid in Foundation for Apps. A new framework doesn't mean we've abandoned Foundation 5, which is now part of a larger Foundation family that also includes responsive emails. Today, we're excited about our latest release of Foundation for Sites — version 5.4. This isn't just another point release. It's a step toward creating a fully-mature framework that's accessible for everyone. Yep, you heard right — accessible. Along with the usual stellar fixes and features — like multi-level off-canvas navigation — we focused on web…
  • Designers, You've Made It to the Table. Don't Screw It Up

    12 Aug 2014 | 10:25 am
    Those who believe that great design speaks for itself are likely not in the problem solving business, and that results in dumb design. Product design problems are messy and twisted, and the only way to get them untangled is to talk them out and get teams aligned on the path forward. Designers, often eager to fight for their seat at the so-called table, underestimate the training it takes to win over the Devil's Advocate in a work session or presentation. Design work needs to be strategically presented, and conversation delicately controlled. Beside being data analysts, interaction gurus and…
  • Foundation: A New Grid

    31 Jul 2014 | 11:37 am
    We've talked a lot about the Foundation's future over the last month or so. Recently, we announced a new Foundation — one just for web apps — and the start of a framework family. Foundation 5 is now "Foundation for Sites." Ink is becoming "Foundation for Emails." And Foundation for Apps will be the newest of our family. We're working on a ton of new features — all from the ground up and using Angular JS, some amazing Motion UI and a swank, new grid. "New grid, you say? Tell us more." No problem, here we go! Using a Hammer When You Need a Nail Gun Building things is hard.
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    UX Magazine

  • I Love You, Instagram ... but Why Won’t You Let Me Make Collages?

    Lin Wang
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:23 am
    August 28, 2014Instagram is a great product and I use it often. It lets me share stories of my life with friends and anyone else who’s interested. But sometimes, it is pretty challenging to use just one photo to tell a compelling story. No wonder a Google search for “how to make a collage on Instagram” returns over 9 million results. I noticed that many Instagram users post photo collages—pictures with multiple photographs arranged in an artful way, often telling a little story. But to get these collages into Instagram, they have to use third party apps that don’t offer the same…
  • Closing the Knowledge Gap with Intuitive Flat Designs

    Jeremiah Still, Mary Still, Jarad Bell
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:25 am
    August 27, 2014Much of the debate surrounding skeuomorphic versus flat design has focused on the theoretical strengths and weaknesses of natural versus artificial representations. The focus is primarily on design style. In this article, we propose that style does not produce good or bad design in and of itself. Whether we communicate with users through a skeuomorphic or flat design style, the design needs to be intuitive, and both styles can deliver an intuitive user experience if users are implicitly guided to appropriate actions.Each interaction we experience with a product induces a small…
  • The Emmys and Earthquakes, Shaking Up Social Media

    UX Magazine Staff
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:59 am
    August 26, 2014For as ubiquitous as conversations about social media are, it’s hard to overstate the impact services like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have on users of digital products and those trying to market to them. What was once the innocent-seeming sharing of photos and funny observations is now something much larger: a swelling heap of data begging to be mined for actionable insight and ad dollars.In a bid for the lion’s share of SM attention during last night’s Emmy Awards, Facebook and Twitter both concocted some rather complex publicity schemes. Facebook partnered with…
  • Designing Around the Whole Story with User Narratives

    Marc Cajolet, Sarah Bloomer, Alexandra Stevens
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:41 am
    August 25, 2014User narratives are becoming more popular as a tool for experience design. User stories, those discrete morsels of information that give us personas and a sense of action and motivation, are nothing new to design practitioners. User stories are often the trees, however, and the big picture—the context and purpose of the story—is the forest that designers fail to see. Taken alone, it's difficult to see how the user stories fit into the overall experience.User narratives link a set of activities together in a seamless flow. They describe specific activities within a work…
  • Win This Book! JavaScript & jQuery

    UX Magazine Staff
    21 Aug 2014 | 7:51 am
    August 21, 2014Earlier this month we gave you a video tour of JavaScript & jQuery: Interactive Front-End Web Development, by Jon Duckett. Today, we're launching a contest to give away five copies. Answer the following question to enter: What's something every UX designer should try to understand about the work done by developers? To give us your answer, visit our newsletter subscription page, fill out the required fields, enter your response to the question at the bottom of the form, and click "Subscribe to list." If you already subscribe to our newsletter, send an email with…
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    information aesthetics

  • A World of Terror: the Impact of Terror in the World

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:11 am
    A World of Terror [] by Periscopic shows the reach, frequency and impact of about 25 terrorism groups around the world. The visualization exists of 25 smartly organized pixel plots that are displayed as ordered small multiples. Ranging from Al-Qa'ida and the Taliban to less known organizations like Boko Haram, the plots reveal which ones are more deadly, are more recently active, or have been historically more active. In addition, all data can be filtered over time. The data is based on the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the most comprehensive and open-source collection of…
  • Metrico: a Puzzle Action Game based on Infographics

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:57 am
    Metrico [], designed by Dutch game design studio Digital Dreams, is a recently released video game for the Playstation Vita. Described as an "atmospheric puzzle action game with a mindset of its own", it's visual style has been completely based on the world of infographics. In essence, the concept of infographics seem to work as a gameplay environment not just because of its pretty aesthetics, but also because of its natural interaction with (visual) data. Consequently, in Metrico, each action is quantified and explicitly shown, such as the number of times an avatar needs to…
  • The Many Factors Influencing Breast Cancer Incidence

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:47 am
    A Model of Breast Cancer Causation [], designed by 'do good with data' visualization studio Periscopic illustrates many of the factors that can lead to breast cancer and how they may interact with others. The interactive circos graph is meant to demonstrate the complexity of breast cancer causation, in terms of educating the general public as well as possibly stimulating new scientific research in this direction. Users can explore the different influencing factors by domain, predicted correlation strength as well as the quality of the data evidence behind. See also: - Health…
  • How we Sleep (and How we Awake after an Earthquake)

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:31 am
    Since we already know in what angle people put their face when taking a selfie in different cities, we now also know how they sleep differently: Which Cities Get the Most Sleep? [] by interactive graphics editor Stuart A. Thompson of the Wall Street Journal compares the sleeping habits of citizens of different cities. On the topic of sleep, Jawbone also just released an interesting graph revealing how the recent Napa earthquake affected the sleep of local residents []. Indeed, the distance to the epicenter seems to correlate to the number of people who awoke, and the time it…
  • The Feltron Annual Report of 2013 on Communication

    21 Aug 2014 | 7:29 am
    Each year, Nicholas Felton releases an personal year report, and the one of 2013 [] was just released. These reports always stand out because of the immense sense of data-centric detail, and an always original infographic style. This year, the report focuses on communication data, as it aspires to uncover patterns and insights within a large collection of tracked conversations, SMS, telephone calls, email, Facebook messages and even physical mail. See also the annual reports of: - 2012 - 2010 and 2011 - 2010 (about his father's life) - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005
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  • Principles Over Standards
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:29 pm
    By Peter Hornsby Published: August 18, 2014 “These are my principles; if you don’t like them, I have others.”—Groucho Marx “For a long time, I’ve been an advocate of creating standards, guidelines, and patterns as a way of achieving design consistency within a large organization. While these do offer significant benefits, they also introduce a number of problems into the design process.” For a long time, I’ve been an advocate of creating standards, guidelines, and patterns as a way of achieving design consistency within a large organization. While these do offer significant…
  • An Interview with Paul Bryan on UX Strategy, UX STRAT 2014, and the UX STRAT Masterclasses
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:27 pm
    By Pabini Gabriel-Petit Published: August 18, 2014 “More and more leaders in the UX community have become convinced that it’s important to focus on UX strategy as a way to deliver greater business value to the organizations for which they work, advance the role of User Experience within their organizations, and get a seat at the C-level table.” In recent years, more and more leaders in the UX community have become convinced that it’s important to focus on UX strategy as a way to deliver greater business value to the organizations for which they work, advance the role of User…
  • Capturing and Categorizing Online Information Resources
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:17 pm
    By Janet M. Six Published: August 18, 2014 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 how they capture and categorize information that comes from many different sources for easy access later on. The Internet provides so much information that we can drown in it! Professionals in cutting-edge fields like user experience must stay up to date with the most recent advances in their fields. While having easy access to all of this information on the Internet is great, it can also…
  • The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:11 pm
    By Ahava Leibtag Published: August 18, 2014 This is a sample chapter from Ahava Leibtag’s new book, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web. 2014 Morgan Kaufmann. Chapter 2: Making the Case for Content “You have to convince the right people that to move the business in the right direction, they need to invest in content: Content production, distribution, and management.” Content drives the sales process. Even if your job title doesn’t include the word sales, you are still trying to achieve something. Content is responsible for getting you there. Think of it as the fuel in an…
  • The Role of Iterative Usability Evaluation in Agile Development: A Case Study
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:08 pm
    By Yanfei Ma, Yunhui Lu, and Dinara Saparova Published: August 18, 2014 “To better understand the role of iterative usability evaluation during agile development, we recently conducted a study whose focus was the usability evaluation of a personal health–management system.” The agile approach to software development has significant impacts on the practice of user-centered design (UCD), including usability evaluation. To better understand the role of iterative usability evaluation during agile development, we recently conducted a study whose focus was the usability evaluation of a…
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • This week's sponsor: LessAccounting

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    28 Aug 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Thanks to our sponsor, LessAccounting. You deserve simple bookkeeping to help you avoid the stresses of accounting.
  • Rachel Andrew on the Business of Web Dev: Getting to the Action

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    Freelancers and self-employed business owners can choose from a huge number of conferences to attend in any given year. There are hundreds of industry podcasts, a constant stream of published books, and a never-ending supply of sites all giving advice. It is very easy to spend a lot of valuable time and money just attending, watching, reading, listening and hoping that somehow all of this good advice will take root and make our business a success. However, all the good advice in the world won’t help you if you don’t act on it. While you might leave that expensive conference feeling great,…
  • 10 Years Ago in ALA: Pocket Sized Design

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:30 am
    The web doesn’t do “age” especially well. Any blog post or design article more than a few years old gets a raised eyebrow—heck, most people I meet haven’t read John Allsopp’s “A Dao of Web Design” or Jeffrey Zeldman’s “To Hell With Bad Browsers,” both as relevant to the web today as when they were first written. Meanwhile, I’ve got books on my shelves older than I am; most of my favorite films came out before I was born; and my iTunes library is riddled with music that’s decades, if not centuries, old. (No, I don’t get invited to many parties. Why do you ask oh I…
  • Dependence Day: The Power and Peril of Third-Party Solutions

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    “Why don’t we just use this plugin?” That’s a question I started hearing a lot in the heady days of the 2000s, when open-source CMSes were becoming really popular. We asked it optimistically, full of hope about the myriad solutions only a download away. As the years passed, we gained trustworthy libraries and powerful communities, but the graveyard of crufty code and abandoned services grew deep. Many solutions were easy to install, but difficult to debug. Some providers were eager to sell, but loath to support. Years later, we’re still asking that same question—only now we’re…
  • One Step Ahead: Improving Performance with Prebrowsing

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    We all want our websites to be fast. We optimize images, create CSS sprites, use CDNs, cache aggressively, and gzip and minimize static content. We use every trick in the book. But we can still do more. If we want faster outcomes, we have to think differently. What if, instead of leaving our users to stare at a spinning wheel, waiting for content to be delivered, we could predict where they wanted to go next? What if we could have that content ready for them before they even ask for it? We tend to see the web as a reactive model, where every action causes a reaction. Users click, then we take…
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • 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.
  • An Event Apart: The Role of Visual Design

    26 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    At An Event Apart in Chicago IL 2014, Jenny Lam talked about the value of visual design in digital products and shared some tips for evaluating aesthetics. Here's my notes from her talk Hit it With a Pretty Stick: User experience designers need to understand a lot of things in addition to visual design. But as the discipline has matured, our understanding and evaluation of aesthetics has not. How do we champion aesthetics in our work and in our organizations? Most of us believe in the value of visual design but in the real world we often have to convince others as well. Visual design's impact…
  • An Event Apart: How To Champion Ideas Back At Work

    26 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    At An Event Apart in Chicago IL 2014, Scott Berkun discussed the modern icon design process and shared useful design and development tips for icons. Here's my notes from his talk How To Champion Ideas Back At Work: The real designer is the person with the power to make decisions. It doesn't matter what title they have or their background. In most situations, the final decision maker is not trained in creative disciplines. If you really want to make an impact, you may need to remove the word design or engineering from your title. Today designers can be founders and bring their ideas to life.
  • An Event Apart: Icon Design Process

    26 Aug 2014 | 12:00 am
    At An Event Apart in Chicago IL 2014, Jon Hicks discussed the modern icon design process and shared useful design and development tips for icons. Here's my notes from his talk Icon Design Process: Icons can be used to support navigation, action, and messaging in Web sites and applications. They can also reinforce status by providing more information than just color. We had a visual language before we had written language: symbols, hieroglyphics, etc. So symbols were around for a long time before they made their way to computers in 1974. Today there's lots of royalty free icon sets available…
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    Information Architects

  • Information – Entropy

    Oliver Reichenstein
    4 Aug 2014 | 7:49 pm
    Will information technology affect our minds the same way the environment was affected by our analogue technology? Designers hold a key position in dealing with ever increasing data pollution. We are mostly focussed on speeding things up, on making sharing easier, faster, more accessible. But speed, usability, accessibility are not the main issue anymore. The main issues are not technological, they are structural, processual. What we lack is clarity, correctness, depth, time. Are there counter-techniques we can employ to turn data into information, information into knowledge, knowledge into…
  • Putting Thought Into Things

    Oliver Reichenstein
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:33 am
    To get a good perspective on our clients and their users, we start our projects with research. We go mobile first because it naturally gives prioritization, and we want all the content first so we can design in the browser. The process is so clear in conference speeches and weblog posts that it is already a stereotype. “If everyone followed this path, web sites would all be top quality!”, we say. If. Unfortunately, for most of us who do it on a daily basis, the reality of web design follows a different stereotype: Make a tree structure Photoshop the Home, Section, and Article pages Hack…
  • Writer Pro

    Oliver Reichenstein
    20 Dec 2013 | 3:48 am
    After four years and over 1 Million downloads of iA Writer, we’ve introduced something new. Writer Pro is a writing suite that boldly goes where no other writing app has gone before. The reception has been phenomenal. Writer Pro is dominating the App Store Rankings around the globe. In order to cope with the amount of questions, we’ve written about how and why Writer Pro works. 1. Workflow 1.1. How does it work? Inspired by Hans Blumenberg’s mind-bending book “Sources, Streams, Icebergs” (Quellen, Ströme, Eisberge), we referred to the writing process through the metaphor of a river…
  • Logo, Bullshit & Co., Inc.

    Oliver Reichenstein
    5 Sep 2013 | 6:33 am
    Everybody likes logos. Everybody wants their own logo. Everybody wants to make their own logo. Everybody has a computer and some fonts. Anybody can make a logo. What makes designers think they are so special? Anybody can make a logo. No doubt. It’s not complicated. Just try a couple of fonts and colors, choose the one you like, then change the font a little so it becomes special. Make it look nice. Blog about it, showing those magic construction lines1. You can do it. All it needs is a little time, a computer, someone that knows how to use Illustrator, and taste, maybe. Everybody has taste,…
  • Learning to See

    Oliver Reichenstein
    19 Mar 2013 | 10:44 am
    Learning to design is learning to see, an adventure that gets more and more captivating the further you go. A love letter to my profession… Our mind is not a camera. Seeing is not a passive act. We see what we expect to see, or, as Anaïs Nin put it so beautifully: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” The idea that our perception is as much a result of what we are able to know as of what we expect to find is not new. Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason is based on this insight: “Up to now it has been assumed that all our cognition must conform to the…
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    Muffin Research Labs

  • Adding a DuckDuckGo search box to your blog

    Stuart Colville
    13 Aug 2014 | 4:46 pm
    I wanted to add a search to this blog. First I looked at adding a google site search. However, it's a script-based approach and it adds a ton of generated markup to the page. I then found that DuckDuckGo have a search widget. The immediate downside was that this is included via an iframe. However, I then found this snippet at the bottom of the page. You can also make and style your own box like our founder has on his blog (that one has a blue button, for example). Excellent I can do this cruft free. Here's the markup: This adds the basic form and a few options. To see the parameters you can…
  • Equilibrium

    Stuart Colville
    12 Jun 2014 | 2:39 am
    On hearing the very sad news that Eric Meyer's daughter had passed, it was impossible to not be moved. I found myself taking a moment to reflect on a life cut tragically short. It's a much needed reminder of how life is a gift and something we must not ever take for granted. It's all too easy to get consumed by some aspects of our lives, sometimes at the expense of other things, people, family and friends. We owe it to ourselves to find a balance, to work hard but also have time to spend with our families and friends and to value what we have. This existence of ours is as transient as autumn…
  • How do I know if my ubuntu server needs a restart?

    Stuart Colville
    21 May 2014 | 2:48 am
    A file at /var/run/reboot-required is created that's used at login to tell you a restart is needed in the MOTD. You can check for the presence of this file to know if the updates you just did require a restart To do something with this information we can wrap this in an if statement in BASH e.g: if [ -f /var/run/reboot-required ] then echo 'Restart required' fi Or as a one liner: if [ -f /var/run/reboot-required ]; then echo 'Restart required'; fi This just prints "Restart required" but you can do something else in place of the echo if you want. Another tip, if you use Byobu, it will flag…
  • How do you deal with dependent branches on github?

    Stuart Colville
    21 May 2014 | 2:35 am
    In general, it's good practice to make branches that are independent from other changes and in general kept to a diff of ~500 lines in order to keep pull requests (PRs) easy to review. One issue though is how to deal with the scenario where you need to make more invasive changes? Here's an example. I create branch A which has changes that affect the project significently, I propose it as a PR on github. Now I need to work on my next feature branch B which needs to be built on top of branch A. But, if I create B from A then when I come to propose B it will contain the changes from A in the…
  • Running just a single test in grunt-casper

    Stuart Colville
    29 Apr 2014 | 12:27 pm
    If you'd like to run a single test with grunt-casper you can do so by making use of grunt.option in your grunt-casper configuration. One way to do this is to use it in the src property of a multi-task allowing it to fall-back to the wildcard definition that picks up all test files. Here's an example: Like this running grunt casper --test path/to/tests/js will run the single test file. And running grunt casper will run casper on all your test files.
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    Putting people firstPutting people first

  • How EU leaders can listen to the views of their citizens expressed on Twitter

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    Vox Digitas By Jamie Bartlett, Carl Miller, David Weir, Jeremy Reffin, Simon Wibberley Report, 24 August 2014 ISBN 978-1-909037-63-2 Free download Over the last decade European citizens have gained a digital voice. Close to 350 million people in Europe currently use social networking sites, with more of us signing into a social media platform at least once a day than voted in the last European elections. EU citizens have transferred many aspects of their lives onto these social media platforms, including politics and activism. Taken together, social media represent a new digital commons where…
  • Service design toolkit

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:17 am
    The toolkit for service design is an introduction to the methodology of service design. With a simple step-by-step plan it offers you a practical do-it-yourself guide. The kit contains workshop templates, posters, a manual and technique cards, some of which can also be downloaded. It is the outcome of a partnership between Namahn and Design Flanders.
  • E-Government for the post-2015 era: the usage perspective

    21 Aug 2014 | 8:55 am
    E-Government for the post-2015 era: the usage perspective is the title of the 7th chapter of the recent report “United Nations E-Government Survey 2014 – E-Government for the Future We Want“. The chapter outlines the current situation of e-government usage, particularly the efforts made by the 193 United Nations Member States. It examines various e-government service channels (including mobile and social media), service channel mix and management in a multichannel world, exploring effective channel management strategies (with good opportunities) to increase e-service uptake.
  • Facebook uses ethnography to deliver more relevant ads

    20 Aug 2014 | 6:48 am
    “As researchers focusing on Facebook’s advertising, we led research trips with a cross-functional team of product managers, marketers, and engineers to Indonesia, Turkey, and South Africa to develop a solid understanding of cultural differences across these countries. [...] Forming a richer understanding of how businesses and people connect with each other—both on and off of Facebook—around the world works will help us develop better ad solutions that drive a positive feedback cycle: we will make better experiences for the people who use Facebook and for the businesses and brands…
  • Consumer Insights: The Music Experience in 2014

    19 Aug 2014 | 7:27 am
    Today, music is as emotionally relevant as ever – and consumers have a myriad of ways to experience it, from streaming and downloading to live concerts and more. Thanks to social media, fans also have unprecedented access to their favorite artists. Given these changes in the music landscape, the Music Group, which includes MTV, VH1 and CMT, conducted research into the “Music Experience,” taking a deep look into the ever-evolving process of discovering and obtaining music among teens, 20- and 30-somethings, as well as what the fan-music-artist connection looks like in 2014. The study is…
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  • Introducing Project Wing

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:44 am
    Google's new drone-based delivery system:
  • Sharing Faces

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:27 am
    Created by Kyle McDonald, Sharing Faces is an installation that shares photos between Anyang, Korea and Yamaguchi, Japan. Stand in front of it in one of these locations and it will "match your expression and pose in realtime with photos of someone else who once stood in front of the installation": [via]
  • TipTapTop

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:21 am
    TipTapTop teaches children how to wash their hands in "a new and amusing way, reducing water waste [by] up to 70%; [and] increasing sanitation and hygiene":
  • Computed Copy

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:03 am
    Devised by Nukeme, So Kanno and yang02, Computed Copy is a method of copying/remixing fashion garments via 3D scanning and fabric printing:
  • Breaking Wave

    28 Aug 2014 | 7:41 am
    Breaking Wave is "an anamorphic kinetic sculpture" created for Biogen-Idec's new headquarters in Cambridge, MA by Plebian Design and Hypersonic:
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  • Roger Angell’s Farewell to Derek Jeter

    30 Aug 2014 | 5:13 am
    The “poet laureate of baseball,” Roger Angell has been translating the sport’s milestones-just-passed into vivid, crystalline reminiscences for decades. In the latest issue of The New Yorker he bids farewell to the Yankees’ Derek Jeter, who is retiring this fall. Though the iconic shortstop isn’t quite gone yet, the league has spent the better part… Advertise on
  • Architecture in Product Design

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:45 am
    This is the first in a series of posts from Melissa Mandelbaum, designer at Percolate, about lessons to be found in architectural principles for product designers. Here she focuses on the notion of circulation within buildings as it relates to navigation within apps: a building’s given method of circulation—stairs, elevator—directly impacts how we use the… Advertise on
  • Steven Soderberg’s Wilderness Years

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:04 am
    The Dissolve’s Movie of the Week is Steven Soderbergh’s 1998 classic “Out of Sight,” a small, taut and unyieldingly charming adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel—that also happened to reignite the director’s career. Its success put Soderbergh back onto Hollywood’s A-list, and in the decade and a half that followed, he went on to create… Advertise on
  • Inspecting Yosemite’s Icons

    28 Aug 2014 | 2:57 pm
    Nick Keppol “dissects” the new design language of OS X Yosemite’s icons. There was a lot of speculation that icons in Yosemite would all be super-ellipses or circles. Thankfully that’s not the case. I think Apple’s designers have done a great job building a flexible system that allows for a clean look, but retains the… Advertise on
  • Motion Design for iOS

    28 Aug 2014 | 8:34 am
    Somewhat unexpectedly, many designers are now would-be animators too, thanks to the transformation wrought by native mobile apps. Mike Rundle’s new book, “Motion Design for iOS,” the latest installment in his “Design Then Code” series, offers the best yet overview of what it means to bring the magic of movement to what has until very… Advertise on
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    Veerle's blog

  • The 20mm Showdown

    Veerle Pieters
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:35 am
    Poster part of the ‘If I Was Small’ project, exhibited at Pick Me Up London 2014.via Jack Hudson
  • Sunset wanderlust

    Veerle Pieters
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:26 am
    Sit back, relax and enjoy the view and get wanderlust like me :)via 0rient-express
  • Bee

    Veerle Pieters
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:48 am
    Loving this little bee, the shading, and the simplicity!via Stevan Rodic
  • Design is explosive

    Veerle Pieters
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:43 am
    …it can be yes.via Allan Peters
  • Elephants

    Veerle Pieters
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:37 am
    Adorable and nice use of texture.via Mikey Burton
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • Ben Callahan – Responsive Workflows: There’s No Perfect Process

    Sean Carmichael
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:58 am
    [ Transcript Available ] The web is everywhere. It’s on our desks, in our pockets, and on screens of all sizes. The complexity involved with building a website grows with each new device it must support. This cross-platform consistency requirement makes a concrete, static design process unsustainable. As flexible and responsive as the sites we’re building have to be, so too does our process for building them. In his virtual seminar, Responsive Workflows: Because There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Process, Ben Callahan explains that there is no one way to produce a website. He believes…
  • What Will You Tell Your Peers about Your Conference Experience?

    Lauren Cramer
    28 Aug 2014 | 9:36 am
    Spend time among the brightest minds in UX The UI19 workshop leaders are there for you and ready to answer your questions. Attendees tell us things like, “The workshops and speeches are extremely useful and inspiring.” “The accessibility of the different speakers. I can literally walk up, get a handshake, say hi, and talk.” Attendees express their thoughts on the UI Conference Luke Wroblewski   Beautifully executed and well delivered. Tons of great info, I’m energized to apply what I learned. Learn about Luke’s workshop, Mobile Design Essentials. Stephen Anderson  …
  • UIEtips: Service Design – Pushing Us Beyond the Familiar

    Jared Spool
    26 Aug 2014 | 12:58 pm
    In a conventional UX approach, we’d focus on the bits. With service design, we go beyond and think about the cross-channel experience. Today’s article discusses the intricacies of service design and why you need to pay attention to it. If you find yourself stumbling into the service design world with little direction, then Marc Stickdorn’s workshop at the UI19 conference is perfect for you. Marc will show you how to create a cohesive customer experience by expanding beyond digital and designing for every customer touch point. Explore his workshop, Service Design: Creating Delightful…
  • UIEtips: UX Strategy Blueprint

    Jared Spool
    20 Aug 2014 | 12:07 pm
    In this week’s UIEtips, Jim Kalbach defines and discusses how to consistently create a UX strategy. Here he shares a tool with you for doing so at your organization—the UX Strategy Blueprint. If your strategy discussions feel more like political battles than progressive team-building, pay attention to Jim Kalbach. His virtual seminar on Thursday, August 28 is all about Defining a UX Design Strategy. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Analysis and planning, while necessary inputs and outputs in the strategy creation process, are not the core of strategy. You can’t analyze your way to…
  • Sarah Horton and Steve Faulkner – HTML5 Accessibility

    Sean Carmichael
    20 Aug 2014 | 6:45 am
    [ Transcript Available ] Web accessibility takes place on a foundation of technologies, the most common of which are developed and maintained by the Worldwide Web Consortium, or W3C. Its success is dependent on how well these underlying technologies support accessible user experiences. Fortunately for us, people like Steve Faulkner devote much of their time to ensure technology specifications, such as HTML5, include the hooks that make it possible to build an accessible and enjoyable user experience for everyone. Including people who use assistive technologies, such as screen reader and…
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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

  • 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…
  • Author Interview - Part 3 - Institutionalization of UX: A Step-by-Step Guide

    Human Factors International
    19 Mar 2014 | 8:29 am
    In depth interview with HFI Founder & CEO, Dr. Eric Schaffer on his 2nd edition of his ground breaking UX Practice book featuring HFI Global Head of Technical, Apala Lahiri, co-author.
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    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

  • Some Dark Patterns now illegal in UK – interview with Heather Burns

    Heather Burns
    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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    The UX Booth

  • 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…
  • Research for the Right Audience

    Laurissa Wolfram-Hvass
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Before working in UX, I taught composition and technical writing at a university in Atlanta. Every semester, I tweaked and tailored my teaching methods and materials to each unique group of students: I brought in YouTube videos to illustrate concepts, I scoured the web for readings that related directly to my students’ majors or interests, I drew charts and edited examples on the board, and I met with students individually when group discussions and class time just weren’t enough. Ultimately, I understood that if I couldn’t effectively communicate the course information to…
  • Content Marketing: You’re Doing it Wrong

    Mike Straus
    5 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Last year, a client came to Velocity Partners with a b2b content marketing challenge: to market a fantastic (and free) software program to existing customers. Velocity Partners prepared two eBooks to explain the software, and as a control ran visual ads on the client’s website and sent sales emails to the client’s contacts, using software downloads as their success metric. To their surprise, the eBooks underperformed relative to the direct marketing. Their content marketing failed. It’s not an uncommon story: a business invests resources into a marketing campaign, only to…
  • Progressive Content for Progressive Reduction

    Ben Barone-Nugent
    29 Jul 2014 | 6:30 am
    Every new interface we come up with is also an exercise in instruction design. Designers typically leverage their user’s prior knowledge to create innovative experiences and help users learn how to navigate those those experiences. But how might we teach our users new, complex processes (or changes to their existing behavior) while still maintaining a simple UI? Last February Allan Grinshtein, an interaction designer at LayerVault, posited that because a user’s understanding of our application improves over time, our application’s interface should adapt. Others agree.
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  • 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…
  • Emotion

    Louie Mantia
    13 Jul 2012 | 8:58 am
    User Experience designers, so called, try to elicit emotional responses from users. Is the reason for creating great UI to make you feel good or is the purpose to make a task easy or simpler than before? I was talking over breakfast with someone and got on the topic of emotion and experiences in software, and wondered why we don’t show much emotion when using apps. Certain things make us excited or happy, but we don’t necessarily show it. Even a really funny video might not make you laugh, but when you’re in a group, you have a greater chance to. It’s like groupthink.
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    UX Passion - UX design agency

  • My Final Goodbye, or 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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    User Vision » Articles

  • How C4 are showcasing Mobile Diary Studies

    Nicola Dunlop
    8 Aug 2014 | 2:57 am
    The study requires participants to document certain life events via their mobile phone. Last month Stephen Denning and I spoke from experience at UX Scotland around the research methodology, communicating the value of such a tool in providing robust customer insight for a design project. Moving on from design research the platform has recently been used in providing the meat behind the Channel 4 documentary, ‘Secret Life of Students’ The ‘Secret Life of Students’ stitches together the various interactions happening on mobile apps (such as Facebook, Twitter, Text SMS, Whatsapp and…
  • House of Fraser – User Experience Review

    Abi Reynolds
    6 Aug 2014 | 4:48 am
    This article was published in July 2014 Internet Retailing Re- launched in Feb 2014, House of Fraser now offers a scaled down navigation, attractive advertising panels and clear product groupings, making it easy to quickly understand what is on offer. Scrolling down the page I do get confronted by one or two rather busy images and an irritating rotating image but on the whole, the feeling is one of simplicity. Figure 1: Homepage Though not responsive (they do have a too), with its long and narrow content, hamburger style buttons and fewer navigational choices it has clearly been…
  • Learnings from UXPA 2014

    Abi Reynolds
    5 Aug 2014 | 6:47 am
    The annual UXPA conference was in London this year held at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge from 21st to 25th July and once again we were treated to some great presentations, tutorials and opportunities to meet and mingle with other UX Folk. Chris’s (our MD) tutorial on Remote Usability Testing went down well while Stephen and I did battle in the Ignite Session called ‘Are you a super hero or a super villain? Using design psychology for good and evil” Ed was as usual, a networking maestro, particularly among his accessibility colleagues. But it wasn’t all jazz and boat trips down…
  • This isn’t just a website…

    Stephen Denning
    9 Jul 2014 | 4:31 am
    Marks & Spencer launched their new site to much fanfare earlier this year.  Driven partly by a need to move to a new in-house web platform, the new site delivered a fresh new design and featured greater integration with in-store technology and social media.  We reviewed the site when it first launched for Internet Retailing magazine and the outlook was positive. The design was enticing, products were well displayed and the site provided new ways to shop. However, the first financial quarter of the new site’s existence has probably not been what M&S would have hoped for. …
  • UX Scotland 2014

    Gayle Whittaker
    30 Jun 2014 | 8:05 am
          On the 19 and 20 June I attended my first UX Scotland conference at Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh over the course of two sunny days. This was the second UX Scotland conference organised by Software Acumen that featured a fantastic programme of presentations, inspiring keynotes and lightning talks from experienced UX practitioners. Firstly, Joshua Marshall, Head of Accessibility at Government Digital Services, gave an inspiring keynote demonstrating Empathy as User Experience on how to make it work for everyone, accommodating all users. Joshua leads the work in making UK…
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    UX Movement

  • 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.]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 test…
  • 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.
  • 3 Tricks to Make Users Think Your App Loads Faster

    Andy Brattle
    22 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    When users are on the go, the best mobile app experience is a fast one. Although a mobile device’s connection speed is out of your control, you can still make it seem like your app loads lightning fast. Here are a few tricks to give users the impression that your app always loads fast even under a slow connection.Instant & Steady Progress BarsProgress bars tell users how long an action is taking, but they’re not always correct. You can disguise small delays in your progress bar by moving it instant and steady. The progress bar should never stop, otherwise users will think the app…
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    Baymard Institute

  • 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…
  • 8 Design Patterns for Autocomplete Suggestions

    Jamie Appleseed
    30 Jun 2014 | 11:08 pm
    This is the second in a series of articles on e-commerce search that draw on findings from our recent search usability report and benchmark. Autocomplete widgets have become somewhat of a web convention for e-commerce search, with 82% of the top grossing e-commerce sites offering up autocomplete suggestions to their users as they begin typing their search query. And Google has had autocomplete suggestions on by default since 2008. Clearly, autocomplete suggestions are common nowadays – but what should they look like and how should they work? During our recent usability study on e-commerce…
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    Wireframes Magazine


    21 Aug 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Do you find you’re sometimes designing or building out pages and wish you could start off with a template that has a proven conversion track record? Here is something for you. GoodUI Fastforward is a set of our best performing UI page templates with a sharp focus on conversion. Now keep in mind that we’re continuously striving towards making the templates better as we learn from running a/b tests on an ongoing basis. When it comes to conversion, we continuously tweak and improve and therefore the pages within contain a change history on the second page of the PDF. Of course we…
  • Pidoco Special Offer: 50% Off Until August 15th

    29 Jul 2014 | 5:19 am
    What if you could create a complete set of amazing wireframes in just a few hours? What if you could make these wireframes behave like an actual app so that users can click through them? And what if you could not only click through them, but also simulate touch and swipe gestures, page transitions and test how a mobile app reacts when the user tilts or turns their phone or changes their location? Berlin-based Pidoco has just released a set of new features which allow designers, analysts and UX folk to prototype a vast range of interactions in their wireframes in order to simulate realistic…
  • pentotype

    15 Jul 2014 | 4:49 am
    pentotype is a new drawing software that lets you create clickable wireframes on your iPad or on your desktop with a graphics tablet. Since drawing sets virtually no limits, you can create any interface that you want, be it a website, a game, or a regular application with a custom UI. You can quickly share ideas with your team and see how the user will walk through your app. Drawing When you start a new project in pentotype, you’ll get an empty, infinite canvas. After inserting a new screen, either by selecting it from the side bar or just by drawing a rectangle, you can go ahead and draw…
  • Axure Flat UI Kit

    12 Jun 2014 | 9:03 pm
    Although I don’t use Axure for prototyping, and I might have some particular views on flat design, this new Axure Flat UI Kit does look pretty slick at first glance. The controls within the template definitely seem to behave a lot smoother since I last remember how Axure looked over a year ago. Nice work. The UI Kit includes over 310+ interactive and beautifully crafted page elements, modules and complete templates. The UI Kit uses Axure’s powerful widget library. Create complex and interactive wire frames with a snap. Icons included. Have a look inside Credits: Marc-Oliver Gern
  • GoodUI DATASTORIES – Now Live

    2 May 2014 | 12:43 pm
    Ok, it’s finally live. We’re proud to announce that the wait is now over and the first issue of Datastories is here! We made sure to have the opening issue also be reflective of the first conversion test we ever did. We hope you’ll like it and can learn from it. What’s inside? Each month we’ll release one issue which will discuss: Repeatable Insights High Quality Results Data Test Setup With Code GoodUI Idea References Key Learnings Learn from our conversion optimization tests and use our insights on your projects to increase various metrics. Learn More About The…
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    Users Know

  • 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…
  • Making More UX Designers

    Laura Klein
    3 Mar 2014 | 4:37 pm
    Over the last few years, I’ve had an increasing number of people ask the same two questions. Specifically I get asked: Where can I find a good UX designer?How can I get into UX?The best possible solution is, of course, to teach the people in the second group how to do the job and then introduce them to the people in the first group. The second best solution is to teach the people in the first group to do it for themselves. I’ve been experimenting lately with both of these approaches. This need for creating more UX designers is one of the biggest reasons I joined Tradecraft as an…
  • Building the Right Thing vs Building the Thing Right

    Laura Klein
    7 Feb 2014 | 11:54 am
    This originally appeared as a guest post on the O'Reilly Programming Blog.I love it when companies test prototypes. Love love love it. But it makes me incredibly sad when they use prototype testing for the wrong thing.First, let me give you my definition of “prototype testing” here. I often build interactive, or semi-interactive, prototypes when designing a product. These prototypes are not actual products. They’re simulations of products. People who see the prototype can often click around them and perform some simple tasks, but they’re generally not hooked up to a real back end…
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    The UX Bookmark

  • 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
  • A Framework for Implementing Web Analytics

    Abhay Rautela
    26 May 2014 | 8:43 pm
    In order to truly get the most value out of web analytics, it’s important to have a holistic approach to implementation. Web analytics is nothing new to digital marketers. In fact, most brands and agencies have been doing web analytics for years. If you’re one of those marketers, then ask yourself honestly the following questions: Do you know the purpose of looking at certain metrics? Do any of your web analytics reports tie to your business objectives? Do you have any insights after reading your Google Analytics or Omniture report? Do you know what actions to take after you read…
  • 10 Steps To Mapping The Customer Journey

    Abhay Rautela
    6 May 2014 | 8:12 am
    A customer journey map is a natural extension of the sales and marketing funnel  but has an impact beyond the marketing or sales teams.  It’s a document meant to unify fragmented efforts and, most importantly, identify points of friction and opportunities for improvement.  Finding and fixing the pain points in a customer’s journey isn’t just about damage control, it’s about the innovation that comes from fixing the pain. While you can map just about any sequence of events, a journey map is ideal for any process that has a lot of steps or opportunities…
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • 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…
  • Get Your Old Plant Drawings Converted to 3D Models

    Srikanth Burma
    8 Aug 2014 | 12:31 pm
    Get your Old Plant Drawings Converted To 3D Models: Before the introduction of CAD/CAM to modern world all plant designs were drawn on Paper. Maintenance of these paper drawings has become a cost center to the organizations. Also, securing these paper drawings has become tougher as they become old. Most of the Industrial Plant Designs run into thousands of Paper Drawings. Arranging and identifying these drawings is a cumbersome job. When it comes to modifying certain location in plant and identifying respective paper drawing sheet in itself take few days. To make changes in existing piping…
  • Managing CAD Drawings in a Competitive World

    Diane Mitol
    7 Aug 2014 | 11:16 am
    Managing CAD Drawings in a Competitive World If you’re working in an AEC design environment, then you know how important workflow is.  Drawing files are routinely shared between design teams, some of which may be located in different offices in different geographic locations.  The tricky part is keeping track of the most current version of the drawing, and making sure that all the accompanying paperwork is integrated into the design package.   If you’re a small office, you may be able to get by with a Windows filing system, but for larger organizations, or small…
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