User Interface

  • Most Topular Stories

  • UX: a Process or a Task?

    The UX Booth
    Marli Mesibov
    26 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    Gene is an interaction designer. During a sales call, he’s asked if he “does UX.” He assures the client that he does, and the client asks why he isn’t a “UX designer?” Gene explains that either term fits his work. The client wants to know if Gene will conduct usability testing, and Gene says no, he works with a researcher who will do that. The client is confused: if Gene “does UX,” doesn’t that include both design and testing? For some, UX is associated with process, rather than a specific job or activity. The “UX process” is…
  • Modals on Mobile: How to use them wisely

    UX Magazine
    Chris Wigley
    28 May 2015 | 8:53 am
    May 28, 2015Somewhere along the line, modal dialogs have become a ubiquitous feature of web design. We’ve become used to modal windows popping up everywhere, including on mobile devices. Given their pervasiveness, one would think we would have mastered better ways to design and incorporate modals on mobile that don’t detract from the user experience. If modals are becoming commonplace, they should be designed the best way possible: easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to dismiss. So why aren’t they?More often than not, modal overlays just don’t work well on tablets and mobile…
  • ATM Interfaces, Multiples of 20, and Too Many Buttons #wtfUX

    UX Magazine
    Daniel Brown
    29 May 2015 | 9:46 am
    May 29, 2015According to this ATM machine, I must specify a withdrawal amount in increments of $20.Even so, I am allowed to press the the 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 keys (for whatever reason) and must specify that I want "00" cents despite the inability of any ATM machine to dispense coins.Machines that display presets of $20, $40, $60, $80, or $100 offer a single tap to achieve an effectively error-proof task. This machine requires unnecessary cognitive load and a gauntlet of error possibilities. Not to mention the Over-Zealous Capitalization In The Instruction Line.Keep these coming. Send them to us…
  • How to Respond to Typical UX Project Challenges

    UXmatters
    18 May 2015 | 12:08 am
    By Baruch Sachs Published: May 18, 2015 “My expectation is that, at some level, most people recognize the importance of user experience these days.” After nine years of building a robust UX consulting practice within a large software consulting firm, I sort of expect certain things. For one thing, I expect that the people in my organization understand the basic importance of what I do. I’ll bet you do, too. While we might not always get all of the time we’ve scheduled or be able to do all of the things we want to do on a project, in general, our expectation is that, at…
  • The Invisible Interface

    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy
    29 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Hang around software companies long enough and you'll certainly hear someone proclaim "the best interface is invisible." While this adage seems inevitable, today's device ecosystem makes it clear we may not be there yet. When there's no graphical user interface (icons, labels, etc.) in a product to guide us, our memory becomes the UI. That is, we need to remember the hidden voice and gesture commands that operate our devices. And these controls are likely to differ per device making the task even harder. Consider the number of gesture interfaces on today's smartwatch home screens. A swipe in…
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    Signal vs. Noise

  • The stories we tell ourselves

    David
    12 May 2015 | 5:56 am
    The progress of technology needs a full spectrum of adoption to work well. From early adopters who jump in before kinks and warts have been banished, to a late majority who bring scale to the now-safe choice. If we didn’t have any early adopters ironing out the kinks, there’d never be a now-safe choice for the late majority. And if everyone always jumped on the latest thing on day one, society would waste needless cycles churning through the broken glass of beta software. But usually people see things a little narrower. They’ve picked a group to belong to, and along with it…
  • A Year of The Distance

    Wailin Wong
    12 May 2015 | 5:21 am
    A year ago, The Distance published its first story: a profile of 110-year-old Horween Leather Co., Chicago’s last remaining tannery. Since then, we’ve visited an 18,000-square-foot costume and wig store and a vintage tiki bar with its own gift shop. We’ve met a custom bra fitter who started her business as a single mom and the second-generation owner of an auto salvage yard that ran the same commercial on local television for 30 years. We launched The Distance because we believe the people behind long-running businesses have amassed a lot of wisdom from their decades of experience.
  • The homescreens of Basecamp (2015)

    Jamie
    8 May 2015 | 6:43 am
    Back in 2011 and 2013, we shared our phone homescreens with you. We get a kick out of how others personalize their mobile phones. A lot’s changed since then: we have a few more folks on Android, there are 3 varieties of iPhones (6 is the most popular), some of us like having monster phones, and there’s even a Watch among us. Attention: there are a lot of homescreens in this post. The screens all start to blur together (apart from the Android ones), but they’re all interesting when you take the time to examine them. This is a great article for your lunchtime/afternoon break…
  • Poison

    Nathan Kontny
    30 Apr 2015 | 9:09 am
    How do we get better at making things people want? We strive to better discern the needs of our customers, so we reach for a number of tools. Surveys. User testing. 'Jobs to be done' interviews (an interview process I highly recommend). But in our effort to understand our customers, we often miss sight of something much more basic and integral to those things working well. The University of Edinburgh Medical School, one of the best medical schools in the United Kingdom, was created in 1726, also making it one of the oldest medical schools in the English speaking world. Given its age,…
  • Programming with toys and magic should be relished, not scorned

    David
    29 Apr 2015 | 12:17 pm
    In the early days of Rails, a common dismissal of the framework and its Ruby roots were that these were just toys. Something for kids or amateurs to play with; to build a quick throw-away prototype or system of no consequence. It was most certainly not a tool for professionals building real systems for enterprise, king, or country. Explicit in this charge against Rails and Ruby laid a grander, sweeping dismissal of toys of all kinds. And more specifically, a rejection of fun and enjoyment as valid reasons for adoption of technology that remains prevalent to this day. The implication that real…
 
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • Your Guide to Online Research and Testing Tools

    Bartosz Mozyrko
    12 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    The success of every business depends on how the business will meet their customers’ needs. To do that, it is important to optimize your offer, the website, and your selling methods so your customer is satisfied. The fields of online marketing, conversion rate optimization, and user experience design have a wide range of online tools that can guide you through this process smoothly. Many companies use only one or two tools that they are familiar with, but that might not be enough to gather important data necessary for improvement. To help you better understand when and which tool is…
  • Mentoring as an Investment

    Chris Poteet
    5 May 2015 | 1:00 am
    Have you ever asked for an update on a project you’d invested a great deal of time and energy in, only to hear “they have completely redesigned it since then”? I did, and it left me with this very empty feeling. After some wallowing, I realized I needed to discover a new way to think about the way I work and what really matters in my consulting career. My answer: The mark of a truly good consultant is investing in people. Focusing on investing in people will ensure that your work will still continue to see results long after the application is redesigned, and that is change that matters…
  • Online Surveys On a Shoestring: Tips and Tricks

    Gabriel Biller
    28 Apr 2015 | 1:00 am
    Design research has always been about qualitative techniques. Increasingly, our clients ask us to add a “quant part” to projects, often without much or any additional budget. Luckily for us, there are plenty of tools available to conduct online surveys, from simple ones like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey to more elaborate ones like Qualtrics and Key Survey. Whichever tool you choose, there are certain pitfalls in conducting quantitative research on a shoestring budget. Based on our own experience, we’ve compiled a set of tips and tricks to help avoid some common ones, as well as make…
  • Intent to Solve

    Laura Klein
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:00 am
    When we’re building products for people, designers often do something called “needs finding” which translates roughly into “looking for problems in users’ lives that we can solve.” But there’s a problem with this. It’s a widely held belief that, if a company can find a problem that is bad enough, people will buy a product that solves it. That’s often true. But sometimes it isn’t. And when it isn’t true, that’s when really well designed, well intentioned products can fail to find a market. When isn’t it true? When I tell product managers and entrepreneurs that their…
  • Creativity Must Guide the Data-Driven Design Process

    Rameet Chawla
    17 Mar 2015 | 1:00 am
    Collecting data about design is easy in the digital world. We no longer have to conduct in-person experiments to track pedestrians’ behavior in an airport terminal or the movement of eyeballs across a page. New digital technologies allow us to easily measure almost anything, and apps, social media platforms, websites, and email programs come with built-in tools to track data. And, as of late, data-driven design has become increasingly popular. As a designer, you no longer need to convince your clients of your design’s “elegance,” “simplicity,” or “beauty.” Instead of those…
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    ZURB

  • Attention Nonprofits: We're Now Taking Applications for ZURB Wired

    28 May 2015 | 2:15 pm
    Over the last few months, we've talked a lot about the power designers have to influence change in organizations. But we're looking beyond impacting mere business outcomes. It's our sincere belief that design can cause real, positive change in the world. ZURB Wired is proof. Each year we volunteer our time and resources to help one special nonprofit craft a complete marketing campaign in 24 coffee-fueled hours. ZURB HQ becomes a hive of activity as our entire team, along with volunteers, work all through the night to create a website, print material, engineering support, written content and…
  • An Entrepreneur With a Passion for People, Meet Our New Business Designer

    27 May 2015 | 9:16 am
    Our newest Business Designer is ready to make a difference in the world through design thinking! With his business savvy and incredible teaching skills, we're confident he will! Without further ado, meet … Dave Zinsman, Business Designer Dave is a California native, growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In true Silicon Valley fashion, he was bit by the entrepreneurial bug at the tender age of seven, establishing a 'Garbage Pail Kids' trading card exchange. Throughout his teens and young adulthood he continued to develop his business savvy, eventually starting a few businesses…
  • The Designer Litmus Test

    8 May 2015 | 9:30 am
    Brace yourself for the truth: product designers are not born with the gift of design. Many — scratch that — all design skills can be learned by any willing individual. It's a certain combination of personality traits, not the skills, that make certain people better suited for solving problems through design. Just like being a nurturer makes people likely to pursue nursing or gardening, and being a firefighter or an entrepreneur means being open to uncertainty and risk. Can we identify with certainty what makes some designers so good at their job? We think so, yes. Because when we…
  • Holy Changes, Batman! Surviving Negative Feedback

    22 Apr 2015 | 11:24 am
    The Batman comic series has one of the most passionate fandoms in history, and never was this more apparent than in the summer of 2006 when it was officially announced that Heath Ledger had been cast as the film's iconic villain, the Joker. The internet exploded as fanboys and fangirls largely panned the decision. Vitriol spewed from forums all over the web. This guy couldn't act his way out of a paper bag. I am NOT seeing this movie if he's in it. Probably the worst casting of all time. Believe it or not, there are a few lessons designers can learn from this story that can help us stay on…
  • Your Brand is Like a Television Show

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:00 pm
    "The ZURB sitcom," proclaimed our Chief Instigator about a year or so ago. A sitcom? What did he mean by that? At the time, we were considering how exactly we were communicating our story on the blog and our approach to content creation. But our Chief Instigator sparked an idea in us. There's a reason people love sitcoms ... well, television in general. There's something familiar in it, something that keeps the audience coming back again and again. Now, he wasn't suggesting that we abandon design and start filming our own weekly show. But television is the perfect model for writing a brand…
 
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    UX Magazine

  • ATM Interfaces, Multiples of 20, and Too Many Buttons #wtfUX

    Daniel Brown
    29 May 2015 | 9:46 am
    May 29, 2015According to this ATM machine, I must specify a withdrawal amount in increments of $20.Even so, I am allowed to press the the 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9 keys (for whatever reason) and must specify that I want "00" cents despite the inability of any ATM machine to dispense coins.Machines that display presets of $20, $40, $60, $80, or $100 offer a single tap to achieve an effectively error-proof task. This machine requires unnecessary cognitive load and a gauntlet of error possibilities. Not to mention the Over-Zealous Capitalization In The Instruction Line.Keep these coming. Send them to us…
  • Modals on Mobile: How to use them wisely

    Chris Wigley
    28 May 2015 | 8:53 am
    May 28, 2015Somewhere along the line, modal dialogs have become a ubiquitous feature of web design. We’ve become used to modal windows popping up everywhere, including on mobile devices. Given their pervasiveness, one would think we would have mastered better ways to design and incorporate modals on mobile that don’t detract from the user experience. If modals are becoming commonplace, they should be designed the best way possible: easy to use, easy to understand, and easy to dismiss. So why aren’t they?More often than not, modal overlays just don’t work well on tablets and mobile…
  • In Conversation with Alberta Soranzo

    Josh Tyson | UX Magazine
    26 May 2015 | 1:52 pm
    May 26, 2015Last week, I had the chance to talk with Alberta Soranzo, an Italian-born information architect who's worked for the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, and Tobias & Tobias.She currently lives in London, but is still on the board of Los Angeles User Experience Meetup. She'll also be presenting at this year's Giant Conference, June 14-17 in Charleston, S.C. Here, we talk about mixtapes, growing up with computers, mountain ranges of data, and what happens to your digital assets after you die.
  • The 7 Rules of Caring for Junior UX Designers

    Yael Levey
    21 May 2015 | 8:36 am
    May 21, 2015From start-ups to big business to agencies, everyone has had their own unique pleasures and pitfalls when it comes to handling the more junior members on the UX team.A stark memory I have as a junior experience designer (JUXD) at a London-based digital agency was being treated like I had absolutely nothing of value to contribute. One definite low was being asked to add a box to a wireframe—my only job all week! That particular stint sent my confidence to rock bottom and it took me a long time to build back up again in a more supportive environment.Unfortunately, it seems that…
  • An Error Number from Apple? #wtfUX

    Daniel Brown
    20 May 2015 | 1:00 pm
    May 20, 2015​For all of Apple's usability efforts, one department seems to have missed the company-wide memo sent out 30+ years ago. Under no circumstances should a user be presented with a message like this. If the system knows enough to display an error number, it can certainly cross-reference that into a human-consumable message. (FYI: I was attempting to rename a folder that was being copied.)On top of all that, what could a negative number in an error message possibly imply? Shouldn't a negative error indicate a good thing?Image of worm in apple courtesy Shutterstock.read…
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    UXmatters

  • Journey Maps: Not the End of the Story

    18 May 2015 | 12:18 am
    By Ronnie Battista Published: May 18, 2015 “Many in our field, including me, strongly believe in the potential of journey mapping for helping companies to achieve human-centric business transformations.” Recently, during an early scoping effort for a project with a new client who needed our help transforming their retail experience, we proposed their considering a journey-mapping exercise. Their response: “Please! I do not want to see another journey map.” Were we surprised? Meh. It was only a matter of time. This response—or perhaps lament might be a better…
  • Asking Probing Questions During a Usability Study

    18 May 2015 | 12:16 am
    By Janet M. Six Published: May 18, 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 how to pose probing questions to participants in a usability study and get the answers you need, without leading them to a particular answer. You are in the midst of a usability study and, when testing one of the tasks, you observe that participants do not seem to see a design element that would help them to finish their task. What do you do now? Do you ask them whether they see the element?
  • Designing an Effective Contact Form

    18 May 2015 | 12:13 am
    By Monique Rivers Published: May 18, 2015 “Business owners who think that contact forms are nothing more than an easy method of communication that they provide to users of their Web site are making a huge mistake.” Business owners who think that contact forms are nothing more than an easy method of communication that they provide to users of their Web site are making a huge mistake. Contact forms should not be passive elements of a Web site that gain meaning only when visitors have a problem and use them to find out an easy way to solve it. Great contact forms inspire people to…
  • How to Respond to Typical UX Project Challenges

    18 May 2015 | 12:08 am
    By Baruch Sachs Published: May 18, 2015 “My expectation is that, at some level, most people recognize the importance of user experience these days.” After nine years of building a robust UX consulting practice within a large software consulting firm, I sort of expect certain things. For one thing, I expect that the people in my organization understand the basic importance of what I do. I’ll bet you do, too. While we might not always get all of the time we’ve scheduled or be able to do all of the things we want to do on a project, in general, our expectation is that, at…
  • If Congress Went Agile

    18 May 2015 | 12:05 am
    By Shannon McHarg Published: May 18, 2015 “Last year’s rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov … got many people talking about why government agencies should join the rest of the technology industry in using agile development practices to improve the delivery of digital services.” A positive outcome from last year’s rocky roll-out of healthcare.gov is that it got many people talking about why US government agencies should join the rest of the technology industry in using agile development practices to improve the delivery of digital services. What if we took that notion…
 
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • We (Still) Have Work to Do

    29 May 2015 | 8:17 am
    We’re here, and we’re on the record: the web industry has a diversity problem. It’s got a misogyny problem. It’s standing in the way of the web we want, and we are all—every one of us—responsible for changing that. I wrote these words one year ago today, at the peak of the #yesallwomen discussion. They’re just as true now as they were then. But as Nishant Kothary wrote in his column a couple weeks back: Even with its hundreds of contributors, columnists, and bloggers, ALA has very little to show for this aspiration in a year (interestingly, what it does have to show was…
  • This week's sponsor: Squarespace

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    28 May 2015 | 10:26 am
    Thanks to Squarespace for sponsoring A List Apart this week. Check out their tools to help you create beautiful websites.
  • Lyza Danger Gardner on Building the Web Everywhere: Mentorship for the Novice Expert

    28 May 2015 | 5:30 am
    I have to admit something. I’m not very good at being a beginner. I’ve started riding a motorcycle again after six years. Riding is notoriously risky. There are usually seven dozen ways you are about to die at any moment. Every early morning when I get up for a practice ride, I’m all gelatinous with nerves. But as I start up the bike, it’s not visions of being obliterated by tractor-trailers I’m quaking about. It’s the through-the-curtains drowsy glares of neighbors when I have to adjust the choke to a louder place to get the idle stable. Not the fear of getting creamed, but a…
  • On Our Radar: The Empty Space That Is Not Empty

    22 May 2015 | 9:00 am
    “Being in tech and not caring about tech culture is a luxury, only affordable to those with enough privilege to ignore it and too little empathy to care.” In her beautiful, award-nominated “A Talk About Nothing” at the 2015 .concat() web development conference, Lena Reinhard delivers a luminous exposition of how tech’s version of meritocracy is a brilliant system—for the people who get to define what merit is. When we overlook entire groups of people who could be making fantastic contributions to our future, we all end up with less. Don’t miss this talk. It’s full of…
  • Mark Llobrera · Professional Amateurs: Instant Web

    21 May 2015 | 5:29 am
    Instant Articles are here, and the announcement is all about speed. From a user perspective, I think that Instant Articles are a good thing. But I bristle at the implications for the open web. Implicit in the sales pitch (and explicit in much of the commentary that followed) is the familiar criticism that the traditional HTML/CSS/JS web stack is too slow to deliver a first-class experience. Facebook may have been throwing shade, but others were more overt in their criticism. John Gruber put it in stark terms: I worry that the inherent slowness of the web and ill-considered trend toward…
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • Video: Multi-Device Output, Input, and Posture

    18 May 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Conversions@Google published a complete video recording of my two and a half hour seminar last month (April 2015 in Dublin) on designing for mobile and across devices. In part one I walk through the growth of connected screens and how to design software that works well across a wide variety of devices from mobile to TVs and beyond. In particular I focus on output (what can show up on a screen), input (what people can put into our screens), and posture (how people interact with the output and input of a screen). In part two I answer audience questions and cover screen-less devices, responsive…
  • On the Wrist: Android Wear vs. Apple Watch

    17 May 2015 | 5:00 pm
    On PCs (or smartphones, or TVs) computer operating systems have a lot of user interface elements and conventions in common. So it's really the differences in each OS that define their unique personalities. Wearables are no different as my recent companions between Android Wear and Apple Watch help illustrate. Both operating systems contain an extensive but "hidden" interface layer. That is, there's lots of controls and features available but they require knowledge of touch gestures, audio commands, or hardware to operate. In practice I've personally found it hard to keep all these invisible…
  • The Invisible Interface

    29 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    Hang around software companies long enough and you'll certainly hear someone proclaim "the best interface is invisible." While this adage seems inevitable, today's device ecosystem makes it clear we may not be there yet. When there's no graphical user interface (icons, labels, etc.) in a product to guide us, our memory becomes the UI. That is, we need to remember the hidden voice and gesture commands that operate our devices. And these controls are likely to differ per device making the task even harder. Consider the number of gesture interfaces on today's smartwatch home screens. A swipe in…
  • There Is No Fold

    28 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    On the Web, people use the concept of “above the fold” to support layout decisions, call to action designs, ad placements, and more. Here’s why most of these arguments don’t fly. Placing elements at the top of the screen does not guarantee they are visible because people often scroll right away. So just because something is “above the fold” does not mean it gets noticed. If you are assuming people engage above the fold as a lot of design literature will tell you, you’re likely wrong. More engagement happens right at and below the fold than above. If you’re assuming the best…
  • Defining Mobile: 4-5.5 Inches, Portrait & One-Thumb

    27 Apr 2015 | 5:00 pm
    The word mobile has come to mean many things. But when designing mobile software, we need some clarity. What kind of devices are we talking about and how do people interact with them? Looking at ScientiaMobile’s report on 5.2 billion Web requests from the end of 2014 gives some answers. Globally, smartphone penetration is close to or over 60% on all continents. Feature phones, where still used (Africa 7% , South America 8%), are continuing to decline. 67% of smartphones range between 4 and 5.5 inches and 94% of the time they’re used in portrait orientation. Note this data is based on Web…
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    gotomobile

  • sale michael kors bags

    Rudy De Waele
    18 May 2015 | 10:57 pm
    Current appliances hi-tech appliance piloted at microcomputers further consorts to shape the safe approaching qualities. Slight catalyst governs the fast tray and as a result pinion prescribing arrangement, While they are a disk foot brake pedal goes to each take, And also linkage of anti- fastening technique, A extender controlled as well as the braking mechanism booster-style for optimum drive during emergency techniques. More deeply, A person’s queen bears Infiniti’s car and motorbike potent keep on top of,michael kors handbag sale uk, A advanced plan along with to wheels and…
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    Rudy De Waele
    13 May 2015 | 1:20 am
    In New York, spending is up 65 percent, to $436 million. Lobbying spending has more than doubled in North Carolina, New Jersey, Wisconsin,toms shoes outlet, Kansas, Arizona and Ohio. 2) Term limits and turnover, which force lobbyists to build new relationships instead of relying on that one legislator who gets everything done. Cut out rounds of pasta using a 2 1/2 inch to 3 inch cookie cutter. Place scant 1 tsp. Filling onto centre each round. Very much like Ryan Shazier,cheap toms, another ultra athletic linebacker selected by the Steelers in the first round, Dupree will likely be brought…
  • iPhone hype or hope?

    Kelly Goto
    11 Jul 2008 | 7:55 pm
    The launch was record breaking. Within the first quarter, the company reported profit of $1.75 billion on sales of $9.42 billion. Excluding one-time items, per-share earnings were 30 cents — beating 28 cents on sales of $9.21 billion expected by analysts. From an original review on its record-breaking sales:  “Noted by industry experts as a game-changing feat of design and engineering … The mobile handset’s radical and revolutionary design transformed consumer’s expectations for how a mobile handset should look and feel.”  Sound familiar? Think back to 2004 when Motorola…
  • olpc - babyproof?

    Kelly Goto
    28 Jan 2008 | 2:53 pm
    Conducting baby usability on the OLPC. At 5 months old, our daughter enjoys playing with the web cam recording and has even figured out how to play the videos back. Although the target market is a ‘teeny’ bit older that this - the UI does need a bit of help. No Tags
  • from microsoft to macworld

    Kelly Goto
    24 Jan 2008 | 6:33 pm
    No matter how prepared you might be, even the second time around, meeting Bill Gates is quite a thrill. In December, I was re-invited to an intimate event at Microsoft - 9 individuals sitting around with Bill Gates in the Executive Briefing Center. Attending were bloggers Kip Kniskern, Molly Holzschlag, Jesse Warden, Jonathan Snook, Keith Peters, Erik Natzke, Julie Lerman and Rob Howard. The highlights of this media roundtable were playing with the new Surface Table and dropping science with Bill Gates. I asked Bill if he had one of the Tables in his living room, thinking if anyone did, he…
 
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    Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995

  • Screen Time: An Event Apart Video by Luke Wroblewski

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    29 May 2015 | 7:10 am
    FULL-LENGTH FRIDAY is here again! Enjoy another great 60-minute presentation ℅ An Event Apart, the design conference for people who make websites: In this 60-minute video captured live at An Event Apart Orlando: Special Edition, designer, entrepreneur, and author Luke Wroblewski takes us deep into what today’s world of multiple, simultaneous screen use means for web and interaction designers. Source: An Event Apart News: Screen Time: An Event Apart Video by Luke Wroblewski
  • 20 Years Ago Today: Bill Gates Wakes Up And Smells The Internet.

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    26 May 2015 | 9:00 am
    TODAY marks the 20th anniversary of Bill Gates’s famous letter about the web, and my first website, batmanforever.com, created with Steve McCarron and Alec Pollak for Donald Buckley of Warner Bros and optimized for Netscape 1.1. Gates’s memo to employees, published this day twenty years ago and entitled “The Internet Tidal Wave” accurately identified the web as a threat to its kingdom of binary desktop software, and set Microsoft on course to “own” the browser, thereby holding back the threat for about fifteen years. A transcript of Gates’s memo is…
  • A byte saved is a follower earned: Web Performance Then And Now

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    20 May 2015 | 5:56 am
    FIFTEEN years ago this month, a plucky ALA staffer wrote “Much Ado About 5K,” an article on a contest created by Stewart Butterfield that challenged web designers and developers to build a complete website using less than five kilobytes of images and code. As one group of modern web makers embraces mobile-first design and performance budgets, while another (the majority) worships at the altar of bigger, fatter, and slower, the 5K contest reminds us that a byte saved is a follower earned. More in 15 Years Ago in ALA: Much Ado About 5K.
  • A List Apart № 420: Add Friction to Interactions, Customize With Care

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    19 May 2015 | 11:41 am
    IN ISSUE № 420 of A List Apart: Meta-Moments: Thoughtfulness by Design by ANDREW GRIMES Does the internet ever stop you in your tracks? Does it sometimes make you pause and think about what you’re doing? Andrew Grimes calls such moments meta-moments. He walks us through why meta-moments are occasionally necessary and how we might build them into the experiences we design. ⇛ Approaching Content Strategy for Personalized Websites by COLIN EAGAN Experience management systems are making it easier than ever to customize content for your visitors—but are you using your newfound…
  • A List Apart № 419: Narratives & Conversations

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    5 May 2015 | 1:55 pm
    IN ISSUE № 419 of A List Apart: Do Androids Dream in Free Verse by JOSCELIN COOPER From ATMs to Siri to the button text in an application user interface, we “talk” to our tech—and our tech talks back. Often this exchange is purely transactional, but newer technologies have renegotiated this relationship. Joscelin Cooper reflects on how we can design successful human-machine conversations that are neither cloying nor overly mechanical. ⇛ Building Nonlinear Narratives for the Web by SENONGO AKPEM The web operates in ways that can conflict with our traditional view of what a…
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    Max Design

  • Links for light reading (29/5/15)

    Russ Weakley
    28 May 2015 | 4:02 pm
    CSS Migrating to Flexbox by Cutting the Mustard CSS Ruler The End of Global CSS On writing real CSS (again) How to Use Media Queries in Responsive Web Design General Just right for me 20 Docs and Guides for Front-End Developers (No. 4) Screensiz.es Sort git Branches by Date Benton Modern, A Case Study On Art-Directed Responsive Web Typography The Art Of The SVG Filter And Why It Is Awesome XTemplate – A Simple Javascript library to manage HTML Fragments templates Web Standards: We’re F’ing It Up UX Interface Experience Maps How To Create UX Personas Designing For Explicit…
  • Links for light reading (21/5/15)

    Russ Weakley
    21 May 2015 | 1:20 am
    CSS Getting Dicey With Flexbox An Introduction To Graphical Effects in CSS Automated Tests for Visual Responsive Layouts Understanding CSS Counters and Their Use Cases CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI) – W3C Working Draft, 19 May 2015 General The state of web components An Introduction to Responsive Images — DrupalJam Why you shouldn’t assume all users have JavaScript Considerations on Bug Reporting in Teams A Better Way To Design For Retina In Photoshop Using canvas to fix SVG scaling in Internet Explorer Testing For And With Windows Phone Meta-Moments:…
  • Links for light reading (14/5/15)

    Russ Weakley
    14 May 2015 | 1:42 am
    CSS Eric Meyer on the past, present and future of CSS Flexbox and Grid Percentage Margins: Feedback Needed Conducting an Interface Inventory The At-Rules of CSS Reducing Memory Leaks when Working with Animations symdiff General I spent most of today making a Single Page App Designing a good portfolio Pre-made Layouts and Why Should You Use Them Designers And Developers: No Longer A House Divided Do Androids Dream in Free Verse? How to Choose the Right UI Patterns for Your Web Design HTML Making abbr elements touch accessible Required versus optional fields – a new standard? Building a…
  • Links for light reading (8/5/15)

    Russ Weakley
    8 May 2015 | 1:53 am
    CSS Atomic CSS CSS Animation for Beginners Working with BEM at Scale — Advice From Top Developers Video: Quantity Queries In Action Transforms on SVG Elements A Complete Guide to SVG Fallbacks Cyclomatic Complexity: Logic in CSS An Introduction to Mobile-First Media Queries General I’m an Imposter The Future of the Open Web Icons and type Beginner’s guide to understanding SSL certificates Microsoft Edge is the browser for Windows 10 On HTML belts and ARIA braces Has your website survived mobilegeddon? Ultimate Collection of Resources for Developers Starting With Bootstrap HTML…
  • Links for light reading (26/04/15)

    Russ Weakley
    25 Apr 2015 | 8:49 pm
    CSS HTML vs Body in CSS Chaining Multiple Blend Modes CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 4 – W3C First Public Working Draft, 21 April 2015 CSS Cascading and Inheritance Level 3 – W3C Candidate Recommendation, 16 April 2015 CSS Basic User Interface Module Level 3 (CSS3 UI) – W3C Working Draft, 09 April 2015 General Where Style Guides Fit Into Process Tips for Surviving Google’s “Mobilegeddon” Web Components, accessibility and the Priority of Constituencies The What and Why of Pattern Lab Electron – Build cross platform desktop apps with web technologies…
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    Putting people first

  • The driverless car push ignores challenges of people and context

    Experientia
    27 May 2015 | 11:01 pm
    Autonomous or driverless cars are based on a technology push strategy. Beyond statements like “freeing up time”, “reducing accidents” and some simple scenarios on “remote parking” or “vehicle sharing”, there is far too little thought on what such vehicles imply for people’s behaviors and possible future contexts of use. Even a cursory reflection from a human-centered point of view highlights serious non-tech challenges. Here are three that come to mind immediately: The backup driver Driverless cars so far are level 3 autonomous cars, with a backup driver when things go wrong…
  • A Bauhaus-inspired, human-centered internet of things

    Experientia
    25 May 2015 | 4:09 am
    In a short opinion piece in The Guardian, Jenny Judge and Julia Powles state that the Bauhaus movement could be a model for a more human-centered internet of things: “Back in the early 20th century, the Bauhaus movement defined itself with two slogans: first, that form should follow function; and second, that design should be truthful to materials. […] Screens don’t communicate anything about what they do. They remove us from our surroundings. And not only that, but as we tap and swipe merrily past terms and conditions, our personal information is siphoned off to third parties…
  • Conference Call: Design Anthropological Futures

    Experientia
    22 May 2015 | 2:00 am
    Design Anthropological Futures conference Organised by the Research Network for Design Anthropology August 13-14, 2015 Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts – School of Design in Copenhagen, Denmark The Design Anthropological Futures conference explores future-making from a design anthropological perspective. The concept of futures relates both to the creation of visions and practices of the possible through transformative processes of anthropology and design, and to the exploration of new frontiers for the field of design anthropology. Design anthropology is an emerging transdisciplinary…
  • We are ignoring the new machine age at our peril

    Experientia
    17 May 2015 | 3:48 am
    In 2009, W Brian Arthur published a remarkable book, The Nature of Technology, in which he formulated a coherent theory of what technology is, how it evolves and how it spurs innovation and industry. Technology, he argued, “builds itself organically from itself” in ways that resemble chemistry or even organic life. And implicit in Arthur’s conception of technology is the idea that innovation is not linear, but what mathematicians call “combinatorial”, ie one driven by a whole bunch of things. And the significant point about combinatorial innovation is that it brings about radical…
  • Design thinking without deep analysis is reckless. A more balanced approach is needed.

    Experientia
    17 May 2015 | 2:35 am
    Larry Keeley, co-founder of innovation firm Doblin which is now a unit of Deloitte Consulting LLP, says that too often advocates of “design” regard it as an elixir that can somehow transform conservative companies into creative ones. In the most egregious cases, he says, advocates suggest “design thinking” can somehow replace nearly all other forms of analysis, planning, and strategy. However, as is popularly described and delivered, “design thinking” is too superficial to truly deliver on such grandiose expectations. Keeley argues for a more balanced approach,…
 
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    Subtraction.com + Feed

  • How Dropbox Remains Relevant

    Khoi
    29 May 2015 | 7:03 am
    During the mini tour of New York design teams that I conducted several weeks back, one of the things that came up often was that most designers manage their work files through Dropbox, and not through ostensibly more sophisticated version control systems. Dropbox’s high quality synching and near ubiquity have improved life dramatically for design…
  • Google I/O Countdown

    Khoi
    28 May 2015 | 8:03 am
    I’m more of an admirer of Google’s Material Design than a true fan, but I have to admit that the company is commendably dogged in its ambitions to become a leader in design. Their products started out looking defiantly ugly, struggled their way towards respectability, and now seem poised to achieve a distinctive aesthetic that’s…
  • Web vs. Native: A Call for the Web to Concede Defeat

    Khoi
    27 May 2015 | 10:19 am
    Peter-Paul Koch, who describes himself as a mobile platform strategist, wrote this excellent appraisal of the state of web apps, which for years have been getting more and more complicated in order to match the richness of apps written expressly for iOS, Android, etc. The web cannot emulate native perfectly, and it never will. Native…
  • Fontstand Lets You Try High Quality Fonts for Free

    Khoi
    26 May 2015 | 12:44 pm
    If Typekit dragged the type industry into the daylight of the modern Web, then the brand new Fontstand aims to finish the job of modernizing it. This new service allows, for the first time, on-the-fly trial and rental of quality fonts from foundries such as Commercial Type, Process Type Foundry, Type Together and a small…
  • Joanna Gruesome’s Peanut Butter

    Khoi
    21 May 2015 | 7:20 am
    Joanna Gruesome is not a person but a band from Wales, and their just-released second record (titled “Peanut Butter,” okay whatever) clocks in at just twenty-two minutes. Allowing for commercials, that’s basically a sit-com’s worth of your time, but it will yield you much more pleasure than any episode of “The Great Bang Theory” because…
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    Veerle's blog

  • Tulip S-XL

    Veerle Pieters
    13 May 2015 | 10:18 am
    Tulip is a decorative item for both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Mal 1956

    Veerle Pieters
    13 May 2015 | 6:02 am
    The first time I saw the following product I immediately thought oh no not another copy cat. It wouldn’t be the first and certainly not the last. However this isn’t the case as Mal Furniture, a Dutch, Eindhoven based design label has been granted a limited in time homage to Charles and Ray Eames by Vitra. They re-created one of the greatest design icons of the fifties in plastic. Suitable for outside The ‘Mal 1956’ lounge set is manufactured in Polythene. That makes it suitable to be used outdoors. I haven’t been able to sit in one but Mal Furniture claims that the lounger is sturdy…
  • St. Johns Bizarre 2015 Poster

    Veerle Pieters
    12 May 2015 | 10:24 am
    Many elements to discover!via Jolby & Friends
  • Page Preloading Effect

    Veerle Pieters
    12 May 2015 | 9:33 am
    A tutorial on how to re-create a page preloading effect.
  • PatternBolt

    Veerle Pieters
    12 May 2015 | 8:36 am
    PatternBolt, a curated selection of SVG pattern backgrounds.
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • UIETips: Riding the Magic Escalator of Acquired Knowledge

    Jared Spool
    27 May 2015 | 12:08 pm
    In today’s UIEtips, we’re reprinting an article from me. In it I explore a simple visualization tool we invented to help teams and stakeholders see where their designs are too complex for their users and what they can do about it. I call this tool the Magic Escalator of Acquired Knowledge and, as you’ll see, it can be quite effective for getting the entire team working on making an easier-to-use design. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Mapping what we know about our users and their tasks on to the Magic Escalator of Acquired Knowledge can help us predict where those…
  • Your UX Package is Waiting

    Jared Spool
    26 May 2015 | 10:55 am
    Tackling your UX to do list can be overwhelming. Maybe there’s a missing skill set or your team could benefit from a consulting call with me. Well, we’re here to help. Here are three unique packages of UX resources for you to choose from, all guaranteed to improve the UX happening at your organization. But get yours soon because they are only available until June 11. The Pixel Package 2 passes to any UIE conferences 4 subscriptions to the All You Can Learn Library View the Pixel Package The Landing Page Package 2 passes to any UIE conferences 4 subscriptions to the All You Can Learn…
  • Successful Style Guides – Brad Frost’s June 4 Virtual Seminar

    Adam Churchill
    26 May 2015 | 7:49 am
    In our June 4 UIE Virtual Seminar, Brad Frost digs deep into the world of style guides: why they’re important, how they benefit organizations of all sizes, and how they can be crafted to gain value over time. You’ll be equipped and excited to shape a more global design system. Attend this seminar if you want to: Establish sound footing in a turbulent landscape Communicate the importance of pattern-based development and workflow Work as a team towards big changes with substantial rewards Create references with durable value Brad’s talk will challenge you to think differently and…
  • Free UX Videos That Will Change the Way You Work and Think for the Better.

    Lauren Cramer
    22 May 2015 | 11:08 am
    In the midst of planning this year’s User Interface 20 Conference in Boston November 2-4, we thought what better way to share the conference experience than giving you last year’s videos – for free. Watch them with your team, at your lunch break, wherever you want, whenever you want. No strings attached. All you need to do is visit the UI20 conference site to access them. Oh yeah did we tell you they are free? Two of the videos are available now. We’ll continue to add videos weekly until you have access to all nine. You can even sign up to get notified when the next video is…
  • UIETips: Designing without a Designer

    Jared Spool
    20 May 2015 | 10:35 am
    In today’s UIEtips, we’re happy to offer my latest original article. In it I discuss how designers can benefit your team in more ways than just delivering a design. Design must be infused within an entire organization to get the competitive advantage. It’s so critical that we created a conference all around this – UX Advantage Conference in Baltimore August 18,19. You’ll hear interviews from leaders at PayPal, Capital One, Marriott, and others on how they pushed the competitive advantage of design in their organization. Here’s an excerpt from the article:…
 
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    Cone Trees

  • Geoff Boynton on Visual Attention – Part I

    ConeTrees
    15 May 2015 | 1:45 am
    In this interview, Dr. Geoff Boynton from the University of Washington talks about the neural basis of visual attention. In the first segment, he outlines the changes in our understanding how attention modulates neural processing and some of his own experiments in this area.
  • The User Experience (UX) Process

    ConeTrees
    7 May 2015 | 12:57 am
    Status: Work in progress (what is this?) Working over the past 8 years in user experience, I have noticed the lack of truly descriptive process diagrams for the generic UX process. Either the stages are serial and non-iterative, which is not actually anywhere near true (since stages overlap with each other), or they are shown as serial with some iterative stages (but then they fail to show the overlap in stages). The diagram below is the Cone Trees UX process and it is based upon the reality of how UX stages work. I will be updating the details below from time to time since this is work in…
  • Improving Interface Design

    ConeTrees
    1 May 2015 | 12:09 am
    Presentation from a half-day workshop on interface design from WebVisions 2007.
  • Revealing Design Treasures of Amazon.com

    ConeTrees
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:42 am
    On its surface, Amazon.com just seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design isn’t flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its pages are hidden secrets — secrets that every designer should know about. If one looks closely at what the team at Amazon has built, it’s filled with innovative functionality and clever designs, all of which creates a delightful experience for its users and directly produces regular profits for its shareholders. But not all is perfect. Some design changes in the last few years have not been the success…
  • Modeling the Mobile User Experience

    ConeTrees
    1 Apr 2015 | 12:04 am
    A presentation by Bryan Rieger of Yiibu on Modeling the Mobile User Experience.
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    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

  • Getting Hired in UX

    Harry Brignull
    4 May 2015 | 1:15 pm
    I’ve been helping some of my clients with hiring UX designers lately. Here are some tips you might find helpful if you’re looking for a role. Beware miscommunications from recruiters If you’ve been lined up the role by a recruiter, be cautious if they make you feel like you’ve been headhunted or that you’re somehow a special candidate. Some recruiters try to encourage you to apply by flattering you, and then they they do the same thing to the employer – telling them how incredibly enthusiastic you are about the role. When the interview happens, both parties can feel weirded…
  • Using decision tables to support contextual targeting in your UI.

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

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

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

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

  • Introducing HotJar

    Matthew Kammerer
    29 May 2015 | 7:27 am
    This week, our UX Booth sponsor is HotJar, an all-in-one analytics and feedback tool to make analytics easier for UX professionals. Hotjar challenges the old method, where all tools are separate and disconnected. They measure drivers, barriers, and hooks to see the big picture of a website. Then they use these measurements to uncover opportunities for growth and improvement. Even better, HotJar offers a 9-step action plan to help organizations get from setup to success. HotJars plans are affordable, starting with a free basic plan, and offering more advanced plans so the analytics…
  • UX: a Process or a Task?

    Marli Mesibov
    26 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    Gene is an interaction designer. During a sales call, he’s asked if he “does UX.” He assures the client that he does, and the client asks why he isn’t a “UX designer?” Gene explains that either term fits his work. The client wants to know if Gene will conduct usability testing, and Gene says no, he works with a researcher who will do that. The client is confused: if Gene “does UX,” doesn’t that include both design and testing? For some, UX is associated with process, rather than a specific job or activity. The “UX process” is…
  • Bridging the Gap Between Actual and Reported Behavior

    Kat Matfield
    19 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    Henry Ford famously said that if he’d asked his customers what they wanted, he would have built a faster horse, instead of the world’s first mass-market motor car. Ford maintained this cynical attitude towards his customers’ stated preferences throughout his career. For instance, the Model T Ford came in “any colour that [the customer] wants, so long as it is black.” Ford’s attitude can seem outdated in the era of human-centred design, but it teaches an important lesson: products are improved by listening to what users want—and not necessarily what…
  • Cognitive Demand, Not Always By Design

    Nicholas Bowman
    12 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    About a month ago, a student came into my office and called my attention to my computer monitor, with its dizzying array of eight data columns, each representing a different Twitter feed—3 personal, 3 for consulting work, and 2 for class. In any given moment, I had access to between 50 and 60 simultaneous tweets, each column updating in (near) real time. During the five minutes he spent in my office a cavalcade of Tweets streamed vertically down each column. While I’ve always enjoyed Tweetdeck’s ability to collect and display such a sheer volume of information, I confessed,…
  • What Talk Shows Can Teach Us About UX Research

    Hannah Atkin
    5 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    I sat contorting my shoulder towards my ear, a frantic balancing act, while I pounded the keyboard of my rundown Windows desktop. On the other end of the line was an A-list celebrity, and I had barely 15 minutes for her pre-interview. She was set to appear on our nationally syndicated talk show the next day, where her interview would be seen by millions of people across the country. The quality of our 15 minutes together would inform the majority of her on-screen interview the following day. I was nervous, but prepared. I started my post-college career in television talk show research. While…
 
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    User Vision » Articles

  • UX Song of the Month: User Friendly

    Chris Rourke
    25 May 2015 | 4:22 am
    This month’s song for the UX Playlist is from Elizabeth Buie (@ebuie) via Twitter, who recommended this number by the salmon-farming head of prog rockers Jethro Tull. Ian Anderson is a man of many and diverse talents, including his favourite party piece of playing a flute while standing on one leg. We’re not sure if he was striking that pose whilst recording User Friendly for his 1983 solo album Walk into Light. The song is very much a product of its time and Ian Anderson’s distinctive voice warbles lyrics that seem overly-keen to embrace the dawning digital age: Dance on a printed…
  • Faceted navigation for policies & parties

    Chris Rourke
    7 May 2015 | 9:05 am
    When it comes to navigation and information architecture, we often find a good solution is a “faceted navigation” built around the way people naturally choose to find information and providing a flexible and intuitive user journey. Many people feel confused about understanding where the parties stand on various issues.There are many issues and (this time especially) so many parties. So how can I understand it all? A good faceted navigation lets people find information by the way that best suits them, providing a sense of control while foraging for information.  It can also let the…
  • The UX of elections and voting

    Chris Rourke
    6 May 2015 | 8:10 am
    This Thursday after you close the curtain and carefully point your pencil to pick your preferred politician, pause for moment and consider the experience that you are having. How are you feeling? Anxious? Excited? Proud? Grateful? Undecided (still? You’re not alone). Do you have any doubts about how you vote, especially if it’s your first time? Hopefully the ballot paper is clear and the instructions are easy to follow. But if not then let your election monitors know because a lot of work has gone into making the process and materials as clear and easy a process as possible. User…
  • QVC’s Virtual Changing Room

    Nicola Dunlop
    5 May 2015 | 8:09 am
    The online retailer QVC has recently been experimenting with the latest in augmented reality on the Berlin high-street. Situated in the Mall of Berlin, a QVC virtual changing room invites passers-by to ‘try on’ garments from their online store collection. The show-case of technology marks how QVC are looking to enhance their service experience for users in the digital age. When shopping online, one of the main pain points is the lack in ability to see how a garment fits against a specific body type. This then lead to much hesitation around a potential purchase with users questioning…
  • ‘Mobilegeddon’ – is your site mobile friendly?

    Amy McInnes
    23 Apr 2015 | 3:27 am
    From the 21st of April, a site’s ‘mobile friendliness’ will now play a key role in the way it is ranked on Google’s mobile search results.  Key factors Google will be checking are load times, responsive design elements, and mobile best practise…basically all the elements that affect the user’s experience of a site viewed on a small screen. Do the test The algorithm change acknowledges the importance of having a site designed for mobile, such as through a responsive or adaptive design. There are still sites that are not considering the mobile user experience, and as such, are…
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    UX Movement

  • Absolute vs. Relative Timestamps: When to Use Which

    anthony
    19 May 2015 | 9:22 am
    Information evolves over time like a living organism. What’s relevant this year might not hold as much weight a few years from now. That’s why it’s important to append timestamps to your content. But if you don’t display your timestamps in the right format users could have trouble using them.Absolute vs. Relative TimestampsThere are two types of timestamps that most sites use. Relative timestamps display the number of minutes, hours, days, weeks or years ago a post was published. Absolute timestamps display the exact date and time a post was published.Both formats offer utility in…
  • Hotjar: All-In-One Heatmaps and Feedback Tool

    anthony
    12 May 2015 | 7:42 am
    “How will our tool make your life easier?” Hotjar used the polling feature of their tool to ask their users this question. They discovered that heatmaps was their most attractive feature.HeatmapsHeatmaps allows you to measure user engagement. You can see what page elements users are clicking on and interacting with the most. Then you can use that information to test and modify your designs to get users clicking what you want.Click & Tap HeatmapsHotjar offers 3 types of heatmaps. The first type shows where users click their cursor on desktop devices, and tap their finger on mobile…
  • 5 Research Based Tips for a Better Contact Form

    Tess Pajaron
    5 May 2015 | 7:14 am
    Contact forms are more than a passive method for communication. Great ones inspire user engagement. But what are the key features of a contact form that do just that? Here are 5 tips based on research to help you get more from your contact form.1. Use the right form layoutA recent eye tracking study conducted by researchers from Switzerland and backed by Google proposed a set of 20 guidelines for improving form usability.Here are 3 key takeaways from the form layout section of the study:To help users fill out the form as quick as possible, you should place field labels above the…
  • Why Infield Top Aligned Form Labels are Quickest to Scan

    anthony
    28 Apr 2015 | 2:42 pm
    How easy is it for users to scan your form? If your form is hard to scan, it could take longer than expected for users to complete it. This leads to form abandonment and loss of potential sign ups. The way to avoid this is to make your fields quick to scan when users first see them and after they fill them out.Scanning Pre-fill and Post-fillWhen users first see a form, they scan it to size up the amount of time and effort it’ll take to fill it out. If they can’t scan it quickly, they’ll feel like it’s going to take too much time and effort and move on.After filling out a form, users…
  • Why the Best Wireframe Style Is No Style

    anthony
    21 Apr 2015 | 6:40 am
    What tool would you use to hit a nail in? Only a hammer comes to mind. This is because a hammer’s form meets that specific function. It’s form matching function gives it its utility and value.A wireframe is only useful and valuable if its form matches its function as well. But many wireframes today don’t follow this principle. As a result, they can end up hurting how others view the future direction of the design. No designer wants to harm their team or project. But if your wireframes don’t have the right form, you could.The Wireframe’s FunctionIn order for your wireframe…
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    Cone Trees

  • Geoff Boynton on Visual Attention – Part I

    ConeTrees
    15 May 2015 | 1:45 am
    In this interview, Dr. Geoff Boynton from the University of Washington talks about the neural basis of visual attention. In the first segment, he outlines the changes in our understanding how attention modulates neural processing and some of his own experiments in this area.
  • The User Experience (UX) Process

    ConeTrees
    7 May 2015 | 12:57 am
    Status: Work in progress (what is this?) Working over the past 8 years in user experience, I have noticed the lack of truly descriptive process diagrams for the generic UX process. Either the stages are serial and non-iterative, which is not actually anywhere near true (since stages overlap with each other), or they are shown as serial with some iterative stages (but then they fail to show the overlap in stages). The diagram below is the Cone Trees UX process and it is based upon the reality of how UX stages work. I will be updating the details below from time to time since this is work in…
  • Improving Interface Design

    ConeTrees
    1 May 2015 | 12:09 am
    Presentation from a half-day workshop on interface design from WebVisions 2007.
  • Revealing Design Treasures of Amazon.com

    ConeTrees
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:42 am
    On its surface, Amazon.com just seems like a large e-commerce site, albeit a successful one. Its design isn’t flashy, nor is it much to write home about. But deep within its pages are hidden secrets — secrets that every designer should know about. If one looks closely at what the team at Amazon has built, it’s filled with innovative functionality and clever designs, all of which creates a delightful experience for its users and directly produces regular profits for its shareholders. But not all is perfect. Some design changes in the last few years have not been the success…
  • Modeling the Mobile User Experience

    ConeTrees
    1 Apr 2015 | 12:04 am
    A presentation by Bryan Rieger of Yiibu on Modeling the Mobile User Experience.
 
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    Project6 Design: Bay Area UI Design Firm

  • Gold and Silver! Five New Awards for Project6

    Jennifer Griego
    8 May 2015 | 9:16 am
    San Francisco Bay Area graphic design firm, Project6 Design, has been awarded five 2015 Communicator awards. Two gold awards were received for both the redesign of Rosendin Electric and the Belvedere Tiburon Library websites. Additionally, three silver awards were received for a giving website for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford as well as the Trihydro Corporation and a website for a prominent university. These awards were in four Website Categories: Construction, Charitable Organizations/Non-Profit, Consulting and School/University.The Communicator Awards is the leading…
  • Putting the Sparq into Solar Startup Website

    Jennifer Griego
    22 Apr 2015 | 4:22 pm
    sparq_teaser.png Project6 Design is always excited to assist startup companies with establishing their visual brand and communication strategy. Our work with Sparq is no exception. Project6 was tasked with helping Sparq, a solar power startup company, in launching a new website to communicate their patented solar power conversion technology. Sparq needed a website to showcase benefits and descriptions of of their budding products as well as capture leads and technical support requests. Project6 designed a mobile responsive website and Drupal CMS, allowing for easy customization post-launch.
  • Project6 Design Launches Website Design for Charitable Foundation

    Jennifer Griego
    22 Apr 2015 | 3:23 pm
    scan-foundation-logo.png Project6 Design, a San Francisco Bay Area web design and development firm, announces the launch of a website for the SCAN Foundation. The SCAN Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to transforming options for our aging generation so that they may preserve their dignity through independent living. By funding insightful research and publications, the foundation supports diverse audiences who share their mission of advancing an easily navigated system that promotes increased independence through high-quality services and care.The former SCAN Foundation website fell short…
  • Four New Awards for San Francisco Bay Area Graphic Design Firm

    Jennifer Griego
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:07 am
    horizon-interactive-awards.png San Francisco Bay Area graphic design firm, Project6 Design, has been awarded four 2014 Horizon Interactive awards. Two silver awards were received for both the Lucile Packard Foundation for Children's Health and Trihydro Corporation website redesigns. Additionally, bronze awards were received for newly designed websites for The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as well as a prominent university. These awards were in three Website Categories: Advocacy/Non-Profit, Corporate/B2B and School/University.The Horizon Interactive Awards is a prestigious international…
  • Project6 Engineers a Website Redesign to Promote Environmental Engineering Firm

    Jennifer Griego
    15 Jan 2015 | 8:42 am
    screen_shot_2015-04-02_at_2.40.11_pm.png Project6 Design, a San Francisco Bay Area graphic design firm, proudly announces the launch of a website redesign for Trihydro, a leading provider of environmental engineering services. Based in Laramie, Wyoming, this organization has grown to tackle challenges on a worldwide scale, but their previous site didn’t convey their position as innovative leaders in environmental engineering.Project6 embraced the challenge by selecting the Sitefinity CMS for its ability to leverage a robust amount of content and media across a responsive website. In…
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    Substance

  • The Responsibility of Working in the Travel & Tourism Industry

    Stephen Landau
    19 May 2015 | 5:16 pm
    In 2014, $927.9 billion was spent directly by domestic and international travelers, generating $141.5 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. Travel supports 15 million jobs in the U.S. — 8 million direct tourism jobs and 7 million indirect and induced jobs. U.S. Travel Association Travel Facts With travel being one of the greatest adventures we can experience, much of our work with Adventure Brands is in the travel and tourism industry. And judging from the numbers above, travel and tourism is a huge generator of jobs and revenue in the United States. When these…
  • Destinations Are More Than Lists of Resources

    Stephen Landau
    21 Apr 2015 | 1:36 pm
    I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list. Susan Sontag   Experiences are created through interactions with a destination, not through a listing page that shows every restaurant. Stories are written and memories are created from the experiences people have, not from pages of search results. We travel for work since much of our work has to do with travel. Sometimes these trips are around the corner or across the river, sometimes these trips are hours away by plane, crossing mountain ranges and thousands of miles. Most of these trips involve research, not only for what makes our…
  • 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…
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    Baymard Institute

  • Contextual List Item Information – A New E-Commerce Personalization Technique

    Jamie Appleseed
    18 May 2015 | 11:08 pm
    This is the 6th in a series of 9 articles based on research findings from our e-commerce product list usability study. In the ideal world, e-commerce sites would be able to tailor their product lists to the unique interests of each user, but of course, in the real world, sites can’t guess what the user is thinking. Yet with some clever product list adaptations e-commerce sites can actually approximate this kind of personalization with relatively modest efforts. We’ll explore how in this article. Now, in the instances where we don’t have knowledge about or proxies for the…
  • Filtering UI: A Horizontal Toolbar Can Outperform the Traditional Sidebar

    Christian Holst
    4 May 2015 | 10:56 pm
    This is the 5th in a series of 9 articles based on research findings from our e-commerce product list usability study. At e-commerce sites the filtering interface has historically consisted of a left-hand vertical sidebar. However, over the last couple of years a new filtering and sorting interface has become increasingly popular: a horizontal toolbar which combine both filters and the sort tool. In fact our Product Lists & Filtering benchmark reveal that of 50 top US e-commerce sites 24% have ditched the traditional filtering sidebar in favor of a combined horizontal filtering and…
  • External Article: The Current State of E-Commerce Filtering

    Baymard Institute
    20 Apr 2015 | 7:50 am
    This is the 4th in a series of 9 articles based on research findings from our e-commerce product list usability study. In today’s article, we’ll go over 7 guidelines from the E-Commerce Product Lists & Filtering report. The article is published as a guest post at Smashing Magazine and explore 7 key aspects of the user’s filtering experience in an e-commerce context. The article also includes an analysis of the current state of e-commerce filtering based on the benchmark of the 50 top e-commerce sites: The Current State of E-Commerce Filtering Post a comment Related…
  • Category-Specific Sorting: A New Way to Sort Products

    Jamie Appleseed
    13 Apr 2015 | 11:18 pm
    This is the 3rd in a series of 9 articles based on research findings from our e-commerce product list usability study. We considered naming this article “the sort type all users want but zero sites offer” because category-specific sorting really is one of those rare instances where an obvious feature has somehow been completely overlooked by the e-commerce community. After all, it really shouldn’t come as a surprise that users would like to sort a list of TVs by “Screen size” or a collection of hard drives by “Storage capacity”. During our research…
  • Users' Perception of Product Ratings (New Qualitative & Quantitative Findings)

    Jamie Appleseed
    25 Mar 2015 | 7:50 am
    This is the 2nd in a series of 9 articles based on research findings from our e-commerce product list usability study. Product ratings can be incredibly helpful to users. During our research studies we’ve observed how the test subjects rely on ratings to gauge a product’s quality or value – especially in verticals where they lacks domain knowledge or have little prior product experience. However, for users to be able use product ratings this way two key pieces of information must be present: the average rating score (obviously) and the number of ratings that average is based on.
 
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    The UX Bookmark

  • 5 Questions To Answer Before Measuring Anything

    admin
    15 May 2015 | 8:35 am
    We measure more than just usability. We work with clients to measure everything from delight, loyalty, brand affinity, luxury, quality and even love. While all of these concepts are related, they each measure slightly different aspects of the customer experience. Before measuring anything, especially a construct that’s not well defined or used in practice, we answer these five questions: How is this being measured already?  What will we compare this to? How reliable and valid are the measures? How precise do we need to be? What will we do with the results? 5 Questions To Answer…
  • Can You Avoid Political Fallout From Your Standards Effort?

    admin
    1 May 2015 | 12:14 am
    Every once in a while, the author reads a journal article that represents a lot of research effort, and wonder, how did they reach that conclusion from the evidence? For example, Kristin Eschenfelder explored how web standardization projects contribute to conflict in web design. After 20 years experience helping organizations create effective application and web standards, the author read this with some puzzlement. After all, doesn’t a design standard settle conflicts by saying “this is the best answer to the conflicting demands on navigation, layout, vocabulary, and…
  • Discount Usability: 20 Years

    admin
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:18 am
    Simple user testing with 5 participants, paper prototyping, and heuristic evaluation offer a cheap, fast, and early focus on usability, as well as many rounds of iterative design. Discount Usability: 20 Years
  • Education in HCI

    admin
    1 Apr 2015 | 4:58 am
    The HCI Education page is a collection of resources for students and educators interested in Human-Computer Interaction. The following are key resources for HCI Education: Curriculum: The SIGCHI Curriculum Development Group report Curricula in Human-Computer Interaction. Affordable Textbook: Clayton Lewis and John Rieman’s shareware book Task-Centered User Interface Development. Readings: Gary Perlman’s Suggested Readings in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Interface (UI) Development & Human Factors (HF). Educator’s Mailing List: The SIGCHI Mailing List:…
  • User-centred design and organisational maturity

    admin
    18 Mar 2015 | 11:37 pm
    For a web site to be successful its intended audience must find it easy to use. As this maxim finds increasing recognition organisations are asking: “What can we do to create a site that’s easy to use?” The answer for most, it seems, is usability testing. But usability testing is only one part of producing highly-usable sites: the most effective and reliable way to ensure fundamental usability is to follow a user-centred design process. And the success of this approach is largely dependent on the wider organisational attitude towards usability. The author discusses what lies beyond…
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    UserZoom zooming in on the customer experience

  • Scoping out the Competition: Mystery Shopping in an Online Era

    UserZoom
    29 May 2015 | 12:05 pm
      Mystery shoppers, also sometimes called secret shoppers, have been in use since the 1940s to surreptitiously measure the quality of a business’ service, products and pricing by posing as a customer and reporting back on their experience. Ultimately, the mystery shopper’s goal is to experience how a business operates and treats their average customer without businesses being aware they are being “graded,” recording insights and feedback about their experience, and reporting it back to the company so they can improve their customer experience. In today’s highly competitive era…
  • Back to School: How Colleges Score on Information Architecture and UX Design for Applicants

    Liz A.
    28 May 2015 | 1:44 pm
    Screenshot: Brown.edu Summer’s here and school is almost out. But for one population — recent high school graduates — college is on the brain. They’ve just concluded the demanding process of identifying colleges to attend, applying, and getting their acceptances. Matriculation is just one short summer of freedom away. Yet the process of applying to colleges is overwhelming: standardized testing, applications, and evaluating different colleges. How do individual universities approach the challenge of information architecture and user design for applicants to make their website the…
  • Getting a Plan Together: Creating a UX Roadmap for Your A-Team

    UserZoom
    27 May 2015 | 1:51 pm
    The A-Team’s John “Hannibal” Smith said it best with his catchphrase, “I love it when a plan comes together.” You should love a good plan too, especially when it comes to your product’s UX Roadmap. A great UX Roadmap will help ensure that you accomplish your research and design goals on time, on budget, and with buy-in from stakeholders. What is a UX Roadmap? A UX Roadmap is a game plan to achieve your product or site goals. It starts with your desired result of a seamless and delightful user experience and takes into account all of the UX research required to achieve it. Think of…
  • Sharing Our Secrets: A Closer Look at the User Experience Design of Anonymous Mobile Apps

    Liz A.
    27 May 2015 | 1:28 pm
    If given the chance to vent your biggest frustrations or darkest secrets to an anonymous audience, would you take it? Famously, PostSecret allowed individuals to share these types of insights on postcards sent through USPS to an editor. The juicier and more thought provoking pieces were compiled into books and museum exhibits. Today our collective obsession with the public, anonymous confessional has gone digital. Anonymous apps are a growing trend in the social media space. Yik Yak and Whisper are in the lead, allowing users to share content and interact anonymously on mobile platforms.
  • Increasing Conversions: The Usability Design of Sign-Up Forms

    Liz A.
    27 May 2015 | 8:44 am
    When you’re building an online business, email marketing matters. According to one source, for every dollar spent on email marketing the return is $44.25. The breakdown for email marketing metrics is complex. How big is your list? What are your open rates for specific emails? How many users click your links? What percentage of your list buys something from you? Email marketing has been called the engine that helps build businesses. But the first step is getting your audience to sign up. Optimizing your email marketing sign-up forms — especially with an eye toward mobile users and mobile…
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    user experience design, ux and usability blog - keepitusable

  • How do you feel? Understanding emotions to craft satisfying experiences

    keepitusable
    27 May 2015 | 1:05 am
    Digital platforms and technology allow us to do things quicker and easier. Well, that’s the theory. The reality can often be far from this. How many times have you been looking for information only to give up and visit a competitor site? Unfortunately, badly structured websites and complicated software are all too commonplace. We’ve been spoilt by the likes of Apple and expect this simple, effective and affective user experience across all our interactions with technology. Customers want experiences “that dazzle their senses, touch their hearts and stimulate their minds”…
  • Keep It Usable shortlisted for Online Business Award

    keepitusable
    12 May 2015 | 1:38 am
    We’re super excited to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for another award! This time it’s for the Online Business Award (Salford Business Awards), which recognises organisations that have effectively used technology to create a significant difference. Ricardo says “We’re very proud to have been shortlisted for the online award. We continually make a significant difference to our clients businesses, helping top brands within the UK and internationally to be more successful online. We use a unique combination of highly specialist skills coupled with our many years of experience to…
  • Call to Action Buttons: 5 Psychology tips to increase conversion 

    keepitusable
    23 Apr 2015 | 12:04 am
    What are call to action buttons? When designing an interface, one of the main goals of the designer, is to ensure that the end user is able to clearly understand what they should do next and where each click will lead them. Call to action buttons are essential to this dynamic, as these buttons are what guide the user through the interface. The very name of the button, call to action, states there is a necessity for the person engaging with the interface to be stimulated to perform a task. In this case, the designer wants the user to press a button: to make it more enticing so that more…
  • Psychology of Social Networks: What makes us addicted?

    keepitusable
    17 Apr 2015 | 2:58 am
    Have you ever thought about the number of times you check social networks? Is it a few times a week? Once a day? Seventy-two percent of online adults use social media and the average user spends 23 hours a week on social media – that’s the equivalent of a part time job! We are living in the social media era.  – 2 billion worldwide social network users – 500 million tweets sent every day – 70 million images uploaded on Instagram every day – 300 hours of video uploaded per minute on YouTube What makes us so addicted? Social networks are an extension of…
  • What’s the real difference? Face-to-face versus Remote user testing

    keepitusable
    8 Apr 2015 | 2:24 am
    Have you ever wondered what the real difference is between remote unmoderated user testing (like usertesting.com and whatusersdo) and face-to-face user testing? Which method should you use, when and what for? There is a huge difference in these two techniques and the end results so let’s take a look at them both in greater depth. Face-to-face Interviews conducted face-to-face with target users, often in a lab setting or in-context, for example in the person’s home to make them feel more at ease and uncover more realistic feedback and issues. The interviews are a two-way…
 
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • Scan to CAD Process Preserves Legacy Paper Drawings

    Diane Mitol
    28 May 2015 | 1:14 pm
    Scan to CAD Process Preserves Legacy Paper Drawings One of the problems when referring to a CAD drawing that was made before the “digital age” is that it may be handed to you as an old set of mylars, vellums or blueprints to work from.  Short of starting from scratch by recreating the paper drawing in CAD, what can you do?  Scan to CAD is the process that enables you to get these old drawings into a digital format for use in your CAD program. Scan to CAD may sound like a single process, but it is actually a series of processes that starts with scanning the original drawing on a…
  • Raster to Vector, Do it Yourself or Outsource with CAD/CAM Services

    27 May 2015 | 12:08 pm
    CAD/CAM Services, Inc. is a Celina, Texas, USA based company offering full-service CAD conversion. CAD/CAM Services offer assistance with hardware, software, and service issues for any kind of CAD conversion job. This includes scanning and raster to vector conversion, 2D to 3D CAD conversion, and BIM models. The best part of CAD/CAM Services is their ability to offer assistance on do it yourself jobs or service jobs. They are the go to company to purchase hardware and software for CAD conversion. Alternatively, CAD/CAM Services can act as an outsource extension of your CAD team. They…
  • Simply Converting AutoCAD drawings into a BIM model

    19 May 2015 | 9:00 am
    Designers working with AutoCAD software may need to convert those AutoCAD drawings into a BIM model. According to AutoDesk, the leader in technical design software, "BIM is an intelligent model-based process that provides insight to help you plan, design, construct, and manage buildings and infrastructure." As for AutoCad, designs using this method are usually less reliant on 3D shapes and instead focus on the use 2D sketches that can be interpolated into parts or other structures. While both of these tools are useful when standing alone, they are even more powerful when put…
  • Temporary Drafting Services for More Efficient CAD Design

    15 May 2015 | 6:30 am
    CAD drafting is a hard process that requires skill, dedication and expert technology.  Some of the largest firms have in-house resources but for the rest of  us, temporary drafting outsourcing is the best solution.  You receive the quality, speed and excellence of a full-time professional a a much more affordable price.  Drafting outsourcing is used to more efficiently produce CAD designs. As a leader in draft outsourcing, CAD/CAM Services provides expert design at an affordable price.  Our firm has received AS9100 and GSA certificates for its…
  • BIM Helps Small Construction Companies Compete

    Diane Mitol
    14 May 2015 | 2:23 pm
    BIM Helps Small Construction Companies Compete Large construction companies were early adapters of BIM.  They saw how BIM could improve profitability and push global competitiveness.  While small construction companies may have been aware of BIM advantages, often their limited cash flow and less far-reaching future planning left them out of the initial push to BIM.small and mid-sized construction companies have traditionally been at disadvantage when competing in the larger global market or against high-stakes players.   This is where a well-organized BIM service company…
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