User Interface

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Usability Testing Is Undermining UX Design

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:31 am
    By Peter Hornsby Published: October 21, 2014 “I’ve recently had a number of conversations with designers that suggest their perception of usability testing is fundamentally wrong. … They believe that nothing can be known about a design that a team is going to implement unless that design has been tested with the target audience.” I’d be the first to admit that there are a lot of things that irritate me. These include, but are not limited to the following: people referring to a small, potent coffee as an “expresso” people saying “pacific”…
  • iPad Spinners

    Signal vs. Noise
    15 Oct 2014 | 9:35 am
    Last March the iPad team asked me to design some custom loading screen spinners for the Basecamp app. None of these have made it into the app yet, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the tests.
  • User Experience and Jobs To be Done

    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull
    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…
  • What your smartphone says about you

    My take on UX research and design
    7 Oct 2014 | 9:02 am
    Here are some fun insights into what your smartphone says about you. After reading this, I think my next phone will be an iPhone! Source And just when you think things couldn’t get worse… sorry fellow Android users, it seems the world thinks we’re alcoholic chavs! Source Note: Under-weight and over-weight refers to the statistics and potential bias based on respondent type, not body size. Disclaimer: This post is a bit of fun. I’m an Android user and definitely not a chav! :p
  • Flat vs. Deep Website Hierarchies

    The UX Bookmark
    Abhay Rautela
    23 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Information can be organized in either flat or deep hierarchies; both have their advantages and pitfalls. Should your website’s hierarchy be flat or deep? Like most design questions, there’s no single right answer, and going too far to either extreme will backfire. Flat hierarchies tend to work well if you have distinct, recognizable categories, because people don’t have to click through as many levels. When users know what they want, simply get out of the way and let them find it. But there are exceptions to every rule. In some situations, there are simply too many…
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    Signal vs. Noise

  • iPad Spinners

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:35 am
    Last March the iPad team asked me to design some custom loading screen spinners for the Basecamp app. None of these have made it into the app yet, but I thought it would be fun to share some of the tests.
  • Admire someone? Write them an email, you might be surprised.

    Dan Kim
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:18 am
    Last week I attended the Digital PM Summit in Austin (Basecamp was a proud sponsor of the event!). There were a lot of great speakers, but the one I really wanted to see was Mike Monteiro. I’ve admired Mike’s work from afar for many years because it’s so honest and direct. I watched Mike’s entire talk – What Clients Don’t Know (and Why It’s Your Fault) – and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was so great, I wanted to say thanks—it’s the least I could do for something I liked so much. I looked through the crowd for a while, but was never able…
  • How Basecamp helped the Golddiggers get our act together

    Emily Wilder
    14 Oct 2014 | 7:34 am
    My relay team goes by the name “Alaska Golddiggers,” because race officials frown on us calling ourselves the more accurate “Team Shitshow.” For a group of otherwise competent women, we’ve managed to screw up a lot during our annual participation in the Klondike Trail of ’98 International Road Relay, a 10-leg, 175-kilometer race that follows the trail of the gold rush stampeders from Skagway, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon. Past oopsies include failing to renew passports on time, forgetting our running shoes, traveling with 11 people on an RV that sleeps 8, misestimating the correct…
  • Finding Apps: a Personal Experience

    13 Oct 2014 | 12:35 pm
    This morning I needed an app, but I had no idea where to start. I knew what the app should do, but did it exist? Here’s my story. The Problem We received this in the mail this morning. It’s a ticket warning issued by the City of Chicago. I know what you’re gonna say. See, we do follow the speed limit. The thing is—this was issued to my better half. And she is way more cognizant of the speed limits around the city. What probably happened was the speed limit was 35 mph then in the speed camera zone it dropped to 30 mph. The City of Chicago issues you a ticket when…
  • Extra Drawings

    Nate Otto
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:23 am
    For the last ten months at Basecamp I have been the guy that draws stuff. After making occasional contributions at 37signals over the years, they tapped me to make hand drawn images for the Basecamp marketing site that first appeared in February. Since then my drawings have crept into the app itself, into email blasts, onto banners at Pitchfork, all up in The Distance, plastered on the walls of the office, and into several employee’s avatars. We came up with a creative contract that allows me time to work on my other career as an artist while still providing substantial input at Basecamp.
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    Boxes and Arrows

  • Teaching/Learning UX: Considerations for Academic-Industry Partnerships

    Guiseppe Getto
    7 Oct 2014 | 1:00 am
    Higher education is poised to help produce the next generation of user experience designers, but we can’t do it alone. In the wake of Fred Beecher’s recent “Ending the UX Designer Drought” and studies by Onward Search, UserTesting, and the Nielsen Norman Group, it is clear that the UX market is booming and that UX designers enjoy a high level of job satisfaction. It is also clear that too few UX professionals exist to meet current demand. And while apprenticeship programs like Fred’s can help meet much of this demand, those of us in higher ed who have hitched our research, teaching,…
  • UX Researcher: A User’s Manual

    Victor Yocco
    30 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    This article is a guide on what to expect, and how to get the most from your UX researcher–a user manual, if you will. You will invest a lot in your researcher and you deserve the greatest return. You should have high expectations for this critical component of your UX team, and following the recommendations presented in this article will help maximize your return. A long and prosperous future Congratulations on hiring a user experience design researcher!  When maintained correctly, a full time researcher will give you many years of strategic insight and validation, eliciting oohs and…
  • Redesign Democracy: Dare to Think Big

    Dirk Knemeyer
    23 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Why are you in UX? It probably isn’t to get rich. Yes, there is plenty of money in being a UX professional today. If you’re competent, you should be enjoying a very nice lifestyle. But we do this not for money–being on the business side would be far better at achieving that goal. We do it for creative reasons, expressive reasons, quality of life reasons, perhaps even altruistic reasons. Yet, despite the broader motivations we share for choosing our vocation, we are rarely the community that spawns big ideas. It is more likely to be the capitalist, the marketer, or even the…
  • Five Things They Didn’t Teach Me in School About Being a User Researcher

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

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

    16 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Cyndi Lauper was wrong when she said money changes everything. Well, wrong when it comes to designers. Of course, she probably wasn't talking about designers, but that's another story. When we surveyed designers on the reason they'd leave a job, we expected that money would be the number one answer. It wasn't. Designers said they'd bolt if there was no advancement. But what the heck did they mean by advancement? We did a follow up survey of 100 designers. Once again money took a backseat. The top answer was new skills training. Money came in number two, followed by more responsibilities.
  • Shortcut Foundation Layouts with Morse Code

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    Let's face it: Building CSS grids can get complicated fast. Even using Foundation 5 — or what we call Foundation for Sites — sometimes finding that one stray </div> tag can be tricky. Today, we're launching a new way to build, share and store Foundation layouts: Morse Code, a shorthand lingo for Foundation grids. Here's an example: sg12lg04,sg12lg08|mg06lg12,mg06lg12 That's a row with four large columns, eight large columns, and another row of six and six large columns. As one of our designers pointed out, an entire page can become a tweet. At first glance it looks like…
  • Design Amazing Single-Page Apps with the New Foundation and Angular JS

    9 Oct 2014 | 10:30 am
    It's been a neat experience this last couple months reaching out and talking to some of our favorite Foundation fans. We've received some great feedback on our code for a new Flexbox-based grid. We've also had some great tips about our upcoming Motion UI codebase. We're getting ever closer to a comprehensive release that we just know y'all will love. In the final part of our three-part Foundation for Apps saga, we'll be discussing our AngularJS Integration and how it helps you produce single-page web apps. So let's get into it. Designers have been building pages since the web began. All the…
  • What Are You Even Designing?

    7 Oct 2014 | 10:30 am
    Think of a designer. You might work with a designer, or you might have seen one in passing with that unmistakable designer affinity for apple products and snark. You might even be one yourself! Now picture this designer working. You're probably imagining this person heads down at an immaculate desk with a Moleskine in hand and earphones in their ears. She's blissfully pushing pixels around a screen until they're just right. Ah, DESIGN! What this designer has done is isolated herself far away from her customers. Design is a Conversation In Let's Make Mistakes, Mike Monteiro talks about the…
  • A Top Chef and a Top Gear Join Our Team to Rev Our Apps

    6 Oct 2014 | 3:01 pm
    We're experiencing yet another growth spurt here at ZURB. This month we're boosting our Design Apps team with not one, but two new ZURBians — one engineer and one customer advocate! So without further ado, let's meet… Bill Tran, Rails Engineer Bill grew up copying comic books because he wanted to draw like a comic book artist. Yes, he was that kid who who drew Bart Simpson and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles everywhere he could find a place wide enough to fit "kowabunga!" As a teenager he taught himself how to breakdance, draw graffiti art and, best of all, to customize cars. That's…
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    UX Magazine

  • Five Movements in Design That We Should Pay Attention To

    Amy Cueva
    20 Oct 2014 | 8:37 am
    October 20, 2014Design is helping governments, organizations, and businesses improve the quality of interactions with the people they serve, leading to experiences that are more meaningful and effective. Business leaders understand now more than ever that continued focus on improving the customer journey is an imperative to designing products that win, satisfy their customers, and empower their employees. Savvy planners will consider these emerging movements as they look to the future:1. Maturation of the Design Discipline within OrganizationsMore and more, organizations are recognizing the…
  • Win This Book! Intertwingled

    UX Magazine Staff
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:21 am
    October 17, 2014Last week Peter Morville shared an excerpt from his new book Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything. Today, we're launching a contest to give away five copies. Answer the following question to enter:"How has your organization's culture changed you (or vice-versa)?"To give us your answer, visit our newsletter subscription page, fill out the required fields, enter your response to the contest question at the bottom of the form, and click "Subscribe to list." If you already subscribe to our newsletter, send an email with your answer to using…
  • The Future of Wearable Technology in Pictures

    UX Magazine Staff
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:09 am
    October 16, 2014Last month we announced a contest to give away two copies of Drawing Ideas along with some stencils from UI Stencils. To enter, readers were asked to sketch a response to the following prompt: "Show us where wearable technology is headed and what kind of ecosystem it will exist in." "Selecting outright winners was difficult," Mark Baskinger and William Bardel, the authors of Drawing Ideas say. "We found all of the submissions to be intriguing more By UX Magazine Staff              
  • Crowdsourcing Is Social, but Does Not a Social Network Make:A Waze review

    Shay Ben-Barak
    15 Oct 2014 | 9:16 am
    October 15, 2014Waze is a great app that runs on the great idea of crowdsourcing map creation, updates, and traffic status. Every user contributes variables like their location and speed, and can proactively report accidents or other traffic issues. The data is sent to the server where it is processed and used to optimize user routes, making driving experiences better for everyone involved. You contribute your share to the community and you get valuable information in return.Waze also utilizes a gamification model that rewards users with points and badges for desired behaviors like reporting…
  • Putting ‘Intuitive’ Back Into Intuitive Design

    James Monsees
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:20 am
    October 14, 2014Early hominids could look at a stick and intuitively infer different uses for it. A stick is good for scratching your back, beating stuff, propping things up, etc. They didn’t have to be told how to use it. That’s how intuitive products work.Old phones that came with an owner’s manual containing complex menu trees were described as “intuitive,” but the necessity of an owner’s manual is contrary to the very definition of the word. The word intuitive insinuates that users can interact with a product using nothing more than their own intuition. If a product requires a…
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  • Usability Testing Is Undermining UX Design

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:31 am
    By Peter Hornsby Published: October 21, 2014 “I’ve recently had a number of conversations with designers that suggest their perception of usability testing is fundamentally wrong. … They believe that nothing can be known about a design that a team is going to implement unless that design has been tested with the target audience.” I’d be the first to admit that there are a lot of things that irritate me. These include, but are not limited to the following: people referring to a small, potent coffee as an “expresso” people saying “pacific”…
  • Keys to a Successful Digital Strategy: CapTech Ventures

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:27 am
    By Bill Rattner Published: October 21, 2014 “One of the major benefits of a modern digital strategy is its innate ability to centralize an organization’s numerous different operational facets. For any business, interdepartmental accountability is key to streamlined operations….” One of the major benefits of a modern digital strategy is its innate ability to centralize an organization’s numerous different operational facets. In other words, it gives us the ability to avoid the fragmented approach that we often encounter in the world of 21st century business. Why…
  • Persuading Clients That the Need for User Research and Usability Testing Is Real

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:23 am
    By Janet M. Six Published: October 21, 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 to explain the need for user research and usability testing to a client who wonders why an expert review is not enough. I hope you enjoy this month’s lively discussion about the best ways to persuade a client that user research and usability testing are a necessary part of a project. Why is it essential for UX designers to rely on user research and usability testing? What value…
  • Introducing the Build-Measure-Learn Approach to an Analytics Tool’s Redesign

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:20 am
    By Stephanie Schuhmacher Published: October 21, 2014 “As UX professionals, we pride ourselves on making software that is human friendly and easy to use. But keeping the right balance between adding features that customers and users need and maintaining a clean, simple user interface design is often harder than it seems it should be.” As UX professionals, we pride ourselves on making software that is human friendly and easy to use. But keeping the right balance between adding features that customers and users need and maintaining a clean, simple user-interface design is often…
  • Bridging UX & Web Development: Better Results Through Team Integration

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:08 am
    By Jack Moffett Published: October 21, 2014 “A collaboration life cycle maps the activities of designers to those of the developers in each phase of a typical product development process. The cycle starts with requirements analysis….” This is a sample chapter from Jack Moffett’s new book, Bridging UX & Web Development: Better Results Through Team Integration. 2014 Morgan Kaufmann. Chapter 3: Collaboration Life Cycle Process. Regardless of what type of designer you are—graphic, information, interaction, service, industrial, game—you follow a common…
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    A List Apart: The Full Feed

  • This week's sponsor: Vitamin T

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    Vitamin T connects amazing digital creative talent with equally awesome mid-sized companies and ad agencies. Freelancers rejoice!
  • Nishant Kothary on the Human Web: The Politics of Feedback

    16 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    “Were you going for ‘not classy’? Because if you were, that’s cool. This isn’t classy like some of your other work,” said my wife, glancing at a long day’s work on my screen. “Yep. That’s what I was going for!” I responded with forced cheer. I knew she was right, though, and that I’d be back to the drawing board the next morning. This is a fairly typical exchange between us. We quit our jobs last year to bootstrap an app (for lack of a better word) that we’re designing and building ourselves. I’m the front-end guy, she’s the back-end girl. And currently, she’s…
  • Personalizing Git with Aliases

    15 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    Part of getting comfortable with the command line is making it your own. Small customizations, shortcuts, and time saving techniques become second nature once you spend enough time fiddling around in your terminal. Since Git is my Version Control System of choice (due partially to its incredible popularity via GitHub), I like to spend lots of time optimizing my experience there. Once you’ve become comfortable enough with Git to push, pull, add, and commit, and you feel like you’d like to pursue more, you can customize it to make it your own. A great way to start doing this is with…
  • This week's sponsor: Pantheon

    The fine folks at A List Apart
    10 Oct 2014 | 1:15 pm
    Pantheon is the professional website platform developers, marketers, and IT use to build, launch, and run their Drupal and WordPress websites. Get a perfect launch every time.
  • Routines Aren’t the Enemy

    9 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    I recently read Greg Smith’s piece on Bocoup’s blog about how they think about time tracking, including all the fascinating data about how your brain works to solve problems. It interested me a lot, since I’ve been thinking about not just how I track projects, but also how I structure my day as a freelancer. In addition, I read David Brook’s piece in the New York Times, where he discusses routine and creative people. I am a creature of routine, so reading that so many creative, smart people are too, gives me a bit of hope. It means that maybe, my routines are helping me…
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    LukeW | Digital Product Design + Strategy

  • Video: How to Use Location to Enhance UX

    25 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    Location detection gives us an opportunity to create interfaces that take advantage of where people are in the World. In this short 3 minute video, I look at few ways we can use location to rethink the design of our applications. This video is part of my User Experience How-To series sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone.
  • Video: How to Decide on Mobile Navigation

    24 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    While every application and Web site has at least some form of navigation, everyone's is a bit different. So when all these services make their way to mobile, they need a way to determine if their navigation systems are working well. In this short 5 minute video, I look at few ways we can evaluate mobile navigation solutions. This video is part of my User Experience How-To series sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone.
  • An Event Apart: The Art of Anticipation

    23 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    At An Event Apart in Austin TX 2014, Derek Featherstone walked through ways to extend responsive design to make more accessible, context-aware experiences. Here are my notes from his talk: The Art of Anticipation Anticipation is part of creating great experiences. We get sucked in by devices. Context is seen as a device thing. But context includes time, proximity, device, state of mind, capabilities, interests, activity, and more. When we create responsive designs, we traditionally think about the resolutions we need to design for. Instead we should think about ranges of devices. This is more…
  • An Event Apart: SVG is for Everybody

    23 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    In his SVG is for Everybody talk at An Event Apart in Austin TX 2014, Chris Coyier walked through the current state of SVG and how Web designers and developers can use it on their sites today. Here are my notes from his talk: No matter where you display an SVG file, it will render with the right size & resolution: flexible & sharp at any size. SVG is small in file size, accessible, and can be styled, scripted, animated, interactive. SVG is not new -its been around since 1999. It was designed for the Web but coverage was not great. SVG can made from essentially anything "vector". You can learn…
  • An Event Apart: Mobile First Responsive Design

    23 Sep 2014 | 12:00 am
    At An Event Apart in Austin TX 2014 Jason Grigsby walked through the importance of performance in multi-device designs and techniques for helping you achieve it . Here's my notes from his talk on Mobile First Responsive Design: The Web has always been a balancing act of competing priorities: SEO, marketing, performance, and now device diversity. To manage diversity, many people are jumping into responsive web design solutions. But can a one size fit all solution (like responsive web design) compete with a tailored solution (like separate mobile sites)? Do we need unique solutions for search…
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    Andy Budd::Blogography Articles

  • Craggy Island: The climbing gym that hates boulderers?

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

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

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

    19 Feb 2014 | 5:15 am
    Every few weeks I see a discussion emerge that tries to dismiss the need for specialists in our industry, or refute their existence entirely. It usually goes along the lines of “I’m a [insert discipline] and I do my own [insert activity] so [insert specialism] is unnecessary or doesn’t exist”. While it’s great to have people with a broad range of skills and abilities, it’s also a little hurtful to people who have dedicated their careers to being good at a particular thing, as it implies that all their choices and hard work were a waste of time. Sometimes this conversation…
  • Better design through Web Governance

    8 Feb 2014 | 5:16 am
    I meet a lot of in-house designers in the course of my travels and the same frustrations keep bubbling up - “how can I convince the company I work for to take my expertise seriously”. It seems that companies have a pathology of hiring highly talented people but taking away the decision making abilities they need to do their job. Quite often the people at the top of the business know what is broken and are trying desperately to fix it, while the people at the coal face can see the solutions but are unable to act. So what’s going on here? It seems to me that there’s a mid level of…
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    Jeffrey Zeldman Presents The Daily Report: Web Design News & Insights Since 1995

  • Look Back in Angora

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:53 am
    SATURDAY October 25 will be the 14th anniversary of my mother’s passing. Let’s honor it with this 2006 entry from the vaults of My Glamorous Life. Read: Hi, Mom!
  • A Sickroom With a View

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    12 Oct 2014 | 2:50 pm
    CHICAGO is a dynamite town, but it may not be the best place to recover from a cold. Since I arrived, my virus has gone from a 4 to an 11. There’s a spectacular view out my hotel window, which I’ve spent the day ignoring by sleeping. I have several nice friends in this town who I’m similarly ignoring, having canceled plans with them today because of this fershlugginer cold. I was flat on my back, sleeping, my phone like a cat on my chest, when my dad called this afternoon to recommend gargling with a three percent peroxide solution. My trainer texted a moment later to ixnay the…
  • 1,000 nerds

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    9 Oct 2014 | 8:33 am
    THE MODERN SOCIAL WEB is a miracle of progress but also a status-driven guilt-spewing shit volcano. Back in the 1990s—this will sound insane—we paid a lot of money for our tilde accounts, like $30 or $40 a month or sometimes much more. We paid to reach strangers with our weird ideas. Whereas now, as everyone understands, brands pay to know users. via Tilde.Club: I had a couple drinks and woke up with 1,000 nerds — The Message — Medium.
  • Afternoon Pages

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    5 Oct 2014 | 10:04 am
    SLEPT much of yesterday. Slept till 1 PM today. Whatever this bug is I’ve got, it lets me work and care for my child during the week, then flattens me all weekend. Fortunately my daughter can amuse herself for hours, as I could at her age. I hope she will not be as lonely as I was. Am.
  • Dead Pixel Society

    Jeffrey Zeldman
    1 Oct 2014 | 6:23 am
    FANS OF ICON ART and The Big Web Show, listen up. Tomorrow’s Big Web Show guest is Justin Dauer (AKA @pseudoroom) of The Dead Pixel Society. Justin was a web icon artist in the mid-1990s, back when I also dabbled in the art. Indeed, it was talented folks like Justin and my friends at The Iconfactory who made me realize that specializing in icons was probably not going to be a thing for me, as they were so much better at it. Ah, for the days when a pixel was a pixel! To celebrate those times and that body of work, Justin has gathered together some of the best of those 1990s icon artists…
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    Max Design

  • Links for light reading (16/10/14)

    15 Oct 2014 | 4:35 pm
    CSS CSS: It was twenty years ago today — an interview with Håkon Wium Lie Cascading HTML style sheets — a proposal Replacing Radio Buttons Without Replacing Radio Buttons Flexy Boxes – flexbox playground and code generator CSS, DRY, and Code Optimization Invert Colors Using CSS Responsive Wayfinding For The Mobile Web Working with Atomic Design (slidedeck) Including CSS in Jekyll imgix.js – Your toolbox for truly responsive images HTML5 To Picturefill, or not to Picturefill Polyfills and products SASS Contextual heading sizes with Sass 4 Sass Features You May Not Have…
  • Links for light reading (10/10/14)

    8 Oct 2014 | 12:29 pm
    General Sit the test 20 More Docs and Guides for Front-End Developers WebPlate Framework Responsive The Next Big Thing In Responsive Design Froont – responsive tool CSS Spacing elements CSS Performance Tooling CSS shapes in email 16 CSS3 Selectors You Should Know CSS URL Rewriter Animating Images With CSS Keyframes Flat UI colors SASS Managing Color Values with Sass Top 5 Sass mistakes UX When users leave the search box empty… Collaborative User Testing: Less Bias, Better Research UX Companion Accessibility Notes on fixing incorrect table structure using ARIA PDF accessibility…
  • Links for light reading (1/10/14)

    1 Oct 2014 | 1:56 am
    Responsive And You Thought Responsive Text Was Just a Fad? Size Matters: Balancing Line Length And Font Size In Responsive Web Design CSS Creating a Collection of CSS3 Animated Pre-loaders Better font-face with Font Load Events How the iPhone has evolved in pure CSS On Declaration Sorting in CSS Material Design for Bootstrap SASS Using Sass with Jekyll Beware of Selector Nesting in Sass Accessibility 3 types of relationships and what they mean for accessibility Vestibular Issues in Parallax Design JavaScript Midnight JS async vs defer attributes 10 Useful Fullscreen Background jQuery Plugins…
  • Links for light reading (24/9/14)

    24 Sep 2014 | 1:14 am
    General exercism – The devil is in the details The magical command line CSS Introducing CCSS (Component CSS) Getting Started with CSS Shapes CSS Audits: Taking Stock of Your Code HTML Pup – a command line tool for processing HTML Don’t use picture (most of the time) SASS Join the Sass revolution Accessibility Accessible HTML video as a background 8 Steps to Creating Accessible Video Text alternatives for images with captions The form field validation trick they don’t want you to know JavaScript fake-identity Preparing for ECMAScript 6: New Array Methods ParticleGround…
  • Links for light reading (17/9/14)

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

  • Hospitable Hospice, Redesigning Care for Tomorrow

    19 Oct 2014 | 2:41 am
    Design for good death Hospitable Hospice, Redesigning Care for Tomorrow An IDEA 2014 Award winner research project Free download: issuu, pdf Existing healthcare systems can make the end-of-life experience more frustrating and undignified. The Lien Foundation and ACM Foundation (Singapore) in collaboration with fuelfor design consultants have published an experience design handbook, pdf). Its aim is to raise the universal standard of hospices, the service providers of end-of-life care. Hospices suffer a poor image. They deserve to be better understood by society, to become a welcomed part of…
  • Event: Why the world needs anthropologists

    19 Oct 2014 | 2:12 am
    An upcoming event is encouraging anthropologists to “come out of their ivory towers” and work more closely with their colleagues in the field, in order to bridge the gap between “pure” and “applied” anthropology. The international symposium “Why the world needs anthropologists” (Facebook page) will be held on 5 December 2014 in Padua, Italy. Experientia president Michele Visciola will be one of three speakers at the free symposium. He will reflect on the conference aim of erasing the boundaries between “pure” and “applied” anthropology, and presenting…
  • Update on EU research on energy efficient built environments

    19 Oct 2014 | 1:45 am
    The European Commission funds research on a lot of important thematic areas, and in recent years the themes of sustainability and participatory approaches have received a lot of attention. This has made way for companies like Experientia to participate in research projects, as part of project consortiums with research and industry bodies from around Europe. CITYOPT is just such a project. The consortium, in addition to Experientia, comprises research centres, cities, and energy utilities from Finland, Austria and France. The project aim is to develop applications and foster new partnerships…
  • What human-centered design means for financial inclusion

    16 Oct 2014 | 12:51 pm
    What Human-Centered Design Means for Financial Inclusion Yanina Seltzer, Claudia McKay 16 October 2014, 126 pages Interactive publication Download pdf CGAP has released today a 126 report entitled “Insights into Action – What Human-Centered Design Means for Financial Inclusion“. The acronym CGAP stands for Consultative Group to Assist the Poor. It is a global partnership of 34 leading organizations – hosted within the World Bank – that seek to advance financial inclusion. Publication abstract Well-established in other industries but relatively new to financial…
  • Push, pull or nudge

    16 Oct 2014 | 11:56 am
    “Push, pull or nudge” is the title of a 2.5 hour workshop (video here) at the 5th European Conference on Public Communication held today in Brussels. The workshop explored the potential of concepts such as design thinking, choice architecture and nudging in public affairs communication, and featured: Sean Larkins, Deputy Director and Head of Government Communication Policy, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office Communications, UK Runa Sabroe, Project Manager, Mind-Lab, Denmark Katja Rosenbohm, Head of Communications, European Environment Agency Fran Bambust, Choice…
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  • Floodwatch

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am
    Floodwatch is "a collective ad monitoring tool for social good" (or "a Chrome extension that tracks the ads you see as you browse the internet" and presents them in mosaic form):
  • Modulares Interface

    20 Oct 2014 | 10:06 am
    Created by Florian Born, Modulares Interface is a physical UI for iPad - comprising knobs, buttons and sliders - that provides haptic feedback (for more precise input): [via]
  • Behind the Mic

    20 Oct 2014 | 9:58 am
    A short film from Google on "the science of talking with computers":
  • Switch Port

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:44 am
    Created by Nick Bain, Switch Port is a light switch with a built in dry-erase board. (Why? Because "the best place for a whiteboard is not where you might expect".)
  • Programmable materials

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:13 am
    MIT's Self-Assembly Lab is developing materials that can be programmed to transform their shape autonomously ("from flexible carbon fibre and hybrid plastics to wood grains and textiles").
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  • Elizabeth Morris of Allo Darlin’

    20 Oct 2014 | 12:05 pm
    Here is Elizabeth Morris, frontwoman of Australian and English indie band Allo Darlin’, performing two songs from her band’s recently released third full-length album, “We Come from the Same Place.” I found Allo Darlin’s first, eponymous record a real pleasure. Their second, “Europe,” was also enjoyable but somehow not quite as gripping. So I was… Advertise on
  • Illustrating the McLaren F1 Owner’s Manual

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:53 am
    This charming video features reflections from McLaren Design Operations Manager Mark Roberts on his experience illustrating the elaborate owner’s manual for the McLaren F1. I drive a Kia, so obviously I know nothing about luxury sportscars, but this one from the 1990s is apparently fondly remembered. It’s very endearing to hear Roberts talk about the… Advertise on
  • Audio Cards on Twitter

    16 Oct 2014 | 2:40 pm
    Back in August I tackled the question “What is a card?,” and noted that Twitter is starting to add more interactively rich cards to its platform. Today, Twitter announced that they are rolling out another card type: audio cards, starting with SoundCloud. When any tweet includes a link to SoundCloud content, official Twitter clients will… Advertise on
  • The Town without Wi-Fi or Cellular Service

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:57 pm
    Did you know that a 13,000 square mile area crossing West Virginia and Virginia is a congressionally mandated “radio quiet zone” in which wireless technologies like cellular service and wi-fi are forbidden—and that there are people actually living there happily? It’s true, according to Ripley’s Believe It or—I mean, according to National Geographic. Via Stephen… Advertise on
  • How Long Is Too Long for the Apple TV?

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:44 pm
    The headline for Apple’s media event tomorrow is “It’s been way too long.” That could mean anything, but what I most want it to mean is that the company will unveil a new Apple TV tomorrow. I don’t see how Apple could use that headline and not address that device. It really has been way… Advertise on
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    UsabilityBlog » UsabilityBlog

  • 2003 Called…It Wants Its Error Message Back

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:38 am
    File this under “anti-pattern”… here’s an error message I received from a web application when I clicked on something after I exceeded the automatic log out timer but the page didn’t refresh. Obviously this message is ugly and rude, but what else is happening here? Here’s a quick tally: 1. Dev-speak. Most of the message is clearly written for debugging purposes. Why show this to the end users, who in this case are students, instructors, and instructional designers? 2. Who’s the audience? While most of the content is directed at developers and QA…
  • Required Reading: Hunting Unicorns

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:51 am
    My colleague and friend Patrick Neeman just posted a great presentation about the skillsets and competencies of effective UX practitioners. Why it’s required reading: 1. Patrick frames the problem: that is, there’s no single entry point or path into a UX career. Consequently, practitioners who identify as “UX practitioners” have wildly different skillsets and competencies. 2. He provides a very useful visual model of user experience competencies, and shows how the different sub-specialties map to the model. 3. He explicitly identifies the soft skills necessary to be an…
  • eBay Made Me Think…But Not In A Good Way

    17 Mar 2014 | 8:46 am
    [Note: this is a repost from the old UsabilityBlog. I'm just moving some "greatest hits" over to the new site.] Disclaimer: I am a user and fan of eBay. Just check out my profile – I’m a long time buyer/seller. When it comes to user experience, they do lots of things right. Here’s one thing they did wrong: They provided half-hearted, linkless “help” in the form of “to do x, go to [place A] or [place B]“, without including links to those locations. This is a no-brainer and should’ve been coded ages ago. As a result, I had to hunt around for a small but still-annoying…
  • Don’t Make Me Register First

    14 Mar 2014 | 7:59 am
    It’s 2014. Does anyone running an ecommerce site really think it’s a good idea to make people register for an account before allowing them to shop? I mean c’mon, any e-tailer with a lick of sense knows about lazy registration and guest-only checkout, right? Not this company. Here’s how I found this gem: while wasting time on Facebook I noticed an ad for mid-century furniture and (gasp) actually /clicked/ on an ad. First time I can remember doing that. And you know why I did? Because we’re actually shopping for furniture right now and we like mid-century stuff.
  • Hi Again

    14 Mar 2014 | 7:11 am
    Consider this the relaunch of UsabilityBlog. I’ve been meaning to get back to it for months. Enjoy.
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    Veerle's blog

  • Jo Stool

    Veerle Pieters
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:43 am
    Lovely wooden chair with crossed j-shaped legs.
  • Metropol Kurier

    Veerle Pieters
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:54 am
    Illustration for 10 years of Metropol Kurier based in Basel. Bellissimo!via Riccardo Guasco
  • Citizens 3638

    Veerle Pieters
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:50 am
    Album Anatomy is an exploration in the art of reduction.via Album Anatomy
  • GoBicycle - Connect

    Veerle Pieters
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:41 am
    Keep it simple and make it awesome.via Warvick Kay
  • Build for Speed

    Veerle Pieters
    14 Oct 2014 | 1:30 am
    Would be a great badge for on a bike.via Allan Peters
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    UIE Brain Sparks

  • Aviva Rosenstein – Working with UX in an Agile Environment

    Sean Carmichael
    16 Oct 2014 | 11:46 am
    [ Transcript Available ] Integrating UX into an Agile workflow has historically been a bit of a challenge. This could be due to a general lack of communication with the development team, or not feeling like the proper time or value is given to UX within the organization. Through her research, Aviva Rosenstein discovered that many problems people were having are commonplace. Additionally, she found that others had actually already worked out solutions to some of these. In her virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams, Aviva discusses the position of UX on Agile teams and some of…
  • UIEtips: Embracing the Medium

    Jared Spool
    16 Oct 2014 | 11:15 am
    In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, Richard Rutter discusses the web and its role as a medium. Richard argues that we should consider the fact that a user can shape their experience as a strength rather than a weakness. Here’s an excerpt from the article: The wonderful thing about the web is that it takes many forms and those forms can be shaped by the reader to his or her benefit. That is a strength not a weakness; a feature not a bug. The control which print designers have – and so often desire when they transition to the web – is a limitation of the…
  • Mobile Research Techniques: Beyond the Basics, Our October 23rd Virtual Seminar

    Adam Churchill
    10 Oct 2014 | 12:28 pm
    Studying mobile use in context can be tricky. Some desktop research strategies translate easily to mobile, but if you want to capture the way people really use mobile devices, you’re gonna need a bigger toolbox. Cyd Harrell has the insider’s scoop on how to design and execute mobile research that gets you the most usable data for your money—in the lab or out in the field. Sign up for Cyd’s seminar now. Conduct mobile research in the lab Do mobile research in the field Deepen your research with long-term studies Choose and use participants—for optimal results Can’t join us…
  • Why Service Design Matters

    Lauren Cramer
    10 Oct 2014 | 11:21 am
    Creating delightful cross-channel experiences Service design is all about creating the best user experience regardless of the touch point. It brings all channels together – brick and mortar, call centers, and online to create a seamless, delightful experience for your customer. Why Service Design Matters Engagement: See how your customer interacts across various channels Unity: Understand your customers’ experience from end-to-end for the whole organization Clarity: Incorporate sketching and prototyping to improve problem areas of the journey Marc Stickdorn’s innovative approach to…
  • UIEtips: Conducting Usability Research for Mobile

    Jared Spool
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:27 pm
    In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article. In it, I speak with Cyd Harrell on conducting user research on mobile devices. I also make the case that mobile can be used as a research tool for things other than just the phone itself. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Jared: It feels almost like the lab is not necessarily the first choice for doing the research in a lot of these projects. Doing them in context is not that much more difficult. We should be strongly considering that as we’re doing the studies. Cyd: I think we should. I strongly encourage people to do it. Again, live…
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    90 Percent of Everything - by Harry Brignull

  • UX Brighton 2014: 10% off!

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

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

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

    Harry Brignull
    25 May 2014 | 4:42 am
    In the field of UX, we’re all pretty familiar with the concept of behavioural personas, but not everyone is aware of the parallels between this and Clayton Christensen’s “Jobs To Be Done” theory which became famous in his 1997 book The Innovator’s Dilemma. He explains it quite nicely in this Press Publish interview: Here I am. I have characteristics that slot me into demographic segments. I just turned 60. I’m 6 feet 8. We just sent our youngest daughter off to Columbia. I have all kinds of characteristics. But none of these characteristics or attributes have yet caused me…
  • 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…
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  • Program for K-5

    9 Oct 2014 | 10:12 am now has an elementary school program (Kindergarden - 5th grade), and Code Studio for the program looks like its modeled after the free MIT Scratch app, a visual tool that we used with our first son to introduce computer science fundamentals a few years ago. Good stuff.
  • Aral Balkan: “I, Simulation"

    29 Sep 2014 | 11:25 am
    Aral Balkan’s “I, Simulation” talk about the current state of privacy and freedom in software and services is one the best presentations I’ve watched this year. Balkan talks about business models that focus on user data, and what that can mean to your "privacy." Watch the talk below, given at Open Exchange in Munich, Germany. The information you hand over using service providers like Facebook (think also Messenger, Whatsapp, Instagram) and Google (think also Gmail, Hangouts, Android Devices, Drive, Nest, Dropcam, and Fiber) is already being used to create simulations of you, and he…
  • Dedesign the Web 2

    26 Sep 2014 | 11:32 am
    Head to Dedesign the Web and play name that website using wireframes. Courtesy of Designation.
  • Des Traynor: Product Strategy is About Saying No

    24 Sep 2014 | 10:03 am
    The devil runs UX workshops for idle hands, and he comes up with bad features. This is Des Traynor's lightning talk at Business of Software in 2013. He did an extended version of this in 2014, but the pecha kucha version gets to the heart of the topic.
  • AniJS: Declarative handling library for CSS animations

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

  • The UX Booth Newsletter

    Jon Phillips
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:22 pm
    Each week we wrap up our articles and best finds from across the web. We would love to have the chance to share that with you. Please enter your email below to subscribe. Subscribe Subscriber Goodies We put together a few freebies for our subscribers. In your first email you’ll receive the following: 15% off any Rosenfeld Media purchase 25% off any printed Smashing Book 15% off any UXPin plan 3 free months of InVisionApp’s Starter Plan Past Newsletter 09/21/2014 The Weekend Roundup 09/10/2014 This Week’s Reading List 09/06/2014 Research For The Right Audience 08/27/2014…
  • Web 2.0, Web 3.0, and the Internet of Things

    Kim Morrow
    14 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    The internet has become an integrated, seamless, and often invisible part of our everyday lives. Some see this connection as a way to a brighter future, while others have trepidations. The only thing that seems certain is that the Internet is changing rapidly, the laws surrounding the Internet are changing even faster, and it’s all we can do to try and keep up. Changes in style, design, and interactions across the web have big implications for users, but even bigger implications for us as creators. While we often highlight the importance of connecting our design to the big picture goal,…
  • Privacy

    Matthew Kammerer
    12 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    This privacy policy discloses the privacy practices for UX Booth ( This privacy policy applies solely to information collected by this web site. It will notify you of the following: What personally identifiable information is collected from you through the web site, how it is used and with whom it may be shared. What choices are available to you regarding the use of your data. The security procedures in place to protect the misuse of your information. How you can correct any inaccuracies in the information. Information Collection, Use, and Sharing We are the sole owners of…
  • Putting the “Twingle” in Information Architecture

    UX Booth
    7 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    The “polar bear book” is considered by many to be the information architecture bible. Officially titled “Information Architecture for the World Wide Web,” but nicknamed for its cover image, the book covers everything from navigation to metadata, aesthetics to technical issues. Now, 16 years after his famous book came out, author Peter Morville is making waves with a fresh look at IA in his new book: Intertwingled. We’re very excited to have an opportunity to interview Peter about his new book, as well as his perspective on the field of information architecture in general. What’s…
  • Before You Hire a Designer

    UX Booth
    2 Oct 2014 | 6:30 am
    Mike Monteiro’s contributions to UX design are wide and varied. His first book, Design is a Job inspired us in 2011, and his talk “How Designers Destroyed the World” called us to action. Now, we’re very excited to present an excerpt from his new book, You’re My Favorite Client. A few years ago, I made plans with a friend for breakfast. She was late. When she finally got there, she apologized, saying she’d been cleaning up for the housecleaner. “Why in the world would you clean up for a housecleaner?!?” I asked. “So she can actually clean, you idiot.”…
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    UX Movement

  • Dash: Build Custom Dashboards with Your Personal Data

    14 Oct 2014 | 6:01 am
    Tired of opening new tabs and logging into different accounts to get all the information you need? Having all your personal data on a dashboard would make it less frustrating. You’d be able to view all your information at a glance on one screen.Dash gives you the power to build your own dashboards with the data you choose. Add widgets from popular web services or custom data sources to your dashboard and get real-time updates. No more opening a bunch of tabs or logging into different accounts to get the information you need.Share your dashboards with others or keep it private. If you have a…
  • 10 Ways to Build Trust on Your Landing Page

    Julia Rozwens
    7 Oct 2014 | 6:09 am
    Imagine walking into a small and crowded store full of junk. A shop clerk hassles you into buying something you don’t want. If this happened, you’d leave fast and look for another store. You automatically lose trust when others pressure you to make fast decisions in a hostile environment. The web is no different.The web is full of people offering services and products. Users need to first trust you in order for them to even consider buying your product or service. The list below shows 10 popular ways to add credibility and build trust on your landing page. Combine a few of them or use…
  • CodeinWP: Turn Your Design into a WordPress Theme

    30 Sep 2014 | 9:43 am
    [This sponsored post helps support UX Movement. Thank you for reading.]What most designers do best is design. Coding the design is a different story. When clients hire someone to design their website, they expect to get a product that not only works, but is easy-to-use. Handing them a Photoshop design file (PSD) isn’t going to cut it.What your client needs is a WordPress theme of your design. WordPress is the easiest content management system to use. Clients who aren’t tech-savvy can update and edit their site without your help. But without a WordPress developer, you lose the opportunity…
  • How to Avoid Client Headache as a Freelance Designer

    17 Sep 2014 | 9:19 am
    Managing clients is a big part of freelancing. Many freelance designers have their own way of working with clients. But a lot of them do it in a way that works against them. Here are a few things I do differently that allows me to work with clients without headache.What to Include in the ContractBefore you begin working on a project, you should make it clear to the client that they’re responsible for responding to you. Sometimes you will deal with clients who give you radio silence. The legal contract you give them to sign should allow you to end the project if the client fails to respond…
  • Ptengine: Real-Time Heatmaps and Visual Analytics

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

  • Fixing Bugs – the Next 'Big Thing' in E-Commerce?

    Jamie Appleseed
    6 Oct 2014 | 10:24 pm
    Technical errors can obviously be highly problematic as they can prevent the user from proceeding. Here Amazon is asking the user to fix a problem that isn’t there. Bugs can be pure poison to e-commerce sites. Layout bugs and flawed interactive features not only leaves a poor impression on users but can in some cases even lead them to think the site has been hacked. Page errors and site maintenance are even more disruptive as they can outright prevent users from proceeding. During our usability studies we repeatedly get to observe just how impatient and unforgiving users are of such…
  • Form Usability: Validations vs Warnings

    Jamie Appleseed
    22 Sep 2014 | 11:34 pm
    There’s a major difference between form validations and warnings. Form validations enforce a set of rules and won’t allow the user to proceed, while warnings alert the user about possible problems but will allow them to proceed. While e-commerce sites would do well in adopting both strategies, it’s unfortunately few that make use of warnings (our checkout benchmark study found that 64% don’t have ‘address warnings’), and similarly regrettable we often observe sites enforcing overly restrictive form validations that completely block a (small) sub-group from…
  • Faceted Sorting - A New Method for Sorting Search Results

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

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

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

  • Colour Contrast Analyser

    Abhay Rautela
    2 Oct 2014 | 1:03 am
    The Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) helps you determine the legibility of text and the contrast of visual elements, such as graphical controls and visual indicators. This tool provides two useful core functionalities: It provides a pass/fail assessment against Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 color contrast success criteria. It simulates certain visual conditions such as including dichromatic color-blindness and cataracts, to demonstrate how your web content appears to people with less than 20/20 vision. The CCA is available for Windows and Mac, and in multiple languages…
  • Flat vs. Deep Website Hierarchies

    Abhay Rautela
    23 Sep 2014 | 10:01 pm
    Information can be organized in either flat or deep hierarchies; both have their advantages and pitfalls. Should your website’s hierarchy be flat or deep? Like most design questions, there’s no single right answer, and going too far to either extreme will backfire. Flat hierarchies tend to work well if you have distinct, recognizable categories, because people don’t have to click through as many levels. When users know what they want, simply get out of the way and let them find it. But there are exceptions to every rule. In some situations, there are simply too many…
  • An Optimized The UX Bookmark Experience across Desktop, Mobile & Tablet

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

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

    Abhay Rautela
    12 Aug 2014 | 4:39 am
    Google Maps launched in 2005 and it was a revolution: you could go to your desktop browser, click and drag a map with a mouse and watch it render smoothly and quickly. Before then, you usually had to click arrows at the edge of a map in order to pan it, and wait for it to load. Google Maps’ ‘fishbone’ zoom controls predominated the map; after all, screen resolutions were small, and double-clicking the map would re-centre it rather than zoom into it. Beside the map, a column of suggested searches and instructions took over one third of the screen’s width. Oh, and it…
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    UserZoom zooming in on the customer experience

  • The Importance of Knowing the User Intent When Conducting Behavior Analysis

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:45 am
        When trying to understand customers’ behaviors on a website, it’s necessary to know what their intent is. Why are customers coming to the site?  What are they trying to do? Web analytics solutions, such as Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics, will provide statistics on web traffic including number of visitors, page views, bounce rates, where visitors are going etc., but not the purpose for the visit.  Other tools, such as Clicktale or Crazy Egg, provide visual information with recordings of mouse movements, heatmaps of where visitors are clicking or scroll maps, but again…
  • Conducting True Intent Studies to Manage Online Customer Experience

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:41 am
    Have you ever wondered what people do when they visit your site? Are they accomplishing what they came for? Did they have a positive experience while they were there? Would they recommend your site to a friend or colleague? Managing the Customer Experience is the top priority for most companies. If you’re a CX Professional, you know that one of the most effective ways to do this is by engaging with the customer, giving them a voice and collecting as much structured feedback as possible. In fact, you are probably aware that your visitors are a great, if not the greatest, source for ideas.
  • 7 Reasons why UserZoom’s Mobile Solution Makes Usability Benchmarking Easy and Efficient

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:34 am
    Even if you are a user experience (UX) researcher who has done only a couple of mobile benchmark studies, you can attest to the challenges of creating, executing, analyzing and reporting them. The complicated tasks of screen recording, behavioral and gestural data gathering as well as capturing quantitative metrics are exacerbated by the small screen and restricted space of movement. Capturing mobile research data requires having sophisticated recording software that comes in the way of users freely using the mobile device. After the data collection is complete, the daunting task of coding…
  • 6 Questions Answered about Designing for an Omni-Channel Shopping Experience

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:20 am
    We had a great webinar last week on How to Design for an Omni-Channel Shopping Experience with Sean Van Tyne, co-author of The Customer Experience Revolution. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to answer all of the questions about designing for the omni-channel shopping experience that our audience asked during the webinar. So, we wanted to do a follow-up blog and share Sean’s answers with all of our readers and webinar attendees. 1. How would you classify cross-channel shopper? I feel in the UX community, cross-channel is used in conjunction with multi-channel/omni-channel There…
  • 5 Reasons Why Voice of the Customer Studies are Essential for Your Website or App

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:16 am
    Online research techniques are constantly evolving. There is a growing desire to learn more about what is happening on websites and apps in order to create a perfect site with more conversions and higher customer satisfaction ratings. One of the latest research techniques is Voice of the Customer (VoC) studies. They provide a great deal of information about what visitors are doing while they surf the Web. Here’s why you should use this type of study to improve your website or app: 1. You obtain extremely valuable information that cannot be gathered any other way Knowing specific reasons…
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    My take on UX research and design

  • Future cancer detection using an iPhone

    18 Oct 2014 | 5:50 am
  • What your smartphone says about you

    7 Oct 2014 | 9:02 am
    Here are some fun insights into what your smartphone says about you. After reading this, I think my next phone will be an iPhone! Source And just when you think things couldn’t get worse… sorry fellow Android users, it seems the world thinks we’re alcoholic chavs! Source Note: Under-weight and over-weight refers to the statistics and potential bias based on respondent type, not body size. Disclaimer: This post is a bit of fun. I’m an Android user and definitely not a chav! :p
  • Video: Google’s thoughts on 2015 e-commerce trends

    3 Oct 2014 | 9:11 am
    Yesterday at the London e-commerce expo, Google’s Martijn Bertisen, spoke about e-commerce trends for 2015. Mobile is set to be BIG business and this christmas, over 50% of christmas retail enquiries are likely to come from smartphones. 2015 will be: The year that mobile takes over. The year of wearables – watch out for Google Glass. We’ll see this coming into the retail experience. Martijn said: If there’s one message I wanted everybody to take away, it’s that what is increasingly enabling e-commerce is mobile devices. We’ve shifted from the desktop era…
  • Never use the word ‘Test’

    4 Jun 2014 | 6:19 am
    When I first started life as a user researcher, it was commonplace (and it it still is) to refer to research as user testing or usability testing. I soon observed that when you use the word ‘test’ it: a) Implies that you’re testing the end user (which is wrong, you’re testing the interface, you’re understanding of the customer, your user journeys, etc). b) As soon as you mention the word ‘test’ to a participant they instantly tense up and worry. I used to say something along the lines of ‘please don’t be concerned, we’re not…
  • Why people hate online passwords

    17 Jan 2014 | 5:57 am
    Over christmas, I was sat with my stepdad as he opened up his new Kindle and attempted to set it up (a whole other usability story!). As it asked for his Amazon password he exclaimed how he didn’t have a clue what it was but he’d find out. The next thing I know, he’s opening up a spreadsheet on his laptop full of all his passwords! There must have been 20-30 of them. He said it’s the only way he can keep track of them all. I was at a focus group recently where discussion naturally lead onto the topic of passwords. Every single person described how frustrated they are…
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    user experience design, ux and usability blog - keepitusable

  • More fascinating e-commerce insights for 2015! Expo day 2

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

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

    1 Oct 2014 | 12:05 am
    The next up and coming wave of consumers are called generation Z. Born between the mid 1990s and 2010, these young people have been brought up with the internet and social networks. They are ‘Digital Natives’ and as a marketer or product owner you will need to approach this generation of consumer very differently. So, let’s learn more about them… Who are Generation Z? Right now they are aged between 4 and 19 years old. They currently make up more than a quarter of the US population and this is still growing. They spend nearly every waking hour online. 46% are…
  • Keep It Usable beat hundreds of entrants to the DADI awards

    21 Jul 2014 | 3:57 am
    We’re excited to announce that we’ve made it as a finalist in the DADI Awards Usability category for our redesign of Katy Thomson of The Drum told us: We received over 550 entries this year so getting through to this stage really is a huge achievement. Your work has impressed the panel! You should be very proud of you and your team’s hard work. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with KOOTH, it’s the UKs most successful online mental health platform for young people. provides online counselling to 10,000 young people with potentially…
  • Jaguar Land Rover reveal the car of the future

    11 Jul 2014 | 7:59 am
    Jaguar Land Rover aim to reduce driver distraction and improve safety with a host of new technologies that make use of head-up displays and gesture control. Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “We are working on research projects that will give the driver better information to enhance the driving experience. “By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once. Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real…
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    All About CAD Conversion

  • The Advantages and Uses of BIM

    Diane Mitol
    20 Oct 2014 | 2:51 pm
    The Advantages and Uses of BIM BIM has many advantages over traditional CAD design methods and represents a completely different approach to building design and documentation.  Since CAD essentially automates the traditional “paper & pencil” process, CAD drawings are created as stand-alone documents, and design changes need to be followed up and implemented manually on each CAD drawing. BIM (Building Information Modeling) applications enable the buildings to be “built” in a virtual environment with all data stored in the central building model, enabling design…
  • Manual vs. Automated Raster to Vector Conversion

    17 Oct 2014 | 11:38 am
    Manual Vs Automated Raster to Vector Conversion Raster and Vectors are two formats of data structures used for storing engineering data. All major CAD software are developed primarily using these data structures. Based on the usage of the data the engineering drawings are stored either as raster images or vector data. Engineering drawings which are to be frequently updated or any changes to be made then it is stored in vector format. If no changes are required and the engineering data is just to be stored then the data is stored in raster format. A raster image is majorly used for viewing…
  • How to Preserve Old Books and Delicate Historic Materials

    Diane Mitol
    1 Oct 2014 | 12:22 pm
    How to Preserve Old Books and Delicate Historic Materials It is important to recognize just how fragile these types of paper-based records really are.  Many books and historical documents that were created after the 1830’s and before the 1980’s were created on paper made from wood pulp and alum-rosin sizing.  This combination resulted in acidic conditions that accelerated the deterioration of paper.  Paper made earlier than the 1830’s was made from rags, which has a better survival rate than the acidic wood pulp mixture used for the 150 years when many…
  • CAD CAM Design Using 3D Models

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

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