How Copywriting Can Benefit From User Research

I’ve often heard there are four stages along the road to competence: unconscious incompetence, conscious incompetence, conscious competence, and unconscious competence. Most of us begin our careers “unconsciously incompetent,” or unaware of how much we don’t know.

User Research In Copywriting

I’ll never forget the first time I moved from unconscious to conscious incompetence. I was working as an office manager at a small software company, and having been impressed by my writing skills, the director of sales and marketing asked me to throw together a press release, welcoming the new CEO.

Read more...

Making Time: Redesigning A Calendar Experience For Android

In UX design, few things are more intricate than time and personal time management — only a good arsenal of mobile design patterns and information architecture principles can save you. This is the story of redesigning the UX for a popular calenda tool on Android: Business Calendar. We’ll cover designing systems, interaction design problems, scaling across screens and platforms, research, and big business decisions and their outcomes.

Making Time: Redesigning A Calendar Experience For Android

Business Calendar started out as a side project, a one-man show, and is now run by a team of eight in Berlin. The app was very successful right from the time Android entered the mainstream market, and it now has an active user base of 2 million. But instead of modernizing the design and usability regularly, the developers focused on implementing user requests and customization options.

Read more...
Advertisement Advertise with us!

Finally: Smashing Book #5 Is Here, And It’s Hot Like Smoking Barrels.

The waiting is over. Smashing Book #5 is here, it's smashing, and it's shipping worldwide — in fact, all pre-orders have just been dispatched. Think of it as a reliable playbook to master all the tricky hurdles of responsive design, well-tested in real-life projects by respected designers and developers. Ah, sure, you can get the book right away.

Smashing Book 5: Real-Life Responsive Web Design

Now, a standalone release post would be boring and predictable, so how about bringing another perspective to the magazine instead? Below you'll find some insights about the writing process by one of the authors of the book, Sara Soueidan, who has contributed an 80-page long compendium of useful techniques, tricks and strategies for dealing with SVG. — Ed.

Read more...

How To Moderate Effectively In Usability Research

As UX professionals, we know the value of conducting usability research. But UX research initiatives — even when designed well — are not perfect. A lab study to test a website, for example, would never perfectly capture a user’s actual behavior in the wild. This is because, inevitably, the research protocol itself will influence the findings.

The Importance Of Moderating Effectively In Usability Research

A lab environment can never replicate the natural environment of the participant, and the mere presence of a research facilitator or moderator creates a dimension of artificiality that can thwart the research goals. They must not only facilitate sessions in such a way that the research goals are achieved, but also balance two challenges that are constantly at odds with each other: keeping the participant within the scope of the study, while allowing the participant to be in the driver’s seat in order to make the experience as realistic as possible.

Read more...

Smarter Grids With Sass And Susy

If you’re a designer, you’ll know that grids are your friends. More often than not, they’re the vital architecture that holds a beautiful design together; they create rhythm, structure your page, lead the eye, and prevent the whole thing collapsing in a sloppy mess.

Smarter Grids With Sass And Susy

I’m a firm advocate for designing with the browser: prototyping with HTML and CSS has many clear advantages over static Photoshop comps, which have less value for the responsive web. Unfortunately, HTML, CSS and grids aren’t natural bedfellows: the progression of web standards over the years has been lacking in this area, meaning we have to grapple with floats (which were never designed to be used this way) and clearfixes — not ideal when you want to spend less time debugging layout and more time crafting experiences.

Read more...

Product Design Unification Case Study, Part 2: “Burger-Driven” Framework

In the first part of the case study about Mail.Ru Group product design unification, I described our first approach — a mobile web framework. Aside from creating a unified visual style and interaction principles for a dozen services, we've also transformed our design process from the classic "prototype → design mock-up → HTML → implementation" approach for every screen, to a modern and more efficient framework-based approach.

Product Design Unification Case Study, Part 2:

In this second part I'll show how we have improved the same technology to embody larger versions of these products and made our "Bootstrap on steroids" more powerful. In the spring of 2012, our business unit acquired 11 content-based projects: Auto, Events Guide, Health, Horoscopes, Kids, Lady, Moto, News, Sports, TV, and Weather. Many of them are very successful in their market niche in Russia; however, they each have their own history, often with outsourced designs that led to inconsistencies.

Read more...

Freebie: A Workspace Illustrations Kit (AI, PNG, PSD, EPS and SVG)

Today we're happy to release yet another freebie: a set of 60 lovely workspace illustrations of items that many web and graphic designers use every day: tablet and desktop computers, Apple Watches, cameras, Moleskine notebooks, headphones, pens, pencils, pairs of glasses — even coffee cups and cookies!

The complete set of illustrations

The set has been designed by Anastasia Kolisnichenko, from Minsk, Belarus, and released for free for Smashing Magazine's readers. Feel free to use all these elements and others for your projects. Grab what you need for a poster or website. You can customize everything you want: stroke width, size, color, shape — everything.

Read more...

Quantity Ordering With CSS

Here is your mission, should you choose to accept it: create a table of items. Each item should span a third of the content area, with the fourth item starting on a new row, much like floats. However, a particular item must always display the price at the end of the first row.

Quantity Ordering With CSS

So if there are only two elements, the price element would be second. But if there are more than three items, the price would be the last element in the first row. You might assume that JavaScript would be the best solution — just loop over the items, and if there are more than three, update the styling. But what if I told you could do it with CSS alone?

Read more...

An In-Depth Guide To Launching Your Own Podcast

Podcasting has experienced a renaissance in the last couple of years. According to RawVoice, which tracks 20,000 shows, the number of unique monthly podcast listeners has tripled to 75 million, up from 25 million five years ago.

An In-Depth Guide To Launching Your Own Podcast

Suffice it to say, now is a great time to start a podcast. It’s an authentic and intimate way to demonstrate authority in your niche and to grow your client base. When starting out our own podcast, I was a bit lost with the technical logistics of actually setting up the podcast; figuring out the best approach required a lot of searching and digging.

Read more...

Become A Command-Line Power User With Oh-My-ZSH And Z

The command line is increasingly becoming a part of every web developer's workflow. With tools like Grunt, Gulp and Bower leveraging the increase in productivity that comes with working in the command line, we are seeing it become a much more friendly and comfortable place for beginners and experts alike.

Terminal Theme: Agnoster

This article provides insight into some of the best tools to use in your day-to-day workflow in the command line and gets you started with a totally customized setup.

Read more...

↑ Back to top