This category features quality articles on usability, information architecture, interaction design and other user experience (UX) related topics – for digital (Web, mobile, applications, software) and physical products. Through these articles, experts and professionals share with you their valuable ideas, practical tips, useful guidelines, recommended best practices and great case studies. Curated by Chui Chui Tan. Subscribe to the RSS-Feed.
Imagine two futures of mobile technology: in one, we are distracted away from our real-world experiences, increasingly focused on technology and missing out on what is going on around us; in the other, technology enhances our life experiences by providing a needed boost at just the right time.
The first reality is with us already. When was the last time you enjoyed a meal with friends without it being interrupted by people paying attention to their smartphones instead of you? How many times have you had to watch out for pedestrians who are walking with their faces buried in a device, oblivious to their surroundings?
Does this title make you skeptical? I would have been too before I saw the research that led to this article. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you that carousels are an anti-pattern. Don’t use them. But maybe it’s not so cut and dry.
Using real data, this article aims for a better understanding of the current argument against carousels and whether they really deserve the reputation they’ve gained. I’ll break down the arguments point by point and see if our data lines up with those expectations. Through all of that, I’ll detail our findings and methods and make some recommendations on how and when you should use carousels in future.
If you work in the tech industry, it’s easy to forget that older people exist. Most tech workers are really young, so it’s easy to see why most technology is designed for young people. But consider this: By 2030, around 19% of people in the US will be over 65. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Well it happens to be about the same number of people in the US who own an iPhone today. Which of these two groups do you think Silicon Valley spends more time thinking about?
This seems unfortunate when you consider all of the things technology has to offer older people. A great example is Speaking Exchange, an initiative that connects retirees in the US with kids who are learning English in Brazil.
The “diffusion of innovations” theory of communications expert and rural sociologist Everett Rogers attempts to identify and explain the factors that lead to people and groups adopting innovations (new ideas and technologies). Design teams that account for both usability and how people adopt innovation stand a much greater chance of having users accept and use their products.
The diffusion of innovations is a complex process; design teams can use their knowledge of the theory to create a road map for how they will address critical factors in the design and marketing of their product.
As members of design teams, we want as many people as possible to use what we create. This is true whether we are designing a specialized medical device for a specific type of surgery or something more mainstream, like a smartphone or video game console.
We often focus on the importance of ensuring our product is usable. Less often, we discuss other factors related to people accepting and using our products. Users don’t automatically or simultaneously accept even the best ideas and most useful technologies. Acceptance and adoption happens in stages, and in order to stick, it has to happen the right way. Therefore, our design teams need to account for both usability and how the use of a product spreads across users in order for our work to have maximum impact.
Digital experiences are emulating real life more and more every day. This may seem counterintuitive, considering the hate that rains down on skeuomorphic visual design, but there's a lot more to emulating real life than aesthetics.
Interface designers can emulate real-life physics and movement on a digital screen. This type of motion is becoming more common, which is why it's becoming easier for people to understand computers. We're not getting better, the interfaces are!
The kickoff phase sets the stage for the success of your product. Without properly conducting this phase, your team might as well be working in the dark. The worst enemy in product development, after all, is ambiguity.
During the initial design process for your product, answers will come from brainstorming on the product and from execution at the highest level, with all necessary stakeholders (along with their egos).
SmashingConf isn't the eighth wonder of the world, but we are pretty close. Join us at SmashingConf Oxford on March 16–19 or meet us at the shores of Santa Monica for SmashingConf LA on April 27–30. You won't be disappointed.