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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It's always great to have a little toolbox with just the right tools waiting for you when you need them. What if you are about to start working on a new project which should apply the material design language introduced by Google last year? What if you had just a good starter kit with everything you need to dive into the creative process without being distracted by routine tasks?
We're here to have your back — with a little selection of handy goodies, icons, templates and tools to help you get off the ground faster. This post is one of our first shorter "Sideblog" pieces where we highlight some of the more useful and helpful snippets and goodies every now and then. We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments to this post.
We all aim to be as agile as possible in today’s fast-paced web design world, while also remaining thoughtful of the end user and those we work with. After Effects is a great tool that enables us to quickly visualize and test robust animation patterns throughout web design, share those with the development team and clients, and even test variants with users to get quick validation on a design before it goes into production.
Web design transitions and animations, like parallax scrolling, hidden navigation, swiping, pull to refresh, transformations or really any UI transition, are great to prototype in After Effects. In this article, we will be scratching the surface of how to fit After Effects into your UX Workflow, and we’ll share details, advice, experience and links that you could use as influence and thought starters in your next project.
If you’re a UX designer, you’ve probably designed a lot of forms and web (or app) pages in which the user needs to choose between options. And as a designer, you’re likely familiar with best practices for designing forms. Certainly, much has been written and discussed about this topic. So, you probably know all about how best to label and position form fields and so on for optimal usability.
But have you thought about how the design of a form affects the user’s decision-making? Have you ever considered to what extent the design itself affects the choices people make? As always in design, there are a variety of ways to design a form or web page.
Editor’s Note: This article contains many video examples that show functional animation. Therefore, it may take longer to load on slow connections. A good UX designer can easily explain the logic behind each decision in a design concept. This includes the information architecture, the content hierarchy, the flow and the assumptions made.
Sooner or later, animation will be introduced to the wireframe concept, and then making design decisions or explaining them becomes harder. Reasons such as “It will be cool!” or “It’s trendy” or ”exciting” are exactly the areas where a design starts to lose its strength. Animations deserve a far better ground in our design considerations. We should be justified in defining animations and explaining their purpose — just the same way that we explain all other elements in a design.
Let’s say you run a UX team. Better yet, let’s say you don’t. Let’s say you just want to do great work. You’re a consultant. You’re a newbie. You’re an intern. Your position is irrelevant. So is your title. What’s important here is that you want great UX to happen. You want it consistently. You want it now. You want it all the time.
No matter your status or situation, whether director or loner, you are in a position to lead, to raise the bar in a place where it consistently sits lower than you think it should.
When done right, filters enable users to narrow down a website’s selection of thousands of products to only those few items that match their particular needs and interests. Yet, despite it being a central aspect of the user’s e-commerce product browsing, most websites offer a lacklustre filtering experience. In fact, our 2015 benchmark reveals that only 16% of major e-commerce websites offer a reasonably good filtering experience.
Given the importance of filtering, we — the entire team at the Baymard Institute — spent the last nine months researching how users browse, filter and evaluate products in e-commerce product lists. We examined both search- and category-based product lists. At the core of this research was a large-scale usability study testing 19 leading e-commerce websites with real end users, following the think-aloud protocol.
Following a recent economic windfall, Brazilians are faced with more choices of how to spend their money. This provides a situation for good UX to make a huge impact and sway customers to buy new products or services. Companies inside and outside Brazil are interested in capturing a part of this new market.
My company, Blink UX, had the opportunity to conduct in-home user interviews in São Paulo on behalf of a Brazilian real estate company called Zap Imóveis. This project provided me with invaluable insider knowledge on how to best conduct in-home user interviews in Brazil and, more broadly, how to conduct field research in foreign countries using the same underlying principles.
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?