Category: UX Design

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.

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Usability User Experience Interaction Design UI User Research

The Elements Of Navigation

When users look for information, they have a goal and are on a mission. Even before you started to read this article, chances are you did because you either had the implicit goal of checking what's new on Smashing Magazine, or had the explicit goal of finding information about "Navigation Design".

The Elements Of Navigation

After a couple of seconds of scanning this article, and maybe reading parts of the introduction, you may have started to ask yourself whether the information that you’re consuming at the moment is actually relevant to you—the user. Unfortunately (and as certain as death and taxes), if users cannot find the information they are looking for, chances are they will abandon their track, never to return.

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Symptoms Of An Epidemic: Web Design Trends

Since Elliot Jay Stocks so poignantly told us to destroy the Web 2.0 look, we’ve witnessed a de-shinification of the Web, with fewer glass buttons, beveled edges, reflections, special-offer badges, vulgar gradients with vibrant colors and diagonal background patterns. The transformation has been welcomed with relief by all but the most hardened gloss-enthusiasts.

Collage of interfaces with stiches

However, design and aesthetics work in mysterious ways, and no sooner does one Web design trend leave us before another appears. We'll start by looking at some of the most common symptoms, many of which you have probably noticed. They are easy to spot, and as with many other conditions, they often appear in conjunction with each other.

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A Dad’s Plea To Developers Of iPad Apps For Children

I spend a lot of time buying and testing iPad apps for kids. To be more specific, I lovingly do this for a certain two-year-old girl who is currently on a very successful #OccupyiPad mission in my house. Through extensive observational research, I’ve discovered what works and doesn’t work for my daughter, so I’m going to shamelessly generalize my findings to all children and propose four essential guidelines for developers who work on iPad apps for children.

A Dad's Plea To Developers Of iPad Apps For Children

Most apps for children show a bunch of different things on the screen that you can touch to make stuff happen. Cows moo, windows open and close, honey pots need to be collected, etc. But most of these apps give no indication of which elements are interactive and which are not. This usually results in a frantic and frustrating game of whack-a-mole to find the elements that actually do something.

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Designing Engaging And Enjoyable Long-Form Reading Experiences

Finally some good news from the media industry: digital subscriptions are growing. We see positive reports from newspapers like The New York Times and magazine publishers like Conde Nast: announcements about increases in their digital content sales and paywall members.

Designing Engaging And Enjoyable Long-Form Reading Experiences

When you have fantastic and original content, ensuring your readers have the best possible experience is critical to building and keeping your audience. The following suggested practices can help you design your content to create a better experience for your readers.

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Mission Transition

Life and nature are one big transition. The sun slowly rises to mark a new day and then slowly sets to mark the end of the day and the beginning of night. We are created in the womb and from small cells we grow, are born and gradually age until we die.

Mission Transition

Perhaps these natural transitions in life are what make artificial transitions feel… well, right. Sometimes, though, when something jumps from one state to another, it feels OK but doesn’t quite feel right.

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Redefining Hick’s Law

Hick’s Law has always been a popular reference point for designers. You’ll find it cited in the endless lists of basic laws and principles that all designers should be familiar with. Given our assumed comfort level with this design cornerstone, I am surprised to see so many people getting it wrong.

Redefining Hick's Law

What we think we understand about Hick’s Law as it pertains to Web design is oversimplified and incomplete. We need to more deeply investigate what Hick’s Law can do for Web design. In the end, we will see why this design principle is undervalued, and we will see how we have been designing incorrectly for the user’s decision-making process. In order to get there, we need to look at our current approach to Hick’s Law and why it’s wrong.

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Finger-Friendly Design: Ideal Mobile Touchscreen Target Sizes

In darts, hitting the bulls-eye is harder to do than hitting any other part of the dartboard. This is because the bullseye is the smallest target. This same principle can also apply to touch targets on mobile devices. Smaller touch targets are harder for users to hit than larger ones.

Finger-Friendly Design: Ideal Mobile Touch Target Sizes

When you’re designing mobile interfaces, it’s best to make your targets big so that they’re easy for users to tap. But exactly how big should you make them to give the best ease of use to the majority of your users? Many mobile developers have wondered this, and most have turned to the user interface guidelines provided by the platform developer for the answer.

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