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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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Designing Global Applications For Children

The entire process of designing digital applications comes with many challenges and decisions. For the majority of projects, you will be designing in somewhat familiar territory. But what happens when you have to design something to be used by hundreds of children around the world? How do you accommodate your design for kids of different ages and backgrounds? What special challenges emerge, and how can they be overcome?

Lego Website

For a project of this scale, the design process we follow might require modifications. These modifications would be to accommodate the needs of younger age groups and would shape the entire length of the project, from user research, brainstorming, interface design and interaction design all the way to the final stages of usability testing and user support.


Breaking Down Silos, Part 1: The Consequences Of Working In Isolation

If you’ve ever worked at a company of any size, you’ve experienced it. Isolation. Some people love it: the determination that comes from being a lone ranger, boldly going where no one has gone before. Others hate it: the despair that comes from slaving over a design only to see it disappear down a black hole of development, whereupon it emerges onto a website months later, unrecognizable from the pixels you put on the page with such painful precision.

These are the perils of working in siloed environments, and it’s where many of us find ourselves today. We’re either terribly alone or terribly frustrated, depending on the particular variety of silo we find ourselves in. In this two-part series, I’ll explore the consequences of working in isolated environments, and how we can solve this problem by encouraging more collaborative cultures.


Taking A Customer From Like To Love: The UX Of Long-Term Relationships

"What do you mean improve? I charged him correctly didn't I?". My manager looked at me disappointed. "Yes, Des, you charged him correctly. But a vending machine can do that too. They show up on time, they're more accurate, I don't pay them by the hour and they're never hungover. Your job is to do something that a vending machine can't do. Your job is to make our customers happy. Give them a good experience. Bring them back here again. Get it?"

Taking Customers From Like to Love

MBAs call this "customer experience", though when it's spelled out it sounds more like common sense. And like most common sense it's rarely that common. Especially in the world of subscription software where we need customers to stick around. User experience designers are great at making software friendly and usable to new customers.


New Approaches To Designing Log-In Forms

For many of us, logging into websites is a part of our daily routine. In fact, we probably do it so often that we’ve stopped having to think about how it’s done… that is, until something goes wrong: we forget our password, our user name, the email address we signed up with, how we signed up, or even if we ever signed up at all.

Bagcheck Sign In

These experiences are not just frustrating for us, but are bad for businesses as well. How bad? User Interface Engineering’s analysis of a major online retailer found that 45% of all customers had multiple registrations in the system, 160,000 people requested their password every day, and 75% of these people never completed the purchase they started once they requested their password.


Breaking The Rules: A UX Case Study

I read a lot of design articles about best practices for improving the flow of sign-up forms. Most of these articles offer great advice, such as minimizing the number of steps, asking for as little information up front as possible, and providing clear feedback on the status of the user’s data.

If you’re creating a sign-up form, you could do worse than to follow all of these guidelines. On the other hand, you could do a lot better. Design guidelines aren’t one size fits all. Sometimes you can improve a process by breaking a few rules. The trick is knowing which rules to break for a particular project.


Introducing Smashing UX Design: Changing The Conversation

In the Web industry, a lot of exciting knowledge and diverse opinions are shared daily. They are delivered in fragments across hundreds of blogs, feeds, Twitter accounts and apps. In addition, the number of topics seems to multiply daily. We are building and designing for moving targets. Technology is constantly forking and disrupting the way we interact and do business. This is our industry, and I love it. I also know it could be better.

Why does finding and reading content have to be so painful at times? We set out to build great (user) experiences, yet our own experience of reading and learning from blogs is not always so pleasant. We end up relying on our peers and trending topics to see what we should be reading. Just knowing how to get a handle on what’s going on becomes a job requirement — more of a distraction than a good use of time when we have project deadlines, among other responsibilities.


Seven Guidelines For Designing High-Performance Mobile User Experiences

A positive first impression is essential to relationships. People look for trust and integrity, and they expect subsequent encounters to reflect and reinforce their first impression. The same principles apply to brands and their products. Design plays an important role in building lasting relationships with end users and, thus, in supporting the brand’s promise.

Twitter and Cookmate app

Users expect mobile services to be relevant and user-friendly and to perform well. The limitations of the medium, however, impose significant challenges to designing products that meet all of those expectations. While often underestimated, performance is a crucial contributor to a trustworthy mobile user experience. Therefore, it should be considered a key driver in the design process.

In this article, we’ll discuss performance in relation to design and present seven guidelines that can help shape design decisions related to performance while accounting for the needs of end users and businesses. These guidelines are based on the experiences of our teams in designing native mobile apps for a broad product portfolio and on multiple mobile platforms.


Getting Started With Defensive Web Design

Nothing ruins a great website UI like people using it. At least, it often feels that way. You put in days or weeks building the interface, only to find that a vast majority of visitors abandon it partway through the process that it supports. Most of the time, visitors leave because they’ve hit a roadblock: a problem that lets them go no further. They typed their credit card number wrong or clicked the wrong link or mistyped a URL. And it's not their fault.

Getting Started With Defensive Web Design

A good design assumes that people make mistakes. A bad one leaves visitors stuck at a dead end because they mistyped one character. The best professionals account for this with smart, defensive design strategies (also known as contingency design).


Print Loves Web

A recent power cut highlighted the fragile and dated way I access content on the Web. I sit in front of a computer which has a number of hardware elements like a keyboard, mouse and monitor — all connected to a black box which houses a number of other smaller more complicated bits of hardware. To access content on the Web, I rely on all of these layers working, not to mention the parts outside of my control-like cabling and remote servers.


There was nothing for it but to pick up a book to try and satisfy my visual hunger. With all other distractions (the kinds that need juice from the wall) lying lifeless around my flat, I was able to really enjoy a book I’d been meaning to look at for some time. With many image filled pages the large hardback book (Supply and Demand by Shepard Fairey) was a real joy. Controlling the speed at which I let the pages flick with my thumb, the smell of the ink and paper and the subtle cracking noise of the spine as I opened the book wider, it was the best user experience I’d had in a very long time.


Optimizing Emotional Engagement In Web Design Through Metrics

Think about what keeps you coming back to your favorite store, your favorite person or even your favorite website. It’s not just a mindless buy-go, hug-go or click-go relationship. It is a complicated, emotional connection. It is what makes relationships with people and brands intoxicating. User engagement must have an equally complex emotional connection. It must affect the user in mind, body and spirit. Anything less is a 1990s brochure website.



You can create strong storytelling strategies based on user personalities and segmentation. However, it seems almost impossible to measure those efforts, let alone know how to optimize them, without access to a neuroscience laboratory. In fact, emotional engagement can be optimized, and quite effectively, using something already at your disposal: performance metrics.


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