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.
The navigation system is often the most important and complex user interface component of modern websites. In recent years, small screens, responsive website techniques and ever-evolving hardware and software have only added to this complexity.
A quick query of “mobile navigation” returns thousands of opinions on navigation patterns, including the “hamburger” menu, front-end plugins, frameworks and plenty of other tools. Despite this changing landscape of tools and design trends, a successful navigation system sends users on the path to the exact content they need at the right time.
Working with text has long been the domain of desktops and notebooks. Yet the screen size, resolution and software of mobile devices have improved in recent years, which has made typing a fairly large amount of text quite achievable.
A number of apps and techniques are intended to make this task easier, thus increasing productivity and increasing the amount of text that can be comfortably created or edited on a mobile device.
Data visualization is on the rise. Publishers around the world — individual bloggers and major online publications alike — are realizing that charts, maps and combinations of the two can convey a message far more effectively than plain numbers can.
From simple charts to fancy infographics to complex timeline animations, data visualizations are popping up all over the Internet. However, as in any other area, once everyone gets on the train, distinguishing yourself from the pack becomes hard.
“By playing in a band,” was my answer. Now, I am not suggesting that all web designers should run out and join a rock and roll band (although there is a glaring shortage of songs about the CSS box model). I do know, however, that many of the skills I honed while playing in a band have contributed to my success as a web designer — as much as, if not more than, my ability to write clean code or design an attractive web page. In this article, I'll describe how being in a band taught me to be a better web designer.
Style guides — especially living ones — are useful in many aspects of development and maintenance, so it’s little wonder that developing them has become a highly recommended and a popular practice. But even with the clear benefits, taking the necessary steps to create and start using style guides is easier said than done, as quite often the challenge is cultural, requiring changes in people’s mindsets.
In order to make the transition as painless as possible, equipping yourself with the most helpful tools and automating as many steps as possible become important. These living style guides promote a systematic approach to composing layouts, which used to be just a task within the user interface development process. Incorporating style guides into the development process places importance on the tools used to build the component catalogue.
Slowly but surely, the official app stores of iTunes, Google Play and Windows Phone Marketplace have transformed into a digital battlefield. App developers have to fight for recognition or otherwise be drowned in an ocean of competing mobile applications.
App store optimization (ASO), a strategy similar to SEO but specifically applied to the app pages in app stores, has become a handy addition to an app developer’s marketing plan, and promises to help increase visibility – and, as a consequence, downloads – of a mobile app. ASO consists of many elements, and should be considered a key component of publishing an app in an app store of choice. It encompasses every detail of a mobile app’s page, and can be split into on-page and off-page elements.
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.