We use ad-blockers as well, you know. We gotta keep those servers running though. Did you know that we publish useful books and run friendly conferences — crafted for pros like yourself? E.g. upcoming SmashingConf Barcelona, dedicated to smart front-end techniques and design patterns.
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.
Like many great ideas, ours was born of a problem. When I was a graduate student at MIT, I sat next to a classmate who is visually impaired. He would whisper to me to ask the time, even though he wore a watch — which prompted me to wonder how the blind tell time.
I later learned from my classmate that he had a talking watch that announced the time out loud when he pressed a button, but he rarely used it in public because he found it disruptive and embarrassing. After that conversation with my classmate, I went home and Googled "watch for the blind". I couldn’t believe what I saw.
As more designers and writers look to analytics to inform their decisions, many still struggle to implement their findings in a sustainable, ongoing way. Too often, testing and analysis are one-off activities, providing plenty of important-looking numbers but not lot of context or specific direction.
After more than five years helping content and design teams capture, measure and understand website performance data (client-side at Bazaarvoice and now at Volusion), I’ve learned a lot about connecting the dots between data and design improvements. Today, I want to share some of those lessons with you.
Imagine that this is what you know about me: I am a college-educated male between the ages of 35 and 45. I own a MacBook Pro and an iPhone 5, on which I browse the Internet via the Google Chrome browser. I tweet and blog publicly, where you can discover that I like chocolate and corgis. I’m married. I drive a Toyota Corolla. I have brown hair and brown eyes. My credit-card statement shows where I’ve booked my most recent hotel reservations and where I like to dine out.
If your financial services client provided you with this data, could you tell them why I’ve just decided to move my checking and savings accounts from it to a new bank? This scenario might seem implausible when laid out like this, but you’ve likely been in similar situations as an interactive designer, working with just demographics or website usage metrics.
Touch devices have rightfully been praised for generally being much more intuitive than the decades-old computer mouse and keyboard. Users interact directly with touch interfaces, which narrows the gap between human act and software response.
Yet typing on mobile devices — in particular on smartphones — is quite the horror story. It’s slow, painful and error-prone. The obvious culprits are keyboard character size and proximity of the keys, but there are many other important aspects to consider.
What does it take to craft a great product? For those of us who design and build apps, websites and software, a great product means one that delights its users. But digital product development is a complex beast.
Delivering a successful product requires multidisciplinary teams to efficiently work through varying opinions and conflicting views and, ultimately, to gather behind a common vision with a focused plan.
Mobile user experience design is maturing. One way to gauge this is to look at the tools at our disposal. Prototyping tools such as Balsamiq, Axure and Fireworks enable us to build wireframes and click-dummies, helping us to explain the targeted user experience.
In my career as a user experience professional, part of my purpose has always been to help push our profession forward. And I’ve had the great privilege of being able to do just that in a myriad of ways — by writing books and articles, speaking at conferences all over the world, delivering in-house training workshops at wonderful companies, and simply doing the work for a great many clients.
If I could be remembered for just one thing, I’d want it to be this, because this is what designers and companies need to know and understand about the nature of user experience as a profession, a goal, an idea.
You’ve just created the best user experience ever. You had the idea. You sketched it out. You started to build it. Except you’re already in trouble, because you’ve forgotten something: the copy. Specifically, the microcopy.
Microcopy is the text we don’t talk about very often. It’s the label on a form field, a tiny piece of instructional text, or the words on a button. It’s the little text that can make or break your user experience.
Editor's note: Please note that this article explores an entirely hypothetical scenario, and these are opinions, some of which you may not agree with. However, the opinions are based on current trends, statistics and existing technology. If you’re the kind of designer who is interested in developing the future, the author encourages you to read the sources that are linked throughout the article.
With the Leap Motion controller being released on June 27th and the Google Glass Explorer program already live, it is obvious that our reliance on the mouse or even the monitor to interact with the Web will eventually become obsolete.
In this article, we’ll travel five to ten years into the future and explore a world where Google Glass, Leap Motion and a few other technologies are as much a part of our daily lives as our smartphones and desktops are now.