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Category: UX Design
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.
Navigation, as crucial as it is to the user experience, is merely a means to an end — the end being to consume content. This is why users have very contrasting expectations about content and navigation. While content is supposed to be unique, surprising and exciting, navigating to it is supposed to be as simple and predictable as possible.
This series of articles, divided into two parts, is a four-step guide to efficiently simplifying the navigation experience, by analyzing the type and amount of content as well as choosing and carefully designing the right type of navigation menu.
Most designers spend too much time with their designs to be objective about them. The best thing any designer can do is to collect feedback from real users. Testing uncovers pain points and flaws in a design that are not otherwise obvious.
Recently, I had an opportunity to experience this firsthand when iterating on HelloSign, the iOS app that enables users to scan, sign and send documents from their phone using the built-in camera. Thanks to testing, the app went from four stars to a solid five stars after a redesign.
Product findability is key to any e-commerce business — after all, if customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Therefore, at Baymard Institute, we invested eight months conducting a large-scale usability research study on the product-finding experience. We set out to explore how users navigate, find and select products on e-commerce websites, using the home page and category navigation.
The one-on-one usability testing was conducted following the “think aloud” protocol, and we tested the following websites: Amazon, Best Buy, Blue Nile, Chemist Direct, Drugstore.com, eBags, GILT, GoOutdoors, H&M, IKEA, Macy’s, Newegg, Pixmania, Pottery Barn, REI, Tesco, Toys’R’Us, The Entertainer, and Zappos. The pages and design elements that we tested include the home page, category navigation, subcategories, and product lists.
Some websites outperform others, whether in their content, usability, design, features, etc. Details of interaction design and animation make a fundamental difference on modern websites. We’ll share some lessons drawn from various models and analyze why these simple patterns work so well.
When we design digital products, we often use design applications such as Photoshop and Sketch. Most people who have been in the business for a few years obviously know that design is more than just about visual presentation.
Ever since I’ve been involved in the Web, I’ve been fascinated by little things that make a big impact. It’s one of the reasons why I started collecting and blogging about these details, which could in some way help others grow an audience.
One recurring topic early on was launch and landing pages and the strategies that creators use to expand the reach of their websites, which led to a Smashing Magazine post titled “Elements of a Viral Launch Page.” In this post, you’ll learn what to look out for when creating your own small campaign and how these elements fit together in existing campaigns around the Web.
Behind every successful design is a dynamic creative team, and it takes all kinds of personalities and skills to get the job done. However, the culture and expectations of a design agency are often largely centered on one outspoken, gregarious personality.
Things such as group brainstorming, on-the-fly presentations and open workspaces have become the norm in most design agencies. But the stereotypical extrovert is just one of the personalities that make up a successful team. A lot of people who excel at and are passionate about design — specifically UX design — are actually introverts.
Axure is a powerful tool for creating software prototypes quickly. Getting started with it is really easy; however, therein lies a danger. The tool is so intuitive that many users can be productive without undergoing any formal training. What they might not be aware of is that they probably aren’t using Axure optimally.
In my experience as a UX designer, I seldom draw a page and get it right the first time. Most of the time, I go through five to ten iterations. When your UX design is used as the blueprint of an agile project, you might need to keep the entire project up to date with the scope of development. Sometimes these changes will affect a dozen or more other pages. It is at these times when some of the less evident features of Axure can become huge time-savers.
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. [Links checked February/09/2017]
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.