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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.
In the first television advertisement for the iPad, the narrator intoned, “It’s crazy powerful. It’s magical. You already know how to use it.” This was an astonishing claim. Here was a new, market-defining, revolutionary device, unlike anything we had seen before, and we already knew how to use it. And yet, for the most part, the claim was true.
How does a company like Apple make such great new things that people already know how to use? One answer lies in the ability of Apple designers to draw upon patterns that people are familiar with.
Today we are happy to release two printable UX sketching and wireframing templates, designed by Pixle for Smashing Magazine’s readers. This article presents Outline, a set of sketching and wireframing papers for mobile platforms and Tapsize, a set of templates for checking optimal tap areas without a mobile device.
Outline is a set of 28 printable sketching and wireframing papers (in PDF) for seven mobile platforms: Android, BlackBerry, iOS (iPad and iPhone), Meego, Symbian, webOS, Windows Phone 7. The set consists of a few combinations, such as actual size, 10 devices fit to a page, and landscape layout.
My relationship with the Internet oscillates between waves of euphoria and waves of angst. Some things make me extraordinarily happy: like a client who loves usability testing so much when they first experience it that they can’t sleep for days; or connecting with someone whose writing I’ve admired for many years.
But other things make me want to close my computer forever and go live on a farm somewhere: like people who take entire articles and present them as their own work, with tiny source links at the bottom of the page; or endless arguments and name-calling that ignore even the most basic human dignity.
As we’ve seen, audio is used as a feedback mechanism when users interact with many of their everyday devices, such as mobile phones, cars, toys and robots. There are many subtleties to designing with audio in order to create useful, non-intrusive experiences. Here, we’ll explore some guidelines and principles to consider when designing with audio.
While I won’t cover this here, audio is a powerful tool for designing experiences for accessibility, and many of the guidelines discussed here apply. Both Android phones and iPhones already have accessibility options that enable richer experiences with gestural and audio input and audio output.
Most designers would agree that navigation is one of the most critical components of a website. Despite this, it is not always easy to use or access. Traditionally, users must scroll back to the top of the website to access the navigation menu. I recently wondered whether sticky menus makes websites quicker to navigate, and I conducted a usability study to find the answer.
Let’s look at the results of the study, a few implementation techniques and some related challenges. Sticky, or fixed, navigation is basically a website menu that is locked into place so that it does not disappear when the user scrolls down the page; in other words, it is accessible from anywhere on the website without having to scroll.
A year ago we published an article on 11 fundamental guidelines for e-commerce checkout design here at Smashing Magazine. The guidelines presented were based on the 63 findings of a larger E-Commerce Checkout Usability research study we conducted in 2011 focusing strictly on the checkout user experience, from “cart” to “completed order".
This year we've taken a look at the state of e-commerce checkouts by documenting and benchmarking the checkout processes of the top 100 grossing e-commerce websites based on the findings from the original research study. This has lead to a massive checkout database with 508 checkout steps reviewed, 975 screenshots, and 3,000+ examples of adherences and violations of the checkout usability guidelines.
We all know basic tenets of user-centred design. We recognize different research methods, prototyping, as well as documenting techniques in our rich methodological environment. The question you probably often ask yourself though is how it all works in practice?
What do real-life UX design processes actually look like? Do we have time for every step in the process that we claim ideal? In this article, I'd like to share a couple of insights about the real-life UX design process and speak from my own experience and research.
Tone of voice isn’t what we say but how we say it. It’s the language we use, the way we construct sentences, the sound of our words and the personality we communicate. It is to writing what logo, color and typeface are to branding.
When creating content for the Web, considering tone of voice is important. Your tone can help you stand out from competitors, communicate efficiently and effectively with your audience and share your personality.
The accelerometer embedded in our smart devices is typically used to align the screen depending on the orientation of the device, i.e. when switching between portrait and landscape modes. This capability provides great opportunities to create better user experiences because it offers an additional layout with a simple turn of a device, and without pressing any buttons.
However, designing for device orientation brings various challenges and requires careful thinking. The experience must be as unobtrusive and transparent as possible, and we must understand the context of use for this functionality.