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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.
As UI designers, we’re always interested in learning, reading user research, understanding best practices and keeping up to date on all the latest approaches and tactics for building websites and applications.
One of the most exciting concepts we’ve started to apply to our thinking is the mobile-first approach, famously pioneered by designer Luke Wroblewski on his blog and then in his subsequent book. Generally, this approach provides a healthy way to gain focus, cut the fat and get to the heart of what’s important — for both content and interaction.
Every app tells a story. Apps like Pandora tell the story of music; apps like Tip N Split tell a story of a calculator; and apps like Temperature tell the story of weather. Then we have storybook apps like Alice for the iPad, which literally tell stories!
The story of the cluttered app market is well known! Biz Report recently reported that the number of app downloads is estimated to reach 56 billion in 2013. And the San Francisco Chronicle has just reported that over 700,000 apps are for sale in the iTunes Store. Getting noticed is a major concern for app developers, and getting noticed sometimes requires not only a breakthrough app, but a compelling story.
A record number of shoppers are turning to their smartphones to research potential purchases. Meanwhile, the bigger question — are those same users willing to complete the purchases on their mobile device? — is quickly being answered.
The US, for example, saw an 81% spike in mobile e-commerce (m-commerce) sales in 2012, comprising a $25 billion market. And it’s not just apps. By a landslide, users prefer mobile websites to apps for shopping.
Designing with users in mind is a tricky thing. Not only does it require of us a sound understanding of who our users are, but the actual act of translating what we know about them into a well-designed product is not always an obvious or easy path.
Currently, our user experience tools tend to focus on “who” users are. I believe this is a hangover from how we traditionally approached marketing and market research. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a somewhat different method, which has proven useful in a few of my own projects.
One of the most famous interfaces in sci-fi is gestural — the precog scrubber interface used by the Precrime police force in Minority Report. Using this interface, Detective John Anderton uses gestures to “scrub” through the video-like precognitive visions of psychic triplets.
After observing a future crime, Anderton rushes to the scene to prevent it and arrest the would-be perpetrator. This interface is one of the most memorable things in a movie that is crowded with future technologies, and it is one of the most referenced interfaces in cinematic history.
How do you convince clients to trust you with their valuable and much-loved product? In my experience, the best way to sell work to clients is to apply user-centered design not only to the work we produce, but also to the clients who commission that work.
We have to understand who our clients are, what is important to them and what their goals are. And then we have to deliver work that not only meets the needs of end users, but also satisfies the personalities within the company itself.
The products we build are full of feedback loops, whether we know it or not. People who study human behavior agree that feedback loops play a critical role in what we do. From biofeedback to the quantified self, designers and psychologists alike are discovering the real power that these cyclical interactions play in shaping our day-to-day choices.
Designing for behavior change can increase user engagement, create business value and improve lives. Whatever you’re designing, it probably involves feedback. Designing that feedback to be as effective as possible can mean the difference between a successful and failed product. This article discusses how to influence behavior by designing well-crafted feedback loops.
Editor’s note: Welcome to Smashing Magazine UX Design Q&A. It works like this: you send in questions you have about UX Design, and each month we’ll pick a handful of questions asked by our readers about best practices in designing smart and usable experiences.
They will be answered by Christian Holst, a regular author here on Smashing Magazine and founder of the Baymard Institute. Prior to cofounding the Baymard Institute in 2009, he worked as a usability engineer in the hearing-aid, credit-card and consulting industries.
There has been a slight change in the UX Design editorial team. Unfortunately, Francisco Inchauste is stepping down from the UX Editor role to pursue new opportunities. We'd like to introduce you to our new editor, Chui Chui Tan, who will continue to publish high-quality articles in this section. Whilst we wish Francisco only the best in his new adventures, we hope you'll continue supporting and enjoying the future articles published in this section.