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.
Around a year ago, while working at a digital agency, I was given the objective of streamlining our UX design process. Twelve months later, this article shares my thoughts and experiences on how lean thinking helped to instill efficiencies within our UX design process.
When I arrived at the agency, wireframes were already being created and utilized across a variety of projects. Winning advocates for the production of wireframes was not the issue. All stakeholders (both internally and externally) understood the purpose of wireframes and appreciated their value in shaping and modeling digital experiences.
Visibility of system status is one of the most important principles in user interface design. Users want to feel in control of the system they’re using, which means they want to know and understand their current context at any given time, and especially when a system is busy doing work. A wait-animation progress indicator is the most common form of providing a system status for users when something is happening or loading.
While an instant response from an app is the best, there are times when your app won’t be able to comply with the guidelines for speed. A slow response could be caused by a bad internet connection, or an operation itself can take a long time (e.g. install an update for OS). For such cases, in order to minimize user tension, you must reassure users that the app is working on their request and that actual progress is being made. Thus, you should provide feedback to the user about what is happening with the app within a reasonable amount of time.
Chatbot fever has infected Silicon Valley. The leaders of virtually every tech giant — including Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple — proclaim chatbots as the new websites, and messaging platforms as the new browsers.
"You should message a business just the way you would message a friend," declared Mark Zuckerberg when he launched the Facebook Messenger Platform for bots. He and the rest of the tech world are convinced that conversation is the future of business.
When I was a developer, I often had a hundred questions when building websites from wireframes that I had received. Some of those questions were, "How will this design scale when I shrink the browser window?" and, "What happens when this shape is filled out incorrectly?" and even, "What are the options in this sorting filter, and what do they do?"
These types of questions led me to miss numerous deadlines, and I wasted time and energy in back-and-forth communication. Sadly, this situation could have been avoided if the wireframes had provided enough detail.
I recently spoke with a back-end developer friend about how many hours I spend coding or learning about code outside of work. He showed me a passage from an Uncle Bob book, "Clean Code", which compares the hours musicians spend with their instruments in preparation for a concert to developers rehearsing code to perform at work.
I like the analogy but I'm not sure I fully subscribe to it; it's that type of thinking that can cause burnout in the first place. I think it's great if you want to further your craft and broaden your skill set, but to be doing it every hour of the day isn't sustainable.
If you’re a visual designer, you probably spend a majority of your time making small adjustments to multiple visual elements. Maybe your client has decided they need a few more pixels of padding between each of your elements, or perhaps they’ve decided that all of their avatars needed to have rounded corners. Any which way, you might find yourself making the same adjustment in your design over and over… and over again.
In Adobe Experience Design CC (Beta), we’ve introduced the Repeat Grid feature to address this tedious aspect of a designer’s workflow. In this article, we’ll dig deep to uncover the true power of this time-saving feature. We’ll create and adjust a Repeat Grid, add content to it, and wire it up in Adobe XD’s simple and powerful Prototype Mode. If you’d like to follow along, you can download and test Adobe XD for free.
Three user interfaces (UIs) go to a pub. The first one orders a drink, then several more. A couple of hours later, it asks for the bill and leaves the pub drunk. The second UI orders a drink, pays for it up front, orders another drink, pays for it and so on, and in a couple of hours leaves the pub drunk.
The third UI exits the pub already drunk immediately after going in — it knows how the pubs work and is efficient enough not to lose time. Have you heard of this third one? It is called an "optimistic UI."
We all recognize emoji. They’ve become the global pop stars of digital communication. But what are they, technically speaking? And what might we learn by taking a closer look at these images, characters, pictographs… whatever they are 🤔 (Thinking Face). We will dig deep to learn about how these thingamajigs work.
Please note: Depending on your browser, you may not be able to see all emoji featured in this article (especially the Tifinagh characters). Also, different platforms vary in how they display emoji as well. That's why the article always provides textual alternatives. Don't let it discourage you from reading though!
Now, let’s start with a seemingly simple question. What are emoji?
Buttons are a common element of interaction design. While they may seem like a very simple UI element, they are still one of the most important ones to create.
In today's article, we'll be covering the essential items you need to know in order to create effective controls that improve user experience. If you'd like to take a go at prototyping and wireframing your own designs a bit more differently, you can download and test Adobe XD for free.
Design is more than just good looks – something all designers should know. Design also covers how users engage with a product. Whether it's a site or app, it's more like a conversation. Navigation is a conversation. It doesn't matter how good your site or app is if users can't find their way around.
In this post, we'll help you better understand the principles of good navigation for mobile apps, then show you how it's done using two popular patterns. When we examine the most successful interaction navigation designs of recent years, the clear winners are those who execute fundamentals flawlessly. While thinking outside the box is usually a good idea, there are some rules that you just can't break.
After a few years of designing products for clients, I began to feel fatigued. I wondered why. Turns out, I’d been chasing metric after metric. “Increase those page views!” “Help people spend more time in the app!” And it kept coming. Still, something was missing. I knew that meeting goals was part of what a designer does, but I could see how my work could easily become commoditized and less fulfilling unless something changed.
I thought of how bored I’d be if I kept on that path. I needed to build some guiding principles that would help me find my place in design. These principles would help grow and would shape my career in a way that fits me best.
Icons are an essential part of many user interfaces, visually expressing objects, actions and ideas. When done correctly, they communicate the core idea and intent of a product or action, and they bring a lot of nice benefits to user interfaces, such as saving screen real estate and enhancing aesthetic appeal. Last but not least, most apps and websites have icons. It's a design pattern that is familiar to users.
Despite these advantages, icons can cause usability problems when designers hide functionality behind icons that are hard to recognize. An icon's first job is to guide users to where they need to go, and in this article we'll see what it takes to make that possible. If you want to take a go at creating your own icons, you can download and test Adobe's Experience Design CC for free and get started right away.