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.
Designers, developers and managers often work with compressed timeframes and multiple projects simultaneously. A team must be able to respond quickly to feedback on their product from clients, project managers and developers. Each minor revision in the UI or UX needs to be reflected in the documentation, so that designers and developers always have the latest information.
A style guide ensures that your project doesn’t encounter serious problems when you implement the initial design. Making sure that all specifications are accurate to their designs is critical, because an inaccurate specification means that developers will have to either rely on guesswork when building the app or go to the design source to get answers to their questions.
Criticism is easy. It seems like everybody has an opinion, but, as the author Harlan Ellison points out, "You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion." To become informed, though, requires exploration. Design critiques are an important part of any product exploration.
A design critique — where the creator discusses and explains the creation with the rest of the team and/or client — is not about badgering the designer or pushing them to justify every decision they made. That’s just criticism. A good design critique is meant to explore the design, find where it is working and where it could be improved. If done well, design critiques allow everyone on the team to feel as if they have been heard and allow clients to give valuable feedback.
Dariel Fitzkee, the famous magician, once said, “Magic is both in the details and in the performance.” Interaction design is just like that. Designers love to get the big picture right, but if the details aren’t handled properly, the solution will fail. The magic is all in the details. That’s why well-designed microinteractions make experiences feel crafted.
To get a better understanding of how your design benefits from microinteractions, it will help to sketch out your app ideas. Adobe introduced a new design and wireframing app called Experience Design (or Adobe XD) which lets you design wireframes and make them interactive. You can download and test Adobe XD for free.
We've all been there. You spent months gathering business requirements, working out complex user journeys, crafting precision interface elements and testing them on a representative sample of users, only to see a final product that bears little resemblance to the desired experience.
Maybe you should have been more forceful and insisted on an agile approach, despite your belief that the organization wasn't ready? Perhaps you should have done a better job with your pattern portfolios, ensuring that the developers used your modular code library rather than creating five different variations of a carousel. Or, maybe you even should've sat next the the development team every day, making sure what you designed actually came to pass.
The two charts pictured below changed the way I think about thinking. Reproduced from a classic 1996 psychology study, the story behind these charts is a vivid illustration that the way we humans feel in the moment as we experience the world can be very different from how we feel when we think back on those experiences later.
Understanding the difference between experience and memory — and the ways they are related — can make us more sophisticated experience designers. In this piece, I’m going to provide some tips for designing for experiences that leave a lasting positive impression. But first, I need to explain the following two charts.
Did you know that by the time a teen in the US reaches 16 years of age, they are spending less than seven hours a week in nature, and these trends are worldwide. Parents are as concerned about their children not having time outdoors as they are about bullying, obesity and education. But they are unsure about what to do.
Parents have increased concerns for their children’s safety. They are less willing to let their children play outdoors without direct supervision. As a result, children spend most of their free time in organized sports, music and arts activities. This results in less time for unstructured play than in previous generations. Richard Louv, writer and nature-time advocate, describes this condition as a “nature deficit disorder.”
Every designer has their favorite prototyping tools. However, when it comes to UX wireframing and prototyping, there is often more than one tool involved. Sooner or later, you find yourself switching from one tool to another to cherry-pick the best ones among them.
Adobe announced Project Comet in October last year to provide a fast and efficient all-in-one solution. A few months ago, the secret behind the codename was revealed and pushed to the public in a preview version: Adobe Experience Design CC (Adobe XD). Made for fast and fluid UX design, XD gives you everything in one neat bundle: it lets you sketch out ideas, create interactive prototypes, test and share them.
One of the biggest risks of building a product is to build the wrong thing. You’ll pour months (even years) into building it, only to realize that you just can’t make it a success. At Hanno, we see this happening time and time again. That’s why we’ve put together a Lean Validation Playbook.
"Lean" in this case means that you’re moving swiftly to figure out what you’re going to build and how you’re going to build it with as few resources as possible. These resources might include time, money and effort. The lean startup methodology is advocated by Eric Reis, who has massively influenced the way we work through his book The Lean Startup.
Any time a user’s experience is interrupted, the chance of them leaving increases. Changing from one page to another will often cause this interruption by showing a white flash of no content, by taking too long to load or by otherwise taking the user out of the context they were in before the new page opened.
Transitions between pages can enhance the experience by retaining (or even improving) the user’s context, maintaining their attention, and providing visual continuity and positive feedback. At the same time, page transitions can also be aesthetically pleasing and fun and can reinforce branding when done well.