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.
Brainstorming is notorious for being unstructured and often unactionable. People get in a room with some Post-its and whiteboards and expect the great ideas to happen. The problem is, even if there are great ideas in the room, there is often no clear-cut way to decide on what ideas to take action on.
About a year ago, I and my colleague Michael (founding partner at AJ&Smart) were sitting in a masterclass run by the fantastic Adrian Howard on the subject of feature prioritization in agile development. More specifically, we were asking how we could decide which feature comes next and when it should be released.
We have a lot of passwords to remember, and it’s becoming a problem. Authentication is clearly important, but there are many ways to reliably authenticate users – not just passwords. Passwords are written off as inconvenient and unavoidable, but even if true a few years ago, that’s not true today. Due to a combination of sensors, encryption and seasoned technology users, authentication is taking on new (and exciting) forms.
Most other interaction patterns have been updated over time, but no one wants to mess with password authentication. It’s too serious. Or there’s too much liability. You know, like if you don’t clear the password input after someone types the wrong password, their credit card information is at risk.
It’s well known that, in the ’80s, Microsoft and Apple made the graphical user interface (GUI), the dominant interface on desktop computers. What’s less known is that the GUI, whose navigation is based on pages and links, is not the only possible interface. And we know that finding our way in a modern GUI, whether for a website or application, is not always easy.
One problem is of design, meaning that an interface could simply be poorly designed. But a different problem may very well be the way our brains are wired; even well-designed interfaces can be difficult to navigate and use.
Some well-established web design basics: minimize the number of choices that someone has to make; create self-explanatory navigation tools; help people get to what they're looking for as quickly as possible. Sounds simple enough? Now consider this…
An ever growing number of web users around the world are living with dementia. They have very varied levels of computer literacy and may be experiencing some of the following issues: memory loss, confusion, issues with vision and perception, difficulties sequencing and processing information, reduced problem-solving abilities, or problems with language.
For a few years now, a mild debate has simmered over "delightful" interaction design. For some, features that instill delight, as long as they don’t interfere with the fundamental capabilities of the system, sit with pleasure atop Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as redrawn for interactive systems.
Others don’t really care about such features, or place "delight" alongside "frictionless" and "seamless" as just the latest buzzwords (leaving "scalable" and "disruptive" in their dust). What none of these design partisans gets is the place of delight in a much larger process that everyone can enjoy: the hearing of a good joke.
Years ago, a kid was trying to fashion a bow by cutting a twig with a knife. Upon seeing this struggle, his grandfather handed him a saw, saying, “Always use the right tool for the job!” As the kid in the story, I learned a valuable lesson in craftsmanship: When you’re picking a tool to solve a problem, there are many good tools, but some are better suited to the task than others!
In recent years, new prototyping tools have emerged, many for mobile design. The landscape is constantly changing, with some tools losing favor with UX designers (or UXers) and others taking their place. While this article will not serve as a complete paint-by-numbers manual for selecting a prototyping tool, we will discuss important factors that influence the selection process.
I once worked with a digital agency that didn’t know how to hold a kickoff meeting. And they didn’t even know that they didn’t know. Weeks into every project, they’d simply find themselves frustrated over how they’d ended up in a position of following rather than leading.
They would fight to get their good ideas out the door but end up on defence all the time when their clients came back screaming with arguments based on whim and vapor. The agency just couldn’t figure out how to establish itself as the UX leader of its projects, despite being hired to play exactly that role. I’m not even sure they recognized what it meant to lead.
CodePen has become the playground for developers. The sandbox where you can build whatever your imagination fancies. Practical things, experimental concepts — it’s a treasure chest, bound to fuel your ideas.
For this Quick Tip, we have done some digging around and found some interesting UI demos and concepts for you to indulge in and build upon: dialog and modal windows, signup and login screens, navigation and menus, sliders and toggles. Small bits of delight that make the user’s interaction with a website or app more pleasant. Enjoy!
Real-time technology delivers information to your users as it happens. But how does it help improve your product and align with your customers' expectations?
Only a few years ago words like WebSockets, low latency and real-time functionality were at the forefront of bleeding-edge development. Fast-forward a couple of years and this technology has become an integral part of many of our favourite apps: e.g. Facebook with its in-app notifications, or Uber with its real-time location tracking effect.