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Smashing Conf San Francisco

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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.

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Nobody Wants To Use Your Product

Every morning, designers wake up to happily work on their products, be they digital or physical, with an inner belief that people will want to use their products and will have a blast doing so. Perhaps that is a slight generalization; however, as designers, we tend to have a natural desire for each project we work on to be the best it can be, to be innovative and, most importantly, to make a difference.

Nobody Wants To Use Your Product

Here is a little revelation. People are not really into using products. Any time spent by a user operating an interface, twisting knobs, pulling levers or tapping buttons is time wasted. Rather, people are more interested in the end result and in obtaining that result in the quickest, least intrusive and most efficient manner possible. And these are two fundamentally different concepts — usage versus results — which, at the very least, differentiate good product design from poor product design or, on a smaller scale, a good feature from a bad one.

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Optimizing Your Design For Rapid Prototype Testing

Product teams in startups and mid-sized and large companies are all implementing usability testing and prototyping as a way to de-risk product development. As the focus shifts from engineering to prototyping, it is becoming increasingly important for anyone who creates prototypes to understand the differences between a prototype and a product build.

Optimizing Your Design For Rapid Prototype Testing

By optimizing the prototyping process, you can produce mockups that deliver the most actionable user insights, while being as efficient as possible with design time. Regardless of which prototype tools you use or whether you test wireframes, clickable mockups or coded prototypes, what’s most important to focus on is what you want to test and what you want to learn from it.

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Why Passphrases Are More User-Friendly Than Passwords

A user’s account on a website is like a house. The password is the key, and logging in is like walking through the front door. When a user can’t remember their password, it’s like losing their keys. When a user’s account is hacked, it’s like their house is getting broken into.

Why Passphrases Are More User-Friendly Than Passwords

Nearly half of Americans (47%) have had their account hacked in the last year alone. Are web designers and developers taking enough measures to prevent these problems? Or do we need to rethink passwords?

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Getting Back Into The (Right) Deliverables Business

“Get out of the deliverables business” has become quite a mantra in the lean startup and UX movements. There’s much to love in that sentiment — after all, for every wireframe you make, you’re not shipping code to customers.

The first wireframe

But I’m worried that, just like with the concept of a minimum viable product, we’ve taken this sound advice to an extreme that’s actually hurtful to the creation of good products. What follows is an account of my own journey in navigating these stormy design seas together with the community.

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How To Write Inspiring Job Descriptions For UX

To attract motivated designers and user researchers, keep your eye on the why. What’s the why? It’s the underlying purpose that brings you and your employees together. Why the why? Because if you focus only on what you need, then you run the risk of filtering down merely to an adequate match for the list of skills needed for defined tasks.

Writing Inspiring Job Descriptions For UX

However, if you lead with why a candidate would want to work with you each day, then you might just attract the best fit for executing your company’s mission. I’ve written job listings for a half-dozen organizations over the years and for all manner of user experience roles. When I wrote my first job description, I took other listings from my company as a base, looked around for some examples from other companies and ended up with what I see in hindsight as being the usual run-of-the-mill hodgepodge of bullet points.

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The State Of Airline Websites 2015: Lessons Learned

With this article, we start exploring various industries and study the current state of front-end, UX and performance of relatively complex websites. First up are airline websites. Some sections of the article were written by the editorial team. We'd love to hear your flights booking experience in the comments to this article! — Ed.

Zurich Air prompt a little pop-up if they assume that you are about to abandon the purchase.

From my home in Phoenix, Arizona, the entire world is only a few clicks away. I’ve booked flights to St. Louis, San Francisco, Honolulu, New York, London, Melbourne, Entebbe and beyond. Sometimes I’ll land in one location, travel around and leave from another. Sometimes I’ll switch or cancel a flight, and sometimes the weather does that for me. Regardless, I always get to where I want to go, and fantastic technology is in place to help me every step of the way.

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Beyond Usability: Designing With Persuasive Patterns

You probably have a great product. You’ve done your usability deeds and you have a few core customers who regularly use your product. However, it just doesn’t stick out from the competition. It has a high bounce rate, only few users return, users abandon your product faster than you would like and, in general, users never get far enough to experience all that your product has to offer.

Beyond Usability: Designing With Persuasive Patterns

Building persuasive user experiences is like a relationship and you need to treat it like one. So, what do you want? A one-night stand or a lasting partnership? In fact, there are three common challenges when engaging users with a product.

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Responsive Upscaling: Large-Screen E-Commerce Design

The responsive design revolution is truly upon us (if it hasn’t already happened!), and even though e-commerce websites haven’t picked up responsive design quite as aggressively as in other industries, it’s becoming increasingly popular.

Responsive Upscaling In E-Commerce

So far, most of the responsive design thinking has revolved around covering the range of experiences from mobile to desktop. Yet little attention has been paid to the opportunities for expanding that range beyond the standard desktop screen, to create an experience optimized for modern large-scale displays.

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Designing Web Interfaces For Kids

Kids spend a lot of time online, and their cognitive and physical limitations present many challenges to them when they do so. Pair that with poorly designed content and dark patterns, and you have a bad mix. As designers on the web, we have a responsibility to create things that empower kids and make them smarter, not the opposite.

Designing Web Interfaces For Kids

This article will give you some insights about what kids are like from the psychological point of view, and how this affects the way they use the web. We’ll also cover practical design guidelines to create better web stuff for kids.

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