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.
If you work in the tech industry, it’s easy to forget that older people exist. Most tech workers are really young, so it’s easy to see why most technology is designed for young people. But consider this: By 2030, around 19% of people in the US will be over 65. Doesn’t sound like a lot? Well it happens to be about the same number of people in the US who own an iPhone today. Which of these two groups do you think Silicon Valley spends more time thinking about?
This seems unfortunate when you consider all of the things technology has to offer older people. A great example is Speaking Exchange, an initiative that connects retirees in the US with kids who are learning English in Brazil.
The “diffusion of innovations” theory of communications expert and rural sociologist Everett Rogers attempts to identify and explain the factors that lead to people and groups adopting innovations (new ideas and technologies). Design teams that account for both usability and how people adopt innovation stand a much greater chance of having users accept and use their products.
The diffusion of innovations is a complex process; design teams can use their knowledge of the theory to create a road map for how they will address critical factors in the design and marketing of their product.
As members of design teams, we want as many people as possible to use what we create. This is true whether we are designing a specialized medical device for a specific type of surgery or something more mainstream, like a smartphone or video game console.
We often focus on the importance of ensuring our product is usable. Less often, we discuss other factors related to people accepting and using our products. Users don’t automatically or simultaneously accept even the best ideas and most useful technologies. Acceptance and adoption happens in stages, and in order to stick, it has to happen the right way. Therefore, our design teams need to account for both usability and how the use of a product spreads across users in order for our work to have maximum impact.
Digital experiences are emulating real life more and more every day. This may seem counterintuitive, considering the hate that rains down on skeuomorphic visual design, but there's a lot more to emulating real life than aesthetics.
Interface designers can emulate real-life physics and movement on a digital screen. This type of motion is becoming more common, which is why it's becoming easier for people to understand computers. We're not getting better, the interfaces are!
The kickoff phase sets the stage for the success of your product. Without properly conducting this phase, your team might as well be working in the dark. The worst enemy in product development, after all, is ambiguity.
During the initial design process for your product, answers will come from brainstorming on the product and from execution at the highest level, with all necessary stakeholders (along with their egos).
A common mistake with localized websites is considering the translated content to be just another version of the pages in the original language. Translation isn’t everything. Of course, for the user it’s all about the content: Is the content relevant and understandable and in line with the user’s cultural context?
From a commercial point of view, when you decide to create and maintain a multilingual website, you have to consider many more points than just translation. We’ll explore some of the issues to think about when localizing a website.
What you say in a user experience matters. How you say it matters equally. The way you frame communication, or how you say something, could be extremely effective at persuading people to start using your product (or to use it more).
So, how do you frame messages effectively? This article explains how design teams can do so in a way that resonates with their users.
User testing is hard. In the world of agile software development, there's a constant pressure to iterate, iterate, iterate. It's difficult enough to find time to design, let alone get regular feedback from real users.
For many of us, the idea of doing formal user testing, is a formidable challenge. There are many reasons why: you don't have enough lead time; you can't find enough participants, or the right type of participant; you can't convince your boss to spend the money.
Information architecture (IA) is one of those buzzwords you’ve probably heard before. It refers to the organization of the information on your website and how it all fits together. When planning your IA, involve users of your website in the process as soon as you can.
In this article, we’ll discuss card sorting, a tried and true technique for doing just that. We’ll go through some practical tips for running a card-sorting session, and also cover some examples.