Today, too many websites are still inaccessible. In our new book Inclusive Design Patterns, we explore how to craft flexible front-end design patterns and make future-proof and accessible interfaces without extra effort. Hardcover, 312 pages. Get the book now →
The idea that designers are bound to be servants of other people's and companies' products is extremely pervasive. Sure, you may build your own design agency but, in the end, that agency is simply a collective effort to serve someone else. From my perspective, though, the world is waking up to the idea that designers can be founders of a product and not just create the beautiful wrapping around some engineering core.
A recent study by Boston's Design Management Institute showed that design-driven businesses have outperformed the Standard & Poor's 500 by an astounding 228% over the past 10 years. These were companies that had design embedded within the company's organizational structure, design leadership present at senior levels, and a commitment to design's use as an innovation resource.
It’s the small details that make a project shine. Solid typography, well-crafted with attention and care is one of them. A harmonious visual rhythm, typographic subtleties like soft caps, margin outdents or the correct use of hyphens and dashes — there are a lot of things that add up to it.
In practice, however, publishing on the web is supposed to be fast, and the little details are often overlooked, which is a pity, because they are not only pleasing to the eye but also improve the reading experience.
If you’ve ever worked in an agile environment, chances are you’ve had your share of “retrospectives” — meetings where people write what made them “glad,” “mad” or “sad” onto different-colored notes, post them onto a board, arrange them in groups and — most importantly — talk about them.
These meetings are straightforward, as long as everyone is in the same room. But if you’re working with a locally distributed team, things can get a bit tricky. Let’s address this by creating a virtual version of our board to allow team members in different locations to hold their retrospective just as if they were in the same room.
When your design looks beautiful and polished, how do you know if it performs well? While it is easy to predict the appeal of a clean and simple UI, design that converts is always a shot in the dark for marketers and designers.
We worked with the team at FiftyThree to test their app store landing page before they launched ads in China. After tweaking background color, graphics, screenshot order, and localization, we achieved a 33% increase in app page conversion. In this article, I’ll share some ideas about app page design. I'll also argue that dropping your assumptions and testing is the only way to find content that not only looks and reads great, but also helps your bottom line.
Working on very different projects, in different teams and with different people can sometimes be a challenge. But one thing that works out remarkably well is doing retrospectives with your team.
In retrospectives, you talk about how a certain project went, and the whole team shares what problems/challenges they faced, what was good and what was annoying people, why people were unhappy. And after each person has written this down on a wall (you can use Post-Its), you try to find useful solutions, small improvements that avoid conflicts, that avoid people feeling bad in a project, and that avoid unnecessary stress situations. Ideally, you do this often — like every two weeks. In every team so far, talking about issues and addressing them has helped to bind the team together and improve future work. Let’s work more together in our teams instead of on our own.
Our objects are becoming increasingly connected. My watch is connected to my phone, which is connected to the speaker in my living room, which I can also connect (or not) to the speaker in my bedroom. When I go out to dinner with friends, we have to make a concerted effort to keep our handheld and wearable devices silenced or otherwise placed “in the background” of our social experience, so that we can focus on each other.
As our artifacts and everything around us become more connected, we run the risk as humans of becoming increasingly disconnected from each other — not in a tragic, dystopian kind of way per se, but in a real way that we need to take into consideration when designing for these experiences.
The most inspirational things are often right in front of us. It might be the typography on a book cover, the colors of your favorite music album, the opening titles in that movie you saw yesterday. To celebrate all those little moments of inspiration, we have compiled some resources for you which honor the beauty of graphic design and the ideas behind it. Perfect to squeeze into a short coffee break. Enjoy!
We learned not to judge a book by its cover, but, honestly, there is nothing quite like browsing through a bookstore, soaking up covers, their colors, their typefaces, their layouts, every little detail. The variety is endless, and sometimes you’re lucky and find a little piece of art shining through the sheer mass.
Web applications are everywhere. There is no official definition, but we’ve made the distinction: web applications are highly interactive, dynamic and performant, while websites are informational and less transient. This very rough categorization provides us with a starting point, from which to apply development and design patterns.
These patterns are often established through a different look at the mainstream techniques, a paradigm shift, convergence with an external concept, or just a better implementation. Universal web applications are one such pattern.
What is the best UX pattern to display products on an e-commerce website: pagination, a “Load more” button or infinite scrolling? At Baymard Institute, we’ve conducted several year-long large-scale usability studies of more than 50+ leading e-commerce websites. We tested (among other things) these three design patterns for loading products, both on desktop and mobile.
Pagination is still the most popular way to load new items on a website because it ships by default in almost every single e-commerce platform. However, our usability test sessions found “Load more” buttons combined with lazy-loading to be a superior implementation, resulting in a more seamless user experience. We found that infinite scrolling can be downright harmful to usability — in particular, for search results and on mobile. However, it’s not black and white, because the performance of each method varies according to the context of the page.