30. November 2014
Five years ago, it was all about UX, but we saw through that. At the time, we were pretty stoked about figuring out the best way to get to answers in product design (still are!). However, we realized that there aren't a lot of designers out there that understand what it actually means to be a product designer. UX is one part of it, but what are the rest of the pieces? This is the story of how you too can become a product designer. So stop being a UX/UI guru or prophet or whatever and start solving problems. (zurb.com)
29. November 2014
The beginning of any web design project is the hardest part. As a web designer, I sometimes get lucky and have some really solid inspiration that feels like it’ll be enough; it’s the kind of inspiration that’s strong enough to help you get started on a new project and enough to sustain you through all the mistakes, self-doubt, and second guessing that comes with the territory. (despreneur.com)
Put down your pitchforks and torches… I’m not saying you should stop split testing. But I am saying that there are a few “red flags” that a split test can inadvertently throw up if you’re not managing or monitoring it correctly. It’s a fine line you have to walk if you do both conversion optimization and search engine optimization. Most people think the two can’t co-exist peacefully, since you’re either writing for people, or you’re writing for robots. But you have to ask yourself – what’s more important? Convincing customers to order or appeasing an algorithm? (kissmetrics.com)
Over the past year the discussions about what content marketing is and isn’t as well as the role of content within marketing and PR functions of a business have been interesting to watch. Especially the discussions around whether brand journalism and native advertising fits in the content marketing mix. Here’s my take on it. (toprankblog.com)
Our design process was a little different this time. We wanted to change the core interaction of Potluck, without relying on intrusive overlays or pop-outs to explain new behavior to our users. Instead, we wanted to use motion to infer how the site worked, inspired by the physicality of iOS’s user interface. We had been meaning to add motion to Potluck for a while, unfortunately without much success. (medium.com)
Like mac and cheese. Or gin and tonic. Or crisp white shirts with classic blue jeans. Some things are beautiful in their simplicity. What ups their fab quotient a notch higher is that these are things that combine their undisputable beauty with great functionality. Landing pages have their version of the PB&Js as well. Here’s a look at some landing pages that take care of all the key principles of a good landing page and yet manage to pack a punch aesthetically and functionally. (usabilitygeek.com)
28. November 2014
Cap Watkins, Design Manager at Etsy shared his and his team’s design process a while ago and I consider it to be one of the most invaluable posts on the topic by far. I came across his 3-part series before reading Etsy Creative Director Randy J. Hunt’s seminal book Product Design for the Web, but revisiting it afterwards really clarified so much for me. I hope to apply these principles towards my own process and make it work for myself and our team. (thebadprince)
If you have been practicing SEO, you would have encountered a disconnect between what you were hired to do and what the client actually wanted you to do when they hired you. You thought your goal is to bring traffic. They thought you will bring them more conversions and revenue. They thought they will fix matters by changing your title to include "Lead Generation." You thought, you need to explore a completely new angle of your job. (searchenginepeople.com)
27. November 2014
Physics-based animations and interactions are becoming more common in UI. This page goes through some basic physical models and the kinds of interactions and animations that can be constructed from them. Scrolling on iOS is an excellent example of a physics-based interaction. When you drag your finger across the screen, the content tracks along with it, thereby scrolling, but when you lift your finger all of the physics magic happens: the content continues tracking with the same momentum and slows down under the influence of (virtual) friction. If you hit the end of the content, then the momentum goes into an overdamped spring which absorbs the momentum and returns you to the end of the content. (iamralpht)
Design research is about understanding real people in the context of their everyday lives and then using what we learn to inspire our work. This loose definition may conjure up a narrow set of methods, but at IDEO, we’re broad in our approach: Design research here is not any one thing, and it’s informed by the passion and skills of our teams as much as any organizational process. (ideo.com)
26. November 2014
The number one challenge of teaching information architecture, is getting people over fear. People don’t need to be taught how to group things together or label them. They need to be taught to get over the fear of doing so. The fear that they will make bad or useless groups or labels. The fear that trying to sort something out will actually make it worse. The fear that they won’t be able to make sense of it. The fear that they will get things wrong and have to do it again. The fear that it will take a really long time to sort it all out. (uxbooth.com)
25. November 2014
An Agile-Lean Transformation: How Getty Images Transitioned to Scrum and Evolved to Kanban (Maritza van den Heuvel, Joanne Ho, Jim Benson)
In 2005, Getty Images was building their software using traditional waterfall practices. At the time, they were generating over US$500 million in annual revenue, most of which flowed directly through their e-commerce website. The site was seeing 11 million unique visitors per month, delivering over 10 million images, and handling 6 million searches per day. This hugely popular site was a 24-7 global cash register for Getty Images and any site downtime affected revenue instantly. (leankit.com)
24. November 2014
The basic idea of a meeting is simple: it’s when two or more people get together to discuss one or multiple topics. It can be in a formal or informal setting. It can be among people within an organization or between people in more than one organization. The concept of the meeting is ancient. At their most basic level, meetings are held to bring people together to talk about things. There can be good reasons to have meetings and bad reasons to have meetings, both of which we’ll discuss. (webdesignerdepot.com)
My background is in graphic design, and I’m an artist by nature. I learned the basics of user experience on the ground, in the early days. While those experiences gave me the fundamental skills that I needed to do my work, they didn’t make me the empathetic and insightful designer I am today. I firmly believe that it is my training in acting and theater that has given me the ability to be, not just a good UX designer, but also a successful one. (uxmatters.com)
You know, I told you already about some great Udemy Black Friday discounts.
Sure there are nice free Udemy courses as well. Take a look at this one for example (Introduction to Graphic Design). But if you are into Usability, User Experience and Interaction Design there is one man you simply have to know: Dr. David Travis.
David Travis has authored and recorded the following fantastic Udemy courses:
- Usability Testing Boot Camp
- How to carry out a usability expert review
- User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability
Great BlackFriday Usability DiscountAnd here come the good news: Dr. David Travis is offering big discounts on his courses until BlackFriday (midnight, I guess).
- User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability (1 course). In this offer, you'll receive Dr. David Travis' bestselling user experience course for $49 (normally $199). Promotion ends Friday, Nov 28, so don't delay!
- Usability Testing Bootcamp & Usability Expert Reviews (2 courses) Bundle. In this bundle, you'll receive two of Dr. David Travis' in-depth courses "Usability Testing Boot Camp" & "How to Carry out a Usability Expert Review" for $49 (normally $198). Promotion ends Friday, Nov 28, so don't delay!
- User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability, Usability Testing Bootcamp & Usability Expert Reviews (3 courses) Bundle. In this bundle, you'll receive all of Dr. David Travis' courses: "User Experience: The Ultimate Guide to Usability", "Usability Testing Boot Camp" & "How to Carry out a Usability Expert Review" for $59 (normally $397)! Promotion ends Friday, Nov 28, so don't delay!
23. November 2014
Most companies have more bug lists and requests for product features than they can realistically address. In an earlier post, I present ways to help you prioritize those features; now let's figure out where to start. This post describes an approach that works in many situations, beginning with a survey of your customers or prospects, or a representative set thereof, with the following objectives... (measuringu.com)
This Udemy course is totally awesome and it's completely free: Introduction to Graphic Design.
Learn the basics of design theory to become a real graphic design master. Design goes way beyond software and there is a lot of theory behind it. In this introductory course, you'll learn the basics needed to create amazing and real design.
Here is what people think who have taken the course:
Introduction to Graphic Design is very interesting, worthwhile and free. Give it a try!
22. November 2014
User research has proven that the larger a target is, the faster and easier it is to click. That means if you turn a link into a button, you can increase your click-through rate. But if you turn your button into a link block, you can increase it even more. (uxmovement.com)
In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel looks at the importance of considering the fundamental principles of great design—not just UX design principles, but design principles in general. Our panel also discusses how great UX design takes place within organizations, looking at this topic on many different levels. How can you create great designs when working with a variety of designers with different backgrounds and while working within the constraints of project-defined goals? How can the presence of User Experience at the C-level and, in general, garnering support from the C-level affect our ability to implement great designs. How can we produce great designs in a repeatable manner? Keep reading for the answers to all of these important questions. (uxmatters.com)
21. November 2014
7 Rules for Creating Gorgeous UI (Part 2). A guide to visual aesthetics, written by a nerd (Erik D. Kennedy)
If you want to be a good UI designer, you’ll have to learn how to put text over images in an appealing way. This is something that every good UI designer does well and something every bad UI designer does piss-poorly— or just doesn’t do, in which case you’ll have a huge leg up after reading this section! (medium)
Design creates a significant competitive advantage in the market. In fact, research has shown that design-led firms yield a 228% greater ROI than the S&P 500. When design is used strategically, a company can achieve both higher growth rates and margins than competitors. Design research plays a pivotal role in discovering design solutions that meet business objectives. The evolution of technology, openness of the Internet, and advancement of analytics has led to greater access to visual resources online, platforms that enable user testing, and more advanced tools for design research. How does design research simultaneously minimize production costs and amplify results to provide value? (dtelepathy.com)
20. November 2014
Now that online education is becoming more and more popular, is it still relevant to go to web design schools these days? This question is perfectly normal to ask. With the advent of web design blogs that teach beginners and experts alike, some people may feel that going to a web design school might no longer be relevant at all. (1stwebdesigner.com)
Hierarchical organizations large and small are rife with politics. In fact, the smaller the stakes, the more vicious they can be. Political organizations are ones where what things look like are just as, or more, important as what you actually do. Dealing with perceptions as well as ego and insecurity is part of dealing with human beings. This is who we are. And as soon as we create situations where there are winners and losers we create politics. And fighting. In some organizations, regardless of how brilliant your design may be, the politics will kill your plans before they have a chance to really blossom. And that’s a shame. (alistapart.com)
About seven years ago, Facebook convinced the denizens of the internet that it was not only safe to come out of the IRC chat rooms, it was actually a good thing. No more hiding behind fake names while you discuss a singular topic with a room full of people, half of whom are there just to annoy you. Facebook was a social network – a place to be yourself, show off your photos, reconnect with old friends and make new ones. (marketingpilgrim.com)
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For example you could take a look at:
Use coupon code bfriday14 to get big discounts until BLACK FRIDAY (midnight 11/28). Some exclusions apply. Coupon code expires 11:59PM PST, November 28, 2014.
17. November 2014
The Internet is changing, with responsive websites quickly adapting to any device and screen size to bring the user the most dynamic experience possible. From multinational corporations like Sony, Microsoft, and Nokia to global tech stars like Salesforce to online travel giants like Expedia, serious players are turning to responsive web design to march in step with the current trends in and reach an even wider audience of customers. (uxmag.com)
Understanding well what a client has in mind for his/her mobile app can be a slippery process. As a designer, you surely want to deliver to the best of your abilities and make the client happy. But when it comes to ensuring the success of a mobile app design project (or any other design project to that matter) just having good design skills is not sufficient. (speckyboy.com)
As a UX (User Experience) Designer, many times I found myself caught between improving the value of customer experience and contributing to business profits. As someone who extols the user-centeredness, when I saw the web design at the time—which does not differ greatly from the way it looks now, I didn’t think it delivered a user-centered experience at all. (medium.com)
15. November 2014
NextView Ventures: Let’s start at the beginning. Once you identified that What to Wear Daily was worth building, what worked in acquiring your first 100 users — especially since it was focused on just Boston to start? Josh Porter: In the very, very beginning I started with just 10 people, all friends from HubSpot. I woke up each morning at 5 a.m. and created the report manually in Sketch (similar to Photoshop), and hand-delivered individual emails through my Gmail account to those initial users. My goal at this very early stage wasn’t to figure out how to unlock growth but to create a product people loved. (nextviewventures.com)
We love to analyze and write/read about good UX. It's common practice to pick an app, redesign a few screens without any constrains and then share the result in Dribbble. However, more often than not, business requirements in real projects and client's platform-constrains tend to be so complex that you end up struggling to come up with an intuitive interface. (setentaydos.com)
13. November 2014
Responsive web design is a great solution to our multi-screen problem, but getting into it from the print perspective is difficult. No fixed page size, no millimetres or inches, no physical constraints to fight against. Designing in pixels for Desktop and Mobile only is also the past, as more and more gadgets can open up a website. Therefore, let's clarify some basic principles of responsive web design here to embrace the fluid web, instead of fighting it. To keep it simple we'll focus on layouts (yes, responsive goes way deeper than that and if you want to learn more this is a good start). (froont.com)
You can more accurately determine the worth of your skills and personal characteristics if you take into account the variables that most affect salaries. I conducted a multiple-regression analysis to see which variables statistically predict salaries. (measuringu.com)
11. November 2014
I’m a big fan of minimalist design, so whenever I have the opportunity to reduce the information presented on a screen to just the bare essentials, I’m happy. With that in mind, I realize that certain patterns that we (designers) want users to execute require learned behaviors. For this, we often use labels, tooltips, etc. so that users know where to go and what to do. However, this can often lead to visual clutter, especially when we start looking at mobile screens or applications with a shit ton of icons. (dtelepathy.com)
Do you all know the story of Frankenstein’s monster? A mad scientist attempts to create a living creature using parts from a myriad of individuals. Designers often have a lot in common with this classic tale, using elements from their old designs to create new ones for completely different clients. (hongkiat.com)
Web design, like any other profession, should always be ethical. It should always adhere to a set of norms set by the whole community. These codes guide designers to perform their tasks in the most honest and professional way possible. (1stwebdesigner.com)
Billions of interaction designers (Eli Blevis, Kenny Chow, Ilpo Koskinen, Sharon Poggenpohl, Christine Tsin )
In this article we focus on interaction design education and share a vision for its future based on our combined years of teaching in design schools, in HCI-oriented programs, and in hybrids of the two . Our larger goal is to overcome the guild-like thinking in much of design pedagogy in order to make design learning a foundational form of learning education and mode of being for everyone, in the interest of broader society. Our more modest goal is to present our ideas on curriculum, with the intention of creating a shared understanding of how best to teach interaction design. (acm.org)
The way people interact with an app is different from the way they use websites. Mobile app analytics is about converting ad budgets to installs, and installs to repeated app usage and in-app purchases. Ultimately, the objective of a mobile app developer is to evaluate user lifetime value, retention, and the frequency of usage. (kissmetrics.com)
The stuff that true case studies are made of. People who know me, know how much I laothe case studies and white papers. Most of them (if not all) are just trumped up stories about how great a brand performed on some kind of platform or campaign. Sure, it's nice to get a peek behind the curtain, but it doesn't add much value if everything written (or being produced) is just another way to trump up the brand. Where are the mistakes, the foibles, the struggles... and the true challenges? (twistimage.com)
9. November 2014
Google’s new design language, material design, makes its debut this week in Lollipop, the latest version of Android. It brings a bright new look to phones and tablets. But to hear Google’s designers explain it, material design is something far more ambitious than a new coat of pixels. By combining relevant rules from the world of graphic design with new ideas about interfaces and input, Google is aiming to establish some best practices for the fledgling field of interactive design at large. (wired.com)
Jony Ive wasn't always Jony Ive, Apple design God. At one point, he was just a young British designer trying to get by. However, Ive was a precocious design talent, and from a young age, he was racking up awards for his design work. (businessinsider.com)
During Apple’s recent conference we were introduced to Yosemite and their decision to move further forward in their flat design 2.0 direction. Having caught ear of the trend earlier on and seeing Microsoft’s success with it over multiple platforms, Apple took it and made it very much their own, introducing opaque windows, clever little transitions among a plethora of other things. (cl23.com)
For the past two years, Pixelapse—backed by venture capital from Y Combinator and Designer Fund—has been evolving into what you might call a Dropbox for designers. Through a free or premium paid account, it will automatically sync Photoshop files (along with more than 40 other file types) with a team of your choosing online, allowing you to juggle complicated design projects more easily. (fastcodesign.com)
5. November 2014
Henry Ford famously said that his customers could a car painted in any color so long as it was black. Many people misunderstand that quote. It wasn’t that he didn’t care about his customers needs, but that manufacturing efficiency trumped style. (creativitypost.com)
A designer’s process determines the difference between mediocre and great work. Natural talent and training aren’t substitutes for good design habits. The right process can cover many shortcomings of talent and skill — but the opposite is never true. A good process will bring out your best and most unique work. A bad process will leave you with tired, unsurprising clichés. (jaredsinclair.com)
1. November 2014
Mobile healthcare app development poses a set of challenges very different from mainstream apps. Not only is security an area that requires a considerable attention, compliance with regulatory standards is also absolutely crucial. Here are things app developers should pay close attention to during the development process. (uxmag.com)
The “Aardvark Theory” of product – “Fake it till you make it” could be well followed as a design guideline for organizations. To develop a successful product or an app, we first create a prototype and keep improving on it till the time we get what we expect. An idea has no value unless it can be communicated and the value of a prototype is the vision of what the final outcome would be. Eventually, the goal of effective rapid prototyping is to convince oneself and others of an idea. (usabilitygeek.com)
Since completing my doctorate in philosophy, I have been a professional programmer for more than twenty years, and I have learned a lot about applying philosophical thinking to design and development. Philosophy offers deep and profound insights about subjects like knowledge, meaning and justice. Insofar as computer programs concern these subjects, philosophy can be a fantastic source of ideas – and often is. Reading philosophy books has given me ideas for writing useful computer programs that span multiple industries, from healthcare to business, which contradicts Wittgenstein’s belief. After all, if philosophy can guide the design of profitable products, it must be meaningful. (uxbooth.com)
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how actual progress on a project doesn’t always match the impression of progress—sometimes a lot of code has changed but nothing looks very different, while other times a small change in code gives the sense that the whole project has moved leaps and bounds. (alistapart.com)