30. November 2014

3 reasons why usability testing is not part of your workflow (Stefan Rössler)

While that's great, usability testing is not part of most designers' or developers' workflows. Let me give you 3 quick reasons why that's the case, before I tell you, how Userbrain wants to change this. (userbrain.net)

The Big Design Renaissance is Over (Jan Jursa)

Are You Ready to Become a Product Designer? (Ghaida Zahran)

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

Emotion As A Framework For Design (Matthew Deal)

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)

Can Split Testing Wreck Your Google Ranking? (Sherice Jacob)

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)

Where Brand Journalism and Native Advertising Can Fit Within Content Marketing (Lee Odden)

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)

Web apps deserve sexy transitions too! (Cemre Güngör)

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)

6 Simple Landing Pages That Perform Like Charm (Simon Horton)

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)

24. November 2014

The ultimate guide to design meetings (Cameron Chapman)

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)

The Making of a UX Designer (Traci Lepore)

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)

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23. November 2014

5-Steps For Getting Started Measuring The Customer Experience (Jeff Sauro)

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)

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20. November 2014

Are Web Design Schools Losing Their Magic? (Rudolph Musngi)

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)

Destroying Your Enemies Through the Magic of Design (Jenny Lam, Hillel Cooperman)

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)

Facebook takes another step backwards with a new Groups apps (Cynthia Boris)

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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17. November 2014

10 Responsive Design Problems and Fixes (Kirill Strelchenko)

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)

Creating a Good Design Brief for Your Mobile App (Egle Karalyte)

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)

Why Japanese Web Design is NOT so different (Mario Sakata)

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)

The Interface Layer: Where Design Commoditizes Tech (Scott Belsky)

A new cohort of design-driven companies are adding a layer of convenience between us and the underlying services and utilities that improve our lives. This could change everything. (medium.com)

11. November 2014

Progressive Reduction: Evolving the Experience for Your Most Frequent Users (Dan Birman)

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)

Frankendesign – When Re-Using Old Designs Makes Sense (Addison Duvall)

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)

Master the Core: Web Design Code of Ethics (Rudolph Musngi)

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 [1]. 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 Must-Have Mobile App Metrics Your Business Cannot Do Without (Natasha Starkell)

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)

How Your Brand Should Tell A Beautiful Story (Mitch Joel)

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

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Google’s Quest to Write the Rulebook for Interactive Design (Kyle Vanhemert)

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)

Check Out The Earliest Work Of Apple's Design God, Jony Ive (Jay Yarow)

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)

How Google’s Material Design is changing things (Daniel de la Cruz)

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)

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Ex-Googler Builds A Github For Designers (Mark Wilson)

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)

1. November 2014

Best Practices for Medical App Development Go Beyond Standard UX (Mithun Sridharan)

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)

Effective Techniques For Rapid Prototyping (Ekta Srivastava)

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)

Finding New Solutions in Old Philosophy (David Helman)

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)

Show Your Work: Demonstrating Progress on Your Projects (Eileen Webb)

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)