All posts from
June 2011

Showcase of Impressive Design Process Explanations

“A common feature amongst the top design portfolio and agency websites is a visually presented explanation of their design process. This simple idea of describing how a potential client’s project will be handled from start to finish is a great way of securing projects and giving the customer an insight into what their working relationship with the designer(s) will be like. This showcase rounds up a bunch of impressive examples of how various designers have explained their design process with the aid of clever graphical elements.”

(Chris Spooner a.k.a. @chrisspooner ~ Line25)

Reliability and Dependability in Usability Testing

“Usability testing is a form of user research, in so far as it allows you to make conclusions about a large population based on observations of a small sample of that population. Essentially, we try to assess our products’ suitability for our marketplace – as well as its usability for the population of interest – by testing it with a group of typical users. Usability testing often involves both quantitative and qualitative data – either of which can be subject to misunderstandings. This column discusses principles of rigorous research as they apply to usability testing, with an emphasis on reliability and dependability.”

(Mike Hughes ~ UXmatters)

Web apps v native apps v mobile sites: a guide

“In two year’s time mobile phones will overtake computers as the most popular device for web browsing, John Barnes, managing director of digital and tech at Incisive Media, told delegates at the Mobile Media Strategies day. Users expect a seamless experience whether they are accessing websites on a Android device, a BlackBerry, iPhone, tablet, laptop or desktop.”

(Sarah Marshall ~ Journalism)

Building a Content Strategy Methodology in Several Thousand Easy Steps

“Methodology. An ugly word, to be sure. Cold and clinical, it marginalizes flexibility in the name of process. Gross. Yet, we all seek it out. We all want a methodology – a guide to doing what we are going to do. We want it for us. We want it for our clients. We want to take the amorphous blob that is content strategy and define WHAT THAT MEANS on a task-related level. Great. But how?”

(Corey Vilhauer a.k.a. @MrVilhauer ~ Eating Elephant)

Six Things User Experience Designers Forget When They Criticize Websites

“It’s easy to criticize the user experience of an application or website, because we’re all end users. But sometimes we use it once, while many have to use it day after day as a part of their job. We talk about how we like using some sites, but there’s always the ‘I wish it was way.’ Still, we are our own worst enemies. We constantly pick at sites and snipe on Twitter how certain missing features are UX 101, but we don’t offer constructive feedback. We don’t understand that some decisions are based on conscious business decisions. Worst of all, we don’t get that company culture, most of all, plays a part in the final product. Not every company is Apple where design is king. Trade offs are made all the time, sometimes without any input from the user experience stakeholders. All good user experience designers make decisions regarding what they can live with and what they can’t.”

(Patrick Neeman ~ usabilitycounts)

Measuring information behaviour performance inside a company: A case study

“Measuring information behaviour performance to provide practical guidance for knowledge workers is an important issue for the success of a company. Drawing upon the literature from psychology, marketing, management and information systems, this paper develops a practical model of information behaviour that provides fundamental determinants of knowledge workers’ performance.”

(Yujong Hwang ~ Information Research, 16(2)

Effective Use of Typography in Applications for Children

“In this installment of my column, I’ll take a look at one of the most important visual design elements for graphic user interfaces: typography. I’ll concentrate on general guidelines for the effective use of typography in the design of applications for children between 3 and 10 years of age. What considerations do we need to take into account when working with digital typography when children are its primary interpreters?”

(Catalina Naranjo-Bock ~ UXmatters)

Comparing User Research Methods for Information Architecture

“In this column, I’ll summarize and compare the latest generative and evaluative methods for IA user research. The methods I’ll examine include open card sorting, Modified-Delphi card sorting, closed card sorting, reverse card sorting, card-based classification evaluation, tree testing, and testing information architecture with low-fidelity prototypes. I’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages to consider when choosing between these methods, when it makes sense to use each method, and describe an ideal combination of these methods.”

(Jim Ross ~ UXmatters)

Online digital text and implications for reading in academe

“While the Internet is a text–saturated world, reading online screens tends to be significantly different from reading printed text. This review essay examines literature from a variety of disciplines on the technological, social, behavioural, and neuroscientific impacts that the Internet is having on the practice of reading. A particular focus is given to the reading behaviour of emerging university students, especially within Canada and the United States. A brief overview is provided of the recent transformation of academic libraries into providers of online digital text in addition to printed books and other materials, before looking at research on college students’ preferences for print and digital text, and the cognitive neuroscience of reading on screen.”

(Barry W. Cull ~ First Monday, Volume 16, Number 6)

Where are the Mobile First Responsive Web Designs?

“Mobile first design is primarily about the starting point. After a site is complete, how can I tell whether or not the developer started from the mobile and built up to desktop or started from the desktop and whittled down to mobile? I didn’t want to have to tear apart over a hundred sites in the gallery to find the handful of mobile first sites. I needed some way to narrow the number of sites I cared about to some sort of manageable number.”

(Jason Grigsby a.k.a. @grigs ~ Cloud Four)
courtesy of lukew

Service Design: Setting The Stage For The Consummate Experience

“Mention service design to your UX colleagues and you may find yourself unwittingly engaged in a game of Buzzword Bingo. Whether you call it ‘service design,’ ‘holistic design,’ ‘multi-channel experience design’ or ‘cross-channel design,’ chances are you’re all talking about the same thing. And your next challenge is defining exactly what you mean when you say ‘service design.’ The field of service design is still young and evolving. And its interdisciplinary nature makes it difficult to define. In fact, (…) no common definition of service design exists.”

(Megan Grocki a.k.a. @megangrocki ~ UX Magazine)