All posts from
October 2013

Responsive web design: Relying too much on screen size

Hardware form factor only is just for one-dimensional designers.

“As people continue to go online using an ever increasing diversity of devices, responsive Web design has helped teams build amazing sites and apps that adapt their designs to smartphones, desktops, and everything in between. But many of these solutions are relying too much on a single factor to make important design decisions: screen size.”

(Luke Wroblewski a.k.a. @lukew)

The four levels of UX design

Driving towards UX strategy and UX foundational elements, components and patterns.

“The strategic and tactical aspects of UX are foreign to most folks, hence the typical ‘lipstick on a pig’ approach they call UX design. Knowing a few key things about strategy and tactics makes the difference between designing a struggling site and a successful one. The examples and tips illustrate successful approaches to UX design that you can apply to your site.”

(Larry Marine ~ Search Engine Watch)

Google Glass and the experience of experience

Wearables as the new hunting grounds for designers dealing with perception, cognition and emotion.

“In this article, experience is described as interpretation, and semiotics are applied to analyze the new wearable augmented reality product, Google Glass. Various readings of Google Glass are offered, and a prediction is generated which implies that through drawing on the traditional syntax of spectacles (eye glasses) a greater user group will be reached including not just technology leaders or adventurers, but also technology laggards. Experience takes place before, during, and after technology usage, and by making new devices more familiar to the target market, there is increased likelihood that user experience will be positive.”

(Rebekah Rousi ~ UX magazine)

The trouble with content

Content as the generic term for all things digital stuff.

“The core problem seems to be a feeling that the word ‘content’ reduces thoughtful, artistic expressions to a commodity. The websites and apps we develop to elegantly deliver words, images and media experiences are perceived as empty containers, hungry for content to be poured into them. Content marketing campaigns depend on calendars that demand to be filled on a regularly scheduled basis. This may give the impression that an effective approach to content is to churn out generic stuff that fits the size and shape of the container, and meets the deadlines.”

(Rachel Lovinger a.k.a. @rlovinger ~ Razorfish Scatter Gather)

Responsive Design is a poor man’s Content Strategy

Sometimes, you need the Dutch truth to be told.

“Responsive design is a poor man’s content strategy to address multiple channels. Perhaps a technical masterpiece, but it adds nothing to the transmission of a message. It helps nothing with the basics of content strategy: the transfer of certain key messages to your target audience. Indeed, there is also such a thing as a need. When I use a smartphone, I have other needs, then when I’m on a desktop. Responsive design – solely – does not respond to that fact. It’s a technical trick that will make everything fit on my screen and makes it readable.”

(Ric van Westhreenen a.k.a. @roodlicht ~ Rood Licht)

Cross-channel usability: Creating a consistent user experience

Experience happens between the channels.

“A consistent user experience, regardless of channel, is one of the 4 key elements of a usable cross-channel experience. Consistency across channels helps build trust with customers. (…) As companies and organizations design for the larger user experience, it’s important to consider consistency across all channels. Consistent experiences help users build trust with the organization. Each interaction is part of the overall user experience with a company. If the user experience isn’t consistent across channels, users will question the organization’s credibility.”

(Janelle Estes ~ NNGroup)

Is User Experience Design the next big thing?

The future is definitely unevenly distributed when you pose such a question.

“The world of Human Computer Interaction was distant and unconnected to this glossy world of communication. Here, the problems concerning mechanical or electronic interfaces were critical to the very success of the systems they were part of. The user’s ability to understand, learn and remember, were paramount and Visual Designers and Psychologists were brought in to resolve interface issues. Although these two disciplines also formed the basis of much of the traditional advertising work, the connections were not apparent. In HCI, the feedback loops were shortest – press a button, and you either got something done or failed at it. It wasn’t like releasing an ad and waiting for the consumers to react next time they went shopping! The former needed the user’s intervention, an action; the latter required just a reaction.”

(Saurabh Karandikar a.k.a. @s_karandikar ~ uxdesignlog) ~ courtesy of hfi

UX theory to practice: What’s the fuss about Agile & UX?

It must be the pressure from the IT department that everybody in UX now wants Agile and Scrum.

“This post illustrates how my UX role fits within the Agile methodology at ADstruc. This process won’t necessarily work for every organization or product, but I hope it will provide some guidance for marrying product with design decisions and using your UX deliverables as ways to feed the Agile machine.”

(Eliane Kabkab a.k.a. @elianek ~ ADstruc)

Flat UI and forms

Forms (digital and physical) are always the orphans of information design.

“Though some decry flat user interfaces as pure fashion, or the obvious response to skeuomorphic trends, many designers have embraced the flat approach because the reduction in visual styling (such as gradients, drop shadows, and borders) creates interfaces that seem simpler and cleaner. The problem is that most flat UIs are built with a focus on the provision of content, with transactional components (i.e. forms) receiving very little attention. What happens when flat and forms collide? User experiences can, and often do, suffer.”

(Jessica Enders ~ A List Apart)

Nine rules for running productive design critiques

Feedback and critique for design professionals.

“Design critiques – when a team gets together and reviews a design or a product prototype – can be painful. When people aren’t on the same page about goals and context, critiques can take a long time, they can lead to inefficient or unclear outcomes, and, let’s be honest, they can hurt feelings. But they don’t have to be that way. Here are my favorite rules to make them efficient, focused, and worthwhile.”

(Jake Knapp a.k.a. @jakek ~ Design Staff)

UX designers should be content strategists too

And information architects, visual designers, interaction designers, web designers, applications designers, etc. too.

“If we, as UX designers, are providing complete UX solutions and setting our clients up to successfully manage their site or application moving forward, then we are providing some form of information architecture, interaction design and content strategy together.”

(Callie Myers ~ Nerdery)

Incorporating more quiet into the UX design process

It’s all human.

“Behind every successful design is a dynamic creative team, and it takes all kinds of personalities and skills to get the job done. However, the culture and expectations of a design agency are often largely centered on one outspoken, gregarious personality. Things such as group brainstorming, on-the-fly presentations and open workspaces have become the norm in most design agencies.”

(Angela Craven a.k.a. @DotGridDotCom and SuAnne Hall a.k.a. @Swan5280 ~ Smashing Magazine)