A design journey
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A design journey
A journey along the creative landscape with stops for UX consumption
Curated by Hans
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Behavior Design

Behavior Design | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Currently the market for lifestyle management services is growing and new web solutions pushing people to change behavior pop up everyday. But how do we persuade users to change behavior? Humans are by nature constantly trying to gain control over the situation, and as a result the first step is to educate users and make sure they are fully aware of the consequences a change will lead to. The next step is to make sure that users are motivated enough to put in the effort required to complete the change and that they have the ability to do it. Great, now the users are ready to go through with the change, at least mentally, but in order to go from thought to action there must be a trigger, the final push. The last step is to reward the users so they will stay committed to the new behavior. In summary the main factors of persuasive design are awareness, motivation, ability, trigger and reward. 

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Mobile Interfaces based on Blurred Backgrounds | Designmodo

Mobile Interfaces based on Blurred Backgrounds | Designmodo | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Blurred backgrounds with transparent widgets is a rising web design trend. What I like about this concept, except the elegant look, is the visual effect of multiple layers. This can be a great way to display content on gesture based user interfaces without risking the orientation, just like the notification center in ios7 slides down and blurs the background. You know where you came from and you know how to get back there. My only concern with blurred backgrounds is the noise factor since it's hard to focus on the content in some of the examples presented in this overall inspiring article.

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Terry Patterson's comment, February 7, 2014 8:41 AM
I also like this look, in moderation. Visually, somehow it works.
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20 steps to the perfect website layout | Creative Bloq

20 steps to the perfect website layout |  Creative Bloq | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Based on well conducted research there shuould be a large set of requirements describing what the users want to find on a website. And this is a good starting point, but before the content is arranged so people can consume it, it has no value. Consequently I think a good layout is a key aspect of good accessibility. Here are some stepts to follow in order to design perfect layouts (or at least a few as most steps are actually not directly related to layouts but rather design in general IMO).

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4 essential UX rules taught by eye-tracking research

4 essential UX rules taught by eye-tracking research | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Vision is the main perceptual system used on the web. How people scan content and decide where to focus their attention is essential to understand in order to create good UX. Eye-tracking research indicates that web users have developed patterns of visual perception. This article presents four design rules to consider based on those findings.

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Cognition & The Intrinsic User Experience | UX Magazine

Cognition & The Intrinsic User Experience | UX Magazine | A design journey | Scoop.it

Via Michael Allenberg
Hans's insight:

Users are over flooded by digital services every time they open their connected devices. All you need to do is to look at your smartphone , it offers endless options: read your mail, check your Facebook, send a tweet, pay the bills, buy a pizza, schedule a meeting etc. So what happens when people are trying to arrange their entire lives on a 4 inch display? Every fraction matters and it's our mission as designers to eliminate all obstacles for the users so they can reach their goals smooth as silk. Of course, it's a challenge to know how different users will react to certain design decisions, and we all know the only way to get true validation is by testing.  But before testing something you must build it, and in order to avoid generic design mistakes while doing that I think it's a good idea to learn the basics of human cognition. This article explains two useful principles that all designers should be aware of.

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Michael Allenberg's curator insight, November 10, 2013 9:28 AM

Cognition is about knowledge and understanding, so there's a ton of psychological principles that fall under the umbrella of cognition.

Mike Donahue's curator insight, November 11, 2013 2:23 PM

Simple and clear article on 6 factors that influence the user when deciding on accomplishing goals. Factors that often cause users not to take action.

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Smart Transitions In User Experience Design

Smart Transitions In User Experience Design | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

The web is a place overcrowded by content and different patterns to navigate. At the same time we use smaller screens more often. Consequently, I think it's essential to make the users feel in control.  But how? Transitions are important components of good interaction design since every change of state might have an impact on the user experience.. Implementing transitions wisely will not only give users valuable feedback about the consequences of their actions, it will also stimulate the procedual memory and improve the learnability. Here is a useful article with examples of best practice.

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Jean-Luc Le Moal's curator insight, November 6, 2013 8:45 AM

De l'importance des bibliothèques Javascript dans les nouveaux projets UX

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Making the Most of Ethnographic Research | UX Magazine

Making the Most of Ethnographic Research | UX Magazine | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Ethnographic research is an essential phase in the creative process since this is the moment when user needs and wants will set the foundation for crucial design decisions. On the other hand, theory is not always working in practice, so in my opinion the best way to make the most out of ethnography is to make broad studies with many participants and loose requirements as outcome. Because, hopefully this will lead designers in the right direction, but leave space for evolutionary development in an iterative testing phase where actual users have the opportunity to contribute with important input to the decision makers.

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Design Ethnography for Lean Teams

Hans's insight:

Lean production is a popular management philosophy that attempts to reduce resources spent on work that will not generate value to the end users. I have a clear mission as a designer that is aligned with most lean principles, that is to make the digital world a better place... for people! But if we want to design for people we must first understand people, so in order to create great user experiences in lean design teams we must starts to do some great ethnography. Here is an inspiring slideshow from TLCLabs that should convince any product manager.

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Terry Patterson's comment, July 16, 2013 12:34 AM
Great find, Hannes! The study of HCI never underestimates user research, doesn't matter how lean. It is extremely important to understand why we have to do this. Great designers know they design for others, not for themselves.
gavin melles's curator insight, November 27, 2013 11:01 PM

Why not

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A Showcase of Websites with Unusual Navigation

A Showcase of Websites with Unusual Navigation | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Navigation is the core of any web site, users must know where they are, where they should go and how to get there. So how to design intuitive navigation? Depending on previous experiences everyone has mental models, that is internal representations of how things work. And in order to make designs as usable as possible a safe bet is to go with navigation patterns that map these mental models. Consequently users will already know how to use the navigational elements at a glance. But, just because an existing pattern is easier to use the first time doesn't imply that a new pattern can't be even more easy to use after a period of adaptation. So don't be afraid to try unusual ways to design web navigation, just be careful, patient and listen to the users before launch.

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Design the Citizen Experience | UX Booth

Design the Citizen Experience | UX Booth | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

I like the idea of citizen experiences where we don't need to pay to access great designs, where it's a human right to benefit from technology. And I think the subject must be observed and debated before ubiquitous computing and big data can be fully matured. The paradigm will lead us to a new era called "Internet of things" where technology is distributed in our environment like an infrastructure with tons of data. Consequently we must ask ourselves: who will be able to access and benefit from it? In my opinion UX designers should join the e-government team and make the world a better place for everyone.

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Mobile Research - Ten Aspects Of M-Commerce Usability

Mobile Research - Ten Aspects Of M-Commerce Usability | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

It's fundamental for commercial websites to be mobile optimized and ready for customers to access content cross devices. Mobile users act in a different context with less tolerance than traditional desktop users. Consequently the conversion process must be as short and easy to use as possible. Here is a great article with guidelines to improve m-commerce usability.

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Converting Our Stories Into Multi-Screen Experiences | Smashing UX Design

Converting Our Stories Into Multi-Screen Experiences | Smashing UX Design | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

The art of telling stories has fascinated humans since our ancestors developed languages. With time new possibilities emerged though, we learned how to document our destinies carved in stone, we published books and distributed them widely, we broadcast audio and video, and finally we understood the capabilities of sharing information in computer networks. Eventually digital designers started to master internet as a medium for storytelling. Then the mobile revolution came and now it's vital to incorporate every aspect of a multi device ecosystem in digital strategies. But what happens to our tales when they are told on different devices in different contexts with different capabilities. Is it possible to set the stage for consistent experiences and interpretations of stories?

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50 UX Best Practices

Hans's insight:

A successful UX process should cover all aspects involved in the design solution. This implicates that decisions must be well balanced in order to satisfy each and every stakeholder from kick-off to launch. And juggling is not easy when new balls are added to the series one after the other, just like input to the design process. Luckily I found this guide, including 50 user experience best practices for each stage of the development.

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Bringing Users into Your Process Through Participatory Design

Hans's insight:

I think that well conducted user research is the foundation of great experiences. And don't fear the expenses, because with the right preparation it can be a well placed investment saving designers (and users) future headaches. Here is a comprehensive guide to participatory research and design explaining what it means to frame objectives, plan activities, facilitate data gathering and analyze findings.

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Discover the world’s best mobile UX

Discover the world’s best mobile UX | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Here is a useful archive full of inspiring examples of commonly used interaction flows out there. The path our users need to follow in order  to complete a task is critical for conversion rates and usability. In my opinion the user journey should be short, smooth and unambiguous to avoid bouncing website visitors.

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UX: A Link In The Product Life Cycle Chain | Usability Geek

UX: A Link In The Product Life Cycle Chain | Usability Geek | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

UX design for me is half planning, half crafting - and if the plan is bad the design will suffer. The road to success usually includes, at some point: sales, strategy, research, prototyping, user testing and implementation. All aspects of the design process must therefore be considered, methods must be selected and deliverables must be actionable in order to generate desired outcome. We all know that no chain is stronger than its weakest link, which also applies to UX - no design process is stronger than its weakest moment. Consequently it's our responsability as UX:ers to make sure the chain is unbroken.

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Three Uses for Analytics in User-Experience Practice

Three Uses for Analytics in User-Experience Practice | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

In order to make the most of analytics data, UX design must integrate this data where it can add value. Understanding how users are actually using a website is the first step on the road to improvement.

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The 4 Design Assumptions Costing You Money | Usability Geek

The 4 Design Assumptions Costing You Money | Usability Geek | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Assumptions are the designers worst enemies because they make us arrogant. Shouldn't a design know what controls that works for all users, shouldn't a designer know the meaning of symbols, shouldn't a designer know what possible user contexts exists? The answer is simple: NO! There are no quick answers to good design because users are diffrent to each other, technology is constantly changing and expectations are hard to predict. But the formula to happy users is simple, make research, prototype and test the design until all details fall into place.

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Get out of the Lab and into the Real World | UX Magazine

Get out of the Lab and into the Real World | UX Magazine | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Designing for people should always involve research with real users in realistic situations. It's comfortable to slide down in the office chair, analyze remotely produced user data, simulate context of use and apply best practice, but it will probably not unveil a complete image of the user needs. A lab can never simulate how people actually live their lives. Instead I think observing people in their common environments is the first step to design usable products, because if we don't understand the problem how can we solve it? Ultimately, as a user experience designer, my problems are the problems the users have.

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Terry Patterson's comment, August 29, 2013 7:20 PM
Yes, yes and yes! Although the remote sessions are sometimes the options that you have for any number of reasons, nothing beats observing the real interactions in context.
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The challenges of requirements gathering | Cartoon

The challenges of requirements gathering | Cartoon | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

This cartoon illustrates the challenges of gathering and communicating requirements in a project. UX design is a constant battle against inconsistency, where essential insights must be parceled so everyone interprets the true meaning in cross functional teams. In other words, it's our mission as designers to make sure that the "swing" looks just like the users desire. But how to avoid bad requirements gathering?

 

1. Be empathetic and search for deeper understanding about the users. One misunderstanding in the research phase can lead to crucial design failures later. For example: conduct interviews, observations or contextual studies.

 

2. Unfortunately understanding the users is not enough, make sure to communicate the insights in a format that is consistent through the complete design process. For example: create personas, mental models, customer journey maps or functional specifications.

 

3. Never expect the first design to win, test it against the users and make sure to identify what they really want. For example: do A/B testing, task based user tests or guerilla usability testing.

 

4. Iterate! Adjust the requirements according to user feedback and deliver evolved design suggestions until satisfaction is reached.

 

5. Hopefully the "swing" will look pretty similar for all project phases, and most important, whoever is using the "swing" will actually enjoy it.

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The Art of Guerilla Usability Testing | UX Booth

The Art of Guerilla Usability Testing | UX Booth | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

Designing for citizens should definitely involve real users in order to set the stage for usable experiences. But usability can be a complex art of fitting test phases into a complete development process, and suddenly all resources are spent on trying to figure out how something should be done. Then it might be better to look at what you got and try to do the best out of it - all you need to do is to grab the design and go out on the field and let the users guide you. Because a little bit usability testing is always better than no usability testing.

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Top Usability Mistakes in Web Design

Top Usability Mistakes in Web Design | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

It's not the first article I have ever read on the topic, however it's still exciting when I find new heuristics to compare to my own experience. And luckily usability is a continuously changing field, along with both people and web design. I mean, we are in the middle of a paradigm shift where technology is becoming way more accessible and spread out around us. One example is how we suddenly changed our navigation patterns and interaction behaviors and adjusted to mobile devices. As a consequence expiration dates for usability guidelines are becoming shorter and shorter. What was hot yesterday might be cold today. So it's essential to keep up with the pace and frequently measure the usability temperature. And that's the reason why I keep reading best practice articles over and over again with the same enthusiasm.

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Design = emotions + usability

Design = emotions + usability | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

I'm not sure if this is a correct equality, but I think usability + emotions = a lot of great user experiences at least. So how to measure the dimensions of these great user experiences? Considering usability should result in something that everyone understand and use with ease according to a standardized definition. But something emotionally satisfying, on the other hand, is not that simple to validate. We all have unique and unpredictable preferences based on our previous experiences, like natural instincts, cultural values and social identities. However, if you manage to maximize the two dimensions where there is a demand on the market, then success shouldn't not far away.

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Trends: Going Bigger with Typography

Trends: Going Bigger with Typography | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

One of my favorite trends at the moment is websites with fullscreen background images in combination with big typography, mainly because it evokes great atmospheres, but also because it's catchy and and easy to read on mobile devices. However, visually striking designs are not for everyone so think twice before overwriting the minimalistic, clear and readable layout where focus is on the content. Because complex websites with a lot of functionality and information must use the landing page to provide an overview to frequently returning visitors so they easily can navigate and consume desirable content, and not getting struck by large fonts over and over again. Anyway, I think it's great for promoting brands and services online. GO BIG TYPOGRAPHY!

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It’s all about the context | .net magazine

It’s all about the context | .net magazine | A design journey | Scoop.it
Hans's insight:

We already know it, the future of digital design is in the context. Users will experience adapted and personalized solutions based on stable sensors, large amounts of behavioral data and advanced computing power. Imagine that when you listen to music the device already knows what songs and volume you desire, when you turn on the tv it identifies your finger print and plays your favorite show on demand, and when you browse the tablet on the run it displays content according to your motion. Contextual design in "Internet of things" comes with great opportunities, that's for sure - now we just need to figure out how to make use of it in the best possible way.

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