"A visual designer approaches UX design from one point of view, the interaction designer from another, and the programmer from yet another. It can be helpful to understand and even experience the part of the elephant that others are experiencing."
Emilie Duciel's insight:
A good article that sums up the facets of UX design. To build a powerful UX, take them all into account.
"You've heard the argument about placing all your important information "above the fold" on your web page. You've also heard that users do scroll down pages. So, what is really going on is that users will scroll down IF they know they'll find something else in the same page. Review these techniques for getting users to scroll down. Be obvious with how you present the content. "
"Getting text to work effectively in your designs is challenging as you have to balance readability with design aesthetics. Between sizing, colors, fonts and spacing, typography is one of the more challenging elements of design. We are going to talk about some tips and tricks on how to properly use type in your designs to get your message across."
Emilie Duciel's insight:
Jenna goes through the typographic anatomy and explains how knowing this anatomy can help build readability... not in the sense of "Can you read it?" but in the sense of "Do you want to read it?"
“As designers (in the broadest sense), we focus a lot of energy on technical skills but often neglect or downplay the softer ‘people’ skills. Daniel Goleman calls these skills ‘Emotional Intelligence.’ They are as important to our success as IQ and technical proficiency. Qualities of emotional intelligence include, amongst others, social skills and empathy… Empathy includes ’the ability to understand the emotional makeup of other people’ and ‘skills in treating people according to their emotional reactions.’ We talk about empathy with our users but we also need to cultivate empathy for our stakeholders, too.”
Emilie Duciel's insight:
Usability testing, interviews, ethnographic studies... a few ways to get closer to our users, a few ways to grasp their needs and feelings. In other words: a few ways to develop empathy.
Online conversion forms like PayPal’s registration page (right) are invariably formatted exactly like printed forms such as this credit card application (left)—approximately as fun to complete as a hazing ritual, despite having exactly the opposite...
New technologies tent to make us lose sight of the user's needs and best interests. The interface or service shouldn't be designed for the technology that the stakeholders want to use, but for the user. Already know all this? Great! I just thought that this article was a good reminder for the ones of us who sometimes lose track of the user's central position.
Should we focus on user experience? ask Koan AT Claes. Nobel Prize-winning research points at the fact that memory wins over experience in people's mind. So should we focus on user memory instead?
"We all have two selves. Research has unmistakably shown that Self #1 experiences, while Self #2 remembers, and that it’s an either/or story. They can never do both. The ramifications for UX design, then, are profound, as UX tailors to the needs of Self #1 while all decisions within the experience—like: “Let’s do that again!”—are made by Self #2."
But after all, creating a memorable experience is part of the job, don't you think?
An interesting and enlightning introduction to transitional patterns by Pasquale D'Silva. Transitions are part of the user experience and need to be taken into account in the design process.
"Designers love to sweat the details. Much time is spent on pixel-fucking buttons, form styles, setting type, & getting those icons as sharp as a tack.
...but there's little consideration about how it all fits together outside of a static comp. You tap a button and the form just ...appears? You swipe to delete an item and it just vanishes? That’s super weird and un-natural. Nearly nothing in the real world does anything as jarringly as just swapping states. It would feel like a glitch."
"Designers end up facilitating a lot over the course of a professional life. The most common context is when you need to present and collect feedback on research you have conducted, a conceptual design you have created, or the final design that wraps up your project. These review sessions require you to facilitate a group of people through not only a series of findings or design but also the rationale for your end recommendation.
Having a good grounding in what it takes to be a facilitator will help these review sessions become more productive and gain you enriched feedback that will help you further mature your creations."
Matt gets all contemplative and nostalgic again, by looking back over his journey from arrogant Web Designer to enlightened UX Designer. He posts that there are four pillars of UX mastery.
As Matthew Magain says, it may be obvious to some practioners, but it's worth pointing at these 4 pillars that are Theory, Practice, Tools and Mentor. A good UXer should find the right balance between those 4 pillars (which is the tricky part!).
So, let's start from scratch... What is your job, really?! Darren Northcott describes for us the difference between Information Architecture and User Experience in an accurate point of view. If IA is the foundation of the house, then UX is the whole building.