- Google Material Design [Jun, 2014] – At Google we say, “Focus on the user and all else will follow.” We embrace that principle in our design by seeking to build experiences that surprise and enlighten our users in equal measure. This site is for exploring how we go about it. You can read our design guidelines, download assets and resources, meet our team, and learn about job and training opportunities.
- It’s a Great Time to Be A UX Designer by Jared M. Spool [Vimeo: An Event Apart Austin – Aug, 2013] – In this 60-minute video caught live at An Event Apart Austin 2013, Jared M. Spool explains why “It’s a Great Time To Be A UX Designer.”
- Why and How to avoid Hamburger Menus [Luis Abreu – May 14, 2014] – We now have data that suggests Sidebar menus – sometimes called Hamburger Menus/Basements – might be causing more harm than good.
- 6 Tips for Organizing Sketched Artifacts [EightShapes – Jul 13, 2012] – Sketches enable us to quickly depict and share ideas with each other, but are also considered disposable. Sketches represent an intermittent state leading to something better, more refined. As artifacts, they are fleeting renditions of the concept, a point in time idea dismissed into the (ideally recyclable) waste baskets of sketching sessions and desktop brainstorming.
- UI, UX: Who Does What? A Designer’s Guide To The Tech Industry [Co.Design – Jul 07, 2014] – Design-related roles exist in a range of areas from industrial design (cars, furniture) to print (magazines, other publications) to tech (websites, mobile apps). With the relatively recent influx of tech companies focused on creating interfaces for screens, many new design roles have emerged. Job titles like UX or UI designer are confusing to the uninitiated and unfamiliar even to designers who come from other industries.
- Recording ethnographic observations: Six useful frameworks –
- Designing User Interfaces for Your Mother [Tony Gines – Medium – Aug 12, 2013] – Here are a few things I try to keep in mind about my mother when I’m designing a new website or interface: 1. She experiences the web through a different browser. 2. She doesn’t understand most websites’ capabilities. 3. She doesn’t understand iconography. 4. She is not a power user. 5. She doesn’t mind clicking. 6. She just wants to do her thing and feel like she’s connected.
- Designing User Interfaces for Your Mother [Tony Gines – Medium – Aug 12, 2013] – Here are a few things I try to keep in mind about my mother when I’m designing a new website or interface: 1. She experiences the web through a different browser. 2. She doesn’t understand most websites” capabilities. 3. She doesn’t understand iconography. 4. She is not a power user. 5. She doesn’t mind clicking. 6. She just wants to do her thing and feel like she’s connected.
- Recording ethnographic observations: Six useful frameworks –
- The Ultimate Wireframing Tools Guide [UserTesting.com – Oct 23, 2012] – If you’re into building websites, mobile sites, or apps, you probably use some type of mockup tool – prior to coding – to help you envision how a site will work and look. But do you get customer feedback on them? In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore leading mockup tools – wireframing, prototyping, and simulating – and show you how to run user tests with them.
- Dive into Responsive Prototyping with Foundation [An A List Apart Article – Apr 10, 2012] – http://alistapart.com/article/dive-into-responsive-prototyping-with-foundation
- http://www.usertesting.com/blog/2012/10/23/the-ultimate-wireframing-tools-guide/ – If you’re into building websites, mobile sites, or apps, you probably use some type of mockup tool – prior to coding – to help you envision how a site will work and look. But do you get customer feedback on them? In this ultimate guide, we’ll explore leading mockup tools – wireframing, prototyping, and simulating – and show you how to run user tests with them.
- http://alistapart.com/article/dive-into-responsive-prototyping-with-foundation – http://alistapart.com/article/dive-into-responsive-prototyping-with-foundation
- Briefs: A Cocoa Touch Framework for Live Wireframes – Lifeless mockups don’t tell the entire story, but you don’t have time to build a prototype. We’ve been there, too. MartianCraft’s clients are some of the most demanding companies in the world. Your clients need a clear picture, so give them something to touch. Create a brief and you can hand your designs to people in a way they can play with. You can quickly incorporate their feedback and create new iterations quickly for them to retest. Before you know it, you’ve cut months of back and forth from your schedule without spending a dime on development.
- http://www.ideapaint.com/ – IdeaPaint lets you create a usable, interactive space on practically any surface at school, work, or home.
- Clean Metrics from Quick and Dirty Assessment: “The SUS” [HFI International UI Design Newsletter – Jan 2010] – In the youthful field of usability, we may be surprised to hear about “venerable” measures of usability. However, that's just what we have with the DEC “System Usability Scale” (SUS) copyrighted in 1986 and publicly discussed in 1996 by John Brooke.
- Tech hotshots: The rise of the UX expert [Computerworld – Jan 18, 2013] – As the digital world shrinks down to a screen the size of your hand, demand for user experience designers explodes.
- Icon Search Engine [Iconfinder] –
- Tools for the UX Architect: Laws of Interaction Design [CapTech Consulting Blogs – Oct 31, 2012] – As User Experience practitioners we often have to justify our decisions related to interface design recommendations. Are you pulling answers out of thin air, or following one of the common laws of Interaction Design?
- Leveraging the Kano Model for Optimal Results [UX Magazine – Oct 09, 2012] – We have also seen how the Kano Model is a powerful tool for communicating the ROI of upfront generative research, and how results from Kano studies inform product roadmap decisions. Overall, Kano studies are a very useful to have in our research toolkit.
- Why Customer Experience Is The Only Thing That Matters [Fast Company – Aug 13, 2012] – The only source of competitive advantage is the one that can survive technology-fueled disruption: an obsession with customer experience.
- 7 Core Ideas about Personas and The User Experience [Measuring Usability – Jul 31, 2012] – Here are seven core ideas everyone in the UX field should know about personas.
- Turning Customer Intelligence into Innovation [Harvard Business Review – Aug 20, 2012] – Companies seeking to more formally intertwine intelligence with innovation should consider three straightforward starting points:
* Mandate that everyone in the company increase the amount of time they spend with customers – however much time your company is spending, it is probably not enough.
* Find simple ways to make customer conversations more frequent. Consider forming a lead user panel or creating an online community like those offered by CommuniSpace.
* Build a little-bets lab, a mechanism by which you can selectively introduce early ideas to the market. For example, at beta620.nytimes.com, users can test drive early experiments offered by The New York Times Company. Little bets labs facilitate the thoughtful process of strategic experimentation that typifies successful innovation.
- The Anatomy of an Experience Map [Adaptive Path – Nov 30, 2011] – I’m often asked what defines a good experience map. You could call an experience map a deliverable, although, as the current 4-letter word of UX, that may make some people gag a little bit. But really, it’s a model. A model on steroids. It’s an artifact that serves to illuminate the complete experience a person may have with a product or service.
- A Happier Workplace: 4 Tips From Iceland [Inc.com – Aug 20, 2012] – 1. Create a Community
2. Encourage Broad Interests
3. Put Family First
4. Provide Healthier Food
- Designing For Device Orientation: From Portrait To Landscape [Smashing Magazine – Aug 10, 2012] – Nearly all mobile and tablet applications would benefit from being designed for device orientation. This article covers some of the basic concepts that designers and developers can use to add device orientation to their process. We’ll present some of the challenges when designing for device orientation, along with some solutions.
- How to choose the right UX metrics for your product [Design Staff – Mar 27, 2012] – I’m part of a group of quantitative UX researchers at Google, and we like to think of large-scale data analysis as just another UX research method. We’ve developed a couple of useful methods to help choose and define appropriate metrics that reflect:
– The quality of user experience (the HEART framework)
– The goals of your product or project (the Goals-Signals-Metrics process)
- Story-centered design: Hacking your brain to think like a user [Design Staff – Mar 22, 2012] – I start designing by thinking of a story that’s critical to the product’s success. There are probably a dozen or so stories that make up the core of any product, but I just pick one to start. Then I build a storyboard – a lot like a comic strip. If I already have wireframes in mind, each frame of the storyboard can be a screen in the interface.
- Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website [Smashing Mobile – Aug 22, 2012] – It just so happens that the two US presidential candidates have chosen different mobile strategies for their official websites. In the red corner is Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s dedicated mobile website, and in the blue corner is incumbent Barack Obama’s responsive website.
- Just What is a UX Manager? [Adaptive Path – Jun 20, 2012] – Someone who manages user experience has stuck their neck out and said they’ll deliver business outcomes through improving the experience that customers have with a product or service. That doesn’t mean soft results like better user testing results, that means delivering the things businesses ultimately care about: adoption, growth, revenue, retention, and margins.
That means you believe UX is a force that can not only improve people's experiences but that it can also drive business.
- Why I’m leaving SEO [Jonathon Colman – Jul 09, 2012] – That’s why I entered the Information Management graduate program at the University of Washington’s Information School a year ago. I’m deeply interested in the connections between people, information, and technology and this program provides a world-class education that balances focus across all three of these components. Since then, I’ve learned about structuring information for findability and use, designing across channels, managing information organizations, conducting statistical analysis, information retrieval, the systems development lifecycle, and much more.
- Multi-Device Layout Patterns [Functioning Form – Mar 14, 2012] – Through fluid grids and media query adjustments, responsive design enables Web page layouts to adapt to a variety of screen sizes. As more designers embrace this technique, we're not only seeing a lot of innovation but the emergence of clear patterns as well. I cataloged what seem to be the most popular of these patterns for adaptable multi-device layouts.
- 5 Really Useful Responsive Web Design Patterns [Design Shack – Mar 27, 2012] – Responsive web design requires a very different way of thinking about layout that is both challenging and exciting. The art of layout was already complex enough for the centuries that it was defined by fixed elements, now things are becoming exponentially more complicated as layouts become increasingly adaptive.
To help reprogram your brain to consider layouts in new ways, we’re going to take a look at some interesting responsive design patterns that are being implemented by talented designers all over the web.
- Design Patterns: When Breaking The Rules Is OK [Smashing UX Design – Jun 06, 2012] – I started wondering when breaking a pattern in favor of something different or better might actually be OK. We all recognize and are quick to call out when patterns are misused. But are there circumstances in which breaking the rules is OK? To answer this question properly, let’s go back to the beginning.
- 20 lines of code that will beat A/B testing every time [Steve Hanov’s Programming Blog – May 28, 2012] – In recent years, hundreds of the brightest minds of modern civilization have been hard at work not curing cancer. Instead, they have been refining techniques for getting you and me to click on banner ads. It has been working. Both Google and Microsoft are focusing on using more information about visitors to predict what to show them. Strangely, anything better than A/B testing is absent from mainstream tools, including Google Analytics, and Google Website optimizer. I hope to change that by raising awareness about better techniques.
- Etsy’s Winning Secret: Don’t Play The Blame Game! [Business Insider – May 15, 2012] – 3 Tips from Etsy on adopting a blameless culture:
-Assume good will. “Employees are making decisions based on what they think is right for the company,” said Allspaw.
-Identify causes, not culprits. Accountability happens naturally as people learn the facts. Focus on exploring what happened – and recognize that in complex systems, there’s rarely one root cause.
-Take your time. People used to blaming cultures may take time to come out of their shell and share mistakes and learnings freely.
- 5 Useful Lies to Tell User Research Participants [UX Booth – Jun 05, 2012] – If you’ve ever run a research or usability test, you’ll know they can be tricky to facilitate. After all, you’re dealing with people; and people come with a whole host of existing preconceptions, personalities, emotions, and experiences. One thing that can help you to gain more honest and thereby useful feedback from research participants is, in fact, to lie to them.
- Uninspiring by design [Washington Post – May 23, 2012] – I think it’s time for this industry to wake up to design. To wake up to beauty in form and function. I think it’s time that technology companies started taking a long, hard look at what they’re putting out into the world. Hopefully, they’ll start to realize that competition takes more than “me too.”
- Customer experience: The natural ally for UX in business [Informaat – May 02, 2012] – But being a successful company in customer experience is not easy. eConsultancy recently found two great barriers to deliver the required customer experience: the organisational structure (think silos, departments and business units) and the complexity of the phenomenon. User experience can help. The scope of customer experience is broader than the scope of user experience. It comprises all touchpoints between a company and its customers. The rise of customer experience and user experience has been concurrent, but user experience probably has more traction in terms of concrete roles within organizations.
- How to Win the UX War Within Your Organization [UX Booth – May 01, 2012] – When companies don’t care about user experience, it is clearly reflected in the products they create. Although everyone can agree that software should be intuitive, user-friendly, and aesthetically pleasing, many managers aren’t willing to invest the time and resources it takes to build something compelling. A large part of our job as UX advocates, then, is explaining design’s impact on the company as a whole. Determining which battles to win and which battles to lose – even intentionally — can help you win the UX war.
- 4 Key Insights From The 57-Day, Blitzkrieg Redesign Of Google+ [Co.Design – Apr 25, 2012] – Co.Design talked to Google+ lead designer Fred Gilbert to unpack the subtle brilliance behind their awesome redesign–a redesign that was completed in less than two months–and his notes are full of lessons that could hone the experience of almost any product.
- Firms Push Visual Note Taking to Spark Creativity, Sharpen Focus [Wall Street Journal – Apr 24, 2012] – Put down that smartphone; pick up that pencil. Employees are being encouraged by their companies to try visual note-taking to explain complicated concepts to colleagues and clients.
- In Silicon Valley, Designers Emerge As Rock Stars [Business Insider – Apr 13, 2012] – The new breed of “user experience” designers – part sketch artist, part programmer, with a dash of behavioral scientist thrown in – are some of the most sought-after employees in technology.
- More potent experiences come from ‘reductive’ design [Cisco Web Experience – Feb 19, 2012] – Sometimes, to create a high-quality experience, a product just needs some time to simmer.
Soups, sauces, and consommé are the result of boiling down to an intensely flavorful product and technology can benefit from a similar process of distillation.
The reductive process in cooking derives a more concentrated mixture with less volume than before the boiling but with a much greater quality. With frequent stirring, the impurities are brought to the surface and removed, leaving a more concentrated, and potent, product.
- Pinterest’s Founding Designer Shares His Dead-Simple Design Philosophy [Co.Design – Mar 07, 2012] – Design is shrinking the gap between what a product does and why it exists. Designing is not just about picking the right font or gradient. Stop thinking about design in terms of wire frames or visual style; it is about the product as a whole. Designing is figuring out the purpose of your product and how you orient everything else around it.
- How Apple’s Top Secret Product Development Process Works [The Next Web – Jan 24, 2012] – Many aspects of Apple’s product development process have long been shrouded in mystery. The process is discussed in a new book Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired – and Secretive – Company Really Works, by Adam Lashinsky, which is out now. The book talks about a variety of different aspects of Apple as a company; its philosophy, its hiring process and its legendary secrecy.
- Which One: Responsive Design, Device Experiences, or RESS? [Functioning Form – Feb 29, 2012] – As more organizations realize they need to invest heavily in multi-device Web designs, the inevitable question of “how” comes up. Responsive Web design, separate sites, or something in between?
- Out of the box [Vitamins – Sep, 2011] – Most phones come with flimsy manuals with complicated language and jargon. These books, which can live on a bookshelf actually contain the phone. Each page reveals the elements of the phone in the right order, helping the user to set up the sim card, the battery and even slide the case onto the phone. The second book is the main manual – the phone actually slots into this and becomes the center of attention. Arrows point to the exact locations the user should press, avoiding confusion and eliminating the feeling of being lost in a menu.
- Integrating UX into the Product Backlog [Boxes and Arrows – Feb 03, 2012] – Teams moving to agile often struggle to integrate agile with best practices in user-centered design (UCD) and user experience (UX) in general. Fortunately, using a UX Integration Matrix helps integrate UX and agile by including UX information and requirements right in the product backlog.
- How to Approach a Responsive Design [Upstatement – Jan 26, 2012] – Here at Upstatement, we experimented with how to solve design and layout problems within a responsive framework. We learned a helluva lot as we went, like how to choose the right design software, strategies for thinking through breakpoints, and some best practices for designing in the browser.
- The Eye of the Brainstorm [Cooper Journal – Jan 31, 2012] – While people think and behave differently when they are in large groups versus when they are alone, I also believe that people behave still differently when they are in the presence of only one other person. This is often overlooked, yet I believe that creative people can be at their most effective when they work in pairs.
- The Shift From Watching TV to Experiencing TV [ReadWriteWeb – Jan 25, 2012] – As more and more devices in your home get connected to the Internet, the user experience becomes increasingly important. It’s hard enough to use your PC sometimes, let alone fiddle with the remote on your Internet connected TV! So over the coming months we’ll be exploring the world of User Experience design (a.k.a. UX design). We’ll be interviewing UX experts and reviewing products that get it right – and some that get it wrong. We’ll start by looking at how the user experience of televisions is becoming more interactive and what this will mean to your TV consumption habits.
- Why Best Buy is Going out of Business…Gradually [Forbes – Jan 01, 2012] – I’m not shilling for Amazon or any other successful online retailer here. My point is much more basic. Amazon neither invented nor appropriated its basic strategies from Best Buy or anyone else. It simply does what consumers want. Best Buy does what would be most convenient for the company for consumers to want but don’t, then crosses its fingers and prays. That’s not a strategy – or not a winning strategy, in any case, now that retail consumers aren’t stuck with the store closest to home.
- A Journey Across the Main Stream: Games for My Mother-in-Law [Gamasutra – Sep 01, 2010] – Veteran LucasArts and Telltale Games designer Dave Grossman says gaming’s limited appeal could come down to “some very basic assumptions we make about the audience versus the actual thought processes of that audience.” So he tested Telltale’s Sam & Max adventure game series on his mother-in-law.
- The 5 Hardest Jobs to Fill in 2012 [Inc. – Dec 19, 2011] – After engineers, the biggest challenge for companies is finding high-quality creative design and user-experience talent. Since almost every company is trying to create a highly compelling user experience that keeps people engaged with their product, it is tough to find people who have this type of experience (especially with mobile devices including tablets) and a demonstrated track record of success.
- The Messy Art Of UX Sketching [Smashing UX Design – Dec 13, 2011] – Many articles discuss the power of sketching and why you should do it, but they don’t go into the how or the methods involved. Sketching seems straightforward, but there are certain ways to do it effectively. In this article, we’ll cover a collection of tools and techniques that I (and many other UX and design folks) use every day.
- A Cane For The Blind Improves Social Interactions, Sunday Strolls [Co.Exist] – As scientists make slow and steady progress on sensors to help the blind see and move, this cane helps them say hi to friends.
- A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design [Worry Dream – Nov 08, 2011] – This matters, because visions matter. Visions give people a direction and inspire people to act, and a group of inspired people is the most powerful force in the world. If you’re a young person setting off to realize a vision, or an old person setting off to fund one, I really want it to be something worthwhile. Something that genuinely improves how we interact.
- The Anatomy of an Experience Map [Adaptive Path – Nov 30, 2011] – Experience maps have become more prominent over the past few years, largely because companies are realizing the interconnectedness of the cross-channel experience. It’s becoming increasingly useful to gain insight in order to orchestrate service touchpoints over time and space.
- Using Storyboards and Sentiment Charts to Quantify Customer Experience [UXmatters – Nov 07, 2011] – In the fields of user experience and service design, we use storyboards to illustrate our solutions, so clients can walk in the shoes of their customers, staff, or community and see our solutions as we see them. Storyboards are appealing at an aesthetic level, but are trickier to use in persuading clients who are more used to cold, hard numbers, charts, and tables. Offering more tangible measures of customer sentiment helps clients make connections between the experiences we depict and the sorts of technology, financial, and resource decisions that are necessary to make those experiences happen.
- Team WhiteBoarding with Twiddla – Painless Team Collaboration for the Web – Mark up websites, graphics, and photos, or start brainstorming on a blank canvas. Browse the web with your friends or make that conference call more productive than ever. No plug-ins, downloads, or firewall voodoo – it’s all here, ready to go when you are. Browser-agnostic, user-friendly.
- How our social circles influence what we do, where we go, and how we decide (Video) [Adaptive Path UX Week 2011 – Aug 25, 2011] – In this talk, you will hear stories that illustrate the social patterns in our lives, and how businesses can use that knowledge to build new products, market themselves in more relevant ways, and create experiences that people value. Paul will share stories about how people we are close to, and people we’ve never met, may or may not influence us, and explain how norms learned from people’s local culture impact how much they can be influenced. His goal is for you to walk away with concrete ideas about building great products built around social behavior.
- UX, It’s Time to Define CXO [UX Magazine – Oct 28, 2011] – But now that the CXO title has been around for a few years, I ask you: what does the CXO really do and how have things changed for us? How have we, as a profession, taken ownership of this role? What are you doing differently now that you have a CXO in your organization, and does that CXO even have a UX background? Furthermore, how do we ensure the CXO seat is filled by UX, and what skills does someone need to fill it?
- An Event Apart: Design Principles [Functioning Form – Oct 24, 2011] – In his Design Principles presentation at An Event Apart in Washington DC 2011 Jeremy Keith outlined the design principles behind the World Wide Web and how they continue to shape its future. Here are my notes from his talk:
- Getting the first click right [Measuring Usability – Oct 19, 2011] – Few things affect task success more than the navigation of website. If users can’t find what they’re looking for, not much else matters. If it were easy to get the navigation right, there wouldn’t be books and a profession dedicated to it.
First impressions matter in life and that’s also the case with website navigation. Research has shown that when users first click is down the right path, 87% eventually succeed. When they click down an incorrect path, only 46% eventually succeed.
- The 10 principles of interaction design [.Net – Oct 19, 2011] – I got my start as an interaction designer during the first internet bubble. Since then I’ve worked on interactive marketing and products for everything including finance, automotive, electronics, packaged consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and healthcare. In that time and experience I have come to know that there are a few key things that make good interaction designs and designers. Here are 10 of them.
- Storyboarding & UX – part 2: creating your own [Johnny Holland – Oct 17, 2011] – When thinking about storyboarding, most people fixate on their ability – or perceived inability — to draw. What is far more important is working out the point you wish to make with your storyboard, and the actual story that will carry that point from your storyboard across the room and into the hearts and minds of your audience. In this article explores the value of establishing a reason for the storyboard first, and then how you can create a storyboard using the thinking you’re already using and the skills you already have.