I make myself rich by making my wants few.
Disappearing field labels are so tempting in the limited real estate of the mobile context.
I can’t wait to give this new approach a try.
Titles like this one can be intimidating - I wince as I click through on articles like this one wondering whether I or my team will make the cut.
But this one, too me, is realistic and true — a boots-on-the-ground view into some of the day-to-day work that is Interaction Design. These are the bones that we have learned to look for when we hire.
The ability to take chicken scratches from a whiteboard and turn it into a clickable prototype will make you your boss’ best friend.
Being a good talker or having a portfolio on the bleeding edge of the industry is certainly not a bad thing. But our clients consistently require one thing - solid work, on time.
A lot of it isn’t the most glamorous stuff, but its the basis upon which everything else is build.
Where the design breaks — THAT is where you put a breakpoint.
What We Do
Tonight as I caught up on industry newsletters, the project categories for the Interaction awards caught my eye. This list is a good starting point for a set of the reasons we do what we do at Slide UX. This list could be used to evaluate new projects and to analyze the work we’re doing for our current clients.
We want to…
- Connect: Facilitate communication between people and communities.
- Engage: Capture attention, create delight and deliver meaning.
- Empower: Enable people to go beyond their limits.
- Express: Encourage self expression and/or creativity.
- Disrupt: Re-imagine completely an existing product or service by creating new behaviours, usages or markets.
- Optimize: Make daily activities more efficient.
Which of these is your favorite type of project to work on?
There’s a good deal of critique right now in the UI design community about iOS7, and much of it seems fair. That said, there are also some smart patterns baked Ito the new OS which are also worth noting.
Designing mobile apps has taught us how valuable animations are for drawing the user’s attention to a new part of the interface. And the limited canvas of the mobile viewport makes it difficult to reserve space for elements that aren’t immediately useful.
iOS7 smartly uses animation along thin borders of no more than 5px or so to inform the user about the status of a process, such as the sending of a message.
Good UI is all about the little touches.
Marissa Mayer describes Yahoo!’s logo design process in detail on Tumblr. Hint: No mention of the A/B test that didn’t occur.
Sometimes, FastCompany runs some really interesting stuff. But other times, I’m really disappointed with the academic integrity of what they publish. Today’s one of those days.
In Alex Lynch’s recent write-up, “Why Yahoo’s “30 Logos in 30 Days” Campaign is Actually Brilliant Rebranding”, he theorizes about the strategy behind Yahoo!’s thirty logos in thirty days:
“Yahoo is almost certainly running a large-scale logo design A/B test to find the best logo possible”
This immediately struck me as unlikely. Why? Because that’s not how A/B testing works.
A true A/B split test will be designed to snuff out bias. So what does that mean?
Well, for starters, users behave differently at different times. If you’ve even dealt in Web Analytics, you know that there are daily, weekly, and yearly cycles in how users interact - Monday’s traffic is different than Saturdays, 7am traffic is different from 10pm traffic, and Christmas traffic is different from Valentines Day traffic. For that reason, a well-designed test will show the stimuli at random to different subsets of the traffic so that the team can know that the findings are truly the result of the design and not caused by differences in timing.
On top of that, there’s the bias caused by order. Researchers will tell you that to reduce the bias of ordering, you want to reorder answers randomly for each user who takes an online survey. In usability, we often show different models in different orders for each participant because the user’s perception of the second option is always skewed by having seen the first.
And furthermore, each user in an A/B test sees only one variation, consistently, throughout the course of the test. Let’s say I visit a site and that big, red button that’s being A/B tested really pushes me closer to conversion, but I get distracted. I return tomorrow and the button is now blue, and I immediately pick up where I left off, clicking through and converting. If you gave blue a point, you’d be mis-tallying.
If in fact Yahoo! is trying to get A/B data from switching their logo every day for a month for all users, their methodology is suspect. But it seems more likely to me that its FastCompany who is off their game. A/B testing is a great tool - let’s all stay up to speed on how to use it properly!
The most important thing about user interfaces is that if you show your program to a handful of people, (in fact, five or six is enough) you will quickly discover the biggest problems people are having.
One of the best parts of Agile’s spread is an increased acceptance of usability as a part of the process.
It doesn’t matter how many times I have to click, as long as each click is a mindless, unambiguous choice.
Saying that something is “like an act of Congress” generally means that it’s slow, difficult, and tedious. Will the Affordable Care Act’s Health Insurance Marketplace may live up to ”act of Congress”status?
AP has reported that the national application, due to come online Oct 1, 2013, may actually be simpler than shopping in today’s free market. It will include an unprecedented level of integration, pulling real-time validations from Social Security for birth records, IRS for income data and Homeland Security for immigration status.
But as of March, the online application was slated to have at least 21 steps and take 30 minutes to complete. Writes Ricardo Alconso-Zaldivar of the Associated Press: ”The idea that getting health insurance could be as easy as shopping online at Amazon or Travelocity is starting to look like wishful thinking.”
Was that idea ever realistic? Dotcom giants like Amazon have huge, skilled teams monitoring conversions and tweaking interfaces in real time. As of today (July 7), LinkedIn showed no fewer than 800 job openings at Amazon. Should the federal government invest at the level necessary to truly perfect the design of its programs?
Some proponents of the Health Care act have pushed for “an army of counselors to help uninsured people navigate the new system.” But the ongoing expense of such counsel hasn’t been budgeted for.
The success of TurboTax and other tax preparation services stands as evidence that in some cases, there’s actually money to be made in the private sector by providing a simplified experience for federally required forms. Perhaps the health insurance space will follow suit.
Of course, many designers would say that a design can only be as good as its requirements, and that 28 pages of political compromise are not the best start for a streamlined user experience.
So how will a presidential administration committed to clear communications architect a clear user experience around this complex legislation? Will they invest in professional design and testing like Amazon has, or leave a gap to be filled by the next TurboTax? Will they find funds for training/consultation, or somehow align on a set of requirements that’s easier to communicate?
I certainly don’t have the answer, but I’m eager to watch it all play out.
Hointer offers a pristine denim showroom, enabling their brink & mortar shoppers to scan QR codes to indicate the selections they’d like to try on, which are immediately deposited in an assigned dressing room.
This is the stuff that gets me up in the morning — uncovering problems faced in the status quo and solving them with the creative use of technology to create value for a business and its customers. This is my definition of innovation.
Originally linked by gilt ux.
Google reports that 77 percent of searches from mobile devices take place at home or work, only 17 percent on the move.