When I was younger, I used to work at an outdoor summer camp. While I was there, I worked with some incredible fellow counselors. These counselors were the kinds of people who could, in the span of a week, change a kid’s life forever. They were smart, caring, attentive, and they knew how and when to be professional (at least, as professional as you can be working at an outdoor summer camp) and when to let loose and have fun to get the kids excited. Then there were the counselors on the other end of the spectrum — to put it simply, the job just wasn’t for them, and it’s one of these counselors who gave me one of my favorite stories to tell about camp.
The more I read about interfaces and copy, the more I see people claiming that interfaces must be user-oriented, and it’s time we changed our approach to designing digital products. Both statements are correct; however, only a few have a clue what makes an interface user-oriented or how we should improve them.
Clumsy is an excellent word to describe lots of interfaces. Clumsy because they make us feel awkward when we don’t know how to perform some task. Clumsy because wordiness has taken over logic. Finally, clumsy because they want to be creative — and creativity often makes people think, which is a big no-no.
Some big fellas, like Facebook and Airbnb, decided to get things done and reconsider text to make it helpful and understandable. So instead of clumsy texts, they’ve switched to plain, concise, and easy-to-understand copy. Just as UX designers are creating better interfaces, UX writers are creating better copy.
Seeing how other designers create really helps when developing one’s own design process. No process is the same but all good ones include some form of the following: goal defining, researching, drafting and iterating.
My typical process includes these and a few others. Here’s a glimpse into what I do when I’m building a brand.
First of all, we do not follow a conventional Scrum process…
A typical Scrum team consists of the following members:
- Product owner
- Scrum master
- Development team
(If you need more of a background on what Scrum involves, check out this article for an easy to read designer introduction.)
It seems to happen at least a couple times a week. Someone in my network on LinkedIn, Twitter, a Meetup, or in the office starts lamenting how dumb all these new job titles are. You know the ones: UX Prototyper, UX Developer, UX Writer, UX Program Manager, and the list goes on.
The complaint is nearly always the same. The person assumes that this is just some company who doesn’t understand what a ux designer is and what a developer is and is looking for someone to do both jobs. What usually follows is a rant about why companies need to understand what ux is. The truth, however, is that MANY UX DESIGNERS need to understand what ux is (and what it is not). If they did, they would be excited to see the shift that’s currently happening.
Every web developer inevitably runs into situations where they need to make visual design decisions, whether they like it or not.
Maybe the company you work for doesn’t have a full-time designer and you need to implement the UI for a new feature on your own. Or maybe you’re hacking on a side-project and you want it to look better than yet-another-Bootstrap-site.
It’s easy to throw your hands up and say, “I’ll never be able to make this look good, I’m not an artist!” but it turns out there are a ton of tricks you can use to level up your work that don’t require a background in graphic design.
Here are seven simple ideas you can use to improve your designs today.
As designers, we are constantly experimenting with tools and processes in an attempt to find the one that works best. After a great deal of experimentation, I’ve discovered the perfect design workflow, and I’m going to share it with you now. Design is a process and the process I’m going to share is the one I’ve used on all my projects to build habit-forming products that people love.
Previously, we introduced you to the benefits of modular web design. It’s a design system that’s becoming more and more prevalent — and preferred — in the industry. But what’s a design system again? It’s an internal tool that acts as the glue holding the entire project together. It’s not just the elements used in the creation of a site like software or web applications, but the rules and documentation you’ll need to use as a base moving forward. Think of design systems as a kind of Bible, which we use, read and reflect on. There are equal similarities to the U.S. Amendments, which we add to or adjust over time to help improve.
In this article, I will take you through the entire process of restructuring a school’s IA –the research we did to narrow down our persona, content auditing and cognitive walkthroughs, our contextual inquiry and heuristics evaluation of the current site, it’s competitive analysis and finally, the iterative process of restructuring the site, which includes methods like card sorting, treejack tests, usability tests and prototyping.