UX Design

Tips for creating designs that give the user a delightful, clear, and well-planned experience.

Graphics / 27 May 2015

10 Reasons Why the Best Design Is Invisible

Good design is not something the average user look at and says “wow, that’s a great design!” Good design is something that is easy to use, read and interact with. It makes users want to engage and experience your website, app or physical material and evokes a specific emotional response.

As a designer you may spend days, weeks or months working on a project that does not look like anything especially spectacular to those outside the design community, and that is probably a good thing. Good design is pretty much invisible.

UX Design / 4 May 2015

How to Design Content for User Experiences

Content is a major part of the user experience. Content is more than search engine optimization; it’s more than blogging. It is part of your site, brand identity and why users interact with your design.

Every day it becomes even more important to design for content as part of the overall function and user experience in website and app design. But how can you do it? (We can help you with some case studies and examples, such as The Hen House, which uses a variety of design and user engagement techniques to keep you scrolling.)

Mobile / 24 Feb 2015

Google Material Design: Everything You Need to Know

You probably keep hearing the phrase “material design” popping up in conversations. The concept is pretty new; it was introduced in the summer and references a new design language from the folks at Google.

But material design is more than just an idea; it is likely to cause designers to completely rethink web and app design processes. Sites are already beginning to role out design schemes using Google’s material design documentation. So now is the time to learn what it’s all about and if a material design framework is in your future.

Business / 26 Jan 2015

How & Why Prototypes Are Mandatory for Good Design

Nothing brings you closer to the functionality of the final product than prototyping. While wireframes sketch out the blueprint and mockups show the feel and texture of the design, it is the prototype that brings to life the “experience” behind “user experience.” That beautiful call-to-action may look great on the screen, but you won’t know if it works on end users until the clickable prototype. Not only do prototypes help provide proof of concept, they more importantly expose any usability flaws behind the wireframes and mockups.

So how do we actually put into the practice this safeguard against emergency stakeholder meetings, endless revisions, and painful late nights in the development phase? While we previously touched upon proper prototyping in the Guide to UX Design Process & Documentation, let’s dive deeper into how prototyping can make or break a product’s success. In this piece, we’ll begin by looking at the most compelling reasons to prototype and how prototypes improve collaboration, design, and usability testing.

Accessibility / 5 Jan 2015

Designing for the Interstitial Experience

Yes. Those little pop-ups matter, and are starting to matter more every day. Interstitial space – and content for it – is becoming an increasingly popular part of designing for the web. From ads, to forms, to bits of information, the interstitial experience is a vital part of the design process.

The dilemma for designers is to create something that users want to look at and not feel annoyed by. Here we’ll work to gain a better understanding of interstitial space and how you can work within it well.

Mobile / 24 Dec 2014

Designing Hover Styles and the Future of the Technique

Despite arguments that hover styles are dead, these small boxes that pop-up over images, text or other elements on websites are still found all over the web. Designers like them for an added bit of style and information; users like them for functionality. (They are only “dead” because hover styles don’t work without a mouse-over).

The UI function is still there for now. And if you opt to use it, you’ll want to create well-designed hover styles that engage users. You’ll also want to think about how to alter these areas of your website for responsive sites.

Business / 1 Dec 2014

How to Design a Brand Persona for Your Product

They’re on hundreds of websites, in advertisements, and fill the airwaves – fictional characters that help you relate to a brand or company. These personas are representations of the type of people who use products or services, and are designed to relate to potential users or buyers.

A persona is more than just a face in the design. It is a well-planned and thought-out part of the design process. Designers have to think about the persona during all aspects of a project so that the personality matches the brand and design. From copy and how the persona “talks” to color, typeface choices and other design elements, creating a persona can be an important part of design projects.

Layouts / 10 Nov 2014

Empathy and Design: What You Should Consider

Do you need to think about empathy when you design? (The answer is yes.) It may seem like a pretty common sense answer, but too often we get caught up in the design and message and not the user.

Who are you creating the design for? How will they connect with it? That’s where empathy comes in. Thinking about it from the start of the process can help you put together an even more successful project. (As you read through this post, look at the examples and think about the emotions these sites make you feel.)

Software / 13 Aug 2014

Find Out How Visitors Use Your Website With Hotjar Insights

Having a website in today’s market is not enough. You also need see how your visitors are really using your website. This information can help you better plan, create content and design for the way your users interact with you.

That’s where Hotjar Insights comes in. The new service is launching later this month and will include lots of tools that really can help you understand your visitors better. The interface includes heatmaps, session playbacks, polling, surveys, chats and funnel analysis. Here’s a look at the new tool.

UX Design / 14 May 2014

10 UX Phrases and Terms to Know Right Now

It seems like the world of the web – and web design – is changing every few days. Trends, new techniques and users who demand more are driving this change. And we all have to stay on top of it to remain relevant.

Today, we are going to look at 10 phrases that you need to add to your vocabulary right now. Each of these words or phrases relates to user experience, and in essence are part of the design process. Without further ado, let’s get started!

Articles / 30 Dec 2013

Why Does User Experience Matter?

User experience – notably poor user experience – has been a hot topic in recent months with the much-publicized launch of HealthCare.gov and its subsequent issues. User experience is a part of the design process that you don’t hear about unless something goes wrong. But it is something that should be an integral part of the design process, from early concepts to the final product.

So with this renewed – and very public – discussion about user experience, why does it matter to designers?

Graphics / 6 Dec 2013

Breaking Design Principles on Purpose

Rules. They keep our designs clean, consistent, aligned, and focused. The core principles upon which good design is built are absolutely essential to the education of any designer.

The great thing about design rules though is that they can and should be broken, granted that you know what you’re doing. Read on to see some examples of effectively breaking design principles in order to improve a project.