UI Design

The Power of Progressive Disclosure

progressive-disclosure-russian-nesting-dolls

Interactive design of any kind means walking a very fine line between not enough information and information overload. At the core of that balancing act is one of the most important principles of UX and Design: progressive disclosure.

Progressive disclosure means that everything in the User Interface should progress naturally, from simple to complex.

This mimics the natural way the brain processes information, successively; we build upon each subsequent step of experience and learning, adding to what we know.

In terms of the app, site or system we’re designing, this means

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

We Need This ASAP: ending unrealistic deadlines

unrealistic deadlines

“We need this ASAP.”

There is no doubt in my mind you’ve heard this at least once, twice, or six hundred times. Your client, boss or other stakeholder says this has got to be done now, immediately. And in most cases, the team members just shrug their shoulders and roll with it.

But rolling with it is not only counterproductive, it’s dangerous.

You’re not doing anyone a favor by agreeing to something you know can’t be done — and you are most definitely painting a target on your back if you

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

What’s the fastest way to evaluate e-commerce UX? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 08)

Not a week goes by where someone doesn’t ask me if there’s a “faster way” to find UX issues than by doing a UX Audit. Designers and developers are almost always operating under ridiculous time constraints imposed by people who have no idea how long it actually takes to do that work, so I completely get it.

Part of the panic inherent in the question, though, is based on an assumption. An assumption that conducting a UX Audit — and calling it that — means that this will

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

What Can I Do To Stop Scope Creep? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 07)

“Hey, can we squeeze one more thing into this sprint?”

If you recognize that statement, then today’s episode of Tuesdays with Joe is for you. Of all the topics I’m asked about on a weekly basis, scope creep is the one that never fails to show up — almost daily.

Organizations often approach project requirements and scoping as a “set it and forget it” proposition: we figured all this out, here’s the list of stuff we have to do and build, GO!

The expectation is that with the

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

Aren’t Requirements and Specifications the SAME THING? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 06)

Here’s a question for you:

Would you build a house without first knowing how many rooms it should have?

Of course not.

Here’s another:

What would you do when, 3 months after construction starts, your spouse insists you need another bedroom?

You’d be stuck, of course.

You’d be scrambling to figure out a way to minimize the amount of work you have to undo (and redo). You’d be hoping for some miracle to give you the time, budget and people to take on the additional work.

And get

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

What do I ask users when my time with them is really short? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 05)

In a perfect world, you’d be able to spend a week or two with a large number of users, digging deep into their obstacles and challenges.

In a perfect world, you’d have the time to examine every facet of use and the contexts they operate in, leaving no stone unturned.

But you and I don’t live in a perfect world, do we?

What really happens is — if we do get any face time at all with users — the time we have to operate in is

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

Aren’t Site Maps and IA Models really the same thing? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 04)

I’ve encountered an untold number of situations where, upon asking a project team to show me their planned Information Architecture (IA), they show me a Site Map instead.

I politely point out that this isn’t an IA model.

The team looks back at me, confused, and they ask the question I already know is coming: “But aren’t they the same thing?”

Nope. But I completely understand why they believe this. And I explain the difference like this:

That confusion isn’t new, partly because people on the UX/IA side

READ MORE  

Tips & Advice

How do I convince managers that upfront UX is necessary? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 03)

This week’s question is one I hear from many of you, almost daily:

How can I introduce the idea of upfront UX work and planning, in a way that my managers will actually consider it?

We humans are naturally resistant to anything new. Whether it’s because we’re unfamiliar with the topic at hand or are just uncomfortable with change, we’re comfortable sticking with what we know.

Your product owners, managers and even your fellow team members are no different. It’s hard for them to let go

READ MORE  

UI Design

Isn’t “above the fold” UI design dead? (Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 02)

Don’t people scroll automatically?

And given that, isn’t this idea of “designing for the fold” — the bottom edge of the device/browser’s screen — obsolete? Irrelevant in the age of mobile devices?

Not so fast.

Look, the old arguments about getting every shred of content above the fold aren’t applicable — I’ll give you that. The mass adoption of social media and the “ infinite scroll” technique most apps use have created a habitual, instinctive response to scroll to view more content.

But the bottom of the browser still plays a very critical role in whether or not people engage

READ MORE  

UX Career Guidance

Should UXers and designers learn to code? (VIDEO: Tuesdays with Joe, Episode 01)

To code or not to code? That, indeed, is the question. This has been a raging debate for a good 10 years now, and there are strong advocates for and against. There are excellent points made on both sides, to be sure. And in this episode of my all-new video show, Tuesdays with Joe, you’ll learn which side of the “learn to code” debate I fall on — and why.

Given the incredible array of drag-and-drop tools at our disposal, designers can build impressive, responsive sites and

READ MORE  

Page 1 of 12
1 2 3 12

Blog Categories