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

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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

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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

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UI Design

UI Design Quick Tip: Better UX for Buttons

UI design improvement for a large site or system can seem like a gargantuan task. In some cases I’ve seen, we’re talking about hundreds of templates across even more screens. What’s often overlooked in these situations is the fact that huge improvements can actually come from very small, specific changes — sometimes to a single UI element. When you’re up against the wall and are falling short on time and resources, you focus on single interactive elements that are used most frequently across the system. In our case today, that means buttons.

When I work with clients to audit UI

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User Experience

A Tribute: 3 Invaluable UX lessons from Prince

ux-lessons-from-prince

Like a lot of people, I was absolutely stunned at the unexpected death of Prince. As a musician myself, the measure of respect I have for this man is completely off the chart. Talent like his is extraordinarily rare: it’s one thing to be able to play an instrument and sing. It’s quite another to be able to play nearly every instrument in existence, sing in a multitude of styles and ranges, compose and arrange complex, challenging music and absolutely nail both vision and execution when it comes to actual performance.

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User Experience

UX Insights from around the Web :: 05.11.16

Every week I read brilliant articles on UX, UI and Design that really inspire and impress me — and in some cases leave me wishing I’d written them! Because I think they’re infinitely valuable to anyone who practices UX (or would like to), I’m going to share them with you here today. So without further delay, here are my “best of the best” UX articles of the week — may you find them useful, usable and valuable!

UX Pick of the week

Designing for happiness

Designing for Happiness: Interview with Pamela

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Tips & Advice

The Fast (and Easy) Way to Uncover User Needs

UX improvement for big sites and systems begs equally big questions. And in B2B or Enterprise environments, the level of complexity inherent in the tool and its use makes it hard to know where to start. What’s more, when it comes to figuring out user needs, there are hundreds of potential questions you can ask.

fast-easy-way-to-uncover-userneeds-blog

In the majority of B2B and Enterprise circumstances, however, reality dictates that no one has the time to ask (or answer) all of them. When time and budgets are tight for UX and Development teams, the

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Tips & Advice

The Right (and Wrong) Way to Wireframe

I need to start with what I’m sure will appear to be a painfully obvious question:

What is a wireframe?

I ask it because on a weekly basis I see things that are called wireframes, but, in fact, are not wireframes. And as such, they’re not really helping their creators move things forward and answer questions of proposed features and functionality. Here are few things that tell you whether you’re looking at a wireframe (or not):

  • If you’re using any color aside from blue to indicate hyperlinks, it’s not a wireframe.
  • If you’re using real images, it’s not a
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Customer Experience

[ Podcast ] UX Storytelling: Focusing on Problems Instead of Products

I was recently honored to be asked by my longtime friend and colleague Eliot Wagonheim to be a guest and talk UX on his Business 3.0 podcast. Eliot is a brilliant business strategist masquerading as a business lawyer; in the 20+ years I’ve known him, his strong suit has always been calm, clear-eyed strategic business advice. The fact that he also happens to be an amazing lawyer is really just an added bonus.

Listen to the Podcast

We had an engaging conversation across several

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UI Design

Is it OK to design my UI before content is created?

Which came first, the content or the design?

This chicken-and-egg debate has raged for as long as there have been designers, and content needing design. On both sides you’ll find seemingly sound reasons to do one before the other, but to my eye the balance has shifted greatly, where we all too often see UI design happen before content. The house, in my opinion, is being built before we understand how many rooms it should have or how big it’s supposed to be.

UI design

With the proliferation of fully-designed themes, UI

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