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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


User Experience

A Tribute: 3 Invaluable 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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