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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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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UI Design

4 Reasons Minimal UI May Mean Minimal Users

4 Reasons Minimal UI May Mean Minimal Users

Common UI elements — buttons, menus and common actions —are a very significant part of what makes a site or app useful. The “chrome” as these elements are called, is being minimized in favor of increasing the amount of valuable content on the screen. In theory, Minimal UI is a solid approach; the intent is certainly noble and logical.

But hiding those elements, while certainly trendy, comes at a cost that many designers, developers and organizations are slowly waking up to.

Take our ubiquitous friend the

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UI Design

9 surefire tips for better data visualization design

9 surefire tips for better data visualization design

Imagine you are standing in a room with 100 other people, all of whom are shouting at you at the very top of their lungs. You are expected to (a) hear every word of what each person is shouting, (b) fully understand what each person is shouting, and (b) recognize all the ways in which each person’s diatribe is related to all of the others.

Impossible, right? Of course. But that’s exactly what happens when a user is confronted with a poorly designed data

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UI Design

5 Crucial Principles for Great Mobile Design

5 Crucial Principles for Great Mobile Design

The exponential and continual explosion of apps for mobile devices is certainly keeping us designers and developers on our toes; it’s tough to keep up. The good news, however, is that while technology advances and devices evolve at breakneck pace, the principles for great mobile design remain the same. Here are the five you need to know and apply.

  1. Design the parts to be consistent with the whole. Designers are often expected to break with convention. Apple encourages all of us to “think different.” But
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UI Design

Feedback: 5 Principles of Interaction Design To Supercharge Your UI (5 of 5)

In last week’s post, we discussed predictability, the fourth core principle of interaction design. In this final installment of our five-part series, I’d like to share another critical – and often overlooked – component of great interaction design and positive user experience: feedback.

Just like form matters in industrial design, feedback is absolutely essential to interaction design. And I’m talking about much more than simply supporting individual moments, actions and interactions. Feedback serves a larger purpose in any system as a whole, in that it tells people how they can, and

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Tips & Advice, UI Design

Predictability: 5 Principles of Interaction Design To Supercharge Your UI (4 of 5)

In last week’s post, we discussed the third core principle of interaction design, learnability. Today I want to talk about a principle of interaction design that goes a long way in making users feel confident, comfortable and in control: predictability. Predictability means that all aspects of the interaction design should set accurate expectations about what will happen – before the user taps, swipes or clicks on something.

Principle 4: Good Interaction Design is Predictable.

“If you can accurately predict what’s going to happen next 
in an interaction, it’s because the

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Tips & Advice, UI Design

Learnability: 5 Principles of Interaction Design To Supercharge Your UI (3 of 5)

In last week’s post, we discussed the second core principle of interaction design, visibility. Today I’d like to share the next principle of interaction design critical to UI Design and Good UX: learnability. The bottom line: interactions should be easy to learn and easy to remember

Principle 3: Good Interaction Design is Learnable.

When we talk about good interaction design, our ideal hope is that people we’ve designed an app, site or system for 
use it once, learn it rapidly and remember it forever.

The truth, however, is a little more practical. What usually

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Tips & Advice, UI Design

Visibility: 5 Principles of Interaction Design To Supercharge Your UI (2 of 5)

In last week’s post, we discussed the first critical principle of interaction design, consistency. Today I’d like to share the next principle of interaction design critical to UI Design and Good UX: visibility. Put simply, you can’t invite interaction and engage visitors if they’re unaware that the opportunity to interact exists!

Principle 2: Good Interaction Design is Visible.

One of the ways our brain shapes experiences is that it’s constantly noticing and interpreting clues in our surrounding environment:

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Tips & Advice, UI Design

Use These 5 Principles of Interaction Design To Supercharge Your UI (1 of 5)

Not everyone is familiar with the role Interaction Design plays in creating great user interfaces (UIs). Not everyone realizes how crucial good Interaction Design is to good User Experience (UX). In fact, I often hear from folks who’ve never heard the term at all. No problem, it’s all good. In essence, Interaction Design:

  • Defines how interactive systems are structured, how content and/or data is organized and how the system should behave in response to user actions
  • Is based on the designer or developer’s understanding of user goals, tasks, experiences, needs, and wants
  • Is also based on business goals
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