UI Design, User Experience

MADExpo 2012 | Thank You!

First, thank you all so very much for attending my sessions on Thursday and Friday — I truly enjoyed being with you and I hope you found the time valuable. We had a full house for both sessions, everyone seemed very into it and the questions and discussions afterward were fantastic.  As promised, you can download (or just view) a copy of my presentation right here.

UI Design

The 3 Most Common UI Design Mistakes

When it comes to creating great user interface (UI) design, you can learn an awful lot from bad design. These cautionary tales are worth their weight in gold – because when you’re tempted to deviate from the tried and true, it’ll be clear where the wrong path leads—and hopefully be able make a U-turn and get back to good design.

Of all the mistakes that can be made, here are the 3 you should keep in mind during your next project:

Forgetting the User. Those of us with strong development leanings often (inadvertently) design for what we know or need, instead of what the users know or need. This age-old problem occurs in other areas of software development as well: testing and documentation also stand out. Designing for yourself almost always immediately makes the user feel incapable of using the product.

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UI Design

On the continuing importance of great visual design

Here’s what’s on my mind today: With all the incredible advances in mobile technology in particular, I remain utterly shocked and surprised at the vast number of systems, games, apps and even devices that exhibit stunningly poor visual design. I guess I feel like anyone who’s paying attention should have learned at this point that the stuff that sticks is also the stuff that visually engages, enhances and  communicates. But companies keep trying to do otherwise… and they keep failing. And I am finding that when I look closer, to figure out why there’s no user loyalty

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UI Design

INTERACTION design does not equal interface design

If I had a nickel for every conversation I have where  a senior-level practice manager or executive considers Interaction Design to be the same thing as Interface Design…I’d be retired and living on an island and not bothering to complain about this stuff here.

The belief seems to be that that Interaction Design starts and ends with coming up with metaphors for the system. And that’s precisely what drives me crazy. Interaction designers don’t deal in metaphors or ways of information presentation – information architects and interface designers do that. What interaction designers focus on is human

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UI Design, User Experience

Login UX: stop the bait-and-switch

It was recently called to my attention that a certain Fortune 500 company – remaining nameless for our purposes – decided that in addition to its high-end technology products and services, its site visitors would be interested in their corporate-branded apparel and accessories. Shirts, hats, golf balls, keychain laser pointers. All the good stuff, to be sure.

I understand the logic at work here – you spend money producing all this junk, why not try to recoup a little? At worst maybe you create a small army of walking billboards. So I get how your login UX process

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UI Design, User Experience

The Psychology of Color (a short primer)

Given the importance of accessibility and usability in the creation of successful applications and sites, I’m always really, really surprised at how little attention is given to color.

There’s no shortage of psychological and scientific studies proving that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when exposed to certain colors. Colors can stimulate, excite, depress and tranquilize. They can affect appetite and physical perception of temperature. For those among you who share my geeky fascination with such things, this is known as chromodynamics.

In the world of UX, the psychology of color is one of the

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UI Design, User Experience

Oldie but goodie: The Cost of Bad Design

This is an article from 2001 I kept about the cost of bad design and inattention to the details of user experience (even though no one was calling it then). Why do I still have it? First, it makes some very powerful points that still hold true seven years later. Second, the last three paragraphs are funny as hell :-)

The Humane Touch: Bad Design Can Be Costly
(not to mention inefficient, demoralizing, and embarrassing)
Jef Raskin, Forbes ASAP, 05.28.01

Bad user interfaces may

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