User interfaces are normally designed to be durable and predictable. People don’t like surprises, and they want to be able to repeat the same actions to get the same positive results. But judicious use of transience can make product experiences even more effective. As strange as it seems, creating some positive results that can’t be repeated can be a very good design strategy.
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Hidden amongst the buzz and clutter of SXSW Interactive are some potentially interesting UX-related sessions. We took a few hours to distill the full session list down to this shorter one that includes sessions we think UX-minded people might care about. Not every session in this list is directly related to UX, but may be tangentially related in interesting ways. With a few exceptions, we generally did not include the hundreds of sessions about social media, social networking, social shopping, s
As it turns out, you only have to do one thing well to get those 5-star ratings: delight your users. And how do you do that? You have to work harder than your competitors and stay singularly focused on that mission to delight. This is, of course, not so easy to pull off. You have to dig pretty deep in your smartphone's app store to find any 5-star apps. When you stumble across one, you'll notice that the app has very few downloads and reviews. Chances are it wouldn't be a 5-star app if more peop
Innovative brands such as Apple and Zipcar are already achieving enormous success with mobile. In fact, a customer using Zipcar's new iPhone app can have a highly successful relationship with the company without ever visiting its traditional website. The same can be said for Yelp, Netflix, and a growing list of other brands.
Looking at the next five years, the role of interface design will only increase in importance as companies compete to win market share worldwide. Ease of use is essential to winning hearts, minds, and customers. With consumer product companies in heated competition, I anticipate a surge of redesign and new design in the near term. These designs will focus on usability, which means we are likely to see breakthrough products over the next several years.
In my previous UX Mag article, I asked the UX community to start thinking about integrated experiences across physical and digital touchpoints—in other words, to design for a holistic customer experience (CX). Since writing that article, I've become even more convinced that we, as a community of UX professionals, need to quickly find our place in the growing discipline of CX to avoid losing the visibility and support we have gained in the last few years.
I assume most readers are familiar with the concept of cloud computing, but it's a very broad concept encompassing a wide range of technologies. This article will focus on a core aspect, the storage of a users' data outside of their personal devices. This is a very disruptive shift that enables user experiences that would be impossible with only local storage, and creates a new facet of design: the UX of data.
When users shop online, they use their basic store shopping experience as a frame of reference. They expect an easy and enjoyable process comparable to their in-store shopping experience. But instead, store shelves become visual grids of rows and columns; a hand touch is replaced by a mouse click, and three-dimensional packages display as two-dimensional thumbnail images.
Research is a wonderful thing. It gives us the ability to inform our designs with reality. Through research we find out what real users think and how they behave when they're in certain scenarios. We find out how right or how wrong our assumptions are. Research allows us to see the difference between intention and reality once our designs move from concept to production. Research provides direction in place of guesses, and data rather than opinion or speculation.
Content strategy has been around for a long time. Large corporations such as Disney, Wells Fargo, and Mayo Clinic have had functional content strategy teams for years. The mega-agency Razorfish has had dedicated content strategists on staff since 1998. But it's really only been in the last two years that the larger UX community has started paying closer attention to content strategy. In 2008, not a single UX conference had a session or workshop devoted to content strategy; In 2010, nearly all of
We're consumers in a media-driven world. And, as such, we've grown used to product placement, telemarketing, "advertorials," and celebrity endorsements. We like football, but we love Super Bowl ads. And we know there's no shame in choking up over a credit card commercial. But treat us like just another "consumer segment," and we'll turn on you in a heartbeat. It's a classic love/hate relationship.
Persuasion in design is often regarded as a subset of UX, but it goes beyond UX and the mechanics of traditional usability. It’s about understanding the emotions that influence people’s behavior and decision-making, and then acting on that information to design compelling user interactions. Persuasive design applies psychological principles of influence, decision-making in a consumer context, engagement strategy, and social psychology to every stage of the design process, and it iden
In the last few years, American business has latched onto innovation as the goal of nearly all product development efforts. If we are to believe the business journals and popular magazines, innovation will be the single savior of all things outsourced, offshored, or commoditized.
Like many practitioners, my day-to-day to work involves facing situations in which I am unsure of what to do next. Clients and teams look to me for solutions, ideas, and methods that can help create great ideas and experiences. Every now and then I, like anyone else, struggle to remain fresh and creative. When I catch myself falling into a rut or back to approaches that I'm comfortable with, I try to challenge myself to do something different. As a good friend of mine says, "If you're stuck, try
Video games and book readers have shown that it is possible to create interfaces that promote engaging, immersive experiences even on the tiny screens of mobile devices. Many mobile games make the gameplay experience more immersive by removing all navigation and chrome. Typically, a single, specialized drop-down menu provides convenient access to navigation controls that are not directly involved in gameplay.