Design Principles

Governments hire thousands of employees and spend millions of dollars on contractors to design, build, and operate websites. Chances are good that you will have some exposure to government work, and therefore, some exposure to the politics of user experience.

What happens when web designers really “get” designing for the web? Sarah Horton, co-author of the Web Style Guide, ponders the meaning of beauty and quality in the context of being a good web designer.

The world of mobile phones is a jungle of technologies with few established standards that, in some ways, resembles the early days of personal computing. Here the author presents an impressionistic landscape of this world, a glimpse of the near future, and thoughts on what it might mean for IAs.

S.R. Ranganathan was the greatest librarian of the 20th Century. His ideas influenced every aspect of library science, yet, as impressive as his accomplishments were, Ranganathan didn’t start out with the intention of becoming a librarian at all.

At this point in experience design’s evolution, satisfaction ought to be the norm, and delight ought to be the goal. As design professionals, how do we create opportunities for customer delight?

As computers and digital devices increasingly insert themselves into our lives, they do so on an ever increasing social level. Designers need to understand the context of use and include the whole of a user’s experience into the solution when creating a computer interface.

“Experience design” doesn’t just apply to online design. Paco Underhill’s “Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping” explores customer experience and consumer behavior as they affect retail and offline environments and in turn provides dozens of lessons for those in web development.

It doesn’t replace information architecture. And it’s really not a school or brand of information architecture. Findability is about recognizing that we live in a multi-dimensional world, and deciding to explore new facets that cut across traditional boundaries.

Several orienteering strategies – including map simplification and contact, navigating by checkpoints, rough and precise map reading, and using attack points to find the goal – have useful IA parallels. Gene Smith explores how IAs can learn from these parallel techniques and create digital spaces that are easier to navigate.

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