May 27th, 2014

Forms: The Complete Guide—Part 4

Part 4: Selection-dependent Inputs

In which we take a look at selection-dependent inputs, and see that they’re a lot more simple to put together than they look. Forms. They’re often the bane of users’ online lives. But it doesn’t look like they’re going away any time soon. So its up to us, UX designers, to make them as smooth…

I can draw. I went to art school. I studied painting until I fell out with the abstract expressionists and switched to photography. But I can draw. What I cannot do is diagram. I always wanted to. I have models in my head all the time of how things work. But when it comes time…

“Above all else show the data.” –Edward Tufte Survey responses. Product reviews. Keyword searches. Forums. As UX practitioners, we commonly scour troves of qualitative data for customer insight. But can we go faster than line-by-line analysis? Moreover, how can we provide semantic analysis to project stakeholders? Enter Wordle. If you haven’t played with it yet,…

April 22nd, 2014

Forms: The Complete Guide–Part 3

Part 3: Grouping and inline help

Forms are important—they’re the most common way to get information from our users. But just making wireframes of a form misses a big piece of the picture—what it’s like to interact with it. An HTML prototype of a form, on the other hand, can look and behave just like the real thing. In the first…

April 15th, 2014

Reorgs: Rocky or Righteous?

Designing the experience of company transition

As designers, we grapple every day with challenging projects. This of course is part of what keeps us coming back. Some challenges, although not directly related to project work, can still be looked at through a UX lens. In this case, I’m talking about a phenomenon you’re likely familiar with: company reorganization. If you’ve been…

March 25th, 2014

Forms: The Complete Guide–Part 2

Part 2: Input types

Forms are one of the most important parts of any site or app—they are the most common way for our users to give us the information that we need to help them do what they want to do. But in many instances, we design forms statically, often as wireframes. But so often, what makes or…

March 18th, 2014

Ending the UX Designer Drought

Part 1: A New Apprenticeship Architecture

The user experience design field is booming. We’re making an impact, our community is vibrant, and everyone has a job. And that’s the problem. A quick search for “user experience” on indeed.com reveals over 5,000 jobs posted in the last 15 days (as of March 15, 2014) in the United States alone! Simple math turns…

So you want to extend your website’s account management features to mobile devices. Well you’re not alone; most major websites today have cross-platform accounts and profiles that make for a more engaging and cohesive user experience. And many sites enable account management features on mobile devices. After all, you want people to be able to…

February 25th, 2014

Siri, Chess, and Prostheses

A story about a game, a bit of magic, and human thought.

Intelligent machines. There was a time when the mere mention of artificial intelligence was wrapped in constant debate and triggered images of Hollywood-crafted products, like Hal 9000. The concept itself is quite controversial; it challenges human thought as Darwin once challenged human origins. But we moved on, and now we carry these intelligent machines in…

The following is a composite of experiences I’ve had in the last year when talking with startups. Some dialog is paraphrased, some is verbatim, but I’ve tried to keep it as true as possible and not skew it towards anyone’s advantage or disadvantage. As professionals in the user-centered design world, we are trained and inclined…

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