Writings

Dungeons, dragons, and design workshops

While hosting my first D&D campaign, I realized that hosting a tabletop game session is similar in many ways to facilitating a design workshop.

In Defense of Staircases

Sometimes we have to let go of rigid principles to meet the needs of all users. Many times, that requires making special accommodations for the different devices they have.

Heuristic #10: Error Handling

Error is so much a part of the Human Experience that we should plan a significant occurrence of it in our interfaces.

Heuristic #9: Clarity

Clarity, in interaction design, is when content and microcopy are concise and direct. Clarity makes users feel empowered.

Heuristic #8: Simplicity

I measure the simplicity of an experience by looking at the most complex parts of an experience and determining if any of it can be eliminated.

Heuristic #7: Affordance

Affordance is about letting the user know about how to successfully interact with your digital experience.

Heuristic #6: Legibility

Legibility is the simplest heuristic optimize for. Nevertheless, it is a common issue on many sites and apps.

Heuristic #5: Reactivity

Nobody wins awards for being ordinary, so break the mold, and break the rules a little bit! Make your interactive experiences noteworthy, but don't leave your users behind.

Don't miss your industry's Brexit

Do you know who your customers are and why they should vote for you? Learn how to apply lessons from from recent elections to improve your marketing.

Heuristic #4: Wayfinding

Wayfinding is a heuristic that gauges the ease of navigating an app. It's about telling the user where they are as well as how to get where they want to go.

Heuristic #3: Awareness

Awareness is all about how an experience uses the data it has to provide the user a better experience. It's also about taking data the user enters and using it for their benefit.

Heuristic #2: Aesthetics

The aesthetic quality of a web site or app is subjective. Yet, I use aesthetics as a key heuristic when evaluating these experiences. Find out how.

Heuristic #1: Accessibility

Accessibility is the first of the ten heuristics I use to evaluate digital user experiences. The reason it is number one because it is the baseline. It's table stakes. If your experience isn't accessible to your customers (including the disabled), at minimum you're leaving money on the table and may be opening yourself up for lawsuits.

Is your digital experience frictionless?

You've been live for a year or two. You’re receiving tepid app store reviews and customer feedback. You need an outside perspective to articulate issues with your UX.

Accessible Design: Raising the Tide

As a young designer of electronic interfaces, accessibility used to an afterthought. What I found out was that thinking of disabled people like second-class-citizens was at worst limiting civil liberties and at best merely leaving millions of dollars on the table for our competitors to swipe away.

Progressive Disclosure

When designing something with a lot of information that the user may not need to know all at once, you need progressive disclosure. Users see something and decide they want more information about it, or to see things related to it. So they “zoom in.”

UX Patterns for Adding To Cart

Any time a customer wants to buy something, they need to add it to their cart. But what happens when the user clicks that magical button?

Mobile Navigation Menus

Mobile navigation menu UX has been a hot topic the last few years. There are a couple of UX patterns that have emerged recently and some things that appear on their way out.

New Credit Card Form UX Patterns

Credit card forms are necessary to take payment online. They are one of the last necessary steps to completing a purchase, so it’s very important to get it right! These last few years, there have been several popular innovations in credit card form design.

Affording Horizontal Swipes on Touchscreens

With the increasing adoption rate of mobile devices, I have noticed that more and more apps and web sites utilize horizontal swipe gestures on touch screens to access different functionality. Of course, this interaction isn’t very helpful unless the user knows that it’s there.

Authentication UX: Gestures, Biometrics, and Multi-Factor Authentication

For a very long time, we have dreamed of ways to unlock things or gain entry where we don’t need to remember something or carry some kind of token. As computers get better and companies experiment with more powerful hardware and software, this dream edges closer and closer to reality.

Authentication UX Patterns – Passwords & PINs

On many web sites, one of the most-used features is the password reset tool. We UX'ers must design our applications to accommodate the failings of human memory, which is why the password reset function exists. But perhaps we should strive for something higher than the illusion of security at the expense of user experience. In this article, we are going to explore different methods of authenticating, and how human memory limitations collide with security requirements.

Creating User Patience with Loading Indicators

No matter how zippy we make our applications and sites, there will often be something that takes time to process. Loading indicators, often those swirly circle graphics like these , generally show up when something takes longer than a second or two to process.

The User Experience Design of Address Forms

If you've ever worked on a site that needs to process payments or mail something out to a physical address, you've encountered address forms. This post covers some innovations in address form design that show us that perhaps these forms need special attention.

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