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Brain Sparks

Brain Sparks
New Dates for UX Advantage: August 18-19 By Jared Spool April 30th, 2015 We’re changing the dates of UX Advantage to August 18 & 19. We love Baltimore. In light of what’s happening in Baltimore, we don’t think it’s right promoting this event at this time. Baltimore is a great city and we want to do an event there. Jared and Karen UIEtips: Extraordinarily Radical Redesign Strategies April 29th, 2015 In today’s UIEtips, we reprint an article on radical redesign strategies. Here’s an excerpt from the article: The day they flipped the switch and launched the new site, sales dropped by 20%. Read the article Extraordinarily Radical Redesign Strategies. What strategy have you put in place when planning a redesign? Rachel Nabors – Using Animation to Enhance Your UX By Sean Carmichael April 22nd, 2015 Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 18:23 — 9.6MB) [ Transcript Available ] Animation in interfaces has traditionally been seen as purely decorative and unnecessary. Read the rest of this entry »

Boxes and Arrows: The design behind the design Explore the Book » Designing Web Interfaces All of the examples from the book are available on our companion flickr site. Below are the six design principles that organize the design patterns and best practices found in the book. As Alan Cooper states: "Where there is output, let there be input." This is the principle of direct manipulation. For example, instead of going to a separate page to edit content it can be done inline, directly in the context of the page. It's about keeping a light footprint. The page refresh is generally disruptive to the user’s mental flow. Discoverability is one of the primary challenges for rich interaction on the Web. Animations, cinematic effects, and various other types of visual transitions can be powerful techniques to enhance engagement and communication. A responsive interface is an intelligent interface. Chapter 1. Single Field Inline Edit Editing a single line of text in-context. Multi-Field Inline Edit Editing more complex information in-context. Overlay Edit Editing in an overlay panel. Table Edit

Design Meets Research: Gain: AIGA Journal of Business and Design Article by Debbie Millman & Mike BainbridgeFebruary 22, 2008 True story. At Sterling Brands in New York, we have a wonderful cleaning woman named Marta who comes to the office every night around seven o'clock to clean the place up. Most designers have been in this type of situation—whether our client wants to get the opinion of a lovely cleaning woman, a dogwalker, a mother-in-law or an executive assistant. A consumer drawing from market research representing Target. What our clients are seeking in today's incredibly competitive marketplace is some sense of safety—an insurance policy of sorts—a “gee, if Marta likes this design, it must be good” mentality to create a sense of confidence that the direction being taken with a new design is indeed a correct and meaningful choice. But unfortunately, it isn't quite as easy as this. Ford's commentary during the infancy of market research foreshadowed a sentiment about the discipline that is still very much an active one. Ethnographic Research

Usability - Smashing Magazine Product findability is key to any e-commerce business — after all, if customers can’t find a product, they can’t buy it. Therefore, at Baymard Institute, we invested eight months conducting a large-scale usability research study on the product-finding experience. We set out to explore how users navigate, find and select products on e-commerce websites, using the home page and category navigation. The one-on-one usability testing was conducted following the “think aloud” protocol, and we tested the following websites: Amazon, Best Buy, Blue Nile, Chemist Direct,, eBags, GILT, GoOutdoors, H&M, IKEA, Macy’s, Newegg, Pixmania, Pottery Barn, REI, Tesco, Toys’R’Us, The Entertainer, and Zappos.

Where The Rants Go By Zed A. Shaw : There was a one character bug in this, you should update. I absolutely hate CSS. It has to be the most inconsistent, poorly designed, bat shit fucking crazy piece of computing technology we have today. My first problem with CSS is simply that it just never does what you tell it to. I would die without Firebug to help me figure out why CSS is doing whatever the hell it's doing. It's so inconsistent, not based on any specific algorithmic theory, has no mental model a mere mortal can understand, uses dated terminology only a print designer from the 1500's comprehends, and just generally pisses off my sense of right and order in the world. Let's not even begin to talk about how it defies all of computing for the last 50 years by not having variables. Seriously, in 20 years, when the world looks back on us, they'll wonder why the fuck we struggled for decades with something so fucking weird. I'm going to share this secret with you as my attempt to recover order in the world.

UX Booth: User Experience & Usability Blog UXmatters :: Insights and inspiration for the user experience community Creating Passionate Users My Favorite Graphs... and the future This blog has always been about optimism, creating better user experiences, helping users spend more time in flow, and learning. There are 405 posts here. More importantly, there are nearly 10,000 comments from y'all that add so much more to the topics, and from which myself and others have learned a great deal. I don't want the last thing people remember about this blog to be The Bad Things. So, I've moved my original "threats" post--something many people find very difficult to look at-- to a different web page -- rather than keeping it as a post here. But I want the thing people see when they come here now to reflect what this blog has always been about, so I'm including a few of my favorite pictures from the last two years here. I made no money from this blog -- it was always a labor of love. That leaves me with... what to do next? 1) Get a real job doing this, so that I can continue with the same kind of work, but without raising my own visibility.

UsableMarkets — markets, design, usability, research UsabilityPost Encyclopedia of Usability, HCI, and more I only have one big research question, but I attack it from a lot of different angles. The question is representation. How do people make, see and use things that carry meaning? The angles from which I attack my question include various ways in which representations are applied (including design processes, interacting with technology, computer programming, visualisation), various methods by which I collect research data (including controlled experiments, prototype construction, ethnographic observation), and the theoretical perspectives of various academic disciplines (including computer science, cognitive psychology, engineering, architecture, music, anthropology). I only have one big research question, but I attack it from a lot of different angles.