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Lessons We Learned from Our Biggest UX and Design Mistakes

Lessons We Learned from Our Biggest UX and Design Mistakes
We’ve finally hit the 500,000-user mark at Buffer, a product that helps you share on your social media networks more efficiently. About two years ago when we started on our path to building Buffer, we knew we’d be meeting obstacles and making mistakes along the way. One of the main things we’ve kept in mind is that making mistakes is unavoidable and that if we choose to learn from them, they’ll be helpful in giving us good guidance on how to move forward more effectively. And I believe that it’s partly because of these mistakes that we were able to get to where we are today. The Experience That Shaped How We Build Our Product Before I discuss the biggest lessons we learned from some of our UX and design mistakes, I want to talk about one of our primary product development principles: "Validate first, code later" Let me tell you how this came about. A few minutes into his coding session, he realized that that wasn’t the way to go. So he tried something else. This is how we learned this lesson. Related:  App designUI/UX Design

Design Mistakes We Made in Our iPhone App This year at FreshBooks, we released our first iPhone app. Our company’s been around for almost 10 years, and this is truly our first new product since the launch of our cloud accounting web application. We treated the development of our iPhone app like a blank canvas where we could apply some of our team’s most recent design principles. We also wanted to reinforce the lessons we’ve learned during the development our product. But ultimately, the creation of our official iPhone app was an opportunity for us to learn and grow. Making Mistakes is OK Getting things wrong is inevitable when designing a complex user experience like a mobile app. As logical as your wireframes may seem, or as beautiful as your mock-ups may look, some of your designs are going to fail when you put them in front of customers. And, believe it or not, that’s a really, really great thing. When we designed the FreshBooks iPhone app, we embraced failure as part of our design process. iPhone Home Screen How We Got It Wrong

80 Creative Logo Designs For Your Inspiration They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and that is definitely true when it come logo design. A well-thought logo design can effectively use a simple icon to leave a deep enough impression for the public. Most logos communicate ideas to people, for instance the kind of quality services a company can provide for its customers. A memorable logo is always a plus if one wants to ensure first-time visitors to their websites will return in future. While there’s no easy answer as to what kind of logo design is the most effective and impressionable, it is probably intuitive to assume that creatively designed logos are more likely to stand out. However, that does not necessary mean that a logo has to be very elaborated. Here is a compilation of 80 creative logos of different variety, all categorized under these groups: Wordmark, Symbolic, and Combined mark. Wordmarks Symbolic, Iconic & Combine Mark

Transitional Interfaces Designers love to sweat the details. Much time is spent pixel-fucking buttons, form styles, setting type, & getting those icons as sharp as a tack. A+, great job, don't stop you guys. ...but there's little consideration about how it all fits together outside of a static comp. Oh, ok sweet. How? Folks keep throwing around the word “delight” when referring to animation and cute interactions. Animation leverages an overlooked dimension — time! Let's take a look at some simple ideas: Easing/cushioning In traditional animation, a breakdown determines how a mass moves from Point A to Point B.

Improving UX with Customer Journey Maps By Jacek Samsel The necessity of providing user satisfaction on every key touchpoint in your business is critical to your success. The issue, however, is identifying those crucial touchpoints. Customer journey maps could be an incredibly helpful solution in this area. Borrowing from Service Design Service design is an activity performed in the marketing and management departments of businesses. In the context of website production, the closest analogy would be user experience design (UX). In a nutshell, service design involves providing or creating positive feelings for customers while they are using the designed service (product), with the focus on the interactions that take place in a variety of channels (which encompasses both the online and offline world). A well-designed website is not enough when the customer’s visit to your brick-and-mortar physical store is an unpleasant experience, or when her tech support call was not satisfactory. What are Touchpoints? The Problem to Solve Tips:

This Summer's Best Logo Designs - 40 Logos Normally, summer is a time for vacation but somebody still has to work and that’s an opinion that some designers share with me. The proof for that lies in this article with 40 great logos, probably the best that appeared in these last months. Creation Rubens Nuts Jaguar Pale Ale enigma Nacho Macho Starr Gardens Macho grill Parallax Effects Soverinn Vital Imaging By Award Logohype Aqua Style Lion Bird Tort Silfver Creations Serenity Stingmaster Baby Online Ypsilon Royal theater 5R Construction hoo giraffeo Blue Mountain Electric DesignTent Lyric omniscient Northridge Homes Guitarshop Airtistic Bones Type Fetcher Browsera Xavier Fence artlovers Zerowork Daily Jazz You must check these past articles if you haven’t seen them already:

Invisible animation There’s no doubt that animating user interfaces is a rising trend. Risen enough that the emphasis is often put on the animation itself, rather than on improving the user experience through subtle and functional animation. Pasquale D’Silva gave some good advice in his talk at Web Direction South in 2013, including: Good animation is invisible.You shouldn’t notice that you’re looking at animation. It’s great advice that we — the team behind Campaign Monitor’s email builder — have been trying to apply with a few principles in mind: animation must improve the usability, feel natural and subtle, and give feedback to the user. Having spent the last year working on the email builder, I’ve learned that animation on the web — as opposed to native apps — comes with many challenges that go beyond finding the right timing, spacing, poses or easing. Add layout drop-down When users press the “Add layout” button, the layout drop-down fades in and comes from the button itself. Sidebar accordion

5 Simple Tips for Designing Better iPhone Apps As users shop the Apple App Store looking for new apps to buy, they judge their potential purchases based on design. We’re told early on in life not to judge a book by its cover, but without a way to trial an app, screenshots are one of the few ways a user can judge the quality of it. Since it’s not possible for someone to judge ease-of-use (usability) or code-quality just by browsing the App Store, judging entirely based on design makes sense, and so apps with better design tend to be chosen more often when compared with competing apps. So how can we design better apps? Well, I’m glad you asked. I’ll discuss five simple tips that will help. 1. When we talk about an app’s design, we’re talking about two main components. Experience design is all about the goals of the app, such as which features to include, and how the user will accomplish those goals. The user interface design is what that experience looks like visually. Image source: MOObileFrames 2. 3. 4. 5. Related Content About the Author

Planning And Implementing Website Navigation Advertisement The thing that makes navigation difficult to work with in Web design is that it can be so versatile. Navigation can be simple or complex: a few main pages or a multi-level architecture; one set of content for logged-in users and another for logged-out users; and so on. Because navigation can vary so much between websites, there are no set guidelines or how-to’s for organizing navigation. Designing navigation is an art in itself, and designers become better at it with experience. It’s all about using good information architecture: “the art of expressing a model or concept of information used in activities that require explicit details of complex systems.” Organizing Navigation Structure Perhaps the most difficult part about navigation on the Web is organizing and designing it. Primary vs. Most websites, especially those with a lot of content or functionality, need navigation menus. 1SpeckyBoy2 Primary navigation stands for the content that most users are interested in.

The anatomy of a credit card form — User Experience Design (UX) Paying for something online with a credit card is simple, right? Yes and no. Yes, because we’ve been doing it since the early days of the Internet (e.g. Amazon), and no, because no two credit card forms are alike. Over the past 20 years, we’ve built a mental model of paying online: I pull out a credit card from my wallet, enter the card details into a web form, and click a submit button. Paying for something online is still 2–3x clunkier than paying in-person. Online, we’re getting closer. But before credit card forms become a thing of the past, we still have the present-day task of adding clarity, simplicity, and security to the credit card form. At Wave, our Invoice product enables business owners to create and send invoices to their customers, and to have those invoices paid via credit card. Our goal was to make sense of all the various inputs and questions a user may have, including: What payment cards are accepted? But, where do you place the logos on a web form? Nuts, right?

Mobile UI Design Patterns: 10+ Sites for Inspiration By Jacob Gube User interface design patterns are solutions to common design challenges, such as navigating around an app, listing data or providing feedback to users. Mobile apps and sites have unique UI design requirements because, compared to their desktop counterparts, they’re used in smaller screens and, at least with today’s modern mobile devices, rely on fingers instead of a keyboard and mouse as input mechanisms. Whether you’re designing a mobile app UI for the first time or in need of specific design solutions, these mobile UI design pattern resources will surely help! 1. Mobile UI Patterns is a great site to visit to see common mobile UI design patterns such as activity feeds and notifications. 2. Inspired UI is an excellent mobile UI design pattern gallery with over 1,000 screenshots of real mobile apps. 3. lovely ui 4. This design pattern gallery is a supplement to UX designer Theresa Neil’s mobile design pattern book published by O’Reilly Media. 5. pttrns 6. 8. 9. android pttrns

Best 20 webfonts from Google Web Fonts and @font-face embedding At the moment there are several ways to use non-system fonts on a website. We will focus on the two least complicated, least expensive systems, Google Web Fonts and the @font-face rule. Fear not, we have not ruled out other paid methods such as Typekit, Web Fonts, Fontdeck, Webtype, WebINK or Fontspring for future posts as they certainly offer high quality typefaces and deserve to be considered. Basically, there are two implementation models: 1. 2. Web font embedding services Google Web Fonts (GWF) or Typekit are systems which allow the use of fonts hosted on their servers. Implementation It really is quick and simple: 1. 2. 3. Here you can consult a extended manual for styles, script subsets, and using multiple fonts. Top recommended fonts from Google Web Fonts You will find many unfavorable reviews about the quality of GWF’s fonts and the amateur nature of many typefaces. Open Sans Josefin Slab Arvo Lato Vollkorn Abril Fatface Ubuntu PT Sans + PT Serif Old Standard TT Droid Sans

Responsive Design: Why and how we ditched the good old select element How rethinking the way users make complex selections across devices completely changed our design. We’ve all seen this and know what it does: It’s the HTML select element. The invention of select dates back to 1995 with the introduction of the HTML 2.0 specification. Good things first By using the select element it’s a no-brainer to create a list of selectable options. So why not just use it? At Tradeshift we’ve been working a few months on some soon-to-be-released updates for our user interface. Presenting option lists to users is most easily done by using checkboxes, radio buttons and by using select. The number of selectable options we have is often counted in hundreds which makes the standard select element hard to navigate.Example: When specifying the unit type on an invoice line, the complete list contains hundreds of possible units. So what can we do now that the cookie cutter solution does not make the cut? The solution

Navigation Drawer Developer Docs Creating a Navigation Drawer The navigation drawer is a panel that transitions in from the left edge of the screen and displays the app’s main navigation options. Displaying the navigation drawer The user can bring the navigation drawer onto the screen by swiping from the left edge of the screen or by touching the application icon on the action bar. As the navigation drawer expands, it overlays the content but not the action bar. The user can open the drawer panel by touching the navigation drawer indicator. Because they are transient, navigation drawers make views less cluttered. Open the drawer from anywhere in your app by swiping from the left edge of the screen. Dismissing the navigation drawer When the navigation drawer is expanded, the user can dismiss it in one of four ways: Touching the content outside the navigation drawer Swiping to the left anywhere on the screen (including edge swipe from right) Touching the app icon/title in the action bar Pressing Back Actions Style

Developing an Effective Logo Design Brief This post was written with the client in mind, however may also prove to be a useful resource for other designers. To develop an effective brand identity for your business it is essential that you are proactively involved in the process from the start. A designer can’t possibly hope to design an effective logo without your input, which is why the very first step in a logo design process should always be the development of a detailed design brief. The risk of not completing a detailed brief is the possibility that your organisation ends up with a half-baked identity, that is not representative of who you are. While the brief does not completely mitigate that risk – it at least provides a solid platform to work from, and ensures that both you and the designer are on the same page. Inside the Design Brief Below I have outlined some of the questions you can expect to be included in a typical design brief, along with some advice to help you get prepared. Company Profile Related Sample Questions: