September 23, 2013

Lean UX: Why It Can Fail So Miserably

Lean UX has definitely been a fashionable word within the UX world in 2012 and 2013. But like anything that quickly becomes a buzzword, it can often become misunderstood and translated into something completely different. I am not claiming to be an expert of Lean UX, but have seen environments where these tools have thrived but have also seen them fail. – Read More –

September 23, 2013

A UX Design Process without Technology

One of the skills I’ve found to work well in the realm of user experience, is not using technology to help in the UX design process. It seems a little counter-intuitive, as at the heart of our trade is the use of technology. But if we reframe our design thinking without the constraints of our technology-based tools for design, we’ll end up focusing more on the real issues and pain points people have with the technology we end up making. I’ve distilled the essence of these thoughts below. – Read More –

September 19, 2013

The Mini-Cart: the First Step to Online Conversion

As online shoppers, we’re all guilty of the behavior that retailers dread: as we shop, we add items to our cart, and then remove anything we decide is unnecessary or less desirable at the last second before checkout (or worse, we’re comparison shopping in another browser tab, and abandon our session to complete our transaction elsewhere). Usually, this last-second down-sizing of our purchase is to keep our checkout total price within an amount we deemed acceptable prior to beginning our shopping session. The mini-cart has become the best practice in shopping to allow the user to keep track of what they’re buying, and how much they’re spending. – Read More –

September 18, 2013

Why Everyone Should Learn to Prototype

After watching the creative teams for my Agency Clients struggle with the conversion from print to digital, I think it’s time for some radical new rules for the entire creative and account teams.

Some agencies are still clinging to the print processes that made them lots of money in the past, but that print-based project work is going away, or at least it will never be the cash cow it once was. The entire workflow is still based on the familiar print process of high fidelity comps, giant printouts, and bloated job jackets migrating around the building. It would make Mad Men proud. – Read More –

September 11, 2013

How to motivate people to take action

The art and science of influencing buying decisions

How do we screw up website content so badly? What are we forgetting that causes websites to fail miserably as sales and marketing support tools?

The assumption in this post is that we are attempting to motivate people to take action – a particular action that we want them to take. It is just that simple. More specifically, we want them to buy something – from us. I am going to explore a few things that many sales people, marketers, and content providers fail to understand and fail to use to their advantage. – Read More –

September 10, 2013

Learn jQuery and bring your UX to life

Most of web technologies are full of buzzwords which are not always properly defined.  This also applies to user interaction, user experience (UI/UX) design.  I would think it is clear and common sense, however it is not to many people.  One shocking moment I remember at a hackathon was meeting graphic designers that say they do UI/UX.  When I asked them about that, they didn’t even know the differences between CSS and JavaScript.  You really should know the basics such as HTML and CSS so you can at least communicate your ideas.  To briefly explain: HTML represents the content, CSS represents the styles, and JavaScript the actions/behaviors.  Furthermore if you are all about “interaction”, you need to know JavaScript.  Should you want to transition from web design into development so you can make your graphics interactive, this becomes a challenging task. – Read More –

September 3, 2013

Selecting Color: Don’t Ruin a Shopping Experience

When we’re shopping online, selecting color is a user experience that most frequent online shoppers take for granted. That’s because selecting color has traditionally been presented to users on common commerce platforms, in a very straightforward manner. Color swatch, color name, and sample image all correlate, making adding the color of the product you want, a total no-brainer. However, these days as retailers struggle to set their online store experience apart from competitors, particularly in cases where a brand may also sell their line on stores like Saks.com or Shopbop.com, I’ve noticed that the basics of the product detail page user experience are muddled. Whenever redesigning a retail experience, it’s really important to make sure the user understands exactly what they’re adding to the cart. A high conversion rate isn’t as impressive if it’s accompanied by a high rate of online returns (unless Try & Buy is your commerce strategy and you’re OK with a lot of online returns, but that’s a topic for another blog post).

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September 3, 2013

Treat your UX like water

A short while ago, I found myself in a familiar situation – a big solution decision in a big company has to be made; technology sets the tone and UX (coming in second…) has to provide a sound reasoning that people understand and relate to.

We’ve all been there before, right?! Development teams are mostly very accurate and quantitative while UX is mostly on the higher planes of essence and seem to require the persuasive skills of a good lawyer to convince the crowd.

The question was – “With our first iPhone mobile application – should we go native or HTML5?”

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September 3, 2013

Manufacturing UX: Eames + Ikea = The Ikeames Philosophy

When we look at the basic nature of web design and the creation of a consistent, usable, organized site, often times our assignment can be a bit like cramming a lot into one little space. We’re not alone. Every industry is challenged to prioritize and simplify. I started to think of my favorite designers and companies that have done a great job of providing quality experiences to the masses, while also designing things with interesting form and function. While I’m sure this isn’t the most ground breaking of ideas, I think there is some merit as to what we give to a user and providing elegant design functions.

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August 27, 2013

Why a dazzling User Interface can cause failure

I have discovered that I may have lost work to more dazzling portfolios. This concerns me, but not at the potential loss of work. It concerns me because the people hiring UX designers are often looking for “rock-star” portfolios. I won’t even get into the fact that “rock-star” implies to me: ego that exceeds talent, focus on the irrelevant or unimportant  areas of strength, and the idea that being great at one thing presumes that talent automatically spills into another area (particularly one that seems unrelated or tangential at best.) The focus has become more about visual, marketing and sales impact at the cost of a good user experience. – Read More –

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