January 14, 2014

Five Second Tests: Avoiding the Non-Response when Using Online Tools

The main selling point of the five second test method, and of using online tools such as, is that you can get specific feedback about a design quickly and fairly effortlessly. It is therefore very dispiriting to receive the results of a test and see multiple instances of empty or “I don’t know” responses. (Indeed, experience has shown that in crowdsourced tests, respondents are more than willing to communicate the “I don’t know” response in more creative ways.) Design and user experience research can be difficult to justify from a time and resource standpoint – results like this undercut the research effort and make the job that much more difficult. It is therefore critical that precautionary actions be taken to minimize the likelihood of “empty data,” so that the researcher has not wasted his/her time. – Read More –

November 4, 2013

Try Flat Design – You Might Like It

The latest buzz around the design ecosphere lately has been this concept called flat design. If this term is new to your vocabulary, it is a newer concept that on the surface asks the designer to rely upon a very simplistic visual design to accomplish the user experience design. One of the latest examples of flat design is the release of iOS7. Have you played with flat design yet?

For me, flat design has a much deeper meaning (which is why I personally like it) for the design team. Here’s my critique on what flat design brings to the table. – Read More –

October 10, 2013

The Five-Second Test: A Wealth of UX Data


The Five-Second test — also known as “timeout test,” “exposure test” and/or “memory test” — is one of the easiest and most convenient rapid testing methods available.  Displaying a visual or informational design for five seconds and asking what aspect(s) were recalled most easily or vividly can help pinpoint (a) what stands out most about a design or product, and (b) how the viewer’s perception of the overall design is impacted.

However, the method’s value can be compromised by ignoring its restrictions, and by designing the tests to encourage empty or unhelpful responses.  After participating in dozens of such tests using widely available unmoderated testing tools, I found myself giving far too many responses like “I have no way of knowing this” or “I cannot answer this after only 5 seconds of exposure” — and getting far too many similar responses to my own tests.

Convinced there was a better way, I set out to examine the method more closely — how it become an established UX method, how it has evolved in light of new technologies, and whether users are using the tools effectively. – 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 or, 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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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 –

September 12, 2009

Best of the Web Weekly Roundup: September 5–11

UX Basis: A UX Process and Toolbox

An incredibly useful resource for both UX folks and clients. We need to remember to educate as well as design. You can use web design services from 7Elements to help you with your site. UX Basis is way of combining the numerous tools available to us and forming a unified process that sits within a digital agency and it’s other important departments – creative, tech and client services. The beauty about the model is it is fully adaptive to any clients needs, can fit with tech’s agile process and incorporates creative and development at key stages in the creation process.
– Read More –

September 8, 2009

Wearable Technology, the next User Experience Frontier

With the explosion of mobile device usage, technology has never been as portable as it is today. But portability alone does not necessarily determine a productive and satisfying user experience.  Mobile devices are infamous for their poor usability and so looking at the emergence of wearable technology; I cannot but feel a little concerned. Not due to the technology itself, but because a similar situation could follow; technology defining the experience rather than design governing technology.  But before we consider what this means to us as designers, lets take a look at some wearable technology out there, and how it’s being applied. – Read More –

September 4, 2009

Best of the Web Weekly Roundup: Aug 29 – Sept 4

Wireframing Resources An excellent collection of wireframing how-to’s, tips, advice and resources. A great read for both Information Architects and anyone who works with IA’s. Audi Conversations Visualization Click on the “Conversations” link at the bottom of the page.  Here you’ll experience a social media visualization and aggregation of Audi related YouTube videos, Flickr Photos, – Read More –

August 13, 2009

The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today

Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience!

Using the Web can still be a very annoying experience!

We’ve come a long way on the web today. Or have we?  While we’ve innovated in many areas, we’ve also continued to disregard pre-existing issues. And in some cases, we have also created new ones. Here is my list of the top 65 most annoying things about the web today. They’re in no particular order, but I have organized them into what I consider core groups. – Read More –

July 15, 2009

Caution: 5 Common Usability Testing Mistakes to Avoid

Usability testing is not an easy thing to perfect. However, a good starting point is to identify where most mistakes are made throughout the process. And through this awareness, you should fine-tune your approaches to planning, moderation and analysis, in order to attain truly insightful findings. – Read More –

July 1, 2009

The 10 Commandents for Designing Less Evil Forms

Ah yes, the four-letter F word. Lets not beat around the bush here, we all hate the form. Well let me be more accurate with that statement. We all hate completing forms.  But as we go about our everyday lives on the web, we’re confronted by these annoying SOB’s relentlessly and mercilessly on every turn – Read More –

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