Resources Around Data Visualization

Lauren Cramer

September 29th, 2014

Data visualization resources to help in your designs

It’s difficult to take a large amount of data and turn it into a design that’s easy for anyone to understand. Figuring out what patterns to look for, when to use static versus interaction patterns, and how shapes, overlaps and colors are used, are key elements when designing for data visualization.

Resources from UX experts

Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Podcast: Deciphering Data through Design

In this podcast with Jared Spool, Stephen outlines what he calls the 7 Problems of Understanding. These range from problems of comprehension to problems of discovery and more. Each of these problems is usually brought about by a design or display decision.
Transcript to the podcast

Noah Iliinsky

Noah Iliinsky

Podcast: The Power of Data Visualizations

A common trap in designing data visualizations is focusing on all the different ways to represent the data, rather than the questions that the data should answer. The presentation of a data set is pointless if it’s not useful, usable, or if people can’t understand it.
Transcript to the podcast

Brian Suda

Brian Suda

Article: The Top 20 Data Visualization Tools

One of the most common questions I get asked is how to get started with data visualizations. Beyond following blogs, you need to practise – and to practise, you need to understand the tools available. In this article, I want to introduce you to 20 different tools for creating visualizations: from simple charts to complex graphs, maps and infographics.

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Daylong workshop

Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Designing for Understanding

Spend a day with Stephen Anderson at the User Interface 19 Conference, October 27-29, 2014 in Boston. He’ll show you how to wrangle information and display it in a way to help users make informed decisions. Identify different learning patterns and content themes before jumping to visuals. Explore Stephen’s workshop

UIEtips: Execution is Everything

Jared Spool

September 24th, 2014

There are thousands of good ideas thrown about daily, but to execute just one good idea takes considerable effort. It requires that a team stays focused and in tune with the goal. It requires a system for execution – OKRs. That’s what Christina Wodtke brings in this week’s article.

After we first heard Christina talk about OKRs for goal setting, we started to take action using her ideas. Now you too can get in on a great way to outline your goal setting. Our next UIE Virtual Seminar features Christina on Mapping Your Success with Objectives and Key Results, Tuesday October 7.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I almost never hear a new idea. In fact, it’s rare I hear an idea I haven’t thought of myself, unless it’s in an industry I’m unfamiliar with. It’s not because I’m a genius (I’m not). It’s that ideas are easier to come up with than you think. What’s hard — really hard— is moving from an idea to a reality. It’s hard to find the right form of an idea, a form that will let consumers see its value, understand how to interact with it, and feel excited enough to pay for it.

Read the article: Execution is Everything.

Have you taken any ideas from concept to reality? Leave us a note below.

Jim Kalbach – Identifying a UX Design Strategy

Sean Carmichael

September 19th, 2014

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[ Transcript Available ]

Jim Kalbach

The concept of strategy can be fuzzy at best. And the word strategy tends to hold a different meaning depending on who you’re talking to. Jim Kalbach says that strategy needs to show causality. He defines it as a hypothesis of a desired position, and a belief about how you’re going to succeed and overcome challenges.

In his virtual seminar, Defining a UX Design Strategy, Jim details the elements of strategy. He shares this in the form of his UX Strategy Blueprint a tool he uses to explore and generate strategies in his own work. Jim fielded a lot of questions from the audience during the seminar. He joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast.

  • How does UX strategy differ from product strategy?
  • Can this be applied at the product level or is this just a byproduct of the process?
  • Can UX designers become strategists?
  • What does “upward alignment” mean in the strategy hierarchy?
  • Is UX strategy independent of business of product strategy?

Recorded: September, 2014
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UIEtips: Selecting Typefaces for Body Text

Jared Spool

September 17th, 2014

Choosing the body content font type for your web site is no easy task. With so many choices, how do you know if what you have is the most eye catching, aesthetically pleasing, and meets accessibility standards? Tim Brown to the rescue with today’s UIEtips article, Selecting Typefaces for Body Text.

If you’ve ever wished you could confidently stand behind your typeface choices, critique designs, and fix existing typography problems, Tim’s workshop, Designing with Type is calling for you at the User Interface Conference in Boston October 27-29.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Reevaluate your decisions about shape sturdiness, color evenness, and texture activity in every context you care about, wherever your typeset text may live. Sturdy shapes that look fine at low resolution may look clunky at high resolution. Color and texture that seem even and active on a Mac may not feel the same on an Android tablet.

Read the article: Selecting Typefaces for Body Text.

What are the traits of some of your favorite typefaces? Leave us a note below.

Resources around Typography

Lauren Cramer

September 17th, 2014

Typography resources to help in your designs

You know that feeling when you look at a web site and think everything looks just right? It flows well, there’s a nice balance of white space, and it’s easy on to the eyes. Perhaps you may not realize it but it’s likely that the type plays a dominant role.

Resources from UI19 speakers

Tim Brown

Tim Brown

Podcast: Helvetica is the Neue Black

When you break down written language, it’s really just a carefully crafted set of tiny symbols. The shape, readability, and size of these symbols are all factors in effectively communicating ideas. In essence, typography itself is more than just picking a font.

Jared Spool

Jared Spool

Article: Developing a Right Feeling for Designing with Type

Few things put as much combined fear and excitement into the heart of a designer than the prospect of a project requiring a new typeface. It’s exciting to be tackling something new. Yet the complexity of getting the right type for the design can be downright terrifying.

Tim Brown

A daylong workshop on designing with type

If you’ve ever wished you could confidently stand behind your typeface choices, critique designs, and fix existing typography problems, Tim’s workshop is calling for you. Explore Tim’s workshop and join us at the UI19 Conference in Boston October 27-29.

More on Typography

Richard Rutter

Richard Rutter

Typography in Responsive Design

In a follow up to Richard’s virtual seminar, Richard discusses additional best practices for typography when having to adapt your designs for multiple devices and browsers.

UIEtips: How Agile UX Can Be a Cost Effective Approach

Jared Spool

September 9th, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips, we reprint an article from Jared Spool. In it, he shares ideas on getting low-cost iterations into your Agile development process. Jared also makes the case that UX-focused design is a team sport.

If you’re looking for more on tying UX design and your Agile process together, then you’re going to want to join us on September 18, when Aviva Rosenstein presents our next virtual seminar, Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

It’s tempting to let those UX-focused design team members do this early work while the rest of the team goes off and does other activities. However, the biggest value from these early iterations comes from the discussions and insights that emerge. The most successful teams involve everyone who will influence the eventual design—including developers and stakeholders—in their design studios and paper prototyping activities.

Read the article: Cost Effective Approaches to Iteration in Agile UX.

What techniques are you using to reduce the costs of iteration for your team? Leave us a note below.

Making UX Work with Agile Scrum Teams – Our September 18 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

September 5th, 2014

Where does UX design fit into sprints? How do companies let go of Waterfall methodology? If you’re struggling to confidently and clearly answer either of these questions, then it’s time to register for Aviva Rosenstein’s seminar.

You’ll learn how to clarify roles and responsibilities, and more effectively track and estimate UX work. You’ll also hear case studies of companies that brought teams together to work more collaboratively, iteratively, and harmoniously in an Ag⁠ile process.

  • Learn from teams who’ve “been there, done that”
  • Increase the value of UX in your organization
  • Get scrum teams involved in UX

If your team could benefit from Aviva’s seminar, join us on September 18.

 

Bruce McCarthy – Product Management Meets UX

Sean Carmichael

September 4th, 2014

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[ Transcript Available ]

Bruce McCarthy

Product roadmaps are a useful tool for managers and the development they oversee. Usability testing and research informs user experience decisions. Both of these goals, in the end, benefit the users. So why can’t your process contribute to both of these goals?

Bruce McCarthy, through his years of experience, has developed a methodology to get the product and UX teams working in concert. Using clickable prototypes and mockups lets the product team prioritize their roadmap and the UX team get early feedback. This creates an environment to inform the design without committing a lot of time and resources to it. With both teams validating their assumptions you can arrive at the right path faster.

Bruce received a lot of questions during his seminar, Lean Roadmapping: Where Product Management and UX Meet. He joins Adam Churchill to address some of those in this podcast.

  • How do you handle disagreements on what should be prioritized?
  • Should you have separate road maps for product development and higher level management?
  • When is it ok to use a lower fidelity prototype?
  • How do you find interview participants for your research?
  • What approach do you take to sifting through the data you collect?
  • How can you be confident when showing the design to only a small number of people?
  • How does this process apply to a more mature product versus an MVP?

Recorded: July, 2014
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Improve Your Mobile Design Skills with Luke Wroblewski

Lauren Cramer

September 3rd, 2014

Luke Provides the Latest Mobile Insights and Design Considerations

If you’re looking for ways to update existing mobile designs and rock future ones, then listen up to what Luke Wroblewski has to share.

Why Mobile Techniques Matter

  • Conversions: define problems and optimize for the job
  • Influence: sound arguments and data that inform decision-making
  • Engagement: prioritize and help users get things done

Luke Wroblewski

As one of mobile designs leading authorities, Luke Wroblewski will change the way you approach mobile-first. He’ll share practical implementation methods at his full-day workshop, Mobile Design Essentials, on October 27 at UI19 in Boston.

There you’ll learn to:

  • Simplify interfaces without dumbing them down
  • Use different organizational techniques for navigation systems
  • Validate user inputs in-line and in-context
  • Deal with sensitive inputs and manage input masks

As someone championing mobile-design first, Luke is the person to hear from. Get ready to learn an informed, balanced approach from the best teacher in the industry.

Learn more about Luke’s workshop

UIEtips: Mobile as Medium — an Interview with Luke Wroblewski

Jared Spool

September 3rd, 2014

Life would be so simple if all you had to do was reuse your existing website design for mobile devices. Well if you are doing that, you’re making a serious mistake. Today’s article is an excerpt from an interview that Jared Spool had with Luke Wroblewski back in June where they discuss the dangers of not designing for mobile.

We’re excited to have Luke Wroblewski do a daylong workshop on Mobile Design Essentials at this year’s UI19 Conference on October 27. Discover how this workshop will change your thinking.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

You start with the mobile experience. You make sure everything is great for that form factor, entering phone numbers and the like. What you’ll also find is, if you make it work well in the more constrained mobile environment, then it’s actually going to be a benefit on the bigger screen as well.

Read the article: Mobile as Medium–an Interview with Luke Wroblewski.

What considerations do you make when designing for mobile? Leave us a note below.