UIEtips: Here Are Eight of Our Favorite Articles from 2014

Jared Spool

December 23rd, 2014

Here Are Eight of Our Favorite Articles from 2014

Over the past year we published more than 50 articles. Here are 8 of our favorites in no particular order:

Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation

Ever wondered why no one knows the true business value of your content? That’s where content marketing comes into play, and Ahava Leibtag knows which techniques you can use to make it work across organizational silos.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Let’s address something important about content marketing. It isn’t really new. Communications professionals have been practicing some form of it for years, been doing it for years, using different parts of it, but never calling it content marketing (some people call it custom publishing, corporate journalism, brand journalism, branded media, brand content and inbound marketing).

Read the article Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation

 

Responsive Design for Apps

Jason Grigsby tackles the concept of responsive design for mobile apps. He looks at widgets for desktop and mobile and explores the idea if phones are really different platforms than tablets.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Any attempt to draw a line around a particular device class has as much permanence as a literal line in the sand. Pause for a moment and the line blurs. Look away and it will be gone.

Read the article Responsive Design for Apps

 

Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners

Jared Spool explores why content and design should be done hand-in-hand.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

We didn’t see the checkout process in that session. Later, during the session debriefing with the team, I asked if there was a refund policy. “Yup.” Why didn’t Search find it? Long pause. Finally, “because Search is for content and the refund policy isn’t content.

Read the article Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners

 

Customizing Help and Tips by Input Type

Luke Wroblewski discusses customizing inline help for today’s multi-device web.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Inline help is positioned where it’s most useful in an interface and made visible by default so people don’t have to do anything to reveal it. This makes it an effective way to tell people how to use an interface. But what happens when those instructions vary by input type?

Read the article Customizing Help and Tips by Input Type

 

Design’s Fully-Baked Deliverables and Half-Baked Artifacts

Jared Spool discusses two states of the design process: artifacts and deliverables.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The distinction between artifacts and deliverables is very important, yet something we never find ourselves discussing, just like the multiple states of cakes. If we create one when we think we’re creating the other, it will lead to confusion that wastes time and convolutes the team’s efforts. We need to understand how they work and what makes each one valuable.

Read the article Design’s Fully-Baked Deliverables and Half-Baked Artifacts

 

Lean Content

Steph Hay looks at content through the lean lens.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Let’s address something important about content marketing. It isn’t really new. Communications professionals have been practicing some form of it for years, been doing it for years, using different parts of it, but never calling it content marketing (some people call it custom publishing, corporate journalism, brand journalism, branded media, brand content and inbound marketing).

Read the article Lean Content

 

UX Strategy Blueprint

Jim Kalbach explains how to use the UX Strategy Blueprint.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Analysis and planning, while necessary inputs and outputs in the strategy creation process, are not the core of strategy. You can’t analyze your way to strategy: the answers don’t magically emerge from data. And detailed roadmaps don’t provide the rationale for the activity they organize. Strategy does. It connects analysis and planning with an intentional logic that guides decision making.

Read the article UX Strategy Blueprint

 

Beyond the UX Tipping Point

Jared Spool reveals the past, present, and future of the UX Tipping Point.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

For an organization to move beyond the UX Tipping Point, it must first become literate in user experience, then fluent in how to produce great experiences. This doesn’t happen all at once, it can take years.

Read the article Beyond the UX Tipping Point

 

Share Your Thoughts with Us

What was your biggest UX challenge in 2014? Tell us about it below.

Brad Frost – Building Design Systems from Atomic Elements Live!

Sean Carmichael

December 18th, 2014

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[ Transcript Available ]

Brad Frost

Have you seen style tiles, element collages, or pattern libraries? These are just a few examples of how designers are reacting to the explosion of devices and interface sizes.

After all, thinking about the parts of a “page”—not just the sum of those parts—helps us create smart, scalable, maintainable designs for all those newfangled technologies.

And a leading voice behind this elemental thinking is Brad Frost.

In this talk, he’ll introduce Atomic Design, a methodology you can use to create a design system in your organization. You’ll learn how to:

  • Deconstruct your organizations’ interfaces
  • Create systems that includes templates, and pages
  • Create designs that are future-friendly and extensible
  • Establish a repeatable workflow tailored to your team and product

Whenever you read TechCrunch or Entertainment Weekly online, you’re looking at Brad’s Atomic Design work. He follows the methodology so regularly that he created a free tool called Pattern Lab that helps you create your own design systems.

Recorded: April, 2014
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UIEtips: Starting Your User Research

Jared Spool

December 17th, 2014

This week’s Tips is a reprint of my article Starting Your User ResearchI share ideas on how to start your own user research program and why there’s no reason to wait.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Once you decide to go down that road, the first thing you’ll realize is how rich your choices are of research methods. Usability audits, heuristic evaluations, usability testing, field research – which one do you choose first? Which are the most effective?

Read the article: Starting Your User Research.

What does your user research program look like?  Leave us a note below.

Cyd Harrell – Techniques for Mobile Research

Sean Carmichael

December 17th, 2014

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[ Transcript Available ]

Cyd Harrell

The so called Digital Divide is increasingly being filled with mobile devices. Because of that, you need an understanding of how your designs are appearing and behaving on smaller screens. Cyd Harrell is an expert on user research, and the one we to turn for mobile research. She says that it’s not just how your designs display on these devices but also the behavior of your users as they interact on these more personal gadgets. Users consider their mobile phones to be a much more private device than a desktop computer.

In her virtual seminar, Mobile Research Techniques: Beyond the Basics, Cyd talks about the challenges of mobile, and how to get accurate, natural results from participants in what may be an unnatural research setting. The audience had a bunch of great questions for Cyd during the live seminar and she joins Adam Churchill to answer some of those in this podcast.

  • Can you apply a diary study to something other than a mobile design?
  • How many different devices should you have in your sample?
  • Are there any lightweight techniques for doing mobile research?
  • Have you done any research on a cross-device interaction?
  • What are the right number of participants and amount of time for a diary study?
  • During a diary study, do you use more open ended questions?
  • How does recruiting for a mobile research study differ from normal recruiting?

Recorded: November, 2014
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Announcing the 2015 Live Virtual Seminar Program

Adam Churchill

December 16th, 2014

Sign up for the next 9 virtual seminars and pay just $549—a savings of over 45% from past programs. Or, choose just those seminars you need for just $79 each.

Get all 9 UX seminars for just $549, or choose just the seminars you need.

The 2015 Live Virtual Seminar Program

The Dirty Dozen Product Roadmap Roadblocks, with Bruce McCarthy
Design Systems, with Nathan Curtis
Lean Enterprise, with Josh Seiden
Better Accessibility through Your User Research, with Whitney Quesenbery
Integrating Animation into Your Design, with Rachel Nabors
Content Modeling, with Steve Fisher
Contextual Design, with Abi Jones
Atomic Responsive Design, with Brad Frost
Building a Culture of Design, with Aaron Irizarry

Increase the core knowledge and skills of you and your team with these 90-minute UX presentations. Sign up for all 9 or choose the individual seminars that address your specific project challenges.

 

 

Spend an hour with me when you register for a UIE conference by 12/31/14

Jared Spool

December 15th, 2014

Partake in an intimate UX roundtable call with me when you register for a UIE conference

Use your remaining 2014 training funds to save your spot at the lowest price of $1,475 for either the UX Immersion Mobile or User Interface 20 Conferences.

Register for UXIM 2015 or UI20 by December 31 and you’ll spend an hour with me on a UX roundtable call. Don’t miss this chance to ask me your most burning UX questions (or even your non-burning non-UX questions).

Chris Risdon

Jonathon Colman

UX Mobile Immersion Conference

April 13-15, 2015

Salt Lake City, UT

 

Intensive workshops and talks focusing on what it takes to make your designs work on all mobile devices.

Topics include

  • Atomic Design
  • Designing for native apps
  • Responsive design
  • Experiencing mapping
  • Adaptive design
  • Responsive workflow

UXIM Conference was by far the best conference I have ever been to. Focusing on UX for mobile, it touched on everything from workflow, content and prototyping to coding, design and architecture.

Kristi B. – UXIM 2014 attendee

Save your spot at UXIM for $1,475

User Interface 20 Conference

November 2-4, 2015

Boston, MA

 

UIE’s flagship conference, now in its 20th year, includes two full days of workshops and one day of talks on a broad range of UX topics.

Past topics include

  • Scenarios
  • Microinteractions
  • Content Strategy
  • Visual Design
  • Typography
  • Usability Testing

This was a stellar conference. It reinvigorated me. Mad props to the presenters. I learned an incredible amount of stuff, socialized, ate well and loved all of it.

 

Mackenzie R. – UI19 attendee

Save your spot at UI20 for $1,475

 

I’m looking forward to talking with you on our UX roundtable call.

Luke Wroblewski – Mobile Behavior and Design Trends Live!

Sean Carmichael

December 11th, 2014

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[ Transcript Available ]

Luke Wroblewski

What’s going to make your whole company focus on mobile? How do people interact with their mobiles device? How can you design for this new reality and even create experiences that translate from mobile to laptop to TV?

Find out from Luke Wroblewski. He’s got the facts, tips, and case studies to help you talk confidently with your team about designing intuitive, cross-device experiences. You’ll think about how people are using your designs on mobile, whether browsing a content-heavy site or interacting with an e-commerce application.

Recorded: April, 2014
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UIEtips: Critique: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills

Jared Spool

December 10th, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips, we offer an original article. In it, I introduce critique as a growth tool for UX teams.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Regular critique, whether formal or ad-hoc, ramps up team members’ skills quickly. By changing up what the focus of learning is for each session, the team ensures that everyone’s skills become more well rounded.

Read the article: The Secret to Growing Your UX Team Skills.

How does your team conduct critique sessions? Leave us a note below.

Strengthen Your UX Skills with 9 Videos from the UI19 Conference

Lauren Cramer

December 8th, 2014

Lifetime Access for You and Your Team for Just $99

UI19 OnDemand brings you 9 UX experts sharing techniques, proven practices, and ideas to make you and your team stronger designers.

Use these videos for team lunch and learns or get up to speed with the latest in UX. With one sign-in and password for everyone in your organization, watch the videos whenever you want, as often as you want.

Luke WroblewskiLuke Wroblewski

Screen Time: Multi-Device Design

Get tips to clarify design decisions, manage issues like “the fold,” different device resolutions, aspect ratios, and input types.

Steph HaySteph Hay

What Video Games Teach Us about UX

Video games teach us the value of writing content before the interface, applying content-first UX design, and the importance of voice and tone.

Marc StickdornMarc Stickdorn

Service Design: Basic Tools and Insights

Gain a deeper understanding of seamless UX across channels and silos. Explore service ecosystems.

Stephen AndersonStephen Anderson

The Architecture of Understanding

Design for experiences that span people, artifacts, and environments. Examine how thought and interactions facilitate understanding.

Jared SpoolJared Spool

UX Strategy Means Business

Explore how design fuses with and supports an organization’s strategy. Learn how to coordinate UX strategy with your business’s objectives.

Kim GoodwinKim Goodwin

The Power of Principles

Explore how design principles impact your organizational culture, visual and interaction design, product definition, and policy.

Tim BrownTim Brown

The Transformative Power of Typography and Graphic Design

Find out how understanding and applying high-level typography and graphic design can improve your work.

Dan SafferDan Saffer

The Complexity of Simplicity

Discover ways to recognize and avoid complicated products and solutions, and tools to achieve simplicity.

Leah BuleyLeah Buley

Hunches, Instincts, and Trusting Your Gut

Learn ways to assess the effectiveness of layout, typography, and messaging. Know when design elements are out of place.

UIEtips: A Definition of Content Strategy

Jared Spool

December 3rd, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips article, Facebook’s Jonathon Colman offers his definition for content strategy. With the help of other content strategy experts—Brain Traffic’s Kristina Halvorson and Rachel Lovinger from Razorfish—he makes the case that content strategy is part of a triumvirate of disciplines that, when they work together, build better experiences for everyone.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Content strategists use language, data, and systems to build better experiences for people than either IAs or designers can working by themselves. Ideally, all three disciplines work together as part of a user experience team that puts the Why before the How.

Read the article: A Definition of Content Strategy.

Do you consider yourself to be a content strategist? Leave us a note below.