UIEtips: Lean Content

Jared Spool

July 15th, 2014

How lean is your content? Are you testing your messages to see if it generates a click before creating lots of marketing copy? That’s what Steph Hay discusses in today’s article on lean content.

If you’re challenged to find the right words for your customers and feel there’s a disconnect between your content and your design, then you’ll want to attend Steph Hay’s daylong workshop at the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston October 27. Explore Steph’s workshop Content-First UX Design: A Lean Approach.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

I’m now regularly applying lean principles to content development in my own work with FastCustomer. Seriously, the hardest part has been putting aside my creative journalistic ego. The laser-focus it gives the rest of our efforts is incredible.

I’m also advocating this approach while mentoring via 500 Startups. (Holla!) For example, SafeShepherd was ready to do blogger outreach, but they didn’t yet know which messages were making users come to their site in the first place. This is SO COMMON, but it renders any press or user-acquisition attempts fairly crap-shoot-ish. Which is a bummer, because it’s just not as smart as it can be.

So, lean content is all about writing in smarter ways — by testing messages to find what makes people click.

Read the article: Lean Content.

How does your organization test your messaging? Leave us a note below.

Stephen Anderson – Deciphering Data through Design

Sean Carmichael

July 15th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Stephen Anderson

Understanding problems are common when trying to visualize data. Designing a layout to effectively communicate complex or even simple data can be a challenge. If the visualization isn’t immediately apparent to a user, it requires a level of understanding to get the most out of their experience.

Stephen Anderson has been working to unlock these understanding problems. He says that oftentimes really simple changes can have dramatic effects on a user’s ability to interpret data. He cites the many examples of designers taking stabs at airline boarding pass redesigns and the evolution Target’s Pharmacy prescription bottle went through. Presenting the information in a much clearer way reduces the cognitive barrier.

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. Looking further at these issues, simple changes can greatly increase the experience for users.

Stephen will be presenting one of 8 daylong workshop choices at the User Interface 19 Conference, October 27-29 in Boston. For more information on the workshops and the conference, visit uiconf.com.

Recorded: June, 2014
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UIEtips: Design’s Fully-Baked Deliverables and Half-Baked Artifacts

Jared Spool

July 9th, 2014

Creating artifacts is critical to convey our design ideas and decisions. Without these artifacts the design deliverables are likely to not meet the objectives and perform poorly. Today’s article discusses how artifacts and deliverables are connected and how the artifact eventually becomes the deliverable.

Both Leah Buley and Marc Stickdorn discuss the process and curation of artifacts in their full-day workshops at the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston, October 27-29. Learn more about all of the workshops.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

A design’s story isn’t just its final outcome. The story also needs to include the journey the team took to arrive at that outcome.

Artifacts are useful for communicating that journey. In fact, it can make for a very powerful presentation to stakeholders to show some of the artifacts that demonstrate the constraints, challenges, and thinking behind the final design.

Surfacing the effort can be both enlightening and entertaining. (After all, who doesn’t like the behind-the-scenes footage found in the DVD extras?)

Deliverables tell the story of what we think the design should be. Artifacts tell the story of how we got there. Each are powerful storytelling tools.

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

How does you and your team overcome the challenge of differentiating between artifacts and deliverables? Leave us a note below.

Content-First UX Design: What Video Games Teach Us about UX, Our July 17 Virtual Seminar

Adam Churchill

July 9th, 2014

Great UX design influences one video game becoming a cultural icon while another lands in the $5 bin at GameStop. So what cues can we take from these popular games—and from this technology-driven industry that so closely parallels our own?

In her July 17 virtual seminar, Steph is going to teach us about two: Content-First UX Design and Contextual Learning.

Attend this seminar, especially if you:

  • Think “content before design” is a pipe dream
  • Want a fresh-but-practical approach to designing for engagement
  • Are looking for low-cost, low-fidelity ways to design faster
  • Play video games
  • Don’t play video games

Make this seminar the first of 9 for your team by by registering for our 6 Month Program. Pay once, save your spot in all 9 UIE Virtual seminars from July – December.

3 Reasons to Register for UI19 Now

Lauren Cramer

July 7th, 2014

Here are three reasons why you should sign up now for the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston,
October 27-29.


  1. Save $300 when you register now and pay $1,695. Starting July 25 the price goes up to $1,995.
  2. Beef up your UX skills before you get to UI19 with All You Can Learn by UIE. It’s yours free as soon as you register.
  3. You’ll get a bonus gift of a designer’s toolkit. It’s a great way to iterate and share ideas in physical form.


Explore the Conference.

UIEtips: 6 Tips for Organizing Sketched Artifacts

Jared Spool

July 2nd, 2014

Sketching plays a vital role in UX design. It’s how we put a visual component to our ideas, communicate with others, and document our process. But how to organize and hold on to these sketches isn’t always as organized as we like. Below Nathan Curtis shares six tips on organizing sketched artifacts. Some are simple yet eye opening ideas.

We realize how important it is to sketch and it’s one of the reasons that we’re giving every UI19 conference attendee a designer’s toolkit when they register for the conference by July 3. See what tools are in this kit to help you make great designs.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The more EightShapes sketches, however, the more we desire to retrieve and share those ideas later-to revisit abandoned, complex, or unrealistic notions of a better experience, to remind ourselves of passing ideas.

We may find ourselves amid the next hour’s design studio summation. Or the day’s prototyping. Or the next week’s task scoping. Or the next quarter’s project proposal. But the sketch’s value extends beyond the initial presentation and discussion.

Read the article: 6 Tips for Organizing Sketched Artifacts.

How have you organized your archive of sketches?  Leave us a note below.

Tim Brown – Helvetica is the Neue Black

Sean Carmichael

July 2nd, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Tim Brown

When you break down written language, it’s really just a carefully crafted set of tiny symbols. It’s easy to dismiss these meticulous creations in daily life as simply, reading. The shape, readability, and size of these symbols are all factors in effectively communicating ideas, and have been for thousands of years. In essence, typography itself is more than just picking a font.

Tim Brown works at Adobe Typekit. Tim says there is a certain level of complexity in good typography. there’s more to it than symbols and shapes or serif versus sans-serif. One of the more important aspects that affects communication is the spacing of these symbols. A well designed typeface creates a rhythm and balance in the words. This allows you to apply this balance to your typography and your design as a whole.

Tim will be presenting one of 8 daylong workshop choices at the User Interface 19 Conference, October 27-29 in Boston. For more information on the workshops and the conference, visit uiconf.com.

Recorded: May, 2014
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Strengthen Your UX Skills with These Tools and Techniques

Lauren Cramer

July 1st, 2014

At the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston, October 27-29 you’ll learn new techniques and skills to make you a stronger UX Designer. Plus we’ll give you the tools to use at the conference and afterwards with a designer’s toolkit when you register by Thursday, July 3.

Choose two workshops from these leaders

Mobile design

Luke Wroblewski

Design process

Leah Buley

Service-design thinking

Marc Stickdorn

User scenarios

Kim Goodwin


Dan Saffer

Data visualization

Stephen Anderson


The tools to help you with your designs

When you register by Thursday, July 3 you’ll get your own designer’s toolkit loaded with essential tools needed to make great designs.

This kit will help you iterate and share your thoughts in physical form and capture all your awesome ideas during and after the conference. Sign up now to get your kit.

Snag Your Designer’s Toolkit by July 3 with Your UI19 Registration

Lauren Cramer

June 25th, 2014

We found a perfect designer’s toolkit for you to use during and after the UI19 conference. These tools make it easy to iterate and share ideas in physical form.

Register for UI19 by July 3 and your kit will be waiting for you at the conference. That means you have one week left to guarantee getting one of these awesome kits.

Get Your Free Designer’s Toolkit


  • Capture all your awesome ideas during and 
    after the conference
  • Avoid the time drain that digital tools cause
    when trying to create quick sketches and prototypes
  • Use the sketch book filled with templates
    and these cool markers and pens to create sketches

Register by 7/3 for this free designer’s tool kit


Get Your Toolkit

UIEtips: UX Design, Role-playing & Micromoments

Jared Spool

June 24th, 2014

Stephen Anderson thinks about micro-moments in a design a lot. He even goes as far as role playing what the interaction would be like with another designer (as you’ll see in today’s article). It’s a funny and eye opening experience.

This is just one part of what Stephen is covering in his full-day UI19 workshop, Design Skills for Complex Understanding and Problem Solving on October 27. See how you can present data in compelling, contextually relevant formats in his workshop.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Good interaction design is about attending to every moment that passes between a person and the device (or system, or service) with which he or she is interacting. These moments can be explicit, as with gestures, taps, a button-click, or the completion of a form field. Or, these moments may be more elusive, such as a pause while you try and understand what is being asked of you or how to answer. It’s these internal conversations that users have at any given moment that often get overlooked.

Read the article: UX Design, Role-playing & Micromoments.

What micro-moments have your experiences that added to — or diminished — your experience with a design?  Leave us a note below.