UIEtips: Code Sketching – A Stretch Goal for Your Design Superpower

Jared Spool

March 5th, 2014

There was a time that providing a simple sketch on paper conveyed enough information to the stakeholders on the intent of a design. Now, with the plethora of devices a person can use, a sketch lacks the detail needed to convey how the design will appear on various devices. Today’s article discusses the benefits of sketching in code and why you shouldn’t fear it.

If showing your designs on multiple devices is important to you, you’ll want to explore Nate Schutta’s full day workshop, Coding Prototypes, Even if You’ve Never Tried at the UX Immersion Mobile Conference this April. He’ll ease you into mobile prototyping–from using HTML and CSS in a text editor to debugging what you have built.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Our designs flow and move. Expressing the subtlety and nuance of how we imagine our designs is hard to do with a static sketch. Microinteractions are essential for a good experience, but difficult to imagine by just looking at a picture.

We compound by desiring to express how the design will change as we move across platforms. We need to see if we’ve made something too complicated. Maybe we’ve left something important out? Maybe it’s too clumsy when there’s no keyboard?

Building the entire design to discover an important flaw is a time-consuming and expensive process. We want to get our ideas out there for review and reflection. How do we make it easy to do and cost effective?

Read the article Code Sketching – A Stretch Goal for Your Design Superpower.

Have you added sketching in code to your design toolbox? Tell us about it below.

Chris Farnum – Wireframing Strategies

Sean Carmichael

March 4th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Chris Farnum

The notion that “wireframes are dead” has been coming up every so often over the past few years. In truth, wireframes are still a valuable way for teams to communicate. Building up scenarios through state changes helps to both show and define a user’s journey through your design.

Chris Farnum employs wireframing strategies in his work at ProQuest. In his virtual seminar, Choosing the Right Wireframe Strategy for Your Project, Chris explains what wireframes actually are and what they’re used for. The audience had a ton of great questions for Chris during the live seminar. He couldn’t get to all of them then, so he’s back to answer some of those questions in this podcast.

  • Should a design team all use one tool or is it better that each person uses their preferred tool?
  • How do you determine the appropriate level of detail for your wireframe?
  • What if a client demands high fidelity but you know there are issues that need to be resolved in a low fidelity version first?
  • What is the best online low-fi wireframing tool?
  • How do you wireframe for responsive interfaces?
  • How can you avoid doing wireframes for every breakpoint in a responsive design?
  • What is the recommendation for sketching interactions?

Recorded: February, 2014
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Inside the UXIM Mobile Conference: Jared Spool and Luke Wroblewski

Lauren Cramer

February 28th, 2014

On the second day of the UX Immersion Mobile Conference in Denver, CO, April 7-9, you get to choose the 90 minute talks that interest you most. You also get to hear from our amazing keynote speakers – Luke Wroblewski shares insightful data and research on mobile behavior and design, and Jared speaks on cultivating designers for the future.

Mobile Behavior and Design Trends with Luke Wroblewski

    Luke will share examples and insightful information sure to enlighten you during his keynote presentation. He’ll share the language and facts you need to bring mobile to the forefront in your organization.

How Do We Design for Designers with Jared Spool

    Jared will talk about the major shifts in design education and how it will forever change the way we hire, staff, and value our team members.

Save Money when you register for 1, 2, or all 3 days
Register with the promotion code BLOG and you’ll get 20% off the registration price.

Designing Touch-Friendly Interfaces

Adam Churchill

February 27th, 2014

Josh Clark returns to the UIE Virtual Seminar program with his March 13 presentation, Designing Touch-Friendly Interfaces.  If you want to convert your mouse-focused desktop sites into touch-friendly designs, then be sure to save your spot in Josh’s seminar.

You’ll want to attend this seminar if you:

  1. Want to learn proper layout for primary controls, regardless of device
  2. Are designing for fingers—and especially thumbs—on multiple screen sizes
  3. Haven’t designed touch interfaces or need to evolve your existing ones

Believe it or not, our webinars can sell out, and both of Josh’s previous presentations did exactly that.  So, act quickly and register for Designing Touch-Friendly Interfaces.






UIEtips: Responsive Design for Apps

Jared Spool

February 25th, 2014

In this week’s UIEtips article, 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.

When it comes to incorporating and understanding mobile first responsive design, Jason Grigsby is one of the UX superstars to turn to. That’s why we’ve asked him to do a full-day workshop at this year’s UX Immersion Mobile Conference, April 7-9 in Denver, CO.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

 A few months ago I was tasked with finding a good solution for a client who wanted to move to responsive design, but had a web app that they needed to support as well. The question they asked is one that I’ve seen others argue about in the past: does responsive design make sense for apps?

Read the article Responsive Design for Apps.

How does your company decide which form factors to design for when developing a responsive app? Tell us about it below.

Improve Your Mobile UX with These Six Podcasts

Lauren Cramer

February 24th, 2014

Below we feature the six UX luminaries giving full-day workshops at the UX Immersion Mobile Conference, April 7-9 in Denver, CO. Each of these podcasts brings insights on how to improve communication and workflow with your team and users.

Structuring Your Workflow for Responsive Web Design
by Ben Callahan
With the need for the web to reconfigure and adapt to different devices and displays, designers and developers need to adapt to changing workflows. Ben discusses how to move towards an iterative and collaborative approach which in turn allows your clients to become more involved in the process.

Listen to Ben’s podcast.

The Challenges of Usability Testing Mobile Apps
by Cyd Harrell
Cyd Harrell has developed some good remote usability techniques that can be more effective, both in scope and cost as well as results, than a formal testing lab.( Even something as simple as “hugging” a laptop with the screen angled away from you and using the built in camera can give fantastic insights into how a user will interact with a mobile device.)

Listen to Cyd’s podcast.

Creating Responsive Interfaces
by Brad Frost
Frameworks and design patterns are no strangers in the world of web design. As responsive web design becomes common practice, making sure these templates work across every imaginable screen and device is trickier. Brad shares his concept of Atomic Design to tackle this challenge.

Listen to Brad’s podcast.

Responsive Web Design with Mobile in Mind
by Jason Grigsby
The ability for your site to display across screen sizes and devices, reduces development time and allows for one design to work anywhere. Jason the total experience of your site is more than just what it looks like. In Jason’s mind, you need to start with performance in mind in addition to considering mobile-first.

Listen to Jason’s podcast.

Mobile Strategies for Your Content
by Karen McGrane
Ensuring that your site is responsive or adaptive is becoming essential to your mobile design strategy. Simply tacking a responsive framework on top of your existing site will often end in disappointment. Having a solid strategy about how and what your site will display across devices will go a long way to developing an asset and content management system to accompany it.

Listen to Karen’s podcast.

Coding Mobile Prototypes
by Nate Schutta
If designers understand even a little bit about code it breaks down silos within the team. Nate believes that prototyping in code helps solidify this communication. Being able to visualize and demonstrate your ideas not only provides for greater understanding, but a faster workflow.

Listen to Nate’s podcast.

UX Immersion Mobile Conference

Get the skills you need to create a seamless mobile experience at the UX Immersion Mobile Conference. Sign up by 2/28 with code UXIM20 for 20% off.

UIEtips: Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation

Jared Spool

February 19th, 2014

In today’s UIEtips, Ahava Leibtag shares an excerpt from Chapter 9 of her book, The Digital Crown: Winning at Content on the Web, to explain the challenges content marketing can solve and the set of tools it provides you.

If you’re looking to expand upon traditional content strategy-both external (branding, messaging, tone) and internal (governance, workflows)-by folding UX into the conversation, you’ll want to join us on February 20, when Ahava presents her virtual seminar, Designing Effective Content Marketing.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

As a UX, web and communications professional, you have daily challenges that are ever present on any given day. Today’s technologies are so fast, and accessibility to information so consistent and portable, that capturing your audiences’ attention and focus seems like an insurmountable problem.

Everyone says content is the solution, but when you try to find new ways to manage it in your organization, you feel like you’re fighting an ancient beast from the deep. Why is content so hard? How do you lasso this monstrous beast and align your content developments to your business objectives? And what’s this new thing everyone is talking about called content marketing?

Read the article Content Marketing Sustains the Conversation.

How does your organization align content development with business objectives?  Tell us about it below.

Stephanie Lemieux – Using Taxonomy to Manage Content Sprawl

Sean Carmichael

February 19th, 2014


[ Transcript Available ]

Stephanie Lemieux

Ultimately, your content is the reason users visit your site. Taxonomy can build a structure underneath that content, making it much more dynamic. By employing a layer of taxonomy, your CMS can better understand the relationships between the content. This allows you to easily surface related content, dynamically display bits of information, and improve your users’ experience.

Stephanie Lemieux discusses her approach to taxonomy in her virtual seminar, Managing Content Sprawl. In it she shows how to bake taxonomy into your content model and information architecture. During the live seminar, the audience had a bunch of great questions for Stephanie. She joins Adam Churchill for this podcast to answer some of those questions.

  • When you start a taxonomy, how do you deal with legacy content?
  • Are there tools available to make this process easier?
  • Is there an open source CMS that supports hierarchical taxonomies?
  • How do you do dynamic pages in SharePoint?
  • Are there drawbacks or limitations to using a taxonomy?

Recorded: February, 2014
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Get Lifetime Access to the UXIM 2013 Recordings for Free

Jared Spool

February 18th, 2014

Get the UXIM 2013 OnDemand Recordings on us!

We’re celebrating the fantastic program at this year’s UX Immersion Mobile Conference by giving everyone lifetime access to the 2013 sold out conference.

Hear the same great content as the attendees from these top UX experts who shared their best practices for improving mobile UX skills.

  • Luke Wroblewski – Create designs without compromising optimization
  • Chris Risdon – Tell a visual story of what pains and delights your customers
  • Kelly Goto – Design with your customers’ behavior in mind
  • Cyd Harrell – Make better personas with tools to interpret user data faster
  • Jason Grigsby – Look into the future of designing for TV
  • Karen McGrane – Chunk your content to adapt to different contexts
  • Dana Chisnell – Consider the flow instead of the UI of your design
  • Jared Spool – Ensure delightful content regardless of the device

It’s easy to get your free lifetime access

Just submit your email by Friday, February 21, 11:59 PM PT and you’ll get access to last year’s UX Immersion talks. No tricks, no hidden payments.

Now hurry up and get your recordings from the sold out 2013 UX Immersion Mobile Conference and be sure to spread the word. The clock is ticking.

UIEtips: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship – Data and Design in Innovative Citizen Experiences

Jared Spool

February 11th, 2014

Applications built on public data (think flight and train schedules) bring great benefits to their users. But the benefits they bring are highly dependent on how well the applications are designed. Designs will get better if the designers really watch users with the applications and use their feedback for updates.

Today’s article by Cyd Harrell is an excerpt from chapter 12 in the book Beyond Transparency. She discusses the relationship between data, design and the end user. Cyd’s workshop, Conducting Usability Research for Mobile Apps, dives into the usability research that captures these relationships in addition to other valuable information.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

The past decade has brought enormous and growing benefits to ordinary citizens through applications built on public data. Any release of data offers advantages to experts, such as developers and journalists, but there is a crucial common factor in the most successful open data applications for non-experts: excellent design. In fact, open data and citizen-centered design are natural partners, especially as the government 2.0 movement turns to improving service delivery and government interaction in tandem with transparency. It’s nearly impossible to design innovative citizen experiences without data, but that data will not reach its full potential without careful choices about how to aggregate, present, and enable interaction with it.

Read the article The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship: Data and Design in Innovative Citizen Experiences.

What choices has your team made to present innovative experiences with both public and private data? Tell us about it below.