UIEtips: Designing Microinteractions

Jared Spool

July 24th, 2014

Microinteractions can truly delight the user or go completely unnoticed and be void of an actual interaction. In today’s article, we look back on an interview with Jared Spool and Dan Saffer on what microinteractions are and how they can completely change the user experience.

Last year’s Designing for Microinteractions workshop from Dan was the highest rated workshop. We’re excited to have him back again October 29 in Boston at UI19. Learn what it takes to make effective microinteractions.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

Jared: In this day and age, anybody who’s doing any sort of app, whether it’s desktop or mobile or even just building some content-related stuff, there are microinteractions involved in that.

Dan: There are microinteractions involved in every product. The question is whether you’re actually going to spend the time and care to make them the best that they can be. In my opinion, you’re only as good as your worst microinteraction. There’s a lot of things that are completely undifferentiated, but if you have some really nice microinteractions around it, that makes all the difference in the world. An obvious example is your operating system. Most operating systems are doing the exact same things. How all those things work is all about people focusing on the microinteractions inside the operating system and that really differentiates one from the other.

Read the article: Designing Microinteractions.

How have you created microinteractions in your designs and products? Leave us a note below.

Minimizing Design Risk with The Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Adam Churchill

July 22nd, 2014

If your team has been practicing some form of Agile or Scrum, it likely has a loose definition of a MVP. The question is, are you launching MVPs at the end of each sprint, or are you launching “whatever we fit into a 2-week sprint cycle?”

If your iteration planning tends to focus on timelines, feature sets, and estimates – rather than on the value to the customer of whatever you’re building – then join us on August 14.

Attend this seminar if you:

  • Want your products to get more use–and maybe spawn new products, too
  • Are tired of endless sprints that still take months or years to launch
  • Have heard of MVPs but aren’t sure how to define or build them
  • Think “pivots” apply only to Silicon Valley startups (they don’t)

It’s not too late to make this seminar part of your team’s 6 Month Program. Pay once, save your spot in all UIE Virtual seminars through the end of 2014.

UI19 – Save $300 When You Register by July 24

Lauren Cramer

July 16th, 2014

The daylong workshops at the User Interface 19 Conference in Boston, October 27-29 give you skills and techniques to up your UX game.

You’ll leave knowing how to:

  • Get more information from users
  • Design products faster
  • Communicate more holistically within your group
  • Become more flexible and collaborative


Explore the detailed workshop descriptions


Mobile design

Luke Wroblewski

Design process

Leah Buley

Service-design thinking

Marc Stickdorn

User scenarios

Kim Goodwin


Dan Saffer

Data visualization

Stephen Anderson


Register Now and Save $300.

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 often times 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.

Attend a daylong workshop with Stephen at UI19

Stephen’s UI19 workshop, Design for Understanding, in Boston October 27 will show you how to identify different learning patterns and content themes before jumping to visuals.

Register with promotion code ANDERCAST and get $300 off the current conference price.

Explore Stephen’s workshop


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.

Attend a daylong workshop with Tim at UI19

Tim’s UI19 workshop, Designing with Type, in Boston October 29 will show you how to choose and use type on the web, from serifs and superfamilies to counters and compositions.

Register with promotion code TIMCAST and get $300 off the current conference price.

Explore Tim’s workshop

Recorded: May, 2014
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