The Expanding Role of User Experience Design

by Lance on November 17, 2011

User experience is not only about seeing the big picture of how our applications and websites are used, but also about how they are made.

Our expanding presence in the project lifecycle does not make us project managers, though. Budgets, scheduling, and client management is a job unto itself. We’re simply the stewards of ideas, which can get compromised and mangled in a game of telephone as they are passed between team members. 

Aarron Walter on UXMag

Windows 8: Reinventing the Basics of File Management

by Lance on August 24, 2011

We wanted to do an early Windows 8 post about one of the most used features, and one we have not improved substantially in a long time. With the increasing amount of local storage measured in terabytes, containing photos (in multiple formats and very large files), music, and video, these common operations are being taxed in new ways. These changes, along with consistent feedback about what we could improve, have inspired us to take a fresh look and redesign these operations.

Read the full article here

UXMovement on Dialog Button Placement

by Lance on May 30, 2011

There are cer­tain plat­form design con­ven­tions that are widely used today because they work for users. But the point here is that plat­form design con­sis­tency should never sat­isfy a designer as the sole rea­son to do some­thing. A true designer needs to under­stand the prob­lem at a deeper level. And under­stand­ing the rea­sons why you should design your user inter­face one way, as opposed to another way is key.

More on UXMovement’s Entry

Riding the Flux: Design is changing in myriad ways. Are you?

by Lance on April 29, 2011

I find this quote by Virgina Postrel about the design profession funny and striking:

(Design as a profession have) a peculiar combination of arrogance and insecurity. One minute, they’re declaring that they have uniquely appropriate skills for every problem, and the next they’re worried that people without the right credentials are using design..

More Kevin McCullagh’s Core77 post

Dear Designer, You Aren’t That Special

by Lance on March 17, 2011

Creativity isn’t ours. Just because you can draw better, doesn’t make you a better thinker. Design isn’t just aesthetics, it’s more than that. Even if the shiny stuff we do is what gets the most attention in our industry, it’s not what makes design what it is.

Whether you consider Frank Chimero‘s latest gig as a heroic undertaking or Andy Rutledge as a vocal dick(according to a comment), this article is worth reading.

More on Francisco Inchauste’s Entry

What’s your excuse as a Designer?

by Lance on March 11, 2011

From Wilson Miner’s post Optimizer

Some people are idea people, some people are artists, some people think in systems, some people have a more organic approach. Everybody is wired up to naturally tune in on one or another of those aspects, or some combination that gives you your focus.

Why Wireframe?

by Lance on March 7, 2011

Wireframing, on the other hand, is all about corralling these ideas into a cohesive flow of pages with a clear, well-executed focus. A ruthless eye for editing is paramount: throwing every “nice to have” feature haphazardly into the mix will do nothing but create a mediocre product that frustrates users.

More on ZURB’s Entry

User-Led Innovation Can’t Create Breakthroughs; Just Ask Apple and Ikea

by Lance on March 7, 2011

Companies should lead their users, not the other way around.

The user is king. It’s a phrase that’s repeated over and over again as a mantra: Companies must become user-centric. But there’s a problem: It doesn’t work. Here’s the truth: Great brands lead users, not the other way around.

More on FastCo Design Entry

Managing UI Complexity

by Lance on March 6, 2011

Interface complexity is an issue every designer wrestles with when designing a reasonably sophisticated application. A complex interface can reduce user effectiveness, increase the learning curve of the application, and cause users to feel intimidated and overwhelmed.

I’ve spent the past year redesigning a particularly complex application with my primary focus being on reducing complexity. In this article, I’ll go over some of the issues surrounding complexity and techniques that can be used to manage it.

More on Brandon Walkin’s Entry

Microsoft: Internet Explorer 6, time to move on.

by Lance on March 5, 2011

With IE9 just around the corner, Microsoft is doing their fair share of publicity on eradicating their old bud, the champion of the last browser wars, Internet Explorer 6.