User Experience News

Here’s a collection of user interface news, as aggregated by AllTop. I take no responsibility for the content, but it’s usually very good.

Are fashion brands losing their identities online? A research study by Keep It Usable

Have you noticed how similar websites look these days? Cover up the logo and can you really tell one from the other? How effective and identifiable is their brand once you cover up the logo? Is their identity getting lost

What UX Designers Need to Know about Conversion Rate Optimization

Conversion is most often defined through sales, but it can also apply to clicks, sign-ups, repeat visitors, or any other metric that meets your organization’s goals. The real problem many organizations face regarding conversion, is that content is often still considered “the stuff that goes into the design.” Putting content at center stage means changing...

Erik Jones

Painting by Erik JonesBrooklyn-based painter Erik Jones combines a figurative realism with a bright, irrepressible color palette and an explosion of abstract graphical…

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Getting Specific on Soft Skills for UX Professionals

By Baruch Sachs Published: February 8, 2016 “The majority of what we do in the business world is essentially improvisation. Despite all the time we spend doing strategic planning for our work, we still end up having to improvise because of changing environments….” My last column received tremendous feedback with regard to the importance of soft skills in the profession of User Experience. One consistent theme was the desire for me to get more specific about the types of soft skills that are often lacking in UX professional’s interactions. To answer this request, I will touch upon the following five soft skills in this column: adaptability communication conflict resolution argumentation and negotiation gravitas mixed with social grace

How to Create a Globally Appealing User Experience

By Ania Rodriguez Published: February 8, 2016 “Human needs that are based on cultural tendencies are the factors that come into play when your goal is to design a globally appealing user experience.” If you’re designing a product you want to sell globally, assuming every consumer across the world has the same needs and expectations won’t get you far. Knowing and understanding what makes people different is what will determine your success. Psychologist Abraham Maslow studied human needs throughout his career and social psychologists such as Geert Hofstede continue to research this topic today. (Dirk Knemeyer wrote a three-part series for UXmatters titled, “Applied Empathy: A Design Framework for Meeting Human Needs and Desires.”)

Information Architecture in Review, Part 1

By Nathaniel Davis Published: February 8, 2016 “We’ve seen some new books on information architecture hit the market in the last few years.” Information architecture is not the easiest topic to write about. So, when a book comes out on the subject, we know that’s a rare event. Nevertheless, we’ve seen some new books on information architecture hit the market in the last few years. Arguably, this trend began in 2011 with the publication of Pervasive Information Architecture: Designing Cross-Channel User Experiences, by Andrea Resmini and Luca Rosati. More on that book in a future review. In this review, I’ll highlight Abby Covert’s and Andrew Hinton’s latest works. Both are veteran practitioners of information architecture and well-known contributors to the field’s body of knowledge.

Robots Do It Better: Why Users Love Self-Service Technologies

By Keith Smith Published: February 8, 2016 “Customers are increasingly opting for self-service. … Customers may want what you’re selling, but they don’t want you to force them to go through a human to get it.” Let’s face it. While the Internet was designed to make us more connected, it’s also making it easier for us to avoid one another. Just think about that for a moment. Yes, you can reach out and communicate with people in the most distant corners of the Earth, but at the same time, there is nothing more irksome than receiving an actual phone call when an email message would have sufficed. For example, there’s been a shift in hiring practices. Remember when you were supposed to pound the pavement, handing out a stack of resumes and letting people see your face? Today, no HR manager in the world wants you showing up at his or her door. Even if you did, they would just tell you to go online and fill out a form or submit your resume via email.

Validating Product Ideas Through Lean User Research

By Tomer Sharon Published: February 8, 2016 This is a sample chapter from Tomer Sharon’s new book Validating Product Ideas Through Lean User Research. 2016 Rosenfeld Media. Chapter 5: Do People Want the Product? “Mmm…” I thought to myself as I was reading Nate Bolt’s Facebook post about the Automatic app (see Figure 5.1). “A smart driving assistant? One that hooks up to my car’s computer and sends data to an iPhone app that will help me save energy and money? I want that!” (See Figure 5.2.) I ordered an Automatic two minutes after I saw that post. It cost me . At the time, the product wasn’t shipping yet, and I was paying to participate in a beta that was going to start in a few months. Usually, I’m extremely skeptical about such things. But this was different. I really wanted that thing. I thought the idea was brilliant, and I was 100% positive that I would use and love it. The beautiful, smooth Automatic Web site and purchasing workflow reassured me that I could trust my instincts. When the Automatic package arrived at my doorstep a few months later, I was happy. Unboxing it was very “Apple-like,” and onboarding was great. I hooked the Automatic car adapter to my car (somewhere under the steering wheel where I was able to find the data port quickly), installed the app, and made sure it worked when I drove the car.

Using Old Keyboards with iPad

An Apple Adjustable Keyboard Connected to an iPadProving that we are getting ever closer to iPads being able to do whatever a Mac can do: here is…