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.

Persistence is undervalued

Almost two decades ago, a young filmmaker landed on the scene with a movie that became a big deal, winning awards, and making princely sums at the box office. But after that debut, as many critics and fans would agree, every movie he made was worse than the one before it.

Was this creative genius just a one hit wonder? Was that spark of creativity as good as it was going to get?

I know a lot of people feel that way. They may have had a surge of creativity when they were younger. Some idea, some project, some business had some legs. But the follow-ups struggle and fail to reach that same point. They feel like they’ve run out of gas.

A year ago Brian Lucas and Loran Nordgren, professors at Northwestern University, performed a collection of studies on creativity. In one experiment, they gave participants 10 minutes to come up with as many creative ideas as they could. Then, they surprised the participants with an extra 10 minutes to finish completing the task. Before the additional 10 minutes began, they also asked, “How many extra ideas will you come up with?”

People underestimated how many new ideas they would come up with during the extra 10 minutes. And not just a little. On average, they came up with 66% more ideas than they predicted they would. What’s even more interesting: the ideas that came from the persisted effort were even more creative than ones generated during their first effort.

People undervalue persistence. You’ve been told since you were a kid stories of trains getting up mountains with the power of persistence. Get up. Try again. And again. It feels like the most cliche advice there ever was: I think I can.

But still, we underestimate how beneficial that extra effort becomes.

1999 was a huge year for our filmaker. His movie was nominated for awards at all the major award ceremonies, winning a handful. Through 2005 he made more movies that received warm attention, but never like his debut.

And his Metacritic scores (a number 0–100 aggregating top critics’ reviews) kept sliding.

But he kept going.

From 2006 through 2013 he went through the longest string of awards for “Worst Director”, “Worst Movie”, “Worst Screenplay” I’ve ever seen. Winning Raspberry after Raspberry.

But he kept going.

In 2015, a TV show he produced got some attention. In 2016, a new movie of his got glowing reviews. And now in 2017, his latest movie has hit theaters, and it has the highest metacritic score his movies have ever accrued, which includes… The Sixth Sense.

M. Night Shyamalan has gone from winner to loser and back to winner again. One of the most creative filmmakers has just travelled through an extremely rough patch of failures. Look up “One hit wonder M. Night Shyamalan” on Google. He’s listed over and over again by people who clearly gave up on the guy.

Except for M. Night. It took almost a decade of trials before connecting with audiences and critics again on the level he produced with his movie in 1999. But the persistence is paying off. He clearly has more in the tank. It’s when we think we’re done, that the best in us gets started.

P.S. If you enjoyed this article, please help spread it by clicking that below. And if you are interested in more, you should follow my YouTube channel, where I share more about how history, psychology, and science can help us come up with better ideas and start businesses.


Persistence is undervalued was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

New Mozilla Branding

Sample Usage of New Mozilla LogoAfter a seven month design process that was conducted in the open, Mozilla this week unveiled their new branding. Tim…

Everything You Need to Know About UX Immersion: Interactions 2017

  Move beyond inspiration and immerse yourself at the UX Immersion: Interactions conference in Portland, OR, April 1-3, 2017. Six industry leaders teach master-grade workshops on groundbreaking interaction design skills you won’t find anywhere else plus a brand new keynote from Jared Spool. Enterprise Apps Hagan Rivers Animation and Motion Val Head Lean UX Jeff […]

Documenting Design Discovery

In this week’s article Dan Brown tells us about discovery’s six assertions, as well as gives us great tips for creating discovery documents. Here’s an excerpt from the article: Thinking about discovery outcomes in terms of assertions focuses on the point of the artifacts you’re making. A wireframe represents the structure of a page or screen, […]

A fantastic lesson in sales (without being smarmy)

There are few things I hate more than a smarmy sales experience. You know the ones — high pressure, hidden costs, and with zero interest in your actual happiness. Basically, your typical car salesperson.

Yet I’m fascinated by sales in general. Knowing how to sell is an amazing and valuable skill. So when I see it done right — with genuine care and attention — I stop, listen and learn.

A week ago, the most mundane thing in our house broke — our window blinds. We weren’t really sure how to fix them, so my wife Julie went to a family-owned small business called Rainey’s to ask for help.

When a sales driven business has been open for 78 years, you listen and learn!

Mark, the owner, was super friendly. It may sound obvious, but when a customer is confused, you’d be amazed at how a friendly voice (or tone, if written) can put that person at ease. Right off the bat the customer feels welcome and is open minded.

After a brief chat explaining some options, Mark soon found what we needed. It was a part, but he didn’t charge us for it. He just gave it to Julie for free so we could fix it ourselves.

Even though isn’t a lot of money, the gesture was meaningful. It signaled something small but important: Mark wasn’t interested in maximizing every dollar or short term sale. He was genuinely interested in helping us. He was thinking of us as long-term customers. We really appreciated that.

Mark is no sales newbie though. He used this as a chance for a soft (but effective) upsell: “When one of the strings goes bad, usually they all start to go.” He told Julie how much it would cost to get the whole thing fixed and his exact availability for the next few days and the turnaround time, in case our operation failed. Sharp, smart, well-timed salesmanship.

Julie was so happy with all the help that it made her think of another house project we’ve been lazy about. She asked a few more questions, and boom, it sounds like Rainey’s is our partner for that project too!

What an amazing series of events. With a tiny investment of ten friendly minutes and a part, Mark landed hundreds of dollars worth of work from us this year alone. And who knows how much lifetime business he’s earned from us.

It’s no wonder that Rainey’s has been in business for 78 years. 😍

At Basecamp we admire businesses like Rainey’s, who’ve figured out how to be successful for a long, long time. We like ’em so much that we created a podcast dedicated to their stories called The Distance. Check it out!


A fantastic lesson in sales (without being smarmy) was originally published in Signal v. Noise on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 3: House of Fraser

House of Fraser is a firm favourite on the UK High Street with over 60 stores nationwide. In 2014, they attributed record sales to the continued growth of their website, as online became the most profitable retail channel for the … Continued

The post Accessibility Review of Online Retailers Part 3: House of Fraser appeared first on User Vision.

Figure Study

Figure Study

Great style and colors.

via Matt Carlson

Authentic Assets

Authentic Assets

Inspiring editorial illustration about millennial housing.

via Kotryna Zukauskaite

IBM Latin America

IBM Latin America

A piece from the iconic work Paul Rand has done for IBM.

via Good Design

Maker & Match Candle Co.

Maker & Match Candle Co.

Love the way those matches connect and create the flame in the middle.

via Adam Anderson