My Thoughts

Millennials see themselves as greedy, self-absorbed and wasteful, study finds

Millennials see themselves as greedy, self-absorbed and wasteful, study finds

Interesting that they relate more to baby boomers.

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User Experience and your bottom line

Some people still think User Experience is a “nice to have”, in fact, it’s a “must have”. In a market as crowded and as fragmented as the one most of us operate in today, standing out and being top of mind is critical for long term business success. Even short term goals can benefit from a user centered design process. Many articles have been written that highlight the research that has been done that show the positive financial impact of having User Experience as one of the pillars that support your business. Here is another.

My Thoughts

Tables, tables, tables

Tabular data is everywhere. Many of the projects I work on involve some degree of showing and manipulating data in tables, through views, filters, searching, sorting, etc. Both the design and functionality of tables has become quite sophisticated. Sometimes showing data in tables is enough, but the key is getting people to understand the relationships between data and make decisions based on that information.


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Lorem Ipsum generators

Lorem Ipsum is a variation on a Latin text that is used in design layouts so that the user focuses more on the overview than the details. You don’t want the user to actually read the text, you just want them to consider the general design. It is rearranged to be nonsensical for this very reason.

Over the last few years people have begun to produce this type of filler text with various themes. Of course, this somewhat defeats the purpose of Lorem Ipsum, but the results can be quite funny.

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An Event Apart

stephen eighmey, jeffrey zeldman

An amazing 3 day conference. An Event Apart presents web design thought leaders sharing their ideas. Inspiring, informative, and engaging. Did I mention that I also met Jeffrey Zeldman?

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“In doing, there is knowing.”

50 Design Problems In 50 Days: Real Empathy For Innovation (Part 1)

I love the crowded train solution, but I really want to observe the results.

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Focused design

Students Design 22 Playful Wooden Toys For Kids

A wonderful example of creativity in the service of design.

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High fidelity interactive wireframes

high fidelity interactive wireframe   high fidelity interactive wireframe media page

This design shows a home page and media page for a project I worked on a few years ago. The existing site no longer reflected the brand and the information was outdated and unorganized.

We needed a cleaner layout that let the user easily find information, so visual elements and whitespace were carefully considered. It’s much easier to understand content when it’s presented in a well balanced layout.

The mock-up was built fairly quickly using a grid based presentation layer. The HTML, CSS, and JavaScript were reusable chunks of code from my code library that needed only slight modifications for this project. This allowed me to iterate the design quickly once I received results from my user testing.

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Color palettes in black and white

color palette   color palette greyscale

I’ve developed a number of color palettes for clients and one thing I always consider is how they look in greyscale. Why? Because I always consider color in user experience design primarily as an aspect of balance and hierarchy, and once you take away the focus on color you can better see the visual weight of each color element.

Color can mean different things both contextually and culturally, but greyscale shows you visual weight and order. This is also important to consider regarding accessibility. A user who is color blind might not see the color you intended, but they will most likely get a sense of meaning and intent from the balance of the layout. That’s why wireframes are generally shown without the use of color so the focus stays on the layout and organization of content. A key element to good design is to use color in the service of supporting content.

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High fidelity dashboard mock-ups

application dashboard mock-up   vendor dashboard social focus

These are high-fidelity design mock-ups of an application dashboard that allows two different views, from the vendor and customer perspective, into our application. The first design allows vendors the ability to manage their compliance and credentialing documentation for various customers that have multiple sets of criteria. The second design allows customers to see who is currently on-site and offers many ways of managing their vendor relationships.

The complexity of this application needed to be distilled to a central focus to provide ease of understanding and to allow the management of multiple levels of detail.

The project started with internal stakeholder interviews to gather domain knowledge and determine company goals. Once this information was understood and organized we sent out surveys and conducted both in-house and remote user testing to find out our user’s priorities and pain points.

Once we understood our company goals and our user’s needs, we were able to design an application that provided greater user satisfaction and task success as well as allowing our users to see and engage new opportunities and proactively manage their accounts. The key was understanding our users, and metrics validated our design decisions.