June UX Roundup

June 22nd, 2010
Published on
June 22nd, 2010

Our field is such an exciting one to be part of. We see continuous growth, and brilliant people are always generating top-notch material for the community to consume, respond to, and grow from. Here are some highlights from the UX community:

Agile and UX Coaching

One of the more common challenges in integrating UX work into an Agile team is the push-and-pull between the good Agile practice of having knowledge and expertise distributed across team members, and the desire to have a genius designer just come up with a strong design concept and hand it off to the team.

User Centered Design

The central premise of user centered design is that the best designed products and services result from understanding the needs of the people who will use them. This is an information graphic poster illustrating the underlying lifecycle, methods, principles, and techniques in a user centered design process, where the visual part is only the tip of the iceberg.

Usable Efficiency

Usable Efficiency is a new website that showcases videos that improve websites and the way you build them. Topics range from frustrating usability mistakes to white space. One gripe I do have, however, is that I cannot link to specific episodes easily.

Wireframe Showcase

This site features all styles of wireframes (quick sketches, detailed, computer generated, etc) used to plan websites, web apps, desktop apps, or anything else! Wireframe Showcase is meant to be a place for designers to show off their projects and share something about their process.

Web Survey Design, Step-by-Step

David Travis guides us through the steps to create the perfect Web Survey. He explains that good questions alone are not enough, but all six of his steps will help you achieve web survey nirvana.

iPad vs iPhone User Experience: Square at Sightglass

Bold Peters conducted an observation of 14 customers over three months at our neighborhood coffee shop, Sightglass; they just so happened to be early users of squareup.com, on both the iPhone and the iPad. The video compares the real-world usage in a business context of the iPad vs the iPhone. Keep an eye on UX Mag for an in-depth article on this topic.

Presentation: Revealing Design Treasures from the Amazon

As designers, we need to know what Amazon does; as designers, we are all affected by Amazon. This slideshow presentation and audio recording of Jared Spool is a must watch (and listen)!

Red vs. Green Buttons Redux

Last week, we published some A/B test results showing how a red call-to-action button clearly out-performed a green one when it came to converting people on our homepage (we’ve also put them on ABtests.com). Given the danger of generalizing results for all cases outside of the test, we were anxious to know if anybody else would post similar (or conflicting) results.

Remote Usability: New Tools AVALANCHE

There are an abundance of new remote usability tools launching. Nate reviews the new tools that have launched within the last month or two. If you’re interested in remote usability, remoteusability.com is a must read blog.

Intentional Communication: Expanding our Definition of User Experience Design

Design and content. Content and design. It’s impossible (and stupid) to argue over which one is more important than the other—which should come first, which is more difficult or strategic. They need each other to provide context, meaning, information, and instruction in any user experience (UX).

Signposts: Helping Users Navigate Content

Navigating unfamiliar information on the web requires aids. These aids don’t have an agenda or bias the way advertising does. Instead, navigational aids help people find the right path based on their interests.

Pros and Cons of Remote Usability Testing

In-person user research used to be the only game in town. As with most industry practices, its procedures were developed, refined, and standardized, then became entrenched in the corporate R&D product development cycle. Practically everything gets tested in a lab, hallway, or conference room nowadays: commercial web sites, professional and consumer software, even video games. But nowadays, we’ve got remote usability testing.

Agile + UX: Six Strategies for More Agile User Experience

Six ways to be more agile and better integrate user experience and information architecture into agile development teams.

Personas: The Definitive Guide

Conducting user research can produce some amazing insights… but how do you communicate these findings to the rest of your team? This is where personas can step in. When used effectively, personas can communicate the results of user research in ways that take said results into account throughout the design/development cycle.

Usability and Online Gambling

Have you ever encountered an ethical dilemma in experience design? What is the dark side for you? What industries would you never design for?

Gradual Engagement Boosts Twitter Sign-Ups by 29%

Twitter recently redesigned their sign-up process to boost new user engagement. Though the new sign-up process added one more screen, conversions went up 29%. How? Gradual engagement.

What Five Users Can Tell You that 5000 Cannot

With usability testing, it used to be that we had to make our best guess as to how users actually interacted with software outside a contrived lab-setting. We certainly didn’t have all the information we needed. In a sense, knowing what users did was a puzzle with a lot of missing pieces.

Master User Experience Design

User experience (‘UX’ to its friends) is a term increasingly bandied about. Currently in that strange position of being excitingly new to many, touted as an essential component of web design process by industry experts, and seemingly on the way to becoming ubiquitous, UX also has an air of mystery about it. This is partly because it’s tricky to pin down.

Quotes from the User Tumblog

I think all of us can sympathize with this Tumblog. Ever have a client think that users only say nice things? Here’s the place to prove them wrong. And of course, you can submit your own quotes.

Design Better And Faster With Rapid Prototyping

The old adage, “a picture speaks a thousand words” captures what user interface prototyping is all about: using visuals to describe thousands of words’ worth of design and development specifications that detail how a system should behave and look.

Progressive Disclosure: Presenting Information On A Need-to-Know Basis

Do you sometimes struggle with how many links to include in the main navigation of a fairly large site? Maybe the issue is where the secondary navigation will be located in your design.

UX Leadership

This website was created to address the many issues we face as designers related to power, authority, influence and leadership. It started when the author began writing the presentation for CHIFOO called “Traversing Power Structures,” and realized the problem was much bigger. It needed room to grow—a forum to discuss leadership in the context of the UX community.

Hot UX Booth Articles

Here are our top three articles from the last few months:

Complete Beginner’s Guide to Design Research

Research actually begins the moment we learn about a project, whether we acknowledge it or not. As user experience designers we aren’t content simply designing to specification. Instead, we ask questions; we take notes; we learn everything we can about our client and their audience—and that’s before we even begin! In this article, we explore the (purported) method to this (seeming) madness, appropriately known as design research.

About Pages: Good, Bad, and Missing

John Hyde has uncovered a variety of approaches while researching About Us pages. This post catalogs some of the most notable, eventually exploring why some of the biggest names decide to go “without about.”

43 Essential Controls for Web Applications

Familiarize yourself with Rich Internet Application technologies and the best UI controls for creating your application. Rich Internet Application technology has empowered us to create really amazing user experiences. The best RIAs on the web today rely on a discreet set of UI controls to provide a lively and timely experience.

In Love?

Are you in love with these resources? Then you better head over to our resource section ASAP! Additionally, as a lover of UX, you have a moral obligation to submit future UX resources that you find to our resources form.