Nice: A brief how-to guide on how to plan, recruit, set up, facilitate and analyze a usability test.
If you’re curious about how I work, this article gives a pretty good overview of what I think is important in order to be an effective product designer (which you may notice, involves not only UI, UX and visual design, but branding and product architecture).
The author covers a few of my favourite things:
- Designing for a company mission or vision.
- Designing for goals (“outcome”) rather than features or tasks.
- Designing using stories (“jobs”).
I’m having so many info design boners right now.
Product design can look like magic. When I started doing it ten years ago, the small team I worked on made decisions intuitively. There was no system and it worked fine. But as the company grew, I found myself unblocking teams and diagnosing problems. When I saw patterns repeating themselves I decided to codify the questions I was asking. I hope that by sharing my techniques, people will learn to unblock themselves and diagnose their own product design problems…
Type is always communicative, even if it wasn’t designed with that goal in mind, but there are some great ways to really make it shout…
Article on typography I wrote for VectorTuts some years back.
A Beautiful Upgrade
I’ve been wanting to update the header of OneWed for a LONG time now. It’s amazing how fast products can change in the startup world, and yet they can be so slow if you only have 3 team members.
People weren’t using our minimalist navigation. People really weren’t exploring the site and had a hard time grokking what we did.
Put the meat of our project up top, in an eye-catching way (note the colorful icons!), to encourage exploration and give a better picture of what the site is about.
This had some interesting consequences: I was forced to merge the information architecture of our photos with that of our (previously separate) articles and galleries section. It’s not a perfect solution, but I’d say it was a huge step up in the time we had available.
Well, we just passed Martha Stewart Weddings’ traffic a few weeks back. I don’t think that’s due to my new header, but everyone I’ve spoken with in testing has expressed an interest in clicking on every damn link in that header, so I think we done good.
Still a long way to go, as usual.
There are thousands and thousands of people out there leading lives of quiet, screaming desperation, where they work long, hard hours at jobs they hate to enable them to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like.
- Nigel Marsh in his TED talk, How To Make The Work Life Balance Work
Or, you know, Henry David Thoreau in Civil Disobedience and Other Essays…
Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.
…and Chuck Palahniuk in Fight Club:
I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables - slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war… Our great depression is our lives. We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won’t. We’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.