April 08, 2024 Edition

Misinformation and Disinformation Online: What Design Can Do to Remedy This Problem

Envisioning New Horizons

A critical look at UX design practice

A column by Silvia Podesta
April 8, 2024

We refer to narratives that unintentionally “contradict or distort common understandings of verifiable facts,” [1] as misinformation. In contrast, disinformation is a form of propaganda—the deliberate spread of false information to intentionally mislead people, effect changes in their thinking, and ultimately, manipulate society as a whole. Both are rampant on social media and on other less visible parts of the Web.

The multifarious, potential threats that misinformation and disinformation pose to society and public welfare justify our worrying about their spread. In addition to causing polarization in our societies and social conflict, the spread of conspiracy theories and other forms of disinformation often undermine people’s perceptions of the validity of objective or scientific truths, potentially making them prey to liars and con artists or encouraging harmful behaviors. Read More

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The Psychology Behind Successful User Onboarding: Leveraging Cognitive Biases

April 8, 2024

Have you ever wondered why some apps and Web sites captivate users from the moment they sign up, while users quickly forget others? The reason is effective user onboarding. You can use your understanding of the human mind to improve user retention and product adoption.

The magic behind compelling user-onboarding experiences is no accident; it’s the result of meticulous design strategies that tap into the underlying principles of human behavior. By understanding and harnessing people’s cognitive biases—those inherent quirks in our decision-making processes—developers and designers can craft experiences that resonate deeply with users.

In this article, I’ll delve into the science of user engagement, revealing how the astute application of psychological insights can elevate a digital product from being routinely functional to becoming an essential part of users’ daily lives. We’ll discover the secrets of creating user-onboarding processes that not only captivate but also foster a connection that users find hard to let go, which marks the transition from casual browsing to committed usage. Read More

3 Crucial Steps in Designing Conversational AI

April 8, 2024

Chatting with a bot to resolve a personal issue can be incredibly frustrating. These conversations often loop endlessly or hit dead ends after a few wasted attempts at communicating. Most product owners are aware of these issues with chatbots and understand how detrimental they can be to customer relations. This realization has prompted a significant shift toward the adoption of conversational artificial intelligence (AI), which can humanize the process of engaging with customers.

Conversational AI, at its core, is the art and science of empowering machines with the ability to understand and seamlessly respond to human language. Natural language processing (NLP) makes this possible and enables computers to imitate human interactions, learn from speech and text inputs, and translate their meaning. Read More

Inclusive Digital Experiences: Redesign Strategies for Addressing Diverse Abilities and Accessibility Challenges, Part 1

April 8, 2024

Designing for accessibility means designing for people with diverse abilities to ensure that they have equal access to opportunities, services, and user experiences. In today’s digital era, the design of inclusive experiences has become a focal point of innovation. It is essential that our digital spaces are welcoming and accessible to people with diverse abilities.

In this article, we’ll explore effective redesign strategies that acknowledge accessibility challenges and ensure the design inclusive digital experiences for everyone. We’ll consider how best to understand the varied needs and capabilities of users and how to leverage technological advancements that facilitate accessibility and the reimagining of user interfaces for diverse populations of users. Read More

User Experience in the Era of AI: Enhancing Human-Machine Interactions

April 8, 2024

Wе livе in a world whеrе human-machinе intеractions havе bеcomе intеgral to our day-to-day lifеstylеs, and thе need to deliver advancеd usеr еxpеriеncеs has bеcome vital.

Imaginе a scеnario in which еach virtual intеraction fееls tailor-madе to meet your needs, fulfill your dreams, and pursue new possibilitiеs. This is whеrе gеnеrativе artificial intelligence (AI) and Microsoft Dynamics 365 sеrvicеs comе into play, rеvolutionizing thе way dеsignеrs approach UX dеsign.

According to a currеnt rеport by Statista, thе worldwidе AI markеtplacе is projеctеd to attain $733.7 billion by 2027, with UX optimization driving this growth. By lеvеraging artificial intelligence, dеsignеrs can crеatе dynamic, customizеd user intеrfacеs that catеr to thе uniquе needs of еvеry user. Read More

March 18, 2024 Edition

Evolving the User Experience to Curb Digital Addiction

March 18, 2024

Over the last decade, the ways in which we experience technology have undergone significant changes. We’ve progressed from checking our email messages in a computer’s Web browser to receiving email notifications on our smartphone. Instant-messaging communication has transitioned from chatting on the desktop application Yahoo Messenger to conversing with family and friends in WhatsApp groups. Social-media apps on smartphones have transformed to become instantaneous broadcasts of our life experiences. Marking an important paradigm shift, technology has influenced every aspect of our communications, from shopping to education to gaming.

The rapid growth of smartphones and advancements in their operating systems have resulted in a surge in mobile-app usage and our increasing dependency on these apps. However, some app-development companies have misused UX design principles and even our understanding of human psychology to boost their profits—particularly major organizations and especially those in the social-media industry. Read More

The Power of Textual Content in UX Design

March 18, 2024

Digital experiences get better through user-centric design. Among the various elements that contribute to a seamless user experience, do not underestimate the role of textual content. When you use text strategically, it can improve the brand value of a product, Web site, or application whether by guiding users, conveying information, or establishing a meaningful connection with customers.

In this article, I’ll describe the art of harnessing the potential power of textual content in UX design to create compelling, memorable Web pages.

The Psychology of Content Consumption

Understanding how users process and interact with textual content is a crucial aspect of effective UX design. Textual content is the primary means of communicating with your users through a product or service. If text fails to engage users or convey the right messages, the entire user experience can suffer. Read More

Empowering the User Experience Through Microinteractions: 7 Best Practices

March 18, 2024

Microinteractions are small, yet powerful interaction-design elements that can fundamentally shape how users interact with a digital product. They are critical components that can make a product more user friendly and engaging.

In this article, I’ll explore the concept of microinteractions and how they can enhance the user experience. I’ll provide tips on how to incorporate them into your product designs effectively. Plus, we’ll look at some real-world examples that illustrate how these subtle design features can have a significant impact on the user experience.

Microinteractions can be the key to standing out in a competitive marketplace. You can boost user engagement and retention by leveraging the power of microinteractions in your UX designs. Read More

How Web-Site Design and Social Media Work Together

March 18, 2024

While social media has taken center stage in terms of marketing priorities today, every successful business knows that Web-site design and social-media marketing should work in concert. Building a brand is all about consistency—so it’s important for a business’s Web-site design to align with its social-media content and vice versa. Otherwise, the business might confuse its audience and, thus, have difficulty building a loyal customer base.

Why Web-Site Design and Social Media Must Work Together

For any business, it is essential that all of its owned channels must work together, including social-media pages, Web sites, and all marketing platforms, as Figure 1 demonstrates. You must not think of these channels as separate entities. Otherwise, the result would unclear messaging and, consequently, lower conversions. Read More

Designing for the User: How Form Insights Shape UX Design Decisions

March 18, 2024

Form insights serve as the foundation for creating smooth, user-friendly digital experiences and highlight the importance of the user experience for business Web sites and apps.

In this article, I’ll explore the concept of form insights and examine some techniques for gathering and evaluating user data. I’ll discuss how you can improve both the user interface and the user experience by integrating surveys, lead-generation forms, and comprehensive analytics into your designs and adopting user-centric design approaches. Read More