May 06, 2024 Edition

Designing Technology: Backtracking to Meet Users’ Needs While Innovating

May 6, 2024

In the world of technology-driven design, finding the right balance between relying on our design skills and understanding what users truly need poses a challenging question for UX designers. Should we base our designs on assumptions or dig deeper to solve users’ real problems? How can we steer away from assumptions-based design and instead focus on addressing users’ needs?

The Designer’s Challenge in Technology

When working in the fast-paced world of technology, the unrelenting pressure to innovate often leads to our ideas overshadowing what users really want and need. At PayPal, where I work, quickly implemented design solutions can sometimes miss the mark. Read More

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Engaging Your Audience Through a Seamless Happy Path

May 6, 2024

UX design and UI design are all about creating seamless user experiences. One way of achieving this goal is by strategizing a happy path for your audience—an ideal user journey the user can take when using a product or service. In this article, I’ll cover everything you need to know about creating happy paths in UX design. Let’s dive deeper so you can understand how to optimize user journeys for maximal user engagement and satisfaction.

What Is a Happy Path?

The happy path represents an ideal journey that the user can take when interacting with a product or service. It is the smoothest, easiest to follow route that leads users to their desired outcome, whether they’re using a mobile app, Web site, or even shopping in an online clothing store. This scenario is free from errors, confusion, or obstacles that could frustrate the user or hinder the user experience. Read More

Mastering User-Centered Design, with 5 Advanced Tips

May 6, 2024

User-centered design (UCD) processes prioritize meeting the needs and preferences of actual users. UCD is grounded in the belief that the most effective designs address the needs, preferences, and limitations of those using a product or Web site.

In this article, I’ll highlight the following:

  • goals of UCD and their importance to the design process
  • benefits and challenges of UCD
  • five advanced tips for practicing UCD Read More

Inclusive Digital Experiences: Redesign Strategies for Addressing Diverse Abilities and Accessibility Challenges, Part 2

May 6, 2024

In Part 1 of this series, I described the types of disabilities and their corresponding assistive technologies, highlighted best practices for designing for accessibility and their specific benefits, and covered some additional factors to consider when working on an accessible product design.

Now, in Part 2, I’ll outline some tools and techniques for evaluating the accessibility of screen designs and consider some industry trends and future technologies that could greatly impact accessibility. Then, we’ll dive into a guided exercise that demonstrates how we can analyze and improve a screen design. Read More

Designing Mobile Apps with Accessibility in Mind

May 6, 2024

UX designers should implement accessibility standards when designing mobile applications. While many designers concentrate just on the functional aspects of accessibility, it is equally important to consider the visual aspects because the first impression that a business makes has a remarkable impact on the audience’s perception of the business. By giving priority to accessibility, you can enhance the audience’s brand perception and thus increase the number of users who download an app. This also minimizes the chances that users will encounter accessibility issues.

An accessible mobile app ensures that all users have an equivalent experience while using the app. The primary goal of accessibility and inclusive design is to make your app work equivalently for different ranges of users. Whether you’re designing a Web app, a native app, or a hybrid app, accessibility can help you to create a highly performative product. In this article, I’ll discuss the importance of designing accessible mobile apps. Let’s dive in and explore this topic in depth. Read More

April 22, 2024 Edition

Designing Our Relationship with AI

Conscious Experience Design

Designing for the evolving human+machine relationship

A column by Ken Olewiler
April 22, 2024

As the leader of a design agency that is working at the forefront of design and innovation, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of technology in driving new growth and experiences. Our mission as UX designers is to apply human-centered approaches in helping technology companies to deliver better user experiences. Over the years, my team has been privileged to guide many leading companies through significant technology and paradigm shifts, spanning digital, mobile; connected, or the Internet of Things (IoT); and natural interfaces. As futurists and humanists, we are passionate about embracing new technologies in ways that enhance human experiences and deliver more value.

In every engagement that helps companies transform for the future, we too are transformed, both as individuals and as an organization. Plus, we are adopting new methods and growing new technical capabilities. We live the spirit of innovation by constantly evolving to meet the pace of change and progress. Now, in what we call the Conscious Era, with the exponential growth of generative artificial intelligence, UX designers are coming face to face with the most powerful, yet disruptive technology to date—not only for products, but for the UX design profession itself. Business and career reinvention is now an imperative as UX designers embrace artificial intelligence (AI) as a new creative partner and collaborator. Read More

Embracing Neurodiversity in UX Design: Crafting Inclusive Digital Environments

April 22, 2024

For many neurodiverse individuals, navigating digital spaces can be a challenging or even an overwhelming experience.

Therefore, UX designers must prioritize creating inclusive digital environments that cater to the diverse cognitive needs of all users. Embracing neurodiversity in UX design can help us unlock a world of possibilities, in which everyone can access and engage with digital products seamlessly, regardless of their neurological differences.

In this article, we’ll explore the significance of neurodiversity in UX design and take a look at practical strategies for UX designers to create digital products that accommodate a wide range of cognitive experiences. Read More

Creating a UX Playbook for Onboarding Users to Your Product

The Onboarding Experience

Mastering the art of user onboarding

A column by Himanshu Sharma
April 22, 2024

We are living in an era of product-led growth (PLG). This popular growth strategy relies on the actual product experience in driving acquisition, activation, conversion, and retention. What this means is less reliance on people booking demos, downloading whitepapers, and speaking with sales representatives. Today, most products strive to provide value to their customers or users in self-service mode.

The rise of software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications has made it easier for customers to switch to a different product. Therefore, if customers don’t immediately see the value of your product, they’re likely to abandon it and move on to something else. Read More

The Crucial Dance: Enhancing Designer-Developer Collaboration for Exceptional Products

April 22, 2024

Within the world of digital-product development, the collaboration that exists between UX designers and developers is a dance. When this dance flows smoothly and harmoniously, the result is a masterpiece—an exceptional product that delights users and drives business success. However, when this vital collaboration falters, this dance becomes disjointed, leading to missed steps, frustrations, and ultimately, a product that fails to meet expectations.

The Business Imperative for Designer-Developer Collaboration

Smooth collaboration between UX designers and developers is a must-have for business success. Designers focus on the user experience, workflows, aesthetics, usability, and accessibility, crafting products that not only look great but also work flawlessly. Engineers, on the other hand, focus on what is possible and where they can push the limits of technology, ensuring design solutions that are both feasible and efficient. Read More

15 Essential UX Design Principles and Practices for Developers

April 22, 2024

User experience design concerns the creation of products, services, and systems that deliver meaningful, relevant stories to users. This requires the thoughtful design of user interfaces, interactions, and workflows that are not only easy and enjoyable to use but captivating as well.

Recognizing and following UX design principles, standards, and practices is of paramount importance for front-end developers, who have a huge impact on the user experience through their implementation of UX designs and can make or break a product. Their commitment lies not only in the most skillful provision of below-the-surface capabilities but also to eliciting favorable user feedback. Developers must shift their consciousness—not only taking responsibility for technical feasibility but also thinking about human needs and focusing on fashioning interactions that feel natural to people. Read More