Unfortunately, in the field of user experience, people often confuse terms like information architecture, interaction design, visual design, usability engineering, and UX design. In some cases, people use these terms almost interchangeably. This article provides a lexicon of these terms and more clearly defines the role of the user experience designer.
Information architecture (IA) focuses on the organization of data—that is, how data is structured from a user’s perspective, as opposed to the system, or technical, perspective.
At the level of an entire Web site, or application, information architecture determines what data is on each page and how pages relate to each other. For example, defining a site map is an IA activity. At the level of an individual page layout, information architecture ensures that data is logically grouped and interrelated. Read More
Within many companies, the use of wireframes in user experience design can be a contentious issue. People typically think of wireframes simply as artifacts designers create when generating design concepts, then later discard. Why not create a design artifact that is not disposable, but instead, one your team can convert to actual production code? Is this Holy Grail of the design process a good idea? Is it even possible? Or does the answer depend on the project, the team, and its agility? This first part in a two-part series takes an in-depth look at the process of converting wireframes to code. Read More
“Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works.”—Steve Jobs
With the emergence of Node-based technologies such as React and Angular have come new opportunities for both UX designers and developers to leverage design systems to enhance their application user experiences. This article aims to help those of you who are weighing the advantages and disadvantages of using design systems and component libraries for your application.
Consider the scenario of a Web application that is being designed using a Material Design style, which could be built to specifications for one device, serving one operation, or could perform significantly differently under other conditions, in another context. When you consider the variances in how user interactions function, the value of leveraging a design system starts to pay returns as front-end development teams build out component libraries at scale, yet performance teams may also find variances in the user experience that are worth researching. Read More