In this edition of Ask UXmatters, our expert panel looks at the importance of considering the fundamental principles of great design—not just UX design principles, but design principles in general. Our panel also discusses how great UX design takes place within organizations, looking at this topic on many different levels. How can you create great designs when working with a variety of designers with different backgrounds and while working within the constraints of project-defined goals? How can the presence of User Experience at the C-level and, in general, garnering support from the C-level affect our ability to implement great designs. How can we produce great designs in a repeatable manner? Keep reading for the answers to all of these important questions. Read More
In this column, instead of talking about one of my usual topics—tactics to avoid errors—I’ll discuss how to work within constraints and pragmatically address real-world issues. During the software-development process, your team may ask you to design an error message. Annoying edge cases all too often pop up—usually too late in the process to fix the issue in any other way.
For starters, I never write what I’d call error messages. Admittedly, I occasionally use that term—in the same way I might use words such as sitemap—just at the beginning of a conversation to orient everyone to my process. Just as I did in the title of this column. But I then switch to a more meaningful term and get everyone to talk about exception messages. Read More
Recently, in a customer workshop, I was listening to business users talking about the issues they were facing with their current system. This was not an academic exercise, as so many often can be, but rather a very interactive session with a highly engaged and enabled customer. My team had helped this customer with user research, design, and development for the application. Since the application had been in production for a few years, there was a ton of data about how people were really using it and how their usage could be expanded. The customer wanted to leverage that knowledge to make incremental design changes. While that sounds exactly like how things should work, anyone in the profession of designing and building user experiences knows that this was actually a rare opportunity—especially in the world of enterprise software.
Even though they had identified a lot of tactical fixes to design and implement, one of the main strategic initiatives they brought up derived from the fact that users did not really know the most expeditious route to follow in completing their tasks. They also alluded to the concepts of speed and accuracy throughout the presentation of the application. Read More