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 my previous columns, I’ve framed my discussions around the practice of information architecture. To recap, the DSIA Research Initiative—of which I am the curator—defines the practice of information architecture as “the effort of organizing and relating information in a way that simplifies how people navigate and use content on the Web.” While the practice of information architecture can surely extend beyond the Web and its content, this IA practice definition eschews theoretical language to resonate with businesses looking for concrete Web solutions and practitioners who want to make a living off something tangible.
In the end, business clients don’t pay practitioners to practice information architecture; they pay professionals to produce IA work products that help them to meet their business objectives. So, of the many professional interests that come together to create a digital experience, what work products make the practice of information architecture unique? Read More
Recently, a client asked me to do a heuristic evaluation. They had hired another vendor to design an iOS app for one of their divisions, and it was my job to see how well they had done. And I almost failed. It was way, way too hard to evaluate the design, because it was all pages. There was no overall view of the system, no task flow, and only occasionally had they even really defined an interaction.
This is, sadly, typical of our industry today—and one way or another—this is something that I encounter regularly. While mobile UX designers may like to pretend that no design before the iPhone matters, we stick to many of the principles of 1970s graphic design in practice. Just look up almost any UX design pattern library, and you’ll find nothing but screenshots. Read More