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All Posts in User Experience

03/23/2017 - No Comments!

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

A Brief Information Architecture Primer

Recently, I co-delivered a webinar detailing the basics of information architecture, specific to the design of human machine interfaces (HMIs). We discussed the basics of Information Architecture (IA) and the benefits made possible when you add or invest in an information architecture stage for your product/project. The primary benefits being 1) Meaningful content organization and 2) Intuitive layout organization. I’ll be writing in detail about each of these subjects shortly, but for now let’s focus on IA itself.

This is a quick primer on the subject and the concepts involved – I’ve worked to distill down a ton of information into simple, actionable concepts for you. If you’re interested in more depth–grab a book–but for now, lets get started!

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03/22/2017 - No Comments!

Using Social Proof in User OnBoarding

Boosting conversion rates while improving the user’s experience.

During a recent project’s research phase, I spent some time exploring the use of social proof as it relates to product design. After studying the subject and using it as a tool to effectively boost conversion rates in this recent project, I’d love to share what I learned through this article. When used correctly, I’ve seen first-hand how social proof can be leveraged as a powerful tool in the hands of a product designer.

So, what is social proof?

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10/10/2016 - No Comments!

Boosting User Experience Awareness Company-Wide

You’re convinced, some folks within your team are convinced but there’s still a few hold-outs to incorporating user feedback sessions into your product’s development cycle. Over my years as a designer on various software teams, here are some methods I’ve found to be successful in gaining larger buy-in for the UX processes within an agile environment.

In a nutshell I recommend that you clarify any misconceptions of UX testing, iterate in public and then stay consistent with your processes.

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03/31/2016 - No Comments!

Leveraging Benchmark Usability Tests, part 1/3

Internal User Experience Training

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In last week’s edition of my Product Design Newsletter, I wrote in detail about conducting regular benchmark usability tests. The described process worked quite well within my agile software development team to ensure the ongoing high quality of our software. If you haven’t read that article just yet, go here and read about the process behind monthly benchmark user testing.

As the data from months of these benchmark tests accumulated, my team realized there were some additional positive, though unintended, consequences of the new testing schedule. Once these were realized, we were able to leverage these and attain even more results from the regular testing schedule. These results included:

- 01 — Internal User Experience Training
- 02 — User Testing Awareness
- 03 — Increased Team Empathy
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02/01/2016 - No Comments!

A Designers Best Friend: Reason

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As a professional designer, you are a key asset of the team – not simply a tool for last-minute polish.

The term Creative has long plagued the professional designer. When we speak of a designer in this light, one conjures the image of a whacky, unkempt “creative-type” that comes in late to work and skips meetings. ThisCreative slacks lazily at their desk, pushing pixels around until inspiration strikes, or some combination of colors and typography happens to click.

Today’s thriving professional designer is anything but this. Today’s designer is an analytical problem solver who can explain clearly how and why she got to the design solution she is defending. How does she do it? Reason.

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01/07/2016 - No Comments!

Leveling Up: From UI to Product Design

Setting arbitrary titles aside for a moment – this article is really about the transition many designers make between simply designing for beauty and designing for something more. It’s about the true role of a designer in problem solving and how that relates to communication with the client and user.

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07/12/2014 - No Comments!

Lean UX by Jeff Gothelf

For our monthly "designer forum" meeting this month, the team decided to get together and watch Jeff Gothelf's introductory presentation of Lean UX. While we've all read the book at some point in time and practice these methods daily in the office, it's always great to get a refresher from the man himself. The presentation was given at the UX Immersion conference in 2012 and is now available to watch on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOJWss8_BVA. After the video, we all discussed together what we are currently doing and how we could improve our workflows and introduce new practices. Overall, this was a great team building activity and everyone left with a few new strategies to better integrate our UX design with the agile software development teams we support. My notes from the video and our discussion follow.

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07/09/2013 - No Comments!

Better Product Definition with Lean UX & Design Thinking

In his webcast, Better Product Definition with Lean UX & Design Thinking, Eric Ries - creator of lean startup - explained how better up front definition of your product can benefit a lean design environment. Jeff Gothelf - a designer & Agile practitioner - joined the webinar for some early Q & A and background on this new thought process. These are my notes from their webcast.

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05/28/2013 - No Comments!

OMG. We Need a Mobile App, Notes

Today's Nerdery webcast was hosted by Ryan Carlson and centered around mobile application design best practices. Specifically, Meghan Casey, content strategist, and Hannah Grossman, user experience designer, explained and answered the audience's questions regarding their workflow when a client comes to them with the ambiguous statement, OMG. We need a mobile app! Both Meghan and Hannah currently work at the Nerdery.

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