Our focus for this weekly roundup is on our favourite UX articles. We’ve picked out our favourite articles, videos, and interviews about the topic and we hope you enjoy our comments on each piece. As a side note, my favourite article for this week was by Digital Telepathy. If you are struggling with a creative block, then this article is a must read for you.
I spotted this video while looking for UX videos earlier this week and thought it was an excellent way to sum up UX. The focus here is on mobile UX. The video creator, Nagore Vidan, covers the basics of user experience design thinking, goals and purposes while using minimalistic and aesthetic animation.
The video breaks down the main differences between UI and UX design and talks about the errors designers and developers make when working on a new app. I believe by displaying this information as an animation makes the concepts of UX and UI considerably easier to understand.
This video is perfect for small businesses to watch and understand before they have either a new app or website designed. It will provide a quick overview of UX and UI and you’ll feel better prepared when these terms arise in design briefs and in conversations with designers.
If you’ve been reading our blog for the last few months, you’ll have noticed that we write a lot about UX. This is because improving the user experience on your website is fundamentally important to your business. Great UX will build trust and a relationship with your site visitors. This, combined with the right marketing strategies, will encourage them to return and use your service/product frequently.
The point in this article that resonates with me is the importance of having an excellent search bar. The reason? I’ve visited some sites in the last week where the search facility was frustrating to use, but visually the sites were incredible. I ended up leaving to find alternative websites containing the information I was looking for. If visitors cannot find what they are looking for on your site, they will leave.
For small businesses, you could test the efficiency of your search bar by asking friends and family to try it out and provide feedback. You’ll gain priceless data. Or, if you are willing to invest a small amount of money, sign up to this website called UserTesting and see what site visitors think of your search facilities. You’ll receive videos of real users going through your site while commenting on their experience.
Checklists are excellent. I use one every day to make sure I’m completing essential tasks in my business and for client work. The writer of this article, Joseph Dickerson, suggests using a checklist in the UX design process. It’s a very basic but necessary tool. It will keep employees on task and productive, and allow your team to focus on whatever your primary goal is.
The critical values a UX (project) checklist brings you:
- It keeps things simple and helps you focus on the work
- It’s easy to manage and maintain
- It provides obvious visibility
- It lists more than just design tasks
- It provides structure for creative people to be creative
- It’s flexible
This interview is a few months old but still it’s fascinating. I hadn’t heard of Ruth Ellison before but I took many valuable insights away from this interview with her. Ruth is a Principal User Experience Designer working at PwC’s Experience Centre and has an excitement for creating accessible and inclusive user experiences. I thought her description of what Customer Journey Mapping is was accurate.
“Customer journey maps are visual representations of the end-to-end experience from the customer’s perspective as they engage a service to achieve their goal. It shows a range of triggers and touch points, motivations, frustrations/pain points and opportunities for change.”
A resource they suggest looking at this Pinterest board filled with self-explanatory customer journey graphics. Ruth goes through the whole process that she follows with Customer Journey Mapping: from basic research to wireframing, and even how customer journey mapping will evolve. The whole transcript of the interview is worth reading.
I find all the articles written by the Digital Telepathy intriguing, and this one is no different. Everyone experiences a creative slump at some point, whether it’s blog writing or graphic design work. It’s a depressing feeling when your mind is blank for new ideas and inspiration.
However, the article writer talks about an exercise based on Pixar’s 22 Rules of Storytelling that helps you to overcome a creative block which is the first time I’ve heard of this. As well as reading the Digital Telepathy article, I suggest reading Pixar’s method of storytelling.
They discovered by using Pixar’s techniques resulted in a significant change in their current project. It meant their brains briefly bypassed traditional UX practices and into a new area where a fresh and unique perspective could help to solve the current issue. They further go on to say how knowledge diversity has many benefits. They draw a comparison to Slack Technologies. Varied backgrounds of key people such as the CEO’s background in philosophy and their editorial director’s failed time in theatre are embraced as it brings a new dimension of creativity to the team.
‘The very definition of creativity is a kind of resourcefulness outside the constraints of the tried-and-true, and designers would benefit greatly by pulling from non-design aspects of their lives.’
This article examines the research in the way people experience the decision-making process, and how anyone can use psychological principles to increase web sales.
If you haven’t heard of this study conducted by two researchers about the psychology of choice, then I encourage you to read this. The researchers set up a jam-tasting booth in an upscale supermarket in the USA. For 50% of the time, they had 24 different varieties of jam on display. During the other time, they only presented six jams. They wanted to see in which scenario were more people likely to:
- Stop and sample the jam
- Buy a jar of jam.
After the test, they discovered that when 24 jam flavours were displayed, 60% of people stopped, and 3% of those would buy a jar. On the flipside, when six flavours of jam were shown, 40% of people stopped, but 30% of them bought a jar. The assumption here is the more items you offer, the more choice the customer has and is more likely to purchase an item. According to the research, this isn’t true.
Now how does this relate to UX? It’s important to realise that this research and principle can be applied to online sales. Look at the rest of the examples provided in the article to help give you ideas. I enjoyed their example of the Twitter homepage and how that has changed over time to become less cluttered.