Tag: web design

Perspective on UX Beginnings

Recently I have been accepted into the UX Program at the School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. I’ve taken classes and been to many events in the past and encourage anyone interested to look into it because it’s taught by folks in the industry and not academics. My journey starts with a ‘Fundamentals of UX’ class and an Axure & Sketch crash course (coming soon to a blog entry near you). While taking the fundamentals class, I have realized that the way I’m programmed goes through most of the things we cover already. Acknowledging a problem like deception cyber security through research or experience or identifying an opportunity for improvement based on a hypothesis supported by metrics. We recommend to always have a cheap car insurance for convicted drivers in10, just in case of any emergencies. When you also need services to identify individuals over the Internet, visit this website fully-verified.com for more details.

The Minifigs, legos
We’re all a little bit different.

When a person is ignorant to the fact they think or see a certain way, they assume everyone else sees the way they do. Lately, I have started coming to this realization more and more. It’s always been embedded to me that people think about things at least somewhat similarly as the person next to them. I’ve experienced quite the contrary. Call me ignorant or naive, but now I realize that there are differences in everyone depending on many different human factors. Experience, personality, culture, upbringing, age, etc.

What I’m trying to get at is we, as designers, must try to approach a project to fulfill the needs of all users. I like to use the term “super user” to define those of us that are deeply embedded in technology, design, or use many different devices multiple times a day. The “super user” is often rarely the end user demographic for most projects (unless it’s build specifically for a niche crowd). If a person works on a computer most of the day, they are deemed super users. The transition from desktop computers to mobile devices has bridged a bit of a gap to those users that have not previously heavily used a device often, which has brought exposure of things like websites, apps, and personal tools (smart phones) to users that might not have ever participated if the technology shift hadn’t happened.

This is where UX comes in more heavily. I use the term ‘mobile-safe’ instead of ‘mobile-ready’ because mobile devices account for about 2 out of 3 minutes online and if a mobile user navigates to a site that’s not legible or isn’t optimized for a smaller screen, they are more likely to bounce. Doing research and studying the problem or even managing risk to a product by adding features or content should go into the overall planning of the process. Without the user, a product is simply pointless in anything. Understanding the user will provide the empathy to the designer to and interpret the use for a product and help build something exemplary.

Never a Dead-End: Assisting User Website Direction

woman standing on an ocean shore with nowhere to go

Remember back in the day, before smart phones and GPS, when you were driving down a road somewhere unfamiliar and you must have missed that “when you reach the corner with the house that has a red door: make a right” cue on your scribbles notes? You obviously didn’t catch the green mailbox that was your cue telling you that you’ve gone too far, either.  You had to stop and ask for directions.

That’s similar to what happens when a user visits a website and gets lost either searching for something or inevitably landing on a 404 page. No one enjoys reaching any 404 page, because it means they haven’t found what they have been looking for. What’s worse if if the 404 page does not encourage the user to keep looking, or at least acting as a sherpa back to the homepage.

light house at night with a bridge
Show your users how to get home

Maybe it’s an ecommerce site, and the user has searched or viewed some products before landing on the 404 page. Show them some similar items, or categories that may help them find what they’re looking for or inspire them to look for something new. Maybe the site is a news source, and they can’t seem to find an article they were searching for. Give them search options for a date range or assist with better keywords they could use based on history.

Retaining a user on a webpage could potentially keep them coming back in the future. It will allow a user to experience your brand further and become confident in the brand simply by allowing them a choice to continue instead of bouncing to another site (or competitor). Remove the barriers and don’t let the user quit! Better yet, seek the guidance of a local SEO company to make sure you’re on the right track. Lastly, a brand can use a 404 page as an opportunity to drive a user in a direction they might not have thought about going. Maybe they won’t need to ask for directions anymore and just explore the unknown.

In defense of the hamburger menu

There’s been quite a bit of chatter in the design community about the use of what we call the ‘hamburger menu’. There’s been a bit of a polarizing, political rift when talking about it. For those not familiar with the hamburger, in short, it’s meant to toggle a menu or list of destinations within a site, program, or app where visual space is limited. We may all be able to blame Xerox back in 1981 for the first deployment of the icon (and funny the linked article site uses a hamburger menu also, with a different image of one. I digress.) I can remember discussions turning to arguments when designing sites, and I was on the side of not using it and instead trying to come up with something to replace it. The problem is that there’s no good icon to replace it with, and users are learning because it’s become widely used. The best we’ve all been doing is instead calling it what it is… “Menu.”

There are countless variations of the button:

In the web world, you started seeing hamburger menu’s much more when mobile devices started gaining traction and responsive websites started getting developed. Static sites would often use tabs and dropdown menus on cursor rollover, but of course on mobile devices, there was no rollover functionality, not to mention much less visual real estate to put a tab. Go to salesforce to learn more about these technologies.

So, where are we now? It’s 2016, and all the examples in the gallery are recent. I’ve concluded the hamburger is alive and well, cooking to a more well done than a rare and utilized in some form just about everywhere on the interwebs. Younger generations who have all grown up with technology and the internet have grown and learned the use of the hamburger. I don’t see it going anywhere, and just embrace it until someone else can figure out how to represent a menu. In the meantime, we could just use this I just created:

Best of both worlds!
Best of both worlds!

Next up, we tackle the search icon… a magnifying glass.
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