Tools and Resources for Understanding and Creating Stunning User Experience Designs
Tools and Resources for Understanding and Creating Stunning User Experience Designs
User experience is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.
UX design increasingly popular nowadays and that’s a great thing because it means that companies or developers want to deliver applications which not only work well but also look and feel great. In this article you can see a collection of tools, articles and examples of UX design.
Proto.io is a new UI prototyping tool specifically tailored for mobile and tablet applications. The web based environment allows you to start off by creating a project for iPhone, iPad, Android phones or tablets.
For projects that have a team of developers contributing, MockFlow is a great browser-based wireframing tool to make sure every developer remains up to date with the project’s progress.
Axure RP gives you the wireframing, prototyping and specification tools needed to make informed design choices, persuade any skeptics, get your design built to spec… and maybe win a few fans along the way.
Patternry keeps your User Interface design patterns, components and code snippets in one place. It helps designers, developers and others communicate and design great User Experiences.
Omnigraffle is an award-winning yet simple-to-use program that produces graphics, diagrams, page layouts, and fast mockups of your website in progress. Omnigraffle prides itself on its ultimate customization ability, with users able to tweak every detail of their design, the end-result being a mockup site or page layout remarkably similar to how the actual page or feature will look.
Using Mockups feels like drawing, but because it’s digital, you can tweak and rearrange easily. Teams can come up with a design and iterate over it in real-time in the course of a meeting.
Mockingbird is an online tool that makes it easy for you to create, link together, preview, and share mockups of your website or application.
I’ve been a user experience designer for the entirety of my career. And in the decade I’ve spent doing this work, I have discovered that there is only one universal truth about how to design an extraordinary user experience: you must design an extraordinary company first.
Were I a betting man, I would wager this: the supermarket nearest to you is laid out with fresh fruit and vegetables near the entrance, and dairy and bread towards the back of the shop. I’m quite certain I’d win this bet enough times to make it worthwhile. This layout is, of course, no accident. By placing essentials in the corners, the store forces shoppers to traverse the entire floor to get their weekly shop. This increases the chance of an impulse purchase and hence the store’s revenue.
When designing from a UX perspective, I find it helpful to plan all my work in a spreadsheet. This forms a useful reference throughout design and help ensure that requirements are not missing.
Everyone’s journey to UX design is unique. For me, it all began in an academic environment that promoted marketing-oriented thinking. Eventually, though, I found myself in an environment that promoted a more analytical approach. The transition between the two wasn’t easy, so I’ve compiled the following pieces of advice for those in a similar position.
“Tags”or pieces of code placed on websites to track site activity proliferate on the web today. They are particularly good for online acquisition and marketing departments because they provide rich data on which to make decisions. At the same time, because tags are heavy they have a direct impact on site performance and can wind up costing your business conversions and customers.
So you know you want to shape the digital user experience of…something. Welcome to life after college. Now what? I often get asked by recent graduates “Where do I even start looking for experience and work?”
Customers’ expectations are constantly evolving as they encounter new digital experiences. Companies who place a high value on user experience keep pace with these changing expectations and become leaders in their markets. AnswerLab has consulted with hundreds of product managers, marketers, designers, and researchers who have created compelling, successful digital experiences. In this resource, we distill the top 10 habits we’ve observed and provided examples of those practices in action.
Which is better for users, scrolling or clicking? This is the question that designers have to think about when they’re designing page flow. Clicking offers users a menu of links that take them to a new page. Scrolling offers users all the content divided into different sections on a single page.
In the design field there is a deep understanding of intuition vs science. Often designers will stress when trying to perfect a layout. This could be within sizes, positioning, page structure, color theory, or a whole host of other categories. But as you mature your design senses grow with you, making it a lot easier to craft pixel-perfect interfaces.
Sitting in my cube one day at work with a deadline looming overhead, I was desperately trying to concentrate and couldn’t sit still. I cleared my desk, adjusted my chair, cranked as much soothing music as I could find, but nothing was working. Did I drink too much coffee? Wait, I haven’t had caffeine in over five years…
A close friend asked me a few days ago – “You’ve covered decent ground on the science, dimensions, characteristics, design aspects, process and pervasiveness of usability considerations. How about doing a reverse bit? What usability is not about? Or the myths of usability?” I jumped at the chance.
Many iOS (iPad and iPhone) users don’t know the basic gestures or default system tools that, with the correct knowledge, make using these devices so easy. Designers should be aware of these issues and either offer guidance or provide alternate solutions that compensate for this knowledge gap.
Designers aren’t just creating pleasing graphics for the Internet anymore. As a web designer you need to consider other properties of user interaction and coding. UX design is possibly the most important topic to cover, and this is especially true designing web forms. All webmasters should understand this message.
User experience (‘UX’ to its friends) is a term increasingly bandied about. Currently in that strange position of being excitingly new to many, touted as an essential component of web design process by industry experts and seemingly on the way to becoming ubiquitous, UX also has an air of mystery about it.
With a freshly inked contract, the client typically wants to begin work immediately. If you’re smart, you’ve sold them on the value of good design. But, they probably haven’t engaged a designer just yet. So, starting the requirements gathering process by story carding is a great way to get the ball rolling.
It’s easy to believe them when clients ask us, designers, to make recommendations. We want to believe they love us for our wisdom, knowledge, and experience. They want our advice. And we love giving them advice. It makes us feel smart—like they finally “get” what we’re about. They want to do the right thing and we know how to help them. So, why is it bad to make design recommendations? They want it. We want it. Why shouldn’t we make the recommendations they’re asking us to give?
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Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.
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