Review of fresh materials, March 2011

    This material continues a series of monthly reviews of fresh articles on the topic of interfaces, new tools and collections of patterns, interesting cases and historical stories. From the tapes of several hundred thematic subscriptions, approximately 5% of the publications worth publishing are selected, which are interesting to share. Previous materials: April 2010-February 2011 .

    Methods and Practices

    Context Menu Design This
    article describes the principles of constructing context menus in desktop applications - which events and user actions can open it, which menu items should be placed in the lists of options, what to do if a lot of objects are selected.

    Considerations for Mobile Design, Parts 1-3
    David Legett has published a series of articles on the design of mobile sites and applications. Articles focus on three main topics - connection speed limits, screen resolutions, and user behavior.

    Usability Testing - Involving older adults in design of the user experience
    Dana Chisnell's recommendations for conducting user research and testing with older users. The author offers several forms for recording survey results.

    Rosenfeld Zeitgeist - Books, Articles, and Topics
    Specialized publisher Rosenfeld Media has launched a mini-library that recommends interesting books and articles on design topics. It works on the principle of wiki - readers can supplement the content.

    Mobile Form Design Strategies
    An excellent Chui Chui Tan article on designing forms for mobile sites. She gives tips on how to simplify the form from the main site and make its filling more comfortable in the face of limited mobile phone capabilities.

    Measuring the User Experience on a Large Scale - User-Centered Metrics for Web Applications
    Google employees have published a scientific publication in which they describe the HEART framework, which allows users to evaluate user experience using several metrics. It is actively used in the work of the company and may be useful to other organizations.

    Joshua Allen writes about the ephemeral nature of user interfaces. Often they are conceived and designed as something reliable and predictable, although in cases of entertainment products, unexpectedness is important.

    Creating Great Design Principles - 6 Counter-intuitive Tests
    Jared Spool lists design principles in large companies and compares beautiful, but not useful general words with really working messages. He shows by example how these principles help in working on a product.

    Major Web Standards for General Usability
    Michael Zuschlag suggests using the US military standard MIL-STD 1472 to evaluate user interfaces on the Internet. It is called “Design Criteria Standard: Human Engineering” and has many intersections with web-specific.

    Funky Design Spaces by Andrés Lucero
    A Andres Lucero project that explores how designers use mood boards in the early stages of design work. He wants to understand how this experience can be applied in interface design.

    Approaches to User Research When Designing for Children
    Catalina Naranjo-Bock describes her user research experiences with children and shares tips on building the process and working methods.

    Landing Page Best Practices - the definitive guide (with infographics)
    Visual Website Optimizer employee Oli Gardner has posted a good reference poster that describes the best landing page layout practices. It describes in simple form the structure and key elements of such pages.

    Asking Questions About Internet Behavior
    Caroline Jarrett shares his experience of polling users about their Internet experience. The article shows how to unobtrusively and without embarrassment to find out this information.

    Usability Testing is Qualitative Only If You Can't Count
    Active interest in A / B testing has recently undermined the credibility of usability testing and other user research methods. John Innes gives expert advice on how to prove the importance of classical methods in this situation.

    Sketching - The Visual Thinking Power Tool
    Mike Rohde describes for A List Apart the process of creating sketches and tools for working with them.

    A guide to carrying out usability reviews
    A simple but very useful template for preparing an expert assessment of usability. He also offers the calculation of a usability metric aggregate. Templates are available as MS Excel spreadsheets and a PDF file .


    UX Techniques, a Handy Pocket Reminder
    An iPhone application that has put together a compact and clear description of 45 key design methods and practices. It is essentially similar to thematic playing cards, which recently also appear for designers. Persona Template
    Orange Bus team has published an excellent character description template for manual printing and filling. This is a great tool for holding meetings and workshops where participants can describe user requirements without using a computer. Direct link to PDF .

    Are Touchscreen Tablets Effective Design Tools?
    Extremely useful material describing the capabilities of modern tablets as tools for creating sketch interfaces. Suzanne Ginsburg describes suitable iPad apps and compares styluses available on the market.

    nForm Sketching Table
    nForm uses an interesting sketching table. This is a multifunctional tool that allows you to store all the necessary accessories and draw on it.

    Natural interfaces in 5 minutes
    Aneesh Karve step-by-step describes a simple and effective way to create dynamic prototypes using PowerPoint and a camera. It turns out cheap and cheerful - in 5 minutes you can create a prototype that is quite suitable for demonstration to the client with minimal effort.


    Modal and Modeless Windows Best Practices This
    article talks about modal and modeless windows, which are used to display notifications, dialogs, settings, and content. The author describes the best practices for creating such windows and the situations in which they are appropriate.

    In Search of the Perfect CAPTCHA
    David Bushell is trying to figure out which way to protect against bots with CAPTCHA allows you to strike a balance between usability and quality of protection. It describes possible implementation examples and gives an assessment of each of them.

    iOS UI Patterns A
    well-structured library of design patterns and application designs for the iPhone. It contains several hundred screen layout examples broken down into categories.

    Call to Action Buttons Best Practices Guide
    The simplest, but no less useful checklist for creating call-to-action buttons. He walks you through the process of creating a well-functioning form element and landing pages.


    Design Principles for Visual Communication
    Maneesh Agrawala, Wilmot Li and Floraine Berthouzoz describe the process of creating infographics, taking into account the specifics of the subject area. Although the article is not entirely about design, a description of the process will be useful to designers anyway.


    Optimizing a Screen for Mobile Use
    A simple but very visual case for redesigning a mobile site. The Jacob Nielsen team offers 10 small improvements to one of the pages, which make it more informative and useful.


    10 Ways Mobile Sites Are Different from Desktop Web Sites
    Shanshan Ma describes the 10 main differences between regular sites and their mobile versions. Using examples of airlines, social networks, online stores and other resources, she shows different approaches to presenting content, navigation, localization, etc.

    Why User Experience Cannot Be Designed
    Despite the controversial title, this Helge Fredheim article quite successfully proves the thesis that the designer cannot sufficiently influence the basic elements of the user experience that form the user's impression of the product.

    User Experience White Paper - Bringing clarity to the concept of user experience (PDF)
    A group of UX specialists has put together a series of definitions of the term “user experience”, representing it from different angles. This is one of the most useful and elaborate articles on the topic of “what is UX.”

    How Anchoring, Ordering, Framing, and Loss Aversion Affect Decision Making
    Colleen Roller writes about the psychological effects of anchoring, ordering, framing, and loss aversion that affect a user's decision. She also gives practical examples of using these effects in design.

    How Your Coffee Mug Controls Your Feelings (& What You Can Do About It)
    Seth Snyder's article on the embodying cognition phenomenon and how material objects affect perception. The author gives the results of research, and also describes the possible effect of the phenomenon on interfaces.

    Social Scaling and Maturity
    The social media scaling and maturity model by Thomas Vander Val. The article describes how social services are growing and gaining popularity among users.

    Why Whitespace Matters
    A small but useful article on the topic of free space in design. She talks about why it is important to maintain user attention and increase readability.


    This Old Thing? Why new technology needs to keep old technology in mind
    Hana Schank criticizes the controversial NY Times article on old approaches and mental models in new products and interfaces. She proves that past achievements are used not from lack of imagination, but often have practical meaning.


    A Mobile Web User Typology
    The site collects research on how users around the world use mobile phones. A useful source of statistics for designers.

    UX Analytics, part I - A Call to Action
    A series of articles by Kristi Olson in which she argues the importance of quantifying user behavior. The first material in the series is introductory, designed to motivate professionals to use metrics tied to business tasks.

    UX Career Paths and Job Satisfaction
    Results of a survey of 338 usability experts, which took place at the end of 2010. Its task is to find out how the organizational structure of the company and the features of the internal process affect the satisfaction of specialists with their work.

    Content Centred Design for Websites
    Patrick Walsh describes the Content Centered Design approach, which should add value to content in interfaces. The article also compares CCD with other design methodologies.

    Conference proceedings

    Upcoming UX Events
    A detailed and comprehensive list of conferences on interface design for 2011 and 2012. A similar list was collected by Nick Finck .

    Recent links can also be tracked in the Friendfeed feed of User Experience .

    Also popular now: