I realized I wanted to write this piece when I mentioned the Baymard Institute to a User Researcher with 10+ years of experience and they had no idea what I was talking about. They aren’t alone! I’ve gotten plenty of raised eyebrows on the subject before.
This is a shame!
If you’re a User Researcher (or in any area even tangentially related to UX, websites, or digital products) Baymard can probably provide you some value — quite possibly already has — and is worth being aware of.
I promise I’m not affiliated with them. I’m just a big fan!
The results of the UxTool’s 2020 Survey are in.
One of the biggest takeaways?
Things aren’t looking great for InVision.
In 2017 the Design Tools survey showed InVision leading its category as a prototyping tool with 60% of respondents indicating they used it.
In 2020 that share has fallen to 23% with more than half of that number only using it as a secondary tool.
Consider these two schools of thought for how a product company might structure its teams:
In a project organization, individuals from different departments are assigned temporarily to projects (shocker!). Project members contribute temporarily until the project is completed, usually at a pre-determined deadline. Individuals may work on multiple projects at a time and may rely on others in their department to produce their share of the work.
In a product-based organization, designers are distributed into product teams. These teams — sometimes “pods”, “squads” or “scrum teams” — support a particular product or product area indefinitely. They exist independently of organizational…
I notice that many people (myself included) tend to create, observe, present, and critique designs in a zoomed out state. This can be the case when looking at work-in-progress designs in an application like Sketch or Figma — or even when looking at a mock-up that’s been printed out.
With a zoomed-out view, you can easily end up seeing twice the screen real estate or more compared to what users would typically see when using the product for real. This provides a better overview of the page, but can also skew perceptions of how well the design is working in…
It’s not all that hard to come across these ideas in the UX industry:
UX and visual/UI design are mutually exclusive skill-sets best handled by entirely different types of practitioners.
A good UX designer doesn’t need to be skilled in visual design.
Companies looking for “hybrid” UI/UX designers have unrealistic expectations and should give up on finding such “unicorns”.
But this sort of thinking seems to be on the decline. Seeing as it isn’t entirely gone, I think it’s still worth laying out a few counterpoints.
So where did these beliefs come from?
It’s no secret that user experience design…
“And, in the next place, since evil is specially characterized by its diffusion, and attains its greatest height when it simulates the appearance of the good, for that reason are signs, and marvels, and lying miracles found to accompany evil, through the cooperation of its father the devil.”
— The Theologian Origen (185–254) on recognizing the Antichrist
If you’ve never heard of it before, the Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise is a collection of principles and practices assembled with the goal of offering a way to “scale up” an Agile working model for large companies.
Agile software creation is pretty great. If you don’t think so, it might be because you’ve been introduced to the concept in a confusing way. Or at least that’s what I’ve come to believe based on my day to day discussions with others in the software world.
The problem is that many explanations of the concept fail to distinguish between Agile and Agile-related frameworks (like LeSS, SAFe, Scrum, etc.) and practices (writing user stories, sprints, backlogs). …
Over time I’ve found wireframes to be less and less useful, and I don’t think I’m alone. Because the term is somewhat loosely defined, it’s probably important to be specific. While there are many types of prototypes that examine levels of fidelity across various dimensions, I’d like to focus on the specific variant that most immediately comes to mind when hearing the word wireframe. It’s not a sketch or a fully realized mockup but rather the typical “middle” state —digital artifacts left intentionally unstyled and made to represent the “skeleton” of a full page in black and white. …
Retrospectives are meetings found in — but not limited to — the Scrum development framework where members of a product team reflect on past work and discuss ways to improve in the future. I’ve seen designers occasionally write retrospectives off as not being particularly relevant or interesting to them — sometimes to the point where they don’t even attend, but I’d argue that if you’re not very engaged (or not having them at all) you’re probably making a mistake.
A good retrospective allows a team to:
The Nielsen Norman Group is probably the most influential usability consultancy in the design industry. So, when they publish an article about their research findings titled “Flat UI Elements Attract Less Attention and Cause Uncertainty”, many designers perk up and pay attention.
In the few days after the article’s release I’ve already seen it shared several times as evidence of the weaknesses of flat as an interface aesthetic. But there’s a problem with that conclusion.
It’s not actually supported by the study that was done.
So what’s the issue? Let’s take a look at the very beginning of the article: