When the Twain Shall Meet: Content Strategy and User Research

Jan 7

We are currently engaged in redesigning our own website—a long-overdue undertaking, we know. As the saying goes, “The cobbler’s children have no shoes,” and we've been running around barefoot for a while now. As UX professionals ourselves, we know how seriously we have to take our redesign effort and how important it is that we follow our own tried-and-true ADePT process—from ground-up analysis to concept-validating user testing. One of the major tasks in this undertaking, though, is one that is not nested anywhere explicitly within our process: content strategy.   Content is King! Long...

Getting Omnigraffle and Visio to Play Nice with Each Other

Sep 16

Sometimes in a mad scramble to meet deadlines, we “have” to get Omnigraffle and Visio to play nice with each other. Here are some workarounds for those pesky issues to make the best of a tough situation. Please add to the list based on your own experiences. Set a Master Template Use either Visio or Omnigraffle as the master tool with the other contributing only on page level design. Standardize layout, fonts, stencils, alignment and grid on one master page that is imported and followed closely on the other. Obviously, ensure the...

How to Choose a UX Prototyping Tool

Sep 16

A feel of the real is very important in User Experience Design and we often find clients asking for prototypes (proof-of-concept) during the design process. Prototypes better communicate the interactions and navigation of the proposed design than static wireframes and mockups. Prototypes can be created at various stages of the design process (Analysis, Design or actual Test), for an informed user and client feedback to reduce number of design iterations. There is a broad array of prototyping applications available to suit the purpose, skill set and the fidelity required of...

South by South West Interactive Highlights

Jan 7

The South by South West interactive conference hit Austin on March 11 with a wave of nearly 15,000 interactive professionals (not to mention the 13,000 music and 9,000 film badge-holding attendees). Although the interactive portion of the conference was the largest in its 12 year history, many attendees lamented that the large number of participants compromised the quality of panels and presentations. Conceivably, in order to meet the needs of 15,000 conference-goers, the number of panels had to be increased from years past, which some believe lead to...

10 Steps to Great Client Relationships

Mar 14

As Design For Use celebrates its 5th birthday, we have decided to share our hard-earned wisdom by distilling what we feel are the 10 most important lessons to help build a lasting client relationship. Enjoy! 1. Above all, be honest Good relationships are built on honesty, trust and integrity. Be transparent about your pricing, capabilities and ability to deliver. Usually, the first "deliverable" our prospective clients see is our proposal and statement of work. This document should reflect the quality of your work, your understanding of the project scope, detailed plan for...

Better Site Maps: Some Different Perspectives

Sep 16

We often conduct a site audit or heuristic evaluation of a client's website to identify possible usability issues and establish next steps for both short- and long-term site improvements. There are a number of guidelines and best practices to help us conduct this heuristic evaluation (see Nielsen, et al). However, the final report for this type of audit has traditionally been filled with flat screenshots coupled with (verbose) text explanations of findings and recommendations. (more…)...

Creating Compelling UX Deliverables

Jun 24

Visualizing Statistics One of the main lessons taught to new UX professionals is the power of statistics to win over executives for a redesign effort. By using statistics, it is possible to look at usability or user research findings from a business and financial standpoint. However, it’s possible to paint a picture even more compelling than simple data tables by employing visualization techniques to create infographics to drive home your most telling points instantly. Appropriate infographics enhance the data by adding meaning to it by the use of metaphors, typography,...