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Topic: User Experience

What do the people who use your website actually want? Making web content accessible. Designing and testing interfaces and the systems that support them. Talking to users and considering real-world use cases. Testing on the cheap. Design, architecture, research, benchmarking, usability, analytics, studies, interviews, surveys, focus groups.

  • Instant Web

    by Mark Llobrera ·

    For some, Facebook’s Instant Articles is a sign that the traditional web stack is incapable of giving users a first-class reading experience. But the sluggish performance of the web isn’t due to an inherent flaw in the technology. That particular problem originates between the seat and the keyboard, where builders make choices that bloat their sites. For Mark Llobrera, Instant Articles is a sign that we need to prioritize performance like we actually mean it.

  • Meta-Moments: Thoughtfulness by Design

    by Andrew Grimes · Issue 420 ·

    Does the internet ever stop you in your tracks? Does it sometimes make you pause and think about what you’re doing? Andrew Grimes calls such moments meta-moments. He walks us through why meta-moments are occasionally necessary and how we might build them into the experiences we design.

  • Do Androids Dream in Free Verse?

    by Joscelin Cooper · Issue 419 ·

    From ATMs to Siri to the button text in an application user interface, we “talk” to our tech—and our tech talks back. Often this exchange is purely transactional, but newer technologies have renegotiated this relationship. Joscelin Cooper reflects on how we can design successful human-machine conversations that are neither cloying nor overly mechanical.

  • Let Links Be Links

    by Ross Penman · Issue 417 ·

    The notion of the web as an application platform has never been more popular. Single-page frameworks like Ember and Angular make it easy to create complex applications that offer richer, more robust experiences than traditional websites can. But this benefit comes at a cost. Ross Penman tells us what we can do about it.

  • The Illusion of Free

    by Laura Kalbag ·

    The number of predictions that algorithms can make about us from even minimal data is shocking. Although we’re offered privacy settings that let us control who of our friends sees what, all our information and behavior tends to be fair game for behind-the-scenes tracking. We simply don’t know everything that’s being done with our data currently, and what companies might be able—and willing—to do with it in the future. Laura Kalbag believes it’s time to locate the exits.

  • Designing for Post-Connected Users — Part 1, the Diagnostic

    by Antoine Lefeuvre ·

    How sustainable is a model where social networks take a central role in our daily routine? Antoine Lefeuvre believes there’s growing awareness that social networking tools don’t necessarily bring out the best in us. While we do want and appreciate tools that let us engage with others and do things together, we’re getting tired of the high price in attention and stress.

  • How Big is Big Enough to Pick On?

    by Laura Kalbag ·

    Businesses aren't all faceless juggernauts. Some are just one or two people. Yet when we interact with them through reviews or social media, we fall into the notion that there's no real individual in the other side whose feelings can be hurt. Laura Kalbag asks us to be sure to criticize the work and not the person.

  • From Empathy to Advocacy

    by Lyle Mullican · Issue 411 ·

    As designers, we’ve devoted considerable attention to the concept of empathy. But how do we ensure that empathy for our users translates into actionable steps that then guide our design decisions and behaviors? Lyle Mullican explores how we can go beyond listening to our users, and start advocating on their behalf.

  • Stars and Stripes and ISO Codes

    by Antoine Lefeuvre ·

    The labels of version links are key to navigating international websites. Making sure they are clear and unambiguous can increase user happiness and make you stand out in a crowd.

  • UX for the Enterprise

    by Jordan Koschei · Issue 408 ·

    Enterprise UX often involves navigating cumbersome processes, ancient technology, and clients skeptical of design’s value. Yet Fortune 500 companies are often the ones most in need of well-designed internal tools. Jordan Koschei takes us through common problems lurking in global organizations—and how we can improve people’s lives by giving internal tools the same attention as consumer interfaces.

  • Seeing Past the Highlight Reel

    by Rachel Andrew ·

    When we’re physically together, even in public, glances and side conversations help us understand what’s going on below the public personas others wear. But when we’re interacting with friends mainly online, it takes a little more effort to see behind their highlight reels to get the full story.

  • The Culinary Model of Web Design

    by Antoine Lefeuvre ·

    If you want to create a meal that nourishes and satisfies, and can even become a memorable experience, you hand-pick fresh, honest ingredients and combine them with care. It’s how the “mothers,” the great women chefs of Lyon, earned accolades and loyal customers—and it’s a great model for web design, too.

  • In Pursuit of Facebook Happiness

    by Nishant Kothary ·

    Our level of happiness and satisfaction on social networks is largely determined by the same things that make us happy in the rest of our lives. You can let your timeline be a perpetual reunion of your dullest second cousins or get out there and join some clubs.

  • Start Coding with Wireframes

    by Matt Griffin ·

    As a designer or UX pro, you’ve long suspected you ought to learn to code, but where to start? How about making your next wireframe responsive? When you build wireframes with simple code, you create a deliverable that can be reused while you become more knowledgeable about the inner workings of the web.

  • Designing for Easy Interaction

    by Sarah Horton, Whitney Quesenbery · Issue 389 ·

    Whether you contribute to the user experience, development, or strategy of your website, you have a business, ethical, and (in many cases) legal responsibility to make your site accessible. And an equally compelling duty to your stakeholders, creativity, and career to achieve accessibility without sacrificing one whit of design or innovation. So what’s a site and application maker to do? For starters, read this book! We are thrilled to present an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 5 of A Web for Everyone: Designing Accessible User Experiences by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery, available now from Rosenfeld Media—and with a 20 percent discount for ALA readers, even.

  • Does Our Industry Have a Drinking Problem?

    by Rachel Andrew ·

    The social events surrounding conferences are an integral part of the experience—and they mostly involve getting together over drinks. But as the industry becomes more inclusive, we gain more people for whom drinking isn’t a good option. It's time to add more ways to party and meet up that give us a chance to network with all of our peers—and maybe even leave us feeling up for that second-day morning workshop.

  • The Hands in the Cookie Jar

    by David Sleight ·

    As I write these words, my fiancée and I are just a few weeks away from our wedding day. We’ve been planning the big event for months now, dutifully pushing through a thicket of caterers, photographers, bands, and too many other vendors to mention. And while we’ve been making the rounds online to pore over reviews and double-check details, advertisers have been triangulating our movements.

  • Shades of Discoverability

    by Cennydd Bowles ·

    Many modern digital products enable complex, emergent behavior, not just pure task completion. We’re building habitats, not just tools; yet we often think of discoverability only in terms of task execution.

  • Douglas Engelbart and the Means to an End

    by Karen McGrane ·

    ENIAC, the world’s first programmable digital computer, was completed in 1944. Today, more people have access to mobile phones than have access to toilets. There are more mobile internet users in the developing world than in the developed world. It took just seventy years to get from a device the size of a two-story building to a device that fits in your pocket.

  • Security Affair

    by The W3C ·

    Apps are shifting more logic to the client, which is changing the security landscape. These are exciting times for the web.

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