Articles & research papers

Interaction Design

Google's Responsive Web Design Basics

The use of mobile devices to surf the web is growing at an astronomical pace, but unfortunately much of the web isn't optimized for those mobile devices. Mobile devices are often constrained by display size and require a different approach to how content is laid out on screen.

There is a multitude of different screen sizes across phones, “phablets”, tablets, desktops, game consoles, TVs, even wearables. Screen sizes will always be changing, so it’s important that your site can adapt to any screen size, today or in the future.

Google's Responsive Web Design Basics

Happy New Year! These Were the Most Popular Posts of 2015

As the curator and creator of The UX Bookmark, I would like to wish you all a blessed 2016! 2015 has been a good year for me and I hope it was for you too. Get out there and chase your dreams. Be true to yourself and live in the now.

Here is what was read the most on The UX Bookmark in 2015. You might have read some of them. Read the rest. Enjoy!

  1. A huge list of Style Guides and UI Guidelines
  2. Ultimate guide to table UI patterns
  3. Charting application alternatives to using Excel
  4. Download IDEO's Human Centered Design Toolkit
  5. Useful Visio Macros

Checkout Usability- Helping International Users Checkout

Victoria’s Secret uses a checkout usability tactic that may improve the usability of your international checkout. VS asks its customers to indicate their billing address in the first step of the checkout form. (Even with geolocation tools, it’s good to ask as a user’s billing address may be different than their IP location).

Helping International Users Checkout

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Here is a very useful collection of downloadable and very printable graph papers of the types:

  • Squares
  • Triangle and Hexagonal
  • Circular and Polar
  • Asymmetic
  • Specialty
  • Writing and Note-taking

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs

Design Patterns for Mobile Faceted Search: Part I

Faceted search is extremely helpful for certain kinds of finding—particularly for ecommerce apps. Unfortunately, the designers of mobile applications do not have established user interface paradigms they can follow or abundant screen real estate for presenting facets and filters in a separate area on the left or at the top of a screen. To implement faceted search on mobile devices, we need to get creative rather than following established Web design patterns. Explore the Four Corners, Modal Overlay, Watermark, and Refinement Options design patterns for mobile devices. Following these patterns can move us one step closer to making faceted search a usable reality on mobile devices.

But first, take a look at the challenges of designing mobile faceted search, which include navigational elements that use up precious screen real estate, limited search-refinement options, and the general lack of an iterative refinement flow.

Design Patterns for Mobile Faceted Search: Part I

Design at Facebook

Facebook’s design team walks the author through their philosophy and approach to designing for a quarter billion users. In particular, they emphasized the importance of writing code, sharing designs early and often, being involved with a project from start to finish, and not falling in love with your work. Making sure designers are technical enough to write code came up a lot.

This is an article from 2009.

Design at Facebook

Education in HCI

The HCI Education page is a collection of resources for students and educators interested in Human-Computer Interaction. The following are key resources for HCI Education:

  1. Curriculum: The SIGCHI Curriculum Development Group report Curricula in Human-Computer Interaction.
  2. Affordable Textbook: Clayton Lewis and John Rieman's shareware book Task-Centered User Interface Development.
  3. Readings: Gary Perlman's Suggested Readings in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), User Interface (UI) Development & Human Factors (HF).
  4. Educator's Mailing List: The SIGCHI Mailing List: CHI-Educators (chi-educators-request@acm.org) CHI-Educators is archived on the Web
  5. Student's Mailing List: The SIGCHI Mailing List: CHI-Students (chi-students-request@acm.org) CHI-Students is archived on the Web
  6. Program Ratings: Because it is so often asked, I have created: Gary Perlman's Ratings of HCI Education Programs

Education in HCI

Personas Make Users Memorable for Product Team Members

A persona is a fictional, yet realistic, description of a typical or target user of the product. A persona is an archetype instead of an actual living human, but personas should be described as if they were real people.

When based on user research, personas support user-centered design throughout a project’s life cycle by making characteristics of key user segments more salient.

Personas work because designers and developers have the same tendency as all other people to be captivated more by concrete instances than by abstractions and generalizations. We need all product-team members to empathize with users and be willing to go the extra step to develop something that will work for the actual users. But if users are described in statistical terms and as broad profiles, that information will simply not lodge itself as deeply in team members’ brains as a distinct persona will.

Personas Make Users Memorable for Product Team Members

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

On the trail of exploring our next career move, it’s likely we’ll need to show the path we’ve been on. As part of a design team, that usually means displaying our work.

However, if we didn’t make proper arrangements before we took the job, it’s very likely we can’t show much of our work to anyone. Consultants, contractors, and full-time employees are usually covered (in the US at least, but most other places as well) by a "work for hire" agreement, which means that the people we work for own all the work product we produce.

Wireframes, sketches, and other deliverables are not ours to show. If the final design isn’t publicly visible, such as internal application, there might not be any evidence of what we’ve done.

This puts us in an uncomfortable position when it comes time to show our work to a prospective employer. How do we show what we’re capable of when we don’t have access to our work? What can you put into your portfolio when your work is all locked up? The simple answer: Fill your portfolio with stories.

Fill Your Portfolio With Stories

Google Maps Design Secrets Revealed

Google Maps launched in 2005 and it was a revolution: you could go to your desktop browser, click and drag a map with a mouse and watch it render smoothly and quickly. Before then, you usually had to click arrows at the edge of a map in order to pan it, and wait for it to load.

Google Maps' 'fishbone' zoom controls predominated the map; after all, screen resolutions were small, and double-clicking the map would re-centre it rather than zoom into it. Beside the map, a column of suggested searches and instructions took over one third of the screen's width. Oh, and it only worked in Firefox and Explorer browsers.

Only eight years later, Google Maps spans multiple browsers and operating systems on desktop, mobile, tablet, and wearable devices. But how did its latest reincarnation come into play?

Learn some of the design foundations that fuelled Maps’ latest evolution.

Google Maps Design Secrets Revealed