Distinctive Fingerprints of UI Technologies

There are many technologies that can be used to build user interfaces: HTML, iOS, Android, WPF, Java, C++, Flex, Flash, VB etc. Each one tends to have a distinct fingerprint – a tendency to produce interfaces with a particular appearance and feel. We can see a metaphor for this in the various forms of architecture … More Distinctive Fingerprints of UI Technologies


The Cost Curve

  There is a saying in development that “anything is possible”. It tends to crop up when designers ask whether something can be implemented. “Anything is possible”, the developers say, the implication perhaps being that they should not be seen as the limiting factor in this decision. The statement is probably true, but, of course, … More The Cost Curve

Levels of Design

Design can operate at many levels within an organisation, with different benefits to bring in each arena. However, in practice, designers and user experience practitioners are often often stuck in a relatively narrow slice of the overall process. This is partly because management and other stakeholders have a limited view of what design and research … More Levels of Design

How can Hidden Functionality be Justified?

User Interfaces can be seen as being made up of three elements: Visible features that can be directly scanned by the user. Hierarchical structures that offer functionality that is not immediately visible, but can be hunted through. Hidden features that cannot be directly intuited from simply looking at the interface and therefore must be learned. … More How can Hidden Functionality be Justified?

Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Many aspects of user interfaces can be thought of as hierarchies, some explicit and others implicit. Website menu structures are a form of explicit hierarchy: they seek to give navigational access to a set of pages. Application menu structures are also explicit hierarchies. Except that they contain functions rather than navigation. However, thinking more laterally, … More Hierarchical Structure, Black Holes and Root Complexity

Making a statement: how to control endless design discussions with stakeholders

Most design projects are undertaken by a team of people and in many cases there are also multiple stakeholders. Designers are used to discussing requirements, brainstorming options, sketching ideas and generally working together to develop a solution. Project stakeholders usually have a very different background and bring to the table a very different way of … More Making a statement: how to control endless design discussions with stakeholders

Types of Sharing

Sharing features allow users to collaborate over the production of assets and dissemination of information. However, there are various ways in which this can be done. This post outlines the key types of sharing behaviour, provides examples and describes some of the challenges associated with each type.