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
There are lots of different kinds of company out there, and many of them have a requirement for some form of custom software. This means that there is a vast array of environments that an Interaction Designer can work in. We frequently talk about the distinction between agency and client side. However, agencies vary widely … More The Business and Software Landscape
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
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
Suppose that you want to build a hotel. This isn’t a well-funded project backed by a major chain – it’s a personal project backed by some savings and an initial loan from the bank. You have grand plans for 50 or 100 rooms, a modern, boutique style, a small pool and fitness suite and a … More Prioritisation and Focus in Software Projects
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?
So I have a new MacBook Pro with Retina display. It looks great. But there is one problem: I don’t get what I expect when I take a screenshot – everything is twice the size I expect! What is going on?
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
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
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.