Last Christmas, I had a minor family tech crisis (we’ve all had those, right)? I was visiting my parents, and my mom asked me to AirDrop some photos from my iPhone to hers. I’ve AirDropped photos probably a hundred times, but this time, for some reason, it didn’t work. My phone showed the photos as “sent”, but they weren’t appearing on my mom’s phone.
In recent years I have noticed mobile and web apps starting to include motion design in their user experiences. One example of this is Facebook reactions. Instead of the reactions instantly appearing on hover, they gradually appear to the user’s eye and animate to help the user further understand and choose their reaction. If the user hovers over a certain reaction it becomes larger to help signify to the user that that reaction will be the one they choose if the click or tap on it. The motion being used here keeps the user engaged in the app and is included in a meaningful and playful way.
Throughout my continuing journey as a designer I have started to notice several companies are creating what they call design systems. Some people also like to refer to them as design languages, visual languages, or human interface guidelines. Google has Material Design, Apple has created their Human Interface Guidelines, last year Salesforce put together their Lightning Design System, and Airbnb has recently put together a visual design language for their design team. I became curious as what a design system is and why these companies have started to create and document them. Below I’ve broken down my research into a few sections: what is a design system, what are the benefits, and when it is and isn’t beneficial to create one.
A spate of applications have popped/cropped up in recent years with slogans like “Make Anything Art.” They purport to transfer the style of one image and render the content of another image in that style. In the sets of images below, the small inset image is the source of the “style” which is transferred to the larger image. It’s an impressive trick, although I don’t know that it accurately represents what we mean by ‘style’.
Over the past year, I’ve been working as the solo designer embedded in a team of mostly developers and one project manager designing web experiences and publishing software for one of our clients, Rivals.com. We follow an agile methodology and work hard to effectively and efficiently integrate design. This blog post breaks down the major phases of our process and illustrates, at a high level, the role of design throughout.
When developing websites it is important to consider your audience and how they interact with your application. This can be even more significant for a person with disabilities. Even the most stunning visual presentation can lose its value when the content cannot be interpreted by an individual due to, for example, a learning disability or difficulty seeing. Therefore, it is important, when doing any development or design, we do not dismiss the 1 in 5 people that would benefit on an accessible web.
Upon hearing the term cross-cultural UX design most people might be unsure what it means and find it a mouthful to say. As the name suggests, cross-cultural UX design is when designers create a product that can be an enjoyable user experience for all people of all countries and cultures throughout the world. It makes sense that this is a relatively unknown and new term as it has only been used in recent years as our world experiences rapid globalization. Below I put together 6 major points to take into consideration when designing cross-cultural user experiences.
What does the IoT look like in 5, 10, or 25 years?
We’re living in a very exciting time for developments in technology, and there are always new stories of huge funding rounds going to companies bringing us closer to the future we’ve all imagined. Looking at the graphic below we can begin to make some sense of the different forces driving these technologies. Why do certain startups land billion dollar rounds while others slowly emerge out of academic labs? Why do some emerging technologies mature rapidly, while other languish? What differentiates a breakout crowdfunding campaign from a VC darling?
I had the privilege of attending this year’s San Francisco Smashing Conference in early April where I listened to presentations from founders, designers, and front-end developers.
I’ve recently made it one of my goals to learn more about UX and design. To that end, I read a book that was highly recommended by our Grio designers, The User Experience Team of One: A Research and Design Survival Guide, by Lean Buley. The book is written for people who are or want to be UX professionals, with a focus on those who either the only person in their company working on UX or who are in some way UX evangelists in their organizations. Although the intended audience of the book is UX professionals, there were also number of tips and ideas that a company like Grio can find useful. On many projects, especially when budgets and time are tight, Grio takes on the role of UX evangelist for our clients.