The Nitty-Gritty

Essentials for a strong UX foundation

In this space, I post about various interesting topics/issues within the user experience/user interface/tech world that have crossed my path. Inspiration for topics comes from a variety of places including articles, books, breaking news in the tech field, questions that arise as I work with developers and designers, user research, etc. The goal is to provide insights, as well as raise questions that all of us must ask in order to better meet our users' needs and to advance the field of UX. Join me in exploring a variety of topics foundational to good user experience and interface design!

The Mysterious Role of the UX Professional

Mar 1 2019 - After so many years - many still do not understand what UX is or what a UX professional does. Even within the field, the UX respnsibilities vary tremendously. In this post, I go back to the basic definitions of UX and challenge each of us in the field to assess our roles. What contributions are you bringing to your team and does your work ultimately help the user accomplish their goals?

A Design System is Not Enough - Part 3

Feb 14, 2019 - Part 3 in the design system series. In part 3, I bring previous concepts together and discuss the steps necessary to include in an overall design strategy. As we learned in Part 1, design systems can provide enormous benefits to organizations that use them appropriately. However, appropriate use requires them to be used within the context of an overall design strategy. Each step of the process is necessary and each step may need to be repeated as you iterate. Join me as we finish off this topic (for now).

A Design System is Not Enough - Part 2

Feb 7, 2019 - Part 2 in a 3 part series concerning design systems and application development. In part 2, I review some of the things that a design system cannot do for you. Join me as we take a realistic look at design systems and setting appropriate expections for use.

A Design System is Not Enough - Part 1

Jan 28, 2019 - Design systems have gained a prominent place in enterprise development. As a tool that provides basic building blocks for frontend development, design systems also provide the opportunity for creating better and more consistent interfaces across services. However, using design system components to build interfaces will not guarantee a good user experience any more than using the best construction materials will guarantee a top quality house. The key to any great product is having the right materials for the job AND skilled professionals using them in the appropriate manner. In part 1, I provide a high-level definition of a design system and discuss just a few of the many benefits of a using them.

Connection is Key

Jan. 23, 2019 - This post's focus continues the theme of considering our user and reminds us that to design for our users, we must connect with them. How can we know what users want and need if we don't meet them where they are?

Considering the User

Jan. 17, 2019 - To properly design for people, we must design with their goals, skills, and circumstances in mind. A big part of that is remembering that we are not our own end users. Most UX professionals understand this concept; however, it can be easy to forget just how different our end users might be!

Looking Forward to a New Year

Jan. 8, 2019 - The start of a new year and that means many of our colleagues are gathering in Las Vagas for the Annual Consumer Electronics Show. It's always exciting to hear about emerging technologies and the creative ways in which they are being used! In our day-to-day jobs, we might not have the opportunity to use products such as luggage that follow its owner (hands-free!); however, it is wise to know what's on the horizon and how it might affect our users' expectations in the years to come. So, take a break and expore a few of the items being showcased this year!

Reframing the Mobile Question

Dec. 18, 2018 - I am amazed that in the year 2018, I am still frequently asked "what do people want to do on their phones?" This question is frequently an attempt to justify the choice to move forward with a site/service design that is not mobile friendly. The rationale is 'no one would try and do this on their phone'.  However, users want to access everything from whatever device they choose to use or have available to them. It's almost 2019! Let's start asking the right questions and doing the necessary work to help our users!





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