Using Design Adjectives to Determine Look and Feel

One of the biggest challenges in interface design is deciding what this visual layer needs to communicate and how it should make users feel. Commonly referred to as “look and feel,” this terminology glosses over an important caveat–something can be aesthetically pleasing while communicating the wrong message (i.e. a website for kids could look beautiful […]

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Growing a WordCamp Year After Year

The fourth WordCamp Ann Arbor just wrapped up, and the initial feedback is that it was the best one to date. Two years ago I wrote a post summarizing what I had learned leading WordCamps prior to stepping down as lead organizer. Now I’ve been involved in another two and have seen the camp I […]

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Website Browsing Behavior Patterns

One of the most common complaints about websites is that important information can be difficult to find. Leading users to the content they’re looking for is critical for a successful website visit and encourages previous users to return. Easy in theory but difficult in practice. Users can easily find information when it’s organized and labeled […]

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The Need for NonCamps

2017 was the year of my foray into non-Camp WordPress conferences. They’ve changed my perspective on the WordPress conference landscape. Years ago when Pressnomics was first announced, I questioned the need for a non-camp focused conference. Couldn’t we discuss business topics at a WordCamp? Is this a way to get around the rules put in […]

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Design – Usable Doesn’t Mean Useful

The term “usability” receives a lot of attention in the web design space and with good reason. Usability implies users can effortlessly accomplish the goals that brought them to the website in the first place, and is the primary metric in determining whether a site is successful. Implementing usability in terms of simply meeting user […]

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How to Create Personas for User Experience

User personas are one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of your designs. Often created during design discovery, personas are a tool to better understand and align everyone around your target audience. When used properly, they ensure you stay on course and end up with the strongest possible design concept. In this […]

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Website Redesign Checklist

Congratulations on starting a website redesign process. If your business or organization is like most, your website is a critical marketing asset. If it’s been awhile since your last redesign I can imagine that expectations for this site are high, which can make your job managing the process stressful. After over a decade of managing […]

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User Experience Design with Mental Models

Have you ever tried a new product expecting it to be difficult but found it simple? Or how about the opposite? — using something that should be easy but isn’t. In the latter case, the product wasn’t designed with an understanding of how you think. Design intuitiveness is determined by the difference between how you […]

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Mastering the Design Approval Process

Being a designer means channeling your soul into bringing something new into the world… only to have a group of strangers tear it — and your self worth — apart. Critiques are an unwavering part of any designer’s life and are easily the worst part of the job. Formally educated designers leave the womb of […]

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