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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The Principles of Minimalist Web Design

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once said, “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” While Antoine’s message was about writing it very much applies to design. The benefits of minimal design are numerous, but most importantly with everything unnecessary stripped away all the focus […]

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User Psychology in Website Design

Usability discussions are plagued with self-reflection. Designers assess how obvious something is by putting themselves in the user’s shoes. The notion behind this practice is if it’s obvious to you, then it must be for the user as well. This approach contains two fundamental flaws: It provides a false sense you’re designing with usability in […]

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The ROI of Usability

Usability and investments are alike in the sense you get what you give. Very few design projects have an unlimited budget, so resources have to be distributed based on priority. Prioritizing usability over other design layers ultimately results in greater returns. Additionally, usability returns are multifaceted. Where other layers have the potential to affect revenue, […]

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Usability is more than a checklist

Some designers treat usability as a series of checklists, assuming usability is no more than including the right elements. Usability isn’t that cut and dry. It’s true that using conventions will improve usability, but there are bigger factors at play. Design is usable when it’s created with an understanding of how users think. Usability isn’t […]

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Evolving the Design Discovery Process

The design phase used to be the most time consuming part of our project but now it’s the smoothest. Where we once sought buy-in along the way with wireframes, style tiles, and finally two finished design concepts we now only deliver a single, fully fleshed out concept. While internally designing with the same tools, we’ve […]

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