Paper Prototyping for Design Sprints

In an age of abundant user behavior data it’s advantageous to adopt a methodology of release, test, learn and iterate. Why spend six months redesigning your website or application based on speculation when you can launch quickly, continually make improvements, and learn what works and what doesn’t. What I’m describing are design sprints. Design sprints […]

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Principles of Effective Web Design

Design is a critical aspect of website success, despite the abundance of “ready for you” templates and site builders. Using off-the-shelf WordPress themes or Square Space templates can be a quick way to get an attractive site up and running, but it doesn’t mean the website will be successful. This isn’t to say that these […]

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Determining Your Website Scope of Work

You’re thinking about redesigning your website (or maybe need a new one from scratch). You have a high level idea of what you want, but the specifics escape you. We might use websites constantly, but planning a website isn’t easy. There are hundreds of decisions to make and the critical decisions aren’t always obvious. Building […]

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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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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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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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Planning a Website or Website Redesign: First Things First

There is no greater factor in website success than the planning phase. You might be tempted to start planning with consideration to time, budget, and functionality, but doing so is putting the cart in front of the horse. Before you can figure out what you need to spend, how long it will take and what […]

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Reviving the Hierarchy of Design Needs

When I was approached by a large publisher to author a book on design I was humbled by the notion. I spent a great deal of time researching things I already knew but didn’t limit myself to only web-design topics. I explored all different design niches, from industrial to fashion. During this time I came […]

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