UX Design

UX Design
We all have a unique view of the world around us. It's important for designers to consider the impact of mental models on the overall user experience. Let's take a deeper look into how mental models play a role in design.
In today's digital world, ensuring accessibility in software has become increasingly crucial. The practice of designing software that can be easily used by everyone, including individuals with disabilities, has significant implications for user experience, legal compliance, and business success. In this article, we will delve into the concept of accessibility, its importance, and explore practical considerations to integrate accessibility throughout the software development process. By prioritizing accessibility, we can create inclusive digital experiences that benefit all users and contribute to a more equitable society.
My summary of a one day UI/UX conference event in the heart of Bristol. There were a range of talks, from declarative design to web development in the times of AI. This was the first conference I'd attended, so here's my thoughts and highlights of the day.
In this blog post, two of our consultants share their insights from a panel discussion focused on enhancing the accessibility of digital products and services. They delve into the challenges encountered by disabled users, emphasize the significance of integrating accessibility considerations from the outset, and highlight the universal advantages that accessibility can offer.
UX and UI often get used interchangably, but there are key differences. Which one do you need?
In this post, I share the top things that resonated with me from the Women of Silicon Roundabout 2021 conference: the importance of finding purpose, nurturing talent, and building a sustainable future.
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This session summarises the results of a survey showing that much of the population is unable to complete medium-complexity tasks, and that only a small percentage has high-level computer-related skills. This is something that we all need to consider when building software solutions.
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This talk offers a taster of the vast world of Inclusive Design by exploring how understanding human diversity leads to the creation of better, more human products.
In this article, I focus on the migration strategy for legacy applications from a UX perspective and highlight the elements that businesses should think about.
Nothing is preventing your organisation from innovating today in order to keep pace with user expectations, because properly using APIs helps you escape from the bonds of your legacy estate.
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Genuine digital transformation is not possible unless Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are embraced and understood across a whole organisation, rather than just within technical teams. In this webinar, I tried to start taking non-technical folk on that journey.
While APIs are nothing new, their technical nature means that their purposes and capabilities are rarely understood or championed by non-technical people in organisations, despite their huge significance in our digital world...
When we work on projects, we are often pressured by timelines and stakeholders to move on with our designs as quickly as possible. We need to be able to advocate the value of iterative design, to ensure that we are building the right thing, in the right way.
APIs "done properly" can be a significant strategic enabler, or even a whole new business proposition. This piece highlights some examples of this in action.
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This webinar explored the potential of desktop container technologies to cultivate an integrated desktop ecosystem, and shares some techniques for taking a workflow-focused approach to software design.
The choice of whether to build a web app, a PWA, a desktop container app or a native desktop application is one that is usually dominated by technical discussions. Of course, a deep understanding of the technical tradeoffs is essential. But what can often be underrepresented is a consideration of the real end-users, and what approach might be best for them.
Recently, a whole range of tools have been introduced promising to fully automate visual design specs, so that designers never have to manually create specs again. But is it really that simple? Just like other forms of automation, there are pros and cons to these tools that are important to consider.
Design specs are often overlooked or unwelcome as part of the design process. However, by employing the same UX principles to this stage as we do to the rest of our work, we can optimise handover from design to development.
Earlier this year, 3 of us ran our first formal Design Sprint for an internal project. In this post I share what we did in detail, and highlight some first-timer difficulties.
The process for meeting accessibility standards can seem overwhelming. In this post, I explore three ways of approaching accessibility that make achieving it more manageable.
This post provides a summary of the main talks and workshops I attended during UX Scotland 2019 as well as my key insights and takeaways from the conference. The blog is centered around the themes of mapping, emotions, focus and silence.
Clean Design is the cleanliness of your design files and the practices of creating these files rather than the design outcome you generate from them. In this post, you can find a few tips on how you can start applying Clean Design.
We know that emotions can move markets through optimism and pessimism but what about apathy, stress and the embarrassment that we feel when discussing our finances? Designing for emotion is not a new concept but perhaps it has been overlooked in FinTech. In this post, I share my take on the FinTech Design Summit 2019 focusing on an angle that puts people’s emotions at the center of FinTech Design.
In order to make well-informed design decisions when it comes to the approach for cross-platform design, we need to first understand the subtleties and idioms of both platforms. With this knowledge we can define a cross-platform design strategy which should result in efficient design and development cycles and an effective app experience.
We had a stand at the recent Service Design in Government conference and took the opportunity to gain some insight into the community, using LEGO! Here's what we did, why and the results.
In this article, I share my take on the recent Big Data LDN 2018 conference and delve into some particular highlights from Dr Hannah Fry's keynote.
Article provides an overview of trends in UX from the UX Poland 2018 conference, that arguably will be an important part of the UX Design industry in the coming months and years. Topics include promoting honesty with simplicity in our design, cross-app integrations, and the rise of progressive web apps as the future of mobile experiences.
Open Banking came into force in January 2018. It was introduced to shake-up the fundamentals of the UK financial sector by aiming to create competition and foster collaboration. This blog post will take a brief look at what Open Banking means for the user experience by reviewing some of the current Consent Models (permissioning flows) for adding a users’ bank account to the account aggregator Yolt.
There are many directions a design can take when generating ideas for a project. Sketching can quickly get the ball rolling and help you look beyond perfection, ensuring you can continually iterate with minimal cost.
Last week I attended the annual UX Scotland conference. In this post, I will share my experience of the event and some of the insights I gained.
Protecting users’ privacy and security is often seen as a task for developers. However, UX designers can work alongside developers and play a role in that. In this post, I present a few ways in which designers can help users protect their data.
Animation prototyping tools have been increasing in popularity, but also in variety. I spent a week exploring these tools and in this post I will try to gauge which tool is most appropriate for the needs and workflows of our team.
Last week, designers from across the globe gathered for the annual Interaction conference. Here are some of my thoughts and takeaways from the event.
In this post, I go over the similarities and differences between Sketch and Illustrator when working with type.
Inspired by a recent dot chart visualisation focusing on the change of a value in different circumstances, this blog post presents the same data visualised using a slopegraph and compares and contrasts the two forms.
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Why don't we adopt responsive design on the desktop? In this talk I demonstrate the power and fresh challenge of applying responsive design to desktop productivity applications.
Insurance is stuck between a rock and a hard place when it comes to user experience. This post will detail some thoughts on what can be done in the short term to steer their customer’s experience in the right direction.
This post looks at the pros and cons of some of the automated handoff tools available for designers to share style specs with developers.
Facilitating UX workshops can be challenging when ideating with non-designers who have not participated in a UX workshop and are sceptical about its value. In this post, I suggest four tips for achieving successful UX workshops and gaining the trust of the more sceptical participants.
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A talk from NUX5 where I explore conversational UIs and conversational commerce.
Despite all the excitement around chatbots, conversational UIs and conversational commerce, you need to take a step back and consider whether they could be appropriate for your services. This post weighs up the potential against the current reality and highlights aspects to consider.
Last week I attended the UX Scotland conference held at the impressive setting of Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh. The 3-day conference, sponsored by Scott Logic, contained a selection of interesting case studies, workshops, hackathons and other social events.
This blog post highlights an awkward problem in one of the key building blocks of an automated conversational UI and suggests a few strategies for how to deal with it.
Body as interface is plausible either when the body is in a controlled environment or when the device becomes part of the body. Exploring this notion allows us to stop designing interfaces and start designing experiences.
We have recently been working on concept designs for a banking app aimed at the new generation of bank users. The main screen of one of such concepts hinges on a seamless transition between different views to communicate the relationship in the underlying data.
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Conversational Commerce drastically re-imagines the way services are delivered to customers by moving interactions with them into chat, messaging or other natural language interfaces such as voice. The following video captures some of our initial thoughts on how this might apply to financial services.
The size of things is relative to the scale that we set. This might sound like a trivial notion, but it is key to creating meaningful data visualisations.
On the 1st of March myself and Graham Odds travelled to Helsinki, Finland to attend the 8th annual Interaction week.
I am often asked for recommended reading on design by people from all sorts of different backgrounds. My answers vary wildly depending on the person asking and the angle or topic I think might be most relevant to them. However, there are certain books that come up quite often so here are a rounded collection of recommendations. It may surprise some that only a handful of these books are actually about design but I strongly believe that you can learn as much, if not more, from outside the world of design. After all, analysing, understanding and repurposing are some of the most powerful skills for designers to hone.
During the end of last week, UX Scotland 2015 took place at the Dynamic Earth, offering a selection of interesting talks, workshops and social events. The conference was filled with interesting guests sharing their personal experiences, including Scott Logic’s Graham Odds. The hot Summer Sun proved to offer the ultimate setting, gracing the attendees with a rare display of Edinburgh at its liveliest.
An examination of the current state of in-car UIs, and how Apple, Google and Tesla are significantly shaking things up.
The link between hip hop and UX design doesn't come up often, but it should.
Well designed objects and interfaces do not require lists of instructions. Why not?
An outline of principles that will help you design more compelling data visualisations, from the respective strengths of various means for visually encoding values to the most appropriate patterns for conveying relationships.
Last week I spoke at and attended UX Scotland 2013, a new user experience design conference organised by Software Acumen. Over the course of 2 days, 31 sessions and roughly 130 delegates ensured that Our Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh was filled with ideas, discussion and enthusiasm. Overall, the conference was a definite success and I'm delighted to hear Software Acumen are already planning to repeat it next year.
Some thoughts and concerns about adaptive systems, emphasising the necessity to seriously question any assumptions they operate under so that the benefits they might bring to the user experience of a product outweigh any frustrations or negativity.
A critical appraisal of my 'If Broad Habitats In The UK Were Clustered...' visualisation, highlighting some of its shortcomings and issues in the underlying data source that the 'pretty picture' does a good job of masking.
This article considers a recent change to the BBC Weather site as an example of how overuse of information visualisation techniques and inconsistent design decisions can undermine what is otherwise an excellent content-first experience.
Last week I attended the UX London 2012 conference. This was my first public foray into the world of User Experience and it proved to be both educational and thought-provoking.
This article presents a concern I have regarding the development of infographics and shows an example of the kind of critical thinking I believe the world of infographics is unfortunately all too often missing.
This article presents a critique of radar charts, a chart type commonly used to display multivariate data, higlighting how they are poorly designed to effectively communicate information in the underlying data, and presents a number of more effective alternatives.
Yesterday I spoke at the Flash On The Beach conference in Brighton as part of the Elevator Pitch session. I think the session went really well, with a great mixture of topics so (hopefully) everyone was suitably entertained.
Last week I attended a series of information visualisation workshops run by Stephen Few.
Contextual cues are frequently used in user interface design to communicate functionality and behaviour to the user, removing the need for the user to guess.
This blog post looks at a recently published set of charts in a UK newspaper and how they fail to help in the comprehension of the data which they visualise. I will also look at much more effective ways of displaying this same data.