Feb 242014
 

This article offers up reasons why UX designers should code wireframes in html using actual content versus using mock-up tools. It’s a worthy perspective and it’s related to the use of pattern libraries as a way of modularizing content blocks which adds great flexibility to how, where, and in what context you wish to deploy your content.

Dec 212013
 

If you are interested in Information Architecture and creating effective website taxonomies then read this article. It really is a definitive “how to” guide on card sorting. There are excellent resources for further reading as well.

Advantages:

Card sorting is a great, reliable, inexpensive method for finding patterns in how users would expect to find content or functionality. Those patterns are often referred to as the users’ mental model. By understanding the users’ mental model, we can increase findability, which in turn makes the product easier to use.

Disadvantages:

Does not consider users’ tasks – Card sorting is an inherently content-centric technique. If used without considering users’ tasks, it may lead to an information structure that is not usable when users are attempting real tasks. An information needs analysis or task analysis is necessary to ensure that the content being sorted meets user needs and that the resulting information structure allows users to achieve tasks.

http://boxesandarrows.com/card-sorting-a-definitive-guide/

Dec 102013
 

This article’s author views moving to responsive design as an opportunity to revisit your content strategy, with the caveat that this is also a requirement. Implementing responsive design, especially in the context of a CMS, has implications on the front end as well as the back end in terms of design and underlying structure. This relates to how and where your content appears which includes context and proximity of related content.

Responsive Design won’t fix Your Content

Dec 092013
 

This article effectively highlights design challenges for high resolution screens. Locking in max-width is a limiting and oftentimes detrimental approach. With responsive design one needs to consider big screen opportunities as well as small screen compatibility. How can you take advantage of high resolution? Consider content strategy and the opportunity to keep more content above the fold. The plethora of examples along with discussion on how others have utilized the big screen are what really make this article useful.

CSS3 offers two key techniques for responsive designs across resolutions. One that shows the most promise is CSS regions. Also look at CSS columns and design around a strong grid.

Surveying the Big Screen · An A List Apart Article.

Aug 302013
 

UX design starts with and is utterly dependent on thorough research of an organization, it’s competition, users, HCI, and other factors that may influence the ultimate effectiveness of a design. These articles are a good primer because they address issues on how to manage large amounts of user research so it’s integrated across an organization and not residing in department silos. Also covered is how to organize complex user research so it’s accessible to all and easy to comment on and share. Both articles include links to additional related resources.

Seeing the Elephant: Defragmenting User Research · An A List Apart Article
Connected UX · An A List Apart Article

May 312013
 

Resources for Web Design and UX, Usability, HCI, Content Strategy etc.

  1. A List Apart Good articles on timely topics.
  2. Boxes and Arrows This site is more research oriented.
  3. Smashing Magazine You’ll find good articles here. The downside – way too many ads.
May 312013
 

Above the fold – beware of false bottoms

Prevailing arguments in this era of almost infinite screen resolutions is that the fold no longer exists so don’t worry about it because  people now have a greater tendency to scroll. Check on the following articles for an active discussion on the topic.

My take on the issue is that the key navigation and links to important content should be near the top of the page. Most importantly beware of false bottoms and make sure you give users a reason to scroll. A false bottom gives the appearance that the page has ended at the point where a traditional fold occurs.

As Paul Boag notes in a clip linked below, content that will draw users in should be above the fold even though it may not be most important content.

 

Apr 262013
 

When considering these approachs you may wonder which comes first and why? How do they work together? What are common conflicts and typical ways in which they are resolved? The following article attempts to provide some answers.

Content Strategy Within The Design Process | Smashing UX Design.