Category Design

Typesetting for the Web Presentation

I finally got around to uploading a presentation I gave in 2011 on the basics typography and typesetting on the web. Luckily basic typography principles don’t change much. Although, the CSS section could be updated with another few slides added to it. Browsers supports a lot more typography related CSS now.

Interviewed By Sonali Basak about The Designation

Our Designation crew and students are interviewed about learning UX.

In Chicago, It’s Hot to Study How People Interact Online

Thoughts on LukeW’s iOS 7 Icon Survey

“22 polls comparing iOS6 to iOS7 icons found that across nearly 50,000 votes, people preferred iOS7 icons to iOS6 icons by 65% to 35%.”

Inconsistent Gradients

Luke’s article points out that most of the iOS7 icons were preferred when placed head to head against their iOS 6 counterpart, but perhaps by testing them in context (together on iOS 7) we’ll find that that’s where the dissonance sets in. Perhaps hatred towards the icons from designers, is a result of our critical nature while those who were questioned for the survey appreciate the novelty of new icons. Survey data always seems to bring up more questions then it answers, but I tend to always be more interested in the Why than the What.

Kindle Fire OmniGraffle Stencil

Download Kindle Fire Stencil v1.0

Make sure to download the Droid Font so everything looks accurate.

According to estimates the Kindle Fire has sold around five million units. If you already have an Android app it might be a good time to start thinking about moving it over to the Kindle.

To help you (and myself) start wireframing and prototyping your next Kindle Fire app I created this OmniGraffle stencil. Most of the UI elements I picked are just ones I used when working on apps for the Fire and some I though you might find useful. Please let me know if there are UI elements missing that you think I should add.

Kindle Fire Showing ZekeFranco.com

Branding in UX: It’s About Messaging & Experience

As interactions designers (and/or UX designers) we are accustomed to being a bridge between the business and the user. We’re also the hub between multiple departments. This is why we can have the opportunity to foster the creation of a great brand. We can bring together experience, messaging and visual design to create product the exceeds our customers expectations.

Location-Based Unlock Setting

I mocked up a feature that would take advantage of geofencing to allow a user to set up safe locations. When the phone detects that it’s in a safe area it won’t require a pin/passcode to unlock the screen. This way at home and perhaps work you don’t have to fiddle with the unlock screen, but if you lose your phone on the train it will require a passcode to unlock.

Communication Over Process

As designers we are generally judged by our ability to output artifacts of our work. Pixel perfect Photoshop files, task-flow models, wireframes, specifications, personas and usability reports. The documents’ goal is to communicate design. But generally designers are tasked to hand over one of these documents before a certain date. The goal should be to communicate what needs to be communicated so other people in our team can do the work they need to do. Sometimes a document will serve this purpose, but many times it’s just a simple conversation, a presentation, a rough sketch, design studio or simply a finger pointing to something on a screen.

Process Flexibility

Thinking that process is a silver bullet that can fix everything is sort of like early economic theories that presumed that accurate predictions of markets can be made without incorporating human behavior. You need to factor in the people and the business culture using the process. Many, if not most software businesses are conducted in a waterfall way even though the product they are making may be built using an agile process. The power of agile as well as the meaning of the word implies flexibility, which is why switching an IT department to an agile process alone doesn’t make for a successful software product. For the business to optimize it’s success it needs to listen to the feedback and adapt it’s products, goals and sometimes even budgets.

IxDA Chicago: The Lo-Fi Design Workshop

The IxDA Chicago recently (05/18/11) held a meeting about Lo-Fi design processes. The meeting was facilitated and graciously hosted by the design agency gravityTank. The topic was broken into three main ideas: sketching, storyboarding experience and video prototyping experience.

This is About Design With a Capital D

I’m tired of hearing designer ask how long the copy is because they want to make sure it fits in the box they designed. Too often as designers we are selling the packing and not the product.