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.

New Android Devices

We got some new toys (testing devices) in the office. The Nexus S and Droid 2. (Pics in full post.)

Set Bullets in a List to Any Color Using CSS

Surprisingly CSS doesn’t have a straight forward way of changing the bullet color for any of the list-style-types. I’m going to show you a clean way to change the color of a bullet; without adding spans or using background images.

2011 National Restaurant Association Show

I went to the National Restaurant Association Show to check out some of the technology solutions available in the foodservice market.

It was really fun to go and I just wanted share a quick list of categories I saw in the tech space. I wasn’t blown away by anything too exciting. Most of the technology related products revolved around these topics

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.

Providing Basic Accessibility

I know everything can’t be made 100% accessible. It really depends on the site’s demographic, timelines, budget, etc, but that doesn’t mean accessibility should be ignored. Regardless of the project’s constraints I make sure to create my markup so the basic needs of all users can be meet.

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.