UX Collective

UX Collective

Curated stories on user experience, usability, and product design.

UX Collective

UX Collective

Design thinking for higher education innovation

Written by Jeff Freels & Kathleen Krysher

DDesign thinking is everywhere these days. Primarily used as an innovation strategy for designing objects and services for business, its use has expanded in recent years to encompass planning and design for diverse types of organizations, including higher education. Advocates argue that design thinking is ideal for tackling complex problems such as climate change, obesity, and crime. Critics allege that it is a “failed experiment.”

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UX Collective

UX Collective

The “average” fallacy

The 150-year-old myth that’s screwing up your service model and product strategy.

WeWe humans tend to follow destructive patterns of practice when it comes to the introduction of new technologies. We seem to either abandon all prior knowledge in trying to grapple with a technology and adapt it to profoundly satisfying ways of changing our lives, or we

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UX Collective

UX Collective

One essential reason to link your taxonomies

Co-authored by Morgen Kimbrell & Rick DeNobel

White rabbit coming out of a magic hat

Heather Hedden defines taxonomy mapping as the “linking between individual terms or concepts in each taxonomy so that the taxonomies may be used in some combination.”

Mapping was a solution our team was interested in testing out. On one hand, we were developing a central enterprise taxonomy—for the first time ever at Intuit. On the other hand, we were tasked with creating a navigation for a new QuickBooks help and support site.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

With access, the little things matter

How universities can fail — and succeed — in fair hiring practices for candidates with disabilities

A white woman in a wheelchair is smiling and wearing PhD regalia for graduation

I am a tenured professor at a large research university. Getting a PhD was a lot of work. But one of my biggest hurdles was getting hired.

I was born without the use of my arms and legs. I put myself through school and finished my PhD at the age of 27. As I was finishing, I went on the job market. I had yet to complete my degree, so I wasn’t necessarily expecting to get a job, or even an interview. I just wanted to get a feel for the experience.

I was looking for a position in Spanish linguistics, which was an expanding but small field, so competition was tough.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Mentoring ‘no-hire’ design candidates

Are you doing what you can to help the next generation of designers find their way?

GGetting a “no-hire” decision from a potential employer is rough on any job candidate. But given their tendency to be emotionally invested in their work and their chosen profession, it can be particularly disheartening for designers.

To make matters worse, many companies have nondisclosure policies regarding candidate feedback — we’ve all heard the classic “thanks for your interest, but we’re going in a different direction with this position” generic response at some point in our own careers, right?

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Increasing your learner’s engagement in eLearning

How to use gamification to improve the learning experience.

TThe world has been shunted forward and has had to embrace all things online in a very short amount of time. This advent has allowed for online learning to come to the forefront and for a lot of traditional educational institutions and models to be revisited and re-examined as to their viability in this new world order.

Currently, a lot of eLearning still follows the old methods of traditional learning. There’s too much rote repetition in what learners are doing. The process follows them learning theory, in a somewhat passive mono-directional fashion, and they are tested. If they fail they start from the beginning again and if they succeed they get to start from the beginning again but at a different level and/or with a different topic.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

How to design an engaging VR app

Design principles for an enjoyable virtual experience

VVirtual and mixed reality apps are becoming more and more attractive to businesses and brands, as multi-sensory 360° experiences create a more profound impression on the audience, make complicated things memorable, and increase empathy. This unique characteristic of VR apps is called “immersion” and the feeling it evokes is referred to as “presence”.

Immersion is a sense of belief that one has left the real world and is now “present” in the virtual environment,

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Aspects to take into account when designing for dark mode

stack of phones displaying dark mode

Usually, as a designer working for a bigger company, you don’t get to be at the decision making of every single design aspect. Some things just arrive at your desk and you’re supposed to use them as-is. And that is fine.

Nevertheless, I try to always test everything that I have to work with. Mainly because we are all humans; we all do mistakes, and… there are usually always things we overlook.

I have made tons of mistakes over the years as a designer, so I learned to force myself to check things thousands of times; including my own work, which is the most difficult part and where most of the errors happen as we are saturated with looking at it.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Compassion in crisis: empathy-informed UX research in COVID-19 times

Empathy doesn’t always come easy and is not unlimited. But now we need it more than ever.

People outside social distancing and wearing masks

As a UX researcher, these times are strange in multifaceted ways.

As individuals and communities, we rely on products and services to navigate through our days, keep up existing routines, and build new and hopefully better habits. As the global COVID-19 crisis unfolds, these routines and these habits have shifted. Some died an abrupt death (daily commutes, eating out), others intensified (Netflix consumption, podcasts, late night online impulse-buying).

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UX Collective

UX Collective

7 questions to design your team playbook

250% increase in usage was the result of adopting this framework, and it is not rocket science.

An IKEA assembly instruction manual with some metallic and wooden nails

When I asked Google for the definition of a ‘Playbook’, I got this: ‘Playbook’ is a noun from North America meaning: “a book containing a sports team’s strategies and plays, especially in American football”. And the Cambridge Dictionary defines it as: “A set of rules or suggestions that are considered to be suitable for a particular activity, industry, or job”.

While I like to simply refer to it as:

“An IKEA-style flat-pack means to get things done”.

Think of it as a knowledge hub that is specialised in activities (a.k.a. plays or tools) that enable teams to collaborate, ideate, problem solve, make decisions…etc.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Facilitating remote workshops

Part 2: Challenges, Limitations, and Thinking Ahead

Person sitting in their living room, on a remote video conferernce call.

This article is intended to be a two-part series. In Part 1, I discussed basic best practices in planning and facilitating remote workshops for anyone getting started in this format. In Part 2, I will explore some of the deeper challenges more experienced facilitators may be tackling.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

How do I find users for my product?

How do I find users for my product?

It’s all in the approach

Finding users for your product isn’t as hard as some make it out to be.

Finding 100,000 users right off the bat?

Now that’s hard.

But finding 5 users, 10 users, 20 users.

That’s absolutely doable and should be something you do as soon as possible to capture feedback for your product, which is essential to turning it into something that your users want.

Below are three tips for finding your first users:

Tip 1 — Find a channel

A channel to me is a place where your users hang out and where you can make contact with your first users.

Ryan J Farley, co-founder of LawnStarter recommend that you start scrappy.

I personally started with Reddit a month ago.

After a month of DMs (direct messages), comments, threads, and even a subreddit, I’ve managed to acquire four users for my product. Two have already signed up and are now on a free trial of my product.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

7 Clever Design Tricks Companies Use to Fool Us

A few of the industry’s dirty secrets you might not know about.

Mustache and glasses mask with hypnotising eyes

1. Sound

BMW M4

Our journey into the world of deception starts with our sense of hearing.

One example of sound design being used to deceive is how car manufacturers use speakers to beef up the rumbling of their engines. Modern cars are getting quieter, so to match customer’s expectations of a powerful engine, manufacturers like Ford, BMW, Audi, Lexus, and others use fake engine noises.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

This is how you do the take-home product design assignment

Hint: Go beyond the brief.

You’ve come to the last stages of an interview. There’s only one thing left to do: the dreaded take home design assignment.

This is the hard part of any interview process, but many employers require it for product design roles. The intent behind these assignments is to see how you think and to verify your skills as a designer.

To provide context on how to do a take-home assignment, I’m going to break down one that I recently completed.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t get the job.

They said my presentation was amazing, but a candidate with more relevant and specific experience came through the pipeline and beat me to it.

That said, I’ve picked up a thing or two about what to do (and what not to do).

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UX Collective

UX Collective

From outsider to partner

5 Tips on Building Design Partnerships in an Expert Domain

II joined Netflix as a product designer in the summer of 2018. Instead of working on the Netflix app on TV or mobile devices, I took on the challenge to help create the “behind-the-scenes” products serving hundreds of users at the Netflix studio and thousands of content creators worldwide. For these users, their mission, as well as mine, is to produce more amazing content on Netflix to create joy for our 182 million subscribers.

For the past 100 years, the movie industry has become its own “universe” with various jobs, workflows, norms, and culture: from creators pitching a title to a studio, to the costly multi-month or multi-year production process, all the way to marketing and releasing the content.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Personalized mobile apps: this is all that you need in life

Please take a second to found out the number of applications you have on your smartphone. You will probably be surprised the number is bigger than you thought. This is not just you. In the App Store, there are more than 2.2 million applications and on Google Play, there are 2.8 million apps. So we download applications, a lot.

Research from last year (2019) shows that we have 75 applications installed on an average smartphone, while we use on average 25 apps only per month. So why do we need so many applications? And what makes some of them so unique?

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UX Collective

UX Collective

The lessons you learn when you volunteer for Covid-19 projects

What will you learn when you give yourself?

About a month ago, I was informed about Helpforcovid.com, a website where Covid-19 projects, dedicated to different problems that arose from the pandemic, were trying to recruit volunteers.

Anything from co-ordinating groceries and help for at-risk populations such as the elderly to co-ordinating supply logistics for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in hospitals were seeking volunteers.

I volunteered for 3 informational projects as a UX Designer, and it taught me many valuable life lessons that I hadn’t been expecting.

Informational problems

When you are ill and you suspect that you might have Covid-19, who do you call?

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Gestalt in UX — or — why designers are so annoying about spacing

I’ve been lucky so far in my design career to have worked with engineers that seem genuinely interested in learning about design. Perhaps, as mentioned in the title, it’s more about them trying to figure out why it matters so much to us that there is 8 pixels of space between the label and the form field and not 12 pixels. I may never know their true motivation. But one of the ways I’ve found to be most effective in teaching engineers about why we’re so persnickety is going over Gestalt principles with them.

This also allows me to victimize this intolerable (and handsome and smart 🙄) friend of mine by eviscerating his resume design in front of everyone.

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Building a better future with the help of your favorite celebrity — a UX case study

Introducing Cameo Pitch — shoot your shot!

Objective

Designing a new product feature that allows users to pay celebrities to pitch their product, business idea, or hidden talents to their favorite star! The new feature will include:

Stakeholder Goals

  • Providing celebrities opportunities to expand their investment portfolios and make money by investing in fans.
  • Allowing fans to promote, get funding, or gain support for their business from their selected celebrity.
  • Making celebrities more accessible for small & local businesses, artists, gig workers, freelancers, etc that are looking for work.

User Goals

How might we allow people to create better futures with the help of their favorite celebrity?

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UX Collective

UX Collective

Designing with constraints

When we are in dire situation we tend to come up with the most innovative solutions.

Innovation is historically known to flourish during hard times. A great example is how Black Death Pandemic gave us the law of gravity. At the time Cambridge University shut down, Isaac Newton returned back home and while sitting in his garden he saw an apple fall from a tree, which provided his inspiration to create the law of universal gravitation.

Design is a SUM of constraints.

Even though you might not be discovering new laws of physics (or maybe you are), what role do constraints play in your design innovation?

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