UX/UI Links, November 2017
November links are here!
This month's collection features articles relevant to our processes, the accessibility and usability of our outcomes, and our ability to communicate ideas.
Five articles to help us suck less at what we do without drowning in the web.
Daniel Eden, Product Designer at Facebook, exposes us to the pitfalls of engaging in pixel perfect designs that are at best, "sandboxed emulations of the real thing." He reflects on the pressure we put on our shoulders when using tools and processes that constrain us to strive for perfection when it is not necessary, and likely unproductive.
In The Burden of Precision, we'll find arguments in favor of "design[ing] in much broader strokes, and concentrat[ing] on making the finished product," forgetting about creating visual appeal and spending our time thinking about more pressing matters.
"It's about time we start designing the web for everyone." That's the nudge Lara Schenck, Front-end & WordPress Developer and Teacher, gives us with her article Advocating for Accessible UI Design on the CSS Tricks blog.
The reminder comes with non-technical accessibility tips for UI design suitable for everyone involved in the process. The tips are summed up in a list from which we highlighted the following:
- Make sure background and text colors have enough contrast.
- Double-check the readability of font weights and sizes.
- Don't rely 100% on icons and colors to communicate.
- What would the design look like without interactivity?
For many, forms are just fields to get user input. For those creating them, forms can be elaborate sets of elements requiring the study of whole books to master their design.
Ken Lee-Sanekata, UI/UX Designer, studied forms and condensed his learnings into 3 Best Form Design Practices for Your Design Process. According to Ken "forms need to be communicative and accommodating," and asking a key question can help us get closer to the right design: What is the high-level purpose of your form?
Here's a sneak-peak of the three good practices he recommends, useful for designers and non-designers alike:
- Take away as many form fields as possible, until you can’t, and then you try some more.
- Consider why you use a particular style of Form field Design.
- Look at the big picture of your forms.
A few weeks ago, this question came up: Our team is planning for next year. What tips do you have for how I can present my product ideas effectively to the team’s leaders so they’ll get support?
Our ability to communicate matters and "not only do you need to communicate clearly what you’re hoping to build, but also why this should be built."
In Pitching a Product Idea, Julie shares a few tips to help us communicate effectively, and get our stakeholders onboard with our ideas.
Selling our ideas is part of the job, a hard part. It relies on the quality of our work but also on our presentation skills.
So, let's dive deep into the presentation waters, which can be choppy sometimes.
The folks at uxdesign.cc are very generous writers, always shedding light on essential but not-so-obvious aspects of the product creation process. Their article The Relationship Between Design Deliverables and Presentation Skills, explains "how the level of detail of a design deliverable varies depending on the presenter’s storytelling skills."
Fabricio Teixeira, UX designer at R/GA, and Editor at uxdesign.cc, offers hints on how to improve our presentations depending on our position in the introvert-extrovert spectrum, considering that "what seems like a simple step in the process can be decisive for your ideas to be accepted, built and implemented."
Those were my favorite five articles from November.
- Jess for the Balsamiq Team