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Fluid and Effective User-Centered Design: What We’re Reading

By Steve Singer

Fluid and Effective User-Centered Design: What We’re Reading

This week, we bring you articles on improving conversions for e-commerce sites, "fluid" web experiences, designing for humans (not just "users"), and the evolving vocabulary of design.

What are you reading?

Half-Math and That Gushing Hole in Your Bucket

This time of year, ecommerce sites get a real workout. At least that’s the hope of the operators of those sites. But as John Boykin argues here, many of these e-commerce sites are leaving money on the table due to poor user experience, specifically when it comes to the "intercept" that requires purchasers to establish an account prior to check-out. His advice, “Nuke that intercept entirely.”

3 Ways In Which Fluency Psychology Will Shake Up Usability Design

Fluency psychology? What’s that? In this post, Tom van Bommel says that fluency “refers to the ease with which a task or chunk of information is processed by the brain.” Experience designers can give their users a sense of fluency by providing them with previews, writing in the first person (“Start my free trial today”), and offering “active choices” that clearly state what a user will gain (“Yes, I want a 2-year warranty and have the certainty of all potential damage and defects being compensated at no added cost”) or lose (“No, I don’t want a 2-year warranty, even if that means I have to pay for all potential damage and defects myself”).

The More You Fail, The Greater Your Success: A User-Centered Design Case Study

In this highly personal story, the author Matt Reamer walks us through the process of designing a device allowing him and his family to better communicate with his autistic brother. He uses the story to illustrate what “human-centered” design should really look like. Among the tips he provides is this: “The more you ask yourself ‘Why’ while designing an experience, the more successful it will be.”

Style Guides

As companies grow and expand, they soon realize that they need at style guide to manage the appearance of their brand across different contexts, devices, and platforms. But what exactly is a “style guide”? To help you get a handle on the various forms a style guide can take, web designer Brad Frost identifies six different varieties in this post and highlights their differences and similarities.

The Urban Dictionary Of Design Slang

Any domain has its own specific jargon or slang, and design is no exception. Proving that designers can have a sense of humor and whimsy, this collaborative post is quite useful for getting clients and designers to speak the same language.

Image Source (Creative Commons): Nicholas Raymond.

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