5 posts categorized "Interaction / Visual Design"

Thank you, Cindy

By mehera o'brien at 12:53 PM

Categories: Interaction / Visual Design

Craft vs. concept. You need both. But so many companies rely on ideas (v important, of course) without making anything. So I appreciate this short snippet from Cindy Gallop.  


Integrated Wireframe Flowchart

By mehera o'brien at 5:38 PM

Categories: Interaction / Visual Design

So today I found myself without a whole lot to do (which nearly never happens) and was assigned a small production job on an account I rarely work on, and have little background with. Our strategy team had sold in an idea, but the client still wasn't totally understanding the click path through the experience, especially as there were a few entry points to the same core task. My Account Director asked for wireframes, citing the client's frustration with just seeing boxes and arrows. 

Unfortunately, I can't actually post the end result as it's confidential (boo, I know!), but I thought I'd share my process. Normally, after a short time doing some desk research into the current online experience, I'd knock out a simple flowchart in about 20 minutes. This time, after I did that, I then created detailed wireframes for each of the boxes in the chart. 

I then jpg-ed everything, shrunk down the comps, added magnets and applied connection lines to show how different buttons on the same wireframe triggered different click paths. When looked at globally, it's essentially a snapshot of the entire experience in visual form, but with a focus on movement and flow. 

I used to do this more, but have found that time doesn't usually permit for this level of work. But seeing as I had time today, and it seemed like a good way to communicate to this specific client, I dug out an old system and was quite pleased with the result. 

Most of my days are filled with meetings, client presentations, checking work and (if I'm lucky) brainstorming something cool. But there are the days I just get to sketch and sit behind the computer tinkering all by myself. And sometimes, those days are a nice respite from everything else. :)


The Brilliance of Edward Tufte Taken to a New Level

By Catherine Nygaard at 10:21 PM

Categories: Current Affairs, Interaction / Visual Design

In lieu of the spectrum of user experience and the endless opportunities for User Experience Design -  Edward Tufte will now be serving on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel. The Panel advises The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, whose job is to track and explain $787 billion in recovery stimulus funds.

Might start paying more attention to RECOVERY.gov, to see how much it changes over time considering it's chock full of interactive infographics that currently help to communicate stimulus-tracking.


What do UX Desigers do?

By mehera o'brien at 9:52 AM

Categories: Interaction / Visual Design

Well, that depends. Here's an older chart that I love. In a lot of my initial mentorship meetings, people ask me what it is I do. But I'm a ux designer and creative director at an agency, which is only one perspective on the job. I think the wiser question is: what do I do in the greater context of other ux careers out there? 

I met with someone about two years ago that would have been a poor fit for agency life. But he had a lot of experience interviewing people and doing research. And he'd worked for a number of interesting government organizations (and the govt could use some ux help, generally speaking). We worked on how to reposition his resume so it contained keywords that HR departments and Recruiters look for when hiring ux people, but we positioned it in a way that was right for him. Just remember that agency life isn't the only path. In fact, it's often a grueling one. It can be really fun, and at times exciting, but there are lots of job options out there.

Finally, I think this chart is also a good reminder for hiring managers that not all ux designers have the same skill sets. We need to be considered for our merits, of course, but also for how well we fit into the organization's own perspective and structure around user experience. I've found over the years that understanding the company's philosophy around this design discipline is key to whether or not I'd be a good cultural fit as well. 


Mad Libs Style Forms

By mehera o'brien at 4:23 PM

Categories: Books, Interaction / Visual Design


So a few weeks ago Wiley (interaction designer at work) raved about a book she'd recently bought. A client then sent a link to us about the same topic. And just now one of our planners sent it to another project team. What's all the fuss? A small innovation in form design, with great impact. Read the article here, or buy the book for your own library. (Seeing as tax season is in full swing, my accountant would probably remind you that, if you're a professional in the field, this is a tax-deductible expense, so save your receipt.) 

Oddly enough, I designed a similar form for a back-end system while at Framfab London in 2005. It was a sentence with two drop down fields embedded within. It was the only way I could simplify the options and make the choices clearly understood to the user. My lead Interaction Designer loved it, the form got approved quickly by the client and, until now, it never occurred to me to do it again. 



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