Walk the Red Carpet at the 4th Annual UX Awards

Your product didn’t become a hit by accident. The wireframes, the iterations, the user testing—it was all on you. Isn’t it time your work got the recognition it so richly deserves? Submit your best UX work to the 4th Annual UX Awards, and you might just find yourself in the spotlight.

With a panel of expert judges featuring the heads of UX at Amazon, Etsy, and Facebook, and past winners like Google, ZocDoc, Digitas, and Amplify, the UXies have one of the most legit pedigrees in digital. You can join them—but only if you show some hustle.    Read More →

7 Tips For Great Usability Testing

testing vintage audio equipment

Even a quick usability test with your coworkers can mean the difference between a successful product and an expensive flop.    Read More →

Why Images Make Us Click

Lascaux Cave PaintingA century ago, iconic newspaperman Arthur Brisbane first told readers that a picture is worth a thousand words. Dear old Arthur didn’t know just how right he was. But the folks at Curalate do.

We all know that images are powerful. They have a singular ability to excite and engage. They start conversations. They spark friendships (and sometimes end them.) What we don’t quite know is why. To find out just what kind of images move us most, Curalate — a visual marketing and analytics firm — studied 500,000 Pinterest images to identify the visual elements that drove the most re-pins. Here’s what they learned.    Read More →

6 Rules for Creating Web Properties That Work

Good design is hard.In the beginning there were web pages. Brands staked their claims on the newly invented World Wide Web. Web 1.0 met basic consumer expectations, namely that every brand would have an 800 number and a web page as points of contact.

Web 2.0 was about finding, developing, and embracing interactive technologies to engage customers, prospects, and other constituencies. It was about Flash, bells and whistles, and keeping up with the Joneses. Having a cool website mattered.

Web 3.0 was about business results. It was a phase of encyclopedic websites. Governance was split between marketing and IT. The Holy Grail was a fully realized, multi-dimensional, interactive relationship between a brand and its customer base. Metrics, rather than showbiz, finally began to be important.    Read More →

Five Skills I Use Every Day: Tammy Sachs, Strategic UX Research Consultant

Tammy Sachs of Sachs InsightsTammy Sachs is the founder and CEO of Sachs Insights, a strategic UX research consultancy. Having had the good fortune to enter the world of branding and market research with the advent of the PC, Tammy has been fascinated from day one about how technology continues to shape how we communicate, learn, transact, and relate to brands and one another.

Sachs Insights is her sandbox to channel her curiosity, try out research techniques, and collaborate with an amazing group of colleagues and clients. While discovery is exciting, Tammy’s favorite part of each project is telling a story with the voice of customers to ensure their perspective shapes experiences that matter. She was kind enough to share the five skills she uses daily while helping clients uncover new ways to improve their products.    Read More →

Final Days to Get Your Tickets to the 3rd Annual UX Awards!

The biggest UX event of the year is just days away. The 3rd Annual International UX Awards are on Tuesday, May 21 right here in NYC! 10 exceptional submissions will be awarded prizes, so come see their awesome work and meet the winners from all over the globe!

This year’s UX Awards also features a keynote from Mashable CTO Robyn Peterson. Peterson will discuss Mashable’s recent redesign and key UX industry trends. The 2013 jury panel includes Salon.com’s CEO/CTO Cindy Jeffers, Google’s Tomer Sharon, Netflix’s Chris Jaffe from CA, Moment’s John Payne, Agile UX maestro Anders Ramsey, IXDA NY Local leader Lis Hubert, and Cory Lebson from UXPA DC!

The Hired Guns is a proud sponsor and supporter of this important event, and we’ll definitely be there. It’s going to be a very inspiring and enlightening night, so make sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Sign up here. And be sure to use the discount code “TheHiredGuns” for 20% off the ticket price.

UX Visionaries Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden talk about their new book Lean UX

Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seiden are veteran User Experience designers and Managing Directors at Neo, a global product innovation company. They’re also the authors of Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience. Jeff and Josh graciously answered a few questions about their new book and the future of UX.

What, in your own words, is Lean UX?
Josh: It’s a response to the new reality of software production. Software is no longer duplicated and distributed on physical media. It’s updated and distributed continuously. Designers need a new way to work in this new reality. Lean UX is a response to this new reality.    Read More →

Beverly May: Founder of The UX Awards, Advocate for Exceptional Experiences

May 21 brings the third annual User Experience Awards, honoring outstanding UX projects and practitioners. To find out more, I sat down with Beverly May, founder and president of Oxford Technology Ventures, a UX consultancy. Beverly founded the UX Awards and remains the moderator and chief advocate. If you have a project, idea, app, site, or software that you’d like to have considered, there’s still time! The submission window is from March 15 to April 15. For more information or to submit, visiuserexperienceawards.com.

Tell me a bit about you. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I like creating and using well-designed products. I find the challenge of designing something with a serious “wow” factor to be deeply motivating. Designing a new digital experience is a lot like being an architect (the original UXers were called “Information Architects,” after all); we design something that someone else will eventually experience. Using a great app is a lot like walking into a wonderful building. When the architect has done it right, you can appreciate the skill that went into conceiving something new and refining every detail.    Read More →

What is a Career in User Experience Really About?

This piece originally appeared on CreativeGood.com and is reprinted here with their kind permission.

In this new year it feels right to say something big, something about the meaning of life, and one’s career, and everything. I guess it’s been on my mind since last month, when I finished teaching a graduate class in user research. (It was here in New York, in SVA’s MFA in Interaction Design. Great program.) The class gave me a chance to get to know some very talented young designers, most of whom are just beginning their journey into the user experience field.

My main message to the class was that good user research isn’t a matter of learning the steps of some trendy methods, as though one were just following a cookbook. Instead, good UX work requires a genuine interest in observing, listening to, and learning from other people: primarily the customers themselves, but also the organization that owns the product. That observation, and that listening, must stem from a genuine human interest in people.    Read More →

No One Goes There Anymore: Home Pages and the New Wisdom in Traffic Patterns

Back in the day (I’m talking 2002-ish), our sales team was keen on promoting a “home page takeover” or other home-page-based advertising executions to really give clients that WOW factor. After all, everyone comes to the home page!

Today (10 years later, if you can believe it), I still hear salespeople get all worked up about pitching a home page takeover. But no one goes there any more.    Read More →

Product Management, User Experience, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Usability Testing

Project Management, Program Management, Production, Content Production

Animation, Art Direction, Creative Direction, Corporate Identity, Flash Design/Dev, Graphic Design, Web Design

Content Strategy, Editorial, Copywriting, Copy Editing, Research, Blog Outreach

Brand Management, Business Development, Sales, Product Marketing, Event/Conference Planning, Promotions, Marcomms, Corporate Comms, Direct Marketing, E-Marketing, Public Relations, Market Research

Account Management, Account/Brand Planning, Media Strategy, Communications Planning, Media Planning/Buying, Social Media, Search (SEM, SEO), Web Metrics & Analytics

Web Development, Front End Development

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