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 →
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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 →
Tammy 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 →
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.
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 →
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, visit userexperienceawards.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 →
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 →
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 →
I was at a product manager’s gathering a while ago, and the topic of video came up. Someone threw out the idea of taking short-form video — say, 90-second clips, the kinds of video you watch on mobile phones and laptops — and having it available on internet TV, which one would navigate using a standard remote control. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” the manager said. Well, yeah, there’s actually a lot wrong with that. Read More →
This June brings the second annual User Experience Awards, which honors and celebrates outstanding UX projects and practitioners. To find out about the awards and the submission process, we checked in with the founder and president of Oxford Technology Ventures, Beverly May, who will be moderating the awards. If you have a project, idea, app, site, or software that you’d like to have considered, you still have a little time to get your ducks in a row — the deadline for submissions is May 1.
Why now? What changed about UX and design to make last year a good time to launch the awards?
UX has become more widely understood and recognized as a key differentiating factor in an ever-more-crowded digital marketplace. When there’s hundreds of thousands of apps, or dozens or even hundreds of competitors in your space, suddenly the product experience becomes very important for user adoption and retention. UX was always important, but it wasn’t as well understood as a separate discipline and approach, and its importance wasn’t as widely recognized and valued in terms of strategic differentiation. There’s been increasing recognition that a customer-centric design and product approach is really the only way to build high-impact, effective, useful, and engaging products and services. Companies who launch or, more likely, maintain legacy products with bad UX are increasingly putting themselves in a strategically weak position and are opening up the opportunity for a competitor with superior UX to gain considerable buzz and market share. Read More →