UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week


Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!


Designing for Older Demographics. Another pertinent and timely article from The Fast Company, on the topic of designing Product Solutions for older demographics. As Professor Don Norman has mentioned in quite a few of his articles, many of the products available to consumers, and not only technology driven ones, lack insight and practicality when one considers the wide variety of users that are part of their ecosystem. The question always remains the same: how inclusive are the products being designed, how accessible, and ultimately, how effective are those solutions, considering the users needs. Worth reading and reflecting upon. Highlight of the article includes:

“Ten thousand people are turning 65 every day in the United States, and all boomers will be 65 by 2030, but the realities of life after 65 often look far richer and more diverse than our cultural stereotypes would suggest. Older adults are living longer, and they have big and dynamic goals and aspirations. They are starting new businesses, adopting new tech, and more likely to try new things. Older adults are also the wealthiest age group, accounting for 53% of all household wealth, according to data from the Federal Reserve. Additionally, those 50 and up are responsible for about 50% of all consumer spending.”


Community-Based, Human-Centered Design. Great article from Professor Don Norman and Eli Spencer, specifically on the topic of how local communities can effectively design better solutions for their own problems, more so than the habitual approach has been. According to the authors, there’s a wealth of knowledge, not only of the pain points themselves, but of the culture, habits, traditions, all of which play a role on how users/consumers relate to product solutions. In this case, the authors mention Designers can be instructors and empower communities to develop their own solutions, which take into account their own cultural uniqueness. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“We propose a radical change in design from experts designing for people to people designing for themselves. In the traditional approach, experts study, design, and implement solutions for the people of the world. Instead, we propose that we leverage the creativity within the communities of the world to solve their own problems: This is community-driven design, taking full advantage of the fact that it is the people in communities who best understand their problems and the impediments and affordances that impede and support change. Experts become facilitators, by mentoring and providing tools, toolkits, workshops, and support.”


Frustrating Design Patterns: Disabled Buttons. Fantastic article from Vitaly Friedman and Smashing Magazine, on the series focused on Frustrating Design Patterns. This time around, the author focuses on a hot topic, disabling buttons and parts of the UI itself. It’s a paradigm so many product solutions utilize these days, primarily tied to inline validation exercises, yet considerations on accessibility and user behavior are quite often placed as secondary (or even tertiary). This article sheds light on these scenarios, while also advocating for solutions, such as changing cursors, adding tool tips, preventing clicks programmatically with Javascript, to name but a few. Well worth the read. Highlight of the article includes:

“The behavior above might appear expected for pages that block user input entirely, but it surely should be different in cases when only a small part of the interface — let’s say a humble “Continue” button — isn’t accessible? Ironically, same issues appear with standalone buttons as well, albeit admittedly to a lesser degree. With disabled buttons, because the rest of the interface is accessible, users seem to have more confidence that there is a problem directly related to their input. That’s why it’s uncommon to see people sitting and waiting for the “Continue” button to come back to life or change miraculously. One problem that does show up though when users encounter a disabled button late in the process, especially on mobile. Many don’t realize if the button was disabled from the very start, or there is something in their input that actually made it disabled along the way. Some people will even re-open the same page in another tab to check what the initial state was.”




I’m a Design Professional. http://canhenha.myportfolio.com • https://www.instagram.com/canhenha • https://www.patternsbypedrocanhenha.com

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Pedro Canhenha

Pedro Canhenha

I’m a Design Professional. http://canhenha.myportfolio.comhttps://www.instagram.com/canhenhahttps://www.patternsbypedrocanhenha.com

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