UI/UX Articles And Interesting Tidbits Of The Week

September//4//2020

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

1.

Designing for Less than Optimal Scenarios. Hailing from Google Design, this article focuses attention on a very important topic that is at times relegated to a featured challenge in the way users consume digital products: performance and internet access. The article focuses on topics such as offline experiences, progressive disclosure, progress indicators, delayed actions, all with the intent of illustrating, how the quality of internet signal and access to wi-fi morph and impact the way users experience a digital product solution. Highlight of the article includes:

“The connectivity challenges that used to be common in rural areas and emerging markets are now experienced globally — in both urban and rural areas. Overloaded networks drop connections, leaving users without access for times ranging from seconds to hours. Many users give up on tasks, or try to complete them when the internet is less slow, such as at night. Others are offline due to limited internet coverage or to save money on mobile data or battery.”

2.

Designing Effective Infographics. The relevance of Data Visualizations and Infographics is unmistakable. Product Design in general and application design in particular, makes use of this instrument/artifact to rapidly engage with users and introduce the narrative that the user is about to digest (and explore). Infographics in particular, have been used across a variety of media, typically to enhance and compliment a lengthier dissertation. They are for all effective purposes, a summarization of the content that a user can read/consume with further detail, should they choose to do so. This article from the Nielsen Norman Group, explains in detail considerations to be had when tackling these types of experiences/artifacts. Specifically it tackles Informational Honesty, Minimalism and Interactivity as staples to account/abide by. Being able to create Infographics that are understandable, clear, useful and aesthetic, is essentially very much a Design Challenge, one that should be tackled understanding the audiences who consume it and what usage they get out of it. This article is well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“Infographics are a hybrid medium, however, and there is room for creative license here. Elements of visual interest such as illustrations, photos, and icons are acceptable and even expected in the medium. Using a visual theme may ground your piece in a metaphor that makes abstract concepts easy to understand. Elements that do not distract from the charts and add meaning to the numbers can be helpful additions. They can also increase the shareability of the infographic and help 3rd-party users to understand the message when they encounter a reposted visual on, say, Twitter or Instagram without the additional context provided by the original site.”

3.

Using Icons in Mobile Apps. Another article from Smashing Magazine and writer Suzanne Scacca, this time around focusing on the usefulness of icons in mobile apps. The article is interwoven with a series of examples and actual products, in which the author makes a point for the usefulness of Icons as a way to expand brand footprint, enhance interactions, improve readability and even improve performance (and of course, create further retention with users). The article has examples of apps such as Buzzfeed, Rakuten, Duolingo, to illustrate the points that are made across its content. Worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“Users will first get a glimpse of an app’s branded logo icon from the app store. Once installed, this icon will become a persistent presence on the user’s smart device, which will foster greater awareness of the app. What I’ve noticed with many apps, though, is that the brand icon doesn’t often appear past that point. In some cases, it makes total sense. An app isn’t like a website that needs that steady logo anchor so users can always quickly get “Home”. But… I can’t help but feel like small branded elements throughout could add a unique touch to the experience. They wouldn’t detract from the experience. Instead, they’d show up in bite-sized chunks that add something extra to the experience.”

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