Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Web Animation. Great article from Miklos Philips, focused on the topic of Web Animation. The article provides great insight on the topic of animations on the web, from it’s rudimentary beginnings, the blossom during the Macromedia/Adobe Flash era, and the current advent of animated GIFs and the expansion of what animation is and represents in the context of Product Design and Experiences (including Transitions, Micro-Animations, among many other types of dynamic animation contexts). Highlight of the article includes:
“The decision to use web animation should be treated as any other design decision; web designers must weigh the pros and cons and make sure that the user experience is not compromised. They should also work with developers to ascertain code requirements and ensure they won’t get stuck with inefficient code that may have to be tweaked down the road. Modern web animation technology has matured significantly in the last 20 years-performance, available bandwidth, and rendering quality have increased. However, designers should tread carefully and only add animation to a website if it meaningfully enhances the user experience.”
Aesthetics and Accessibility. Hailing from the always relevant and pertinent UX Movement and author Anthony Tseng, this article sheds important light on how Aesthetics and Accessibility can, seemingly and at a first glance clash, but ultimately, the solution to satisfy both principles falls somewhat in the middle. It’s a fascinating read, particularly considering the importance of building product solutions that are inclusive and accessible (and consequently, credible, all qualities of good UX). Highlight of the article includes:
“Designing for the smallest minority will make your design accessible to users with extreme visual impairments. However, your design will alienate normal visioned users who make up the majority of your base. For this reason, the best design is a balanced one that satisfies the largest minority. What about the needs of the smallest minority? Most users with extreme visual impairments use assistive technologies that provide high contrast modes. These modes allow them to read interfaces that have low contrast by inverting the screen colors. You’ll serve more users by designing for the majority of the minority rather than the minority of the minority. Designing for the largest minority means making your interface AA compliant.”
Minimum Viable Products and Altering Mindsets. Designer and author John Maeda, has excerpts from his book “How to Speak Machine”, in this article on Fast Company, that is fascinating to read. In it the author suggests that as technology has evolved, so have the users/consumers who bask in its usage and delight. Therefore the concept of MVP, or releasing products that are somewhat well thought, but not fully realized, needs to be polished and refined. Making and delivering experiences that are evolving, is a given, but providing them with a level of fully realized accuracy is equally adamant. Highlight of the article includes:
“A techie might be fine with a rough, purely functional experience, since their tolerance for discomfort is already high to begin with. But the general population has grown high expectations for their apps, so it’s become important to redefine “viable” as needing to grant a degree of comfort and a modicum of delight. A professional test pilot in an experimental aircraft doesn’t need a cozy place to sit, whereas a passenger on a commercial jet will expect a pillow and a soda — preferably the whole can. To make this point clearer in an MVP-ridden world of computational products that are missing creature comforts, I like to use the term “MVLP,” where the “L” stands for “lovable.””