UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

April//16//2021

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

1.

Art Direction in Web Products. Very interesting article from author Oliver Lindberg, specifically on the topic of how Art Direction can and does bring a distinct voice to web products. As I’ve written in some of my own articles, there’s a troublesome issue in rapidly adhering to trends, without considering the narrative of the brand being told, and just as importantly, whom is it being told to. This article looks at a series of professionals in the industry who offer their thoughts on this topic, while also providing some guidelines in how to produce more resonant work, such as creating clarity and emotional connections, employing storytelling techniques, combining function with emotion, to name but a few. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

““Ideas are worth nothing unless they are communicated effectively,” he says. “Digital design is just the latest vehicle we use to share information, and storytelling is the secret sauce that’s necessary to separate the signal from the noise. Story should always be given priority over format and since every format has its strengths and weaknesses, for me, the best experiences utilise a variety of mediums. Content may be king, but what it’s housed in is its castle.” David Navarro agrees. His approach to art direction comes from his background in film and storytelling. “People are wired to like stories,” he explains. “That’s why I come at design like a movie and apply storytelling parameters: structure the perfect hero journey, set the stages your user or hero will go through, and then add the dramatic, emotional components that make the story engaging, appealing and memorable.””

2.

Benefits of Prototyping. Prototyping is of course a staple of the Design Thinking process, and just as equally important when tackling Lean UX processes, where early validation of concepts is at the core of that process. This article hailing from the Marvel Blog, provides some reflection points on why Prototyping is fundamental, the benefits it produces from feedback that is captured, and how it promotes ideation, iteration and co-ownership of for everyone involved in the process. Highlight of the article includes:

“Adding an additional step to your design process might seem like it will take longer to get your designs out there, but prototyping will save you a lot of time in the long run. Taking the time to go through the prototyping process means any issues are identified early, avoiding having to make difficult and time consuming changes later down the line in development. Finding a problem with your product in the development phase means more work for the development team and more time and resources spent reworking your product. If you have a prototype you’re happy with before development starts you can be sure the development of your final product will go smoothly.”

3.

Nintendo’s Creative Process. Not a typical highlight from this newsletter, but nonetheless worth reading. This article hailing from the Guardian and authors Keith Stuart and Keza MacDonald, while dated from 2018, is just as relevant now as at the time of its original publishing. The article provides insight into Nintendo’s stance on innovation, how that translates across their hiring focus and expectations towards their employees. The article also provides details on collaboration bridges between Hardware and Software teams, how technology (of different maturity levels) is utilized, to name but a few aspects for the Nintendo teams, which are quite inspiring. Highlight of the article includes:

“The history of Nintendo is one of eccentric ideas. It has pioneered touchscreens, virtual reality, analogue control sticks, motion control, portable games consoles, second screens and wireless controllers — sometimes successfully, sometimes not. Unusual features of Nintendo’s consoles are often what inspire and enable unusual innovations in its games. Often, technology feels strangely distant from the creative things that it enables; the language of technology, of CPUs, GPUs and 4K resolution, is nothing like the language of imagination. At Nintendo, console and game design are intertwined.”

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