UI/UX Articles And Interesting Tidbits Of The Week



Types of Affordance in UI. Interesting article focused on the concept of affordances in user interface. The article sheds some light on the term “affordance” and how Don Norman made it part of the Design vocabulary/jargon in his book “The Design of Everyday Things”. The article indicates different types of affordances, namely the graphical ones, the ones that are driven by UI Copy, animated ones, among many others. It’s an interesting compendium for a topic that is always pertinent when addressing UI design in particular and Product Experience as a whole. Highlight of the article includes:

“Implicit affordances are not that obvious. They are hidden and may be revealed only in a particular flow of users’ actions. The cases when we get tooltips or explanations hovering on a layout element are the ones. Other examples are diverse multilayered elements of navigation such as drop-down menus or expandable buttons that aren’t seen all the time or from the first seconds of interaction but are unveiled after a particular operation. Perhaps, one of the most debatable points here is the hamburger menu that hides the access to functionality behind the special icon.”


Types of Company to Avoid. Not a typical article that is highlighted among the topics of this newsletter, but one well worth emphasizing. As professionals in general and designers in particular, shift gears frequently and seek out new employment opportunities, it’s important to understand what to look for, what questions to ask when interviewing, and what research to conduct on potential employers. This article from Fast Company magazine, describes a few factors to keep in mind when procuring employment with an organization. Factors such as culture clash, top-heavy businesses, directionless entities, among others, are factors to keep in ind and that are listed in the article. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“A company should not be on the hunt for the same important roles in management or leadership every six months, and if they are that means that they have fallen into a hire-and-fire cycle. This can indicate a few things. One, leadership may be very fickle, unable to land on the specific qualities they want in a candidate. Two, the company may have a bad internal culture, which makes retention nearly impossible, no matter how talented the new hires may be. Three, top-level goals may be as fleeting as the talent.”


UX Tools and Upcoming Trends. Two articles that I typically don’t list among the topics of this newsletter, but that I’m doing this time around for different reasons. Listing tools is reductive and ultimately in my opinion is not representative of good design practices or effective product design solutions. As I used to say to my students, tools are merely a means to an end. Over focusing on tools, takes time away from finding solutions, collaborating with your peers, and ultimately providing value for your customers and organization. Tools play a part in aiding productivity, improving team partnerships, delivering multi-platform experiences, but ultimately, each designer and team assess what best works for them. These days, most of these tools cannibalize on each other and are typically so similar, that in essence, it’s up to designers and their peers to figure out what makes more sense to their needs. This article is being listed, mostly due to the participation of different professionals, and to give a bit of insight on the differences of design efforts across multiple organizations, across the world.
Trends in UX Design is a bit more fickle. Typically identifying trends, is more often than not, recognizing movements and directions of attitudes that are already at play. For a few years, the trend was the identification of video on web products, as a means to increase conversion and retention (this trend appeared multiple times). Some trends identify some particular interaction paradigms (remembering the parallax scrolling which seems to have faded away), however this article in particular, showcases some interesting considerations on team work (something that is already a reality), and how the concept of design working files is shifting (maybe for some organizations, but for a lot of the ones I’ve had a chance to talk to and ask, not so much). It’s nonetheless an interesting article, one that may generate some conversation.



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

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