Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Heatmaps. Hailing from the HotJar blog comes this very useful and comprehensive article on Heatmaps. The article details the different types of heatmaps in existence (scroll, click based, move based), and how they are useful to understand how users interact with the information presented onscreen. Highlight of the article includes:
“On top of helping you see what’s right and wrong with a website page, heat maps are useful on a wider business scale. That’s because they also help you: Paint an instant visual story for your clients/boss, helping them get a clear understanding of what’s going on without needing to crunch numbers; Make informed, data-based decisions when it comes to testing, updating, or (re)designing your website; Measure improvements to your site as you iterate on the changes you’ve discovered from previous heat maps; Have proof points: heat maps let you show team members and stakeholders what’s happening and get them on board more easily when changes are needed — it’s hard to argue with a heat map!”
The Other Side of Gamification. Excellent article from Vincent Gabrielle, which explores the other side there is when applying gamification concepts to engagements such as employee rewards programs. The article details the evolution of the gamification concept, and how in some contexts this theory and application has devolved worker monitoring into a version of Taylorism (an American engineer who in the 19th century wrote about labor productivity and repetitive tasks as a means to achieve it). Highlight of the article includes:
“But gamification’s trapping of total fun masks that we have very little control over the games we are made to play — and hides the fact that these games are not games at all. Gamified systems are tools, not toys. They can teach complex topics, engage us with otherwise difficult problems. Or they can function as subtle systems of social control.”
Storyboarding. Storyboarding in UX is a topic I’ve already highlighted in this newsletter, but this article is well worth the referral. It contains diverse examples/case studies, and how this particular tool can make user journeys more insightful, the same going for the production of product flows. Highlight:
“A storyboard is a collection of cells, either in a linear progression or mapped out from a central idea that tells a story. Each cell can contain an image, a title, and a description that provides specific information to the reader about certain aspects of the story. Storyboards are meant to be simple representations of a larger concept, and force both its creators and readers to break down large complex topics into simple step by step subsections.”