UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

October//8//2021

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

1.

Remote Usability Testing. Interesting article hailing from the MarvelApp blog, focused on highlighting the capabilities of their product and platform for usability testing, but with a stance on a factor that has become unescapable these days: remoteness. The article focuses on providing clear indications on how to prepare the test, including the goal of the engagement, preparing and defining questions during and past the test experience, and how to utilize the usability testing capabilities of Marvel itself. While it is a promotional article, it definitely warrants reading through it and keeping in mind its pertinent suggestions. Highlight of the article includes:

“Unmoderated testing is where the participant takes your test without a human there to guide them or ask questions along the way. It’s perfect for low-touch research where you may not have the time to spend 30–60 mins on calls with each participant or the designs and prototypes are straight forward (like testing a new button position or layout). The downside is that you may not get the best quality results or answers as you can’t dig into the participant’s thoughts and feelings during the test.”

2.

Testing Early and Often during the Design Process. Interesting article from Protopie’s blog and specifically from author Jonathan Widawski, CEO at Maze. While the article itself doesn’t bring forth any topics or aspects of Design Thinking that readers may be unfamiliar with, particularly for those working in the Product Design arena, it’s nonetheless a necessary reminder that early and frequent validation of concepts and ideas is fundamental to the creation of solutions that resonate with audiences and clients. The author highlights aspects such as embracing vulnerability, sharing the outputs of the testing endeavors, to name but a few. Worth reading. Highlight of the article includes:

“For product and design teams, testing and learning are key steps to building great user experiences. When you test your work early in the process, you avoid spending huge amounts of time and resources on developing the wrong ideas and redoing your work later. Moreover, when testing occurs cross-departmentally and everyone from PMs and designers to UXRs test their piece of the puzzle, the result is a validated process from beginning to end. Product managers only add ideas that have been researched and validated to the product roadmap, designers hand off thoroughly tested mockups, and marketers launch validated campaigns.”

3.

Using Modern Image Formats. Another great article from Smashing Magazine, always filled with pertinent and educational material. This article from author Addy Osmani, focuses on clarifying new image formats for the web, and how they are an evolution from the typical JPG/PNG/GIF formats which have been around for over 20 years. The article specifically focuses on clarifying what AVIF and WebP formats are, their virtuosities and shortcomings, and how well they render across different browsers. It’s a fascinating read, well worth going through the details provided by the author. Highlight of the article includes:

“We have mentioned WebP a few times, but let’s briefly cover its history. Google created the WebP format in 2011 as an image format that would help to make the web faster. Over the years, it has been accepted and adopted widely because of its ability to compress images to lower file sizes compared to JPEG and PNG. WebP offers both lossless and lossy compression at an acceptable visual quality and supports alpha-channel transparency and animation. Lossy WebP compression is based on the VP8 video codec and uses predictive encoding to encode an image. It uses values in the neighboring blocks of pixels to predict the value in a block and encodes only the difference. Lossless WebP images are generated by applying multiple transformation techniques to images to compress them.”