UI/UX Articles And Interesting Tidbits Of The Week

September//25//2020

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

1.

Jobs To Be Done. Interesting article from author Jim Kalbach on the topic of Jobs To Be Done. This philosophy which anchors itself on the premise that Product Solutions are centered around situations/occurrences that take place with users, which fuel a need, which in turn produce an expected outcome for that same user. It’s an interesting article that also looks at the flexible & agile nature of Product Design cycles, Roadmaps, Innovation cycles, aligned with feature prioritization. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“Although user stories are good for breaking down work, they typically fail to connect the solution being built with user needs. They lack an indication of why someone would behave in a certain way and what they need to get a job done. In fact, often user stories are derived from the capability being built, not from observing actual behavior. Job stories are an alternative to user stories. They follow the tradition of breaking down efforts into smaller pieces, but through the JTBD lens. The technique was first pioneered by the product development team at Intercom, a leading marketing communications solution. They wanted to avoid leading designers with a preconceived solution, as well as tying development to the company vision and strategy.”

2.

Reviewing accessiBe. Not a typical highlight from this newsletter, this article hailing from WebDesignerDepot, is actually the review for an accessibility tool available on the market. The reason for showcasing that article here, is primarily for the attention it brings to the topic of Accessibility, and in particular, for Digital Product solutions which need, now more than ever, to contemplate these requirements. The article thoroughly explains considerations that the software contemplates when it comes to screen readers, keyboard navigation compatibility, image detection, general product navigation standards among other topics. Though it focuses on a particular product, Accessibility in itself, is an arresting topic always worth investigating and learning about. Highlight of the article includes:

“The screen reader software is installed on the computer. But in order for it to work with websites, the website needs to be compatible with the software. To achieve compatibility with screen reader software, WCAG requires that a website should adhere to a set of attributes called Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) that are installed within the website’s code, allowing it to ‘communicate’ with the screen reader. Let’s take social icons as an example. We are all familiar with those icons — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — they are instantly recognizable for us visually. A screen reader software doesn’t actually ‘see’ elements on the screen, rather it scans the website’s code to understand what appears on the screen. As such, a Facebook icon code simply says ‘link’ and has the URL that directs the user when clicking the link.”

3.

Moodboards. Hailing from the Maze design blog, this article sheds light on the power of Moodboards. Though this article paints a somewhat superficial aspect to what constitutes Moodboards, in reality they are part of a very important tactic in Product Design solutions, deeply tied with Narrative creation. Moodboards aren’t simply inspirational and randomly collected items that are showcased to teams. They are in fact part of a research component that needs to take place within each project that is tackled, since it informs and documents trends, competitive analysis, innovation stances, not to mention, interactive paradigms on the market. Moodboards, or what they stand for, have become far richer devices, coupled with techniques, which enable a Product Journey to be better outlined and envisioned. Highlight of the article includes:

“A mood board is used for a team or an individual’s work process and benefits both. Also known as an inspiration board, they are the first step between an idea and the first rendition of work. They help to get minds visually organized and inspired for what’s to come. It saves time in the early stages of a design process by getting a team on the same page and eradicating lengthy meetings trying to explain how something should feel. Research shows, mood boards allow designers the creative freedom they need while remaining coordinated and organized. Win, win. Mood boards serve three primary purposes: to define, inspire, and direct. They can define an idea or project, inspire new angles or creative routes, and set the direction in times of uncertainty throughout a project.”