UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

April//8//2022

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

1.

What’s coming up with Web 3.0. Yet another article from Shaping Design, this one focused on what Web 3.0 may encompass. The author, Nick Babich provides a thorough analysis firstly on how the web itself has evolved, and the direction in which it may go. His may points include decentralization and bottom-up design, as possible directions in which this new potential version of the web may go, which will also account for an increased democratization of the internet itself. Worth reading and reflecting upon. Highlight of the article includes:

“The web 2.0 era spans from 2004 to the present. This is the version of the internet most of us know today. It also changed our perception of the web. Web 2.0 was built around the idea of the web as a platform: Web 2.0 websites were no longer static pages; they basically became web apps. Web 2.0 pages have a lot of interactive elements that could hardly be imagined in the era of web 1.0 — dynamic page layouts adapted to different screens and resolutions, interactive data validation in forms, and even embedded videos. Web 2.0 also changed the way we work with content — it’s when social media boomed. For the first time, site visitors had an option to consume content or create content themselves. Social networks made it possible to allow user-generated content to be viewed by millions of people around the world. There’s a reason why web 2.0 is known as the era of social media. Advances in hardware design during this period also popularized smartphones for the first time, so users also had an option to choose the web browsing device they wanted to use, making mobile internet access and social networks the two driving factors of web 2.0.”

2.

Designing Better Breadcrumbs. Another great article from Vitaly Friedman published on Smashing Magazine, as the title indicates, on the topic of Breadcrumbs. This is always a relevant topic, not only for e-commerce platforms, but any web driven application which aims to give its users a pertinent navigational barometer. It’s a very thorough article which looks at a variety of topics stemming from Breadcrumbs, including modalities of navigation (forward, backwards, sideways), and also dives deeper into the applicability of breadcrumbs themselves in various products which the author illustrates and peppers throughout the article. Highlight of the article includes:

“In summary, as long as you have a relatively shallow navigation tree, you probably won’t need breadcrumbs. Neither will you need them when finding the right page on the site isn’t the priority for most users. If, for example, they explore data, filter tables, manage accounts or use search frequently, breadcrumbs won’t be of much help. But if you have plenty of pages and sub-categories and nested navigation levels, or your navigation grows to three, four or even more levels, your users are likely to benefit from reliable signposts along their journey. That’s where breadcrumbs prove to be essential. The question, then, is how to make them noticeable and helpful without being redundant and unnecessary? As it turns out, that’s an art and craft of its own.”

3.

Principles of User Interface. Hailing from awwwards and Readymag magazine, this is an interesting look at some considerations to keep in mind when crafting digital solutions. Some of the principles that are itemized are fairly self evident and tie themselves with Principles of Design, such as Reliability, Clarity (I disagree with the assessment of simplicity — there’s always a layer of complexity that at times can’t be avoided — it’s best to aim for clarity than simplicity), and Usefulness, to name but a few. While the content of this article isn’t necessarily world shattering, it’s a worthy reminder of how the Principles of Design should always be remembered and implemented. Worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“As a product grows, new features always appear and the interface naturally tends to get messier. But complexity harms everyone. For developers, it leads to incidents and bugs. For users, it becomes time-consuming to learn and work with. The creative process slows down. So: keep things simple. Don’t hesitate to trade off other values for simplicity. Simplicity comes from a thorough understanding. The point here is to know the ins and outs of the process. If you do not, the result of your efforts will be ‘simplistic’ rather than simple. Add multiple functions to a single element, look for universal solutions to solve general problems.”

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