UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week


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


Giving Effective Feedback Remotely. Very interesting and pertinent article hailing from Smashing Magazine and author Joshua Mauldin. It’s an insightful analysis of providing feedback, the nuances of doing so, and how working remotely has prompted different manners in which that can be done and attained. The author includes some aspects of psychology in the article, to aptly justify how people’s reactions flare up, particularly in a defensive manner when being given feedback, but he also emphasizes different ways of accomplishing a better output from those conversations. Interesting examples are also highlighted, including Asana’s process of capturing and handling feedback, however and independently of how this topic gets painted, ultimately a layer of trust between team members has to exist in order for feedback to be shared without fear or reservations, one that is married with self awareness for those team members. For those wanting to read more on this topic, Kim Scott’s book on “Radical Candor” is also worth a good read. Highlight of the article includes:

“When we lose conversational fidelity, our brain’s survival circuits activate and fill in all the gaps in the communication with negative assumptions, leaving us prone to misinterpret someone’s message. There are times, however, when real-time communication isn’t an option, especially for fully remote companies with people spread all across the world. In that case, consider using a tool like Loom to give your feedback, or you could even record an audio message on your phone and upload that. In doing so, you still retain your tone and give them some body language to work off of. Failing that, you’ll need to work a little harder to ensure things are taken well. Remember, you’re losing a lot of fidelity here, so you’ll need to compensate.”


Why Moving On Makes Sense. We’ve read about the Great Resignation in multiple articles, but always from an outsider perspective, of someone analyzing a trend to predict a movement. This article from The Next Web and author Scott Kennedy details first-hand what happened with him, that propelled him to move from a 10 year stint with Google, into a different path with a startup. One of the most interesting aspects of the article, is how the author manages to illustrate his challenges and decisions without demonizing anyone or anything, but instead focusing on something that should be fundamental to us all: wellness and quality of life. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“By mid-2021, I was tired all the time. I know I wasn’t alone, because it was an ongoing meme inside Google. It’s only now that I realize what was wrong: I missed the satisfaction of building things and finishing projects. Getting things done at Google can be hard. Projects need multi-team cooperation to succeed, so you have to do a lot of work up front to get everybody pulling together. But it makes projects fragile. When any of those teams changes direction, or even just over-stated their original commitment, the project slows down or fails. The rate of this happening kept going up. There were lots of reasons for it. Teams fight over scope. Executives don’t agree on direction, but middle managers are clever enough to word OKRs in a way that makes them all think they’re getting what they want. And the combination of re-orgs and departures in middle management meant that most people have a piece of their management chain change multiple times per year. The great resignation is like a fly-wheel in that way.”


Modal and Nonmodal Dialogs. Great article from the Nielsen Norman Group and author Therese Fessenden on the topic of Modal and Nonmodal dialogs. It’s an article that showcases the best practices to use these elements, and also why and when to avoid using these. When it comes to Interaction Design, and how users consume information, it’s always worth noting what constitutes a regular flow, versus what needs particular emphasis, in order to also assess what can potentially create distraction/friction in that same flow. Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“When it comes to workflows, faster isn’t always better. For time-consuming and mentally (and emotionally) involved tasks, it can be overwhelming to ask for lots of information all at once. In those situations, modal dialogs can be used to break complex information up into simpler, more digestible chunks. Wizards are common instances of such a use of modal dialogs. However, it’s important to note that a modal with multiple steps will just prolong the amount of time spent away from the main tasks, making it more likely that users will forget what they were doing in the first place. So if you must do multiple-step modals, give users a sense of their progress, so they don’t abandon immediately. That said, if it requires multiple steps to begin with, it probably justifies dedicating a full page to it.”



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