UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

August//26//2022

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

1.

Fighting Ageism. Interesting article from Inc. Magazine and author Howard Tullman on the topic of ageism in the workplace and in career paths. The article provides an interesting perspective on what is currently happening in the Tech World, with its fair share of ups and downs, and how that reverberates and impacts seasoned workers. The article mentions terminology such as Obsolescence, and finally advocates for professionals to keep curating and valuing their careers consistently, investing in themselves and never taking anything for granted. While these fine points are sensical, I’d opine that investing in oneself, in constant education, remaining active in your field of choice, is something to do throughout your entire career, and not for fear of possible layoffs or staff reduction. You should always invest in yourself, because YOU are your own brand, you build your own recognition. Worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“First, because anyone over a certain age — call it 50 years old — in just about any business (whether it’s growing or going slowly away) finds themselves regularly and somewhat worriedly looking over their shoulders at the people coming up behind them and alternatively looking somewhat longingly at the exit door and wondering if it’s time to think about calling it a career. They wonder if they can still compete (or really want to), and they aren’t sure that their painfully acquired skills still have value. Sadly, experience is sometimes what you get when you don’t get what you want. And some experiences don’t toughen you up or make you wiser, they just tire you out.”

2.

Online Surveys and User Testing. Another article hailing from the Marvel Design Blog, this one in particular courtesy of author Erman Ergun, focused on the topic of Usability Testing, and specifically the usefulness of surveys. This type of quantitative user research provides an opportunity for Product Design Teams and their partners to get an actual diagnosis of what users are reflecting upon, across a variety of engagements (those surveys can be pertaining to feature/product ideas, prototypes of different levels of fidelity, pilot applications themselves, amongst many other topics). The author describes not only the value in conducting surveys, but also how to effectively craft them. Well worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“While incentives can work extremely well, the types of people who take a user experience survey for the monetary reward can be very different from the people who actually use and get the most value out of your product. This is especially true if the reward is too generous or isn’t aligned with your target customer. For example, if you run a SaaS tool that makes it easier for software engineers to deploy code faster and more accurately, and you want feedback from engineers, incentivizing them with a $25 Amazon gift card will likely flop since most engineers make six-figure salaries. A better incentive might be including them as beta testers or holding a one-on-one call with a product manager to give feedback.”

3.

Crafting Better Error Messages. Another great and thorough article from Vitaly Friedman and The Smashing Magazine, this time around on the topic of Error Messages. The author goes through the detailing of how to write effective Error Messages, but also documents pertinent reflections on positioning them, across a variety of different contexts, including forms, tables and other components of the UI where these situations can potentially occur. Well worth reading through and considering some of the aspects it sets in motion. Highlight of the article includes:

“Displaying error messages above input fields typically helps us avoid the accessibility issues listed above. The cost of it, though, is layout shifts: with every new error appearing dynamically, the entire form has to shift vertically as we need to make space for the error message to appear. It might be noisy, but sometimes that noise might be very much worth it. For lengthy error messages, it might sound tempting to display them as a tooltip, yet with it come all the usability issues discussed in the previous section. Using a collapsible accordion instead might be a better idea there.”

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