UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

June//3//2022

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

1.

Using Session Recording to Improve User Engagement. Another Research affiliated article, stemming from HotJar’s Design Blog and author Adina Timar. As the title indicates, the article focuses on User Session Recordings, and the information that can be attained and captured from revisiting them, be it in the context of Customer/User Interviews, Voice of the Customer Engagements, Usability Testing sessions, or even Focus Groups. The underlying realization is that session recordings are powerful and insightful artifacts that can provide additional details and clarify aspects pertaining to expectations, friction points, just to name a few behavioral aspects from these studies. Worth reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“Feature discovery is an essential part of product adoption. If users don’t realize what your app has to offer, they won’t get the full value. Use session recordings to increase engagement by identifying where users seem to be in need of assistance — for example, by scouring your FAQs or help center, or by hovering for a long time over the navigation menu. Maybe they’re looking for a specific feature they can’t seem to find. If it’s a widespread problem that correlates with low task completion rates, you might want to take another look at your entire UI. On the opposite side, if it’s quite specific and the recordings suggest that the user’s confusion is appearing at particular friction points, you can fix that with in-app guidance messages. For example, native tooltips: those flickering spotlights that draw the users’ attention to a specific point on the UI. Then, when hovered over, they display a short message (and a call to action, why not?).”

2.

Measuring Performance of Typefaces. Very interesting article hailing from The Smashing Magazine and author Thomas Bohm, focused on the complex process of testing typefaces. It’s a well documented and thoroughly explained article on the topic of typefaces, how they impact what consumers/users perceive and digest, and what should go into the process of testing various typefaces against each other. It’s part I and it’s a compelling read. Highlight of the article includes:

“Legibility research has a long history (going back to the 1870s). A wide range of issues has been studied, including type size, line spacing, line length, typestyle, serifs, and more. However, as Buckingham in New data on the typography of textbooks pointed out relatively early on, these factors interact in complex ways, apparently unrecognizable by many researchers. Indeed, in recent times a consensus has grown that the interaction of variables in type design is so complex that few generalizable findings can be found (see a longer review in Robert Waller’s “Typography and discourse”).”

3.

Creating Color Palettes. Creating color palettes, with all its ties with Branding, Accessibility, Hierarchy, to name but a few, can at times be a daunting task. This article, which is also a showcase for the Atmos app/product, illustrates many of the considerations to ponder when going through the crafting of such an fundamental endeavor (the article explains aspects such as lightness, hue, saturation, to name but a few). Well worth a read. Highlight of the article includes:

“To determine the darkest and lightest shades, consider how you will use them in the interface. Dark shades are used for text while light shades are mostly for tinted backgrounds. It’s best to test your shades on an example UI (a few fields, buttons, and boxes should do the trick). Generally, a lightness range of 95 to 30 seems to be the sweet spot. Any lighter and the colors are barely distinguishable. On the other hand, darker colors lose saturation rapidly.”

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