UI/UX Articles and Interesting Tidbits of the Week

September//23//2022

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

1.

Checklists for Interface Designers. Great article and summarization across a multitude of aspects in Product Design comes courtesy of author Vitaly Friedman and Smashing Magazine. The article lists very relevant resources when it comes to Design Systems, Accessibility Considerations, Project Tools, Research considerations, to name but a few. It’s a thorough resource worth spending time investigating and reading through. Highlight of the article includes:

“Design systems often come in various flavors. Surely there will be basic components, color, typography and spacing, but often also more sophisticated components, usage guidelines, accessibility considerations and live previews. Additionally, Workday Canvas Design System includes flow charts for deciding what components to use, with examples of the outcome that designers and non-designers can follow to make their decisions.”

2.

Analyzing Real Estate Applications. While a bit shallow in terms of the depth and findings that it comes across, for instance in the summary of the study the author points out “Real estate app designs must be user-centric, intuitive, relevant, and precise”, which essentially are qualities that apply to any digital product/solution and not solely real estate ones. This is a case study that showcases that if indeed there’s an intent in uncovering and reviewing a particular set of digital products, this is something that should be done with a very specific and clearly identified perspective in mind. Case in point, this particular study could have benefited from highlighting that it is a combination of an audit & analysis from a Design perspective, looking at aspects such as interaction, content, flow, interface, motion, all with the intent to distill findings which may include patterns, opportunities, unveil dark patterns, inconsistencies, or whatever else is uncovered. While the author does mention there was research with users that have bought/sold/rented properties, it fails to specify the diversity of the sample group, their background, and what was indeed being tested with these users (and 5 users is hardly representative of anything). This type of case study, while commendable for its intention to look at opportunities in this particular type of offering, once again demonstrates the importance to clarify intent, research relevant products in the market (effectively look at data which represents product usage, app downloads, store reviews), and also be very clear about the goals of the study (and by the way, justify statements with data, such as “First impression is pivotal for engaging and retaining users on a real estate platform”, which is something that can be claimed to be applicable to any digital application/solution, but which has subsequently no data to legitimize it in the article). Otherwise it ends up being a shallow and less than relevant study. Highlight of the article includes:

“Searching for a home can be arduous, taking weeks or months. In such situations, users welcome a feature that lets them save the shortlisted home as favorites. This allows them to revisit their previous choices at a later date and compare it against current options.”

3.

Contrast and Color. A fascinating read from Andrew Somers and Smashing Magazine on the topic of color and contrast. The author thoroughly clarifies how we humans perceive color, and contrast, while simultaneously looks at aspects such as contrast sensitivity, color vision deficiency, color insensitive and readability, to name but a few. The author provides useful guidelines in terms of suggested contrasts, font sizes in text, all aligned with the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). Well worth reading this thorough article. Highlight of the article includes:

“About 5% of the world’s population is insensitive to some colors, a condition inaccurately referred to as “color blind.” In the most common cases, one of the cone types is either not working as it should or is missing altogether. The deutan type has a problem with or is missing the M/Green cone, and the protan type is missing or has an issue with the L/red cone. There are also some very rare types, such as tritan, having problems with the S/Blue cone, and even non-color (achromatic) forms of vision, missing two or all three cones.”

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