Skip to main content

Cognition

Usability

We’ve written 4 blog posts about Usability. View all topics »

  1. The best laid schemes for house and screens

    “If you can design one thing, you can design everything” –Massimo Vignelli

    My husband and I are in the midst of buying our first house together. It’s a bit of a fixer-upper but nothing too major. Our first priorities are to refinish the floors, repaint, redo the kitchen, and update the bathroom vanity. The house is nothing like the Modernist glass box I once dreamed of, but it definitely has character.

  2. Leaving the Nest

    A few months ago I was asked to assist leading some moderated qualitative usability testing sessions. I’ll be honest: I had little-to-no experience speaking with users, so at the start of the project I didn’t feel like I was fully equipped for the task. The idea of being in a room with someone I didn’t know for an hour and guiding them through a handful of scenarios to validate our design didn’t sound as good as one of my typical design days. However, I knew it would be a good learning experience and said I’d help out.

  3. Hover-crafting

    As a designer, my involvement in projects’ front-end development varies. Sometimes, I spend most of my time in code; other times, I work solely in Photoshop. But, there is one part of every front-end engagement that I always love to jump into the browser for: to create hover animations.

    Hover animations are a site design element just like typography and color, so it’s important that designers take ownership of this step. Not only do hovers add to the look and feel of a site, but they also add an extra layer of usability for users with a mouse. A finished site may “work” without them, but these nuanced touches add polish and really reinforce a site’s personality. I like to think of their addition as “bonus design”—it’s an opportunity to better what’s being built.

  4. Better User Testing

    “We don’t have the budget or time for user testing,” is something I’ve heard all too often during planning and estimating meetings. Testing with real users has traditionally been an expensive and time-consuming line item in project plans—usually one of the first to be cut when budgets are tightened. It’s no mystery why: most testing methods have classically been stressful to set up, requiring a tremendous amount of scheduling, coordination, resources, and time.