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How to specify your components so that your team can implement them with ease.

Overview

As modern designers, we have a responsibility to design components that not only look good and behave correctly, but that our teams, devs specifically, can implement with relative ease.

Listen, you don’t want your devs to have to mess with styling, spacing, placement or interaction states more than absolutely necessary.

When you deliver styled, completely specified, flexible components to your devs as part of your design system/pattern library, they’re going to love you for it, and you will more than likely save your team a boatload…


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How to conduct user research, and testing, that avoids this type of sample contamination.

Overview

For a long time, ethnographic observational research has been considered the gold-standard of gathering behavioral data, and it still stands as an incredibly valuable tool in a UX researcher’s arsenal.

With that said, whenever we conduct user research, we run the risk of introducing an effect that can skew our data in statistically significant ways, just by observing users in the wrong way.

This is known as the Hawthorne Effect; today we’re going to talk about how it works, and how you can overcome it in…


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Because having to refer to Apple’s HIG and Developer documentation every time sucks.

Overview

I’ve done it, you’ve done it, everyone who has ever designed for iOS has done it.

You look up the dimensions for the iPhone, you swear this time you’ll remember, or you setup a template file, but you’re just not 100% SURE. So, you go back, look again, dig for hours, and finally find them again, if you’re lucky.

I got so sick of doing that, that I made a chart that showcases the following dimensions:

  • iPhone X with normal title bar
  • iPhone X without a title…


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One of the most important things you can learn about UX design is not the design itself, but its underlying rationale.

Overview

Many times UX design has become synonymous with making a UI “look & feel good,” but that is hardly the only purpose of good user experience methodologies.

Today, we are going to dive into the first principles of UX reasoning, pick them apart, and discover some cognitive tools that can help you take your UX design processes to the next level.

The power of not knowing

Beyond any trends or current design patterns that you see emerging before you, there is a tried and…


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Understanding and managing optionality to make your workflow actually work for your users.

Overview

Let’s face it: modern web applications are becoming monolithic, deep, complex, and are only getting larger.

A growing number of users, designers, and developers alike are finding themselves caught between rising demand for a native-like experience on the web that maintains simplicity, scalable/flexible design specifications that make sense, and robust programmatic solutions for user-centric outcomes.


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This is a potential game-changer, and you need to know about it

Overview

In all my years of doing this, I have never once heard of this new style of continuous design/development hand-off that is now being referred to as “tokenized design.”


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How to make sure that you are adding real, unexpected value; not fluff

TL;DR

Delight is unexpected value in the form of simplicity, convenience, and/or satisfaction. In order to add delight, you must make sure your core offering(s)/functionality is fully developed and serves your users’ needs well first.

Delight is the desert of the user experience, and everyone wants a piece whether they admit it or not.

Overview

If you’ve been in UI/UX for any length of time, you’ve heard the term “delight” thrown around ad-nauseam.

What does it mean? What creates delight for our users?

Let’s talk about it now.

Product as coffee

Let’s…


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How to leverage modified user journeys and operational boundaries to map increasingly complex problems.

Overview

When designing modern systems, interfaces, and experiences, we have to constantly keep in mind not only the customer, user, and business goals of the application, but all the steps along the way that help us get there.

Today, I want to share with you an approach that I like to use when considering how to design a solid user experience that is resilient, and delivers consistent results.

Success States: The Declarative

Any time that we are designing for our users, regardless of what our given solution may be, either theoretical…


Photo by Nick Lawrence

How to create robust gradients quickly and simply for your next project

Overview

For quite some time, practical UI design has been boxed in by various gradient types that, while workable, don’t always get you the result that you’re looking for.

Today, I’m going to show you how you can create advanced, scalable gradients that will look good on any screen, and don’t require in-depth knowledge of CSS.

Leveraging SVGs

Instead of relying on older tooling, we’ll be leveraging the full power of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVGs) to get us where we want to go.

Create a new file

First and foremost, create a new file in…


Absolutely, and it's an excellent question, honestly.

Most of the time as designers (print, web, UI/UX, etc.) we are used to seeing the model of "work for hire," which is where we just sell our services as a one-off, and then the client owns all of the work that you've done and the copyrights to it as well.

This is the most common scenario with traditional employment, but is definitely not the only way that it can go down.

For a full breakdown of pricing models, I would definitely recommend the AIGA's article on it here:

https://www.aiga.org/pricing-models

Nick Lawrence

UI/UX designer with over a decade of experience in the design industry.

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