Windows 8 Metro UI: Flat isn’t bad
The Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released on February 29, 2012. Some have criticized Microsoft’s decision to move to a tile-based UI on the grounds that it will make it harder to find elements on the desktop. Fortunately, 3D is not required for the psychological phenomenon of “pop-out.”
Researching our communities: Who’s coming to design events (and why)
We undertook a project to explore the make-up of the Austin design community, as well as their desires and needs from community events. Focusing on lunches, happy hours, workshops, presentations and panels, and field trips, we examined what kind of of people are drawn to each type of event and what they hope to gain from them.
Perceived affordances: Bridging innovation and usability
When designing a product or interface, there can be great pressure to create something distinctive and different, but these innovations can sometimes leave users unsure about the functions of elements. By identifying visual cues that suggest specific functions to users, designers can determine where to innovate and where to stick to the basics.
Playlists, RPGs, frustration, and mistrust: Why randomization may be hurting your user experience
Whether it’s shuffling songs or assigning teams for online games, hundreds of products involve some sort of randomization. Unfortunately, true randomness often looks like over-repetition to users. Failing to anticipate this can have disastrous consequences for design.
The psychology of 11/11/11: Pattern recognition and scarcity
11/11/11 was a memorable day for people across the globe. But why do we make such a big deal about arbitrarily assigned numbers, and why does it pay to associate notable dates with products?
Eye tracking is a powerful tool in user experience research, yet its cost means that it is still out of reach for many practitioners. DFKI researchers outlined a programmable software-based solution that provides insight into what users are actually paying attention to on a site.
The dark side of credibility
Rapid-exposure usability tests such as FiveSecondTest.com emphasize the importance of creating a strong first impression with visual design factors. However, a credible-looking site may actually be worse than a poorly-designed site if its persuasive appeals are weak or logically unsound.
Reward your users: A lesson from dolphins
There sometimes exists a disconnect between the goals of a company and those of its users. In these cases it can be helpful to identify the steps along the path to a target outcome and to ensure that users are appropriately reinforced at each.