Societe Generale was originally created 155 years ago to provide financial services and to promote the development of trade and industry in France, with the mission of offering innovative solutions from generation to generation. Today, corporations and financial institutions continue to come to Societe Generale CIB for their expertise in managing foreign exchange risks, the ability to issue their capital and the access they provide to specific markets, to name a few examples.

So where does the role of UX design come into all of this? Looking over the last 10 years, financial environments have come a long way from…


The web is a dynamic and fluid medium. As UX designers, we need to provide context and communicate design decisions to stakeholders to help provide clarity for our static concepts. Annotations allow UX designers to communicate to clients and developers why an interface element is placed in a specific location and what the interaction model is for the element. This establishes a clear information hierarchy for the design solution and creates a user flow that helps guide stakeholders through the road map of interactions to be translated into wireframes.

Why are annotations important?

Creating annotated wireframes is time consuming, but communicating the overall picture…


The System Usability Scale (SUS), created by John Brooke in 1986, offers a quick and effective way to evaluate the usability of your products and designs. SUS is a practical and reliable tool for measuring perceived ease of use, and it can be used across a broad range of digital products and services to help UX practitioners determine if there is an overall problem with a design solution.

Unlike something like a usability report, SUS is not diagnostic and is used to provide an overall usability assessment measurement, as defined by ISO 9241–11, which is made up of the following…


Whether you’re just starting out with user research or are a seasoned UX researcher, here is a comprehensive list of questions to inspire you and help you achieve success with your user interviews. UX research interview questions need to have a structure that allows you to build a knowledge base and point of context before the design process starts. Learning and understanding the context of a problem will give insight into what possible outcomes there are for the design.

UX research interview questions can help you find out what your user thinks about a design solution and how that solution…


Kids have access to a wide variety of internet-ready devices: tablets, iPods and handheld gaming platforms. Instead of asking students to put away their devices, why not have students leverage their mobile devices as part of the classroom experience with fact finding activities? You can start a classroom discussion on a topic and then suggest that students use their devices to learn more about it.

In many classrooms, the only way to access the internet is on a lone desktop computer at the back of the room or in a separate lab. Mobile devices are ubiquitous and can provide opportunities…


Designing and building digital products should begin with inclusive design. Inclusive design is a set of principles that help define responses to issues of diversity and enable products to be developed to address the needs of a broad range of users with different levels of ability.

We have to consider the consequences that result from not accounting for differences when we are designing digital products. To design for inclusion, we need to recognize exclusion and understand when it happens and why. Exclusion can happen by not recognizing our own biases within our designs. …


Over the past several years, I have been observing how my kids (and their friends) have been using and adapting technology into their lives. One of the key differences in a child’s experience with technology is their age and access to the different types of digital technologies available. “People two, three or four years apart are having completely different experiences with technology.” — Lee Rainie, Pew Research Center.

Children who are exposed to touch devices have an expectation that all devices are touch based. My youngest daughter first experience was swiping content on an iPad. …


My name is Andrew Smyk. I am an educator and mobile UX designer — and a dad, coffee aficionado, writer, speaker, all-round pirate, avid cyclist and hockey sherpa in Toronto, Ontario. I’m also the program coordinator for the postgraduate Interactive Media Management program at Sheridan College and write about how kids adapt and use technology on my blog and on Medium.

How did you get started in UX design?

I originally went to university to study accounting and finance. Working with columns and ledgers trained me to think in grids, patterns and laying out scannable content. I had wanted to go to art school but my parents encouraged…


Building Relevant and Customized Experiences

Contextual UX is the use of context-aware technologies that allow us to design and build experiences that are personalized to meet unique needs of the individual user based on specific situation or context of use. Before we start, let’s look at two of the primary concepts that define the user experience from a human-computer interaction (HCI) perspective, explicit and implicit interaction.

“Explicit Interaction requires direct manipulation of the UI or device by the user. The interactions are often repetitive and can overwhelm the user.”

“Implicit Interaction puts the technology into the background. The system adapts and learns user preferences over…


Pedagogy, Learning and Teaching

While I was working on my masters, I would often ask this question on my commute from class and why certain theories “stuck” with me. On a macro level, “What makes a good theory?” can be broken down into three possible categories. Is the theory accessible, does it resonate, and can you apply it in the classroom.

Accessibility: A good theory is accessible to the person exploring the theory. Is the theory stated or explained in a way that makes the content approachable and can it be synthesized by the reader? Does an understanding of the theory depend heavily on…

Andrew Smyk

Dad, Educator & UX Designer with a focus on Mobile Design. Coffee aficionado, kettlebell killer, avid cyclist, all-round pirate and HTML5 Evangelist.@andrewsmyk

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