UX design spectrum

The way I look at a designer’s role is a sort of a spectrum. On the one end you have research and on the other sits interface design. Most designers will sit comfortably somewhere along this spectrum, branching out to varying degrees in either or both directions. I realise this is a very simplistic way to look at the design process and probably doesn’t cover every unique team. But more or less this is what is involved. It’s best to look at this more like a skill set spectrum than an actual linear process.

The question is, how far should…


In my quest for a good way to test and validate some designs I’ve been working on, I stumbled on the ‘five-minute test’ by Usability Hub. This test is very simple in nature, you submit an image and it is visible to your participants for five seconds, at this point you can then prompt them with some questions about the image. The questions can be anything you want and they’re all optional so you don’t end up with any false answers.

I thought this approach was great, because it stops participants form over analysing it. I wish I could have…


Over the last few years I have been involved in—very slowly—creating a product from scratch. We’re a team of three and all have day jobs, which command the majority of our attentions. Our product offers a way for schools to track and map the interconnected relationships of their students by having them complete a simple five-minute survey at the start of each term. The survey is simple but the data it provides schools with is incredibly powerful.

As we’ve been iterating on it we have been lucky enough to trial it with real customers, receiving constant feedback along the way…


Over the last few weeks, I’ve been a part of a small internal team tasked with solving some complex problems and testing the solutions at a fast pace. We worked in a small team of six, each of us with our own specialty — but working as one. We completed several tasks to move us forward, but there’s one task I’d like to focus on here. Testing and validating ideas.

Based on our brief and agreed upon ‘shared vision’ we spent about 15 minutes sketching ideas. These sketches were then discussed, collated and voted on. …


I recently worked on a project that had a very linear flow to it. One issue stood out to me as I was designing the final flow, there were lots of different ideas about what this should look like. The flow started to become messy and branch off into different directions. Ultimately there were three tasks a user needed to complete—in order—with a few smaller ones in between. There was really no need stray from our pre-defined journey other than to give users options just incase they wanted them. …


Space. It may be invisible, but it’s one of the most important elements of a composition. All the little details, the bits and pieces a designer puts together to make an interface, they can only work if they work together. Sometimes the spacing of elements doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

So I’ve put some thought into the different ways space can be used and how they can affect the usability of an interface.

Surrounding space

Arguably one of the most important considerations of space in UI design is that which surrounds objects. …


Recently I attended Pause Fest, a large creative/technology conference in Melbourne. There were three major days broken up into three categories; creative, technology, and business. I attended the creative day and noticed an overwhelming theme – virtual reality. It seemed to be what everyone was talking about and what everyone wanted to hear. “How can we use VR to immerse people in our brand, to tell our story better” was the gist of what was on most minds.

VR has been around for a while now but I think it’s just starting to hit a critical point of usefulness, availability…


Introduction

I have always been primarily a print focused designer and until early last year never really saw myself transitioning from that role at all. I think what I liked about print based design was that the process of creating itself is fairly simple, you have one medium and you have total control over it. Control is definitely my safe place and the somewhat messy nature of digital projects turned me off. …

Brendan Sharman

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