People judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak and at its end, rather than the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.

This article is an excerpt from my upcoming book Laws of UX, which will be released in May 2020. You can read more about the book at the end.

Key Takeaways

  • Pay close attention to the most intense points and the final
    moments (the “end”) of the user journey.
  • Identify the moments when your product is most helpful, valuable,
    or entertaining and design to delight the end user.
  • Remember that people recall negative experiences more vividly
    than positive ones.

An interesting thing happens when we recollect a past event. Instead of considering the entire duration of the experience, we tend to focus…

Tips on giving and receiving helpful feedback

Most designers know the feeling of walking into a presentation feeling confident and expecting sign off on their work, only to walk away with a mountain of edits. Even worse is the realization that we missed the mark and will need go back to the drawing board.

But the truth is critical feedback is a fundamental step in creating good design. The ability to give effective feedback and openly receive it in order to improve is a vital skill for designers. In fact, actively seeking and learning from feedback is the most effective way to grow as a designer.


Why designers should leverage data to inform and not dictate design decisions

As designers, we know that data is key to understanding user behavior. It is powerful information that increases the effectiveness of our work when it’s leveraged in the right places. Data can also be problematic if it is misinterpreted or teams become over-reliant on it. We must understand it’s advantages without allowing it to dictate our decisions, and to do this we need to balance data with intuition.

Where Data Exceeds

Data is great at a lot of things, specifically the things that humans aren’t as good at seeing. Here’s a few common ways we leverage data to help inform our design decisions:

A look at what designers can learn from Pulp Fiction’s Winston Wolfe

Fictional characters can sometimes inspire us professionally. Few have had more of an influence on me than Winston ‘The Wolf’ Wolfe, the charismatic fixer in Quentin Tarantino’s classic film Pulp Fiction. Played by Harvey Keitel, The Wolf is called upon to fix a messy situation in a hurry. He not only manages to get the job done, but he gets it done with grace and style. He’s the epitome of cool under pressure.

If you aren’t familiar with the film, or if you need a refresher, watch the video below and you’ll see what I mean. …

Photo by Joshua Earle

Ten years of design is a milestone, so I’d like to take the opportunity to reflect a bit. During my short career as a designer, there’s been occasions where I’ve learned something that you just aren’t taught in school. Some of these lessons are common-sense, while others are very specific to an experience. These are by no means all the things I’ve learned, but are some of the most important ones.

I’d love to share them with you in the hopes that you can take away some useful advice.

Give a shit

This one is especially important because if you don’t care, the…

How a classic problem-solving principle can help improve our designs

Complicating the simple is commonplace in web design — even the experienced designer will find themselves reaching for an overly complex solution from time-to-time. It’s easy to get carried away with details that we assume will enhance the user’s experience, when in reality they have the potential to distract and confuse them. The challenge is to make the complicated simple, and to do this we need a guiding principle; one that can cut through complexity and guide our decision making process.

The Principle

How to maintain consistency without compromising innovation

Consistency is a core principle of good design. In UX and UI design, it is paramount to a good user experience because it provides familiarity, strengthens the intuition of the user, and establishes the identity of the brand. In addition, consistency can save design time through the reuse of components or patterns, and enable a design system to scale and adapt with ease.

Without consistency, an interface will feel disjointed and cheap, which results in the erosion of trust in the brand or service. …

What designers need to know about these transformational layout tools.

CSS has come a long way since its introduction in 1996, but the tools we have available for layout haven’t changed much. Table layouts were incredibly too rigid, float-based layouts were basically a hack, positioning-based layouts were not adaptable, and none could handle a great deal of complexity in an efficient way. Don’t get me wrong — these methods got us really far, but they aren’t intended for complex layout purposes.

The short-comings of these old methods for layout have become even more apparent with responsive web design, in which embracing the fluidity of the Web is fundamental.

With flexbox…

A behind the scenes look at King of Soul, a website to commemorate the musical legacy of Otis Redding.

Fifty years ago, the world lost musical legend Otis Redding. The power he brought to soul music transcends the genre, and his influence can still be heard today. I created a web experience in commemoration of Redding’s legacy called King of Soul, and I’d like to share a little about how and why I created it.

Let’s Start with Why

I’ve become increasingly interested in the power of storytelling, specifically in the context of the Web. The Web gives us the ability to tell rich and engaging stories to an audience all over the world. I’ve come to realize that it can be leveraged…

A look behind the scenes on why I created a space devoted to storytelling on the Web.

Storytelling is core to the human experience. We use stories to elicit an emotional response, to learn, or simply to make sense of the world around us. It’s an effective communication methodology that is fundamental to how we express thoughts, feelings, and experiences with others. When combined with the ubiquity and distribution power of the Web, we have quite an effective storytelling platform. This is quite unprecedented in that we can now tell more richer and more engaging stories while reaching more people than ever before.

There are many who have recognized this potential and are using the Web to…

Jon Yablonski

Building a dramatically more accessible world as Senior Product Designer at Boom Supersonic. Creator of Laws of UX / Humane by Design •

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