by Kathryn Faulkner & Katherine Olvera

Facebook and Google use skeleton screens to make their apps feel faster. Should you be using them too?

In the fight for the short attention span of our users, every performance gain, whether real or perceived, matters. This is especially true on mobile, where despite our best efforts at performance, a spotty signal can leave users waiting an interminable few seconds (or more) for content to load.

Design’s conventional answer to unpredictable wait times has long been the loading spinner; a looping animation that tells the user to “Hold on. …


I recently moved and ended up buying a lot of IKEA furniture. While assembling the different pieces, I began to notice how IKEA devises their instructions to gently lead builders through complex tasks.

One of the customer’s first interactions with an IKEA product will be to build it, and this experience will likely shape the customer’s lasting impression of both that piece of furniture and IKEA as a brand. This is a high-stakes interaction, and there are so many places where it could go so wrong. …


Over the last few weeks, I’ve read a few articles that review Amazon’s latest patent for a process to automate apparel manufacture. Most of them seem to focus on how Amazon’s patent to make custom clothing could revolutionize clothing manufacture or even “sound the death knell” for the apparel industry. I’m here to say that I just don’t see it.

For one, most of the writers have tended to be tech and business experts. I wanted a different take, so I decided to share it around with some of my friends in the fashion industry, people who understand the ins…

Katherine Olvera

User Experience Designer in the D.C. area. Former fashion designer. Avid podcast listener on subjects from linguistics and politics to history and true crime.

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