Even if you’re not a hardcore basketball fan, you have probably heard of or seen The Last Dance, a documentary mini-series about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, known for winning six NBA titles in the 90s. Although the series focuses on Jordan, an extremely competitive personality with a uniquely fierce leadership style, watching how the Bulls succeeded provides some really useful takeaways to any leader, regardless of the industry.

Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984, however, the team did not win a championship until 1991. In Jordan’s early years…

Using dropdown menus in forms might seem a no-brainer: they don’t take much space on the UI, they automatically validate the input, all browsers and platforms support them, they’re easy and cheap to implement, and the users know them well enough.

At the same time, though, dropdown (or select) menus are one of the most frequently misused form patterns and “should be the UI of last resort”, according to Luke Wroblewski and many others.

Let’s look at some of the limitations and concerns:

  • In a dropdown, the available options are not visible until you click or tap to open it…

If you’re working on digital products, you have already read dozens of articles describing how and why the hamburger navigation on mobile (and desktop!) hurts UX metrics due of its low discoverability and efficiency. (You can read some of best articles on the topic here, here, here, and here.)

Luckily, more and more sites and apps are experimenting with alternative, more efficient solutions for this very problem. None of the ideas listed here is better than the others, their viability and performance obviously depend on the content and the context.

1. Tabs

If you have a limited number of sections in your…

Apparently, UX people love to argue. There are always topics that end up in endless debates. Just try one of the following questions as a conversation starter when meeting a designer:

  • “Is material design good or bad?”
  • “What is the best prototyping tool?”
  • “Should I really never put a carousel on a website?”

What you’ll find is that responses might vary but most designers have very strong opinions which they’re eager to share.

What you will rarely hear, though, is:

I don’t know, it depends.

Maybe that’s because UX designers are usually considered the wise ones with the ultimate answers…

This post is based on a talk I gave at UX Alive in Istanbul and one I gave at Style&Class Ottawa.

Over the last couple years, whenever people asked me what UX designers do, I always came up with something like: we try to design things that people will love. And while it sounds like an awesome mission, our job is more complex than working in silos and coming up with revolutionary mockups to make the world a better place.

UX design is not a one-man show. We have to work closely with fellow designers, engineers, researchers, managers, business stakeholders…

If you are an experienced designer, you probably agree that being inspired by others is not stealing in UI design. It’s best practice research. It’s using design patterns. It’s following the guidelines. It’s making sure to use patterns that your users are familiar with to create usable interfaces.

Some might say that sticking to the guidelines and following others will kill creativity and, at the end of the day, all apps will look the same. From a UX perspective I see a different problem. Getting used to adapting best practices might make you believe that Google / Facebook / Instagram…

Zoltan Kollin

UX enthusiastic design principal at IBM, co-organizer of Amuse UX Conference and co-author of UX Myths. Views are my own. http://kollin.hu

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store