Insights from the other side.

Hiring UI/UX designers is difficult. Finding the right position as a UI/UX designer is also hard. While reviewing a few hundred applicant resumes for an in-house, mid-level UI/UX position, I gained some interesting insight into the design of an effective resume.

I hope that these tips and best practices will help you to stand out as a designer and avoid many costly errors in telling your professional story to your next potential employer.

Don’t end up like Charlie. Keep reading.

You may be thrown out of consideration for a position before being properly evaluated as a candidate because of common usability issues with your resume.

Successful navigation orients users and empowers them to move efficiently.

Part One covered Layout Best Practices. Now let’s get into some tips on how to design navigation structures which are both intuitive and predictable, making them more user-friendly.

The purpose of a product’s navigation is two-fold.

  1. Help your user easily get to where they need to be.
  2. Provide visual cues as orientation for where they are now.

The ultimate goal of a navigational structure is for new and returning users to be able to figure out how to get around a digital product easily and efficiently.

I’ve been completely focused on designing complex web applications and dashboards for years now and I’m realizing there isn’t much education in this niche. I’m hoping to share some of the essential web application design tips, tricks and design theories with this new series–Web App Design 101.

Hit the comments if there’s anything specifically you’d like me to write about.

First — Know and Leverage User Expectations

When you’re lost in a new city, you know where to look for directions. Maybe that means street signs or building address numbers. Now imagine how frustrating it is when these conventions are broken in the real world. Similarly, your…

Recently, I co-delivered a webinar detailing the basics of information architecture, specific to the design of human machine interfaces (HMIs). We discussed the basics of Information Architecture (IA) and the benefits made possible when you add or invest in an information architecture stage for your product/project. The primary benefits being 1) Meaningful content organization and 2) Intuitive layout organization. I’ll be writing in detail about each of these subjects shortly, but for now let’s focus on IA itself.

This is a quick primer on the subject and the concepts involved – I’ve worked to distill down a ton of information…

How to craft and document modern component libraries

A primary point of contention in the product design to development workflow comes at the point of hand-off. As a project deadline looms, designers are typically scrambling to write specifications and export the necessary graphics to ensure the intended pixel designs are fully realized in the browser. This stage of a project is fairly fragmented industry-wide with each team doing their own thing with their own tooling. It’s a difficult stage that is regularly underestimated in terms of the time needed for proper completion.

In my experience as a product designer, front-end style guides are the missing deliverable at this…

Boosting conversion rates while improving the user’s experience.

During a recent project’s research phase, I spent some time exploring the use of social proof as it relates to product design. After studying the subject and using it as a tool to effectively boost conversion rates in this recent project, I’d love to share what I learned through this article. When used correctly, I’ve seen first-hand how social proof can be leveraged as a powerful tool in the hands of a product designer.

So, what is social proof?

There you have it.

In essence, social proof happens when people correlate their actions with the actions of their peers. …

You’re convinced, some folks within your team are convinced but there’s still a few hold-outs to incorporating user feedback sessions into your product’s development cycle. Over my years as a designer on various software teams, here are some methods I’ve found to be successful in gaining larger buy-in for the UX processes within an agile environment.

In a nutshell I recommend that you clarify any misconceptions of UX testing, iterate in public and then stay consistent with your processes.

First, Clarify Misconceptions. (aka Convince Management)

Funding, time and awareness of user experience testing on established software teams are difficult bridges to cross. Processes can be established…

Most business folks these days have heard about and seen the positive benefits of running a user centric business. Focusing on and progressively enhancing the user experience of a business and/or product is our current wave of innovation. Most of the big guys are dong it, and the benefits gained have become clear.

With such clear business results and long term benefits, we like to assume that everyone is testing with real users. The truth is not so pristine. Countless organizations are still struggling to introduce a focus on their user experiences. …

Internal User Experience Training

In last week’s edition of my Product Design Newsletter, I wrote in detail about conducting regular benchmark usability tests. As readers learned,t he benefits were clear and somewhat surprising. My described process worked well within the agile software development environment and ensured a high bar for the the ongoing quality of our software. If you haven’t read that article just yet, go read about my process of monthly benchmark user testing.

As the data from months of these benchmark tests accumulated, my team realized there were some additional positive, though unintended, consequences of the new testing schedule. Once these were…

A baseline strategy for core user flows

Paul, an early supporter of my product design mailing list recently reached out to ask me about the specifics of my process & strategy surrounding new features. Simply put, how did I get new feature ideas ranked, validated and built?

A fantastic question and one that led to some introspection about my validation process from past projects. What worked and didn’t work? What could I recommend to a fellow product designer to save him time? In short, the answer is to talk with your product’s target users. Then talk with them some more.

Ray Sensenbach

Product & Dashboard Designer. Work hard & be nice to people.

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