One of the key goals of any designer is to create clear and understandable designs; pages that are well organized, balanced, with information that is easy to read and absorb will naturally result in a much better experience for your users. …


Despite the name, heuristic evaluations are not as complex as they sound. In fact, they’re a great tool for teams with various budgets for testing, as they can be executed in a couple of different ways.

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What is a heuristic evaluation?

A heuristic technique is an approach of discovery or problem solving that has broad guidelines, or rules of thumb, without any rules etched in stone. It’s a guided look into a problem or study.

As it applies to UX and product design, a heuristic evaluation is a method of inspecting and evaluating the usability of a website, or product. You may also hear it referred to as a “usability audit” or an “expert review”. Using a set of heuristics, one or more experts will evaluate how well a product complies to these heuristics to define its usability. …


My Dad sent a text to my family this week, toting the purchase of drugs worth a couple thousand dollars (free of course because of Ontario’s health care coverage) in preparation for his latest cancer checkup. A radioactive beverage, and a series of shots were on the docket, certainly an unpleasant experience just around the corner.

My Dad has been ‘cancer free’ for nearly 4 years now, but this text exchange was a subtle reminder that you’re never fully clear of Cancer’s evil grasp. …


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As a designer, I’m always observing the experiences surrounding the latest products. This past summer I picked up an Amazon Echo Dot in the US to feed my interest in the voice assistant space, and start test-driving that product.

The Amazon experience wasn’t the greatest, primarily because it wasn’t supported in Canada yet, so my Canadian Amazon account didn’t work. The setup experience took some searching, and creativity get it up and running. I am eager to try to the process again now that it’s supported in Canada.

A few weeks back I picked up a Google Home Mini at 50% off and decided to give it a try alongside a new Ecobee3 thermostat. I must say, Google’s products are stealing my heart more and more. …


This post was originally posted on the Chalk Blog

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Design is a fascinating, and incredibly powerful tool, applicable in many different scenarios and situations. Design has many facets, and we often think about design as the form, function, brand, or even an experience we’ve had. These are all forms of design, and it expands even further into solving problems through design thinking. Everywhere we go we’re surrounded by design, both good and bad.

Designers use many principles that guide how they design across these various forms. As it turns out, many of the principles used in design can apply in the classroom. Concepts like empathy, defining problems, ideating and testing, or how to make things look aesthetically pleasing. …


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“Just remember, it never gets easier… you just get faster.”

Among everything I should have retained in high-school, this sentence has endured. …


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Today we continue our interview series for Fluxible week with Davis Neable — the UX Lead at Shopify Plus.

I have had the privilege to speak with Davis about design on several occasions, and have always been impressed with her perspective on design, what it means to business, and how the process of designing an experience is really open to anyone.

Can you tell me about your first experience with ‘design’?

I don’t think I knew it was ‘design’ at that point, but I would have to say it was my dad thoroughly planning our family summer trips.

He’d spend months brainstorming activities, plotting out routes, identifying kid-friendly sites — pretty much thinking about all those different touch points. And every year, he’d iterate on the trip experience, asking questions like, “How can I make this better for us as a family?”. For example, one summer he introduced the journal. He had prepared little duo-tangs, and every day had a different entry in it as to where we were going to be so that we could, in our own ways, capture the experience. …


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This week is Fluxible week here in Kitchener-Waterloo. To celebrate that, we’re interviewing local designers involved in running Fluxible. This also marks the launch of our DesignChats interview series, highlighting local design talent in KW, and across Canada.

To kick things off, I sat down with Robert Barlow-Busch, a co-founder of Fluxible, and Co-VP of User Experience at Boltmade here in Kitchener — Waterloo. Robert also started the first UX community group here in the region now known as UX Waterloo.

Can you tell me about your first experience with ‘design’?

I remember my first experience clearly. In fact, it made me realize that design was the career I wanted to pursue. My undergrad degree is from Waterloo in Rhetoric and Professional Writing, but I’d always had an interest in technology and engineering, as well. So I found myself in a co-op job as a technical writer. …


I spend a fair amount of time on the road, often by my own choice. I find a peacefulness of being on the road (outside of the GTA of course), and often use highway as a time for reflection and pondering against the faint buzz of all-terrains on the tarmac.

A couple of weeks back, as I was making my way back to Kitchener-Waterloo from the first DesignChats event in London, I spotted a new “Text Stop” sign not unlike the one below.

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These signs are very common on US Interstates, but just recently making an appearance in Canada.

These have been around for some time on US Interstates, but just recently I’ve seen them appearing on the 400 series routes in Ontario. This got me thinking about the progression of road signage, and how this is an indicator of adopting terminology and language for a changing audience. …


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There’s a soothing calm about the mornings.

As the sun starts rising, and the birds come awake with joyous chirps and tweets. The morning mist carries across the grass, and through river valleys. The moist leaves and blades of grass glistening in the sun’s rays. There truly is something beautiful and soothing about mornings.

For the last few years I’ve developed a growing love for the mornings. Though I’ve enjoyed the sunrise and the dawn of a new day, I’ve never truly appreciated why mornings are so great, or how to effectively use them.

Through the winter months, I would drag myself out of bed before the first sign of light, and force myself into routines poised to drive myself into better shape. When the weather turns nice, I would occupy this time suffering through running in the same way I did the gym through the winter. These routines have their perks, and I can’t deny the energy benefits of exercise in the morning, but they don’t let you enjoy the morning. …

About

Matt Rae

Design Advocate for @AdobeXD. Equipping designers & teams to create amazing experiences with Adobe XD. Founder & Organizer of @designchats.

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