Here are some interesting finds on UI/UX of the week!
Lessons from High Visibility Brands. Not a typical highlight for this newsletter, but nonetheless and interesting article that brings forth important considerations to be had when it comes to brand longevity, loyalty/retention and the cost of innovation. There’s been a few articles which detail the main characteristics of brands that surpass the test of time (which include, self awareness, principles, deliberateness, focus and adaptability), but this article is an interesting summarization from a point of view from an author who has collaborated with Apple in the past. Highlight of the article includes:
“The hard work doesn’t just stop once you become the industry leader. Launching a service or product that puts a brand at the top of the food chain is hard enough, but holding on to that position requires even more work. Instead of sitting back and hoping for the best, brands must learn the value in taking that start-up approach of risking it all to create something new, powerful and unlike anything else. This is what led to the creation of the iMac back in the ’90s. It’s what set Apple on a path to meteoric success. But Apple needs to get back to that mentality to do whatever it takes to succeed and create something that dazzles the pundits once more. After all, no brand is safe from the giant reach of mediocrity.”
Remote User Testing. Very interesting article from the Invision blog, focused on relevant tips to perform remote user testing. The article details crucial components of this such as planning, participant gathering, clarity of the message, specific testing (instead of testing an entire application, focus on specific flows/tasks), making testing sessions concise/brief and finally, run the testing session before sending it out. Highlight of the article includes:
“We’ve found that customers who request a feature or functionality are more eager to participate in testing sessions and answer a few questions for us. So, when we do have something in the works, those users are kind enough to let us pick their brains and we get a lot of feedback this way. We set up short calls or send them a link to a Maze test (for testing Maze!) and usually collect results by the next day. This process keeps us from wasting time and money on building features that don’t work well and that we’ll eventually have to later reconstruct. It’s highly important that you don’t wait until you need to test to find participants. Instead, think about setting up an online group, platform, or Slack channel where your users can contact you and vice versa before you need them to. When the time comes, you can just ask your customers for feedback — you’ll be surprised how many are willing to help.”
Unplanned User Journeys. Another relevant article from Smashing Magazine, focused on user’s journeys, that are deemed secondary at times, but still hold users captive during their product experience. These may include no search results, empty states, error states, loading states, partial states, all states that are relevant to contemplate when creating a product experience. Highlight of the article includes:
“You can quickly work out where an error might be shown on your app. With a site/app that is saving, updating and working in real time, errors are possibly a key part to your system. Start by figuring out which area is most used, which could result in where errors are most frequently seen. Invest in the error messages there and start gathering feedback on why those are being shown — both from your system but also the user. I would also recommend creating a default error message with a feedback loop that would be used across the site for any new feature so that you will start learning from those errors from day one.”