Progressive Content for Progressive Reduction

Every new interface we come up with is also an exercise in instruction design. Designers typically leverage their user’s prior knowledge to create innovative experiences and help users learn how to navigate those those experiences. But how might we teach our users new, complex processes (or changes to their existing behavior) while still maintaining a simple UI? Last February Allan Grinshtein, an interaction designer at LayerVault, posited that because a user’s understanding of our application improves over time, our application’s interface should adapt. Others agree. Increasingly, designers are finding opportunities to design interfaces that better adapt, or personalize, their layouts and functions in accordance with their users’ individual knowledge—predominantly through progressive reduction and progressive disclosure. Progressive reduction is a theory that suggests that certain information should be diminished or simplified over time. This assumes that advanced users, who frequently access the application, will learn and remember basic functions and no longer need help text or additional labels. LayerVault shows how UI copy and design is personalized to different levels of user-expertise using the principle of progressive reduction. Image from LayerVault Blog. The insight behind progressive disclosure is similar: it relies on the belief that users need to have more complicated information ‘drip fed’ to them over a period of time. Jakob Nielsen puts it well: “Good usability includes ideas like progressive disclosure, where you show a small number of features to the less experienced user to lower the hurdle of getting started and yet have a larger number of features available for the expert to call up.” Progressive reduction and disclosure are theories that apply to presentation, but presentation...

UIEtips: Content and Design Are Inseparable Work Partners

It’s not uncommon within organizations that web site content is treated differently and separately from the web site design process. Yet the users do not separate the two and see it as one experience. When the content and design process are not done hand-in-hand, poor user experiences is often the result. Today’s article focuses on this issue. Tying together your content and design process is such an important issue that we’ve brought in Steph Hay to do a full day workshop on it at the UI19 Conference in Boston, October 27-29. Steph will show you how to map conversations as a first step to designing customer-centric user experiences.Learn more about Steph’s workshop. Here’s an excerpt from the article: It’s not news that the content is the important part of the design. For years, Karen McGrane has told us that working on the design without considering the content is like giving your best friend a beautifully wrapped empty box for their birthday. They’ll enjoy opening it, but will be sorely disappointed with the entirety results. And recently, Steph Hay reminded us that “content is the entire reason people come to the design in the first place.” The new thinking is that content creation and management cannot be a separate endeavor from design creation and management. That we need to inseparably integrate the two, structurally and organizationally, to create great experiences. Read the article: Content and Design are Inseparable Work Partners. What can your organization do to make design and content feel more integrated? Tell us about it...

Just 51 Spots Left at the $1,389 Price for UX Immersion Mobile Conference

UXIM 2014 will sell out again. Get your spot now at the $1389 rate. With more users accessing your sites and products via mobile, it’s critical to provide a strongly integrated experience. These UX luminaries will provide you with intensive, game-changing material that will change how you think about and design for mobile. Brad Frost – Using Design Patterns to Build Responsive Experiences Cyd Harrell - Conducting Usability Research for Mobile Apps Ben Callahan – Workflow on Responsive Web Design Projects Karen McGrane – Adapting Your Content for Mobile Jason Grigsby – Doing Mobile-First Responsive Web Design Nate Schutta – Coding Prototypes, Even if You’ve Never Tried Why are you waiting for this must-attend event of 2014 to sell out? Explore the conference and register at the lowest price possible before the $1,389...