Tim Brown – Helvetica is the Neue Black

[ Transcript Available ] When you break down written language, it’s really just a carefully crafted set of tiny symbols. It’s easy to dismiss these meticulous creations in daily life as simply, reading. The shape, readability, and size of these symbols are all factors in effectively communicating ideas, and have been for thousands of years. In essence, typography itself is more than just picking a font. Tim Brown works at Adobe Typekit. Tim says there is a certain level of complexity in good typography. There’s more to it than symbols and shapes or serif versus sans-serif. One of the more important aspects that affects communication is the spacing of these symbols. A well designed typeface creates a rhythm and balance in the words. This allows you to apply this balance to your typography and your design as a whole. Attend a daylong workshop with Tim at UI19   Tim’s UI19 workshop, Designing with Type, in Boston October 29 will show you how to choose and use type on the web, from serifs and superfamilies to counters and compositions. Register with promotion code TIMCAST and get $300 off the current conference price. Explore Tim’s workshop Recorded: May, 2014 [ Subscribe to our podcast via ?This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] Full Transcript. Jared Spool: Hello, everyone. You are listening to, yet, another episode of Spoolcast and I am so excited, because we have someone new that we haven’t talked to before, Tim Brown. Tim works at Adobe Typekit. He is the brains behind the Typekit Practice system, which if you haven’t checked it...

Marc Stickdorn – Service Design Thinking

[ Transcript Available ] In the realm of user experience, disciplines and titles can take on different meanings. Determining buzzword jargon from actual, useful distinctions and processes is sometimes a bit tricky. The term Service Design has been with us for a while now. Some see it as just plain, good UX. Marc Stickdorn sees it as more than that. Marc sees service design as less of a new discipline and more a combination of previously disconnected disciplines. The collaboration of various people in the organization from developers to businesspeople is required when developing and then launching a service. He admits that if you’ve been practicing good UX, then you’re already in pretty decent shape. You possess many of the tools put to use in service design. One of the most important aspects of service design is connecting the touchpoints. Services nowadays are inherently cross-channel, and even more, expected to be. This requires research that goes beyond just the UI and the users’ context. Attend a daylong workshop with Marc at UI19 Marc’s UI19 workshop, Service Design: Creating Delightful Cross-Channel Experiences, in Boston October 27 will show how to create a cohesive customer experience by expanding beyond digital and designing for every customer touch point. Register with promotion code MARCCAST and get $300 off the current conference price. Explore Marc’s workshop   Recorded: May, 2014 [ Subscribe to our podcast via ?This link will launch the iTunes application.] [ Subscribe with other podcast applications.] Full Transcript. Jared Spool: Hello, everyone. You are listening to yet another episode of the SpoolCast. Today, we have Marc Stickdorn, who is co-author and...

An Icon is Worth 1,000 Words

A picture is worth one thousand words. This aphorism means even more when we apply it to icons: save, open, and print are just a few of the many actions we associate with a simply sketched image. The “hamburger” menu icon is newer to the icon family, and yet it is now nearly as ubiquitous as its namesake food. Yet when UX designer James Foster conducted a series of A/B tests, he found it suffered in clarity compared to the simple word “menu.” James Foster began A/B testing to satisfy his curiosity: would the full hamburger test better than the simple “three lines” menu icon? It did. He then compared the full hamburger to the word “menu” surrounded by a border, and that tested even better – 12.9% better. The test led him to the conclusion that the hamburger icon is not as universally understood as a square button—like box with the name of the item. For those of us with less time on our hands, we can’t spend days running A/B tests on every icon and word combination. Even if we could, the tests alone might not provide a clear answer; plenty of designers and developers have struggled over whether icons or text are “better” with no clear decision. This article will do the heavy lifting for us, compiling research on when icons are the better choice, and when the written word will best suit our needs. Icons for space constraints The primary reason a designer might choose icons rather than text is simple: icons take up less space. This has risen to the top of the priority...

UIEtips: Becoming a UX Unicorn in 5 Easy Steps

Lately there’s all this talk of UX unicorns. Have you found them? Are you trying to nurture them? Are you hoping to be one? Research shows there’s a strong correlation between UX Unicorns and the UX skills they acquire and hone.  Read about the five ways you can become a UX unicorn. Here’s an excerpt from the article: We call them unicorns because they are supposed to be mythical creatures-something that doesn’t exist in the real world. That’s how the nickname came about. Yet, over the past couple of years, we’ve started meeting people who fit the description of a UX unicorn. They are very real and they are amongst us. We know because we’ve met and studied several dozen of these multi-skilled designers over the past two years. Where do you begin to develop these skills? Well, one resource is UIE’s All You Can Learn, a library of all things UX. Just create your account, and over 160 seminars will be at your fingertips. Read the article Becoming a UX Unicorn in 5 Easy Steps. How do you branch out beyond your existing core skills? Tell us about it...

UIEtips: Atomic Design

It’s quite common for designers to develop design systems and libraries of patterns. A designer can save a considerable amount of time if they develop a reliable design system. One that goes beyond colors, fonts, grid etc but rather focuses more on how the various elements and parts become a whole. In today’s UIEtips, we feature a post from Brad Frost where he explains a methodology for creating design systems. It’s called Atomic Design. It’s a term rising in popularity. We’re fortunate that Brad is giving a daylong workshop at this year’s UXIM conference in Denver, April 7-9. He’ll show you how your design team can establish a practical foundation to make flexible, adaptive UIs. Learn more about Brad’s workshop, Using Atomic Design to Create Responsive Interfaces. Here’s an excerpt from the article: The thought is that all matter (whether solid, liquid, gas, simple, complex, etc) is comprised of atoms. Those atomic units bond together to form molecules, which in turn combine into more complex organisms to ultimately create all matter in our universe. Similarly, interfaces are made up of smaller components. This means we can break entire interfaces down into fundamental building blocks and work up from there. That’s the basic gist of atomic design. Read the article Atomic Design. Does your company build interfaces using atomic design patterns? Tell us about it...