According to Curt Cloninger, "Usability experts are from Mars, graphic designers are from Venus".
Since the early days of web design and development, the enduring perception has lingered of a clash between two incompatible approaches.
According to the somewhat exaggerated popular concept of brain lateralisation, these might correspond to 'right brain' thinking (represented by art and aesthetics) and 'left brain' thinking (represented by engineering or usability).
This, of course, is simply not the case. Any website, (or any other form of communication) needs a combination of them all to be successful, and as the discipline of user experience (UX) has matured over the past few years this perceived divide has begun to contract.
Today, UX professionals are using the basic tools of visual communication to provide clearer, more intuitive user journeys.
The numbers are compelling: 7bn messages sent between 230m users of its messaging app, 200m downloads of its games, 10m Indian users in three months as well as tens of millions in Spain, South America, Indonesia and beyond.
LINE is a large content hub, and once you’ve downloaded the messaging app, you’re hooked into a network that gives away a lot of fun stuff for free, and ties everything together with a very strong brand.
So what is LINE doing that’s significant, and how will it begin to affect other brands on mobile?
The philosophy of aesthetics has become a widely acknowledged part of our lives. It refers to our innate need to define what is beautiful and what is not.
In the last decade a new field of study, called neuroaesthetics, has emerged which takes the philosophy of aesthetics one step further. By understanding the role of the brain we can begin to understand the neurological basis for why we find things more beautiful than others.
I believe the design world can learn a lot from the study of neuroaesthetics.
Nearly twelve million people in the UK have a limiting long-term illness, impairment or disability.
Ofcom recently published its Disabled Consumers’ Ownership of Communications Services Report, which reveals younger disabled people now have roughly the same level of internet access as the non-disabled.
What are the common mistakes of accessibility and what does the landscape look like for disabled consumers' access to the web?
Qualitative research ensures customer validation, clarity and a process when producing the products of tomorrow. It is possible to use qualitative techniques via a user centred design process to truly innovate whilst remaining agile.
The time and cost of qualitative research is often very small in the 'grand scheme' of product development.
Yet it is able to answer the 'how' and 'why' of which products should be created as opposed to just 'how much' attained from quantitative data, therefore yielding highly creative outcomes.
Webinars are annoying, ultimately, because we are designed for face to face communication. However, they are extremely useful if your colleagues and customers are ‘global’.
There are many annoying things about webinar tech, but most of them centre on UX. And central to UX is getting your language right.
Webex, as my chosen example, simply didn’t work with a good copywriter when laying out its back-end and webinar UI. I can’t speak for others such as Adobe Connect, as I haven’t used them myself.
I don’t think Webex is attempting to appear natty or complex, using slightly mystifying words or combinations of words. It’s just badly written.
Here are some examples:
I wrote a post on the use of carousels on ecommerce sites earlier this year, and the general consensus was negative towards them, with some feeling that such space could be put to better use.
However, is this just because many carousels haven't been implemented properly?
In his latest Alertbox post, Jakob Nielsen looks at how to make them more effective. Here are some of his suggestions, and examples of good implementation from ecommerce sites.
Mouseover (or hover) effects can be a useful way for sites to convey information quickly when used well, and can aid conversion.
Of course, such things should be tested for effectiveness, but there are some good examples of their use on ecommerce sites.
Here are ten examples, please suggest any other good ones you have seen...
Mobile apps and responsive websites are looking - and working - better than ever, as designers come to terms with the parameters involved. Smaller screens, it seems, do not necessarily make for poorer experiences.
If anything, the restrictions of mobile devices are focusing the minds of designers, which is always a good thing. It seems to me that the very best designs really stand out, and do a great job of understanding user behaviour on smaller devices.
I have collected a bunch of examples which go some way towards proving that mobile websites and apps can really look the part, while communicating functionality clearly. In most cases the screenshots link to portfolios, so do click on them.
I haven’t tested all of these apps, not least because a few of them are design concepts, but I think they all show that mobile design can be very, very pretty indeed. If the user experience mirrors design (and it doesn’t always!) then presumably these would all work well.
Well, according to a benchmark study from QuBit, O2 offers the best all-round experience of the mobile network operators.
Meanwhile, newly-formed EE has some catching up to do, according to the study, which analyses the sites for five different criteria (find, choose, buy, personalise, and mobile).
I've been looking at the study, and here I've picked out some examples of good and bad practice...