A blog about visual design, analytics, usability, user experience, and remote research.

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Flat Design was just a Trend, Apparently

There is no doubting Flat design is the current darling of the design world. Flat, simple patterns provide a clean and fresh look. Minimalist designs perfectly adapted to the surge in mobile usage. Even a company like Apple, a longtime supporter of skeuomorphic design, has joined their contemporaries in the design switch up.

Flat design burst onto the scene in late 2012, heralding a new era for design. Windows proved the vanguard for these new principles. Implementing their Metro interface first on Xbox and Zune, before unveiling Flat to the world with Windows 8. The Windows shake up carried with it plenty of controversies, yet Flat Design has only grown from strength to strength.
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featured Design

Need for Speed – Fast Loading the Key to a Satisfying UX

A website’s success can depend on several factors. Intuitive navigation, aesthetically appealing design, quality content, site maps, etc. – all play a vital role in making a website successful.

There is one more very important factor that has a huge impact on the success of your website – page load time.

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Consistency Counts: Never Forget Your User

“Reinventing the wheel” is a common trend in the UX field, as is it within the majority of creative disciplines. Keen designers want to leave their mark; to prove their creativity and talent through fresh concepts. Fair play to them. How else are we to ensure trends evolve and continue to keep us interested and excited?

UX however, is a strange beast. A place where boundless creativity must be kept in check. Where any hint of misplaced arrogance can, and will, break a design; where “Reinventing the Wheel” is a trap best avoided. UX is about consistency.
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The Best UX Articles of August 2014

So yea, summer happened – apparently. Already August seems an age away as the wind and weather returns to that downward slope. If you were too engrossed in summer to realise the year is 2/3 over, join the gang. No worries though, a catch up is on hand.

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at August 2014. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from August we feel are interesting, invaluable or otherwise a must read for anyone with an interest in UX.
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trafficlights Design

Idiot Buttons: The Placebo in UX Design

Users love control. Even in an automated world, our user wants to control the machine. To know that it is under their bidding, and to know it is serving their needs.

Yet, in an age of ever more intuitive interfaces, control is slipping out of the user’s hands. Reduced inputs leave our user only a bystander.

The placebo prevents this. The placebo places control back into our users hands. Yet, the placebo does nothing.
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armour_sets Theory

User Engagement: Learning from World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft will be 10 years old this year. Having dominated the gaming landscape this past decade, and with a new expansion due later this year, it is difficult to see any sign of major decline on the landscape. With over 6 million players, (down from a peak 12 million in 2010), WoW – its common acronym – continues to draw more than triple the players of its nearest rival. With each of these players paying around $15/month for the privilege, the numbers are huge.
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Usabilla Live Feature Update: August 2014

We’ve been working hard behind the scenes here at Usabilla to provide you with the best possible tool for collection and analyzing user feedback. Usabilla and our products never stand still as we continuously update, adapt, and redefine the standard in user feedback.

This past month has been a busy one as we bring you 4 great new features to help get the most out of your site and its visitors:

  • New Graph Export for Usabilla Live campaigns
  • Additional categories for your data exports: Device and feedback types
  • Privacy statement integration on feedback form and campaigns
  • See feature updates from within your Usabilla account
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The Best UX Articles of July 2014

With the baking summer sun outside, there are many places we’d rather be that cooped up in the office. No wonder then if you’ve struggled to keep up with the endless swathes of UX content.

With so much quality content out there, we take one more look back at July 2014. We’ve compiled the 5 best articles from July we feel are interesting, invaluable or otherwise a must read for anyone with an interest in UX.
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10 of the Best UX Infographics

Sometimes, as the old saying goes, pictures really do tell 1000 words. And if that’s the case, what’s better than a picture with 1000 words included on it?

We’ve gathered 10 more of the best UX relevant infographics from around the web for your entertainment and education. Marvel at the stunning visuals, and informative posters. You might just learn something! (Check out our previous collection here)
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Screen Shot 2014-07-17 at 15.47.55 Demo UX Cases

User Experience Report: Does The Application of Game Elements Result In Improved User Engagement?

Whilst games have been around for Millennia (attested as early as 2600 BC), their mechanics have only recently been applied to non-gaming activities. The biggest reason for this is video games immense popularity across all age groups. Companies are curious whether the elements that make games fun or appealing (such as levelling up, rewards and leaderboards) can be applied to non-gaming applications, as well as increasing engagement

Gamification has real potential of improving user experience over numerous applications, but this has to be done with care.
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