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

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Cortana Theory

The effect of ‘Digital Assistants’ on UX and UI

These past weeks saw the Beta release of Cortana. The sidekick heroine of the Halo series represents Microsoft’s foray into the ever more sophisticated digital assistant field. Cortana, like Apple’s Siri, is intended to support Windows users through a complex mix of AI and audio recognition software.

Virtual sidekicks were long confined to the realms of science fiction. Complex digital (personal) assistants such as Halo’s Master Chief’s Cortana, and Samantha in the recent film “Her” have always seemed much too complex to bring to reality. However, with each passing year and iteration we take one step closer to making that fiction a reality.

What implications does this voice-activated future have on the field of UX – and more specifically it’s counterpart, UI?
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featured Links

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 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!
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featured Theory

Profit Centered Design vs User Centered Design

A month ago, Facebook revealed another redesign. Just as we’d gotten used to their last iteration, in came a fresh new look. Though fresh is perhaps the wrong choice of term. The news feed redesign initially took many aback, holding a somewhat retro feel. Current trends all point towards flat and minimalism. Facebook had done the opposite.

Out of a cacophony of outcries – a standard reaction to any Facebook change – came one interesting article from Dustin Curtis. His article claimed Facebook had originally planned to move towards the generic flat design. However, decreased ad impressions in this new – beautiful – design had led to a design reversal. A reversal towards something more ‘practical’.
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featured Design

10 Design Flaws Which Can Destroy a Site’s SEO

When it comes to creating a new website, a key dilemma is whether the focus should be on fantastic Design and User Experience (UX), or on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). There are many cases where mind-blowing animated design negatively affects the site’s SEO. Whilst you may expect an increasing number of visitors on a better designed website, in reality you may see the opposite occur. In order to be successful, any website needs to perform well in search engines.

Therefore, searching for the compromise is essential.
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10 Amazing User Experiences

The internet is a beautiful place, full of beautiful experiences.

The need to entertain, educate or sell to visitors, mixed with the abundance of creativity in the web design world creates a plethora of great user experiences. From a vast sea of content, we bring you 10 of the best experiences from around the web these past couple of weeks.
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features How-tos

Establish A Killer Ecommerce Presence: What You Need

Wealth distribution is becoming more and more lopsided in all areas of life, and the story is no different in the realm of ecommerce. Within the gargantuan $198 billion dollar pie of online annual purchasing, more than 75% is commandeered by the top 500 etailers. So how does the little person wrest their share of sales from the 1%? It all begins with an appealing, easy-to-use vending site. Here are the essentials:
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The Best UX Articles of March 2014

Spring is finally here!. The Amsterdam tress are in bloom, and the weather is at a heady 20 degrees. Who said global warming was all doom and gloom..? Being so spoilt with the weather, you could be forgiven for missing out on the vast array of UX content at your disposal. Worry not.

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

Case Study: WE Fashion improve all round customer experience with Usabilla Live for Websites

  • “We get very diverse feedback – from compliments and suggestions, to complaints and checkout issues. The tool helps us to quickly act on negative user experiences and optimize our website to match our customers’ needs and expectations.”

– Matthijs Bionda, Online Marketeer at WE Fashion
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FEATURED How-tos

Calling to Action: 3 key principles

With so much money being flung around the web, everyone is fighting for their share. As the internet opens up to more and more people, the money flooding onto the online marketplace continues to grow. Amazon’s $74 billion annual revenue is on par with the value of the entire countries of Cuba or Oman.

This technological gold-rush only opens the door to increased competition. Sites have to entice, convince, and persuade visitors to interact with them. To buy or solicit their offerings. How do they do this? By convincing us to click.
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