Category Archives: Theory

freatured Theory

Why UX may kill UX

Those of us in the UX industry have never had it so good. It’s an industry buzzword. Companies are opening new UX departments left-right and centre. Supply is struggling to meet demand – it’s great. Great to be riding the wave of this acceptance and subsequent growth.

This change of focus to user centred design with UX at its core – together with ever improving technologies and development standards – has created an online experience more alive and immersive than ever before.
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Cortana Theory

The effect of ‘Digital Assistants’ on UX and UI

These past weeks have seen 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, User Interface (UI)?
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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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jams1 Theory

Juggling Jam: Applying Hick’s Law to Web Design

Choice is a strange thing. The decisions we make shape everything we do, everything we are.

We deem choice a luxury. Liberating people with added choice was the running theme of the last century. Giving women the choice to vote. Removing racial segregations, opening up a plethora of choices for minorities across the world.

It seems only logical then to presume that offering an increased amount of choice is a great thing. Liberating people, allowing them to choose exactly what they want.

You’d be wrong.
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Squarespace Theory

How Google thinks a top rated site should look

The development of SEO and Google’s algorithms is interconnected and interdependent. Every change Google makes to its searching algorithm affects search results in some way. Everything Google has done since 2011 is focused on secure search, protecting their data and online privacy, and, let’s be honest, monetizing their data. “Pandas”, “Penguins”, “Hummingbirds” and Graph Carousel are a part of a long-term multicomponent strategy. They show that the results of searching become more complicated and relevant, not limited to one query.

Google has its idea of what top websites should look like, and people in SEO either follow Google’s prescriptions or try to overcome the algorithm. They improve technologies and Google reacts by changing their algorithms. In response, marketing strategies must change to adapt these new search algorithms. And the process continues.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Theory

Pagination: Why there’s life in the web’s old dog yet

As web technologies continue to improve, so are the ways in which we experience the internet. In the 23 years of the web, many trends have come and gone. We’ve seen Page Counters come and go, Flash rise and fall, and we’re currently seeing Flat Design’s minimalism take the fore at the expense of skeuomorphic and ‘realistic’ 3D effects. The web is ever-evolving. Trends come and go, this is only natural – as we see in the world of fashion. Unlike fashion however, the web’s evolution has much to do with technological change.

Devices have got faster, bandwidth has increased, and our browsing methods have evolved from desktop to mobile. At the heart of these changes has been the method in which we structure our content.
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GTY_robot_internet_nt_131213_16x9_992 Theory

Humans Now Account for Less Than 40% of Web Traffic

You might assume that all web traffic is generated by actual people browsing the internet, but actually you would be wrong. In fact, statistically the human race is now a minority on the internet. Does this mean your pets are browsing the internet while you’re asleep? No! What it does mean is that now a days, bots are generating more internet traffic than humans.
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google skeominimalism Theory

The Skeuomorph is Dead, Long Live the Skeuomorph

2013 saw a new king of design take the throne. This has been the year of Flat Design. 2012 ended with Microsoft bringing Flat to the mainstream with Windows 8, and Apple revamped iOS a year later. Casting away their skeuomorphic principles of old and refreshing the interface with a Flat approach.

As one of the defining design events of the year, this exemplified the changing trend of digital design. Apple, formerly so staunch in their support for skeuomorphic design under Steve Jobs, opting for the popular kid.
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Screen-shot-2012-06-27-at-3.45.33-PM Design

The ABC of Usability Part 10

The latest installment in our monthly list of User Experience terms and our first milestone as we hit our 10th edition!

Each month, we are adding new terms to our existing glossary of Usability and UX definitions; terms we deem useful, interesting or – hopefully – a mixture of the two!

Discover new terms, learn more of the ones you thought you knew and find out interesting, little known, details.
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