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Design for your User

By Dennis

Introduction

This flow is for anyone who wants to learn the principles of UX design. Some elements might seem obvious, others will give a whole new perspective.

Dennis — Graduating Student at Rhinofly. Broad interest in ux-design, interaction, programming and current- and future technologies.

1 What is User Experience?

My mission this month is to get more designers (or aspiring designers) started in User Experience design. The best place to start any education is at the beginning: What is UX? Everything has a user experience. Our job is not to create the user experience. It is our job to make it good.

2 User goals and business goals

When you start a new UX project - before you design anything - you need to understand your goals. Two of them, to be specific. Everything you make is based on these two goals and nothing is more important to your success as a UX designer: User goals and business goals. (If you missed Lesson #1, you might want to

3 The 5 Main Ingredients of UX

UX is a process, and these lessons roughly follow that process, but there are 5 things you should always keep in mind, throughout the process: The 5 Main Ingredients of UX: Psychology, Usability, Design, Copywriting & Analysis. (If you're just joining the Daily UX Crash Course, you might want to start at the beginning!) Any one of these 5 Ingredients

4 What is User Research?

Ah, users. The sun in the UX solar system and the thorn in our sides. One of the Sacred Laws of UX is "never blame the user" even though - let's be honest - sometimes it is really fucking tempting. However, if you feel that way, it is because you don't understand your users, so today we will learn: What

6 Creating User Profiles

Just like marketers have a target audience, UX Designers have user personas/profiles: descriptions of users, based on research. But ours are a lot different. So today we will learn a little about: Creating User Profiles (Just starting the UX Crash Course? Start here.) **** First of all, let's nail down what personas or profiles are NOT: Personality types Demographics Characters

8 Design Patterns

When many designers have the same challenge, (e.g. - mobile app menus) and someone solves it in an elegant way (e.g. - Facebook's hidden menu) and many designers use that solution, it helps users understand those sites and apps faster, because they see the same solution over and over. These commonly-used solutions are called: Design Patterns (If you are just

9 What is Information Architecture?

So far we have mostly discussed the ways to understand and plan UX design. Today, we start actually making shit. The first step in designing a real solution is the general structure of the thing. That means you will need an introduction to: What is Information Architecture? (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here) If the idea

10 User Stories & Types of Information Architecture

Information Architecture is not always easy to explain. It helps if you can talk about it with your team, and think about it easily in your own head. So today we are going to learn about: User Stories & Types of Information Architecture. (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) A User Story describes one possible path

11 What is a wireframe?

When most people think of UX, they think of the lines-and-boxes diagrams we call wireframes. Unfortunately, many people think that doing wireframes is the same as doing UX. So today we will learn: What is a Wireframe? (If you’re just joining the UX Crash Course, Start Here.)

12 Visual Weight: Contrast, Depth and Size

This lesson is the first of 5 visual principles that will help you direct the user's attention. Some parts of your design are more important than others, but those are not always the things we notice naturally. So we have to help users notice the important stuff. Today we will learn about: Visual Weight: Contrast, Depth, and Size (If you're

13 Colour.

Real life is full of sun light, artificial light, heat, cold, clothing, brands, fashion, and a million other things that effect the way we perceive colours. As a UX designer we may not care about Pantones and brand guidelines, but we definitely have to learn about: Colour. (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) There are a

14 Repetition and Pattern-Breaking

One important Visual Design Principle involves the creation of patterns to lead the user's eyes to important things. And like all good rules, patterns are made to be broken. So today we will learn the visual principle of: Repetition and Pattern-Breaking (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) The Old-Timey Rubber Ducks make their triumphant return! Human

15 Line Tension and Edge Tension

When you repeat something, as we learned yesterday, you create a pattern. However, certain types of repetition can also create the perception of "shapes", and that affects where the user's eyes will go. So today we will learn about: Line Tension and Edge Tension (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) Are you tired of the ducks

17 Z-Pattern, F-Pattern and Visual Hierarchy

It is easy to imagine every user excitedly reading every letter you write and every pixel you make. Get over it, because real users don't do that. They scan. Scanning means they only stop to read when something catches their eye. So today we will learn about scanning patterns: Z-Pattern, F-Pattern, and Visual Hierarchy (If you're just starting the UX

18 Browsing vs. Searching vs. Discovery

Different people use sites and apps for different reasons. If you design for the wrong behaviour, you won't get the results you want. Today we will learn about: Browsing vs. Searching vs. Discovery (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) The words above can mean a variety of things in the real world, so for the purposes

19 Page Framework

Now that you've established your goals, researched your users, and planned your information architecture, it's time to put those plans into action, baby! So today we will learn about: Page Framework (Navigation, Footers, etc.) (If you are just starting the UX Crash Course, Start Here.) Although it might be tempting to approach your wireframes on a page-by-page basis, don't do

20 The Axis of Interaction

One of the most common questions in UX design is: "Should the button be on the left or the right?" Well, it depends, actually. It depends on where you have created visual "edges". So today we will learn about: The Axis of Interaction (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) This idea is deceptively simple. Human attention

21 The Fold, Images and Headlines

There are many common questions about UX design that you will get throughout your career. And some that you should get, even though you won't. So today we will learn a few things about: The Fold, Images & Headlines (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) The Fold: One of the most popular old-school misconceptions is about

22 Forms

As you work through your designs, it is only a matter of time until you have to design a way for users to give you information. So today we will take a whirlwind tour of: Forms. (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) Forms are one of the places you will spend a lot of your time,

23 Calls-to-action, Instructions & Labels

When it comes to copywriting, UX people and true copywriters care about different things. Our focus is on specific types of writing, and we're not in it for the poetic street cred. Today we will learn about: Calls-To-Action, Instructions & Labels (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) There are four places when a UX designer might

24 Primary & Secondary Buttons

We have arrived at the final lesson concerning wireframes, and one of the most important features of any interactive design: Primary & Secondary Buttons (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) The example above shows two button examples (don't click them). As a general guideline you will only need two button styles, because most user actions fall

25 Conditioning

Design skills may be the nuts & bolts of UX, but you need to understand how people think to do UX well. So far we have focused on design, so today we will learn the first of three lessons about user psychology: Conditioning (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here) What is Conditioning? It has nothing to

26 Persuasion

Continuing with the psychological aspects of UX, we're going to get into the area of UX where I have done the majority of my research: Persuasion (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) **** Persuasion is complex. My book, The Composite Persuasion, is 270 pages specifically about making things persuasive, and it is only a "Crash Course"

27 How experience changes experience

To finish off the User Psychology section of the crash course, we will look at the ways new users and experienced users see your design differently: How Experience Changes Experience (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) Power Users are the Minority: Statistically-speaking, it is impossible for advanced or power users to be "most" of the people

28 What is Data?

Now that you have learned to research users, set goals, plan information architecture, direct the users' attention, make good wireframes, and understand the mind of a user, it's time to launch! And launching means we have something to measure, so we need to know: What is Data? (If you're just starting the UX Crash Course: Start Here.) **** Data is

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