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The UX Alphabet

By Rizwan Javaid

Introduction

The goal of the UX Alphabet is to present a user experience concept for each letter. My hope is that by presenting concepts in this manner will help you and me learn and understand them. Do you have any suggestions for the UX Alphabet? Share it with me know on Twitter: @rizwanjavaid UX Alphabet App on the App Store: http://bit.ly/UXAlphabetApp

Rizwan Javaid — User Experience Designer at Closed Loop. I believe design should be inclusive and help break ...

1 A is for Affordance

Good design elements should not just be good to look at but also give the user hints for how to use them. Take for example a raised button vs. a flat design button, both may be great designs but the raised button hints to the user that it is 1.

3 C is for Cognitive Load

Activities of the brain such as perception, memory and language can interfere with the thought processes of the user. For example when a user visits your website for the first time, they will experience the various UI elements on the site and how they relate to each other. They will try to figure out how they can perform the task

4 D is for Diary Study

A Diary Study is a way to collect qualitative data about a user's experiences, preferences or actions with a system. Diary studies help answer a variety of questions such as How the user feels about a device Which features are used more What time of the day the system is used the most Does the user accept the technology? What

5 E is for Errors

In user experience design, errors are either human errors or design errors. Mostly they are the latter as a result of bad design or from a lack of testing. Errors also happen when designers or developers test their own work. Since they have too much time, effort, blood, sweat and tears invested in their work they are blind to any

7 G is for Grid System

A Grid System is a series of vertical and horizontal lines used to bring structure to the content in a design. Using grids helps you bring consistency to your designs. They help line content up and bring a balance that would otherwise be very hard to achieve. Grids make it easy to align text and images to create a pleasant

8 H is for Hick's Law

Hick's Law, also known as Hicks-Hyman Law, states that the time it takes to make a decision is proportionally related to the number and complexity of choices. Presenting too many choices at one time increases the user's cognitive load . It also reduces their reaction time and makes an interface seem difficult to use.

10 I is for Inclusive Design - Part 2

In Part 1 of I is for Inclusive Design I introduced the concept of Inclusive Design. I also talked about the the fundamental principles behind it, which are designs need to be user centered, population aware, and business focused. Now I would like to talk about the dimensions of Inclusive Design presented by the Inclusive Design Center at the OCAD

11 J is for Job Shadowing

Job Shadowing is the technique of observing a user at their workplace to understand their activities throughout the day. If you ask a user what they do during a regular workday, they will give you some insights and you may gain some knowledge about them.

12 K is for the KISS Principle

KISS is an acronym for "Keep it simple, stupid". The principle stands for keeping systems easy to use and not to add complexity. The KISS Principle was coined by Kelly Johnson, an engineer on the Lockheed Martin's Skunk Works, which was an advanced aircraft development program. Kelly had put forth a challenge to his engineering team that the jet they

13 L is for Law of Prägnanz

The Law of Prägnanz, also know as the law of good figure, states that when people are presented with ambiguous and complex shapes, they interpret them as simple shapes. Prägnanz is a German word which means concise and meaningful. We like simple shapes instead of complex ones because we prefer order and clarity. We are able to recognize familiar shapes

14 M is for Mental Model

Mental Models are conscious or unconscious psychological representations of situations users encounter. These could be hypothetical, real or fictional and lead users to expect certain results and make them behave in certain ways. As designers we love to come up with great interactions. We have our own mental models of how our systems work and it all makes sense in

16 O is for Ockham's Razor

Ockham's Razor states that simplicity should be the deciding factor when choosing between two identical designs. In a world full of complexity, simplicity should reign. It is definitely easier to say than to implement. If simplicity is not a part of your creed, then trust me, complexity and difficulty will creep in eventually. The bigger the project, the more stakeholders

18 Q is for Question-asking Protocol

Question-asking Protocol is a technique used during usability testing sessions to elicit direct responses from test participants. By using this technique you can ask dig deeper into participant responses instead of waiting for the user to stumble upon an area you want to focus on.

19 R is for Red Route Analysis

Red Route Analysis identifies any obstacles users may face when trying to complete core tasks of a website or application. The term Red Route was originally used for the major roads in London where it was vital to keep the traffic moving. After studying the traffic patterns for those roads researchers found that even one car stopping would clog up

20 S is for Stakeholder Analysis

Stakeholder Analysis is a process where individuals or groups that are affected by a project are identified, prioritized and their interests understood. Knowing about the stakeholders of a project and how they can affect it is an important first step to starting a project. A Stakeholder is any person or group that has a vested interest in the outcome of

21 T is for Taxonomy

Taxonomy is creating entities based on needs or interests of users by carefully selecting terms and organizing them in a tree-like structure with parent-child relationships. The word Taxonomy was first introduced by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish Botanist, to organize and classify organisms in the 18th century. The field of Information Architecture adopted the term taxonomy to help organize information for

22 U is for Ubiquitous Computing

Ubiquitious Computing, also known as Pervasive Computing, is a paradigm for how people interact with computers in their natural human environment. The aim of ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) is to create a world where people interact with computers without thinking about them. Anytime > Anywhere > Any Device > Any Network > Any Data We have seen technology move from personal

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