The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers

Practicing empathy is for more than designers. Having empathy makes you a better designer software consultant. The notion that being empathetic can make you a better consultant is not a new one. The word “empathy” is thrown around a lot in software, but usually in a buzzword-like fashion. So, what does being empathetic mean in our line of work? How should we practice it? And who deserves it? Read more on The Whats, Hows, and Whos of Empathy for Software Makers…

Why and How to Discuss Design with Developers

In Art & Design School, design critique can be brutal. It’s often focused on judging whether or not work is “good” or “bad.” Reviews of work can be scathing, leaving art and design students running from the studio in tears.

Many professors say that critique is part of preparing students for work in a real world where creative directors possess brutal egos focused on crushing their underlings. I’m not sure that world is anything but a delusion. I’m also skeptical that this form of critique does anything but leave students scarred with bad memories, hesitant to throw themselves into collaborative environments.
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Five Things I Wish I’d Known As a Design Student

I was recently asked to serve on an internship/job panel for design students at a local university. Upon reflecting on my post-graduation life, I realized some things I wish I knew as a student about to enter the workforce. I compiled those realizations into a list of advice for soon-to-be graduating students.
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Radio Buttons, Checkboxes, and Toggles, Oh My!

Lately, I’ve been noticing radio buttons, checkboxes, and toggles being used almost interchangeably on a lot of apps and websites. Perhaps I’m just noticing the issue more since it’s one I’ve been extremely careful to avoid on my current project. It’s like when you buy a new car and suddenly everyone on your street is driving the same one. Regardless of the reason for my sudden realization, the bottom line is this: Radio buttons are not checkboxes. Checkboxes are not toggles. Toggles are not radio buttons. Each one of these elements serves a distinct purpose.
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One Simple Question to Improve Your Visual Design Skills


This is the question you need to be asking yourself.

Good interface design is a series of carefully thought-through decisions that were made with the user in mind. This is true throughout the entire design process: from the initial idea through defining requirements, sketching and wireframing, interaction design, and on into the visual design phase.

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Deciphering User Experience/User Interface Terminology

Custom software consultants work with clients in all sorts of industries: finance, technology, education, healthcare, and so on. Not only do we learn all about our clients and their specific business needs—we learn about the industries they operate in as well.

Because we’re often in new territory, early client meetings are sometimes overwhelming. There is a lot of terminology and jargon thrown around. You find yourself asking a lot of questions on what a certain acronym stands for or what the title of a process means. This dynamic can go both ways in terms of user experience terminology.
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Tips for Improving Web Typography

Typography is one of the most important aspects of designing a website. Good typography can improve reading comprehension and usability, while poor typography can make even the best site difficult to use.

Fortunately, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit when it comes to this area. By following just a few key rules, you can greatly improve even the worst web typography.
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