Most Interesting UX Discussions on Quora – Part 2
As it was said already, Quora is an abundant source of juicy discussions on any topic. We have focused on User Experience and gathered the best Quora topics on UX you could possibly find. In first part of the series we learned how to build a prison according to UX principles or what UX touches are built to make UXers happy. Here, we give you part two of most interesting UX discussions on Quora.
What are the best resources for quickly learning the core fundamentals of UI and UX design?
No matter what you may say or think about it, User Experience has become a sexy term and suddenly everyone is interested in it and want to pursue some kind of UX career path. If more people want to learn about UX design and want to get better at it – let it be. It’s critical at this stage to find the best resources out there to properly start. This topic lets you explore what others, more experienced UX lovers think are the best ways to find out more about UX.
Design is a way of thinking. If you could orient yourself to think logically while keeping user’s experience in focus when they INTERACT with your solution (product, service etc), you’ll get Design.Of course there are a plenty of books and myriad blog posts to learn patterns and points to keep in mind while designing. In essence, design is nothing but common sense which is not so common.Having said that, go through Dieter Ram’s 10 principles for Good design. You’ll feel enlightened.
I found this book very useful when I was starting off my career at Microsoft as a PM – The Design of Everyday Things: Donald A. Norman .I think it’s good for understand design principles and basics. It helped me develop a “design thinking” and account for user psychology more than I did. I wish I read this when I was in school.
They’ve had some great classes on Skillshare – industry experts teach classes in which you actually do the work of UX planning and UI design. The prices are usually fairly affordable. It’s really important to dedicate yourself to doing the work and to participate in any gatherings (either local in-person, or via google hangouts, or whatever tool the class uses), and to submit your projects to the class’ projects page, so you can give and receive feedback. If you skip the interactive parts, you’ll get much less out of the class.
How critical is it for a UI/UX designer be able to write development code (XHTML, CSS)?
As the User Experience finds its way through in many companies, it is difficult to hire the best people with the right set of skills. Lately we can see a tendency to add code development and CSS knowledge to the long list of “must-haves” on UX jobs listings. This topic is a good discussion and sets two points of view on the subject. Highly recommended read.
If I had my way, everyone would be required to have basic front end coding skills. Yes, it is possible to understand & create conventions and interaction models solely through the methods you described above, but it isn’t until you actually sit down and attempt to construct them that you truly understand the underlying constraints and affordances that are driving said conventions and models.
Dakota Reese Brown
I’m going to take the opposite position to most answers and say that knowing too much about the code makes you a worse user experience designer. […]It’s a tough position to take, especially if you are looking for a job in a world dominated by developers. But the more you can care about the users abilities over the developers abilities, the better.
Both jobs, that of a web developer and that of a UI designer are too specialist in my opinion. You could be a jack of all trades master of none or you could specialize and be very good at your job. In my experience smaller companies want people who can lend their hand to a bit of everything. Larger companies want a specialist. So I would be surprised to see a good designer have any problems getting a job because they are not up to speed with the latest CCS3 spec.
What are the most important emerging user experience themes right now?
User Experience world is a fast-paced environment with a lot of things changing: what was considered a standard a few years back, is not a standard anymore but some outdated trend that everyone run away from. It is critical to stay on top of the newest findings and know the dos and don’ts and upcoming trends. This Quora topic is makes the list because professionals share valuable advice that can be leveraged not only by other profs. Start reading for inspiration.
Touch and other gesture-based interfaces, as well as “invisible” interfaces, will become more and more prevalent in the coming months and years. […]UX design is changing rapidly and we need to think differently about the kind of solutions we provide. Our designs need to become multi-device and multi-input/output capable. We need to rethink the way we approach problems and understand the ever-expanding toolbox of interfaces available to us.
Collaborative filtering Recommender engines Clustering, and classification. UX is not just about the interface and usability, but also the degree of knowledge about user’s preference and taste, what might person like in particular context. There is a lot of psychology, this is not only a back-end topic.
I see more and more designers stepping into research and putting their design to the test. Less guessing and more data driven validations of new ideas, visual design, interaction design and task completion studies. There are great tools for designers today to share their work, get feedback, validate the idea and make it better.
What are some examples of great new-user experience flows on the web?
We are all a new-users at some point. Of course, some of us are more tech-savvy than others, but we all love when creators make our experience with their product or website a good one. When you’re on the other side of the equation and you design a product, your core goal, apart from making millions and changing the world, is making users happy. What better way to do so than learning from the best and applying their knowledge in your own business? Here are some user-voted best examples of new-user flows on the web.
Facebook – it’s hard to argue with a new user flow that has helped onboard over 800 million active users. It isn’t the prettiest but is arguably the most effective new user flow on the planet. For any graph density business you have to satisfy a minimum graph density for as many users as possible as quickly as possible. Graph density is a predictor of a user becoming engaged so if the flow fails to deliver upon a minimal quantity and quality of density, then it isn’t doing its job. You can reasonably assume then that Facebook’s flow is crushing it.
Make sure to check out Pinterest, they have a relatively non-tech-savvy target audience, but even my mother gets it!
I’m actually a fan of http://www.invisionapp.com/ (a prototyping web app). Immediately after creating an account, it hits you with a video explaining what to do next. After closing it, you’re dropped on a page identical to that in the beginning of the video. I won’t always have the patience for this but for a tool like this, I thought it was very effective.
How can you make online form filling fun?
Currently, the convention is to present validation as a punishment – you know what i’m talking about. You fill out a form, click submit, and then “THIS FIELD IS WRONG (you moron), FIX IT”. It doesn’t directly call you a moron, but it might as well. The trend is changing, but the more you can do to flip the tables on validation, the more fun it will be. Try “positive” validation. That is, notify the user when the field is correct rather than slapping them when they try to submit it when it’s not.
Aside from reducing and reworking input fields, I think the copy used is really important. Take time to think through the tone of voice you want to use, and make sure that labels and validation messages are consistent, informative and friendly. Small touches that form a positive user experience.
Personally, I feel filling forms are never fun, We can just make it less boring with some techniques. As far as, the fun element is concerned, they can always be added through visual aids. Our mind fundamentally is more of a visual tool than that of a Textual tool.
The concept of Quora is very simple: one who asks gets an answer. This list was a part two of our miniseries of the most interesting UX discussions on Quora. Do you have any topics that you especially liked? We’d love to hear about them. And stay tuned. More of these will soon come your way.