Thoughts on User Experience

I have to start this post saying I’m not a UX expert by any means. UX is not my professional field. These are just some thoughts I’ve had while seeing and experiencing how UX happens from the designer and user perspective across different systems, websites and companies.

I think the two most important skills a UX designer needs are common sense and empathy.

You need empathy because as a designer, you need to be on the user’s feet. You have to be looking through their eyes. You have to think of yourself as the final user of whatever your are designing. This way you’ll have a closer look at what the user is expecting from your product.

With this in mind, you will also need common sense. When designing experiences, you can’t do fool things. Fools things often happen when business needs or technology constraints are given more importance than what they really deserve. Business will come with good UX first. Not the other way around.

Avoid complicated and sofisticated and go with simple and usable. Always ask yourself if you’d be happy using what you are designing.

I’ve seen that without these basic concepts, results are often mediocre.

YouTube! What did you do to your User Interface?

I got my YouTube interface updated today. They are rolling it out to users progressively so maybe you got it too.

Google said they want to highlight the importance of Playlists and make them more visible, which is fine, but what’s the deal with the grey space on the sides of the main content section? I get the impression of a website that is old and outdated. Also, the video thumbnails look small and it feels there’s a waste of space.

I feel like YouTube is using old HTML frames…

I think they can just make the video thumbnails a bit bigger without making the whole site look cluttered and also use some other way to divide spaces rather than that big ugly grey space.

Google has been playing around with the YouTube interface so much this past year so I hope all this improves in their next iteration.

38 tips for a good User Interface

Last night I found this really good website called GoodUI that shows 38 tips for creating a good User Interface. They explain each of those tips and give examples. Very good stuff to keep in mind when designing an interface. Definitely something you want to bookmark.

Go ahead and check out all the tips here.

El pequeño gran retroceso en usabilidad de iOS 7

La única cosa que no me gusta de iOS 7 es que ahora la mayoría de lo que antes eran botones intuitivos ahora se han transformado en texto plano, sin ningún borde que los delimite o color que los distinga. iOS 6 era mucho más amigable en este sentido y no era necesario leer lo que decía cada botón, sino que simplemente lo apretabas y estabas seguro de lo que iba a hacer, ya sea por la forma que éste tenía, su posición en la pantalla o su color.

Lo mismo pasa con algunos íconos que ahora han sido transformados en texto plano, como por ejemplo el widget del tiempo en el centro de notificaciones:

Weather iOS 6 and iOS 7

Ahora lamentablemente los diseñadores de Apple decidieron ir en otra dirección de estilo y diseño que sin duda encuentro que es un retroceso en la usabilidad de iOS.

¿Ustedes se habían dado cuenta de lo mismo? ¿Lo encuentran un poco molesto o les da igual?