Crafting The Mobile Design Experience: Strategy, Reality, Success, The Future!

Imagine if you will the following situation.

It’s 2:00 o’clock a.m. You clumsily fumble your way into your Taxi. On the ride home you know you drank a bit more than anticipated. The Taxi pulls up to the curb side and you fall out of the car as you pass the driver some cash. A few moments of mindless stammering and you manage to make your way upstairs and lay down in bed. Before ending the night you want to get a quick post in on Facebook. As you pull out your Iphone you rush to load the app and click on the “menu” icon. Well you thought it was the menu icon and now you are simply punching the phone to do your bidding. Siri comes up to your delight, and you shout out “create twitter post.” Well, that is what you wanted to say. Instead in your state of inebriation you shout out “Thhwwwitter.”  ”I’m sorry I do not understand.”  Frustrated and waiting on the impending morning after hangover  you collapse on the bed.

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Practical Front End Development For UX Designers With Grunt.js & Node & Coffescript – Part 1

What? I’m writing an article on how to use grunt.js & node to help optimize your UX prototyping. development, coding,  and design processes. I usually don’t write technical guides, but a lot of people have asked me  how I use these tools.

The last several months I have been knee deep in the trenches practicing what I preach. In that span of time I found the need to write a few complex build scripts  with grunt.js and coffee script. A lot of these I have shared out on github. I figured it was a time to get a bit more technical. Also it’s really hard to find this information online.

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Media Queries To Target iPhone 3, iPhone 4, iPhone 5, iPad 2, 3, 4 In Portrait PhoneGap Apps

Regardless of the reason when developing hybrid apps with Phonegap / xcode you may need to target specific IOS devices with media queries. I wanted to share a little bit of my own approach on this subject and try to make this drop dead simple to understand. This does have a bit to do with responsive design but I’m not going to harp on it.  The queries below are primarily for leveraging a portrait design over a landscape. As a side note Landscape media queries in IOS 7 as of this writing actually report the wrong size.

HOW DO I MAKE THIS WORK IN PHONEGAP/CORDOVA?

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UI Design Patterns: Exploration of Data and Visual Imagery in Application Design

I was recently examining some interesting articles on Engadget and noticed  how the web site has been experimenting with different visual representations of data. As many know, Engadget is a high traffic tech blog. While it has not been special outside of the tech domain of knowledge. My eye caught something that was neat when trying to find popular articles and a little bit different. Next thing I knew I was no longer looking at the articles and instead was focusing on the interface design. Continue reading UI Design Patterns: Exploration of Data and Visual Imagery in Application Design

Book Review: “The Visual Miscellaneum” – Explore The Design World of Infographics In Only A Few Moments

I recently received a review copy of The Visual Miscellaneum A colorful guide to the world’s most consequential trivia.  This was a  great book from the author of Information is Beautiful. The books is a visual exploration of information and contains numerous examples of how to rethink ways in which we interpret data. Not all of the examples are what you would expect. The book is full of brilliant colors, shapes, sizes, charts, scatter-grams, area charts, and eye-popping visuals. It’s a great addition to any UI designers reference shelf.

What’s Great About A Book Full of Info-graphics?

So you may be thinking, how can this book help me as an interface creator or UI designer? The truth is quite a bit. If you have ever dealt with long boring data tables meant to convey Visual Miscelleanum - Music Genre Info-Graphic“important data” you can start to see the true power of representing data in a much more dynamic and thought provoking way. This is where inspiration can strike you in new and fun ways.

At first glance flipping through the pages of this book was much akin to being at a carnival and having all the vendors shouting at you for attention. The visual imagery can be overwhelming and not all the representations are outstanding. Some pictures are extremely confusing, but in many cases it is the exploration of imagery that provides meaning and stimulation to all the senses.

Some of the more powerful representations of data include: a chart representing different musical genres, things that will give you cancer, Virtual Massively multi-player online worlds as represented by a land map, the cloud of the top 100 web sites, just to name a few.

Summing It All Up

Like most books in this category you are very likely to get some type of inspiration and be able to interpret your data in new and exciting ways. By mastering unique ways to represent complicated and number laden data you can become much better at getting your point across.  After flipping through the pages of this book you will hopefully be able to render data like never before.

The Good:

  • 100’s of excellent info-graphic examples at your fingertips
  • New and interesting ways to visually depict data
  • Extremely fast to browse through and become inspired
  • The book is priced just right at $26.99 (odd number)
  • High end graphics and vibrant colors make it a joy to peruse

The Bad:

  • I wish there was more explanation behind the steps used to arrive at a chosen info-graphic
  • The title of the book may be misleading and as such some may miss out on this book.
  • I would have liked the charts to be organized more by topic (but it is miscellaneum, so it makes sense.)

UI Design Lessons: A UI Designer in an Agile World, Get Me Out of Hell! – Part 1

When I travel to conferences and speak with people about their agile UX experiences I come across a lot of repeat questions. Most of these pleas for help are about time management,  rapid design sketching, traditional usability approaches, group design mentality, lack of support for UI development, and let’s not forget meeting burnout.

Even today UI designers hear the word AGILE and there mind is flooded with demon visualizations straight out of Dante’s Inferno.  Why has this methodology caused so many headaches to UI Designers world wide? Why are they terrified? Can we beat them, or should we join them?

Generally speaking 90% of what a UI designer hears about AGILE comes from an AGILE practicing programmer that has succumbed to the second circle of hell and revels in the fact that you must join them.  Let’s face it as UI, Usability Specialists, Graphic Designers, etc.. we work in a different creative zone. A zone hard for many developers to understand – Even if they want to understand.
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Developing an Effective Corporate Social Community with Baby Steps – Part 1

So let’s talk a bit about effective corporate communities. Social network and social connectivity is all the rage. So much so that it has become the first “thing” some businesses look at when they build out an on line presence, or look to make changes to an existing one. Continue reading Developing an Effective Corporate Social Community with Baby Steps – Part 1

UI Design Dissection: Jack in the Box Self Order Machine

Today for lunch I decided to swing by Jack in the Box. Little did I know I was about to have a unique UI experience. Upon arriving we were introduced to the brand new (at least in this area) self order system. And thus began my customer experience.
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