All posts by: Esther Gutkovsky

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A Brand’s Best Friend: Testing for Mobile Optimization

The growing importance of mobile optimization has made it the focus of brands in every industry. Since more and more users are relying on their smartphones and tablets to communicate with companies, the optimal user experience is entrenched in being the best in mobile. In order to stay relevant in the market, brands must adhere to the trends that surface. One of the best ways to ensure that your company is ready to compete would be to engage in mobile device testing. 

 Some prepping is necessary before you can move forward with the testing process. Start from the very beginning – consider your available time frame and budget, which will assist in determining the processes that will cater most optimally to your needs. Consider Your Surroundings Additionally, think about how the test will be set up and the physical environment in which it will take place. This may seem […]

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4 years, 6 months ago
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Setting the Scene: 3 Scenarios to Improve UX

Understanding why a specific user or group comes to your website is critical when designing an interface, and when engaging in usability testing. Gathering all of this information both saves you valuable time in what could be a tedious, grueling process, as well as gathering informative research that can assist in structuring your website to formulate the best user-brand fit. Scenarios describe the context behind why your site was approached, and note any goals that need to be achieved to perfect the user experience. These scenarios come in different shapes and sizes, creating a relatable story that allows designers to step back and consider the problem from the audience’s perspective. When writing up the scenarios, consider the following questions: Who is the user? Why does he/she use your website? What does he/she want to accomplish, what are the goals? Understand what motivates your user and what their expectations are of […]

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4 years, 6 months ago
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Wireframing: A Quick Review

Brands spend hours designing a page so that everything flows properly, blending together cohesively. Like any architectural project, they use a tool that allows them to speed up the process and make quick changes to tweak and perfect the user interface. Wireframes are essentially a two-dimensional blueprint for how you want your website to look, like a skeletal framework that allows you to visually place all of your various site elements. Working like a foundation for the final product, the wire frame is a fantastic design tool that lets you organize everything properly before engaging in the creative process. They help to connect the site’s information architecture to the visuals crafted by the designers, showing a direct correlation between different pages. Wireframing also allows you to see where content and imagery clash and match, determining which pattern would result in the best functionality for the end user. Beginning from a […]

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4 years, 6 months ago
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Make it Persona(l): 5 Steps for Usability Testing

Usability testing is one of the most fundamental parts of the overall website design process. These tests involve close observation of selected participants as they maneuver through a site at their own pace, for the purpose of identifying any usability issues or problems. Once these issues have been discovered, a brand can determine the participants’ satisfaction with the website or product. 
 An important element of usability testing is crafting personas that can be studied to gather crucial information, benefiting the user interface and user experience designs. The driving intention is to collect as much data as possible in order to enhance and perfect web usability. Creating realistic representations of your key audience segments involves investing time in user research and web analytics – the more research you do, the better. 
 A few aspects to consider when designing these personas include: providing the clearest possible picture of the user’s […]

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4 years, 6 months ago
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Usability Testing: Your Game Plan

Usability testing is one of the most fundamental parts of the overall website design process. These tests involve close observation of selected participants as they maneuver through a site at their own pace, for the purpose of identifying any usability issues or problems. Once these issues have been discovered, a brand can determine the participants’ satisfaction with the website or product. 
 A lot of collaboration goes into finding the right person to assist in the usability testing process, and team members work together to make final decisions as to their usability game plan. Once that outline is agreed upon, you’re ready to go. The following elements must be included in your strategy. Scope and Purpose Before going forward, you must indicate what you’ll be testing – this could be anything from the name of your website and how it will register with users to how the product/website functions. Here […]

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4 years, 6 months ago
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Your Guide to Writing for the Web

We’ve waxed on and on about the intricacies of content creation, ensuring that the copy that you write is impeccable and specific to your brand. The importance of simplicity, relevance and readability is unparalleled when approaching your web content – but why is it so important? Everyone is talking about content, and rightfully so. People read various materials in different ways. Reading on the web is an entirely different experience than sitting down with a cup of coffee and getting deeply involved in a novel. Web content is generally crafted to provide the most information, with ultimate readability. What that means is, essentially, your readers can go to your website and quickly find what they’re looking for in a matter of seconds. Of course, this works in tandem with your web design and UI, but the content aspect cannot be ignored. Your website is there for a reason – your […]

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4 years, 7 months ago
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3…2…1…Kick Off! (Meeting)

What’s the point of having a kick off meeting? In any project, the team meets multiple times (both internally and with the client) in order to gain as much knowledge as possible. Understanding users’ needs is at the forefront of any creative initiative – otherwise, what’s the point of going through the entire process, if not to create a positive and consistent relationship with the consumer?

 To remain focused on that important conversation, bring the team together with information gather from user research, or any analytics and testing conducted within existing sites (both desktop and mobile). Among the topics included, you should be discussing:

 The Site’s Audience

 Who makes up your brand’s audience? Does this audience need to be educated first, and does your website provide access to necessary information? Is your audience comprised of a younger crowd that thrives upon social media – and is your website accommodating to […]

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4 years, 7 months ago
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The Usability Color Palette

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. -Georgia O’Keeffe Ms O’Keeffe could not have said it any better – instant visual impressions are formed through color without any other types of connection made. Your web design and color palette can affect how individuals perceive you and your brand, and ultimately your website’s usability. Different colors correlate to different emotions, as has been discussed by psychologists and businesses for years – big businesses use colors to affect your emotions (and consequently, your decisions). Brands want to stand out in people’s minds, creating positive associations and making it more likely to recall in the future. The site and logo should be easily recognizable by your audience, and correlated to your service or product library. Dive into color relationships Looking in depth at the color choices […]

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4 years, 7 months ago
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Parallel Design – Overcoming “Designers’ Block” One Brick at a Time

At times, it can be difficult to find inspiration. Working with a great team of creatives can help you jump out of that writers/designers block that many people find themselves stuck in. It’s normal, this stuck-in-the-mud feeling; surrounding yourself with like-minded, focused people will assist you in your brainstorming and idea creation process. One of the techniques commonly used among designers is the Parallel Design method, where several people create a design based on the same set of requirements – sort of like receiving a homework assignment or general project. Each individual works independently and then shares his or her ideas with the rest of the group. Once all of the ideas and designs have been collected, the team considers each solution and then each designer goes back to his or her own work and implements any improvements for their own project. The benefits of this technique are multifaceted. Not […]

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4 years, 8 months ago
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Simplifying the Hunt with User Interface

Consistency and predictability go a long way when establishing a positive brand association, and that concept applies fully to user interface design. They may not be aware of it, but users who have become familiar with specific elements in design behave in a certain way; depending on the intended result, designers must be vigilant to optimize their interface for user satisfaction. Even items as seemingly simple as control buttons, navigational details, and toolbars have an effect on the impression made with site interaction. Going deeper into each component (for example), there are different ways to structure basic elements like check boxes – implementing check lists is best when the boxes are place vertically, drawing the eye to its natural scrolling motion that has become prevalent throughout web design (in this case, users are already familiar with the parallax scrolling phenomenon that has swept through design – knowing that fact and […]

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4 years, 8 months ago