Every element on a web page exerts a visual force that attracts the eye of the viewer. The greater the force, the more the eye is attracted. These forces also appear to act on other elements, imparting a visual direction to their potential movement and suggesting where you should look next.
We refer to this force as visual weight and to the perceived direction of visual forces as visual direction.
Design Principles: Visual Weight And Direction
In 1910, psychologist Max Wertheimer had an insight when he observed a series of lights flashing on and off at a railroad crossing. It was similar to how the lights encircling a movie theater marquee flash on and off.
To the observer, it appears as if a single light moves around the marquee, traveling from bulb to bulb, when in reality it’s a series of bulbs turning on and off and the lights don’t move it all.
Design Principles: Visual Perception And The Principles Of Gestalt
Designing with users in mind is a tricky thing. Not only does it require of us a sound understanding of who our users are, but the actual act of translating what we know about them into a well-designed product is not always an obvious or easy path.
Currently, our user experience tools tend to focus on “who” users are. I believe this is a hangover from how we traditionally approached marketing and market research.
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Designing For The Multifaceted User
One of the most famous interfaces in sci-fi is gestural — the precog scrubber interface used by the Precrime police force in Minority Report. Using this interface, Detective John Anderton uses gestures to “scrub” through the video-like precognitive visions of psychic triplets. After observing a future crime, Anderton rushes to the scene to prevent it and arrest the would-be perpetrator.
This interface is one of the most memorable things in a movie that is crowded with future technologies, and it is one of the most referenced interfaces in cinematic history.
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What Sci-Fi Tells Interaction Designers About Gestural Interfaces
The mobile Web has gotten a bum rap. It spends most of its time either in the shadow of the desktop or playing the role of the native app’s frumpy friend. Luckily, we’ve got the tools to change that. Progressive enhancement, mobile-first and responsive design can help lead us towards a more unified, future-friendly Web. That’s the good news. The bad news? These tools are worthless if you don’t have license to use them.
How To Sketch A New Mobile Web
User experience design isn’t just about building wireframes and Photoshop mock-ups. It extends to areas that you wouldn’t necessarily think are part of the discipline.
For example, your customer service department can have a huge impact on your website’s overall user experience. Similarly, the design of your user experience could have an awfully big effect on your customer service department. Of course, not all of your users will interact with the customer service department, but for those who do, their experience can improve or destroy the customer relationship.
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Improving Customer Service with UX – Idiots, Drama Queens and Scammers
CSS is one of the most powerful tools that is available to web designers (if not the most powerful). With it we can completely transform the look of a website in just a couple of minutes, and without even having to touch the markup. But despite the fact that we are all well aware of its usefulness, CSS selectors are still not used to their full potential and we sometimes have the tendency to litter our HTML with excessive and unnecessary classes and ids, divs and spans.
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Taming Advanced CSS Selectors