I am getting ready for 2020 and in addition to rethinking old patterns of problem solving and co-collaboration strategies, I work hard at closing the gap between my skill envy of tech and development and graphic design through creative learning. I consider user experience to be at the intersection of the two.
On a good day, before talking about what needs to change on a site, I tend to look at what could be working better through light heuristic analyses. So I am always on the lookout for useful resources that will help me simplify experiences and make it easier for people to access information.
Make my decision process simpler
It sounds like a tongue twist -- considering the consideration funnel# (and alas we keep talking in funnels), Adaptive Path Chris Risdon has put together some thoughts about user experience for complex purchases:
“We need to recognize when customers are ready to consider and when they’re ready to commit.”
He says. Take for example purchasing a car, or a piece of real estate, or an airplane (maybe you are the company shopping around for the parts), or some form of combined IT infrastructure services, would your decision process become easier if you had the ability to learn by doing? Looking at options, jumping to price ranges, figuring out how much information you need to input to get a quote, etc.
Help me understand information architecture
A more technical guide#, yet very accessible to anyone who can read English. After the definitions, the article lays out the eight principles of information architecture, then provides a starting point. Take for example the principle of objects:
“The principle of objects says that content should be treated as an evolving thing that has its own lifecycle. Different content has different attributes and behaviors, and this has to be recognized in order to best utilize that content.”
How users find content on a site leads to creating models for content organization, labeling conventions, the differences between a big site and a small one, UX and IA, the role of CMS and how to select the appropriate tools, including links to digital mindmapping and wireframing tools. Because clients find them more compelling, the use of html- and css-based interactive or clickable prototypes in lieu of wireframes has become more common.
Free presentation templates
PowerPoint is another one of those things that we all keep wishing would die, and yet we still use daily. I once joked with my sister that we would whip one together for family and friends reunions. Though we skipped to videos for those occasions -- a conversation is worth hundreds of slides.
Nonetheless, if you are looking for simple designs, here's a handy bunch from Google#.
Feel free to share resources and guides to simplify experiences in the comments. We have a long way to go in making things simply.