User Defenders Podcast

There are scores of inspirational UX Designers out there who are doing outstanding, innovative work and helping to shape the future in their struggle to solve important design problems while fighting for the user. In our highly accelerating world of technology, wearables and the connected life, there’s never been a better time to be a great UX Designer. For those more recently diving in and gaining experience, it can be quite daunting to stay inspired and enlightened in this ever-changing/evolving landscape. This podcast is aimed at highlighting those leading the way in their craft by diving deeper into who they are, and what makes them tick/successful, in order to inspire and equip those aspiring to do the same.

Latest Episodes

032: There Is No There – Sarah Doody, UX Designer
031: Getting Scrappy – Mat Marquis, Web Developer
030: Content For All – Aaron Gustafson, Web Standards Advocate
029: Be Relentless – Ling Lim, Product Designer
028: Be Persistent – Chris Coyier, CSS-Tricks

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Best Practices for Microinteractions

Microinteractions are subtle moments centered around accomplishing a single task. Almost all applications around us are filled in with microinteractions. Here are just a few examples:

  • Confirming an item is added to cart
  • Use pull-to-refresh to update content
  • Interface animation that confirms an action

Every one of these tiny moments forms a microinteraction. We often don’t focus on them, but we can feel their presence. These tiny moments add up to design to enhance your user experience by making the user interface less machine and more human.

In this article, I’ll describe 5 useful techniques for microinteractions and provide some helpful examples.

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How to apply a design thinking, HCD, UX or any creative process from scratch

This how-to article aims at providing designers, creative thinkers or even project managers with a tool to set up, frame, organise, structure, run or manage design challenges, and projects: The Double Diamond revamped.

In order to do so, I have come up with an own and a revamped version of the Double Diamond process. In case, you are familiar with the British Design Council’s Double Diamond, IDEO’s human centred design ideology or’s Design Thinking process you might be familiar with the majority of approaches, steps and tools in the following paragraphs of this article.

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Hamburger menu alternatives for mobile navigation

If you’re working on digital products, you have already read dozens of articles describing how and why the hamburger navigation on mobile (and desktop!) hurts UX metrics due of its low discoverability and efficiency.

Luckily, more and more sites and apps are experimenting with alternative, more efficient solutions for this very problem. None of the ideas listed here is better than the others, their viability and performance obviously depend on the content and the context.

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UX vs UI vs IA vs IxD

Once upon a time, if you said the word “design”, the odds were overwhelmingly likely you were talking about graphic design. But nowadays, the digital world is becoming increasingly more complicated and a lot of new job positions appearing, which lead to confusion for people outside or new to the design industry. Here’s a quick overview on the four different primary forms of design to help you understand what they mean.

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Complexion Reduction: A New Trend In Mobile Design

We have been living in a world of ‘clean and minimal’ for quite some time, so what’s next?

Over the last several months, some of the leaders of innovative design have taken ‘minimal design’ to the next level. Facebook, Airbnb and Apple have followed a similar blueprint to simplify prominent products in a way that reflects this new trend of ‘Complexion Reduction’ in mobile design.


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The Difference Between UX and UI Design-A Layman’s Guide

We’ve all overheard conversations, walking down hip streets of the world’s tech capitals, discussions about the great ‘UX’ of a product, or the poor ‘UI’ of a website. Is it a secret language you will never be privy to? Are these people just using slang to look cool? Well, ok probably yes to the latter, but a determinate NO to the rest. Read on to learn what these terms mean, which jobs are better paid, and how to become a UX designer or UI designer. Scroll to the middle of the post to watch a video of me speaking about this article, and giving you some extra info on what being a UX or UI Designer really means.

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Design Doesn’t Scale

Design Doesn’t Scale is a statement that has bothered me for the last four-years. When I joined Spotify’s design team in 2012, the level of inconsistency and fragmentation shocked me. Up-close, the treatment of type, colour, imagery, layout, IA, and interactions just didn’t seem to align anywhere. And when I started talking about it, I realised the whole team was frustrated too. We concluded that the fragmentation in the product was just reflecting the fragmentation in the team, that designers spread across so many different projects, timezones and competing timetables, just didn’t stand a chance. And, after all, weren’t these factors inherent in all modern tech companies anyway? It was then that I first heard myself say, “Design Doesn’t Scale”.

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Design Better Forms

Common mistakes designers make and how to fix them.Whether it is a signup flow, a multi-view stepper, or a monotonous data entry interface, forms are one of the most important components of digital product design. This article focuses on the common dos and don’ts of form design. Keep in mind that these are general guideline and there are exceptions to every rule.

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The State of UX in 2017

The team looks forward to how UX will evolve in 2017. Here’s their take on looking at the past, understanding the present, and anticipating what the future holds for UX.

#1 Usability becomes a commodity
#2 The words we will stop using
#3 Everything is a conversation
#4 The year we begin breaking the glass
#5 Stitching all the pieces together
#6 A body and space puzzle
#7 Should designers design?
#8 Design must be automated
#9 Not your fault, but your responsibility
#10 Recap & Highlights

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