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Watch, listen & learn from the world’s best UX experts.

The AYCL Blog

Learn about what’s new, what’s coming, and find blasts from the past.

Watch Ben Callahan's Preview: Responsive Workflows - Because There’s No Such Thing as a Perfect Process

April 19, 2016
by Adam Churchill

Listen to Ben Callahan to hear his tips and techniques—from giving and receiving design critiques to pitching ideas before they’re fully baked—to establish a responsive workflow that’s focused on the end product. You’ll learn to bridge communication gaps, establish clear design goals, and build trust between management and project teams.

If you feel like you’re in an endless cycle of making design deliverables and sitting in exhausting meetings, then it’s time to get responsive with Ben.

Is the “Tool Du Jour” the Right Tool for the Job?

April 15, 2016
by Adam Churchill

How many times have you gone to a conference and come home with a shiny new research tool you’re just dying to use? It might be the newest tool in your box but that doesn’t make it the right one for the job. And, you might actually be using the wrong toolbox altogether.

Most user research is Qualitative, Evaluative, and Solution-framed.

  • We look at why users do certain things, taking note of patterns, regularity, and differences.
  • We look at how well things are working, whether or not they’re supporting the needs of our users.
  • We ask questions about offerings and solutions that already exist.

Coming at your user research from a different perspective may yield richer insights.

Watch Noah Iliinsky's Preview: Designing Infographics & Data Visualizations

April 12, 2016
by Adam Churchill

In this seminar, Noah Iliinsky helps you identify the value in your data and showcase it through user-friendly designs tailored to your audience. Draw from the science of cognitive perception to make design decisions based on user behavior.

Ever wish someone could teach you best practices for data visualizations so you could talk about them with your organization? Watch Noah's recording.

Avoid Design Disasters with Lean UX

April 8, 2016
by Adam Churchill

Startups come and startups go. But have you ever stopped to think about why they go, why they weren’t successful enough to stick around? “The vast majority of projects fail not because people couldn’t build a great product using the latest technology. They failed because we built something nobody wanted,” says Will Evans.

Lean UX is the perfect disaster-avoidance technique.

  • You start with one customer—your end user.
  • You do your research and figure out the number one problem they have with your product or service.
  • You take a guess at what you could do to solve that problem.
  • You run your “hypothesis” through the “think, make, check” cycle to see if your guess was right.

If it was, congratulate yourself. If it wasn’t, go back and start over.

Honey, I Shrunk the Website

March 31, 2016
by Adam Churchill

Before 2007, designers battled for prime pixel real estate on ever-expanding screens. With the release of the first iPhone, everything changed. These powerful devices with their tiny, 2x3 inch screens came with a promise, that you could do anything, anywhere anytime.

But how well have we kept that promise? Yes, people can deposit checks, make reservations, play games, and buy things right from their phone. But those tasks are often accompanied by frustration. And even responsive design hasn’t been able to solve all of those frustrating moments.

Responsive design was supposed to give users access to the same kind of content across a range of devices. But it’s really about flow, to give users the same experience across all those devices.

adapted from “Mobile Flowidity,” a Virtual Seminar by Dana Chisell.

Content = Conversations

March 26, 2016
by Adam Churchill

When you start thinking about web content, it’s helpful to start with the right metaphor.

Take a three-legged stool, for instance:

  • Leg 1: visual design
  • Leg 2: information design
  • Leg 3: technology/functionality.

Each of these legs is necessary, but not sufficient. ​To be useful, it needs its seat. In this metaphor, that last essential component is your content.

Content is what brings your users to your site. And here’s where more metaphors can be helpful. Do you want your site to be an open file content for your users to rummage through? Do you want it to be a newspaper, feeding them the information you think they need to know? Or is it simply a digital catalog for them to browse, perchance to buy?

No, no, and no. You want your web site to be a conversation with your users. They come to you with questions. You want to give them answers. Quickly, easily, and conveniently. Once you answer their questions, you can start to ask them a few of your own. You can keep the conversation going.

Watch Josh Clark's Preview: Designing Touch-Friendly Interfaces

March 22, 2016
by Adam Churchill

Ergonomic considerations and demands are inherent to tablets and phones, but now we're seeing touch-friendly laptops and desktop screens. With all the different kinds of inputs available—mouse, keyboard, camera, microphone, screen—there just isn't One True Input for the Web.

Josh Clark will show you how to you design intuitive controls and layouts for varying devices, inputs, and screen sizes.

Use the Power of The Brave New Web

March 17, 2016
by Adam Churchill

The most dangerous phrase in a language is we've always done it that way.
–Grace Hopper

For over 20 years, websites have followed the same general pattern. Headers, footers, sidebars, all laid out in an orderly rectangle. When screen sizes grew from 640-800 pixels, designers filled the extra space with sidebar content.

This content was, according to Jen Simmons, “the original way to find things.” But over the past two decades, the sidebar has become something to be ignored. Does that mean that designers stopped including them in their designs? Nope. Because we’re stuck in a rut.

We don’t have to be, says Jen. We have the power to float text, wrap it around images, or pour it into text “boxes” that aren’t boxes at all. They can be ovals, circles, diamonds, and more. The power to do this exists today. If we’re not using it, we’re missing out.

adapted from “Innovation and the Power of the Web,”  a virtual seminar by Jen Simmons.

Avoid Design Disasters with Lean UX

March 10, 2016
by Adam Churchill

Startups come and startups go. But have you ever stopped to think about why they go, why they weren’t successful enough to stick around? “The vast majority of projects fail not because people couldn't build a great product using the latest technology. They failed because we built something nobody wanted,” says Will Evans, Executive Producer of Lean UX Day in NYC.

Lean UX is the perfect disaster-avoidance technique.

  • You start with one customer—your end user.
  • You do your research and figure out the number one problem they have with your product or service.
  • You take a guess at what you could do to solve that problem.
  • You run your “hypothesis” through the “think, make, check” cycle to see if your guess was right.

If it was, congratulate yourself. If it wasn’t, go back and start over.