'Less is More' - Minimalism in UX Design

January, 22 2020 | Design, User Interface


      Within the last 5 years’ trend for UX Design, we have seen the focus placed not only on creating innovative features for the end-user but also to on the emergence of the ideology “Less is More”. The phrase “less is more” in reference to UX design means that the purpose of the UX Designer is not anymore to deliver a feature-heavy product, rather make the product leaner and amplify its functionality. It means that sometimes, going the extra mile with design might not actually make a product better. 

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Inclusivity and UXR Part 2: Reframing How We Think About Inclusive Design

December, 27 2019 | Design, UX Strategy, Markets, Multicultural UX

     
         When we think of inclusive design, search results tell the industry to associate inclusive design with product accessibility and users with disabilities or other impairments, but what if this type of thinking is what is truly limiting the impact and role of inclusive design in product development?

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Interactive Storytelling Content in Advertisements

December, 18 2019 | Design, VR, Emerging Trends, User Interface

       While VR, AR and 360 experiences may be well-known industry terms for you at this point, you might be wondering how these experiences are any different than interactive storytelling content. Interactive storytelling is a form of media that gives the user the ability to be the “director” of their own experience from start to end. While popular among the gaming community, interactive storytelling is certainly on the rise everywhere. For example, on the heels of Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch, Netflix is double down its on interactive storytelling content, producing a variety of series according to an article by techcrunch

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An Event Apart Conference Recap

       An Event Apart is a series of three-day-long UX Conferences held throughout the US in the following locations: Washington DC, Seattle, Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Orlando. An Event Apart offers attendees three full days of "design, code and content"- three days worth of opportunity to learn, connect, and explore. An Event Apart (AEA) offer presentations and panels from industry leaders, thinkers and innovators, focusing on a range of topic today and tomorrow.

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The Fundamental Differences between GraphQL and REST APIs

December, 13 2019 |

      If you’re thinking about how you should design your next web API, look no further! We will cover the fundamental differences between GraphQL and REST in the following article. Before diving into each architectural style I would like to give a quick synopsis of both methodologies. REST stands for Representational state transfer which basically breaks down to a style of web architecture that has many underlying characteristics and manages the behavior of clients and servers. A REST API defines a set of functions in which software developers can perform requests and receive responses via HTTP protocol such as a (GET/POST/UPDATE/DELETE). Lastly, an API can be considered RESTful if it has the following characteristics: Client-server, Stateless, and Cacheable. 

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The UX of Autonomous Vehicles

       The autonomous vehicle is more than just a blurred dream that is still off in the distant future; it’s already happening. Recently, the first self-driving taxi service has been launched in Singapore. It is predicted that it’s only a matter of a couple of years before fully automated driving vehicles will be available for purchase on the consumer’s market (Tesla is already taking incremental steps to make semi-autonomous driving vehicles available to the public). However, only a few companies like Google and Volvo have been testing fully automated driving cars on public roads. 

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Great Expectations (Writing a Great SOW)

      The best way to ensure a successful partnership with a consultancy is to have a solid shared understanding of what the goals of the project are, what work will be done, how it will be done, and when it will be done. The Statement of Work (SOW) governing project work is the foundation for a successful outcome. This article explores how to take a high-level SOW from an accepted proposal and turn it into a robust and effective contract.

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Should Designers and Researchers Sign Their Own Hippocratic Oath?

November, 27 2019 | Research Methods, UX Strategy, Industries

     In this era, designers and researchers with all types of backgrounds are becoming strategic leaders and specialists in creating new products, businesses, and services. While these leaders from all walks are coming into positions of power in which we have breathtaking technological capabilities, should we not feel an obligation to do no harm? Healers agree to a Hippocratic oath- upholding them to maintain ethical standards in the work they do. Detrimental and questionable products and features have been created when power and feasibility can turn honest intentions into design decisions that alienate and do harm to the very people that the product was created to protect.

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Facial Recognition Technology and Racial Biases

         In 2018, research reports from the ACLU emerged indicating that Amazon’s facial recognition technology had reportedly “confused” the faces of 28 congressmen with the faces of known criminals. Let’s unpack that statement. First, Amazon has been developing facial recognition technology, called Rekognition, which can provide “highly accurate facial analysis and facial recognition on images and video.” In 2018, Amazon was actively making movements towards selling this technological tool to law enforcement. The ACLU, among other organizations and individuals, were concerned with the implications of utilizing such technology.  In turn, the ACLU conducted its own study employing Rekognition facial technology. Their research uncovered that Rekognition technology was not as accurate of a facial recognition tool as had been perceived, and resulted in a large number of mismatched faces. Most importantly, the ACLU reported that Rekognition disproportionately misidentified faces of people of color- as highlighted by the 28 faces of congressmen that were misidentified as being the faces of known criminals. While Amazon and the ACLU debated over these results, the findings published by the ACLU point towards a bigger issue- in what ways are racial biases manifesting themselves in facial recognition technology and how can this cause harm to communities of color?

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Creating a Custom Material UI Theme Part 3: Customizing Individual Components

November, 15 2019 | How-To, Emerging Trends, User Interface

      Many of the components for Material UI are easy to customize. For components such as Badges and Circular Progress, you can add color options by adding an additional variant to the theme. For instance, when calling a badge using a primary color, you would use <Badge color=”primary” />. In order to use an info color, you could use <Badge color=”info” />, and add under MuiBadge : { colorInfo: {…}} to the theme. You can interchange “info” with any color name you choose.

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