Three Key Tools for a Mobile UX Consultant

Every year the number of user experience tools introduced to the community seems to grow exponentially. It can be difficult to keep track of what’s useful, what’s usable, and what’s affordable. I'm always looking for new tools to evolve my user experience toolbox in order to keep up with current technology. I've tried out many wireframing and user research tools, and there are definitely a few go-to tools I recommend to others. The three tools below have helped me transition into the mobile design space and allowed me to communicate better with my clients. Proto.io When I started my current position at Solstice Mobile in Chicago, I sought to find an affordable, mobile focused prototyping tool for Keep Reading...

Interview: Samantha Starmer

Giant UX had an opportunity to sit down with Samantha Starmer after her talk at Giant Conference last month in Charleston, SC. Samantha currently resides in New York City where she’s Vice President, Global Digital Products for Ralph Lauren.Giant UX: I know you’re passionate about the importance of companies / brands creating holistic customer experiences if they want to be successful, and I’d like to think that most Giant UX contributors and readers share that passion. But before we dig into that topic, I think our readers would love to know your professional story. Can you give us an overview of your career history?Samantha: I was one of those people who had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Keep Reading...

UX is the Village, Disciplines are the People

User Experience (UX), a term coined by Don Norman, founder of Nielsen Norman Group, has been around for a very long time and will continue to evolve. A lot of companies are just starting the build-out of a UX department. The key to this is structuring it in a proper way with the key components and clear definition of what each piece is all about.The fun thing about UX is that, like a lot of things, it is always evolving. Like many neighborhoods, venues or even buildings, they are containers. They hold pieces that make up that establishment. I think of UX as a village and the disciplines as the people.User ResearchThis can be as simple or as detailed as needed. It simply allows for understanding of the Keep Reading...

Optimism in Designers, Developers and Managers – Part 5

If you’re just joining us now, be sure to check out Part 1, where we explored the inherent optimism of designers, developers and managers, and what specific elements of our professions increase our sense of optimism. In Part 2 of this series, we talked with real people in development and management roles to learn what leads them to feel optimistic about their work life and projects. Part 3 continued our exploration of optimism, as we checked in with some designers to see what makes them feel hopeful about their projects and day to day. Part 4 covered the dark side - how people feel and act when faced with the factors that discourage optimism rather than foster it. Walking the Walk So until now we’ve Keep Reading...

Transparency: Loyalty :: Bacon: Mmmm

Here’s a recap of a recent conversation with a store associate during checkout: Store Associate: Would you like us to email you the receipt? Perceived benefits in my head: I’ll save paper. I won’t throw the receipt away only to need it later. Less potential clutter. Me: Sure. Sounds great. I then provided my email address using the little key pad thingy. What I found out later is the conversation should have gone like this: Store Associate: Would you like to give us your email address thinking you’ll receive a single email containing your receipt from today’s transaction while also unknowingly subscribing to our email list to receive at least one email per day for the rest of your life from Keep Reading...

Arrogance as the Enemy of User Experience Design

A cautionary tale about how one dude wasted his company's time and money because he thought he was so smart. Hint: it's me. With user-centered design, you have to check your ego at the door. An arrogant attitude can kill a great interface. This frequently happens when one person sees himself or herself as the "average user" and believes his or her opinion represents most people. That's because we all tend to design things we like, and it’s hard to see other perspectives. This is a story about my own arrogance, the size of my screen, and what I learned from my first major UX blunder. Cinematic soundtrack optional. Early in my career, I led design at a medium-sized company that provided electronic payment Keep Reading...

UX Is Community

By definition, user experience is about understanding people in order to improve products and services. The term “user experience” is an umbrella term (not the only one, but seemingly the most popular one these days) used to encompass a variety of related career tracks, from those related to design, to research, to content and organization. However, UX itself is more than a collection of careers coming together under a single umbrella.

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GIANT adds Marc Atwood as Director of Giant UX

Charleston, SC - February 28, 2014 - Giant UX has added Marc Atwood, a stellar creative, content strategy and editorial veteran, to the staff as the new Director of Giant UX. Giant UX is the UX blog published by GIANT at GiantUX.com and is a collective effort from a small group of designers, UX professionals and overall rad folks who like to converse about solid experiences. "I'm not sure how I let them talk me into this, but now that it's official, I'm psyched," Marc said. "We've tried to make Giant UX a destination for UX newbies and veterans alike, providing a wide array of content that's educational, inspirational and engaging. I'm hoping to help deliver on that goal while contributing new ideas Keep Reading...

Optimism in Designers, Developers and Managers – Part 4

If you’re just joining us now, be sure to check out Part 1, where we explored the inherent optimism of designers, developers and managers, and what specific elements of our professions increase our sense of optimism. In Part 2 of this series we talked with real people in development and management roles to learn what leads them to feel optimistic about their work life and projects. Part 3 continued our exploration of optimism as we checked in with some designers to see what makes them feel hopeful about their projects and day to day.

Keep Reading...