User Interaction articles

How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design




 


 

When you examine the most successful interaction designs of recent years, the clear winners are those who provide an excellent functionality. While functional aspect of a design is key to product success, aesthetics and visual details are equally important — particularly how they can improve those functional elements.

How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design

In today’s article, I’ll explain how visual elements, such as shadows and blur effects, can improve the functional elements of a design.

The post How To Use Shadows And Blur Effects In Modern UI Design appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Best Practices For Animated Progress Indicators




 


 

Visibility of system status is one of the most important principles in user interface design. Users want to feel in control of the system they’re using, which means they want to know and understand their current context at any given time, and especially when a system is busy doing work. A wait-animation progress indicator is the most common form of providing a system status for users when something is happening or loading.

An adorable animated kitten on blue background

While an instant response from an app is the best, there are times when your app won’t be able to comply with the guidelines for speed. A slow response could be caused by a bad internet connection, or an operation itself can take a long time (e.g. install an update for OS). For such cases, in order to minimize user tension, you must reassure users that the app is working on their request and that actual progress is being made. Thus, you should provide feedback to the user about what is happening with the app within a reasonable amount of time.

The post Best Practices For Animated Progress Indicators appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

True Lies Of Optimistic User Interfaces




 


 

Three user interfaces (UIs) go to a pub. The first one orders a drink, then several more. A couple of hours later, it asks for the bill and leaves the pub drunk. The second UI orders a drink, pays for it up front, orders another drink, pays for it and so on, and in a couple of hours leaves the pub drunk.

True Lies Of Optimistic User Interfaces

The third UI exits the pub already drunk immediately after going in — it knows how the pubs work and is efficient enough not to lose time. Have you heard of this third one? It is called an “optimistic UI.”

The post True Lies Of Optimistic User Interfaces appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Developing For Virtual Reality: What We Learned




 


 

With the tools getting more user-friendly and affordable, virtual reality (VR) development is easier to get involved in than ever before. Our team at Clearbridge Mobile recently jumped on the opportunity to develop immersive VR content for the Samsung Gear VR, using Samsung’s 360 camera.

Developing For Virtual Reality: What We Learned

The result is ClearVR, a mobile application demo that enables users to explore the features, pricing, interiors and exteriors of listed vehicles. Developing this demo project gave us a better understanding of VR development for our future projects, including scaling, stereoscopic display and motion-tracking practices. This article is an introductory guide to developing for VR, with the lessons we learned along the way.

The post Developing For Virtual Reality: What We Learned appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience




 


 

The best user experience is the one the user doesn’t notice. It appears smooth and simple on the surface, but hundreds of crucial design decisions have been made to guide, entertain and prevent trouble. If the user experience design does what it’s supposed to do, the user won’t notice any of the work that went into it.

Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience

The less users have to think about the interface or design, the more they can focus on accomplishing their goal on your website. Your job as a designer is to give them a straight path to their goal by clearing out the obstacles beforehand.

The post Reducing Cognitive Overload For A Better User Experience appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

Creativity Under The Microscope: Running A UI Design Critique




 


 

Criticism is easy. It seems like everybody has an opinion, but, as the author Harlan Ellison points out, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion.” To become informed, though, requires exploration. Design critiques are an important part of any product exploration.

Creativity Under The Microscope: Running A UI Design Critique

A design critique — where the creator discusses and explains the creation with the rest of the team and/or client — is not about badgering the designer or pushing them to justify every decision they made. That’s just criticism. A good design critique is meant to explore the design, find where it is working and where it could be improved. If done well, design critiques allow everyone on the team to feel as if they have been heard and allow clients to give valuable feedback.

The post Creativity Under The Microscope: Running A UI Design Critique appeared first on Smashing Magazine.

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