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UX Entries

Article  |  UX

Design Processes for Brainstormr Mobile, Our New iPhone Application

18 Jun 2013

When I first came on staff as a User Experience Designer at Planet Argon, one of my very first projects was to take our responsive site, Brainstormr and bring it into the mobile world by building an iPhone application for it. My experience designing Brainstormr was the first time I had gotten an opportunity to do a Mobile Application design and I jumped at the opportunity. There was a lot of research and learning involved, but it was totally worth it, and now i am proud to say my first application design came out a success. Here are a few things I learned along the way.

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Article  |  UX

Webvisions 2013 Post 1 - The Art of Explanation

4 Jun 2013

It had been about 6 or 7 years since I went to my last Webvisions Conference in Portland, so I was really excited to go this year since the web has evolved and really changed a lot since then. Planet Argon bought me a pass for Thursday and Friday, and I heard lots of great talks over the two days. Some were on The Agile and Lean UX Methods and working well with your team, some were on how to explain things better and how to develop a curiosity that will take you through your whole career. More technical talks were about things like video on the web, API’s, or building dynamic prototypes.

Among all these different topics and speakers, I had one consistency that helped me retain all the information better (and probably communicate it better to other people on the web too).
It was by taking what I have learned at the conference and sketch-noting the talks.

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Article  |  UX

3 Google I/O 2013 technologies that I'm super interested in, but will probably never use

28 May 2013

So, I didn’t technically attend Google I/O 2013, this year’s iteration of the company’s developer conference; I didn’t receive a free Chromebook Pixel and I definitely didn’t sit through the 3.5-hour keynote. But I did watch a bunch of the session videos when I was likely supposed to be doing something else, like laundry or, you know, working. There were hundreds of talks over the course of the 3 days, with topics including Android, Chrome & Apps, Maps, and YouTube, and the majority of them are posted on the Google Developers YouTube channel. In comparison to last year’s flashy introductions (Google Glass, a new Android OS, the Nexus 7 tablet), the 2013 I/O was less relevant to the typical consumer. But I found this year’s focus on developers and their tools quite interesting; in particular, there were a few announcements that really caught my attention.

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Article  |  UX

The Best Parts of An Event Apart Seattle 2013

10 Apr 2013

Last week, Brian and I sat with our peers in rapt attention at the Seattle occurrence of An Event Apart, the inspiring one-track web conference started by Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer in 2005. Known as “the design conference for people who make websites,” AEA is a particularly acclaimed web conference for good reason. Zeldman and Meyer, visionaries famous for helping shape the web as we know it, gather a dozen of the web’s most influential creators and gifted presenters to share their thoughts, inquiries, and discoveries with the several hundred fortunate attendees.

Since you were too busy vacuuming and/or getting your tires rotated to attend, I’ve summarized the best parts. Enjoy!

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Video  |  UX

What are your users searching for?

17 Dec 2012

Great video to highlight how important it is to monitor how your users are searching for your products. Are there alternate spellings, abbreviations, and/or pop-culture slang that they might be searching for that you’re search indexes aren’t accounting for?

In many of our e-commerce projects, we’ve worked on a handful of solutions to address this. For example, a product like “LA Vacation” could be found under a number of possible searches:

  • Los Angeles
  • L.A.
  • SoCal
  • City of Angels

The great thing with most search index tools is that you can shove a lot of additional keywords without having to expose this to your users in some archaic list on the site.

Article  |  UX

7 Ways to Annoy Users on Your Web Forms

13 Nov 2012


“What are the most annoying things you encounter when filling out a web form?” was a recent tweet posted by our Chief Evangelist and it got me thinking. Web forms are the one interaction you are most likely forced to deal with more regularly than you’d like; to sign up for that online service, join that social community, or just because completing the goal online is easier than offline. Usually it’s easier to buy that airline ticket online, instead of picking up the phone and calling that surely booking agent. Buying a ticket to that show should be more convenient than standing in a line at the box office. And yet, sometimes the online process can actually make it more complicated, frustrating, or maybe even impossible. Why is that? In many cases, it all comes down to frustrations with the web forms. Prompted by the tweet, we set out to uncover not only the most annoying things you encounter in web forms, but how they can be remedied.

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Link  |  UX

Time to Rethink Password Masking

9 Nov 2012

Article  |  UX

Improving performance with the modern website tune-up

29 Oct 2012

Your website, just like your car, is often due for a bit of maintenance. Fortunately, tuning up your website is less intimidating than that familiar experience of standing next to your vehicle, nodding your head dumbly while handing your mechanic (who, by the way, is much more ruggedly handsome than you) a wad of cash. And that is even less daunting than attempting to work on the car yourself- you’ve tried that before, and you still have nightmares and stained pants.

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Link  |  UX

Step by Step: How does your checkout process add up?

5 Sep 2012

Link  |  UX

Put an Interface On it!

31 Aug 2012

Article  |  UX

PDX Mayoral Race: Who will win...from a UX perspective?

30 Aug 2012

I know what you might be thinking. This is a post about which Portland mayoral candidate I think might/should win this November. It’s not. I am by no means a political consultant. I don’t follow polls. And furthermore, I never like to talk politics (with strangers at least).

But what I do like to talk about is user experience design. And inspired by this recent article on the mobile differences between our two presidential candidates, I decided to take it local and conduct a quick usability audit on the sites of Portland’s mayoral candidates, Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith.

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Link  |  UX

Living the UX Dream

27 Aug 2012

Article  |  UX

What I learned at UX Bootcamp

14 Aug 2012


At the beginning of this month, I was fortunate enough to attend the Cooper UX Boot Camp. What is unique about this course is that Cooper partners with a non-profit to identify a need they have and, in turn, give the class a real-world problem to work towards resolving. In the end, teams may “compete” for the best idea, but everyone walks away with a clearer idea of the process and the chosen non-profit walks away with all of the ideas AND a donation in the name of the winning team.

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Link  |  UX

Six Things You Need to Know About Your Users

19 Jul 2012

Article  |  UX

14 Things I Learned at WebVisions - Day 1

23 May 2012

I visited sunny Portland, Oregon (I’ve lived here for 7 years but let’s pretend, shall we) to attend this year’s WebVisions conference. Did you know that Portland has over 400 days of sunshine per year? Don’t attempt to do the math- it’s complicated. To extrapolate from my WebVisions experience, I’ve determined that Portlandites predominantly use MacBooks, are all men, wear ill-fitting trousers, and smell kinda funny. Besides that, I’ve compiled a list of 14 THINGS I LEARNED AT WEBVISIONS, the first half of which are presented here in no particular order. Enjoy!

Convention Center hall

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