Information Architecture

Information architecture (IA) focuses on organizing, structuring, and labeling content in an effective and sustainable way.  The goal is to help users find information and complete tasks. The Information Architecture Institute defines information architecture simply: “Information architecture is the practice of deciding how to arrange the parts of something to be understandable.” The purpose of your … Read more

Design Thinking: A Brief History

You could say the basic principles of Design Thinking have always been around. It was these basic principles that early humans built tools and drew on cave walls. It required observation, experimentation and prototyping. Learning from each iteration and evolving the design and our evolution as a species. Just as is does today. In his … Read more

The Right Color Palette for Data Visualization

While visually appealing (harmonious) color palettes are easy to come by these days, finding the right color palette for data visualizations is challenging. Things are made more difficult, as we need to convey information across thousands of unique data sets in many different types of visualization layouts. And then there are issues like accessibility, enough … Read more

Data Visualizations: Storytelling and Persuasion

In Data Visualization: Your Secret Weapon in Storytelling and Persuasion, Adam Singer, Analytics Advocate at Google shares: “In a world increasingly saturated with data and information, visualizations are a potent way to break through the clutter, tell your story, and persuade people to action.” Statistics are good but showing your data in context of what … Read more

Easy to Use: Icons

Ever visit a website or store or see a sign in a public space that you had no idea what the icon meant? There are a lot of reasons for that. One, of course is the ethnocentric aspect – we know what we know based on our prior experiences. So, if the image of the … Read more

The Power of Product Thinking

In his blog post Why Product Thinking is the next big thing in UX Design: Life’s too short to build something nobody wants… Nikkel Blaase shares: “When thinking of User Experience, we often think of a simple, beautiful, and easy to use feature-set of a product, that makes the user’s life easier. But as a … Read more

Persona Walkthrough

The other day I was helping a good friend and colleague with a “persona walkthrough.” A persona walkthrough is when you “walkthrough” your experience assuming the role of the persona. In this case, we were walking through an online experience. We started with a persona named Sally. Sally is a “Soccer Mom” – she is … Read more

Compassionate Detachment for Design Thinking

“Train yourself to let go of what you fear to loose” – Yoda, Star Wars III As an artist, or just someone who is excited about an idea, compassionate detachment allows one to explore ideas with an open mind and the see the whole over the parts. Oftentimes we get caught up in an aspect of … Read more

Fitts’s Law and Design

In 1954, Paul Fitts developed a model of human movement, Fitts’s law, based on rapid, aimed movement. Fitts’s model predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the distance to the target and the size of the target. This law is used to model the act of … Read more

The Whole is Other Than the Sum of the Parts: Principles of Gestalt Perception

Over the years, I have seen different design principles come into play at design reviews. One of the most frequent and important design principles has been gestalt perception. Around the beginning of the 20th century, Gestalt theorists were intrigued by the way our mind perceives the whole out of incomplete elements.  Gestaltists believed that context … Read more

Color in Culture

I have had a fascination with color and culture for most of my life. From color theory to ethnography, it is all so interesting! And important when you are designing anything for people! They are both complex and the intersection can be integrate. Here is one of the best data visualizations that I have ever seen on this. … Read more

Order is Everything when Designing Experiences

When iteratively designing and evaluating experiences, the order in which you do this is very important. It starts with content – you must have the content to design the information architecture. I remember learning this lesson when, at one company, Marketing was looking for our Art Director to start creating comps for our next generation … Read more