Logo’s that make you want to Vomit

I read this article about how brands have been associated with error messages. It basically explains how branding should never be associated with error messages. It really makes sense and it also sounds like common sense, but it seems to happen anyway. Whether this was a conscious decision or not, the article stresses the fact that it should be a conscious decision when you design a UX interface.

I’ve had personal experience with Xbox’s Red Ring of Death, and Apple’s Grey Screen of Death. Both equally frustrating and have become synonymous in my mind.

Anyone else ever had similar experience?

Bad APPles

We all have our favorite apps we use nearly everyday, if not every minute. Pandora, Twitter, Fandango, Pinterest, EverNote, are all apps that for the most part work well and look pretty good while doing it. Although, just like with anything, there’s always two sides to each tale. This blog post from spacechimpmedia.com details 5 of the worst apps of all time. Enjoy.

Interactive Day San Diego

To supplement my education at Platt I am always looking for sources outside of school to gain knowledge from. Sometimes it’s readingsmashingmagazine.com articles, or clicking around on dribbble.com, and thebestdesigns.com. But this Friday there is something much more exciting and “interactive” going on right here in San Diego called “Interactive Day San Diego”. IDSD is an interactive, web, mobile, marketing conference with some very heavy-hitting key note speakers from around the world. Some of the names that jumped out at me are: Seth Dallaire-Amazon VP of advertising, Robert Pietsch-Twitter Director of Sales, John Hilton-Pandora Executive Director, and Bill Kee-Google Analytics. With discounted student tickets going at $230, it’s not cheap (although it’s about the same price as 2 days at Platt-shhhh,you didn’t hear that from me ), but in the name of education I think it’s well worth the price.


15 Web Design Trends To Watch Out For In 2012!

I found this to be a very interesting look into different aspects and techniques for web design that are becoming more and more popular. Surely you have seen these in action. Part of good usability is giving the user what they expect. We all know this. Which is why its important to keep after design trends. As they appear more and more across popular websites, previously built sites with outdated features or looks may drive users away.

I recommend reading this article and confirm what you’ve seen the most in the last year, and what you’d like to make use of yourselves.

Paper Prototype Video: Taken one step farther!

I was surprised how helpful creating the paper prototype was today in class. It really allowed my partner and I to rethink certain steps and come up with additional ideas we hadn’t intially thought of. I’m appreciating this process more and more. I became inspired and wanted to search for more videos to get ideas for future prototypes. I found this video where they’ve actually edited out the changing of the paper work, to allow a seamless trasnition from one step to the next. This allows one to really feel out the flow of the site.

Warning: Video has NO audio. So put on your favorite Spice Girls song and enjoy!

UX Magazine

Like most of you, I am browsing the net these days with the focus on UX. I came the cross this amazing site called UX Magazine. It is very resourceful. I thought share it with you.

One of the topics that took my attention was Paper-in-Screen Prototyping .
As I am posting this info maybe it’s a little too late to do it for our project,  but I liked the idea very much.

Check it out and share your thoughts.

Bad Design means Good Usability??

As I breezed through the bad websites in the article that Patristic posted, I found one website which intrigued me. It had a horrible design with thousands of outrageous blinking designs and images. This site was called Ling’s Cars.

I scrolled down and there was an image that showed the owner of the company receiving an award for her incredible success with her website. So I was thinking “What the heck?? This site really works?” Or was this some type of scam??”

So I did a little research. Apparently Ling is a BIG sales Entrepreneur who has actually gained MORE sales out this crazy website.  In Fact in 2010 her turnover rate was 35 million pounds worth in car sales. SO is there a method to her madness? Many people definitely seem to think so:

Ling’s Car’s: It works

Brilliance in Usability?

Ling’s Cars: Persuading the Users

Ling and the Dragon’s Den

(Dragon’s Den is is a series of reality television programmes featuring entrepreneurs who pitch their business ideas in order to secure investment finance from a panel of venture capitalists)

What do you think?


Gaming usability

Gaming Usability 101

This list of ten features should be embraced by game designers

1. Never ask a player if they want to save their game.

Should you give players the option to save their game (and that’s entirely up to you), don’t ask them if they want to save upon reaching a designated checkpoint. Of course players want to save a game when given the privilege! Asking a gamer if he wants to save his progress is like asking a movie buff if they want to watch subsequent chapters of a DVD. Don’t disrupt the game experience with an obtrusive pop-up. Simply display subtle on-screen text that says “Saving…” as popularized on consoles by Halo and be done with it. To ensure gamers can play back their favorite levels, don’t overwrite level data. Rather, keep tabs on a gamer’s progress and grant them access to the areas they have already visited.

2. Always say “press any button” to start a game.

This may seem fastidious, but in the real world, I’ve seen both casual players and experienced gamers unnecessarily stop and think about the start screen. A game specifically asks a player to “press start to begin.” When prompted, the newbie gamer looks down at a confusing set of buttons, thinks for a second as to which button they need to press, then they hit it. The intimidation process has already begun. This is bad usability. Any button should do. “But I don’t develop games for newbies, I develop them for gamers,” you say. Fine, then you just forced a gamer to unnecessarily think if the actual start button is required, or any button would suffice as is the case with most games. Obviously as a designer you want to leverage thinking to enhance the value of completing a task, but what entertainment value can be found in complicating a start menu? Some games wisely display “press any button to start.” Every game should.

3. Always let players remap controller buttons to suit their preferences.

Certain computer users prefer a mouse at the left side of the keyboard as opposed to the right. Fortunately, they have the option to do so. Sadly, a lot of games don’t let players remap buttons and analog sticks to better suit their likes and dislikes. To rectify the situation, why not bring control options front and center to the pause menu? They’re already an integral part to the gameplay experience. Why bury them in a complicated hierarchy of menu options? This would allow for easy access letting gamers quickly change what they need before getting back to the action. A handy “quick map” of controls as featured on most game demos would also be appreciated. Granted, this takes more effort on the part of developers to facilitate the option, but using controller templates for every console is sure to save some economies.

4. Always let players skip cut scenes no matter how important they are to the story.

What a predicament cut scenes create. As a designer, you want all your hard work to be acknowledged, even the cut scenes. Sadly, interactive entertainment is the name of the game, and it always comes first. That’s why gamers play these things. So rather than assume every player wants to watch your story-telling chops, allow them to bypass cut scenes, tutorials, and even speed up the showing of logos when a game boots up. Tell your story through engaging gameplay, and you’ll easily be remembered and praised regardless of what you accomplished in a cut scene, tutorial, or start screen branding.

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