Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2016

Why People Don't Scroll Horizontally

I was working on Susan Weinshenk's 100 MORE Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People  over the weekend. She has a page about scrolling. What surprised me was that she said people will swipe horizontally and we all know they really don't like scrolling horizontally. This particular issue has been coming up at my work, lately. We have some people who believe that some users are used to working in long tables because either they work in very large Excel spreadsheets or their job role is something to do with accounting. While there may be some users who are used to having to do the scroll left-right, I'm convinced that for most users, we should avoid it at most costs. Even in Excel they've tried to make it easier by adding the ability to hide columns. This entry in Susan's book left me wondering, huh? I know I have no problems swiping horizontally and I don't really think about it any more, but I hate scrolling left-right. So, why? I physically started

"You're Not the User!"

It's the battle cry of all UXers: "You are not the user!" I couldn't possibly count the number of times the UXers at my company have sat around the table complaining about someone who blatantly considered themselves the user and they were to us soooo obviously not the user. Why didn't they see it? One time while I conducted a design workshop with my team. As part of my initial presentation, I had a slide that was that single statement: Remember, you are not the user. I had a manager pipe up, "But John is a user!" John was one of our business representatives. "He's been doing the job for years." I had to back pedal. You can't not recognize someone's experience especially when they're in upper management. This was my first realization that people don't take our battle cry very well, especially in the enterprise world. Many people who work in management have come up from our branches. Even the CEO at my company started

Design Review versus Design Critique: Take Control!

I don’t know about you, but I hate design reviews. I finish up a bit of work and then I have to present it to the project team. “Wouldn’t that be better if you moved that down there?” “I don’t like that.”  "It should be just like _______." (Several of us call this JLO or "jello".) And of course we have the occasional business owner who thinks they’re a designer. I have grown a very thick skin. Add on top of it that in Agile, you have very, very little time to get design done. There is no backlog of completed design work. We’re lucky if we have a couple days to get requirements and design before dev is ready to work. So any rework is a major issue. As the sole designer I’m holding up the team or worse the developers will start without me. So getting design right without rework is a major issue. But then once you’re pretty sure about your work, the last thing you want is someone to walk into a design review and blow up your work so that you have to completely sta

How UX Creates Business Value in the Enterprise

My company is a bottom-up UX company. We don’t have an upper UX manager, so we ourselves have to evangelize UX up to the top. In my group, I was the only UX designer for several years. And then there was two. As the lead I wanted to give our small but growing team some goals. As we talked, we realized that part of the problem we have is that we don’t know how to talk about ourselves to business in a language they understand. We wanted to create an elevator sales pitch for talking to executives. But really we hadn’t really ever listed out what UX can do for the business. I started by researching. We do know what we do from a business perspective, but how often do you sit down and really think about it or name it. I had most of them on my list, but have you ever thought part of your work limits company liability?  (Research is good.) So here is the statement that I came up with about how UX or good design creates business value as a starting place. Why good design? Because that is