The “seven rule” originates from a paper published in 1956 by Princeton University’s cognitive psychologist George A. Miller. In the paper the author concludes that the average human can hold only about seven different objects in working memory. Although this may be true, it doesn’t apply to picking from a number of options, because you don’t have to keep all the options in working memory. You merely have to look through them and pick the first one that seems like it would bring you closer to your goal. This behavior is called satisficing, a term coined by psychologist Herbert Simon in 1956. Instead of comparing all available options in order to find the perfect choice, most people will simply pick the first option that seems sufficiently satisfying.

In The Paradox of Choice, however, Barry Schwartz notes that some people are “maximizers”—those who try to find the best possible solution, rather than the first suitable one. What’s more, although most people can cope with a large number of choices, many don’t like doing so. Schwartz writes that “a large array of options may discourage consumers because it forces an increase in the effort that goes into making a decision.”
navigation  conversion  ux  psychology  IA 
4 days ago
Don’t optimize for the fewest number of clicks
"A great user interface is not one where each goal can be reached with the smallest number of clicks possible, or where the user has to pick from only a small number of choices at each step, but one where each individual click is as obvious as possible. […] As long as users feel that they are getting closer to their goal with each step, they don’t mind drilling down into a deep hierarchy."


"In mobile, tap quality is far more important than tap quantity. As long as each tap delivers satisfaction, extra taps are good. Taps invite conversation—give and take—that you can get at and explore. Building meaningful click sequences are a form of progressive disclosure that helps you uncomplicate complexity."
usability  conversion  mobile  ux  interaction  interactiondesign 
4 days ago
‘Plussing’ – How Pixar Transforms Critiquing into Creating
Rather than randomly critique a sketch or shoot down an idea, the general rule is that you may only criticize an idea if you also add a constructive suggestion. Hence the name plussing.
process  design  critique 
4 days ago
Glen Maddern: Interoperable CSS
A CSS standard for the Loader Age
15 days ago
A CSS Module is a CSS file in which all class names and animation names are scoped locally by default. All URLs (url(...)) and @imports are in module request format (./xxx and ../xxx means relative, xxx and xxx/yyy means in modules folder, i. e. in node_modules).
css  javascript 
15 days ago
lazysizes - the ultimate lazyloader for responsive images, iframes and widget
lazySizes is the ultimate and lightweight lazyLoader which lazy loads images (including responsive images (picture/srcset)), iframes and scripts. It is written in VanillaJS and with high performance in mind.

Simply add the JS to your website and put the class lazyload to all elements, which should be lazy loaded. For a short API description go to the
javascript  lazyload  RWD  performance 
19 days ago
Design Tools at Instagram — Medium
Here’s the best one: we have a script that let’s us query for a specific hashtag, user or location and fill in our layers with the results. It now takes seconds to build out a mock of a user profile with real data as opposed to 15–20 minutes
instagram  photoshop  prototyping  product  process  data 
21 days ago
Modern Design Tools: Using Real Data
"Using real data has been invaluable especially when it comes to user testing. If you’re working on an existing product, being able to test new designs with a real user with their real data yields an order of magnitude better insights and feedback. Something as simple as passing in a user ID, or having them authenticate their account and pulling a sampling of data allows users to react beyond the surface level of a design, and give profoundly better feedback about the viability and usability of a feature."
prototyping  data  framer  mobile  product  interactiondesign 
21 days ago
A New Yorker walks into a San Francisco start up… — Medium
Designers will do anything to convince themselves we are not in a service industry. Why are we so desperate to make ourselves feel better? Because we feel GUILTY and we have to reconcile what we do professionally with the world we live in. We WANT to save the world so we repeat our daily affirmations on our way to work
25 days ago
Rallly - Collaborative Scheduling
Rallly lets you and your friends vote on a date to host an event
calendars  collaboration 
27 days ago
Digital Academy: Understanding the problem | DWP digital
“Your job is to help your team ship the right product to your users. Your job is to figure out who your users are, what they want to be able to do, and what the right products are to help them do that.
You’ll need to spend time with the people who are going to use your product and watch them do whatever it is they do. Your goal is to both understand them and empathise with them.”


Start by writing a short research plan. Keep this simple, but include:

1. a summary of what you want to learn (use bullet points for any key questions you need to answer)

2. a set of opened-ended questions you can use when talking to people (don’t include more than 10 questions – these should help you focus on what you want to learn, acting more as prompts, rather than like ‘survey’ questions).
When you talk to people, let the conversation flow rather than sticking rigidly to your plan. The most difficult skill to master is giving people the space to talk without interrupting them (this is harder than you think).

As you start to learn you’ll want to make adjustments to your initial set of questions, so don’t be afraid to do this as you go along.

Most importantly, make sure that you don’t ask people questions about their preferences – we’re interested in what they do, rather than their opinions.


Most importantly, take time out to write down key observations or quotes. It’s a good idea to use post-it notes so you can stick up observations in your project space to discuss with your team.


It’s not about how much research you do, it’s about how well you understand the needs of your users.
research  govuk  testing  userresearch  product  empathy 
4 weeks ago
Doing user research in the discovery phase | User research
We need to observe and talk to our potential customers to understand the real problems they’re having. That’ll show us what their needs are. It’s important to note that needs can be functional _and_ emotional — things that people need to do (like get legal help) and things that people are feeling (stressed, anxious, needing reassurance). Understanding both types of needs is key to building services so good that people choose to use them, and are able to use them without assistance.

There’s no substitute for talking to real people. We need to go to the source and discover (not just validate) their needs. We are not our users, so we can’t think like them unless we’re meeting them regularly. Any user needs we invent ourselves are just assumptions.

Understanding user needs will result in a service that delivers value to people more quickly, is easier to market, less error prone, and cheaper to run.

We want to speak to 6-8 people of each ‘type’ of user of our product — going to where they are to find out the context of their situation, what they’re doing, and what they’re feeling. The output of this process shouldn’t be a report or presentation. It should be a team exercise — everyone should see at least 2 interviews. Journey maps and user stories are good ways to document research.

Doing user research to understand your users will help make sure you design the right thing, before you start worrying about designing it the right way.
userresearch  product  ux  govuk 
5 weeks ago
We need to talk about user needs | User research
We need to observe and talk to our potential customers to understand the real problems they’re having. That’ll show us what their needs are. It’s important to note that needs can be functional _and_ emotional — things that people need to do (like get legal help) and things that people are feeling (stressed, anxious, needing reassurance). Understanding both types of needs is key to building services so good that people choose to use them, and are able to use them without assistance.

There’s no substitute for talking to real people. We need to go to the source and discover (not just validate) their needs. We are not our users, so we can’t think like them unless we’re meeting them regularly. Any user needs we invent ourselves are just assumptions.

Understanding user needs will result in a service that delivers value to people more quickly, is easier to market, less error prone, and cheaper to run.
design  userresearch  product  startups  govuk 
5 weeks ago
How do you create a product people want to buy? | Unicornfree with Amy Hoy: Creating And Selling Your Own Products
"Who am I serving?
What do they need/want, and are ready to buy?
How can I reach them and persuade them?"
product  research  startups 
5 weeks ago
Optimising and formatting SVG code in the browser
5 weeks ago
Show the rendered SVG to the right of the current editor, refreshed live.
5 weeks ago
Camp Digital 2015 - Why design matters // Speaker Deck
“When a solution helps users navigate something inherently complex, we prevent our product becoming complicated”

“The job of designers is to help our teams, and ultimately our users, navigate complexity”

“Insights should feel simple because they are simple. They should also provocative — this is what makes them actionable.”
ux  design  process  lean  userresearch  presentations  benholliday  freeagent 
5 weeks ago
text-rendering: optimizeLegibility is Decadent and Depraved - Bocoup
"All this typographic power came with a cost: text-rendering: optimizeLegibility is slow—and by “slow,” I mean that it can bog down an entire page, from initial render time to repaints. More than that, though, it’s buggy: Android in particular has serious issues trying to render a page that uses optimizeLegibility heavily, especially the older versions that are still, sadly, very common today."
typography  performance  browsers 
6 weeks ago
SaaS KPIs & more
A curated selection of some of my most popular posts on SaaS metrics and related topics.
product  startups  business  metrics  saas 
6 weeks ago
Ben Barry
"One thing, which is less relevant now that I’m freelancing, but was very important when I was at Facebook was managing my time. Being a maker, I had to block off, and be very protective, of time to actually work and make things without distractions. I kept a schedule where Monday and Friday I was available for meetings, and Friday morning I had open office hours. Tuesday and Thursday I was in the office, but my calendar was blocked off so I could work on whatever I needed to, and Wednesdays I worked from my desk at home so I could be in a distraction free environment."
work  process  meetings  culture  scheduling  facebook 
6 weeks ago
Tool for generating a customised SVG sprite (inc HTML/JS) based on stock selection of icons
svg  icons 
6 weeks ago
Reactive Design
Collection of design insights about perceived speed.
6 weeks ago
Podcast: Peter Merholz Talks Product Design
"A recognition that design isn’t the end all, be all of the work to be done. There’s a recognition and an appreciation for understanding the business context in which the design work is happening. An engagement with the technical capabilities and constraints. Not every designer has that interest, right? A lot of designers love the craft of design and want to do design design, and that’s great. But then you find other designers who tend to think a little more systemically and feel their designs are better when they understand the business and technical constraints. Those designers tend to be the ones who then become product managers."


"I still think there’s more value to be iterating in a prototyping, internal mode when you can iterate more quickly, and you’re still feeling your way forward, than trying to ship something sooner and iterate in public. With a lean model you can ship your first build sooner, but it will take you longer to ship the right build. There’s a balance to be struck. It’s a failing if you spend too much time in the earlier kind of definition phase, exploring ideas and concepts, the market can move before you’re done."


"Back when I started doing this type of stuff 20 years ago, design teams were essentially internal services firms, like you had an agency internally. Designers would get farmed out to work on a project, and then they’d come back to the centralized design team and then wait for the next project and get farmed out again.

The problem with that model is it reduces design to an execution function."


"As design is being taken more seriously, particularly in tech companies, design has become embedded in product teams. The example I used in my talk is this idea of the e-commerce experience. You’ll have a product or feature team dedicated to search and browse, and another one dedicated to the product page, and another one dedicated to reviews, and another one dedicated to the checkout flow.

Those teams will have three, four, five, six engineers, usually one product manager, and one designer. The good thing about that model, is you have a designer on that team, dedicated to that team, so that team respects the contributions of the designer. The problem with that model, is that the designer is working on their own, usually not coordinating with the other designers. The people they work with most are non-designers, who don’t understand them, don’t think like them, don’t speak the same professional language. They get lonely. I’ve heard that from folks throughout my career who found themselves in this environment."


"When I give this talk, I use Facebook as an example but I haven’t done it recently. Years ago though, you clicked on the left hand nav of your Facebook newsfeed, to get into Photos or Messenger. Each of those products within Facebook, apart from the blue and Arial, is totally different in its design. Some have left hand navigation. Some have top navigation. The orientation of what’s in the middle is different, how you interact with it is different. There’s no systemic cohesion, and that can be okay for Facebook, if they’re approaching themselves as a portfolio of products. Maybe people are dipping into one or two, by and large and ignoring the rest, that could be okay. In an experience like Groupon, or any e-commerce app, where you’re leading people through a flow very purposefully, you have to make sure it’s coherent."

The centralized partnership, is trying to combine the best of both worlds. At Groupon the whole design team was centralized under me, as the head of design. When I started there were about 30, when I left there were about 60. The 60 people were broken up into roughly 10 teams, so anywhere from 5-7 folks per team. But those teams were dedicated to specific parts of the product e.g a consumer platform team that worked on anything that every Groupon user would touch.

We also had lines of business. We had the Local line of business, that’s about the daily deals, going out, restaurants and spas and all that stuff. We had the Goods business which is more traditional e-commerce business, and then Getaways, which was a travel business. They had dedicated design teams as well, because there’s things that are specific to them, and then this platform business was responsible for the stuff that is common to everyone. There was also a set of product teams that worked on stuff that we just determined was platform. Like what we called “funnel optimization”, which is essentially the checkout flow.

The best of both worlds meant, this team of people, this team of six or seven people, was consistently working against these six or seven products. These six or seven platform people would never work on a Getaways product team. We wouldn’t cross those lines. So you had that degree of commitment and engagement that you want from the embedded designer, people who understand the full life cycle of that part of the product and are deeply wedded to it. But by being part of a team, by not embedding someone in the funnel optimization team and someone in the user-generated content team, and someone in the personalization team who weren’t talking to each other, by being one order above that, we ensured that there was consistency across those product teams.

The product teams were meant to be these autonomous forces pulling in all directions as they saw fit, and then the design team was this counter balance that was meant to kind of cohere that effort and make sure it wasn’t going off in too chaotic and too fractured a mode.

Key to making the centralized partnership work is design leadership. You know, I was a VP, 20 years experience. I inherited 13 product designers who were all in their mid-20s, who were just kind of pinging around the organization like pinballs. What I spent much of my first nine months doing, was recruiting and hiring design managers and design directors that I could form these teams around.

These design directors, they became this kind of crucial leverage point within, not just design, but within the organization. They would manage down to get the most out of the team, manage across, work cross functionally with the director of product management, director of engineering and manage up and make sure the executives and senior stakeholders understood what was going on. Before I had those leaders, I would have a 25 year old product designer talking to a 35 year old product manager with 10-15 years experience, maybe an MBA, and then some dude who’s, you know, a hot shot designer but not a lot of experience, not a lot of gravitas to bring to conversations. I don’t know if this is a fair analogy, but basically it led to an unfair fight. The designer would just basically do what the product manager said because they didn’t have the ability to meaningfully push back.

By bringing in design leadership who could engage those product managers as peers, that allowed us to drive design thinking back into the product more actively."


"Well, what’s happened is companies have recognized a different order of the value of design. To the degree to which businesses understood the value of design, it was from an execution function. It was to stay on brand. It was to be appealing, to be stylish, to differentiate yourself. But it wasn’t as a key strategic contributor to whatever it is that business is doing. Essentially with the ascendency of Apple, and a bunch of other factors, that has changed. Businesses have begun to realize design is a core competency for any business that has customers, i.e. any business. Design delivers a type of value different from what other functions were delivering so they’re all building in-house design teams."


"There are things that in-house teams, particularly in-house Silicon Valley product tech teams, could learn from agency work and have either chosen to ignore or don’t know about. Things such as user research and personas, prototyping and visions and sketch workshops and all of that, that could make in-house design better. But in-house design can get so caught up in ship-ship-ship-ship-ship-ship-ship, that it loses sight of that ability to pull back and frame the problem, not just try to solve the problem."


"So these big management consulting firms have all caught design religion, and are building design practices, and I am sure they are charging two to three times for that exact same design work that Adaptive Path was doing, but they’re now applying it in these different modes. They’re doing it top down, and they’re doing the Lord’s work from a design standpoint, because they are influencing the highest level of strategy within these organizations.

Then for the more kind of execution-oriented design work, the challenge that agencies are facing is, it’s not just about a boatload of wireframes and then a boatload of mockups, and shipping that to someone. I recently did a podcast interview with some friends of mine who have a small consultancy in Austin called Funsize, and they basically approach agency design in an agile way. They are doing two week sprints, they’re working side by side with their clients. Which is not at all how I worked in a design firm before, but if you’re on that end where you’re helping people execute and ship, those design agencies are having to change how they work, and the relationships they have with their clients. So you’re seeing this kind of bifurcation happen from an agency standpoint where you’re either going way upstream or you’re in the trenches. Whatever that middle thing was? That’s what’s evaporated."
product  process  agile  prototyping  lean  startups  design  teams  agencies  management 
6 weeks ago
The Redesign of the Design Process — Medium
"Innovative designs don’t happen because of a single smart person who drives everything the team does. Innovation happens when the team creates an environment where small, powerful ideas can float to the top."


"Executing user research is a well-understood process. Integrating user research effectively into the design process is something many teams fail at. The best teams are quite intentional about their process of fitting what they’ve learned into what they already understand."

The user researcher’s role has changed. It used to be about running studies. Now it’s about growing the team’s understanding of their users.

In this new role, the user researcher still needs to run a high-quality study. However, the real emphasis is to truly understand what the team thinks about their users. Then, using their well-adapted toolbox of user research techniques, they identify where that thinking is faulty. In time, a great UX researcher guides the team to a more accurate understanding of the user, which means design innovations are more likely to emerge."


"Designing useful meetings has huge implications for the team. It means they need to think of their own experiences as something they have to design for. They need to collect successful “patterns” of meeting activities, just like they’d collect up interaction patterns for their designs, so they have a full toolbox of ways to make the meetings über-productive. Meeting facilitation is now a core skill for successful designers."
process  design  collaboration  product  jaredspool  agile  lean  userresearch 
6 weeks ago
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