Prioritize the Design Experience

This goes for all products and services. Design is not just one phase of a project or one step in a process. It’s critical to the entire project and everything related to a product or service.

Design is everything.

“Prioritize the design experience. Too often we’ve seen enterprise companies that leave design as the last step in an attempt to add some polish. Instead, put it up front and integrate it into the entire process.”

Building For The Enterprise — The Zero Overhead Principle | TechCrunch

Design For How the Brain Functions

Great article on UX (at Smashing Magzine) from Charles Hannon.

We should not be held to existing patterns just because the human brain prefers it. But we can design according to our developing understanding of how the brain functions.

This is simple, really. We need to better understand the primary receiver that we’re transmitting to: the human brain, and adjust to it as it evolves. Otherwise, we have no clue what kinds of signals to transmit to make sure our message is received.

I recall a keynote from Dr. John Medina in which he highlighted how very little we actually know about the human brain. But we’re learning more at an increasing pace. We need to use that information to improve communication, learning, design.

We can progress gradually, building on fundamental elements of existing designs so that new interaction designs retain enough of the old that our brains still recognize them.

We’re seeing this with mobile navigation. Which navigation pattern should we use? Which icon do we use? The brain never really needed an icon for a menu until smart phones came to be. We can introduce something new, but in most cases, we need to relate it to something old and familiar.

Most importantly, we need to understand the brain (as much as possible), and how it functions, in order to design for it.

(via Judy)

Mobile Now, Not Later

In case you missed it, this is a great recap of Luke W‘s “Mobile To The Future” presentation by Jeffrey Zeldman. I had the pleasure of seeing Luke present at Penn State Web 2012. I’m happy to see Zeldman’s thoughts on the matter. It’s a great post. I’ve read it three times.

In summary:

Dump the “start from desktop” mindset. Start from what mobile can do.

Mobile is a massive new mass medium.

Designing for it today forces us to adapt and optimize our solutions.

Designing for mobile moves us toward the future (but we need device APIs to make it work).