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UX Reality Check: 14 Hard Truths About Users

UX Reality Check: 14 Hard Truths About Users

  • May 27, 2016

It can be hard for designers to take a step back and look at an app or website through users’ eyes. Here’s where to start.

After any amount of time in the design industry, you’ll most certainly hear someone refer to users as “dumb.” People talk about having to “dumb down” interfaces, design for “the lowest common denominator,” and try to make applications “idiot-proof.”

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Why Hiring Usability Experts Can Save Your Bacon, And Bottom Line

Why Hiring Usability Experts Can Save Your Bacon, and Bottom Line

  • April 29, 2016

If you haven’t already incorporated usability into your product design process, you might wonder why it is necessary. After all, it’s certainly possible to release a working, bug-free product without performing any usability work at all. But incorporating user-centered design principles can lead to a much-improved product in several areas. 

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Games User Research: What’s Different?

Games User Research: What’s Different?

  • March 21, 2016

Summary: Game testing researches the notion of fun. Compared with mainstream UX studies, it involves many more users and relies more on biometrics and custom software. The most striking findings from the Games User Research Summit were the drastic age and gender differences in motivation research.

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Dragon Front Is A Hearthstone-Like Card Game Built For Virtual Reality

Dragon Front Is a Hearthstone-Like Card Game Built for Virtual Reality

  • March 1, 2016

A game that rethinks the first-person VR approach

Virtual reality has traditionally been about transporting you to new worlds and making you believe you’re really there. It’s the immersion element, known as “presence” in industry lingo, that makes VR feel like magic. So it was refreshing to see Dragon Front, a new VR game in development for the Oculus Rift, take the approach in an entirely different direction. 

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The Edges

The Edges

  • February 29, 2016

Now that Cooper has an office in New York, we find ourselves using video conferencing much more than previously. I attend three recurring video conference meetings every week, plus several ad hoc ones. Just about every meeting involves technical difficulties, delay, confusion, and dissatisfaction for all the parties participating. 

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The Climb: The Most Head-Spinning Virtual Reality Experience Yet

The Climb: The Most Head-Spinning Virtual Reality Experience Yet

  • December 30, 2015

Crytek’s new project for the Oculus Rift shows us exactly where VR gaming is going – towards heady and experiential gameplay

Above you, the craggy face of the cliff seems to stretch up endlessly toward the sky, offering perilously few footholds. In the far distance there’s a small village by a beach, bathed in orange sunshine – an exotic idyll. But below you there is … nothing. Nothing but a long deadly drop into the crashing sea far below. Your only option is to keep climbing. 

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The Extra Effort For Great UX

The Extra Effort for Great UX

  • December 7, 2015

One of the best books I’ve ever read on User Experiences is titled “The Elements of User Experience” written by Jesse James Garrett. In the book, he begins by telling the story of a man who wakes up and wonders why his alarm clock never went off. He goes to make coffee, but struggles with the coffeemaker. On his way to work, he stops for gas, but can’t get his credit card to work and has to stand in a long line to pay. When he is finally on his way, he is detoured due to an accident and arrives far later than he ever anticipated. He ends up irritated, sweaty, and lacking a much needed cup of coffee. 

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Good UX Is Good Business: How To Reap Its Benefits

Good UX Is Good Business: How To Reap Its Benefits

  • December 2, 2015

User experience (UX) design focuses on enhancing user satisfaction by improving how we interact with the websites, applications and devices in our lives. In other words, UX makes complex things easy to use.

While the term “UX” is relatively new, the concept of user-friendly design has been around for generations. “Good design is good business,” the second president of IBM, Thomas J. Watson, famously told Wharton students in 1973. “We are convinced,” he said, “that good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential.” 

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