Author: Joseph Dickerson

What computer programs do mobile app designers use?

Whatever app works best for the person creating the design. I’ve used A LOT of design tools in my life, and looking on the list of tools out there I dare say I’ve used or tried a majority of them. After many many months of use, I can tell you what works for me… Usually. Read More

Lessons in UX: “Ego-driven design”

“Look at me. Look at me, look at me, look at me!” – Laurie Anderson One of the major topics of discussion on tech news sites and discussion boards recently has been the launch – one could call it “failed” launch – of the new “social photography” app for the iPhone called Color. I won’t Read More

Lessons in UX: You are probably wrong

I am a very very strong advocate of usability testing of UI designs (note to self – add an extra ‘very’ into that sentence). It helps you validate that users can understand the interface you are presenting them, it gives you insight into the mental model of how users approach the task you are designing, Read More

Presentation: Designing the mobile experience

Presented at Mobile Camp OZ this past weekend, here’s my presentation on designing the mobile experience: Designing the mobile experience View more presentations from Joseph Dickerson Read More

How do you articulate and demonstrate the actual business value of your UX designs?

It's tricky, but a key success metric is and always shall be one thing: money. Did the design, when implemented, save the company money (by reducing costs) or make the company money (by increasing sales of an item). I have found if you don't have "baseline" data to compare the new status quo you implement Read More

Is it better to design from scratch or to stick to ‘familiar iOS conventions’?

It depends on what you are designing, and how far 'outside of the box' you want to go. My design team is in the process of doing the design for a cross-platform mobile app, so we can't rely on the UI conventions of just iOs… We have to create an app that will work on Read More

Is a UX Architect just ‘half’ a Designer?

Interesting questions since my current job is… (checking) a UX Architect for a Fortune 500 company. I'm reminded of a joke from the classic Woody Allen movie Love and Death: Girl: I'm half saint, half whore.Woody: Let's hope it's the half that eats. What do I do? Well, my primary job is to set and Read More

Can the film production process teach the agile world how to make software?

I've written articles and presentations around leveraging ideas and techniques from moviemaking in the software development process, and my honest reaction to this question is… No. Moviemaking is definitely a collaborative process, but it is also one that is driven by the vision of a screenwriter and/or a director… You start with a story, and Read More

What tools and processes do you use to prepare wireframes and other interaction design documents for iPhone applications?

There are two aspects of the question: one is around tools (“what tool do you/should you use?”) and the secondary question is around process (“how do you go about using your tools?”) I’ll answer the second question first and then the first, second… The key to starting your design process is simple: know what you Read More

Lessons in UX: How businesses should use social networks

A colleague and I were discussing social networks and how businesses should work and/engage with them and I realized I’ve never actually written my thoughts on the topic down. Hence, this post. Years ago, I did ethnographic research for AT&T around their stores in order to explore what features should be put in a new Read More

What are some good ways to plan a UX project?

A primary thing I would find out is who the client’s customers are. Are they middle-class housewives? Gen Y hipsters? If you don’t have an understanding of who the customers are then you will have a hard time designing a solution for them. Once you know who the customers are, do some research. Interview people Read More

What did Dieter Rams mean when he said “good design is honest”?

I think he means that good design aligns with the materials used and is straightforward about it’s purpose. A coffee pot isn’t made of wax paper, it’s made of materials that support the heat and liquids that you put through it. And a good coffee maker isn’t trying to do anything more than it’s intended Read More

What are some arguments against user experience testing?

This is an interesting question. "What are arguments against user experience testing?" My initial response is that there are existing patterns that users are accustomed to, that if you make the controls and experience align to those patterns, you will not need to test such designs with users – they know it already and so Read More

What should an ideal User Experience Design lab have?

I’ve set up a couple of usability labs in my time, so I’ll give you some of my advice/lessons learned in that space. First the practical – get lots of wall space. I mean LOTS of wall space. Almost all the experience designers I have worked with love to use wall space to throw up Read More

How would you describe your user experience design philosophy in one sentence?

Help people live better lives, by letting them do what they want to do quickly and easily… And solve problems for them, sometimes problems they never even knew they had. See question on Quora Read More

Do Apple do user study or usability testing on its products at all?

No evidence, I'm afraid (I aspire to be a good enough UX designer that someday I MAY be good enough to work for Apple) but I can offer a couple of observations that, as Sherlock Holmes might state, leads one to believe that they very much engage in user testing. First, a colleague of mine Read More

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