Boxes and Arrows

Boxes and Arrows is devoted to the practice, innovation, and discussion of design; including graphic design, interaction design, information architecture and the design of business.

Latest articles

We are a community

Message from the publishers As a native Texan in the Pacific Northwest, and a transplant Texan from Southern California, we are very aware of the significance of today’s date: Juneteenth. And we celebrate its significance and reflect on what it means to us. We’re left asking ourselves how we can be better allies. We know we haven’t done enough....

Taking Research out of the Lab

To date, usability testing has been largely confined to usability labs. This ensures a controlled environment where users can interact with products or designs and researchers can field questions. The downside of this is not being able to get the context of use of what you are testing. But a recent project for a life science organization cemented the...

Focus on Usage Maturity: Part II

Meet Users Where They Are, Draw Them Deeper In If we want users to remain our users, we ought to entice them deeper into our design ecosystem. Attempts to extend or expand users’ usage, frequently results in designs complicated by added features, and functions. My user experience research has informed digital and physical designs...

Information Architecture Expert Panel – Part One

The Structure of Complexity With the 2020 events for World IA Day (est. 2012) and the IA Conference (est. as IA Summit in 2000) approaching, the team here at Boxes and Arrows is taking this opportunity to highlight the importance of Information Architecture (IA). We reached out to some pillars of the IA community to ask them for their thoughts...

An Out of the Box Rebranding

Just before the 2020 new year, we decided it was a good time to refresh the Boxes and Arrows brand identity, a time to start a fresh decade with a fresh logo. And, after a few weeks at the drawing board, we’re liking the results.    To us, the new, dynamic, and pleasingly symmetrical icon—a box made of arrows—represents...

Focus on Usage Maturity: Usage Maturity Matrix

Usage Maturity Matrix for a CRM systemFunctional priorities for:Beginning usage maturityProficient usage maturityAdvanced Usage maturitySign in(Assumes all functional priorities of prior level)(Assumes all functional priorities of prior level)Search for and find existing customerPlace customer into contact campaignLocate, merge and cull duplicate recordsAdd...

Focus on Usage Maturity

Focus on Usage Maturity: Part IDesigning for All Users by Starting at the BeginningFar too often, products are designed to meet the needs of the typical user. As a user experience researcher, I’m always cautious about defining the “typical user” for any of the digital or physical products I work on. My UX research has included work on business processes,...

_ pause _

In the spring of 2002, Christina Wodtke and David Bloxom had a three-buck-chuck infused afternoon and came up with Boxes and Arrows.That kid is now 17 and, like a teenager heading off to college, Boxes and Arrows — and, more importantly, its staff of three — is going to take a little time to think about things to come. This means migrating our hosting,...

Don’t Send Personal Messages Through LinkedIn (Unless You Want People to Hate You)

Looking through my parents’ storage boxes, I found letters that my mother and father sent one another prior to my existence. This unfathomable world was decades away from mobile phones, public internet connectivity, and social networking. Along with explanations of humorous or ordinary everyday episodes and proclamations of love, the letters included...

Design Leadership for Introverts

How introverted designers and design leaders can operate successfully in a world where the extrovert ideal is desired. IntroductionIn Susan Cain’s 2012 Ted Talk, “The Power of Introverts,” she said that we live in a world where the extrovert ideal is desired. As a leader in design, this certainly feels true for me. When people paint a picture of what...

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