Design Solutions

Common design problems and how to solve them.

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Iterative Design in Action

We always talk about design being iterative, but so often we only see the end result and not the many steps it took to get there. Often the end result looks simple and obvious, like it could have been designed in minutes. But simple and obvious is usually very hard to get to. A bottom tab bar is hardly a revolutionary concept, but Facebook took 6 years...

Which Input When?

The inputs we interact with in real life follow some pretty basic rules, and we can get really confused if they don’t. If you’re trying to manipulate the temperature of a tap, for instance, only the range slider input makes sense. But if you were trying to manipulate the temperature of your kettle, it’d be best to use the steppers on the right. ...

Goldilocks and Form Validation

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Goldilocks. She went for a surf on the web - visiting three websites in succession, and filling out a form on each website. Too Slow Goldilocks visited the first website and filled out a form. She reached the end of the form, with no errors, and proudly pressed Submit. The page completely reloaded,...

Prototypes: From Low to High Fidelity

Prototyping is one of the most important aspects of design. It allows us a chance to test out concepts quickly and easily, without going through the entire development process each time. We can experiment with wild ideas early on, and be confident that the ideas that eventually make it to production are tried and true. The movement from low- to high-fidelity...

Which Input When?

The inputs we interact with in real life follow some pretty basic rules, and we can get really confused if they don’t. If you’re trying to manipulate the temperature of a tap, for instance, only the range slider input makes sense. But if you were trying to manipulate the temperature of your kettle, it’d be best to use the steppers on the right. ...

Affordance (for Overflowing Content)

When we observe how users interact with our designs, we’re often surprised by their behaviour. They don’t seem to understand aspects of the design that are obvious to us, and react in ways that we struggle to predict. When we design, we have a clear mental model of the layout in our minds. We see not just the 2D pixels that are visible on-screen,...

Encouraging Users to Upload Photos

In the last post, we covered how to create beautiful placeholder avatars. Now let’s focus on the other half of the problem - encouraging our users to actually upload a display photo. Reasons and rewards Whenever you’re asking something of a user, it’s always helpful to give them a reason (why the user should give the data) and a reward (what benefits...

Placeholder Avatars

One problem that pops up in almost any product that has user login is that of avatars. Your design mocks look great with smiling photos of Robert Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson, but the reality is that not only will most display photos be of poorer quality, but the majority of your users probably won’t upload one at all. With and without user-uploaded...

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