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User Experience

The process of creating meaningful and relevant experiences.
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Windows github.com

Fancy Zones is an envious tiling window manager for Windows

Fancy Zones is a window manager that is designed to make it easy to arrange and snap windows into efficient layouts for your workflow and also to restore these layouts quickly. Fancy Zones allows the user to define a set of window locations for a desktop that are drag targets for windows. When the user drags a window into a zone, the windows is resized and repositioned to fill that zone. I want this in my life. Anybody know of a similar tool for macOS?

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Erik Kennedy learnui.design

4 rules for intuitive UX

Erik Kennedy is back to give developers (and other folks who aren’t steeped in UX) some actionable advice on how to make interfaces more usable. This is my advice on improving the UX of your designs WITHOUT hours of user research sessions, paper prototyping playtime, or any other trendy UX buzzwords. When I started as a professional UX designer, I was shocked how many times my clients would hand me the initial wireframes (or the living, breathing, in-browser MVP) and there’d be completely obvious UX mistakes all over them. I’m not talking about things you need hours of research and A/B testing to discover. I’m talking, like, dead simple mistakes.

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Tobias van Schneider vanschneider.com

Content or design first?

This is a thoughtful look at the relationship between content and design, and some steps that designers can take to better work with copywriters. We all know designers and copywriters should not work in silos. We know design and copy should inform each other, rather than one being retrofitted to the other. This is especially true for UX writing, which must work in tandem with design to do its job well. Effective collaboration between design and content, however, is easier said than done. The author goes on to lay out some ideas to improve collaboration, mostly from the standpoint of the designer, but honestly I think a lot of these same ideas are important for developers. And you can extend it further by saying “don’t use placeholder copy for user generated content”.

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Chrome web.dev

The Layout Instability API

I know I’m not the only one who gets super annoyed by content jumping around while I’m reading it - and I’d never intentionally create that experience for my users. But sometimes you just don’t know how your code behaves “in the wild”, and you can’t exactly ride-along with every user. The Layout Instability API aims to address this issue: How a site functions in development is often quite different from how users experience it in production: personalized or third-party content often doesn’t behave the same in development as it does in production, test images are often already in the developer’s browser cache, and API calls that run locally are often so fast that the delay isn’t noticeable. The first step toward properly solving this problem is to give developers the tools to measure it and understand how often it’s occurring for real users. The Layout Instability API, currently being incubated in the WICG, aims to address this.

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Phil Hawksworth CSS-Tricks

Roll your own lazy loading

Even though there’s a promise of native lazy loading with the launch of Chrome 75, between now, then, and the time period for the other browsers to adopt it as well, we have to continue developing our own lazy loading implementations using JavaScript. From Phil Hawksworth on CSS Tricks: In this post, we’ll look at an implementation that’s already been covered in brief detail in this post by Preerhi. We’re going to expand on that so you can add your own implementation of lazy loading to your site site as I’ve done on this little demo site. Phil covers these topics… The HTML markup for lazy loading Spotting when to load images with Intersection Observer Adding support for responsive images with picture and source elements Creating an attractive initial state with small images and CSS Mass-producing image assets Creating helpers to generate the required HTML

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Gaming gamasutra.com

Celia Hodent on ethical game design

This Q+A with Celia Hodent, former Fortnite UX Lead, is quite enlightening when considering game design, engagement, and addiction as it relates to massively successful games like Fortnite. My latest GDC talk was about ethics in the video game industry, and I talked about addiction. These are the things we don’t think about when we make a game because—you’re so lucky when a game is working and it’s making money, and it’s not canceled, and your studio isn’t shutting down. So we don’t necessarily think about the other side of it. And to be fair, most games don’t have that high-engagement problem. It’s only when it’s super successful that you can afford to consider “oh, maybe we need to think about this game a bit differently.”

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