UXperts Weigh In: Designs We Love, July Edition
July is a great month for taking photos. It’s also a great month to learn a new skill, do some good, and/or tweet about all of the above. No matter what you’re up to, our UXperts have some great suggestions for you. Here are the websites and apps they’re loving right now, and their thoughts on why they make excellent examples of UX design.
Paul Elsberg, Creative Developer at Alt Ethos
Pick: The Bézier Game
In an ecosystem of online tutorials littered with lengthy explanations and follow the leader videos, artful instructional design is a breath of fresh air. Playing The Bézier Game is a valuable lesson in crafting hands-on learning experiences that use game play as a teaching mechanism. The core mechanics challenge budding designers to quickly acclimate themselves to the basics of the pen tool by using a limited amount of nodes to outline a variety of shapes.
This approach to teaching digital tools is valuable because it engages users in structured play that is acutely aware of the nuances of the subject matter. By setting a maximum amount of nodes at the beginning of each level and unveiling the all-time minimum amount of nodes after completion, Marc MacKay emphasizes that an active learning experience for beginners can also challenge the experienced professional.
It’s easy to love simple software like The Bézier Game that invites you to learn through playful design because it draws the fine line between tutorial and gameplay gracefully.
Micah Bennett, UX Designer at DesignMap
SOMA is my favorite example of service design that nails the end-to-end user experience. The product and packaging are beautifully designed and paired with a crisp website that clearly communicates its core value propositions. The team’s no-frills approach is a perfect example of a task-focused e-commerce experience that guides you directly to a swift checkout flow.
In an already saturated market, SOMA has differentiated itself in three ways:
- Social good is synonymous with their brand as every purchase benefits Charity Water.
- Filters are eco-friendly and made from renewable resources.
- They eliminate a key user pain point through an automated service. By seamlessly delivering filters to your door, SOMA removes the need to track filter changes on a calendar, tacky fridge magnet, or digital clock. Removing one simple chore in a sea of to-do lists converts customers to loyal evangelists.
Consumers have grown to expect high quality and trustworthiness from brands. The standards and quality of everything SOMA designs – analog, digital and experiential – means I’ll never be cancelling my subscription.
Bradley Ziffer, Senior UI/UX Designer at Hotleads
Pick: Twitter’s Redesign
While Twitter’s branding has always been ‘friendly,’ as any social platform should be, this new update is extraordinarily refreshing. Something that is almost impossible to test is a design that invokes positivity. This new design, complete with rounded corners, seamless animations, and a completely updated library of icons does just that.
Another subtle aspect in this new update is the real-time engagement. It is now visual and consistently updated when another user or mass of users interact (retweet, etc.) with a tweet. While small, this is a monumental change, connecting all users in a way that it has not been seen before. This small feature helps the individual feel a closer social interaction.
Alongside these phenomenal changes, a new sidebar has been introduced on mobile. This change gives the user access to their own profile without leaving the feed or explore tab. While this feature, and the removal of the profile tab, will come with criticism I believe that it nudges the user into what is going on, while also offering their profile in a simple swipe.
Matt Aune, Experience Design Manager at Adobe Marketing Cloud
Pick: Google Photos
One of my favorite UX systems is Google Photos. The experience and capabilities are simply amazing.
I’ve been taking photos since I was yearbook editor in high school so I’ve got a vast library of digital and print photograms, and I uploaded gigs and gigs of unorganized digital photos from my past. The photo scan app lets me easily digitize my old print images. Additionally, the assistant feature has learned my organization scheme and is starting to suggest smart albums. Even moving to a phone, the user experience is consistent and seamless.
Now when I want to find images of my niece Abagail, for instance I just have to search her name. Via facial recognition, I get a list of results with every photo she’s in and it’s awesome.