Category Archives: Interaction Design

Are Luxury Features Always Better?

Are Luxury Features Always Better?

I started my morning just like any other; I woke up, did my morning routine, and had quality family bonding time discussing the topic of German luxury cars at the breakfast table. As my family was swooning over the styling and engineering of German automobiles, I couldn’t help but think of how incredibly annoying ourRead more

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

The Misconception of Age & Tech Savviness

  When we think of tech-savvy users, we probably imagine a younger person. This misconception is due to the incorrect belief that older users do not want or cannot use technology. But from my time conducting research at Akendi, and from academic papers, I find that this notion is incorrect.  So where did the misconceptionRead more

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Not Choosing Sides: Customer Experiences vs. User Experiences

Ok, we’re all humans. It is a label that encompasses us all. But in experience research and design we rarely, if ever, create for or try to understand the human. It’s usually the different types of humans we’re interested in.  Because once we understand who they are, we can list and prioritise these groups ofRead more

It is not child’s play

It is not child’s play

Last Fall, I happened to be in San Francisco the same time as my (design) friends. They took us to an exhibition in Menlo Park. The exhibit was designed by teamLab, a collaborative group of artists specializing in digital experimentation. We unanimously agreed that the kids’ section of the exhibit was by far the mostRead more

Thoughts on the 2016 Design Thinkers Conference

Thoughts on the 2016 Design Thinkers Conference

I have a confession to make… the 2016 Design Thinkers Conference was filled with inspiring talks but the “Confessions” theme didn’t quite resonate with what I was hearing. I have an alternate theme to suggest.   Last week, our visual design team attended the 2016 Design Thinkers Conference at the Sony Centre in downtown Toronto.Read more

Apple: Two terrible and two brilliant design decisions

Apple: Two terrible and two brilliant design decisions

Apple is often hailed as the gold standard for user design. There are a couple of things that they have done very well and then there’s a few really terrible decisions they have made. Let’s start with the good, because there are a number of Apple designs that I appreciate. THE GOOD 1. Mouse ShakeRead more

SC: Blacklist Review (Where Intentional Design Goes Wrong)

SC: Blacklist Review (Where Intentional Design Goes Wrong)

Efficiency versus Experience A few weeks ago after a relaxing weekend of playing video games, I couldn’t sleep and found myself staring angrily at the ceiling. Beside me, my wife awoke and asked, “What’s wrong honey? What are you huffing about?”  “I just don’t understand why they put that menu there!” I bitterly responded, thenRead more

Why Your Experience Is Your Reality (And How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee)

Why Your Experience Is Your Reality (And How To Make The Perfect Cup Of Coffee)

I love coffee, it fuels my day, it fuels the company, and I couldn’t do business without it. Fortunately, I am not alone. Even the Brits have fallen for the allure of good coffee, and coffee shops such as Nero, Costa, Starbucks can be found on every corner of self respecting city centres. Sometimes, youRead more

It’s True: Users Don’t Know What They Want

It’s True: Users Don’t Know What They Want

Users don’t know what they want; this is a fact of user research. Of course, it would be great to be able to ask users “How would you design this?” or “Where would you place this call to action?” or “What do you want to see in this design?” and get beautifully articulated answers thatRead more

Why organizations can learn about team performance from neuropsychology

Why organizations can learn about team performance from neuropsychology

The field of UX is intimately concerned with how people think, feel and act, and how to leverage those behaviours to create a better user experience. It should be no surprise that the bedrock of UX practices is science and neuropsychology. Hemispheric Specialization Defined I am fascinated with “hemispheric specialization”. It is a fancy name forRead more

The Importance Of Surprise & Delight In UX Design

The Importance Of Surprise & Delight In UX Design

Is It Possible To Create A Personality For Your Product Interface? While in North Vancouver visiting a client, I noticed something that’s sole purpose is to make pedestrians walking up (or down) the steep hill of Lonsdale Avenue happy. Scattered here and there along the boulevard are carved animals, a sort of an amalgamation ofRead more

This Complex Washing Machine Reveals How NOT to Design Icons

This Complex Washing Machine Reveals How NOT to Design Icons

A case study in what happens in the absence of good UX I was waiting for the elevator one morning when joined by a man I hadn’t seen before. The first thing he said was not ‘good morning’ or ‘hi’, it was “do you have a washing machine in your apartment?” Unsure where he wasRead more

Common Sense – Is Not That Common

Common Sense – Is Not That Common

Why The Line “Of Course, It’s Common Sense To Design It That Way,” Is High Praise Indeed At some point in your career you will present a design that you know is praise-worthy. You’ll have worked hard sorting out all the UX considerations, trade-offs, and implementation complications, yet you will be met with a veryRead more

Is Black The New Blue? When To Leave Design Patterns In The Dust

Is Black The New Blue? When To Leave Design Patterns In The Dust

Why Google’s testing black search results links is so revealing Recently Google caught a bit of flack for live testing search result link colours. If you weren’t one of the lucky (or unlucky?) 13%, I’ll fill you in. Rather than the typical blue (#1a0dab), then purple for a visited link, Google made all search resultRead more

Has the car industry gone too far with premium car features?

Has the car industry gone too far with premium car features?

I was recently visiting with my parents and had the luxury of being driven around by them in their ‘relatively’ new car. I say ‘relatively’ because they’ve had this car for over a year. It’s definitely still considered new to them; mostly because they haven’t quite figured out how to use it comfortably. What doRead more

Foresta Lumina: Magic Done Better Than Disney

Foresta Lumina: Magic Done Better Than Disney

“Good design, when it’s done well, becomes invisible. It’s only when it’s done poorly that we notice it.” – Jared Spool   But what about extraordinary design; design so enchanting you cannot ignore it? Generally when user experience is talked about, the discussion is about whether the product is useful and/or usable. However, another important aspect ofRead more

Auto-fill Your Taxes [Review]

Auto-fill Your Taxes [Review]

After having a miserable go at taxes last year, I vowed to make this the best year yet. I had heard about a new feature called “auto-fill my taxes”. So I signed up for an online account with the CRA. The Setup  The most difficult part of this whole process is the setup. There isRead more

3 Design Trends on the Rise in 2016

3 Design Trends on the Rise in 2016

There are a few interesting design trends we’re keeping our eyes on this year. With spring fast approaching, this seems like a nice time to step back and examine the visual elements that are gaining popularity in the digital space. 1. Unexpected Colour Bold and unexpected colour choices have been on the rise in allRead more

The Dark Side of UX

The Dark Side of UX

Does UX have the power to manipulate and deceive? It does. And we must use our powers for good. Let me explain… I recently was the victim of a dark user experience designed to scam. This went as follows: As a Dutchman, I travel to The Netherlands quite frequently and, in true Dutch fashion, IRead more

Difference Between a Design Template and a Page

Difference Between a Design Template and a Page

  When engaging with a new or potential client, we find there is often confusion about the difference between a template and a page. We believe much of this confusion stems from the fact that there are several different ways to scope design work for digital products such as websites, mobile apps, desktop software, portals,Read more