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By Chris Nodder | Monday, July 27, 2015

Nope — Web Design Isn't Dead

web design lives

“I would dance on the grave of the type of conceited web design that builds graphic-rich, information-poor art sites. I want to nurture the type of interaction design that puts users and their need for information first.” —Sergio Nouvel, UX Magazine

An article that recently circulated on Mashable made the case for web design having no future because well-designed mass-market templates and templating tools already exist, and because content is now distributed on other platforms such as Facebook or Mobile apps and push services.

However, as a user researcher and interaction design specialist, I don’t see bands of feral unemployed web designers camping out at night in the park huddled under pages torn from their Adobe Illustrator how-to books, shivering in their faux lumberjack shirts, scraping together pennies to buy a bottle of artisanal craft beer.

And there’s certainly no downturn in demand for Web Design courses on lynda.com.

By Chris Nodder | Saturday, March 14, 2015

Do Your Own Usability Testing — in 5 Smart (Cheap!) Steps

usability testing volunteer 

You’ve heard about usability testing: It’s a way to get immediate feedback about what works and doesn’t work with your product or site.

But you haven’t tried it yet, have you?

Maybe you think it costs a ton of money and involves hiring experts to help you out.

In fact, any team can do its own basic usability test cheaply—and can learn a bunch from it to make its product better—by following these five steps.

By Chris Nodder | Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Make Sure Your Small Business Website Does These 5 Things

a basic small business website

Even if your small business does most of its selling in the physical world, a smart, trustable, and information-rich website is essential to help new customers find you and to tell existing customers more about your products or services.

You don’t need a fancy site; just a couple of pages will do. But you do need to provide certain types of information.

Here’s what a basic small business website must include:

By Chris Nodder | Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Information architecture: More than just a pretty menu

Comparing information architectures

Explore this course at lynda.com.

Some people in the design community insist on calling website menu systems “information architecture.” I think they do it to make menu design sound sexier or more esoteric. Unfortunately that’s not what information architecture is. Or rather, it’s only part of what information architecture is.

Information architecture (IA) is actually “the structural design of shared information environments.” It’s no good just having a well-thought-through menu system for your site. Once you get people to where they need to be, the content needs to be arranged in the way they expect, using words they understand. Knowing how your users think about and self-categorize your site’s content should be central to your whole design effort. It boils down to finding out how your users think about and categorize the concepts, tasks, and activities that your product deals with, and then creating an architecture that matches this world view. My course Foundations of UX: Information Architecture steps through the discipline of IA, and the practical steps needed to apply it to your projects.

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