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Accessible Content and Media: Crafting Inclusivity in Digital Communication

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Accessible Content and Media Crafting Inclusivity in Digital Communication 7 minute read Welcome back to our continuing series on web accessibility. Today, we turn our lens to a crucial aspect that often shapes the first impression of any digital platform: Content and Media. Accessibility in this realm isn’t just a compliance checkbox; it’s a commitment to inclusivity that opens doors for all users, regardless of their abilities. Writing Accessible Web Content Creating content that’s accessible to a broad audience means ensuring it’s understandable by everyone, regardless of their educational background, age, or cognitive ability...

Navigating Accessibility: Mastering Keyboard-Friendly Design

A desktop computer keyboard, warmly lit in dramatic lighting

Navigating Accessibility Mastering Keyboard-Friendly Design 8 minute read Keyboard navigation is essential for many users, including those with motor disabilities, temporary injuries, or a preference for keyboard use. It involves more than tabbing through links; it’s about ensuring all interactive elements are accessible without a mouse. Welcome back to our deep dive into web accessibility. After exploring color and contrast, we now focus on a vital yet often overlooked aspect: keyboard navigation...

I Asked ChatGPT to Fix My Website: How I Used AI to Enhance My Website's Accessibility

A robot examining a document. Maybe the CSS for my website?

I Asked ChatGPT to Fix My Website How I Used AI to Enhance My Website’s Accessibility 2 minute read Following up on my previous article about color and contrast ratio, it occurred to me that my own site could use a little attention in this area. It got me thinking: What would happen if I asked ChatGPT to analyze my stylesheet and make some recommendations for improvement? I wanted my contrast ratios to comply with WCAG 2...

Color and Contrast: Crafting Visually Accessible Websites

An abstract linear design of color and contrast

Color and Contrast Crafting Visually Accessible Websites 3 minute read Color and contrast are powerful tools in conveying meaning, function, and emotion on websites and applications. However, it’s crucial to recognize that these elements are perceived differently by individuals, impacting their experience with them. Welcome back to our series on designing accessible websites. Having laid the groundwork on accessibility basics and team roles, let’s turn our attention to a crucial, yet often overlooked, aspect of accessible design — color and contrast...

Starting with Accessibility in Mind: Building Inclusive Web Experiences

Construction workers and a backhoe, getting started on new construction

Starting with Accessibility in Mind Building Inclusive Web Experiences 5 minute read This is the second in a series of articles looking into the requirements, tools, and techniques surrounding accessible web design. In the journey of creating accessible web design, it’s crucial to start with a foundation that prioritizes accessibility from the outset. This second article in our series dives into how you can embed an accessibility-first mindset in your web projects from the beginning...

Understanding Web Accessibility: A Foundation for Inclusive Design

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Understanding Web Accessibility A Foundation for Inclusive Design 2.5 minute read This is the first in a series of articles looking into the requirements, tools, and techniques surrounding accessible web design In the digital world, there’s a crucial aspect of website design that often flies under the radar, especially for those new to the concept: accessibility. It’s about ensuring your website is usable by everyone, which includes people with disabilities...

Embracing White Space: Why Less Is More in UX Design

Minimalist furniture in a clearly lit room

Embracing White Space Why Less Is More in UX Design 3 minute read It is a challenge all designers have faced at one time or another: Convincing a stakeholder or product owner that white space is not wasted space. It’s a situation familiar to many designers: you’ve crafted a sleek, functional user interface only to have stakeholders ask you to add more — more options, more content, more graphics...

Harnessing the Power of ChatGPT to Supercharge Your UX Workflow

An AI generated impressionistic computer terminal

Harnessing the Power of ChatGPT to Supercharge Your UX Workflow Ten Powerful ChatGPT Prompts to Incorporate into Your Design Process 10 minute read The world of UX design is ever-evolving, and staying ahead of the curve can be a challenging task. But what if I told you that AI-powered chatbots like ChatGPT can help streamline your UX workflow and provide valuable insights? That’s right! In this blog post, we’ll explore 10 prompts that UX practitioners can give ChatGPT to improve their workflow...

Can ChatGPT Optimize Your Website's UX? Let's Find Out

An AI generated Manga robot sitting in a sandbox

Can ChatGPT Optimize Your Website’s UX? Let’s Find Out Using AI to analyze webpages and provide UX recommendations 3 minute read TL;DR: Nope. Failure to launch. But other tools may provide better results. Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing various industries, and the field of user experience (UX) is no exception. As AI-powered tools like ChatGPT become more sophisticated, we can’t help but wonder if they can offer valuable insights to improve our webpages' UX, accessibility, and performance...

Five AI Tools UX Researchers Should Be Using to Improve Their Work and Efficiency

An AI generated happy robot at a workbench with tools

Five AI Tools UX Researchers Should Be Using to Improve Their Work and Efficiency Innovative AI-powered tools to try out UX researchers, it’s time to embrace the future! As AI continues to advance and integrate into various aspects of our lives, it’s essential for us to keep up with the game. Today, I want to share with you five AI-powered tools that will not only enhance your research efforts but also boost your efficiency in the UX field...

Leveraging AI to Extract Customer Personas from Real-Life Interviews

A robot drawing a sketch in a sketchbook

Leveraging AI to Extract Customer Personas from Real-Life Interviews An Experiment with ChatGPT-4 10 minute read Let’s explore the use of ChatGPT-4 to analyze and extract customer personas from real-life interview data. By using AI, researchers can save significant time by avoiding manual analysis of lengthy audio recordings. The quality is pretty good, but you need to pay attention to the overall accuracy of the output. Introduction Discovering and understanding customer personas is a common activity for businesses to create user-centered strategies and cater to the needs of their audience...

UX and AI: Tools to Streamline Your UX Workflow

A network of water droplets

UX and AI Tools to Streamline Your UX Workflow 5 minute read As UX professionals, we all know the importance of collecting and analyzing data to inform design decisions and improve the user experience. But with so much data to collect and analyze, it can be a time-consuming and overwhelming process. That’s where AI-powered tools come in. By using these tools, we can streamline our UX workflows, saving time and increasing efficiency...

Evolving Productivity: Getting Things Done

A rectangular wire in-basket filled with business papers

Evolving Productivity: Getting Things Done How David Allen’s Productivity System Changed the Game for Me I dive deeper into personal productivity systems by exploring my transition from the Franklin Planner to David Allen’s Getting Things Done method, and how a combination of the two has helped me achieve greater success. Continuing our discussion of personal productivity systems, we’ve already explored the Franklin Planner system and its connection to Benjamin Franklin’s methods...

Analog Days: Rediscovering the Franklin Planner

An illustration of Benjamin Franklin sitting in an 18th century library reading

Analog Days: Rediscovering the Franklin Planner Exploring the roots of the Franklin Planner system and its connection to Benjamin Franklin’s methods Dive into the history of the Franklin Planner system, a once-popular analog productivity tool, and learn how its principles are rooted in Benjamin Franklin’s methods for personal development and virtue. I’ve always been a bit of a productivity system nerd. I’ve been fascinated by how others manage their lives, stay on top of tasks, and keep things organized...

Lean UX: The Ultimate Framework for Integrating UX and Agile Development

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Lean UX: The Ultimate Framework for Integrating UX and Agile Development Delve into the Lean UX methodology, its components, and real-world success stories Discover how Lean UX bridges the gap between UX and Agile development, explore its components, and learn from real-world success stories and challenges in the era of remote work. I’ve always been passionate about finding ways to seamlessly integrate UX and Agile development, and the Lean UX methodology has proven to be an ideal solution...

5 Free Remote UX Tools to Boost Your Workflow

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5 Free Remote UX Tools to Boost Your Workflow Discover budget-friendly solutions for remote UX research and collaboration 2 ½ minute read Hey there, fellow UX advocates! Working remotely can be challenging on its own, and even more difficult when you’re on a budget. Many of the most exciting and essential tools for conducting UX research and design come with heft monthly subscription costs. But don’t worry, I’ve got your back...

Reconciling UX and Agile Development: A Unified Approach

An agile team at work

Reconciling UX and Agile Development: A Unified Approach Integrating UX Design into the Agile Process for Holistic, User-Centric Product Development 3 minute read Discover how to reconcile UX and Agile development by integrating UX design into the Agile process for a holistic, user-centric product development approach. Welcome to my second installment focused on UX and Agile. Agile development has long been known for its programmer-centric approach, which can sometimes leave UX feeling like a “side process...

Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban: Integrating UX into Agile Methodologies

An agile robot team

Scrum, Kanban, and Scrumban: Integrating UX into Agile Methodologies Explore the pros and cons of Scrum, Kanban, and hybrid approaches for UX practitioners in the Agile world A handful of years back, I found myself participating in a Scrum-focused Agile training with the aim of earning certification. Coming from a UX background, I couldn’t help but be plagued by a persistent concern: how on earth does UX fit into all of this?..

This Business with Unicorns

Unicorn Origami

This Business with Unicorns A Raccoon, a Panda, and a Unicorn walk into a bar 3 ½ minute read Unicorns: Mythical creatures that are spoken of, but never seen. In the UX world, the term is used to describe that rare person who can do it all — design, research, write, and code — and do it at a very high level. It’s become so common that companies looking for talent are putting out job ads for so-called “unicorns...


A meteor glowing as it enters the Earth's atmosphere

Magnitude A Simple Tool to Help Prioritize Usability Issues 6 minute read When prioritizing usability problems, use a Magnitude Matrix to figure out the most important issues to address. Magnitude combines the frequency that an issue was observed with the relative impact that it had on the participant’s task completion. After spending some time revisiting best practices in the realm of usability testing and reviewing the advice of some its more esteemed practitioners, I realized that there is a lot of talk about how to go about setting up such a test, and finding usability problems...


A composite image of a usability test on a television set

Playback Often the best way to fix your faults is to look directly at them 4 minute read Regularly reviewing your performance and providing self-critique can help you improve your skills as a usability test moderator. The camera and microphone are powerful implements in a usability tester’s toolkit. With them, you can capture the user’s actions and facial expressions and gain all kinds of insight into their behaviors, thoughts and expectations when using a product...

Reporting Qualitative Data

A scene from Star Trek: Captain Kirk deals with fuzzy tribbles

Reporting Qualitative Data Gaining Control of the Fuzzy Non-Numeric 3 minute read When dealing with moderate to large sets of qualitative data, affinity analysis can help identify and prioritize common issues that users experience. We’ve spent a lot of time discussing quantitative data this week: Collecting, measuring, and analyzing it. This got me thinking about its more nebulous twin — qualitative data — and how it’s a whole different beast...

Eye-Tracking on the Cheap

“A (very earnest-looking) mouse”

Eye-Tracking on the Cheap A Dead-Simple Way to Follow Your Test Participants 2 minute read In the absence of eye-tracking equipment, ask test participants to use their mouse cursor to indicate where they’re looking on the screen. One of the hallmarks of usability testing protocols is [the “Think Aloud” method][1]: Asking participants to verbalize their thoughts as they work through the tasks and activities of the test. This method allows the test team to get inside the head of the participant a bit and often illuminates behaviors or attitudes that wouldn’t be apparent by observation alone...

Formative vs. Summative Usability Studies

“A pro surfer stays ahead of a huge wave”

Staying Ahead of the Wave Formative vs. Summative Usability Studies 2 ½ minute read When looking at usability studies, you can generally lump them into two groups: Formative studies and summative studies. We’ve been talking about them this week and I thought I’d share a little bit about our approach. Formative Studies Formative studies, as the name implies, tend to happen at the beginning of the design process and are used to help guide the product in the right direction...

Remote UX Observation

Television - Photo credit: CREATISTA

Remote UX Observation Getting Out of the Room to Enhance Team Participation In UX 4 ½ minute read One of the major tenets we adhere to as a team is transparency: All members of the team should have access to information about the project we’re working on. Designers, Developers, QA Analysts, Stakeholders: They all should have a complete picture of what’s going on and access to any details of the project that might help them gain product perspective and user insights...

IxD Retrospective

Eli Wallach in The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Retrospective Looking back on the Kent State Interaction Design class 4 minute read So another course in the Kent State University User Experience Design Masters program comes to an end and, as one of its requirements has been these weekly updates, I thought it would be a good idea to use the final one to look back on the class. I’ve spent the last seven weeks diving into Interaction Design; looking into the design process for digital products from the user interface perspective...


Pentagon Structural Lattice

Organized The extra time taken to arrange your work is a true sign of professionalism 2½ minute read Look. What your workspace looks like when you go home for the day is your business. It’s your space and you need to be comfortable and able to get stuff done. Maybe it’s a minimalist nirvana; clean and cool and white. Maybe it’s a nest of papers, books, half-empty soda cans… whatever works for you...

Measure Twice, Cut Once

Close-up of metal ruler - Photo credit: Janaka Dharmasena

Measure Twice, Cut Once Creating a reusable layout system for mobile 4 ½ minute read So, while slugging it out in the trenches this week, I sort of fell into an existential crisis with regards to the stuff I was putting on the screen for a mobile prototype. Panels, images, buttons, text fields… the sizing and positioning of these things all suddenly seemed so arbitrary. How can you defend a design decision if you can’t explain why the thing on the screen looks like it does?..



Critique When having your back means shooting you down 5 minute read I’ve got a good team. I know this not because my team is talented; not because they wield terrifying text editors and pixel manipulators with the deftness of a Mayo Clinic surgeon (although they most certainly do). I know this because they are good at critique. They are able to look at something — a design, concept, prototype — with a critical eye...

InVision This

“ screenshot”

InVision This Much more than fancy screenshots 2 ½ minute read As you’ve probably gathered if you’ve been following along, I spend a lot of time talking about tools. Too much, probably. Tools, after all, don’t make the craftsman. But, here I go again: After a couple of weeks using for a project of some complexity, I have to say. Wow. I’ve been aware of InVision for awhile, but always thought of it as a fancy presentation tool (which it is) and nothing more (which it isn’t)...


Vinly LP - Photo credit: AngeloDeVal

Fidelity When making wireframes, aim somewhere between hi-fi and lo-fi 4 minute read We spent a lot of time this week discussing fidelity as it pertains to UX deliverables: Wireframes in this case. The traditional wisdom has always been that wireframes are quick and dirty interface representations, stripped of any visual design or branding elements. Their purpose is to communicate the general layout and content of a page without getting too deep into the visual design...

Know Your Tools

Tools - Photo credit: Jeff Bullas

Know your tools Investing time creating a basic toolkit early can really pay off 2 minute read Which design tools you use are far less important than how well you can use them. This became especially apparent after weeks of using a template I created for the last class. It was easy. The bugs were ironed out. It looked okay. It didn’t win me any points for creative vision but it was fast and got the job done...

UX Yin and Yang: Balancing Organizational Goals and the Needs of Your Users

Yin and yang - Photo credit: dynamicz34

UX Yin and Yang Balancing Organizational Goals and the Needs of Your Users 4½ minute read The disciplines of user-centered design have taught us to go to great lengths to ensure that we meet the needs of users when it comes to our products, but we shouldn’t be doing so at the expense of the organization’s goals. Call it a lesson learned. Awhile back my buddy (whom I’ll call “Ted,” in an attempt to spare his identity) completed a project that he’d spent significant time designing and building...

Quotable: The Best Thing for Being Sad

Author T.H. White; Photo credit Henry Hargreaves

The Best Thing for Being Sad 1 minute read “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds...

Getting the Most Out of your CMS

A rustic set of tools - Photo credit: Florian Ritcher

Getting the Most Out of your CMS 4½ minute read “We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.” ― Marshall McLuhan When it comes to deciding on a content management system for a business or organization, how much should you expect your CMS to do? Is the solution you choose going to be a magic bullet that automatically enforces policy and standards?..

Five Content Strategy Challenges (and How to Overcome Them): Part 2, Management

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Five Content Strategy Challenges (and How to Overcome Them) Part 2 — Challenges for Management 3½ minute read Last week I discussed the five most common content strategy challenges for content creators and strategists. Organizational leadership faces a similar predicament. With so much emphasis put on productivity, efficiency and the bottom line, it’s hard to embrace a concept that doesn’t show a clear benefit for the organization, introduces too much risk or just doesn’t fit in with their vision of the company and its values...

Five Content Strategy Challenges (and How to Overcome Them): Part 1, The Content Creator

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Five Content Strategy Challenges (and How to Overcome Them) Part 1 — The Content Creator 3½ minute read Content strategy is an important component of the design process and vital to the overall user experience. It ensures that the organization’s content aligns with its goals and values. With that in mind, here are ten key challenges that content creators and management face with content strategy, and some proposed solutions. Challenges for Content Creators Content creators and strategists have it rough...

Site Search: Using Google vs. Rolling-Your-Own

Rolling pin

Site Search: Using Google vs. Rolling-Your-Own 2½ minute read So. You’ve built a Web site and need local search capabilities. Is it even worth it to develop your own solution when Google offers the whole deal by copying-and-pasting a few lines of code? With Google being able to crawl and catalog the expanse of (almost) the entire Web and present search results quickly and clearly to users, it’s a legitimate question to ask: Do any sites really need their own search systems?..

The UX Triple Constraint: Time, Complexity and the User Experience

Triangles - Photo credit: enterlinedesign

The UX Triple-Constraint Time, Complexity and the User Experience 4 minute read Someone much smarter than I has probably already made this observation, but it occurred to me in a recent discussion with a product stakeholder that there exists a kind of “usability triple constraint,” not too different from the one folks in the project management world have recognized for years. The triple constraint is a project management model that says that all projects are a balance of time, resources, and quality...