Really interesting discussion on the process here. This is the result of the product manager and UI designer working closely in a working session rather than remotely via email and phone calls.
One way is to work on most of the UI, code it all up, then try to make it look good afterward. Another common way is to do somewhat of the opposite… start with a fairly vague idea of the UI, refine both the way the app functions and the way it looks in one big step, then implement it all in code.
I tend to design in this process, especially I’m designing more application style websites. Start with a UI that intentionally looks crappy with the basic functionality then, through hundreds of tiny iterations, it gradually develops into something sweet.
Eric Schaffer writes about persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. Key to this research is studying the ‘feel’ of sites to the key demographic of the user. While usability is be established as a base to the design, the emotional pull and perception of trust to the user is the key to creating persuasive sites.
What strikes me as most interesting was the idea that persuasive design can conflict with usability:
In some ways, persuasive design can actually be easier to implement than classic usability. Persuasion-oriented goals and design elements are often minimal in scope when compared to classic usability goals like making every error message on an enterprise site intelligible. Yet the strategies behind persuasive design are not trivial. The design methodologies are also different from those of usability—in fact, they sometimes conflict with each other.
Making people feel engaged and committed is intrinsic to persuasive design. To achieve this, it may be important to make them feel effective when using a user interface. Though the cardinal rule of usability is to make it simple, it’s possible to make a design too simple, thereby causing users to lose the feeling of effectiveness and engagement that stems from a more involved, complex interaction. So, if you want users to experience a sense of discovery or achievement, consider intentionally building in some interesting sources of challenge for them to overcome along the path.
This may come as no surprise when you imagine persuasive design may include targetted advertising, the bane of a designer’s work (the element of trust is the tricky nut to crack when dabbling with adverts on a site). However the article sets out three interesting ways to establish trust in the design of a web site:
Build an FAQ
A FAQ on a Web site indicates the organization behind the site is not a fly-by-night operation, but a solid enterprise that is diligent enough to care about documenting such things.
Match existing knowledge
presenting a piece of information users know is true to strengthen the credibility of your subsequent claims
Argue against self-interest
To engender trust, it would be better to sometimes recommend the cheapest option. Once customers experience a company’s telling them You don’t really need to buy that from us, their trust rockets, likely resulting in many more sales.
Interesting stuff. FAQ requirement is interesting since they often are seen to be signposts to a lack of decent ux design
The need to design with content in mind is discussed in The Content Conundrum on Boxes and Arrows. While recognising this is less of an issue on the social web, or smaller marketing or micro web-sites, it is particularly pertinent to large, massively content-heavy websites with numerous stakeholders.
I wholly agree. In my experience, working with the content makers (who, as the author Christopher Detzi, points out are creatives too) is vital to produce a future-proof, useable design.
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