How different interaction types influence user experience.

click action on iphone
click action on iphone
Image by cottonbro: Pexels

There is a tendency to call computers “tools”, which creates a bit of a false equivalency between computers and more traditional tools like needles, hammers, and screwdrivers.

The difference is, of course, the interface. A hammer’s “UI”, such as it is, is not terribly complex. There is one way to take it in your hand, and one way to apply your hammer-holding hand to a nail.

There is a reason why there are no “hammer literacy classes”.

With a computer (and I include things like tablets and smartphones here), the sheer variety of new input methods is staggering.

There is…

Why we need to learn what users understand before we try to help them.

Directional and navigational signs in a public space.
Directional and navigational signs in a public space.
Image by Sebastian Herrmann

Let’s start with a simple concept: what would happen if you clicked on this icon here?

The ultimate list of things to know if you want to add search filters to your product

Abstract illustration showing filtering of colored elements.
Abstract illustration showing filtering of colored elements.

A UI designer’s biggest job is communication.

With today’s computing, our products can deliver millions of bits of information to the users. Making that information accessible and letting our users navigate it the way they prefer is the essence of UI design.

One of the best crutches we have for efficient communication with our users is filters. Designing filters is all about ensuring the users can get exactly what they want, with minimal browsing.

In this article, I’ll talk about what search filters are, when they are necessary, how to choose which filters to add, discuss sidebars vs horizontal toolbars…

With every app having dozens of features, how do we guide our user, instead of overwhelming them?

The round stones stacked in a pyramid.
The round stones stacked in a pyramid.
Image by Edvard Alexander Rølvaag

Modern technology is complex. It’s not always complicated though, thanks to our constant striving to make human-computer interaction an effortless experience.

However, the more intricate a service/product, the more difficult our job becomes. Two factors make our job today tougher than ever:

  1. There’s more computing power than ever before — which means the apps and programs can include more and more features.
  2. Mobile apps rule the software market — which means there’s less and less actual space for UI elements.

This is why today UI is all about creating and structuring feature hierarchies.

Feature hierarchies vs. the essential, but rarely used functions.

Creating a feature hierarchy is easy enough…

For decades being a UI/UX designer meant arranging buttons and menus. But UI can mean so much more.

Facial Recognition System User Interface
Facial Recognition System User Interface

Windows. Icons. Menus. Pointer. WIMP.

WIMP’s been the main style of human-computer interaction ever since the Xerox team came up with it back in the ’70s to imitate actual office desktops.

And while it’s unequivocally functional, sometimes it feels like we’re treading water in a four-decade-old pool, instead of facing new and different frameworks. WIMP’s so dominant, that it’s tough to imagine working with a computer without it.

This is where ubiquitous computing (ubicomp) presents an interesting challenge for us to consider.

Ubicomp: what it is and why it matters

Ubicomp is a somewhat nebulous term, but for our purposes, it means the kind of technology that’s designed…

5 game design techniques to implement for a “gamified” experience.

Directing users’ attention. That, they say, is the primary job of a designer. But I’d argue that things are a bit more complicated than that.

Depending on the product we’re building, a user might simply be forced to give us attention to get a vital service or a product. At that point, the attention is a given, but does that make every banking app well-designed? Of course not. This is where we come across the idea that good design might just mean that users want to give us attention.

This is where the somewhat nebulous concept of “gamification” comes in…

Valery Zanimanski

Head of Design at and

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