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Topic: Interaction Design

Long-Term Exposure to Flat Design: How the Trend Slowly Decreases User Efficiency

November 8, 2015

Clickable UI elements with absent or weak visual signifiers condition users over time to click and hover uncertainly across pages—reducing efficiency and increasing reliance on contextual cues and immediate click feedback. Young adult users may be better at perceiving subtle clickability clues, but they don’t enjoy click uncertainty any more than other age groups.

Providing Predictable Targets (at

April 11, 2013

Predictable Target should appear high on your list of mandatory rules, only to be violated when it can be proven that another consideration, in a particular circumstance, will result in even greater productivity.

Mental Models

October 18, 2010

What users believe they know about a UI strongly impacts how they use it. Mismatched mental models are common, especially with designs that try something new.

How to Achieve Painless Registration (at

December 1, 2009

I'm about to give you a number of ways to increase sales on ecommerce sites and increase sign-ups on service sites, but first, raise your hand if you personally, when surfing the web, enjoy registering to use a site.

Restoring Spring to iPhone/iPod Touch Springboard (at

October 1, 2009

The killer app for the iPhone/iPod Touch is the App Store. 85,000+ apps have been written and, via the App Store, 2 billion copies of those apps have been downloaded. Apple gets 30% of the revenue; the developers, 70%. Everyone has been making a lot of money.

Apple's Flatland Aesthetic, Part 2: iPhone, iPod Touch & Apple TV (at

March 10, 2009

In Part 1, I discussed the ill-effects to the Macintosh of Apple's Flatland aesthetic, a visual simplicity that threatens to bury Apple's users with unnecessary clutter and complexity. This month, it's time to turn our attention to Apple's other devices, beginning with what users are faced with when it’s time to upload images.

Slashing Subjective Time (at

May 10, 2007

The typical web experience is a series of slow, stuttering steps, punctuated by moments of utter boredom. We can do better, and we can do it without faster processors, servers, or networks. How? By taking advantage of subjective time.

Improving System Usability Through Parallel Design

February 1, 1996

In parallel design multiple designers independently of each other design suggest user interfaces. These interfaces are then merged to a unified design. In a case study, measured usability from version 1 to version 2 was improved by 18% when using traditional iterative design and by 70% when using parallel design.

Iterative User Interface Design

November 1, 1993

In 4 case studies, the median usability improvement was 165% from the first to the last iteration, and the median improvement per iteration was 38%. Iterating through at least 3 versions of a UI design is recommended, since some usability metrics may decrease in some versions if a redesign has focused on improving other parameters. Nielsen, J. (1993). Iterative user interface design. IEEE Computer 26, 11 (November), 32-41.