UX Movement » Resources http://uxmovement.com User Experience Movement Sun, 14 Jan 2018 02:59:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.19 8 Best Job Boards for UX Designershttp://uxmovement.com/resources/8-best-job-boards-for-ux-designers/ http://uxmovement.com/resources/8-best-job-boards-for-ux-designers/#comments Tue, 14 Mar 2017 22:33:36 +0000 http://uxmovement.com/?p=10184

Finding a job as a UX designer is no easy task if you don’t know where to look. There are job search sites, but many of them display cluttered and hard to read results. They also don’t offer enough UX design jobs to choose from. Below are the best job boards on the web for finding your next UX design job.


Authentic Jobs















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6 Tips for a Smooth Hand-off from Designer to Developerhttp://uxmovement.com/resources/6-tips-for-a-smooth-hand-off-from-designer-to-developer/ http://uxmovement.com/resources/6-tips-for-a-smooth-hand-off-from-designer-to-developer/#comments Tue, 13 Jan 2015 14:09:07 +0000 http://uxmovement.com/?p=7522

On any project, the team is looking for a slam dunk. But this won’t happen if each team member isn’t aware of their role. The designer’s job is to design a user interface and communicate it to developers. But this transition can be painful when developers don’t understand our expectations. Here are six tips to make your next hand-off as smooth as possible.

1. Share User Stories with Developers

User stories are basic user goals distilled into distinct, terse sentences. They are often written like this: “As a user I want to … [user goal]”. Each user goal should correspond to each UI element. Sharing user stories with them will help them focus on the user. When they think more like a user, they’ll care more about meeting their needs.


2. Stay Organized From Day One

Organize and design your UI so that anyone can make sense of it. A popular programming quote goes like this: “Always code as if the guy who ends up maintaining your code will be a violent psychopath who knows where you live”.

Same goes for designing wireframes and mockups. Remember that a developer will have to interpret your designs. Numbering and labeling every screen and element will help developers understand what they’re coding.


3. Create an Interactive Mockup

Use a prototyping tool that allows you to upload mockups and add interactivity. This helps everyone on the project get a better feel for the end product. When developers have a prototype to play with, they can better meet your expectations.


This quote from Confucius applies well to hands-on learning. “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Using screen-capture software, you can also create a video of you running through the entire app to show every facet of the functionality.

4. Create a Project Encyclopedia

Define project terminology early and document it in a project “encyclopedia”. If everyone is speaking the same language when discussing the project, nothing will be lost in translation. If you notice someone substituting or replacing terminology, correct it early on.


Your project encyclopedia can go as in-depth as you want. It’s often helpful to define what elements of the app are static, and which are dynamic. If it’s dynamic, where does the data come from? Is it supplied by the user, pulled from a database, or stored in the app itself?

5. Daily Standups with Developer

Go over action items daily with the developers so they have a communication mentality. If you can do this in person, great – if not, try to do a video chat. You can communicate more information face-to-face than over email. People feel more accountable during interpersonal interaction.


6. Track Bugs and Issues

Use a bug-tracking system to document issues that arise during development. Don’t assume that someone else will catch these errors. Remember you are in charge of the complete user experience. Nothing is more frustrating to users than an element that doesn’t function as intended. Once all bugs are gone, the project falls back into your hands. You’re ready to begin testing your user interface with real users.

handoff-6Final Thoughts

There is often a breakdown in communication among teams. Following these tips will help you make sure each member is aware of the game plan. Make life easier for your developers and they’ll make life easier for you.

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How to Avoid Client Headache as a Freelance Designerhttp://uxmovement.com/resources/how-to-avoid-client-headache-as-a-freelance-designer/ http://uxmovement.com/resources/how-to-avoid-client-headache-as-a-freelance-designer/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 16:19:03 +0000 http://uxmovement.com/?p=7081

Managing clients is a big part of freelancing. Many freelance designers have their own way of working with clients. But a lot of them do it in a way that works against them. Here are a few things I do differently that allows me to work with clients without headache.

What to Include in the Contract

Before you begin working on a project, you should make it clear to the client that they’re responsible for responding to you. Sometimes you will deal with clients who give you radio silence. The legal contract you give them to sign should allow you to end the project if the client fails to respond to you on time.


Not only that, but it should clearly state that the client has to communicate any revisions to the designer in written form. This holds the client responsible for any requests they make. It also removes any confusion on what the client asked for from the designer.


The client hired you for your ability, but that doesn’t guarantee a successful project. You should always do everything you can to help the client succeed. But your agreement should state that you’re not responsible for the project’s ultimate outcome.


Use Cost Estimates over Flat Pricing

Most freelancers give their clients a flat price for their project. But flat price projects are rarely accurate. At first glance, a project may seem simple, but when you start working it almost always gets more complex.

Charging a flat price makes you lose out on getting paid for any extra work you do down the line. Instead, you should offer your clients cost estimates. This allows you to charge them accurately for the extra work you do if the project gets complex.

The final price you give your client might not match the estimate exactly. But the number should be close to the cost estimate you gave them so that you stay within their budget.


Charging for Meetings

Some freelancers don’t charge clients for meetings. If you don’t do this, you may end up spending hours talking to your client without getting paid. To prevent this, you have to let them know that your time is valuable by charging them for meetings.

Not every talk you have with your client is a meeting. Your client may have a few questions that only take a few minutes to answer. In my book, any talk that lasts over 20 minutes is a meeting. Also, let the client know times or days you aren’t available, so that they don’t contact you during inappropriate hours.

I always give the client the project kick-off meeting free. This meeting is necessary for you to do your job, so you shouldn’t charge for this. Meetings where you present your work to the client usually never last over 20 minutes. The 20 minute meeting rule means that you won’t charge the client for presentation time.


Tracking Your Hours

Since you’re giving clients a cost estimate, it’s important to track your hours on a spreadsheet. This is so you can give them an accurate price at the end of the project. If you’re not tracking your hours accurately, your client may wonder why the final price doesn’t add up to the work you did.

You should only bill clients for time that you worked. Any distractions or interruptions that happen should not count as work time. What you can do to make it easier to keep track of your hours is to work in distraction-free intervals. I like to work in 1.5 hour intervals with 20 minute breaks in between.


Tracking Design Revisions

Revisions are necessary in design. But some clients can go overboard with their requests. Always keep track of the number of revisions for each deliverable. If the client is requesting too many revisions, you’ll be able to see. If the client asks why a deliverable costs so much, you can point to the number of requested revisions.

You should always ask the client to write out the revisions they request. This holds them accountable for what they tell you to change and prevents back and forth arguments. Make sure you offer your expertise if the client wants something changed, but always listen to their concerns.


Offer a Detailed Invoice

When clients read your invoice, they should never wonder where the price came from. Your invoice should show the cost of each deliverable, and the number of versions and meetings for them. If they wonder about the cost, they’re able to see all the revisions and meetings that went into each deliverable.

The bottom of your invoice should note the methods of payment you accept. Be aware that online money transfer services such as Paypal will take a percentage of bank transfers. This is why I prefer payment via cheque or direct deposit.

It’s possible to get a client who has skipped out on paying you. Make sure you have met all the client’s needs before you invoice them. The more satisfied the client is, the more they’ll feel compelled to pay.


Light Freelancer

To create this headache-free system with your client, you need proper documentation. I created a set of freelancer documents called Light Freelancer. These documents will allow you to apply this system and avoid headache and confusion when working with clients. They come in their native design files, so that you can customize them to your needs. All you need to do is edit it, put your logo on it and print.

Final Thoughts

When you work with clients, you should never have a me versus them attitude. Instead, always look at the client and yourself as a team. The backbone of a good team is clear communication and documentation. This is the system that has worked for me, and I hope it works for you.

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Choosing the Right Tool for Remote User Testinghttp://uxmovement.com/resources/choosing-the-right-tool-for-remote-user-testing/ http://uxmovement.com/resources/choosing-the-right-tool-for-remote-user-testing/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 16:21:26 +0000 http://uxmovement.com/?p=6970

There are many challenges to traditional user testing. You have to recruit users in your local area, bring them to a testing lab and moderate them throughout the test. Traditional user testing limits the pool of users you can choose from, takes a lot of money to set up, and eats up your precious time. But remote user testing can save you from this complicated mess.

Advantages of Remote User Testing

Remote user testing is where you test users doing tasks on your website or app from the comfort of their residence or office. Users can live in different states, countries and time zones yet still give you the feedback you need to improve your design.

This type of testing gives you a bigger pool of users to choose from. You’re not limited to recruiting users who live in your local area. Not only that, but with remote user testing you don’t need any expensive equipment or a testing lab.

The biggest benefit of remote user testing is that you don’t have to moderate users throughout the testing. Users can do the study on their own, record their session and send you their results after they’re done.

Tips for Choosing a Remote User Testing Tool

There are many remote user testing tools, but picking the right one is difficult. There are ones that allow you to ask the user a set of questions after they complete their task, but that won’t give you quality data.

Qualitative user testing involves monitoring users while they interact with the user interface. This gives you more insight into what users are feeling and thinking during the task. Here are some tips for choosing the right tool to conduct qualitative user testing.

1. Self-Recruit or User Panel

It’s important to recruit users who match the criteria for your target audience so that your data is reliable. To do this, screen users by asking them a series of questions. Select those that meet your criteria to take part in your testing.

Some tools supply a panel of users for you, while others allow you to distribute the test to your own pool of users. If you can’t self-recruit, choose a tool that provides you their user panel. An existing user panel works well if you have a broad target audience. But if you have a narrow target audience, you may want to self-recruit so that you meet the demographics of your user.

2. Recording Audio and Display

Sometimes you’ll get misleading comments if you ask users what they thought about their task. That’s why watching their behavior will give you better insight into what works. A recorded session of the user’s audio and display screen is necessary so that you can look at their behavior.

It’s important to have audio with your screen recordings so that you can analyze what the user says when they think aloud. Always tell users to use the think aloud protocol during testing so that you can understand why they’re doing what they’re doing on the user interface.

3. Testing desktop and mobile prototypes

Remote user testing is not just for desktop websites. The tool you choose should allow you to test mobile and tablet prototypes as well. The setup for testing on mobile devices varies, so you must look at the mobile feature specifications for each tool.

4. Writing your own tasks

Your tool should allow you to write your own tasks in as much detail as possible. This is because users are doing the test on their own time and cannot ask you any questions. The user can’t follow your instructions if it’s not clear what you’re asking them to do. Users should know when to start and stop the task.

Find out whether the tool you choose also allows you to control the session time. Controlling the session time allows you to divide a different amount of time for any simple and complex tasks you may have.

5. Getting the test results

A testing session with five users may take up to an entire day. The tool you choose should give you the test results on the same day it’s completed. Getting the results quicker means that you can make changes to your design faster.

List of Remote User Testing Tools

Here are some tools that match the criteria mentioned above. The price and functionality of each tool is different, so check them out to find the tool that’s best for you.

Final Thoughts

Remote user testing is a modern-day answer to traditional user testing. It saves you time, money and gives you the qualitative feedback you need to improve your user interface design. The right remote user testing tool will offer everything you need to test users without breaking the bank or your back.

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How Designers Can Save Time by Using WordPress Themeshttp://uxmovement.com/resources/how-designers-can-save-time-by-using-wordpress-themes/ http://uxmovement.com/resources/how-designers-can-save-time-by-using-wordpress-themes/#comments Thu, 11 Oct 2012 19:10:10 +0000 http://uxmovement.com/?p=5790

Building a website from scratch is no easy task. You have to sketch, wireframe, design and code the site. A job like this takes more than one person and a lot of time. But there’s a way you can do it as a lone designer in a fraction of the time.

WordPress themes are a designer’s best friend because they allow you to build a site from an already developed framework. This minimizes coding so that you you can focus more of your time on content and design.

Customizing vs. Hand Coding

A customized wordpress theme can save you time, but it doesn’t fit every situation. Sometimes a hand coded website works better. If you’re building a site that has complex back-end functionality, you might not find a wordpress theme for that. But if all your site needs to do is display content to the user, there are plenty of wordpress themes that can save you time.

The challenge is finding a wordpress theme with the content layout you’re looking for. Once you find that, the rest of the work is customizing the graphics and adding your content. Here are a couple of situations where themes can benefit designers.

Themes for Client Websites

Many clients request designers to design a site for their business. Hand coding it and designing it from scratch could take months. Not only that, but any future updates or changes to the client’s site would go through you again. Hand coded sites are full of code that makes it hard for the client to do it on their own.

All wordpress themes come with a content management system that allow clients to log in, add or change content at will. It’s so easy to use you no longer have to hold your client’s hand to make changes to their site.

There are thousands of plugins that allow you to add widgets to your site so that you can extend your functionality without messing around with code. Clients can even install the plugins themselves right from the content management system.

Themes for Design Portfolios

Every designer needs a design portfolio to showcase their work. You could spend a lot of time and energy building a web portfolio from scratch, or you could customize a wordpress theme. There are many themes made for design portfolios.

These themes have a specific portfolio structure and layout that makes your site look and feel professional. Many of them also have their own image sliding and enlarging features that allow you to showcase your design work in beautiful detail. They also include page templates that allow you to add your own blog, biography and contact form.

Best Bang for Your Buck Themes

If you do your research, you’ll find many wordpress themes floating around the web. But not all of them give you the best bang for your buck. Many are overpriced, have poor graphics and unstable code. Elegant Themes is a themes site that’s head and shoulders above the competition.

Their themes are coded to perfection, beautifully designed and give you a better bang for your buck than other theme sites. For only $69, you get unlimited access to 87 different themes. Other theme sites usually offer one theme alone for that price.

The pricing and theme selection aren’t the only great things about Elegant Themes. Each of their themes include a theme options panel that allow you to easily customize and control the graphics of a website without ever touching a line of code.

You can toggle on and off features, change your layout, manage colors, optimize for search engines and more. Each theme also comes with shortcodes that allow you to easily insert different interface elements on your pages without having to code them in.

Join and Download Your Theme

Finding your perfect theme is the first step to building a great site for a client or yourself. Not having to build from scratch and mess with code lets you focus on the user experience.

Give your clients a site with a built-in content management system and plugin features that’ll make managing it so much easier. Build a design portfolio that uses rich image display widgets to showcase your work in the best light.

Most designers know how to work hard. But few know how to save time and work smart. Take advantage of customizable wordpress themes and build the site of your dreams.

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