Skip to main content

Posts

UI Trend with Modal Windows

You may say that Modal windows are what pop up were 10 years ago. Like them or hate them they have become an essential UI design element for almost any website or application. Recently I have started to see a transition of how these screens are being used. We first started seeing modals about 8 years ago when a developer named Lokesh Dhakar created a Javascript Library called “Light Box”. It was a very simple way of putting focus on one image at a time and graying out everything else.
This became so popular that many people starting to throw anything and everything in these smaller focused screens. Some people call them Dialog boxes, others call them Modals but they really all mean the same thing. The main purpose is to present the user with additional information while putting the main parent page on hold until they are done.Of course with any UI design element they have been misused and abused in many different ways. I have seen some applications that have more than 3 levels of modal…
Recent posts

UCD Process

Over the last couple of years UCD (User Centered Design) has become a buzz word just like RWD (Responsive Web Design). 5 years ago when I wrote my SharePoint Branding book I use to call it the 4D’s of User experience. It included Discovery, Definition, Design, and Development. I had a nice little picture and everything to depict the different phases.
Now the picture is much nicer and clean however, I really don’t think it matters what you call each phase it matters more what you do within them. I have seen so many different variations sliced and diced in different ways. To me it is about adjusting your approach based on the needs of your users and your client. In a more traditional waterfall project you have a tendency to over burden yourself with documentation because there is no chance of going back. Also those types of project are usually the ones where you scope out in the begging a full solution without ever fully knowing what the real need actually is. I would much rather only sc…

New Scrollable Tabs Design Pattern

By nature most people are resistant to change. I have learned the hard way that just because something has been working great for the last 10 years does not mean it is always the best solution now. So much has change with technology not only within the last 3 years but over the last 6 months I have seen drastic evolutions of the art of possible. Users are demanding more and in faster timeframes. We as designers have to keep up with the latest trends, patterns, and interactions or you will be left in the dust. I recently had a design challenge that required the ability to display a horizontal sub navigation for mobile. Since we already had a main navigation being taken up by the parent hamburger menu I was in a bit of a jam on what to do.
My first instinct was to group all of the navigation elements into some sort of drop down so that when users clicked on the drop down they see the navigation list options. This would have been fine but was more of an old school way of looking at thi…

UX Tools of the Trade

The tools we use to help define UI experiences is constantly changing. The fact is that Photoshop and Illustrator are no longer the preferred tools in an XD designers tool kit. We have transitioned to more flexible and robust applications that allow both low fidelity sketch like concepts to Pixel perfect high fidelity visual designs. Sketch does a really good job at providing both of these levels as well as the in between. In combination with Zeplin and Invision these three applications provide a pretty solid output for creating great experiences for both desktop and mobile applications. Zeplin has been a great tool to lessen the burden on our visual designers for creating redlines to our developers. It has some really neat features that would take weeks for to pull together in a style guide around spacing, colors, fonts etc. They are even experimenting with providing HTML and CSS outputs from the designs.When creating wireframes I tend to use both interactions that provide some level…

Blog Transition from SharePoint to User Experience Design

As time goes on we learn, grow and explore in new areas that make us happy and inspired. I am very lucky to have found that path. Since 2003 I focused on providing great experiences to my clients around a specific tool known as Microsoft SharePoint. I was so invested in this tool that I even wrote a book on how to stretch the limits on customizing it. Over the last couple of years SharePoint has changed to be more stand alone through Office 365.

Within the last few years I have had the pleasure to not only wok for the best company Slalom Consulting but also work for some really amazing clients! My most recent projects have been outside of the world of SharePoint and in all honesty I could not be happier. It is sad to see it go but I think it is time to pass the torch to other great and amazing bloggers that will keep posting technical posts on how to configure and explore new ways of making SharePoint do what they need to present the right information to users at the right time.

My pla…

SP24: Creating the Ultimate User Experience

My SP24 Session has come and gone but can be viewed at any time on-demand either at the SP24 site HERE which allows you to add in comments and download the supporting PowerPoint presentation and SharePoint 2013 Axure base interactive wireframes. However you will need to register to sign in. Or you can view my session below from YouTube!My Session Intro:

Full 1 hour Session:

I hope you enjoy my session! If you do not want to register through the SP24 site I have uploaded the Presentation and the Axure file to my OneDrive account.Erik Swenson
UX Solutions Principal
Slalom Consulting
Twitter: ErikJSwenson
LinkedIn: Erik Swenson
Session Hashtag: #SP24S005Leave a comment on what you think about my presentation and any topics around User Experience!

SP24 - My Session Rewound!

So come to find out my session was the second highest viewed session of SP24 (If you were not counting the Keynote). The coordinators have come up with a great idea to re-run the conference but in reverse order. This could be good or bad for you depending on where in the world you are located. For me on the Easter Time zone in Boston MA. My session will be starting on May 15th at 2am in the morning… But for someone on the other side of the pond that might be a prime time to watch it. My Session:
SharePoint 2013 Creating the Ultimate User ExperienceI will bite the bullet and drink a few red bulls to stay up and chat online while the session is going on at that time so come and join me to talk about creating the ultimate User Experience or just to chat if you are bored :)I have posted my slides and the SharePoint 2013 Axure 7 wireframes to the site so make sure you register to get access to those files.My session should be available on demand as soon as the rewound is over and I wi…