What was interesting to read about design and development for the last week? With all the useful stuff published daily, it’s easy to get lost in the ocean of articles and reviews. Every week, we collect a brief weekly digest to share the set of fresh handy links we liked. The links are supported with short excerpts to let you know what the posts are about.

UX Design

UX Designers, Stop the Jargon and Keep It Simple by Fabricio Teixeira

The best UX designers I know can not only design interfaces that are simple to understand and use, but can also communicate in a simple and human way. They are thoughtful enough to simplify what they are saying or writing, simply because they care about the people receiving the message.

Usability: Practical Definition. Hard Core of UX Design by Ivan Braun

Usability is metric, a number. What does it mean? It means we should measure usability to know if it’s high or low. If we add or remove a feature, we should re-measure usability again.

The True ROI of UX: B2B Redesign Case Studies by Miklos Phillips

In order to be convincing and really get to the heart of what executives need to hear, UX designers need to think in similar terms to business leaders. Think: how can we best provide business value? If we do this, what will the return on our investment be? What metrics will demonstrate that we’ve made the right choices? If done well, design can help bring order and coherence to the disorder that is the current state of the B2B world and enterprise applications.

UX Design Tools for 2018 (For Mac AND PC) by Chris Bam Harrison

Okay, so there are a lot of design tools out there these days. A significant amount of discussion is happening around the topic of ‘Design Systems’. It’s a wanky name (It is. Seriously), but it’s a super important topic for both designers and for companies. I work with a large team of designers, developers, and business members. As a designer, I take on a number of personal and freelance projects. These various tasks all have different needs when it comes to tools and systems, so it’s vital to know what works well for which task.

Growth Engineering at Netflix — Accelerating Innovation by Eric Eiswerth

These prospective members arrive from over 190 countries around the world, and each person arrives with a different set of preferences and intentions. Perhaps they want to see what all the buzz is about and learn what Netflix is, or perhaps they already know what Netflix is and can’t wait to sign up and try out the service. Marketing, social, PR, and word of mouth all help to create awareness and convert that into demand. Growth Engineering collects this demand by helping people sign up, while optimizing for key business metrics such as conversion rate, retention, revenue, etc. We do this by building, maintaining, and operating the backend services that support the signup and login flows that work across mobile phones, tablets, computers and connected televisions.

UX Design: How to Use Animations in Mobile Applications by Tubik Studio, UX Planet

As everything integrated into an interface, app animations must be a functional element rather than decor. Motion elements should be considered from the very start of planning a user journey. Designing animations, you need to analyze their influence on usability and desirability of the app — and if you cannot see a real positive impact, reconsider the approach. Advantages and utility of motion in the interaction process have to be obvious and outweigh possible pitfalls. Good UI animation is a cherry on top.

Interface Exploration: Depth and Color by Karthik Subramaniam

Over the last decade, interface design has seen a turn from replication of the physical/material (referred to as skeuomorphism) to a much more flat, abstract aesthetic. While this new visual style appears more appealing, I’ve felt that a sense of intuition and approachability has been lost by discarding some skeuomorphic characteristics. In order to further explore these observations, I endeavored to visualize a future interface that finds a balance between minimalism and physical context, for a future that will further enable people to interact with seamless slabs of glass and simulate tactile buttons.

Website Pop-Ups: The Good, the Bad and 18 Rules You Should Never Break by Susanne Scacca

Years ago, the pop-up was introduced as a means to do this. It kept related and relevant information within the website without having to intrude on the well-designed page. However, Google has since cracked down on the usage of pop-ups that it deems disruptive to the user experience, which has some designers and developers confused about what they’re supposed to do now. So, what does it mean? Is the pop-up no longer a viable way to promote special offers, share value-add content, subscribe new followers, or recover nearly-lost sales? In this article, I’m going to cover the current state of website pop-ups and give you some best practices to adhere to when using them.

The State of Ecommerce Search by Kate Moran, Nielsen Norman Blog

A simple, easy-to-use search tool is critical for a successful e-commerce site. If people can’t find your products, they can’t buy them. A bad in-site search can frustrate users enough to make them abandon you for a competitor.

Designing Conversations for Bots and AI by Paige Maguire

Above all, understand that we’re doing more than designing effective conversations. There is more at stake with this work than we might realize. Designers have a unique opportunity to develop and own the process by which we teach machines to learn from us, and it is imperative that we do so with all the humanity, empathy, and inclusivity we can muster.

Branding

The Unseen Value of Brand Design by Damien Terwagne

It’s not easy to see the value a strong brand brings to your company. I know it’s not, since great design is something that is hardly quantifiable (at least, the way data can be). You have to see your brand as a long-term investment. Something that will give back everytime you use it and everytime people come across it.

Content

Instagram Announces IGTV, a Standalone App for Longer Videos by Casey Newton

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said the app was designed to make it easier to find and watch videos on the mobile phone. He noted that most video apps require you to search or browse through a directory — as opposed to television, where you simply turn it on and start watching. IGTV, on the other hand, will simply start playing video the moment you open it. Among other things, this “lean back” mode could make IGTV a powerful new place for Instagram to put ads.

8 Brilliant Blogs Run by Ecommerce Stores (And What You Can Learn From Them) by Ana Gotter

E-commerce store owners understand the importance of marketing and developing a strong web presence. They create beautiful storefronts, invest in advertising campaigns, and build email marketing sequences to attract and win over customers.

But look at their blogs and you’ll notice that a lot of them—especially B2C e-commerce sites—either don’t have a blog or don’t have a blogging strategy. This can be a missed opportunity, especially in e-commerce where many niches aren’t yet overly saturated with high quality and engaging content.

Development

Easier Scrollytelling with Position Sticky by Elaina Natario and Russell Goldenberg

One of the biggest implementation pains with scrollytelling is the sticky graphic pattern, whereby the graphic scrolls into view, becomes “stuck” for a duration of steps, then exits and “unsticks” when the steps conclude. This post will focus on the easiest solution we’ve come up with yet: offloading the sticky complexity to CSS, using position: sticky.

Using Google’s Flutter For Truly Cross-Platform Mobile Development by Mike Bluestein

Flutter makes building cross-platform mobile applications a breeze. This article introduces Flutter, compares it to other mobile development platforms, and shows how to use it to get started building apps.

Video Bonus

Practical Tips for Great UI Animation by Pablo Stanley

Title image by Jonas Mosesson

Check our recent article sharing practical tips on card sorting in UX design and grab the free collection of stylish and minimalist wallpapers for desktop and mobile