Author Archives: Hannah Atkin

About Hannah Atkin

Hannah Atkin is a User Experience Director at Teach For America. She is a former television researcher and a GA UXDI alum. Find out more about Hannah on her personal site and follow her on Twitter at @hannahatkin.

6 Surprising Celebrities Who Know How to Code


Photo source: Google Creative Commons

Photo source: Google Creative Commons

Over the past few years, students and workers across the United States (and the world) have heard the battle cry to learn code. With over 120,000 open technology jobs  in the U.S. alone, skilled professionals are needed to take businesses and technology to the next level. Some organizations, such as, have begun enlisting celebrities to learn code—using their influence to encourage others, particularly minorities in tech, to follow their lead.

While some celebs have unexpected backgrounds in technology, others are learning code for the first time. The range of individuals advocating for diversity in computing spans industries and age brackets—and some of them might surprise you.

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The Best Topical Data Visualizations of 2015 (So Far)



Data visualization is a form of visual communication where data is presented in a pictorial or graphical format. By presenting complex data sets in a visual way, people can comprehend and analyze the information set faster and more clearly.

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Top 10 Blogs For User Experience Designers


best ux design blogs

User experience is an industry that is constantly evolving. Whether you’re a new practitioner or a seasoned veteran it’s important stay up-to-date on the latest conversations and ideas happening in the industry. So how do you stay updated and relevant? Here’s a clue: you’re doing it right now. Reading blogs is a quick and easy way to remain current. Below you’ll find some of my all-time favorite user experience design blogs; including established industry leaders as well as niche blogs discussing innovative topics.

With no further ado and in no particular order, find our top 10 user experience design blogs:  Continue reading

Designing Websites for Visual Perception


Designing for Visual Perception

UX is not just UI (User Interface) design. There are many steps in between like research, analysis, and wireframing. However, whether visual design is done by UX designers or by other specialized designers, it is important for you to have an understanding of visual design principles and understand how your design choices can ultimately affect users and their experiences. Continue reading

Why UX Designers and Developers Should Become BFFs



Although UX designers and developers may bring different skill sets to the table, at the end of the day, we are all trying to create the best experience for the user— and it’s when we put our creative minds together that we can achieve the most remarkable outcomes.

While at some companies the role of designer and developer are one in the same, at many others, the two roles must work both simultaneous and congruently.

The relationship between designer and developer can thrive if you remember to focus on the following:

  • Communication
  • Agile processes
  • Learn (some) code
  • Proximity
  • Empathy

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4 Common User Interface Patterns You Should Be Using


User Interface Patterns

“There are only patterns, patterns on top of patterns, patterns that affect other patterns. Patterns hidden by patterns. Patterns within patterns. If you watch close, history does nothing but repeat itself.” This quote comes from author Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Survivor, but it’s also a perfect summation of the world of user interfaces.

User Interface patterns (UI) are common best practices that serve as a reusable solution to a frequently occurring problems. Over time, users acclimate to these patterns and can even grow to expect them. Herein lies the issue. If a pattern becomes ubiquitous with a certain task, the user experience can be hindered if the pattern is not present or a suitable replacement is not offered.

As user experience designers, we need to keep up with these trends and patterns. However, it is not enough to just recognize and utilize them, but we must also understand the implications associated as well.

In this post, we will explore the following common UI patterns for further examples:

  • Input – Inline validation
  • Navigation – Infinite scroll
  • Content management – Hover controls
  • Data management – Draggable objects

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Essentials of Usability Testing



I’m sure you’ve heard that great web products have great usability. But what does that even mean?

Enter, LEMErS. No, not the monkeys; the mnemonic device.

Usability is determined and understood by testing the following criteria:

  • Learnability
  • Efficiency
  • Memorability
  • Error Management
  • Satisfaction

These elements can and should be tested using usability tests.

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How to Interview Users Like a Pro



Have you ever had a conversation with someone where you ask them a question and they answer you? Perfect! Then with some tips and practice you’ll be an expert at interviewing your users in no time!

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Tips To Recognize, Understand, and Use “Evil” Design



I’m sure you know the feeling. Beyonce tickets are about to go on sale and you have your hand anxiously hovering over the mouse in hopes of clicking the “buy tickets” button at the opportune moment. You only have one chance because tickets will sell out in seconds. The clock strikes the hour and you’re off to the races.

Heart pounding, you type in the CAPTCHA hoping you don’t make a mistake because time is of the essence now. If you’re lucky enough to actually secure a pair of tickets and make it to the purchase screen there is still no relief in sight. Now the infamous countdown clock begins in the bottom corner of the screen, displaying the words “Time left to complete page”. The red numbers tick down as you vigorously enter in all your information only to hit the “purchase” button with a few seconds to spare. You’re basically Indiana Jones.

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