Tag Archives: user experience

Gamification: The Importance of Motivation in Web Design

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Julie is a Digital Marketing Instructor at GA in San Francisco. This piece originally appeared on her blog

What motivates humans to perform certain actions? Well, for one it may be money, status, or maybe passion. The list goes on and on.

Why is it so important that your website or app motivates users? Well simply put, there will really be no reason for someone to use it otherwise. I recently went to a website that asked me to download their app to give feedback. What is in it for me? What will I get in return for my efforts? Why would I take the time to go to the app
store, input my password, and waste storage on my iPhone for your app?

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Q&A: User Experience Design Graduates

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Last month, we hosted a few of our User Experience Design Immersive graduates at our NYC campus. It was great to catch up with them as they shared their experiences while going through the program, as well as the exciting work they’ve embarked on after graduation. The panel included:

·      Todd Torabi, UX Designer at BBDO (@ToddTorabi)
·      Candace Majedi, UX Designer at Isis Mobile Commerce (@CandaceMajedi)
·      Dabney Donigan, Junior UX Designer at Big Spaceship (@dabneydoni)

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DIY Recruiting for User Research: The B&B Model

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Colleen is a User Experience Researcher at GA in New York. 

Recruiting for user research takes time and close attention to detail. It could easily be compared to running a bed and breakfast with users similar to houseguests. Here at GA, we use a few different do-it-yourself methods, but my recipe for recruiting always includes the user, preparation, organization and a little dash of hospitality.

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Five Tricks for Breaking into UX Design

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The field of User Experience Design is growing rapidly. According to Qconnects, a California-based talent agency, requests for UX designers rose by 70% from 2011 to 2012, with starting salaries averaging $60,000 (Usability Professionals Association, 2011 Salary Survey). There’s high demand, a shortage of supply, and in that gap, a fantastic opportunity for individuals to learn these critical skills and transition into the field. Here are five easy ways to get started:

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Alumni Feature: Melanie Araujo

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After five years experience in practical and theoretical neuroscience, Melanie Araujo decided it was time to start exploring other opportunities. She grappled with the decision to attend grad school in London, but wasn’t completely sold – there was another fit out there.

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How to Teach UX: Methods and Philosophies

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User Experience Design Immersive at General Assembly

When General Assembly decided to add a new full-time, immersive program to its suite of educational offerings, user experience (UX) design was the clear topic of choice. UX is a rapidly growing field looking for talented designers passionate about shaping the future, and we were excited to design a program that prepared these folks to do just that. With that, the User Experience Design Immersive (UXDI) program was born.

UXDI is truly the first of its kind. We’ve been able to take skills and methods that have developed over the last 20 years and turned them into one of the first formal programs to teach UX design. Through the process of creating the course, we learned a lot about how UX should be taught, and developed the following three guiding philosophies:

1. Embrace Ambiguity

“It depends” is a key part of any UX designer’s vocabulary, but its use in a classroom environment can lead to pretty significant frustration. There are plenty of reasons why teaching UX is quite ambiguous; this is, after all, a rapidly evolving field that prides itself on prioritizing the user and not trying to find the best answer, but rather going after better answers.

UX Design: Embrace Ambiguity

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What Is: User Experience Design

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BlogImage_LukeMiller (1)Name: Luke Miller (@younglucas)

Occupation: UXDI Instructor, General Assembly

1. In 140 characters or less, what is user experience (UX) design?

UXD shapes how you feel while interacting with something. It is shaped by the look, language and feedback of a system across platforms.

2. If a website were a ______, UX design would be ______?

I like this breakfast cereal metaphor.

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Required Reading: Jacob Cohen

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Name: Jacob Cohen
Classes Taught: Naming Essentials, Innovating with the Business Model Canvas

Jacob’s history with computers began in 1984 with a diploma for “computer excellence” from Ronald Reagan, a document held in low regard by his tech-savvy but liberal Oregon family. Over the course of his career his focus has been on creating and designing engaging experiences for users using innovative technology. He loves technologies that make life more convenient and improve communication. Over the last 12 years he’s developed a talent for building teams of designers and developers driven by a focused strategy and pushing the boundaries of technology.

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Technically Speaking: APIs

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Every day, we see content and data that comes from one source re-purposed into another. An API (Application Programming Interface) is a method for web apps, mobile apps, and websites to communicate with each other. Open APIs use a simple request/response model: a request is sent to an application, that request gets evaluated, and then the server sends a response back to the original sender.

Perhaps most importantly, APIs help to create a seamless user experience. A popular example is Facebook Connect, where signing into Facebook means you’re already authenticated when you sign up on other websites using their API. In this way, APIs are crucial for promoting conversations, integration, and sharing. And though tech giants like eBay and Amazon were among the first to use them, today even brands (e.g. ESPN, AmEx) and many startups (e.g. foursquare, Foodspotting) develop their own.

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